Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

From the Guardian

by Tim Radford, science editor

Women live six or seven years longer than men because they sleep more deeply, according to US scientists. Men who stay up late, and who toss, turn, count sheep, or who suffer from sleep apnoea - a respiratory condition - are at greater risk from diabetes, heart disease and other conditions probably because they sleep less well, said Alexandros Vgontzas of Pennsylvania State University.

He told the journal Chemistry and Industry that women's mastery of the mattress was probably an evolutionary adaptation to the needs of child rearing. In effect, waking up for the 2am feed was compensated for by a better kind of oblivion.

Hmmm... This doesn't sound very fair. (Mizuka is still fast asleep. I'm awake 3 hours before I have to be, still tired after only 5 hours of sleep... I wonder if it's this silly blog drawing me out of my deep sleep...)


Jory Bell was telling me that deep sleep is tied to production of human growth hormone. The deeper you sleep, the more of the hormone you produce. HGH keeps your body growing and gegenerating, hence, younger. Maybe this corresponds with this study you found Joi.

HGH production declines as you age (I think Jory said HGH tapers off shortly after 30). But you can keep up your HGH levels with deep sleep. And he had read that a hot bath right before bedtime was one of the best ways to promote deep sleep. When I talked to him about this last year, he was building a large whirlpool tub into the corner of his San Francisco warehouse space to promote his longevity.

When I was in Japan I was struck that Japanese people bathed at night instead of in the morning. And they didn't mess around - Japanese baths are often HOT! I know when I stayed at capsule hotels, if I had a chance to spend ten or fifteen minutes soaking in a hot hot tub before I slithered into my plastic coffin, I definitely slept better. Maybe the hot bathing and deep sleeping in Japan explains in part why Japanese folks have longer life expectancies than any other nationality.

Actually, Mizuka always takes a bath before she goes to bed. I don't because I need a shower in the morning to wake up and refresh and feel like it is a waste to wash before and after bed. But you may have a good point Justin. I thought about it last night, but it is was a really hot day and I have a hard time going to sleep because of the heat as it is... I can't image what it would be like if I tried to sleep after a hot bath... maybe I'm procrastinating.

I'm going to try to exercise some more and see if that helps. Going to go play squash with Shane today from 7am.

So I've started taking baths before I go to bed and I sleep better! Wow! And it's great to wake up clean. ;-)