That’s it. It’s all in the title. If you want to sleep better at night, take a warm bath 1-2 hours before bed.
Ok, how does it work? This is a bit counterintuitive. Your natural 24-hour circadian cycle has a lower temperature at night at part of that rhythm. In some folks, it can be as much as a couple of degrees. You sleep better in a cool room because it helps cool you down. And in these lazy dog days of summer, you may have a bit of trouble sleeping well when it stays too warm at night.
How does a warm bath cool you off? That’s the interesting puzzle. When you warm up your skin with a shower, you dilate all your blood vessels over the surface of your body. Then, as you dry off you radiate off all your inner heat. The net effect, you are cooler an hour or so later. The fives minutes of warming is made up for by the hour of cooling.
How big an impact does it have? Well, if you take zolpidem every night to sleep, it allows you to fall asleep 16 minutes faster. And then you are addicted and can’t get off of it. Take a warm bath and you fall asleep 7 minutes faster than controls. Cheaper, less addicting.
Or, you could just try taking some glycine at bedtime too. Glycine, simplest amino acid. Turns out it also helps cool you down at bedtime by its effect on NDMA receptors.
So, there you have it. Two nice strategies to help you get to sleep.
WWW: What will work for me. I’ve just changed my bath time. I going to try bedtime showering instead of morning. Check-in after a month and I’ll let you know if it worked for me. And I ordered some glycine. And, I turned the AC down an extra degree last night.
- How much sooner do I fall asleep if I take a warm bath in the evening? Answer: About 9 minutes earlier than controls.
- How does that work? Answer: Paradoxically by dilating your surface blood vessels which is your natural radiator. You then dump all the heat stored up in your body that you naturally rid yourself of. If you are insulated with a layer of “insulation”, it may take you longer to dump the heat.
- I thought I had the same temperature all day long? What gives? When is my temperature the highest and the lowest? Answer: It follows your circadian rhythm. You peak cortisol in the morning which generates the access to energy and then you peak your temperature in the afternoon, a couple of hours later. Lowest temps are then in the middle of the night.
- What other strategies help me sleep? Answer: Cooler bedroom. Good and dark. Glycine, 500 mg at bedtime. No noise, no nightlight. Precise same time every night. Dim the lights an hour or two earlier. Don’t introduce fear into your heart with violent TV just before bed.
- Does counting sheep help? Answer: Not to be glib, but yes. You can call it mindfulness, or meditation, or counting……whatever. But there is pretty good evidence that taming your “monkey chatter” by disciplining your brain so a boring, calming, mundane train of thought allows it to then slip into sleep. In the one mile loop in our neighborhood, there are 54 houses on both sides of the road. If I recite them in my head, one by one, I mostly don’t make it around the whole loop. You are falling asleep just reading out it…..
References: Wikipedia,Mol Biol, Nature, Molecular Cell, J Am Chem Soc, Science, Hematologist,Proceedings Natl Acad Sci., Ann Clin Lab Sci., Cancer Research, Cancer Therapy,
Ready for a deep dive into how to kill cancer with peptides? This is real and it’s coming on the scene soon. Very exciting.
First, we have to start with how cancer cells become cancer cells. A normal cell develops, does its function, then gets out of the way with an organized, sensible collapse of the mitochondria. That leads to the term apoptosis, or cell death of the whole cell. When it’s done properly, it makes no inflammation and the cell gets “processed”. It is then replaced with a new baby stem cell of the same tissue. The gene that mediates that is the p53 gene. The p53 gene is essentially your watchdog for DNA damage that gets activated when the cell DNA gets too far broken and sets in motion a process of making the mitochondria get leaky. In swoops p53, the cell dies in an orderly fashion and the whole organism survives. You get a new liver cell, heart cell, skin cells, white blood cell….. and life goes on.
In cancer, something else happens. Cancers aren’t a problem because they are multiplying too fast. (Well, they do in some circumstances but bear with me.) The real problem with cancer is that the cancer cells live too long. Way too long. And just about every cancer depends on an “altered” p53 gene as part of its tool kit to live forever. We actually know down to the molecule how that happens in the majority of cancer cells. You read language like: “sequestration of the p53 in the cytoplasmic body correlates with the ability of the E18 55-kDa to repress p53-dependent apoptosis.”
Did you get that? Cancers all have a broken p53 system. What would happen if we repair it? What would happen if we put a proper p53 back into place? There’s a peptide for that! It’s actually probably all about protein folding and shape that gets us what we want. Cellular origami, if you will. You gotta know when to “hold em, and when to fold em“.
I don’t want to kill you off trying to explain it but it comes down to a tumor gene called Mdm2 that suppresses our friend p53. There is a binding site on Mdm2 that attaches and inactivates p53. It happens to have a peptide that fits right into it. Disrupt Mdm2 binding to p53. p53 refolds itself properly. It goes to work. It discovers all the broken DNA in the cancer cell and gets to work killing it. Cancer cell dies. Viola!
Ok. Get to the point. How do I get the peptide into the cancer cell? PNC-27. It’s actually a fragment of the Mdm2 protein. That’s what peptides are; fragments and pieces of bigger proteins that fit into the molecular lock and activate it.
There is a peptide called penetratin with a peptide sequence, KKWKMRRNQF- WVKVQRG. (Pronounce that for me.) Add that to the Mdm2 fragment so you can transport it into the cell, and lookout cancer! All with no toxicity to normal cells. p53 is your friend. Activating it is no big deal if your cells are normal.
There must be a fly in the ointment somewhere. There is. It takes 72 hours of continuous exposure to kill the ALL the cancer cells. How to do that? Tricky. Inject it into the tumor? Nope. The cancer is in too many places. Get it past your gut with a very slow-release form? That may be possible. Sound exciting? Hold on. The FDA has issued a warning about the premature enthusiasm. But there are clinics in Mexico administering it. There is experimental evidence it kills breast cancer in 30 minutes. Pancreatic cancer may need longer. The problem is not with the peptide. It’s the wild cat labs making the polluted or adulterated stuff that has it contaminated and has given some folks sepsis. What would you do?
WWW: What will work for me. I’m all over this with interest. If it causes no toxicity, and you are in a tough spot, would you try it? Do you have the right to do it? This is all sufficient material for a graduate course in medical ethics. Is there hope for the future? You bet. Would I try it on myself if I were in that spot? Anyone not caught up with the awful disease cancer can’t tell folks who are what they should do. My opinion. Some of the best research out there is with pancreatic cancer, one of the worst.
- What is the name of your own natural cancer cell killer protein? Answer. P53. Your friend.
- What happens in most human cancers that make p53 unavailable? Answer: It gets “sequestered” and refolded or attached to another cancer-associated protein called MdM2. In any case, it isn’t there to do the job of killing off a cell with too many DNA mutations.
- What is PNC-27? Answer: It is a fragment of Mdm2 that is the binding part to p-53. That appears to release P53 from its clutches so it can do its job of initiating cell death.
- What is the key peptide discovery to get PNC-27 to where it needs to do its job? Answer: Scientists had to find a way to get the blocking fragment into the cell through the cancer cell wall. They did that with a transporting peptide called KKWKMRRNQF- WVKVQRG. (Save that spelling for your next Scrabble)
- How quickly does PNC-27 work in lab samples? Answer. Between 30 minutes with some breast cancer lines. 72 hours for other cancers.
- Would you sign up for a 3 day IV of a drug that has zero toxicity to human cells if you had a wicked, aggressive cancer? Answer: You talk here.
- The FDA has issued warnings about PNC-27 because? Answer: there are so many desperate folks that crooks are taking advantage and selling awful, adulterated stuff and some folks have gotten sepsis.
References: Wikipedia, Jr of Atheroscl Res, Vet Research, Arch Fac Plast Surg, J Peri Nerve Sys., Genome Med,
If you have been to a beauty salon in the last 30 years and been asked if you “Would like the peptide skin treatment” you have been exposed to GHK-Cu already. It stands for a simple three amino acid sequence: Glycine, Histidine, Lysine. It strongly binds copper and is in you right now at about 200 ppm if you are 20, and at 80 ppm if you are 60. This is aging in a nutshell.
How can you demonstrate it’s importance? A scientist by the name of Loren Pickart in 1973 reported that liver cells from older folks (60-80) started functioning like they were from younger folks when they were exposed to their serum, eventually isolating the peptide.
By the 1980s, GHK-Cu was being found to be involved in wound repair with upregulation of collagen synthesis and impact on the metalloproteinases that dissolve and break down tissue. By 2003, rat research with full thickness woundsshowed wounds would heal by 67% compared to 28% with GHK-Cu. A study in humans with diabetic wounds showedsimilar dramatic improvements.
But let’s talk about the important stuff: women’s wrinkles and men’s hair. One study showed that applied twice a day to faces with wrinkles, the “copper peptide” dramatically reduced wrinkles. Men’s hair transplants survived and thrived better with it too. You can’t find many facial treatment creams today that don’t have a bit of it in it – at least if you are paying top dollar.
But cosmetics is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Turns out GHK-Cu turns on and off hundreds of genes. The implications of this might be huge. For example, radiation causes all sorts of damage to the DNA of healthy cells. GHK-Cu helps those cells recover. If you have a head and neck cancer, and are getting radiation. Make sure you are on it. How about any radiation? It helps with damaged nerves with peripheral nerve damage. In folks with severe COPD, it upregulates hundreds of good genes and downregulates hundreds of destructive ones.
Or is it all about the copper? Copper is an incredibly important metal that is a two-edged sword. Too much of it is way toxic on the brain. Too little, and you can’t repair. We have copper pipes in most of our homes and are being exposed to lots of metallic copper. Could our lower level of this important peptide by a natural response to too much copper in our environment. All conjecture. But the conversation is now starting around using this healing peptide for cancer care, for COPD, for diabetic wounds. Stay tuned. This is an interesting time.
WWW: What will work for me. I’m reading and learning about the use of peptides as fast as I can go. This is just another in the series of miracles our body pulls out and shows us. The hundreds of genes that are affected by GHK-Cu at the genomic level leads to believing that the next revolution in health will be about expertly managing your peptides, after reading your genomic signature. One step at a time. I’m working on getting the peptides under my belt.
- GHK-Cu binds what metal? Answer: If you don’t get this one, …
- Most American homes have what type of water pipes? Answer: Copper
- As we age, what happens to our GHK-Cu levels? Answer: Drops 60%
- In COPD, how many destructive genes are downregulated with GHK-Cu? Answer: Go read the link, it’s over 100 so far that we know of.
- f you had a diabetic wound on your leg, or a diabetic nerve damage, or radiation to your face, or breast, or prostate, would you want to take some? Answer: Too early to tell, but no known toxicity to date and lots of interesting, tantalizing data.
References: Wikipedia, Medline Encyclopedia, Neuroimag., Proceeding National Acad Sci,Neuropsychobiol,
As we get older, we spend less and less time in delta wave or deep, restorative sleep. That’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous as we now know that sleep is your brain on flush. Your glymphatic system opens up in your brain when you are in deep sleep, the flow of waste fluids increases several fold, your brain shrinks as it is wrung out and your brain tissue is cleansed of all its accumulated gunk. This is so important to the brain that every creature with a brain has to sleep. And if we don’t get a good night’s sleep,we suffer with accumulated detritus and eventually call that damage Alzheimer’s. No kidding!.
That’s the conundrum. You need a good night’s sleep to clean out your brain, and you gradually lose the ability to get that sleep. There you have it. And it is so self-evident, you don’t need to argue the point. You know it in your heart. A good night’s sleep feels good.
Want a shot at something better? Not happy with the drugs on the market that make you feel groggy, get you habituated, stop working and make your doctor antsy about your repeated requests? Here you are….maybe.
DSIP is not a perfect cure but it does appear to work. Delta sleep is the sleep in which you really are in the deepest, most restorative state. It’s what fades with aging. DSIP is a tiny peptide that is only 9 amino acids long. It’s gene hasn’t been found yet but it has been detected in all sorts of places from mothers’ milk to the gut, the hypothalamus, the limbic system. It appears to show up in lots of places and appears to have its effects modulated by ACTH, TSH and many other hormones. When modulated and stabilized so that it has a longer halflife, it appears to have powerful antioxidant effects, anti-cancer effects, geroprotective effects, goodness. Way beyond the scope of what we are trying to introduce but in line with many peptides that appear to have all sorts of effects beyond their initially discovered effect.
So back to sleep. It doesn’t put you to sleep. Its effect appears to be to lengthen the time in deep, delta wave sleep. It’s as though it is increasing the length of the wash cycle on your laundry machine. But that effect may be huge and anything in that category may be a worthy experiment for anyone with concerns for cognitive decline. (All of us.)
Are there detractors? Yes, one study says it doesn’t work very well. It could be countered with the comment that the authors didn’t try very hard either. Only one dose and one timing schedule. How about a bit more effort guys?
How do you take it? It appears that you should start with 0.1 mg just an hour before sleep three times a week. The folks who are teaching how to use it suggest that if you don’t feel a restorative sense from it, walk the timing back to earlier in the day. Take it at supper time for a week, then back to 2 pm. I’ve heard of some folks being dosed at 9 am, with good effect. Proven research on it? Precious little, but all sorts of interesting effects on growth hormone, chronic pain, ACTH. Side effects? Nope. Worth a try?
WWW: What will work for me. This gets back to the issue of the risk-benefit ratio. We don’t know much about these peptides but there are people reporting beneficial effects. With no evident side effects. Deep sleep is very valuable. I’m going to buy an Oura ring that tracks sleep and wear that while I explore my own effect. The Oura ring is a new device out of Finland that details on your smartphone your sleep patterns. Might be quite interesting.
- DSIP stands for? Answer: DELTA sleep-inducing peptide but you can sure put it DEEP for Delta
- What is the beneficial effect of sleep? Answer: it is your brain on flush, and it happens best in deep sleep. Accumulating gunk like beta-amyloid is a leading consideration in the cause of cognitive decline. As is lousy sleep.
- How do you take it? Answer: A sub Q shot of 0.1 ml at 1000 mcg a milliter three times a week, an hour before bed. If no effect, drop back to earlier in the day.
- How can you measure your benefit? Answer: Buy an Oura Ring. Another clever idea out of Finland.
- Where can you obtain pure DSIP? Answer: Best we know right now, are compounding pharmacies that sell you USP product. A physician is permitted to legally prescribe USP grade product in many states if not available through traditional pharmacies. Informed consent and all that.
- Side effects? Answer: Yes, mostly good ones, as best we can tell. You get pain relief, more growth hormone, better sleep, better cortisol, better thyroid….well, better? Augmented and changed. Time will tell if better. Clinical research is the ultimate answer. We need young PhD students to get on it.
References: Wikipedia, Jr Neurosurg, Drugs Today, J Amer Geriat Soc,
Cerebrolysin isn’t just one peptide. It is at least four. It is derived from pig brains, sort of the way insulin was initially derived from pig pancreases. (Insulin is a 51 amino acid peptide – the first and most famous of peptides.). It is a mixture of growth factors. BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor) is the most important but there are others. GDNF (Glial cell-line Derived Neurotophic Factor), NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and CNTF (Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor).
All of these peptides are critical players in keeping your brain healthy. And many of them are absent or markedly reduced as we age.
BDNF is critical to long term memory. Most of our brain neurons are formed prenatally but memory requires new ones. BDNF is central to that.
GDNF is critical to the survival of motor and dopamine-secreting neurons.
NGF was found back in the 60s (earning a Nobel prize) and is critical to the growth of new neurons, but also to beta cells in the pancreas.
CNTF (Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor) is just as intriguing. It helps make your neurotransmitters and connect the neurons to each other.
We could spend all day in the details of each of these and I would encourage any reader to do so. Just Google away, starting with Wikipedia and off you go. It is fascinating physiology, central to how a healthy brain works. What happens if your brain isn’t so healthy? What would you want for your brain if you had a concussion? A stroke? Parkinson’s? Alzheimer’s?
For example: concussion. The shock wave of bonking your head disconnects millions of neurons. Folks report feeling brain fog for years after a concussion. This articlereferences the safety and beneficial effect of cerebrolysin on concussions in 55 people – published in 2005 – 15 years ago! Last year a rat study done in a randomized way showed statistical improvement. The CAPTAIN study in Asia has been started but doesn’t have results yet in humans.
How about cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s? There is early research that indicates it’s helpful. A pretty well-done study from Korea in 2000 showed benefit.
Parkinson’s Disease? Ditto! Rat studies and temptation’s in humans but still waiting long term trials.
Cerebrolysin is being widely used all over Asia. It’s actually pretty cheap. Therein lies the explanation. Why hasn’t it been used in America? It doesn’t have the promise of being a blockbuster drug that reverses these horrible illnesses. And because it’s in the public forum, it can’t be patented.
Does it cause harm? NOOOOOOO!!!! No adverse side effects. These exact same neuropeptides are in you. And I’ve heard of anecdotal cases with dramatic effects.
WWW: What will work for me, or you? Wow, if I have a severe concussion, I want to be able to crawl to my office and give myself big IV doses of cerebrolysin. I’m adding it to my offering to anyone with concerns of cognitive decline. I think everyone deserves a trial run of it. It can be given IV or by insulin shot needles in your tummy. It has no toxicity that we have detected. The other half of the Hippocratic Oath is “If there is something that helps more than what there is out there now, and what we have now is worthless, don’t withhold it!”
- Cerebrolysin is derived from? What? Answer: Pig Brains
- It is a mix of how many neuropeptides? Answer: At least 4 that we know of.
- What does BDNF stand for? Answer: Brain-derived neurotophic factor, the most most important brain factor.
- We have great research that shows it causes dramatic effects? Answer: Whoa Nellie. We have great anecdotes in acute concussion of dramatic effect and statistically valid rat studies but human studies are mostly overseas, where it is the best act in town, but still not curing.
- If you were fuzzy and couldn’t drive anymore because you weren’t sure you would find your way home, what would you do? Answer: Your call.