With the New Year, of course we are all looking at how to get, maintain, or improve our sleep ( at least I am). And with that idea in mind this week I saw some very interesting research you may find helpful: your genetics may determine how much sleep deprivation effects you, and eating fish can increase your IQ, if you sleep well!

The first was a study from Washington State University researchers shows that certain genes will tell us if we are more of less effected by sleep deprivation. I personally found this fascinating. DO you know that person who seems to never sleep and is always productive, energetic, and on the move? I do, and I can tell you its not usually me! But now it seems like there is some interesting genetic research behind what we all see in some people. The research showed that people with particular variation in their DRD2 gene, were actually “resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation when completing tasks that require cognitive flexibility (the ability to make good decisions based on changing information). “ This gene effect dopamine, and appears to show that sleep deprivation effects specific tasks, not the general human condition, as we once thought.

The second study I discovered was one we can all get a New Years Resolution around, eating healthier ( i.e., more fish). In this study, conducted at Penn State University, looking at children, Eating habits, IQ and sleep, they discovered that “Compared with children who “rarely” or “never” ate fish, those who consumed fish at least once per week scored an average of 4.8 points higher on the IQ test, while children who “sometimes” ate fish scored 3.3 points higher.Furthermore, children who ate fish at least once weekly had fewer sleep disturbances than those with lower fish intake, which the researchers say is an indicator of “better overall sleep quality.” The researchers think that sleep seems to effect how fish oil effects IQ, this is called a mediating effect in science, and it is a VERY important factor to understand.

That said, I thought it would be a good idea to bring out an old recipe from my second book The Sleep Doctor’s Diet: Lose Weight through better sleep, with one of my favorite recipes:

Roasted Salmon with Mustard-Dill Glaze

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 center-cut salmon fillets (4 ounces each)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and season with the salt and pepper. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fillets and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Serves 4
per serving: 298 calories, 21 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 71 mg cholesterol, 444 mg sodium, 4 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars), 0 g fiber, 23 g protein

Sleep well,
Dr. Michael Breus
The Sleep DoctorTM

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