Jun 142019

I’m not talking about my fasting regimen a lot, because I don’t want to be tedious. But I’ve realized an unexpected benefit from it that I want to share—better sleep.

I am on a 16-hour/8-hour program four days a week, during which I eat only between 11 am and 7 pm. But one day a week, I fast completely, taking in no calories at all. So I’ll eat dinner, say, Wednesday night, and won’t eat again until Friday morning. Typically this works out to be a 36-hour fast.

Initially I worried that I’d have trouble falling asleep hungry. Funny thing, though—not only am I not hungry at bedtime on my fast day, I actually fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly.

(The Fitbit knows.)

In the following charts, the light blue lines indicate restless periods (basically moving around) and the pink lines indicate waking periods (getting up to pee). (I’ve removed the falling asleep and waking up periods at the beginning and end.)

Here is a typical chart from before I started any fasting:

Here is a typical chart for sleep the night of my all-day fast:

That’s a five-hour period of uninterrupted sleep. That is huge for me. And the charts on the nights that I haven’t fasted all day, but stopped eating at 7 pm, are improving, too.

I usually don’t call myself an insomniac because my deficit is typically small and manageable, but it has been over a decade since I slept reliably night after night. If that’s you too, you might look into fasting as part of your approach. It’s probably not as difficult as you think.

 Posted by at 9:47 am
May 142019

Bill Nye made headlines this week dropping F-bombs about global warming. (This post is a good entry into what I’ve had to say about climate change on BoWilliams.com.)

Here are three things that concern me more:

  • Factory farming. I have written before of the extensive animal welfare concerns embodied in the way we raise most livestock. Those methods are born of extreme efforts to maximize production to meet continually rising demand, and I’m not sure how close we are to running the clock out, but I suspect we’re in the fourth quarter. We need a paradigm shift. One tiptoe into that pond is working to overcome irrational fear of scientific advances in food production, such as cultured meat.
  • Microplastics. The plastic waste we can see might not even be the biggest problem. Most plastics that “degrade” don’t actually go away. The pieces just get really small. And they’re absolutely everywhere. (I’ll also take this opportunity to say that I was wrong in this post about plastics.)
  • Superbugs. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are already killing people, and they’re poised to kill a lot more in our children’s world. The treatments we need aren’t profitable to develop, so there’s little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to do so.
 Posted by at 9:35 am
Apr 232019

Of the several rechargeable battery technologies we have, lithium-ion batteries run a whole bunch of stuff. Your phone almost certainly has one in it. Electric and hybrid cars largely rely on them. This makes sense. Lithium-ion batteries are reasonably durable and perform well, with good capacity, charge times, and so forth. There’s just one thing […]

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Feb 202019

Beginning with the 2019 Indianapolis 500, all of the Dallara DW12 IndyCar bodies will include the Advanced Frontal Protection device, or AFP for short. The AFP is a roughly trapezoidal, three-inch-tall, three-quarters-of-an-inch wide piece of titanium mounted on the centerline of the car, directly in front of the driver. It is meant to deflect debris […]

 Posted by at 10:40 am
Aug 152018

About five years ago, I wrote a little bit about how refreshing it would be to deflate the excessive celebrity of the office of President of the United States. Too much of an understatement to say things are not going as I had hoped? I think we’ve been sliding steadily down this hill since the […]

 Posted by at 4:28 pm
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