The 4-hour sleep schedule for highly effective and successful people

Bunk!

I sleep 8 hours a night.

How about you?


Sleep is contentious. Some brag about how little they sleep, others are called names for sleeping more. Grown-ups, teachers, employers, colleagues, friends… many of them have ideas about your sleeping habits (while being mobile screen and caffeine addicts themselves).

Then there is the whole morning vs. night people debate that I won’t mention further.

In short, sleep is a topic discussed to death; but I’ll steer clear of the most obvious sleep related issues and be as direct and pragmatic as I can be.


Executive Summary – 10 points for sleeping like a boss 

Going straight to the point, you should 1) admit sleep is important and take the following steps:, 2) calm down before going to bed, 3) avoid exposure to blue tinted screens before night-time, 4) sleep at regular hours, 5) in a cool and 6) dark room, possibly with 7) your feet outside the covers or the bed.

A few other tips include 8) keeping two sets of pillows going at all times, letting one set rest outside the bed to dry out and re-fluffify every other night, thus never using the same pillow two nights in a row. Similarly you should 9) hang your covers, rather than leave them on the bed during the day, and 10) pay attention to your caffeine habits (amount, timing and effect on your sleep).

This is how you should feel when waking up: 


Sleep with me

After my recent intimate posts on everyday happiness and re-charging, it’s time to go even further and get into bed with me… for a good night’s sleep.

Without sleeping well, you stand no chance at all of a happy, relaxed and healthy life, so this should in fact have been the first post in the series.

Anyway…

Disclaimer: If you want references, go somewhere else. This is ‘just’ my personal preferences and recollections of dozens upon dozens of science podcasts, articles and videos made into an actionable list for maximizing your quality sleep.

The 4-hour sleep myth

I have slept much less than 8 hours a night in my days, due to stress, external pressure (employers or girlfriends), (extended) office hours, blind ambition and naïveté, not to mention stories about presidents and money men not just getting by but excelling on 4 hours per night or less.

At its worst I was analyzing and programming over 100 hours a week, often sleeping at the office, and still finding time for alcohol. That left just 4 hours a night for bed. I was on the brink of breaking down and I’ve only just about recovered now, 20 years later.

Eventually I realized, it’s not the important and effective people that minimize sleep. It’s the other way round. If your work is menial, it’s okay to do it for many hours a day and with a chronic sleep deficit. It’s like working drunk (here are the first references I found on Google), but if you’re only an ‘errand boy‘ anyway it doesn’t matter (article about me by Mike Cernovich – author of Gorilla Mindset).

On the other hand, if you carry real responsibility your paramount priority is being rested, relaxed, absolutely not stressed, and thus prepared for whatever happens.

Society might force you to occasionally sleep less than you need, but you shouldn’t exacerbate and prolong the problem by actually believing the 4-hour hype.

Sure, whore out, force yourself through it, impress whoever needs impressing, use caffeine and alcohol to keep going. But, always remember, you are working below capacity if sleep-deprived, and you should strive for normalization as soon as possible, after you’ve kick-started your career or whatever you’re doing.

Most research and articles on sleep you’ll come across are flawed, simply because most sleep research used to be based on self reported numbers. Sometimes too high, sometimes to low, sometimes an irrelevant average, never adapted to your individual situation.

 

Why you should let sleep run its course

You need as much sleep as you need.

-yes, if I can use a tautology I will, and this is one of the best opportunities.

You can’t base your sleeping habits off of other people, not even me or president Bill Clinton (who started sleeping less after hearing successful people did that… and then he had to have heart surgery in his 50s).

Here, WebMD chimes in regarding 7 sleep myths, including the 8-hour and 4-hour myths.

Sleep deprivation has adverse effects on your immune system, general inflammatory status, memory formation, creativity, short and long term intelligence, decision making, willpower, eating habits (cravings), happiness, as well as possibly means bad news for your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

This year’s Nobel Prize winner Aziz Sancar has showed that the circadian rhythm is closely linked to the DNA repair system. If it’s frequently manipulated (coffee, alarm clocks, jet lag?) or disrupted, DNA errors might multiply and cause, e.g., cancer. The DNA-repair activity is at its highest in the morning, and coincides with a spike in the cortisol level which makes you naturally alert and awake the first 1-2 hours of the day.

As Dr Kirk Parsley puts it: Every indication, every metric has a pathway through sleep

So, sleep as much as you need, no more, no less (more has been linked to disease and early death, even if the direction of causality is debated to say the least). However, who in their right mind would even attempt to sleep more than needed. Who has the time to begin with (except yours retarded truly)?

Our 12 hour sleep schedule origins

Dr Parsley, above, also pointed out (just as Jessa Gamble and others) that early retirees that can craft their lives, and sleep, to their liking, sometimes fall back to the sleep habits of 150+ years ago: Before the invention of the electric light, humans spent around 10-12 hours a night in bed, consisting of 4 hours of sleep, followed by several hours of calm contemplation, and then another 4 hours of sleep.

If you’re one of the few lucky ones getting so much sleep this happens to you, use those inter-sleep hours for red light reading, mobility exercises, meditation or similar toned down activities. Thus, better sleep will lead to better mental health and mobility and yet better sleep, in a highly beneficial self-reinforcing feedback loop. 

 

Warning signs of too little sleep

How do you know if you sleep to little?

As long as you are not medication, travelling heavily, drinking alcohol regularly, doing exciting stuff or watching TV, mobile or computer screens right before going to bed, or are a large caffeine consumer you should be able to quite easily gauge your sleep needs. Below are just a few heuristics regarding sleep deficits.

  1. If you need an alarm clock to get up on time, you’re sleeping too little
  2. If you fall asleep almost before laying down your head, you’re sleeping too little
  3. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it might just be natural for you. Humans may not be made for just one sleep episode per night as Jessa Gamble explains in this 4 minute TED presentation (8 straight hours work very well for me though).
  4. If you’ve tried forcing yourself into (for you) obviously unnatural sleeping habits, such as Kramer-Da Vinci-sleep, you should just let yourself slip back to your natural pattern.
  5. If you’re not a high volume training athlete, a 7-sigma intellectual anomaly, or recovering from a severe injury, and spend more then 10 hours sleeping or in a semi-comatose condition per day, you probably should check yourself.

 

The sleep check list

-how to optimize the  length and quality of your sleep

  1. Go to bed at as regular hours as possible. If I’m not out partying, I turn off the lights at midnight every night, which means I wake up without an alarm clock between 7:30 and 8 am when I’ve slept enough.
  2. Spend as much time as possible outside during the day. The vitamin D-serotonin-melatonin cycle runs on sunlight. Sunlight also synchronizes your circadian rhythm, making nr 1, above, easier
  3. Daytime naps: I like them. But, don’t overdo it, if that disrupts your total amount of sleep. Change your eating habits if you all too predictably nap after eating high GI carbs
  4. No cellphones! Watch (i.e. don’t watch) your screen time habits. Avoid blue tinted TV, computer and cellphone screens at least half an hour before going to sleep. Some (weirdos) put on orange glasses a few hours before closing their eyes for the night.
  5. Keep your bedroom cool, which simulates night time
    1. in particular the feet; I sleep with my feet outside the covers and outside the bed
  6. Keep your bedroom dark, which simulates night time. Even the weakest tiniest light source on your skin (not the eyes) can affect your sleep negatively
  7. Take care of your body: walk, work out, work on your mobility, drink fish oil, eat vitamin-D supplements. If you’re healthy you’ll sleep better (better posture, more relaxed, less imbalances), and if you sleep better it’s easier to stay healthy (more sleep means more testosterone in men, more willpower during the day, better eating and training habits)
  8. Don’t have coffee first thing in the morning – wait an hour or two for the most effective and least addictive caffeine response. In addition you minimize the disturbance of circadian related DNA-repair and risk of cancer. Read more about the chronopharmacological facts about caffeine here.
    1. I limit my coffee intake to a cup every second day, which I have after my morning walk with the dog, i.e., some 90-120 minutes after waking up. Then I head for the gym.
    2. In addition, it’s advised not to drink coffee too late in the day. That, however, depends on so many things (e.g., are you a fast metabolizer? Does caffeine affect your sleep at all? More here about coffee and your body), you’ll just have to do your own experimenting.
  9. Dry and fluffy pillows and covers (don’t make the bed, hang the covers during the day to make it fluffy and dry; keep extra pillows resting on the side and switch every other night, i.e., never use the same pillow two nights in a row)
    1. The reason for “all this” – which by the way takes less effort than, e.g., making your bed everyday or just keeping one set of pillows going (just wash the pillow cases after the same amount of nights slept on) – is that dry and fluffy pillows give transport air better and give you the support they were intended to do as new.
    2. Another way of selling the idea to you is that it feels like coming to a hotel with fresh pillows every night
  10. Use a sufficiently hard mattress (I need a lot of stability at my weight (200+ lbs) to keep my posture correct when sleeping)
  11. Get out of the bed if you can’t sleep within 30 minutes (first try a cooler or warmer room, changing direction in the bed or some (dimmed light, red light) reading
  12. Got milk? If you can’t sleep, try some warm milk: the tryptophane effect is debated, but the taste might have a familiar, nursing and comforting effect
  13. Meditate – just focus on your breathing, nothing fancy or cumbersome, slowly in, slowly out, just focus on the process of breathing, nothing more. Check out my post on meditation for newbies here.
  14. De-stress, write (to do later or not to do) lists to get whatever is on them off your mind (see my next post on ‘stress’)
  15. Sleep on your side to clear waste from the brain (that could increase the risk of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and avoid mobility issues
  16. Avoid alarm clocks for getting up; wake up naturally if possible. Set the alarm at the latest possible time you have to get up without rushing too much. Get to bed early enough (and the same time every night) to wake up before the alarm – at least 4 days out of 5.
  17. Get up (immediately) when you wake up. Fool yourself into doing just one little thing before climbing back into bed (but by then you see no point in going back). I usually urinate and then brush my teeth. It helps knowing i can go back if I want to. It also helps knowing I’ve had my 8 hours and don’t need more.
  18. Experiment to find your own techniques for going to sleep when you can’t; become cold, then warm again, drink warm milk, get up, read a little more, pet something (triggers oxytocine release), change pillows, rooms or sleep direction.

Got milk?

got milk

I can think of at least one other thing than tryptophane to help me fall asleep

 

Summary

Are you kidding me? The list is in the executive summary and in the body of the article. You want it again?!

You may get it again if you sign up for my newsletter or leave an online review of my book The Retarded Hedge Fund Manager somewhere on the internet and tell me about it.

Please, please do the latter. Write a review and tell me about it.

OK,… again: Inadequate sleep leads to impaired decision making, poor health (including cancer) and unhappiness, among other things. And the remedy is easy and delightful; just let nature run its course, sleep when you’re tired and wake up without alarm clocks.

 

P.S. I don’t want anybody sick or tired at my workplace. I’ll send you home. Drunk is okay though.

6 easy steps that add 25 years to your life span

This post takes 10 minutes to read, and tells you how to, and why, you should try intermittent fasting. And beans + saunas (not simultaneously though, please).

Do you want to live forever?

Who is John Galt?

What kind of question is that? Retarded.

However, most people actually answer that question with a ‘No’

I don’t.

Yes, that’s right. I truly want to live forever, explore other star systems and find other life forms (or double back after a million years, and meet people who stayed back or went in another direction).

 

When do you want to die then?

One way to think about it is imagining a day where you are perfectly healthy and can decide whether to die right away or live another day. My guess is you’ll find a reason to check out tomorrow too, just in case…

Most people instinctively associate ‘forever’ with being ill and frail, with no friends and nothing to do, perhaps lying in a bed in a nursing home day in and day out.

I, however, extrapolate from

  • the steam engine
  • automobile
  • punch cards
  • semiconductors
  • internet
  • and the iPhone

with a little help of

  • fission
  • fusion
  • quantum mechanics
  • super conductivity
  • gene therapy
  • artificial biology
  • longevity research
  • carbon nanotubes
  • nanotechnology etc.

to a quite different future of strong artificial general intelligence and nano medicine keeping our bodies young and cancer free at the cell or even molecular level.

That should be enough to make us live long enough, for whatever it will take in terms of technological progress to ensure indefinite lifespans.

 

The future is not the present

I mean, going to Mars is really just the first, very small, step on a marathon of marathons, when it comes to man’s exploration of technological possibilities and the universe.

Do you think the progress during the less than 150 years it took from the era of Carnegie, Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Ford and Edison to the age of planetary exploration will just grind to a halt here and now?

Judging from the constantly accelerating technological advancements, I think the coming 150 years will show many orders of progress more than the last 150 years.

Peter Diamandis, Craig Venter, Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil are but a few poster children of technological progress. In our connected, open source society, millions will interact and strengthen each other’s contributions to an ever quicker advancement of the necessary longevity components.

 

One snag: you have to live long enough first

You won’t live forever, if you don’t live long enough. And that, you’ll have to take care of yourself for the time being.

I know I can sound like Ray Kurzweil’s mouthpiece at times, but I’m not suggesting you chomp down hundreds of untested pills each day, or live on lettuce and apple peels. I’m only telling you to nudge your behavior ever so slightly, for maximum effect with minimum effort.

That’s how I always do it, in all areas of life; invest 1% to gain 50% of what’s available. Here are a selection my longevity tips as they stand right now:

 

Tips and tricks for improved health and longevity

Nutrition

Eat beans (Gastropod, Nature, TED, WebMD)  more or less every day. Why not fried eggs and mixed beans for your first meal of the day (i.e., breakfast, unless you’re fasting during mornings like I do)?

Super humans will serve with spinach and kale, as well as season their food with turmeric (“gurkmeja” in Swedish) and chili. Full retards will have their coffee with some cinnamon, and finish off breakfast with a bowl of berries (blueberries and blackberries, e.g.)

Add a couple of teaspoons of natural fish oil to your food intake every day (I prefer it straight from the bottle), unless you have fatty fish like mackerel or salmon for lunch or dinner.

During the dark half of the year, you should consider taking a vitamin-D supplement as well, but otherwise that’s more or less it, in terms of nutritional magical tricks.

Sure, you should have a lot of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) and avoid industrially processed food (like juice) too, but let’s not get completely out of hand here.

Just beans, fatty fish (oil) and vitamin-D will get you far.

 

Exercise

Take walks and avoid sitting.

Ideally, you should never remain seated for more than an hour at a stretch. I know! Crazy, right?

Sitting slowly kills (Death of a thousand butts), by destroying your mobility and balance (increasing the risk of injury and even less mobility with every step), by shutting down circulation, by dulling the brain. Sitting for hours every day cuts years and years off your life span.

Walking, in contrast, stimulates the brain (thinking, reasoning and planning evolved from processing moving objects including the body itself; originally moving was thinking: the brain science podcast). Walking increases BDNF, brain plasticity and prevents degenerative brain diseases (like Alzheimers) and dementia.

Walking 30 minutes a day, where you at least start panting a bit, makes a world of difference. But feel free to walk as much as you can. It’s even better with a friend (scientifically proven), barefoot, or listening to an educational podcast.

Hot saunas might not qualify as exercise, but they are highly beneficial for your health in several ways, including heart attack prevention, lowered oxidative stress, increased plasma volume and endurance and increased growth hormone.  Frequent sauna baths really are the fountain of youth.

 

Mobility

Do a few easy mobility exercises every week.

Aim for 7 minutes a week. Yes, that’s right; on average just one minute a day of more or less effortless movements is all it takes to stay physically young in your most important joints.  Mobilize in the couch when watching the news.

mobility squat The Retarded Hedge Fund Manager

Hip focus

 

Focus on the hips, shoulders and (upper) back. The rest is mostly show-off. I’ve written more extensively about mobility here, but these are the most important movements:

  • Hips: squat and couch stretch
  • Shoulders: forearms horizontally behind the lower back; expand chest with deep breaths, or lie down on your back with the arms still behind your back
  • Upper back, thoracic spine: lie on a foam roller, or rolled up big towel or two, and arch your upper (thoracic) back over the roller, thus neutralizing your computer crouch
  • Fancy moves include the pigeon stretch for your glutes, and various hamstring stretches, but they are nowhere near as important as the other three movements. Alrighty then, the quasi couch pigeon actually is mandatory every now and then.

mobility fancy The Retarded Hedge Fund Manager

Super pigeon: fancy move by me

 

FYI: I plan to write a comprehensive guide to useful and easy mobility exercises. In a while. Until then, you’ll have to make do with the Always Be Bruce Wayne one :)

new crowdfunding company

Don’t be this guy stuck crouching over his computer for hours on end. Take at least a 5-minute walk outside every second hour.

 

Last but not least, nowhere near least, is the recently re-popularized intermittent fasting regime.:

Intermittent fasting

There is too much to say about fasting for the scope of this blog in general, and this post in particular. There is, however, tons of research (check out this meta research if you want), and more or less all (if not all, period) of it points to strong short and long term health benefits from various fasting regimes*.

Intermittent fasting means regularly restricting one’s food intake for at least half a day (12 hours). Among the most popular schemes, you’ll find the following:

  • 5:2 Eat very little during two days a week, and whatever you like during the other five
  • 24h Every now and then (1-2 times a week) don’t eat any calories at all during 24 consecutive hours
  • 48h Not quite twice as popular as 24h fasting. Actually not even half as popular. Come to think of it, not popular at all, I’d say. Don’t eat for 48h straight around every second week.
  • 4d Eat extremely limited amounts during four days straight once a month. Probably the least popular diet there is (except for the live worms only diet)
  • 16:8 This is the one I’ve followed for the last three years. It means eating what you need during an 8 hour feeding window, and then fasting for 16 hours, day in and day out. The regime can be tweaked between 12:12 and 20:4, e.g., depending on social situation, workouts, will power etc. In addition, since little is better than nothing, the 24-x:x method can be applied as many or few days a week as you like. Since fasting and partying is impossible, I aim for fasting 90-95% of the time, leaving a few days a month for indulging in food and drinks all day (and night) long.

* however, the AJCN had this to say in a recent meta survey: “Clinical research studies of fasting with robust designs and high levels of clinical evidence are sparse in the literature. Whereas the few randomized controlled trials and observational clinical outcomes studies support the existence of a health benefit from fasting, substantial further research in humans is needed before the use of fasting as a health intervention can be recommended.”

 

The benefits of fasting

The short version

All your cells will go into maintenance and cleaning mode during the fasts, with far-reaching effects not unlike those you get from daily intake of fish oil. Do both!

Fasting prevents and postpones the onset of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, the common cold, aging in general and many other annoyances and diseases. You’ll look better, healthier and younger too.

In addition, intermittent fasting can be a comfortable method for losing fat while building muscle. I seem to be a natural faster and lost many pounds of fat just lying on my ass, while resting after knee surgery in 2013. Most of my muscle mass stayed on as well, but I’ll spare you from more semi-nude pictures of me.

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll save time from not eating so often.

 

The Fountain Of Youth version

16:8-fasting is easy:

Eat during 8 hours, fast during 16 hours. I prefer eating between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., or 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. I actually more or less just skip the common breakfast, and thus avoid the temptation to eat cereal, bread and other inflammatory products. The same goes regarding the now superfluous late evening meal.

During the first few weeks, the new habit of not eating may feel odd. You’ll probably feel hungry a lot as well. Don’t despair, your body will soon adjust and become much more efficient at burning fat for energy, and you’ll stop feeling hungry and restless.

The Holy Grail effect. You enter growth mode when feeding after your workouts, and then shredding mode some 8-12 hours into your fast.

The Fountain Of Youth effect. During fast, your cells change focus from growth to maintenance, repair and clean-up of damaged cells. The clean-up reduces the risk of cancerous mutations during DNA replication and protein synthesis. Consequently the risk of cancer, inflammation, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol etc. is reduced. 

Your blood sugar level becomes lower and less volatile, the brain activity increases (a hungry troglodyte had better get out hunting or thinking hard about how to find food), new brain cells form more easily (increased BDNF), the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson falls.

The production of HGH (human growth hormone – a.k.a. the fountain of youth) rises.

Fasting makes you younger and healthier and increases your longevity

Certain studies in rats (albeit speculative) indicate more than 20 years increased life span in humans.

You’ll save time and can sleep more – an activity in itself a sort of fountain of youth in several respects.

There’s no reason to fear burning muscle during fast. It takes at least 4 full days of total fasting for a healthy body to turn to its muscles as a source for energy.

Serially failed 2-week dieters starve themselves for two weeks, of which the second week can burn a lot of muscle. They then overeat, thus building fat on top of their recently weakened bodies. Intermittent fasters actually do quite the opposite. During the first day of fasting (every day with 16:8), the metabolism rises (burning fat, not muscle, since fasting is not starving unless you go on for 4+ days) together with increased brain activity and and brain cell formation. An evolutionary interpretation is that the underlying cause is the drive for a hungry cave dweller to get up and out and hunt down a woolly mammoth before it’s too late.

A final positive is that it’s nice to be able to relax, knowing that the fear mongering from supplement producers about the risk of being catabolic is just that; retarded scare tactics.

 

What about binge drinking and intermittent fasting?

If you insist on thinking about your diet while partying, Martin Berkhan is pleased to spill the following advice:

martin

Martin Berkhan

For this day, restrict your intake of dietary fat to 0.3 g/kg body weight (or as close to this figure as possible).

* Limit carbs to 1.5 g/kg body weight. Get all carbs from veggies and the tag-along carbs in some protein sources. You’ll also want to limit carbohydrate-rich alcohol sources such as drinks made with fruit juices and beer. A 33 cl/12 fl oz of beer contains about 12 g carbs, while a regular Cosmopolitan is about 13 g.

* Good choices of alcohol include dry wines which are very low carb, clocking in at about 0.5-1 g per glass (4 fl oz/115ml). Sweet wines are much higher at 4-6 g per glass. Cognac, gin, rum, scotch, tequila, vodka and whiskey are all basically zero carbs. Dry wines and spirits is what you should be drinking, ideally. Take them straight or mixed with diet soda. (No need to be super-neurotic about this stuff. Drinks should be enjoyed after all. Just be aware that there are better and worse choices out there).

* Eat as much protein as you want. Yes, that’s right. Ad libitum. Due to the limit on dietary fat, you need to get your protein from lean sources. Protein sources such as low fat cottage cheese, protein powder, chicken, turkey, tuna, pork and egg whites are good sources of protein this day.

* For effective fat loss, this should be limited to one evening per week. Apply the protocol and you will lose fat on a weekly basis as long as your diet is on point for the rest of the week.

Basically, the nutritional strategy I have outlined here is all about focusing on substrates that are least likely to cause net synthesis of fat during hypercaloric conditions. Alcohol and protein, your main macronutrients this day, are extremely poor precursors for de novo lipogenesis. Alcohol suppresses fat oxidation, but by depriving yourself of dietary fat during alcohol consumption, you won’t be storing anything. Nor will protein cause any measurable de novo lipogenesis. High protein intake will also compensate for the weak effect of alcohol on satiety and make you less likely to blow your diet when you’re drinking.

By the way, a nice bonus after a night of drinking is that it effectively rids you of water retention. You may experience the “whoosh”-effect, which I’ve talked about in my two-part series about water retention. That in itself can be motivating for folks who’ve been experiencing a plateau in their weight loss.

Apply this with good judgement and don’t go out and do something stupid now. Remember, this a short-term strategy for those that want to be able to drink freely* without significantly impacting fat loss progress or causing unwanted fat gain. It’s not something I encourage people to do on a daily basis, but it’s one of the strategies that I apply for maintaining low body fat for myself and my clients.

* Now of course…you can always drink in moderation and make sure to not go over your calorie budget for the day. But what fun is there in that? I’d rather cheat the system with the kind metabolic mischief I’ve laid out above.

Summary – how to get to 200 years

To live long enough to live forever, or at least live healthier and happier for longer with the least effort:

  • Eat beans and fatty fish (or fish oil) every day (add certain leafy greens and spices for even better effect). Stock up with beans and frozen salmon or fish oil today, and replace your lunch/dinner potatoes, french fries or pasta with beans.
  • Don’t sit; in particular not consecutive hours of sitting down
  • Go for brisk walks
  • Take saunas frequently. Take one today or tomorrow.
  • Mobilize your hips, shoulders and upper back (thoracic spine). Get down in a squat now for two minutes.
  • Fast! Don’t eat or drink anything with energy (calories) for 12-24 hours every now and then. I fast for 16 hours every day, year in, year out. Stop eating at 9 p.m. tomorrow and don’t have anything before lunch at 12 noon or 1 p.m.

Now, let’s see who gets to 200 years first…

But first make sure you have subscribed to my newsletter and downloaded my 100% free eBook.

The one best cold prevention that keeps getting ignored

Just One More (drop of oil)

-or how I stopped getting colds 9 years ago, and increased my bench press by over 25% to 310 lbs

 

“Just one more” -That’s my mantra, my “indulgence cum discipline” maxim, my reminder of just getting going, always prototyping, always improving & growing, one of the pillars of my Always Be Investing way of life.

 

The one thing that matters above all else is your health

Please note before reading this article that you will be exposed to a lot of semi nude pictures of yours truly, not to mention completely unabashed plugging of my affiliate link to an Omega-3 supplement outfit.

 

There is one thing that stands out among my self improvement and investing life hacks, in terms of bang for the buck (yes, there is actual banging, but also bucks – about one a day): Omega-3 Oil from ArcticMed.

It will make you stronger, prettier, smarter, healthier, prevent cancer, live longer and not least prevent inflammations and common colds. The reason it has all these effects is that Omega-3 oil optimizes and strengthens every single cell in the body.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

 

When did you get a cold?

Last winter? The year before that? The average person gets a cold every second year, so you’re not that different. But is average enough for you, if there is a simple solution?

I had a sore throat in 2006. That’s 9 years ago. And it’s me in the pic below…

 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on liquid oil Omega-3

Got your attention yet?

 

Nothing magical here, just science

I’m actually not an anomaly, I used to get 2-3 colds a year like everybody else (probably more so, due to leading a life on the edge with travelling, partying, working out etc.), but now it’s been almost a decade since I last had a fever or a sore throat.

Before 2006, every time I upped my workout sessions a cold would follow. Every time I had a few too many nights out, I would get the sniffles and shivers for a week.

Yep, that’s right, during 14-21 days a year I had a fever, a sore throat, felt cold and weak and missed workouts. I thought that was the way life was – at least for a finance worker (long hours, lots of wine and champagne, and then hard partying during the short vacations to wind down).

To make bad things worse, between 2000 and 2006 I was slowly getting weaker (inevitably due to old age, I thought), and even had to cut down on the number of workout sessions per week from 5 to 4 to 3 one-hour sessions, and was just about to go down to just 2 workouts per week, as I was constantly feeling over trained.

Once I started drinking Omega-3 oil, I soon gave up the idea of reducing to 2 workouts/week, and after 6 months I felt an urge to increase my load to 4 times/week instead. Now, for social reasons, I’m down at 3.5/week but 2 hours per session instead of 1h/session, meaning I’m working out more than double the amount I used to before oil.

 

The turning point, natural bottled Omega-3 oil supplement

Then I made three changes, instead of 100% meat, I switched to 50% fish. I started chewing probiotics, and a little later, I commenced drinking Omega-3 oil from ArcticMed (affiliate link, I don’t get paid but I get reduced prices on oil, if you order enough)

All the advice on the internet touts the same remedies: vitamin-C, wash your hands, sleep, don’t drink alcohol, zinc, vitamin-D, and what have you, but hardly ever a word about Omega-3 oil (maybe, just maybe a mention of capsules, which I’ll show are inferior to oil)

 

ArcticMed logo

 

What does Omega-3 actually do?

To start with, you can’t cure the common cold. Once the virus gets access to the cell’s nano machinery in the core, it’s game over and you have to ride it out. No vitamins, minerals, supplements, witchcraft or saunas will help at that point.

If you had taken Omega-3 oil regularly before, the fight against the virus infection will probably be shorter and easier, and many times the infection would never have happened at all. This is how it works:

cell membrane cellmembran omega3 

The cell membrane is like a bag with transportation holes in it, “channels”. The bag is made of Omega-3 and Omega-6 molecules, among other things. The right balance between the two gives the bag just the right properties for the channels to work optimally, i.e., only letting the pre-approved materials pass in and out of the cell. A virus will find it hard to get up close to a cell at all in an Omega-3-balanced body, and even if it does, it will find it more difficult to bore a hole in the membrane and actually infect the cell once there.

All else regarding supplements is more or less noise. The Omega-3-balance really is the alpha and omega of infections, of a strong immune system, of insulin sensitivity, of healthy brain neurons etc.

If you can just get this one thing right, making the cell bags as supple and strong as possible with the right Omega-3 balance, you will have taken a giant leap for bodily (including recovery from injury, DOMS or exhaustion) and mental health. Yes, you heard me right there – it helps against Alzheimers, stroke, ADD and other neurological diseases as well.

Everything else from cinnamon to garlic and breathing techniques when moving in crowded areas etc. affect the junior part of the 80/20 ratio when it comes to preventing infections.

 

Note 1: Fix those cell membranes, the “bags”. These guys:

cellmembran

 

Optimize your Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio

In Europe, people typically have 10 times or more as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. In the US it’s over 20 (and of course much higher for certain areas, levels of education, social groups etc). Indian cities show levels over 40 (!) while the country side is way healthier at 5x. Eskimos, however, are down at 2 or below.

Historically, just a few generations ago, the average human had just 2x as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. And that’s where we find wild animals today. And coincidentally, yours truly (2.0).

ArcticMed has distilled the profile of a kind of “ideal” average person from the very best blood samples among several thousand tested persons. That ideal* person has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of 2.4.

* The average of the 5%, of 9000 tested people, with over 8% Omega-3 index, less than 3:1 in ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3, and less than 1% trans fat 

ArcticMed has yet to find anybody having too low a 6:3 ratio or too much Omega-3 in their bodies (though I’m pretty close, since I have, e.g., 1.5x the level of DHA than even the “ideal” top 5%), but theoretically, if you have (much) more Omega-3 than Omega-6 (a ratio of less than 1) the cell “bag” might get too loose and floppy.

For simplicity, ArcticMed concludes that a ratio of between 1 and 3 is desirable, 2.0 is optimal, 2.4 is the average of the very best (the 5% of 9000 tested). Any level above 5 should be corrected by changing the diet.

Did I mention I’m at 2.0?

And, I have not had a cold in 9 years, remember? Typically, I would have suffered through 20-30 harsh colds during that interval.

 

It’s not just colds, it’s everything that involves cells. Duh!

The right Omega-3 balance makes every cell in the body work better, communicate better, protect itself better and so on.

The right balance has been associated with (partial) remedies for allergy, asthma, ADHD, ADD, obesity, diabetes, migraine, insomnia, stress related diseases, schizophrenia, lung cancer, stress, serotonin, blood pressure, body temperature, sex, appetite, learning, memory, breast cancer, menopause issues, shortening of telomeres (and thus increased longevity) and restless legs.

And, yes, you’ll become smarter too, not to mention get better skin quality. 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on Omega-3

Please note, that I’m not a medical doctor and can’t be held responsible for any of the above. It’s supposed to be reliable though. Check this link, e.g.

 

Liquid natural fish oil is so much better than capsules

Capsules are for convenience; they don’t taste oil or fish and they are easy to bring on vacations. However, they contain only minuscule amounts of the active components. In many cases you would have to eat 20 capsules a day to reach the same dosage as less than one table spoon of fish oil.

In addition, capsules are sometimes “concentrated”, which means important parts of the wide complex of fatty acids in fish oil has been cut out to make room for more of the two famous key components EPA and DHA. Without the entire complex of fatty acids present, actual delivery to the cells of the key components becomes much less efficient. hence you should eat even more capsules to achieve the same effect.

johannesparken

I like my life convenient

At 40 capsules a day, it’s starting to get quite inconvenient, not to mention expensive.

It’s not only the dosage per se that is an issue. There are other fish oils, apart from ArcticMed’s, on the market which contain the whole FA complex and provide the same dosage as ArcticMed. However, the fatty acids oxidize easier both in the bottle and in the body without extra protection.

ArcticMed scouts Europe every year for the optimal fat soluble anti oxidant rich extra virgin olive oil to mix with its Friend Of The Sea approved fish oil from the south Atlantic to protect it against oxidization. ArcticMed’s fish and olive oil mix withstands 27 hours at 70 degrees Celsius before oxidizing, whereas natural fish oil only lasts a tenth as long (3-4 hours) and the contents of the concentrated capsules less than an hour.

 

Flax seed oil you say? Don’t get me started

In theory the ALA contents of flax seed oil can be converted to Omega-3 in the body. In practice, however, if there isn’t enough Omega-3 to start with, if the balance is off, then the conversion chain is disrupted and more Omega-6 is produced instead! Or something like that, I didn’t quite get all the details down on paper during the seminar.  

 

ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil is superior in all respects

Hence, all in all, ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil is actually both cheaper and more convenient than capsules, when focusing on actual cell delivery and end effect on the Omega-3 balance in the body. As an added bonus, the particular olive oil ArcticMed uses protects against LDL cholesterol oxidization and neurological diseases such as ALS, & MS and the high content of oleocanthal has been shown to kill cancer cells in less than an hour in lab tests.

 omega3 brain neurons    

 

The ArcticMed olive oil has a fascinating story itself

To make the right olive oil for use in ArcticMed’s products you need among other things the right type of olive, the right elevation above sea level, the right harvest temperature (the levels and composition of of anti oxidants can change within hours), and harvest timing (he only uses olive oil from the first week of harvest every year!)​

The founder and Managing Director, Mikael Marcko, starts with screening this year’s olive oils according to industry standard tests. Then he proceeds with more nuanced, and expensive, tests for the 3-4 prospects that met the basic “hygiene” levels.

He’s hunting for a handful of important antioxidants (including the cancer killing oleocanthal that gives you that dry cough, burning throat feeling and tears up your eyes, and hydroxytyrosol which can prevent blood cell oxidization, in other words atherosclerosis) with documented health effects. The lengths he goes to actually make other producers and purchasers shake their heads in disbelief.

He only accepts the very best health effect and oxidization protection, even if consumers don’t yet appreciate it fully. Starting this year, Mikael Marcko has offered for sale, separately, whatever surplus olive oil he can spare after mixing and bottling the fish oil. This year it’s only 1100 numbered 500ml bottles of olive oil.  If you start buying regularly from ArcticMed, I guess I can forget getting any olive oil for myself in the future. 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on Omega3

 

SUMMARY – Faster, Harder, Omega3 Oiler

I’ve dodged 2-3 colds a year for almost a decade, I’ve increased my workout sessions from falling toward 2/week to my current regime of 3.5/week  and they are twice as long as they used to be.

Not only can I train more than twice as much, and harder, I stopped my strength from falling, and increased my bench press from 110kg to 140kg in a few years (+27% from 240lbs to 310lbs). In my very late thirties and early forties!

I’m over 40 in all pictures in this post (42-43 in the majority), after 20+ years of high finance

sauna too  

I think you could achieve something similar, if you currently have a poor Omega-3 balance (most likely) and you choose to correct it with Omega-3 supplements (preferably with extra protection against oxidization), or lots and lots of fatty fish (mackerel, herring and salmon every day).

balkongbild

Coming clean: Just to be perfectly clear about my medical history the last decade, after my sore throat and six days in a row without working out in 2006, I’ve actually had a few small skirmishes with possible infections:

At four different occasions during the four years 2009-2012, I felt ill and had an itchy throat for 1-2 days after really heavy binge drinking and generally bad behavior during travels. In addition, I was home from work (!) during two days, January 24-25, 2013, in what probably was a cold, but it passed quickly and I didn’t miss any workouts.

 

So what should you do now?

1. buy Omega-3 oil from ArcticMed, and start downing 10-15 ml a day if you are a big guy (200 lbs, like I am). I just learned today (August 25, 2015) that ArcticMed’s products can be bought through amazon.co.uk, but still no shipping to the U.S.

2. or eat lots and lots of fatty fish (150g of mackerel or salmon a day, every day) and reduce your intake of land-living animals, in particular if they aren’t certified grass fed

3. perhaps check your Omega-3 index (recommended over 8%) and Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio to see what your starting point is. Anything above 5:1 should be corrected – with higher levels than that, your body is a bug waiting for a windshield.

4. get fish oil; if you can’t get hold of ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil, get the best non concentrated natural fish oil you can find, treat it gently and keep it cold and dark and finish it quickly. And, a wild guess, perhaps mix it at home with a high quality olive oil and store it like that. In the fridge.

5. If you have Omega-3 capsules at home, stop taking 1-3 a day and start taking 15/day or more (check the label; you want to get 2000-3000 mg Omega3 a day – more if the capsules are concentrated and thus less effective). 12ml of ArcticMed’s natural fish/olive oil mix gives you 2900 mg polyunsaturated fats of which 2600mg Omega3, of which 1270mg EPA, 210mg DPA and 840mg DHA, plus 2.1 mg polyphenols.

Trial and error built this 40+ year old body

OMG 6 like a beast (Omg-6 to Omg-3 ratio =2.0)

 

Stocks and health… can it get any better? I don’t think so, so hurry up and subscribe to my newsletter and read the “Retarded” eBook about my career and the coming stock crash

 

Note about my affiliation with ArcticMed

I don’t get any cash money for writing this or advocating ArcticMed’s products. I just like the stuff and want to share my positive experiences. I do get better prices, though, if you buy enough through my affiliate link.

Last Friday, I finally listened to a lecture by the founder, and actually took notes (!). That’s why I’m writing this, to make sure I and you have a reference article in the future for why we became AM oilers.

I’ve heard bits and pieces of it informally, since I began taking the oil, but this is the first time in a more structured form.

 

My unedited notes in Swedish from the seminar (and some pics to drive the message home):

omega-3 has got my back

Omega-3 has got my back, but the squat bar not so much

Omega3

Omega 3 gives you bang for the buck Omega 3 gives you bang for the buck

omega3 I Omega3 II