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Content Source: This is How Much Sleep You Need to Avoid Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke Risk 


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Kyle Case: Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in the studio today is my co-pilot, Jeff Harding. Jeff, how are you doing today?

Jeff Harding: Blue skies ahead.

Kyle Case: Blue skies ahead.  That's good.  Ah, I see where you're going with that.

Jeff Harding: You didn't even realize you said that anymore do you? You've said it so many times.

Kyle Case: It's just, yeah. I guess I missed it. So blue skies ahead.

Jeff Harding: Everything's great.

Kyle Case: Awesome. I'm glad. I'm glad to hear that.

Jeff Harding: And how are you?

Kyle Case: I'm good, thanks for asking.

Jeff Harding: No problem.

Kyle Case: So listen, Jeff we have several what you might call re-occurring themes on the show.

Jeff Harding: Are we going to talk about one of those again?

Kyle Case: Yes. I'm wondering if you-

Jeff Harding: Flexibility, sleep or-

Kyle Case: I was going to ask you what other re-occurring themes and you've just hit like 66 percent of them, right?

Jeff Harding: And then the last one is [inaudible 00:01:02].

Kyle Case: So, we're going to talk about one of them. Which one do you want to guess?

Jeff Harding: Probably flexibility.

Kyle Case: I'm never going to talk about flexibility. [crosstalk 00:01:11]. That is one thing I'm not going to get behind.

Jeff Harding: Or in front of or around, yeah.

Kyle Case: No, obviously flexibility is very important. But I want to talk about sleep today. It's actually been a while since we've talked about sleep.

Jeff Harding: It has been. It has been.

Kyle Case: It is a re-occurring theme. We talk about it. It's super important.

Jeff Harding: Well, it's especially important to me because we have three, four grandkids staying with us this weekend.

Kyle Case: Oh, you do. Okay.

Jeff Harding: Their mother's out of town, so.

Kyle Case: You are all about the sleep-

Jeff Harding: Oh, yeah.

Kyle Case: ... this weekend.

Jeff Harding: Sleep is so important.

Kyle Case: Yeah, you're all about it, but ...

Jeff Harding: Especially their sleeping.

Kyle Case: It has been a while since we've talked about [crosstalk 00:01:41] sleep on the show. So I found this study and I just knew that I needed to share it.

Jeff Harding: Well, great.

Kyle Case: So in Newsweek Magazine, it says that in a recent study conducted in South Korea by the way, scientists found that different levels of sleep could have a negative effect on our overall health.

Jeff Harding: Wow.

Kyle Case: So, that's not a surprise, right?

Jeff Harding: No.

Kyle Case: But, what they found to me was really kind of interesting. And the significance of the study was interesting too. So, here's what they did specifically. Sleeping too much or too little has been linked to a variety of conditions which raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Jeff Harding: See, that's what I was getting at when I said, oh wow. It sounds like you're talking about not just too little sleep, but also too much sleep.

Kyle Case: Yeah, and that was the interesting thing to me. They found that there is a sweet spot that we want to shoot for.

Jeff Harding: Yeah.

Kyle Case: So, these scientists, they were trying to find the association between sleep and the condition known as metabolic syndrome. So metabolic syndrome is characterized by excess fat around the waist, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and out of kilter cholesterol or triglyceride levels. So when you're talking about metabolic syndrome, it's all of those conditions, and they're finding that there's a real link between sleep and metabolic syndrome. So this was as I said-

Jeff Harding: Interesting.

Kyle Case: ... this was a significant study. It took place in Korea between 2004 and 2013. So, over a period of almost 10 years.

Jeff Harding: It was probably very expensive then. Very expensive.

Kyle Case: And they took into account several factors that many studies don't include. They took into account things like information on demographics, medical history, medication use, diet and exercise levels, so it's a pretty significant comprehensive type study.

Jeff Harding: They're really trying to level the playing field.

Kyle Case: So, here's what they found.

Jeff Harding: Okay.

Kyle Case: Overall, twenty nine percent of men and twenty four percent or women studied had metabolic syndrome.

Jeff Harding: Wow.

Kyle Case: So they all had those symptoms-

Jeff Harding: Right.

Kyle Case: ... that I just talked about. As I keep saying, this was a significant study, Jeff. They looked at over 133,000 Korean men and women.

Jeff Harding: That took some effort. Yeah, that's amazing.

Kyle Case: So, this isn't just like, let's ask our neighbors-

Jeff Harding: No.

Kyle Case: ... What they're thinking. This was significant, right?

Jeff Harding: Right.

Kyle Case: They were between ages 40 and 69 and they were asked, in the past year on average how many hours slash minutes of sleep including daytime naps-

Jeff Harding: Wow.

Kyle Case: ... did you get per day? And then they just added up that amount of sleep. They didn't differentiate between nighttime sleep and nap sleep. They just decided sleep was sleep, right?

Jeff Harding: Total sleep.

Kyle Case: So, their responses revealed that on average, those who slept fewer than six and more than 10 hours, were at a higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who slept between 6 to 7 hours a day.

Jeff Harding: I can't even comprehend 10 hours of sleep a day.

Kyle Case: I know. Seriously, I don't know how people-

Jeff Harding: I have a dog that can do that, but I can't

Kyle Case: Oh, do you? Okay. So men who slept fewer than six hours, which was about 11 percent of their sample, were more likely to have metabolic syndrome and a larger waist. Women who slept fewer than six hours, which was about 13 percent of their sample, were more likely to have a larger waist. And then men who slept more than 10 hours, so there are people out there who sleep more than 10 hours, but it's a small percentage, only one and a half percent of the sample slept more than 10 hours. But when they got too much sleep, it was linked to metabolic syndrome and higher than normal levels or triglycerides. And then women-

Jeff Harding: That makes sense because you're not doing anything to expel them, burn them off.

Kyle Case: Yeah, I think there's some logic there, right? Women who slept too much, which was one point seven percent of the sample, carried a risk if not only higher triglycerides, but they also had metabolic syndrome, they had a higher waist circumference and their blood sugar was higher as well as they had low levels of the good cholesterol HDLC.

Jeff Harding: Wow.

Kyle Case: So, women were affected a little differently than men were, especially when it comes to getting too much sleep.

Jeff Harding: So this survey, it sounds like it was a written survey ...

Kyle Case: Yeah, so self evaluated. It was a survey that they did. But still pretty significant, 133,000 people.

Jeff Harding: That is amazing.

Kyle Case: The study didn't exactly find the cause and effect tie between sleep and metabolic syndrome, so they're going to need to do more research to identify the biological mechanisms behind the association. But scientists believe it might be due to a shift in hormones that boosts the appetite or other factors for those who get fewer hours of sleep or who are being less active because they're getting too much sleep.

Jeff Harding: Well, I have to admit that before we started doing this show, I was probably on the six hours or less.

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Jeff Harding: And after, I try to get at least six and a half to seven hours a night.

Kyle Case: Yeah well, it seems like that's the sweet spot.

Jeff Harding: I learned.

Kyle Case: There's what they called a Goldilocks Zone. You don't want to get too much and you don't want to get too little, and it looks like it's between six to eight hours, according to this study, is kind of what we want to shoot for.

Jeff Harding: And that's kind of consistent with multiple studies we've heard and read about.

Kyle Case: Yeah. But interesting stuff.

Jeff Harding: It is.

Kyle Case: We've already talked about brain health and now they're finding that metabolic syndrome is a factor when it comes to sleep as well.

Jeff Harding: Well, you know the only other thing we haven't talked about is out eating habits.

Kyle Case: Great segue. Great, great segue.

Jeff Harding: Totally just out of the blue. I don't know how it happened.

Kyle Case: Lets move right into that. Today's guest is Dr. Rodney Hansen. Dr. Hansen is a professor at Weaver State University where among other things, he volunteers as a coach for the mens' and womens' cross country and track teams. He received his undergraduate degree from Idaho State University, where he was a collegiate athlete, and his doctorate from Colorado State University, and Dr. Hansen, we are glad that you are able to join us today.

Rodney Hansen: Glad to be here.

Kyle Case: So, sleep is probably not your ara of expertise, but you've been an athlete and you've been in academia, you've kind of seen studies and so forth. Does that make sense? Does that sound logical what we just talked about?

Rodney Hansen: Oh, certainly. You were talking about the metabolic syndrome and that ties directly into a lot of nutritional and exercise parameters of health. One thing I really want to emphasize about what you just talked about, there is a balancing act. You can get too much and too little of sleep.

Kyle Case: Of almost anything, right? But sleep [crosstalk 00:07:51].

Rodney Hansen: And that applies to pretty much anything, including nutrition, that we'll talk about.

Kyle Case: Yeah, awesome. Well, as Jeff said, we're going to lead right into eating habits and nutrition, And the thing that we're going to focus on, at least initially, all these fad diets that you see out there. I'm really interested to learn from you about this. Because every day it feels like, or every week or so, there's a new diet that pops up. I do some research for the show, so I'm always looking for health and wellness stuff, and I'm always seeing these diets. Usually in an advertisement, because you know there's money to be made there. I've got some curiosities about some of them. So, let's jump into it, what are fad diets?

Rodney Hansen: What are fad diets. Well, let me give you some examples of what I call fad diets, and that includes the Keto diet, the Ketogenic diet, Paleo, Paleolithic nutrition, low carbohydrate high fat diets like, I would include the gluten free diet, Whole 30. A couple of what I call classic fad diets are South Beach Diet and Atkins. Military and Mono are a couple of others I've heard about. Now, why are they attractive? I'm going to answer this as an athlete. As athletes we're looking for any kind of edge we can get. Anything that gives us an advantage.

Kyle Case: That's true.

Rodney Hansen: And it doesn't have to be much. These diets when they are pitched, they look very attractive.

Kyle Case: Because they have attractive people in the pictures, right?

Rodney Hansen: And they have attractive ... And they usually have somebody who has done well on it.

Kyle Case: Yeah and has had some success with it, right?

Jeff Harding: And they have some great pictures, I mean great promises of benefits.

Rodney Hansen: Exactly. Yeah.

Kyle Case: So, you listed several examples that you would consider fad diets, and obviously that's not a comprehensive list.

Rodney Hansen: Oh, no not at all.

Kyle Case: There are other things that are out there. Without getting way deep into things, maybe help us understand what's behind each one. So, Keto's a really hot one that I'm seeing just a ton of stuff about right now.

Rodney Hansen: Yeah.

Kyle Case: What is it? What's the definition of it? Ketogenesis you talked about. What is that?

Rodney Hansen: Well, the Keto diet is a diet that induces the making of what are called ketone bodies. Now, I'm going to back up for just minute and look at the big picture of all these fad diets. There is one common theme that they all have and that is that they are one or some kind of starvation. Now I think we can all agree starvation is not a good thing.

Jeff Harding: No, I prefer not to starve at all.

Kyle Case: You agree with that, Jeff.

Rodney Hansen: To my students I say, how many of you are into starvation? I've yet to see a hand.

Kyle Case: No one raises their hand when you ask that.

Rodney Hansen: No one raises their hand. But they're all one or another kind of starvation. We've all heard of starvation where you're not getting enough calories. Kind of that prison camp kind of starvation. But there are other forms of starvation too. Where you're not getting enough carbohydrate, or maybe not getting enough protein. Or maybe certain minerals or vitamins, these are, these fad diets all have common theme where you're being staved of something that you need.

Kyle Case: Some kind of a nutrient that is important to you.

Rodney Hansen: So, to go back to the Keto diet, what is that? In my definition of the Keto diet it is a carbohydrate starvation.

Kyle Case: So, you're cutting carbs out of your diet.

Rodney Hansen: You're cutting carbs, and you need to have carbs. Undoubtedly, you have to have carbohydrate to perform as an athlete.

Kyle Case: So, there are all kinds of different versions of any number of these diets that you've mentioned.

Rodney Hansen: Exactly, yeah.

Kyle Case: But essentially, Keto seems to be like pile on the meats, fats are great, but eliminate the carbs from your diet.

Rodney Hansen: And restrict the carbs.

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Rodney Hansen: And that is one very common marker, as I would call, of these fad diets. What do you look for with a fad diet? All of them have some kind of restriction. They tell you you can't have something.

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Rodney Hansen: Now, I'm gonna go back and this ties in with your discussion of sleep, a diet especially performance diet, is a balancing act. Not getting too much and not getting too little.

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Rodney Hansen: And you can measure it. It's based on science and looking at how much do you need to be able to perform? So, back to the Keto diet, it is essentially starvation of carbohydrate. Now, why do you make these ketone bodies? It's a way of surviving, not thriving, not performing. It's a way of the body kicking in and saying, I'm gonna have you survive to the next day.

Kyle Case: Okay.

Rodney Hansen: It really is not going to enhance your performance.

Jeff Harding: No, it wouldn't.

Kyle Case: So, one of the things that you mentioned that is so appealing is that it seems like it's working for some people, right? And I guess it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Let's say weight loss, because that's what most of us are trying to accomplish. Not all of us, but most of us. So, what is it about this Keto phenomenon, that helps people lose weight?

Rodney Hansen: Well, you know a great way to lose weight is to starve yourself.

Kyle Case: To starve yourself.

Rodney Hansen: Now, a couple things on starving yourself, with any kind of diet, let's look again at the big picture, with any kind of diet, how many of them are truly successful with weight loss and it's only about five percent.

Jeff Harding: Especially for the long term.

Rodney Hansen: Long term, exactly. That's true.

Kyle Case: That's really the key is the long term.

Rodney Hansen: Yeah, that is the key.

Kyle Case: You might lose 10, 15, 20, even more, but does it stay off?

Rodney Hansen: Yeah, are you going to gain it right back?

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Rodney Hansen: Yep. And the other part of that is, again, if you're trying to perform and lose weight, let's focus on losing weight, my first question to someone who is doing this is what kind of weight do you want to lose?

Kyle Case: That's a valid question. Not one that we normally think about, but still a good question.

Rodney Hansen: Yeah. And usually it's like well, I want to get rid of this fat that I've got around my waist right here.

Kyle Case: Right.

Rodney Hansen: And my quick answer to the Keto diet is, well when you look at how the bio-chemistry of that works, you are starving yourself of carbohydrate and the weight loss that you're ultimately losing is water weight. Because the water weight is coming from having to convert muscle, which is protein, into carbohydrate.

Kyle Case: Ah. And if you're not getting the carbohydrates-

Rodney Hansen: Exactly, yeah.

Kyle Case: ... that's why that is happening.

Rodney Hansen: We're back to that concept of when I said these fad diets, they all have a form of starvation. Looking at this from an athletic point of view and a coaching point of view, we're looking for any kind of edge that we can get and starvation of any of the nutrients that we need are not going to get us there.

Jeff Harding: Nope.

Kyle Case: It's not going give you the edge. You are listening to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life, and we're visiting with Dr. Rodney Hansen about fad diets and some of the new breakthroughs. The exciting, never before seen results that people are getting, quote unquote getting from some of the fad diets. Another thing that seems to happen and you mentioned this off the air, but fad diets tend to romance that good guy bad guy kind of a thing, right?

Rodney Hansen: Oh, exactly. Yeah. They start out with the restriction. Let's go back to the Keto diet. You can't have any carbohydrate.

Kyle Case: Right.

Rodney Hansen: That's the bad guy.

Kyle Case: Yeah.

Rodney Hansen: The good guy is fat and protein.

Kyle Case: Proteins.

Rodney Hansen: And so we Americans, we love to play the game of the good guy, the bad guy.

Jeff Harding: Well, it makes it really easy.

Rodney Hansen: Yeah, it makes it easy.

Kyle Case: We do tend to like that here, don't we?

Rodney Hansen: Yeah.

Kyle Case: So, we've kind of picked on Keto, and no disrespect to anyone who is jumping on that and trying to make that work for them, but there are some serious concerns with that particular one. But you look across the board at any of these quote unquote fad diets and you're going to see a similar standard for these diets. You're starving yourself of something, right?

Rodney Hansen: Exactly.

Kyle Case: So, when you're talking about your goals and let's say that you goal is weight loss since we've kind of gone down that road, what do you recommend? Because carrying around too much weight is also not healthy for you either, right?

Rodney Hansen: No, exactly. Too much fat. Exactly.

Kyle Case: And again, there's a difference between the kinds of weights that you lose, right? So too much fat is not a good thing. So, what do you do?

Rodney Hansen: Well, the quick answer to that is you've got to look at nutrition as being a balancing act. Not getting too much and not getting too little. Now, in addressing your diet and how do you put together a proper kind of diet, you need to talk to a registered dietician. An RD or an RDN. They can look at the diet, they can look at what you are eating and they can measure it.

Kyle Case: Okay.

Rodney Hansen: And that's a key point. You can measure how much you're eating. You can look at what you're eating and measure it out and find that balance of what you need. You're not going to get too much of anything and you're not going to get too little of anything either.

Jeff Harding: Now, I have to be honest, one of the challenges I have when I talk to the professionals is they talk in terms of grams. They talk in terms of weights and measures that mean nothing to me. What is a gram? It's a graham cracker, you just break it in half and you make a s'more out of it, that's what a gram is to me. So, talk in terms that the average human being is going to understand. What would be a normal balanced diet of protein and fat and carbohydrates? In normal terms, what would that look like?

Rodney Hansen: What would that look like? The quick answer on that, it is a mixed meal. There are certain numbers that we can look at that will find that balance. What I tell my students, this is the quick answer to your question-

Jeff Harding: Okay.

Rodney Hansen: ... is you need to first address having adequate calories. That whatever you're doing, you have to have adequate calories. That is of the primary and most important thing. That is followed by adequate protein. Not getting too much, and not getting too little. If you get too much, it will affect your performance.

Kyle Case: There are some problems there too.

Rodney Hansen: There are some problems there, yeah. You're getting too much of a good thing. Now, with that in mind, I'm going to throw out some numbers, as a professor.

Kyle Case: Cool.

Rodney Hansen: The quick answer to how much protein do you need is about one point grams per kilogram to about two grams per kilogram. And this is where you've got to have a dietician working with you to determine what those quantities are and how it applies. And the third part I would tell my students is adequate carbohydrate. A registered dietician, they would look at your diet and they look for about five grams to eight grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight.

Jeff Harding: So, what would eight grams look like?

Rodney Hansen: I tell my students, a gram in general, is like a paper clip. And so about eight paper clips-

Kyle Case: What?

Rodney Hansen: ... of ... If you had that weight on your hand-

Kyle Case: That's not even like two pieces of cake. What kind of diet is this?

Rodney Hansen: It's something that truly should be measured and it's not a quick, this is good for you and this is bad for you answer.

Jeff Harding: Now, we have to point out that he was saying that much per your body weight.

Rodney Hansen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kyle Case: Right.

Jeff Harding: So, if you weigh more, it's going to be, the quantity is going to be greater. So you're not going to just be eating eight paper clips worth of meat.

Rodney Hansen: Exactly. It makes sense.

Kyle Case: You're dang right I'm not going to be eating eight paper clips of meat. [inaudible 00:20:29].

Rodney Hansen: It makes sense. A bigger person, they're going to need more, compared to a smaller one.

Kyle Case: So, that being said, when you go to a professional dietician or a registered dietician, generally speaking you're hoping that they're coming up with something that is catered to you specifically, not just to the general population, right?

Rodney Hansen: Yes, exactly. And, I'm going to go back to looking at the range for protein I threw out earlier, the one point two to about two point o. Depending on the type of athlete you are, you're at the higher range or maybe the lower range of that range. Usually endurance athletes are at the very, very top. Athletes that are in collision sports are near the top. They have a lot of repair they have to do, they're going to need more protein. But they cont need bucket loads of protein. Some of the more, I'm going to call them easier sports, even though that might be [crosstalk 00:21:30].

Kyle Case: Oh, you've just entered controversial waters. [crosstalk 00:21:34].

Rodney Hansen: They would be at the lower end of that range. Yes, you can customize the diet to the athlete's needs. It's all measured and it's all based on science that has many, many, many studies going back many years to determine those numbers.

Kyle Case: So, I appreciate that and like Jeff said, sometimes we get caught up in the grams and the kilograms and either we just need to embrace it here or we need to figure out how to convert it better some way. I appreciate what you're also saying from an athletic standpoint of understanding the ranges and what you need to do to really feel yourself. We have a lot of athletes that listen to the show and you know I love that we can provide that. If you're a non athlete or if you're just kind of an occasional athlete and you want to sit down and eat a healthy meal, what does that look like on your dinner plate?

Rodney Hansen: The quick answer on that is that it should have a lot of mixed, what they call mixed meal. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables. I tell my students, that five a day that we talked about 10 years ago, is good. If you're looking at your dinner plate, lets make a visual here. About half of it should be vegetables. About a quarter of it should be a meat and bean, and or bean. And about a quarter of it should be a grain, a bread-

Kyle Case: Some rice maybe.

Rodney Hansen: Exactly. Rice.

Jeff Harding: So like we're doing a pie chart talking about how to eat your food. I like that, that makes perfect sense to me. I can visualize a pie chart.

Kyle Case: So, half of it is apple, the other half is-

Jeff Harding: Is the crust.

Kyle Case: ... lemon meringue. Awesome. Well, that really helps. The visualization. So half of it is fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it is a grain, a bread or a rice or something and a quarter of it is meat. I think that's something that we can all understand and get behind.

Jeff Harding: A meat or a protein, because he did say beans.

Kyle Case: Or a protein.

Rodney Hansen: Beans, meat any type of protein like that.

Kyle Case: Awesome. Well, Dr. Hansen, thank you for joining us today.

Rodney Hansen: Oh, you're welcome.

Kyle Case: I think you shared some really interesting things and stuff that I think worth applying.

Jeff Harding: Oh yeah, definitely. Great guest. Thank you.

Kyle Case: Yeah, so we appreciate you being here with us and hopefully we can have you back some time.

Rodney Hansen: Oh, I'd love to come back.

Kyle Case: So Jeff, it's time for my weekly invitation.

Jeff Harding: Well it's about time that people started listening to your invitation.

Kyle Case: Well a lot of people are listening.

Jeff Harding: They are, they are. They really are.

Kyle Case: That invitation is to go ahead and get yourself registered for the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Jeff Harding: Its like that brand says, just do it.

Kyle Case: Now is the time. It is. Just do it. As of this morning, we had over 6,600 registered participants.

Jeff Harding: That's pretty cool.

Kyle Case: Which is very high for this time of year.

Jeff Harding: It is.

Kyle Case: I think it's going to be a fantastic event, probably even a record breaking event. So don't delay. You want to visit and register today. The 2018 dates of the Huntsman World Senior Games are October eighth through the twentieth. And remember to tune in live next and every Thursday at five thirty PM mountain time on AM 1450 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. You can also subscribe to our podcast pretty much anywhere podcasts are found including iTunes, Google, Stitcher as well as tune in on Spotify. And Jeff, it is easy to add us to your list of favorite podcasts.

Jeff Harding: It is.

Kyle Case: You just have to do a search for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life podcast, hit that subscribe button and then every time we release a new episode, you will be notified.

Jeff Harding: And who would want to miss one of our episodes?

Kyle Case: I can't think of a single person.

Jeff Harding: No.

Kyle Case: After you've subscribed, give us a rating and write a quick review, it really helps us spread the word. Another great way to listen to the podcast is to simply ask you smart speaker to play it. If you ask Siri, Alexa or your Google Home device to play the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life podcast, it will play the most recent episode.

Jeff Harding: And if it can't find it, it's not a smart speaker.

Kyle Case: That's right. Jeff, our inspirational thought for the day, the hardest battle you will ever fight is between who you are now and who you want to be.

Jeff Harding: Oh boy, is that true.

Kyle Case: Until next Thursday, stay active.

Jeff Harding: Bye.