Posts Tagged ‘health’

Today was my first post-anemia cycling and gym day.  I don’t do any hard core cycling on my gym days.  Usually just 20 minutes.  About 8 miles or 350 calories.

The ride was REALLY easy.  My legs were real strong.  It felt like I could actually kick it up a notch and use a higher gear.

The data would seem to back this up already.

Today’s ride was about 16.73 MPH on average.  

My last there rides were and 14.46 and 14.64 …

I did a similar ride which wasn’t exactly the same route but that was 13.70 MPH

Isn’t it awesome to have this data!

This is a 15% performance improvement.  

Also, I didn’t particularly push it that hard on this ride more than I normally do.

I’m going to take a couple more measurements and see what is up.

I also might get a power meter for my bike to get more objective data.

I also lifted today and the results were vastly improved.

I was able to finish my entire workout without any fading in energy like last time.  

Further, I only had MILD dizziness while doing deadlifts.  It lasted maybe 2 seconds and wasn’t severe at all.

Hopefully by next week this is gone altogether.

I’m still using my 3x meal plan with red meat.  Long term this isn’t a good strategy but it has worked like a champ to get me back in shape quickly.

As an aside.  I think I discovered that I’m allergic to shellfish.  At least mussels and clams.

I woke up this morning with a rough case of itching on my face and neck and I noticed the SAME thing last week as well.

This is new.  I REALLY like seafood so this is a bit disturbing.  They’re also good sources of iron so I’m going to have to figure out what is going on here.


I did a bunch of research tonight on using oximiters and heart rate monitors for helping to diagnose sleep apnea.

I think I might have a mild sleep apnea. I was diagnosed before but the sleep lab was so pathetic that I just completely wrote off the results and never really went back.

It turns out that from what I can gather , polysomnographs are insanely expensive (like $2k per night). These are the sleep studies they run with an EEG, ECG, oximeter, etc.

Further, you can’t do one at home, and continually run sleep studies every night.

A Zeo, oximeter, and heartrate monitor could be used ot build a cheap polysomnograph. I have most of the hardware already but if you started from scratch you could build a decent one for like $750.

Not FDA approved by any means but once you’re diagnosed you can use this setup to test various sleep experiments (along with subjective quality of life measurements).

The biggest problem is that the oximeters are all targeted for active monitoring. They do no data recording.

It’s about $500 for one that does data recording and they don’t export to anything but a PC running Windows.

I’d love a way to hack something together to build a simple external data recorder.

One thing I want to play with is the ANT+ python module Kyle Machulis is writing in OpenYou

I can use this to avoid having to first upload my data to Garmin and THEN analyze the data after the event. It will make it much easier to analyze and I could in theory even analyze the data in real time.

This would give me heart rate data as well as blood oxygen. Of course, most of the oximeters also include pulse rate so I might not need to wear a strap any more.

I really hate it when mainstream media covers lame science.

This study recently done at the University of Pennsylvania is interesting but not really helpful.

For starters. It was VERY small…. dozens of subjects:

In what was the longest sleep-restriction study of its kind, Dinges and his lead author, Hans Van Dongen, assigned dozens of subjects to three different groups for their 2003 study: some slept four hours, others six hours and others, for the lucky control group, eight hours — for two weeks in the lab.

This is the longest study of its kind? For two weeks? I’m confused.

Then there is this infographic:

Screen shot 2011-04-17 at 4.08.12 PM.png

What was the source of this data? Self reported? I don’t even know where to being with the flaws with self reported assessment.

Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day.

So subjects that needed 8 hours of sleep performed poorly when constrained to less hours of sleep? And we’re surprised by these findings?

And of course the NY Times doesn’t link to the actual study nor does it appear that the study is online from a Google search.

Part of the problem is that research community still doesn’t publish online.

However, when the NY Times publishes articles with such poor quality I’m not exactly encouraged to pay for articles of such low quality.

Also, why are they writing a story about a study done in 2003? That’s 8 years ago!

The biggest problem I have with this article is that the core idea of sleep optimization is to get the same quality of life with but with less sleep.

Telling people to just cold turkey start sleeping less isn’t going to have reasonable results.

You might as well tell random people to start running a marathon and then act surprised when they hurt themselves.

This is my 3rd day sleeping in an environment which is 100% pitch black with no interruptions (no sound).

My bike rides have seen a marked improvement in their subjective ride quality. I also feel a bit more rested in the afternoons.

What’s more amazing are that my dreams are now amazingly vivid!

For the last three nights I’ve had very profound dreams. These really were inspiring and I found myself thinking about them well into the afternoon.

I haven’t dreamt like this in years!

If this continues, I’m going to restart the habit of keeping a dream journal (perhaps via audio).

Additionally, my rides have been improving. My subjective ride quality on my morning 15 mile ride was about an 8 out of 10 … which is really good as lately I’ve felt I’ve been overtraining.

I hypothesize that the quality of REM is significantly improving which explains the vibrant dreams and also explains the aided recovery in my fitness.

I was able to experiment with this by not replacing my blinds but instead just taping black trash bags over the window. It’s not pretty and only temporary. I’ll buy more expensive blinds in the future but this was a cheap $20 experiment.

I also found that I wasn’t able to fully black out the whole room and there are some spots which let in some mild light in the morning. Interestingly, the last 2 days I woke up just after sunrise so I think if I make sure no light is let in EVEN during sunrise then I can further optimize my sleep experience.

So far this has been full of WIN. Very excited to see what happens over the next few weeks.

My initial goals were to sleep less total hours but I’ll settle for this as it will also have a significant impact on my quality of life.

Another quick thought. The Zeo has turned out to be of no help. My ZQ scores are the same if not lower. On Sunday night I woke up 5 times. The Zeo says I only woke up once. My current thinking about the Zeo is that it’s an expensive pseudoscientific toy… Even gradual wake up function hasn’t helped me.