I got the following question the other day from a student in the Flex Diet Mentorship program:
“Is sleep much like nutrition in that as long as we get the optimal amounts in this case of macros and micros, over time we’re all good, or with sleeping there is a greater need to get optimal REM and DEEP in a more uniform dose nightly? Is the answer the same for both REM and DEEP?” – Andrew
The answer you may expect to hear is:
A: Yes, get time in bed first and then worry about deep vs REM.
Which is a valid answer.
What jumps out to me is the use of the word “optimal.”
Optimal is a never-ending rabbit hole without a solution as there is always something that may be more “optimal.”
Give me 1 million dollars and an army of grad students, and I won’t be able to tell you the optimal amount of sleep or REM vs deep.
It is a question that can’t be answered.
However, I could design a study to compare protocol A vs. protocol B under specific circumstances. At the end of the experiment, one of them will be better.
Better can be tested, optimal can’t.
Working to be constantly better over time gets you closer to the mythical optimal.
Trying to figure out optimal lands you with your head so far up your ass that you are sure it is dark all the time.
Better is better!