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Bio Hacking a Good Night’s Sleep

There are ways to program the brain to "Bio Hack" a good night's sleep.

Can you Bio Hack a Good Night’s Sleep?

Everybody is talking about “hacking”. Someone recently asked me for some “biohacks” for sleeping. As a chiropractic physician, I am called upon daily by patients to make recommendations about sleep. I have 23 years of experience involving health, wellness and fitness, including how sleep can impact vitality.  So what about Bio Hacking a good night’s sleep?

It turns out I happen to have a hot one that is worth looking at – “Brainwave Entrainment”. You might find this pretty interesting. 

Brainwave Entrainment is a process by which stimuli can be used to “synchronize” or essentially program brainwaves. As a result, we can achieve certain desired states in the brain (like sleep). The stimuli can be electrical, visual, auditory, or maybe even physical stimuli such as tapping. The means for brainwave entrainment can vary. While some require a full-fledged clinical apparatus, others can simple enough to run on a smartphone. One of these – Binaural Beats – is a viable “Biohack” you could access for sleep within minutes. Besides that, you can get this “hack” with minimal investment.

How Do Binaural Beats Work?

Binaural beats are not super complicated. A different frequency is delivered left and right via a set of stereo headphones, earbuds, or speakers in a headband. Those are heard or recognized by different sides of the brain. Crossing over in the brain, they essentially create a third pattern which can modulate, influence, or even produce brainwaves. You might recognize these waves as Alpha, Beta, Theta, etc.

  • A visit to the App Store could put a Binaural Beats app onto the cellphone in your pocket right now. Several programs can deliver a binaural beat pattern that could let you “program” a certain type of sleep. To be specific, we could be looking for “deep sleep”, “dreamy sleep”, power nap, or sleep with a wake-up “trailer” to get you up refreshed.
  • The cool thing about Binaural Beats apps is that they run on timers and can be used to create a sleep pattern without resorting medications.
  • Besides that, there are other desirable “Brainwave Entrainments” available, which you can access after you get some good sleep. These include things like “pre-exercise energy” or “Calm and Confident”.
  • I am holding off commenting on specific apps here, although they are available on both iOS and Android. I want to encourage you to do the research on them. If you want to request an appointment for chiropractic care, we can sort through them in the clinic.
  • There are other means of Brainwave Entrainment, including coached or clinical means, for folks that need help to get started.
  • In the meantime, I hope you will try this one yourself. I think this is a great “biohack” to improving sleep, health, and vitality.

Additional Questions That Relate

  1. Is viewing a TV/computer screen before bed really that bad?
  • A lot of really-well supported research suggests that the type of blue light produced by screens is highly disadvantageous. If you would like me to select a few references on this, let me know. Here is an easy one from Harvard to start with.
  • The other reality of bringing a screen into the bedroom or even close to the bedtime is the potential invasion of life’s complexities as a result of multi-tasking, notifications, alerts, Alexa, etc.  
  • Having said the above about screens at bedtime, with reasonable discipline, the smartphone mentioned above can be used to deliver the binaural beats from an app. For addicts of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or those with Internet Addictions – who might otherwise start “clicking” – less expensive devices, like a stripped and disconnected “old” smartphone, can still provide the beats.
  1. Is there a minimum number of hours we need to sleep?
  • Eight hours appears to be the magic number, and below this, we are essentially sleep deprived. Of course, this is going to hit different people in different ways, but it is still sleep deprivation. There is a growing field of research that suggests that sleep deprivation factors heavily into Cognitive Decline and maybe even the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and related real-world challenges of today’s adult.

How does Bio Hacking Sleep relate to Chiropractic?

A patient with a good night’s sleep is a happier, more productive patient. Sleep is imperative for recovery, function, fitness and vitality.  This applies to everything from migraine headaches to car accidents. We can help you identify how any relative sleep disturbance can impact your overall well-being. Accordingly, we will work “Bio Hacking” a good night’s sleep into your chiropractic recovery program and help it really work for you.

Blue Heron Chiropractic specializes in both Old pain and New pain, Vitality, Motor Vehicle Accident Recovery and Work Injuries. Finally, if you have questions about how Dr. Dana Sibilla and Chiropractic can help you, or about exercise, optimal function, pain or pain management, schedule an appointment today. 

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