Friday, May 2, 2008

G-Forces, NASCAR, Drifting and Sleep

I'm not really into racing (come on... now I drive a minivan (!!)-- though still adore my ACURA Integra... i luuvvvvv stick).

But who are we kidding. Who isn't mesmerized by NASCAR ?!! Congrats Danica Patrick on your first win! GO CHIC-SPEED-RACER!!!!! You're #1.

Is mind control more important than physical control?

In racing when split-second decisions and actions decide life and death, mind control seems to often predict the winners and the losers.

Breaking Benjamin: Diary of Jane

The Wall Street had a recent interview ('Speed Secrets...') on racing prodigy Lewis Hamilton who finished top three in his first nine Formula One races last season and narrowly missed his first championship win.
"The willingness to stay off the brake appears to come from Mr. Hamilton's preparation. Dating to his time in racing's developmental levels, he has worked with Kerry Spackman, a neuroscientist employed by McLaren, Mr. Hamilton's team. Dr. Spackman tries to help drivers improve decision-making by getting them to feel a greater sense of calm. This was fruitful in last season's Japanese Grand Prix, which was soaked by rain on race day. While several other top drivers crashed out -- the rookie won the race with ease. Mr. Hamilton also has compensated for his lack of experience with his extensive use of McLaren's race simulator. The device, similar to those used by pilots for training, can simulate everything from g-forces to weather to bumps in the road. This season, observers say he may benefit from a rules change outlawing traction control, which should put more emphasis on driver skill."

A clear calm mind may relate to less stressors, less detractors, and more physical control. Other than hiring a neuroscientist, how can a calm mind be created? For one, simply getting enough rest and relaxation. On a daily basis, striving for reasonable sleep improves many factors related to the mind... as well as matters of the H-E-A-R-T.

Is sleep deprivation yet another CAD risk factor? Perhaps... but so easily MODIFIABLE. Each person is different, so the quality and quantity of sleep may vary but the overall required amount is whatever it takes to fill up the tank, so to speak.

Is your tank full?

Minimize sleep deficits... and you'll gain maximal amounts of health and immunity (and likely lower Lp(a) if you are sleep deprived).


Go work on your nap! Doctor's prescription...


Effects of chronic sleep deprivation on autonomic activity by examining heart rate variability, plasma catecholamine, and intracellular magnesium levels.

Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with cardiovascular events. In addition, autonomic activity determined from the levels of the heart rate variability (HRV), plasma catecholamine, and intracellular magnesium (Mg) are important in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular events. This study therefore aimed to determine the effects of chronic sleep deprivation on autonomic activity by examining the HRV, plasma catecholamine, and intracellular magnesium levels. Thirty (30) healthy male college students ranging in age from 20 to 24 years of age (average 22 +/- 1 years; mean +/- SD) with no coronary risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia or a family history of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) were included in the study. Over a 4-week period, the volunteers' plasma levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and erythrocyte-Mg were measured. The study was made during the 4 weeks before and immediately after college finals exams. HRV, obtained from 24-hour ambulatory ECG monitoring, included time and frequency domain indices. The HRV indices and erythrocyte-Mg decreased while norepinephrine increased during chronic sleep deprivation. It is concluded that chronic sleep deprivation causes an autonomic imbalance and decreases intracellular Mg, which could be associated with chronic sleep deprivation-induced cardiovascular events.
Takase B, et al. Biomed Pharmacother. 2004 Oct;58 Suppl 1:S35-9. PMID: 15754837

  • Ogawa Y, et al. Total sleep deprivation elevates blood pressure through arterial baroreflex resetting: a study with microneurographic technique. Sleep. 2003 Dec 15;26(8):986-9. PMID: 14746379
  • McEwen BS. Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators: central role of the brain. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8(4):367-81. Review. PMID: 17290796
  • Mittal V, et al. Residents' working hours in a consortium-wide surgical education program. Am Surg. 2004 Feb;70(2):127-31; discussion 131. PMID: 15011914 (SURGEONS need to sleep too??! *heh*)
  • DeKeyser F. Psychoneuroimmunology in critically ill patients. AACN Clin Issues. 2003 Feb;14(1):25-32. Review. PMID: 12574700 (Sleep deprivation makes more ILL patients)
  • Jones K, Harrison Y. Frontal lobe function, sleep loss and fragmented sleep. Sleep Med Rev. 2001 Dec;5(6):463-475. PMID: 12531154
  • Himashree G, et al. Sleep and performance--recent trends. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Jan;46(1):6-24. Review. PMID: 12024958
  • Hansotia P. Sleep, sleep disorders and motor vehicle crashes. Wis Med J. 1997 May;96(5):42-7. PMID: 9167438
  • Davidhizar R, et al. Power nap rejuvenates body, mind. Pa Nurse. 1996 Mar;51(3):6-7. PMID: 8716446 (Why do all civilized countries take siestas and NAPS??!)
  • Nicholson AN. 1986 Stewart memorial lecture. Sleep and wakefulness of the airline pilot. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1987 May;58(5):395-401. PMID: 3593141
  • Kato M, et al. Effects of sleep deprivation on neural circulatory control. Hypertension. 2000 May;35(5):1173-5. PMID: 10818083
  • Irwin M, et al. Effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on catecholamine and interleukin-2 levels in humans: clinical implications. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Jun;84(6):1979-85. PMID: 10372697 (Sleep deprivation lowers immunity/raises inflammation -- and probably RAISES Lp(a) )
  • Kop WJ, et al. Changes in heart rate and heart rate variability before ambulatory ischemic events(1). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Sep;38(3):742-9. PMID: 11527627
  • Tanabe K, et al. Efficacy of oral magnesium administration on decreased exercise tolerance in a state of chronic sleep deprivation. Jpn Circ J. 1998 May;62(5):341-6. PMID: 9626901
  • Irwin MR. Human psychoneuroimmunology: 20 years of discovery. Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Feb;22(2):129-39. PMID: 17911004
  • Melamed S, et al. Burnout and risk of cardiovascular disease: evidence, possible causal paths, and promising research directions. Psychol Bull. 2006 May;132(3):327-53. Review. PMID: 16719565
  • Elenkov IJ, et al. Cytokine dysregulation, inflammation and well-being. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2005;12(5):255-69. Review. PMID: 16166805
  • Fan J, Watanabe T. Inflammatory reactions in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2003;10(2):63-71. Review. PMID: 12740479

Dedicated to Dr. 'D':
The intense, aggressive, fearless Speed-Racer
in the race for conquering heart disease

Linkin Park: Remember the Name"Life's simple...Make choices, and don't look back."
Teriyaki Boyz-Tokyo Drift: The Fast and the Furious
Courtesy of

FYI...BMW Ultimate Drive® campaign has started! Drive safely. :) For each mile driven, BMW donates a buck to breast cancer. Signups for RACECARS available now for June 60-min slots.


Anonymous said...

When I saw that first picture I thought - WOW! that looks just like the 57 Chevy I'm working on right now! It's official, I'm getting old.

Talking about sleep and heart disease, I sleep better ever since I became a Track Your Plaque follower. I always slept well, just seem to sleep more soundly now.

As a quirky observation, there is a lady I know that began supplementing her diet with vitamin D3 a few weeks back. She told me she is now having the most "vivid dreams" she has ever had in her life and wondered if others have experienced the same.

Dr. B G said...


I'm glad to hear you sleep well, esp after TYP!

Unlike you some members may not... (who shall remain nameless). But I may be a G-force to contend with if that doesn't change!! May have to go to their house and throw them into BED... *heh* j/k! I don't do housecalls...

Vitamin D3 seems to have circadian properties (like vitamin A). If I take either at night, often I'll be wide-awake, bushy tailed by 3am. We do have extensive VDRs (Vitamin D receptors) in our brain -- so I can see how your friend's experience may occur.

Has your friend considered taking these vitamins only in the morning (w/food), if she is not doing so already?


Anonymous said...

Interesting - I wouldn't have guessed that others are having trouble sleeping on TYP. For me I figured it out, I think, ever since I began TYP for some reason I feel cooler. And I typically slept better on cooler nights.

And I'd like to sleep in more often, and if given a chance can do that now because of my better quality sleep, but we have a vocal cheap black and white cat that must have figured out how to read clocks. At 5 in the morning he comes into the bed room crying. Grrr......

I'm not sure when my friend takes her vitamin D. I'll mention to her your suggestions. The vivid dreams bothered her, so she will like hearing this.