Dr. Steven Gundry is Tony Robbins’ doctor. He’s a former world-class heart surgeon. These days he focuses on longevity.
His new book is called The Longevity Paradox. Sub-title: “How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age.”
It’s fantastic. I highly recommend it.
The main theme of the book is that our longevity, paradoxically, is driven by the most ancient parts of us—the bacteria and other “foreign” stuff living in our guts (and on our bodies).
Check out the Note for more on the importance of paying attention to our “gut buddies” in our “microbiome.”
Today, I want to focus on one of the practical ideas from that book that might wind up being one of the most significant Optimizing levers I’ve pulled. (Ever.) (Seriously.)
It’s called “Brain Washing.”
I’ve known for awhile that I should have my last meal earlier than I’ve been having it. Dr. Gundry finally sold me on why I should at least test what would happen if I ate my last meal FOUR hours before going to bed.
Yes, four (!) hours before I go to bed. Now, I go to bed as early as 7:30 PM so that means I’m eating my last meal around 3:00 or so.
It sounded absurd to me as well when I first contemplated it. 😲
The data coming in so far is almost even more absurd. We’ll talk about that more in our next +1.
For now, let’s talk about glymph.
Ever heard of it?
Here’s how Dr. G puts it: “A few years ago, researchers discovered a system that allows cerebrospinal fluid (that clear fluid we tap when we stick a needle into your spine) to flow through the brain, cleaning out the spaces in between cells, just as lymphatic fluid does in the rest of your body. This is called the glymphatic system. To make room for the fluid to wash out your brain, your cells actually shrink in size when you are in deep sleep. This allows the full ‘brain wash’ process to go twenty times as fast when you are in deep sleep as when you are awake and helps explain why a good night’s sleep is so restorative. When you get an adequate amount of deep sleep, you literally wake up with a refreshed and rejuvenated mind that has been swept clean of junk and debris.”
We’ve all heard of our lymphatic system.
It’s an essential part of our immune system featuring a clear fluid called “lymph” that helps rid our bodies of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.
But… What about our glymphatic system?
I never really paid attention to it until I read this book. It’s a BIG deal.
Want to keep your brain all squeaky clean?
Well… It’s the glymph in our GLYMPHATIC system that’s responsible for getting rid of all the toxins, waste and other unwanted materials from our BRAINS.
Which kinda begs the question: How do we Optimize THAT process?
Back to Dr. G. He tells us: “The glymphatic system is most active during the specific stage of deep sleep that happens very early in the sleep cycle. And the glymphatic system, just like your digestive system, requires a great deal of blood flow. This means that if you eat too soon before going to bed, your blood will all flow to your gut to aid in digestion and will not be able to reach your brain to complete the all-important brain wash.”
He tells us that this “brain wash cycle” is probably the “single most overlooked and misunderstood aspect of neurodegenerative diseases.”
He also tells us that, luckily, there’s a simple solution: “Leaving as big a gap as possible between your last meal of the day and your bedtime.”
His specific recommendation? Again: Eat your last meal at least FOUR hours before you go to bed.
That’s Today’s +1.
What time was YOUR last meal last night?
How can you Optimize that a little more Today?
-1. -1. -1. -1.
Glymph for the win!