Do you ever get the feeling we’re overcomplicating things?
The turn of the 21st century has seen a sharp advance of innovation in our daily lives. So much so, we’ve become conditioned to expect innovation on such a large scale, it ceases to feel novel, but, instead, seems increasingly inevitable.
I can just hear someone in the not-so-distant future saying, “Of course the new iPhone weighs less than a sheet of paper—that’s what Apple does.” Yet anyone who’s ever used a rotary telephone, payphone, or 90s car phone knows just how huge these changes are… and how quickly we’ve gone from one to the next.
Historically speaking, these changes are not normal. We’re advancing at a pace unprecedented in human history, a pace that makes the Industrial Revolution look like child’s play. But what effect do these changes have on our bodies and behaviors?
Just as inevitably, it’s substantial!
These changes don’t happen in a vacuum. We’re making them. They’re also affecting the way we live our daily lives. Time has always been a finite resource, but it feels even scarcer as we add more work, activities, and stress to our daily schedules. It’s almost enough to make us crave a simpler life, to jettison the anxieties we associate with the Information Age in exchange for the seemingly simple Stone Age.
While we’ve advanced quite a bit since the Paleolithic era, there are some innately human practices we shouldn’t abandon. Here are two tricks to get the best of both worlds, living like a caveman with all the benefits of the modern age.
Trick 1: Eat Like a Caveman
What we eat matters. As much as people hate to hear it, what we put into our bodies has a direct connection to how we feel. Pizza tastes amazing, but it comes with consequences. It’s as simple as that. One popular diet aiming to ensure you feel the best you can is the Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet.
In short, the concept behind the Paleo Diet is to only eat foods available during the Paleolithic Age. The diet advises you to consume fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. The diet calls for avoidance of dairy, grains, processed foods and sugars, legumes, starches, and alcohol. Despite jokes about living on raw Mammoth steaks, it can also be modified for vegetarians and vegans as well.
Some of the results of following such a diet may include “more efficient workouts, stable blood sugar, burning off stored fat, reduced allergies, increased energy throughout the day, anti-inflammatory effects, clearer skin, better teeth, and improved sleep patterns.” And these benefits can build upon one another.
Trick 2: Sleep Like A Caveman
While eating like a caveman can lead to better sleep, so can sleeping like one.
The notion that we lived and slept in caves is more fictitious than factual, but there is still much to be learned from their sleep habits. Even the idea of sleeping in a cave is beneficial to getting good sleep.
Why would a cave be the perfect place to sleep?
There are two factors—light and temperature.
Fortunately for you and your cellular signal, you don’t have to go spelunking to catch some ZZZs. These are two things we can easily manipulate in the modern era.
Light, or the lack thereof, is important to getting a good night’s rest, primarily due to one thing—melatonin. Melatonin “lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature, which help us to prepare for a restful sleep.” We’re able to produce better levels of melatonin with less exposure to light, which relaxes our bodies and minds, allowing for better sleep and restoration.
Minimize lights in your room before and during sleep, including nightlights, alarm clocks, cellphones, etc. Any light can interfere with your producing proper levels of melatonin and decrease sleep effectiveness.
I recommend getting a good pair of blackout curtains to most efficiently create your optimal Stone Age cave. Here is a list of 10 great blackout curtains for a start.
Temperature is our sneaky, sleep-quality MVP. Most studies have shown the optimal sleep temperature rests somewhere between 60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees will have adverse effects on the quality of your sleep.
What is the best way to achieve optimal, temperature-controlled sleep? The ChiliPad is an unnoticeable, thin, temperature-controlled mattress pad that fits over your mattress and under your bedsheets. It can maintain a temperature anywhere between 55 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit. ChiliPad is where you can get your hands on this modern solution to our age-old sleeping needs.
In the end, there’s no need for nostalgic, “Golden Age” thinking, especially not when it comes to difficult, Stone Age lifestyles. We can have our modernity and sleep with it too, by embracing the needs of our bodies and the innovations of our minds. What a time to be alive!