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May 26, 2017

It's a Long Weekend to Get Your GAINZZZ Up to Speed

Last time, I promised I would either GET GAINZZZin' or I'd make up a lie about GAINZZz GOTTEN.

Well, I lied on both counts. I did not gain a damn thing -- still stuck at the same weight, still same bodyfat. I have gotten back to hard exercise after giving my ailing knees and lower back a break (they seem healed up), but I have no GAINZZZ regarding the overweight.

Again, I stayed low carb but still have not gotten back on IF (like I vowed I would), and this suggests to me that IF is the missing ingredient for GAINZZZ.

I've been off IF long enough that I'm now in the same position that anyone who never tried it is in: Saying "But it's really hard to not eat for 14 or 16 hours."

Sure is! But your body adapts to that and then it feels normal. Unfortunately, your body also adapts to being fed for 14 hours of the day, and then that feels normal, and deviation from that feels hard.

Below, some links about health I've saved.

A few on sleep:

Getting in a good night's sleep feels roughly as good as winning the lottery.

This is another area I've fallen down in -- low sleep is low GAINZZZ, and I"ve been staying up way too late to get in really good sleep.

Getting a good restorative, refreshing night of sleep gets harder as you get older than 30, which, fortunately for me, I haven't done for 15 years and don't plan on doing for another 15. So people like you (but not me) have to be especially vigilant about sleep discipline.

Also, as aging causes reduced sleep quality, reduced sleep quality may also cause the ill effects of aging.

And it's no coincidence, the researchers say, that this is also about the time we start to show signs of aging.

More frighteningly, however, report co-author Professor Matthew Walker said, is that lack of sleep has also been linked with a host of deadly diseases, particularly those affecting the brain.

"Every one of the major diseases that are killing us in first-world nations -- from diabetes to obesity to Alzheimer’s disease to cancer -- all of those things now have strong causal links to a lack of sleep.'

"Sleep changes with aging, but it doesn’t just change with aging; it can also start to explain aging itself," he said.

"Every one of the major diseases that are killing us in first-world nations -- from diabetes to obesity to Alzheimer's disease to cancer -- all of those things now have strong causal links to a lack of sleep."

"And all of those diseases significantly increase in likelihood the older that we get, and especially in dementia."

Stuff I've found that helps (which I learned from articles and commenters) include the following:

* Stop reading the internet at least several hours before sleep. The potent light coming from the screen is read by your eyes as "daylight" and causes the release of hormones associated with activity. At the very least, use orange UV-light blocking shades, or put a shader on your screen.

But also, you know, just get off the internet.

Reading a book (even on kindle) seems to help. Though the latter, I guess, might cause the same light-wakes-your-brain up effect. But I don't notice that myself.

* Use a cold compress on the back of your neck or back of your head. The body reads "cold" as "night," and takes that as a signal to start releasing hormones that reduce alertness.

* Go to bed the same time every night, even if you don't feel like it.

* If you've tried to fall asleep for 45 minutes or an hour and you're getting frustrated, stop trying. Frustration won't permit you to sleep. Get up, read a book for a half hour or so, and go to bed when you start to feel tired.

* Melatonin and L-tryptophan work (particularly the latter) but I've found that after a while, your body adapts to them and they don't work as well any more.

Also sort of on sleep: If you're a mouth-breather -- and Lord, is it embarrassing to admit I am -- it's bad for your health in a bunch of ways. My Guru says so.

He suggests a way to stop mouth breathing, which I've been doing on and off for two weeks: Mouth taping.

Note: See cautions and caveats below.

I didn't want to even mention this until I checked it out, but if you tape your mouth shut with micropore tape (I assume the tiny little holes in it are there to make sure you can breathe through the tape, if necessary), you will keep your mouth shut most of the time and encourage your body to breathe through the nose.

A couple of words on this: Detraining your body to breathe the way you've breathed since you were a baby takes time. I breathe through the nose most of the time when I'm awake and thinking about it; when I forget, the mouth opens and there we go again.

I think breathing through your nose at night will only happen consistently when you're breathing through your nose during the day without thinking about it any more. That is, until your body is trained to just nose-breathe as an unthinking, automatic mode, you're going to mouth-breathe at night (and snore, and get apnea).

Note that there's enough give in the micropore tape, and tiny holes in it anyway, that you can and will mouth breathe until nose breathing becomes your unconscious habit.

That said, I haven't died from mouth-taping (which was a genuine fear), and I've only pulled the tape off my mouth while sleeping once.

This doctor explains the health consequences of mouth breathing, and it's about a lot more than apnea. Basically, mouth-breathing causes less oxygen to be transported into tissues and muscles. Mouth-breathing causes your tissues and muscles to always be in a state of oxygen-debt.

This guy gives you a basic method of taping your mouth shut.

One thing to point out: as this woman points out, mouth-breathers do so either out of habit or physical obstruction in their nose or sinuses. Actually, I think the two reinforce themselves. However, if you have clogged sinuses, you're going to have to deal with that before you tape your mouth.

In my case, it was both, but I think that the fact that I wasn't using my nose to breathe was simply allowing mucous to build up and the nasal passages to close more than they would if they were frequently being opened. But if you find you can't breathe through your nose even when you deliberately try to, you'll have to try things like squirting saline water into your nose before bed, and also using this simple and easy trick:

1. Exhale all air out of your lungs until you're on empty.

2. Squeeze your nostrils closed.

3. Wait until you feel a little uncomfortable from lack of air.

4. Now inhale, but only through your nose -- keep that mouth shut.

You'll find that your nose will indeed suck in air -- vigorously, as you're out of air in your lungs -- and in doing so it'll also suck all the mucous blocking it to the back of your throat. A little gross, but it does clear the passages out.

I can't tell you I feel better from this yet as I've only been doing it two weeks, and I suspect that to effect the actual change (where this becomes natural and automatic), and to really feel different, will take up to six months. The very first day I did it I felt great, but that could be psychosomatic or it could just be that I was particularly motivated to go to bed early that night.

On the plus side, while nose-breathing was difficult for me at first, as I've been doing it more, the nasal passages are now usually pretty clear and it's no longer difficult at all -- unless they're stuffed up, in which case I have to do a saline rinse or do the implosive-nasal-inhale method I outlined above.

So I think I have the physical-obstruction part taken care of (most of the time), and now just have to take care of the "habit" part.

Finally, sex: Sex is good for pretty much every part of your body. And adults are having less of it. And that's probably because of social media, because it's a time-killer that crowds out other time killers, and because no one can try to get anyone "in the mood" if they're in a Twitter fight or clicking through Reddit. Plus, I think most people soon learn that anyone on the internet basically has a big Don't Bother Me sign out, and they stop even trying.

Anyway, that's all I got: Tell me about your GAINZZZ. It's been so long since I've seen any myself I just want to hear-tell of their actual existence. I'm beginning to think GAINZZZ are just a Zionist Lie.

Caution/Caveat on Mouth-Taping: PrimalOrderedPair thinks this is very dangerous:

Those pores are large enough for your skin to breathe but I doubt they do much good on the mouth. I don't think I would really recommend this to anyone.

Well, I should note that I'm not a doctor and I can't really recommend anything. I can only tell you my experience, which is that I'm not dead yet.

From personal experience: You can breathe through the tape, and further, the type of tape I have (3M) isn't actually strong enough to really lock your mouth closed.

That said, again, I'm obviously not a doctor.

And I was scared shitless of this idea when I first heard it.

So, when I started, very skittish about doing this, I only partly taped my mouth shut, to make sure there was not going to be an accidental death. Only when I got comfortable with it and saw that i wasn't waking up with no air did I start doing a better job of taping.

Though, like I said, even if you tape it better, your mouth can still open up and suck in air.

I might have factors going on with my face that makes this less dangerous than it would be for someone else, though. I usually have stubble/a light beard, and that means the tape isn't fully secure. I also might sweat under the tape more than others, again, meaning there's give in the tape.

If someone managed to tape himself or herself much more securely than I can, maybe there would be a greater chance of death.

Also, should have mentioned this: I'm on CPAP so if the machine detects I'm not taking in breath it pumps additional air in, which could be a safety measure I have that non-CPAP users don't have.

Talk to your doctor about it, if you are a mouth-breather. So far, I haven't had a bad experience, but I haven't done a mass-trial, obviously.

And the fact that I haven't suffocated myself so far is no indicator that I won't do so in the future.

Alternative: Day-Taping? I considered doing this. No expert suggested this, but this may be a less-dangerous alternative.

Assuming I'm right that you will routinely nose-breathe at night once you're routinely nose-breathing during the day, maybe make a conscious effort to nose-breathe while out (at work, etc.), and, when at home, tape your mouth shut while awake. This will tend to reinforce the new habit you're teaching your body, and then maybe eventually you'll just start habitually nose-breathing, including at night.

And then you won't have to worry about the potential dangers of taping your mouth shut while you're sleeping.

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posted by Ace at 04:40 PM

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