the first rule of bedtime

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Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Should you take collagen?

  • The first rule of bedtime

  • Another reason to drink coffee

Have you listened to the podcast? Or as Arnold calls it, his good machine. It's similar to the email, but with a few slight changes that could only be delivered by Arnold. Subscribe to Arnold's Pump Club podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

From the Village: Should I Take Collagen?

We'll be the first to admit that we're very critical of most supplements. That's because the majority of your results will come from consistent effort and good habits. Not to mention, supplement companies are notorious for creating better fiction than James Cameron. But, every now and then, a supplement comes along and proves it might be worth the investment.

Collagen is making a strong case for the short list of supplements that actually work.

Research suggests taking collagen — orally or topically — can improve skin moisture, elasticity, and hydration, as well as reduce wrinkles. But the biggest benefit might be how collagen helps reduce pain and strengthen your tendons and ligaments.

One study found that 4 months of using type two collagen significantly improved joint function in people with joint pain. And another study suggests that collagen supplements may lessen knee discomfort.

But collagen isn’t magic. The studies found that benefits took about 12 to 24 weeks to kick in. If you want to give collagen a try, the research suggests using about 5 to 10 grams of type-II collagen (check the label, the type of collagen can affect how well your body absorbs the protein).

Why Your Bedtime Matters

The first rule of bedtime? Try to go to sleep at the same time.

If you don't have a set bedtime, you might want to pay close attention. That’s because irregular sleep times — and getting varying amounts of sleep each night — are tied to cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, and other health problems. In other words, the best time to go to sleep is the time you can consistently maintain.

Recent research examined more than 2,000 adults and found that those who were consistently inconsistent with their bedtime (and total hours in bed) were more likely to have hardened arteries than those who slept at the same time each night.

And it’s not the first time we've seen this connection. A few years ago, research suggested that people who didn’t have a set sleep schedule were twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease. And another study of 90,000 people linked the lack of a bedtime routine to mood disorders.

If you’re worried about the random nights where you stay up until 2 am, that’s not the issue. It’s consistently shifting your bedtime by anywhere from 2 to 3 hours per night, such as going to bed at 9 pm one night and then midnight another night and doing it consistently.

We hype sleep because of the endless benefits rest provides your mind, body, immune system, and motivation. For the best results, try to go to bed at a similar time and sleep the same number of hours each night.

Number You Won’t Forget: 1,000

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. But, if you’re having trouble getting more steps, maybe it’s time you have another cup of coffee.

A recent study found that coffee drinkers take, on average, 1,000 more steps per day than non-coffee drinkers.

This study might provide some clarity on why research suggests that coffee drinkers live longer. While the drink has many health benefits itself (assuming you don’t add too much sugar), adding 1,000 steps per day is associated with up to a 15 percent increase in longevity.

The catch? Coffee drinkers sleep about 36 minutes less than non-coffee drinkers, and that number increases the more cups you have.

But there’s an easy way around it. As we’ve shared in previous newsletters, here are two tips to ensure that coffee doesn’t disrupt your sleep

  1. Cut off caffeine at least 9 hours before you sleep. The caffeine lasts in your system much longer than you realize.

  2. Eat something before you have coffee. Research suggests having coffee on an empty stomach was associated with a rise in blood sugar, which could impact your sleep at night.

If you make these minor changes, you can have your coffee (and the extra steps) and enjoy better sleep too.