1149. Sleepless Minds: The Brain's Struggle Without Rest


A Canadian study has found that missing out on 4 hours of sleep affects decision making. Researchers discovered there is less activity in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain when you’re lacking sleep.

Join Dr. Martin as he brings you two studies on sleep in today’s episode!


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Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone, and once again, welcome to another live here this morning. We appreciate you guys coming on. What was the name of my new book? Sun, Steak, Steel (and Sleep). I want to bring you two studies on sleep this morning, and maybe we'll get to another study too, but I want to bring you two on sleep. The first one is Canadian. Canadian researchers on sleep found this if you miss out on four hours of sleep, even one night. Okay? Here's what Canadian researchers said. There is a less activity in the frontal and parietal lobes crucial for decision-making. The frontal lobe, the parietal lobes are crucial for decision-making. So what they did in the Canadian research is they deprived people of four hours of sleep, okay? And they did MRIs before and after. And what they found was if you were sleep deprived by four hours, your brain didn't light up on the M R I because I guess your frontal brain, the frontal part of the brain and the parietal parts on the sides are very important for decision making for your moods.

What else did they write? Problem solving. Okay, in your brain. And if you get enough sleep, those areas of your brain light up like a Christmas tree in an M R I, meaning they're functioning properly, four hours, a lack of sleep, and they're not. Now, I went into great detail in my book, sun Steak and Steel and Sleep about this. Not that particular research, but other research on sleep and how important it is, okay? And what did I talk about in terms of even memory? Okay? The brain and the hypothalamus. It's like a library that stores your memories and you have a librarian in and you have a safety deposit box that keeps those memories. And then you have a G P S, your brain. Guys, it's unbelievable, but it won't work properly. It'll work, but it won't work properly without sleep. Thus, people who have chronic sleep conditions, they really have trouble.

And the low hanging fruit, I always used to say this when it comes to cortisol and distress, where people, they're always in the fight or flight instead of rest and digest, their body doesn't go into that. That's what stress can do. And we've talked about that. It's one of the reasons doctors have so much trouble fixing hormones, why? They don't think about cortisol. They never test cortisol. They're upside down when it comes to hormones. Oh, your thyroid is normal according to what doc, according to your blood work. And if you make blood work, the be all and end all, you're not really practicing medicine. You are, but you're not. It's malpractice. As we talked about, the thyroid, the thyroid's not the boss, the thyroid's not the boss. It thinks it is, but it's not. It's got a lot of other strings attached to it. And if you don't know that, if you in medicine, those practitioners out there, if you don't understand that you're in trouble because you're not going to figure out how to fix hormones.

One of the lowest hanging fruits. And I tell people this, and I used to tell people this all the time. In my days of practice, one of the lowest hanging fruits is correcting sleep. It's not the only low hanging fruit. The other one is get off sugar. Get off sugar. Why? Well, sugar is very inflammatory. Sugar is like cocaine for your brain and that'll mess you up. Those are low hanging fruits. If you did nothing else, I want people to do the reset. You know that, and that is the best thing you can for yourself. But if you want a low hanging fruit, stop eating sugar and get working on sleep. Doc, I can't sleep. Join the 70% of the population. Guys. It never used to be that way. It never used to be that way. It's not that we haven't had insomnia. Of course we have, but it's not to the extent that we have it today, and that's a big factor.

So the Canadian researchers talked about four hours of sleep deprivation, how it affects the frontal lobe of the brain, how it affects your decision making, how it affects your mood, how it affects problem solving. Big problem. Okay? Now let me talk to you about the other one. Now, this one, I really went into a lot of detail in my book, but this is a new study that just confirms what I mentioned in the book. This is key guys. Okay? Oslo researchers found when you don't sleep properly, and we're going to talk about what I mean by proper sleep. You have a reduced clearance, okay? That's their words. Debris doesn't get cleared from the brain.

Your self-cleaning oven, you got a self-cleaning oven up there. Isn't your body fearfully and wonderfully made? Come on guys, as Joe Biden would say, come on man. Unbelievable. When I was in school in the days of Noah, we didn't know the brain had a self-cleaning oven. We didn't. Now we know about the lymphatic system. And the lymphatic system is your body's sewage system. Oh, your body has a sewage system. Yeah. Isn't that something? And by the way, just a little iny Beanie Rabbit trail, when cancer cells get into the lymphatic system, that's where they belong. There's two schools, one that believes the is how your cancer spreads. I don't believe that. Okay? And the other school is that. That's how your body gets rid of cancer because you go to sewage system. Anywho, that was a rabbit trail. I'm back. I'm back to sleep.

When you don't sleep properly, your self-cleaning oven doesn't work properly, okay? It's called your glymphatic system. You have GL cells in your brain. Unreal. I never knew that until the last few years. Incredible guys, I know I'm into rabbit trails. I got to make another one. When people tell you, okay, this is a narrative, big pharma and others use, the science is settled. Well, look, here's me, the very definition of science is based on observation. Meaning science is never settled. The more we study, the more we find out, the more we study, the more we find out. Now, two plus two equals four. I get that.

I talked to you, was it last week about autism? What? And someone went in, made a comment. Well, they probably just didn't diagnose it in the seventies. Yeah, you're right. We probably didn't. We didn't know what it was. And there was kids with autism and we just didn't know. But there's not the amount of kids that have autism like it is today. That's the point I was making. Yeah, maybe there was or certainly wasn't in our medical books. And some people dismiss the argument I was making based on, well, there was always autism. Now, there might've been some, but it's not like today. And where we've gone to, what is it? One out of 20 kids now got autism. All I'm saying about science guys on this rabbit trail, it's not settled. The more we discover. And that's like me, I'm always studying.

I always study. These research studies on sleep fascinates me. It fascinates me because I know the importance of sleep. And then on this second study in Oslo, they said something that other studies have confirmed this, you don't sleep. Your self-cleaning oven in your brain don't work properly. So what happens? You don't get rid of debris. Okay? Your brain is a manufacturing plant. It needs a lot of energy, like we just talked about the area in your brain for decision-making and for problem solving and for moods and your memory. And think of how unbelievable your brain is, guys. I'm sorry. In school I took evolutionary biology. It permeates everything. I don't buy it. I don't buy that. I'm sorry. Anyway, I don't want to go on another rabbit trail. I'm just telling you I don't buy it. I know it's popular, but I don't buy it.

I just can't believe our brains got to the point of where we are over a kazillion years. No, no. There's a designer, a creator, okay? And that brain is unreal. Okay? Think about it. So you've got a self-cleaning oven, but it don't work if you don't sleep. So what does that do now that debris from the processing, the manufacturing, you have waste. Wherever you have a lot of energy produced, you are going to have waste. And what happens? Those waste products, if they're not taken away from the brain because you're not sleeping, destroy the brain and especially the memory center. That's what this study is saying out of Oslo. And I read the study and I, oh, wow. Yeah, I've been saying that for a long time. The self-cleaning oven. Unreal. You need the sleep. We need sleep. No, really, guys, we do. And I know so many people, they have such difficulty in that area.

My practice in the last, let's say 15, 20 years, those last 15, 20 years of my practice, my practice took a shift and it became a laboratory for high cortisol and high insulin. In 2011, I wrote a book, serial Killers with an SS two hormones up once you did insulin food, man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. My practice was insulin, insulin, insulin, insulin, test it, test it, test it. And everybody and their dog just about came in and they had insulin resistance or high circulating insulin. It was an epidemic in my office. I couldn't miss it because I was testing it, insulin going through the roof. And I know insulin primarily is a food hormone. I used to tell my patients, you got a food disorder. What? Yeah, you in carbs ain't getting along anymore. It's like a bad relationship. One of the partner, I still love you dear. Yeah, but I don't love you anymore, okay? You might love carbs and you love your sugar and you love your sweets and you love your crappy carbohydrates, bread, pasta and all that. I love that doc. Yeah, so do I. But it don't love you anymore. It don't love you anymore.

That ain't good. So that was one of the things I tested. And then the other was cortisol, and it was unreal. Ask my staff. It was unreal, especially in the last 15, 20 years of my practice. Holy moly. It was like people were on steroids for cortisol. Their cortisol was through the roof, and people would be surprised by that doc. No one's ever talked to me about my cortisol. What? Yeah, well, you can't sleep, right? Yeah, I'm having trouble. Well, your cortisol's a problem. And when your cortisol's a problem, you can't sleep. And when you can't sleep, you're elevating your cortisol. It's a double whammo. You couldn't fool the test and stress. Cortisol pours gasoline on the fire of inflammation inside the body. That's silent killer. For me. It sort of revolutionized my practice. And then you got almost invariably, everybody that came in, invariably, there was always exceptions to this of course, but most people, even young people, had high levels of cortisol. And cortisol's great, it'll save your life. It's the fight or flight. You want cortisol. It's not like you don't want cortisol, you just don't want it going all day long. It's not meant for that.

But again, if physicians, and this is a thing that I used to try and teach. Whenever I had a chance to teach practitioners or physicians, they said, look, hello, you out there. You're going to see real patients. You're going to see real people. Here's what you look for. Look for cortisol, look for insulin. If you can get those two, those two drive the rest of the hormones more than any others, and you better fix those two. Because if you don't fix those two, you're in trouble. You won't be able to fix hormones. You can tranquilize them. Look at sleep. For example, a physician go to 90 something percent of doctors. Okay, doc, I can't sleep well, here's a pill instead of why can't you sleep? Let's change things so you can sleep and they sedate you. Medications for sleep are sedation. I know what I'll do. I'll call in an anesthesiologist and let's put you to sleep. You're not really going to sleep.

You know what I mean? You're getting knocked out. Get into the ring with Muhammad Ali or Joe Frazier and they'll knock you out. Hey, did I ever have a good sleep? Now, you didn't have a good sleep. You were knocked out. There's no glial cells working. If you get knocked out, do you feel good after getting an operation? Operation? Oh, I never had a sleep so good in my life. I just had a knee replacement. And man, oh man, I never felt so good as after getting that anesthetic. Are you kidding me? You see these commercials on TV for Ambien or whatever, right? And they've got butterflies floating around. Isn't this the greatest thing since sliced bread? Do you know many patients I saw over the years that had been on sleeping pills for 20, 30 years? I felt sorry for them. I did. I said, you're on your way to Alzheimer's. What? Nobody told me that you are being sedated. You're not sleeping, you're being sedated. You have a duck. I can't sleep. I said, well, you're not really sleeping. You're not going through the five cycles of sleep when you're on med. Your brain is not taking out the garbage.

Every night is garbage night. And that's what this study was saying. Isn't that something, guys? Isn't it something when you look at these things? No. Let's talk quickly because I've been through this before. It's in the book. Okay? Sun Steak and steel available only on our website, martin clinic.com. It's already a bestseller. Okay? Let's go over some tips to turn this around. I'm telling you guys, one of the things you can do is change your diet. Sugar creates inflammation. Inflammation will affect your brain, will affect your sleep sugar, cut it out. And especially stop eating if you can, as much as possible. Folks, this is key too. Rest and digest, meaning three. Some people need five hours before they go to bed. Don't eat. Don't eat at night.

Try and stop eating. Very important to get into that rest and digest mode. Get some sunlight during the day without your sunglasses. What is this sweet spot? About 20 minutes. Look, I know some of you got very sensitive eyes and I get that, but you want your eyeballs to get sunlight. It's really important. Why? It is one of the pathways for melatonin. Not to take a melatonin supplement, but to get the sun, sun, steak and steel and sleep, sun, sun during the day, dark at night. It goes with your circadian rhythm. It's really important. Sunlight, melatonin. And then when it's dark in your room, dark, dark, dark, pitch black. The only time you should wear a mask. Some people are still wearing a mask. And when I go to the store and I go, well, that's not working. I said, I hope you're wearing a mask. No, I don't say anything.

My wife has to grab me. Quit talking. I know, but it irritates me. They've been lied to. Those things don't do any good. But you can wear a mask at night. Wear your invisible mask vitamin. What is it? What vitamin is it? What's your invisible mask? The Martin Clinic. Invisible mask for your immune system, vitamin. Somebody give me the answer and I'll go, Gerie, you got it. Vitamin A. The invisible mask is vitamin A. People don't realize that. Okay? What protects your eyes, your nose and your mouth where viruses and bacteria get in. Vitamin A, vitamin A and people, you are wearing the wrong mask.

I like that. I just made that up. When you see someone wearing a mask out on the street outside or whatever, tell 'em you are wearing the wrong mask. I always get a kick. It was one of my favorite movies of all time. Planes, trains, and Automobiles. You remember that with John Candy? I love that movie. I laugh and laugh and laugh, but one of the things people were saying, you are going the wrong way. One of the best scenes in that movie. But guys, when you see a mask, someone wearing a mask, okay, you better not say anything, but you can think it. They're wearing the wrong mask. They need the vitamin A mask that comes from vitamin sss, and that is steak. What other mask do I like? Like the eye mask? Dark, no light. You make more melatonin, sunlight during the day, dark over your eyes at night. Okay, I've got a few other tips and let me just mention this in closing. What's the sweet spot? Research has said this and I've been saying it for 50 years. What's the sweet spot for most people? Seven hours, seven to eight hours is sweet spot for sleep.

So remember that all my years of experience in practice, seven, eight hours, that's the sweet spot. I'm going to do a whole thing on sweet spots, okay? Okay, guys, we got a great week coming. Okay? So remember the studies on sleep. Interesting. Certainly interesting to me and very, very appropriate in this day and age. Okay? Very appropriate in this day and age. Okay? We love you guys. We'll talk to you soon.

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