|December 11, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement|
Those autists who tend to conflate “evidence” with “peer reviewed scientific studies with large sample sizes” also tend to inordinately buy into CR, calory restriction, and Intermittent Fasting. Which is unfortunate, since they are the last people one wishes to have suffering from low blood glucose while one is around.
They believe it because it has a fair amount of scientific studies to support it. It’s the sort of thing blinkered science has managed to figure out.
Here’s why I don’t buy the hype:
- Longevity is not the only factor of interest.
- There’s CR and CR. A paleo lifestyle will greatly increase natural tolerance to fasting, leading to longer periods without meals, up to one day at times. Deliberate CR is something different.
- CR doesn’t show up among blue zones or the world’s oldest people. Rather, the opposite – enjoyment of life.
- I read a chimp study that showed CR chimps lived longer but had terrible quality of life compared to the fat happy sly contented ad libitum eaters. That suggests it’s a tradeoff between living longer slowly and living faster richly.
- Longevity is extremely hard to study in humans and there are many better-established effects on health from altering biological inputs than anything related to longevity.
- Most importantly, cages and unnatural diets may tend to exaggerate the positive effects of CR on animals. Now interestingly, many humans live in the modern equivalent of cages and eat highly unnatural diets….
Do I believe that CR is probably a good thing for prisoners and caged animals? Yeah.
Do I think fasting has spiritual and physical benefits? Yeah… although your physical goals may conflict with fasting’s effects, depending.
Do I care enough to actually restrict what I eat, beyond avoiding overeating to discomfort? No.
|December 7, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement|
It seems to me that there are two major phases of Circadian adjustment.
The first is breaking out of the vicious cycle of sleeping all night and then going to bed at the crack of dawn. That’s an equilibrium point, and a very unhealthy one, that leads to lots of excess cortisol. It also means sleeping directly through business hours.
The best way to break out of that equilibrium point is with a combined assault of Vit-D in the morning and melatonin at night. This should only take one try.
That shifted my Circadian forward, from sleep onset in the morning to a biphasic schedule, where’d I’d sleep starting in the afternoon for 4-6 hours, and then a few hours starting around 11pm as well.
To get the rest of the way there requires a different strategy. You don’t want to hammer melatonin again to force yourself to sleep after you’ve just woken up. That’s a big time waste, annoying, and might not even work.
A better strategy involves realizing that you’re now within striking distance of a normal sleep schedule. All you need to do is “stay up” later, from the afternoon to the early evening, and then go to sleep naturally.
The best way to extend over this period without losing productivity is to use 30-minute naps, just like during polyphasic sleep adaptation.
So, in summary, here’s the technique:
1. Use Vit-D always, to set your morning Circadian point
2. Use melatonin when you need to sleep “earlier”
3. Use naps when you need to sleep “later”
4. Pick the shortest difference in hours to determine whether you need an “earlier” or “later” sleep onset tmie.
|December 6, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement, journal|
That’s the real challenge that’s been confounding my Circadian experimentation.
My IBS multi-day cycles do bad things to my Circadian rhythm. That explains the extreme perversity and recalcitrance I’ve been encountering.
First it was the rice noodles, then a cheat meal precipitated by fatigue and IBS-drained willpower and failure to prepare while traveling.
I was forced to add melatonin into the mix for greater control. I’m not sure what the results say, because of the confounding factor. However, I did manage to make a bigger dent in my Circadian than I’d managed with Vit-D alone. It came at the expense of sleeping more, but is that really a bad thing in my condition? Better to sleep more and be alert while awake.
Anway, I shifted my sleep cycle from biphasic early to biphasic later:
- before: sleep from 4-7 am, and maybe 9-2 pm
- after: sleep from 10-5 am, and maybe 2-8 pm
Obviously melatonin results in more sleeping time. Although part of that is a major IBS attack today from the cheat meal. But it also seems to grant Circadian mobility in a way that Vit-D alone doesn’t.
It’s impossible to gauge exactly how effective it was or wasn’t, since my Circadian shifts anyway during IBS endcycles. But just eyeballing it, looks like one or two days more of melatonin + vit-D therapy will move my entire sleep schedule out of normal working hours, which is my goal.
My method: I took one melatonin capsule (unknown dosage, Chinese) a couple of hours before the desired bedtime, and then two Vit-D with food around sunrise.
|December 3, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement|
I love free-running sleep. It is one of the greatest stress reducers in existence. At the same time, I hate that my Circadian is longer than the 24 hour day. It just doesn’t work.
So I want a way to free run my sleep, WITHOUT ever having to force myself to go to bed before I’m sleepy (or stay awake when I’m tired). Sounds like a tall order, right? Well, I found the answer.
Here’s what I do:
- Have a bowl of food always ready in the fridge before going to bed. I accomplish this by never eating the last bowl of food that I cooked.
- Set my alarm for 7am every day.
- When the alarm goes off, get up, eat the bowl of food, and take 2 vit-D pills
- If desired, go back to sleep
This allows me to gradually and gently shift my body back to a normal schedule, with no weirdness. It’s the difference between exiting your car normally by opening the door and slowly climbing out, versus getting thrown through the windshield.
Violent Circadian adjustments suck balls. By violent, I mean trying to shift 8-12 hours at a time by using Vit-D to reset your “morning”. When I do this, I get a day of nausea, depression, long periods of low energy between sleep and alertness, boredom, etc. It just sucks, sucks, sucks.
It also sucks when your Circadian is out of phase with the sun, because then you get light shining in your eyes and screwing with your internal biological clock. Not to mention logistical inconveniences.
So what was happening to me is I would gradually creep out of phase by staying up late, then get screwed up by sunshine hitting my eyes at the wrong time, then decide to adjust back to a normal schedule by taking Vit-D in the morning, then getting nauseated and flattened for a day. And repeat.
The new method, however, is EXTREMELY gentle. I experienced none of those side effects during my transition today. Instead, I really enjoyed it.
Sure, getting up after only 3 hours of sleep sucked. (I went to bed at around 4 am and got up at 7.) I have a very very loud alarm, that I have to walk across cold floor to get to. So there’s no way I won’t have to wake up.
But then I ate, and that was nice, and then took my pills, and luxuriated in the freedom to go back to bed. Somehow the sunlight didn’t bother me as much when sleeping – it seemed right, thanks to the Vit-D. It just became a pleasant morning nap (for several hours). Then I awoke in the afternoon feeling fine and got on with my life.
I LOVE IT.
So yeah, despite my lazy Circadian, it doesn’t appear that I need melatonin unless I can’t sleep freely during the day for some reason, and therefore need to enforce a strict bedtime.
Oh, and Seth Roberts would point out that eating breakfast also makes you wake up earlier. So maybe by distributing the Circadian reset over more body systems, the shift becomes less painful. By doing this routine at 7am, I’m getting ocular sunlight, vit-D, and a meal all acting in concert as body clock signals.
I suspect it’s healthier anyway to stick to a 24-hour schedule, so this zeitgeiber routine will help me reduce systemic stress.
I’m glad I’m not dependent on melatonin. It’s further down the hormonal chain, and I’ve never much liked the way it affects me. Vit-D feels much cleaner. And this routine feels cleanest of all.
I’m really, really happy to have this problem handled. Not least because Circadian control becomes most difficult during periods of illness or high stress. Then you really need a very reliable, unbreakable, easy system. And that’s exactly what this system is.
It requires almost no willpower. I just have to stumble out of bed, eat something already prepared, and then stumble back into bed.
I’m good at stumbling. I can also open refrigerators. And I am remarkably skilled at putting food in my mouth. So yeah, I think it’s sustainable.
Now the really interesting question becomes, can Vit-D taken over the course of the day accelerate polyphasic sleep adaptation? I find it hard to believe that it wouldn’t…
|November 28, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement, repairing long term damage|
Vitamins D, A, E and K are fat soluble. This is a problem for me, since I have acute fat malabsorption due to impaired bile production. I eat less than 1% fat in my diet.
The first half of today sucked for me. I took 3 VIt-D on an empty stomach and then didn’t eat. Bad idea.
My Vit-D pills contain soybean oil. That was the likely trigger.
I just hope I can eat the pills with food long term.
Dammit. Gotta get fat malabsorption handled. Otherwise there will be an upper limit to the number of fat-soluble pills I can consume, and a cost associated with every pill.
I just got some magnesium, maybe that will help.
Time to shift focus and target bile production.
Based on the sharpness of today’s cycle, I think I’ll be fine as long as I take it with enough rice to dilute the fat. It doesn’t look like a cumulative effect.
|November 26, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement|
Today was perfect. I expect tomorrow to be even better, since I will have back to back days of correct Circadian setting.
Here’s how I would describe the effect. What used to be the best parts of my best days, are now my default state. Willpower is irrelevant – right action is automatic. Mood is helium filled, work ethic excellent, focus unbreakable, intelligence augmented, etc.
The Circadian – the reason why Vit-D is so powerful
The Circadian is strongly linked to depression. Vit-D will give you the power to normalize that rhythm.
I had a severe bout of depression briefly when I de-normalized my Circadian by taking Vit-D morning and night. I also experienced nausea. But when I switched to morning only I had a wonderful day. I was teflon to stress.
This was on back to back days.
Connected with this, I believe early breakfast deranges the Circadian, causing a similar effect that is masked by food intake producing an energy/pleasure swell.
It seems far more natural to experience a period of morning fasting before satisfying hunger.
This, of course, presupposes a healthy diet. Dietary composition greatly affects fasting dynamics.
My particular dosage
For reference, 1 IU of Vitamin D is 25 ng. (IU to grams conversions are different for every vitamin.)
I’m taking 3.2 ug, which is the bottle’s recommended daily dose. I just take it all at once in the morning instead of spread out.
My dose in IU is
1 IU = .0025 ug -> x IU = 3.2ug -> x = 1280 IU
The bottle includes “liquid calcium” together with Vitamin D.
I don’t know if the Calcium makes a difference. It’s involved in the biochemistry of conversion to usable form – I can tell you that much. Both usable forms have “calci” in the root word.
I also don’t know what form of Vitamin D the bottle contains. There are three possibilities – D1, D2 and D3. I just bought the standard, commonly available version.
I don’t know because the packaging is in Chinese. There’s a nice pic of Yao Ming on the bottle, if that helps.
Reasons it might not work for you
I may be a special case because I already get massive amounts of minerals and vitamins from my diet. The one exception is Vitamin D, which only comes from sunshine. So I might’ve just corrected my only deficiency, and that explains the large positive response.
For example, I’ve heard that it’s also important to take Vitamin-D with magnesium. I already get a lot of that from scallops.
|November 25, 2011||Posted by JosephB under bio-enhancement, journal|
I picked up a bottle of Vit-D and Calcium. Dosage of Vit-D per pill was 1.6ud. Per the instructions, I took 1 at morning and 1 at night. I began this regimin on the night of the 24th of november. It’s now the night of the 25th of November, and my Circadian rhythm is completely fucked.
I’m fully awake now (12:30 AM), and I probably took the last dose of Vit-D around 7-8 PM. This means that peak alertness occurs 4-5 hours after ingestion. I guess that’s how long the hormone conversion process takes.
I will switch to taking two pills in the morning.
The Circadian effects of the morning/night regimen were most unpleasant. I woke up with dark eye rings on the morning of the 25th. My energy level did not rise as it should have, but sort of meandered in the middle, before finally tailing off. Stress levels and depression were both elevated. I got little productive done.
It’s ironic that I was most concerned about the soybean oil, and overlooked the timing issue.
All Vit-D sellers should correct their package instructions to warn consumers only to take the pills in the morning. Otherwise people won’t repurchase their products when their health declines due to Circadian imbalance.
To figure out dosages, you may need to convert units. Here’s the formula:
1 IU of Vitamin D is 25 ng. (link)
Safe dosages go up to 250 ug according to the Mayo Clinic, so there is plenty of room to experiment.
The recommended intake is 600 IU. But who knows how much I already get from diet and sunlight.
I’m currently taking 3.2 ug per day. That seems a bit low, but obviously a little can go a long way. I’ll wait before trying more.
I think this is an excellent supplement to optimize for cognitive performance, which is heavily Circadian.
The more I can increase the amplitude of my Circadian rhythm, the deeper I will sleep, the harder and smarter I will work when awake, the better I’ll feel, and the less time I’ll spend in the “inbetween” low energy state.
I’m surprised that all cognitive enhancement doesn’t start here, after diet. It is obviously an extremely powerful, low impact, and healthy way to impact your Circadian rhythm. It seems far more effective and trustworthy than manipulating melatonin, which I’ve tried.
Think about it. Melatonin exists well down the hormonal chain. Vit-D occurs at the beginning of the Circadian setting trigger – when your body is exposed to sunlight.
Plus since nearly all Westerners are deficient, you’re correcting for lifestyle.
The rickets on Neanderthal skeletons indicate that while human beings can survive underground (in offices) for their entire lives, it is not an optimal environment.
Link with calcium
Vit-D and calcium are heavily interlinked. As I’ve learned with Vit-A, a vitamin can have a certain “sound” or “personality”. All the different stuff it does seems to be a random list at first, but you discover that the list rhymes.
The clearest interaction between Vit-D and calcium is rickets from Vit-D deficiency, in which the skeleton is warped and weakened.
Here’s some chemistry on how Vit-D from food converts into usable form:
The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol. The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as calcitriol .
Note the “calci” root word in both compounds.
I’m no expert, but I assume that Vit-D and calcium should be taken together, and that’s why they’re sold together. I’ve also read things to that effect on Accutane forums. Whether it’s just to prevent osteoporosis, or calcium is actually needed for Vit-D absorption, I don’t know. But extra calcium doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything anyway.