If you’d ask many people, my family included, they would come up with a variety of reasons why I picked up this nasty cold while on my vacation. But the truth is, poor sleep for 17 consecutive days is what did me in. I did this to myself through a variety of mechanisms.
Today in cause # 3: I radiated my Sleep
You radiated your sleep, what do you mean?
Sun management is very important. I’ll be honest, the west has is completely backwards. Waiting to go outside till the warmest part of the day (high sun) to do your activities, or hiding in your artificial lit boxes all week, then getting some real sun for hours on the weekend, and having to resort to slathering sunscreen on so you don’t get burnt. I have nothing against sunscreen, if people used natural products that didn’t increase your chances of cancer. Here’s a quick thought exercise. Would you eat your sunscreen? No, then why the heck are you putting it on your largest organ? I, like billions around the world don’t have to be as diligent around sun management as our fairer skinned friends, but we still need to be aware of good practices. What this means for you is going to come down to your ethnicity, skin tone, genetics, and where in the world you are and at what time of year.
I don’t usually wear any sun protection unless I am going to be outdoors for long periods of time during the peak hours for where I am.
So how did I go astray? After the initial travel days, my first day that I was going to be able to SUP on the ocean, I was so amped up, so excited to get going, that I completely forgot to put any sun protection on. I found a great spot to launch from, and went for a 2-hour paddle. Took a break to read and have lunch and then did another hour. Whoops..3 hours of paddling with the sun on me, plus the reflection off the water. Man, what a dumb mistake. My arms from the shoulders down to my elbows were pretty red. I was basically cooking myself. There was another day, when I went out and the waves were too much for me to handle standing up, so after getting tossed into the ocean, I ended up paddling from my knees. Oops…I don’t usually put sunscreen on my calves, they got pretty red that day.
So what does this all mean. I took in too much radiation from the sun on these days, especially that first day. This radiation caused damage to my DNA and my mitochondria; it was a huge inflammatory event.
Not only did this raise my body temperature and resting heart rate, it was also painful enough that when I rolled over during sleep, it would temporarily walk me up and disturb my sleep. Another factor for poor sleep, and again primarily effecting deep sleep, as tracked through the Oura ring.
So yes, I radiated myself to poor sleep.
Be on the lookout for the final cause, #4 tomorrow.