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Intelligent Sleep
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"Is your bed hurting your back?" That's the question from today's segment on TODAY.

I'd like to pose a different question. "Isn't your bed purchase really about buying SLEEP?" The mattress is just part of it, as the experts at Intelligent Sleep know. Yes, they have a Texas exclusive to sell IntelliBED, what I see as the world's best mattress for sleep wellness, their primary focus.

Dr. Bruce Meleski starts with a personal assessment before designing custom, natural & holistic treatment programs to improve your sleep. Good sleep, after all, is critical to peak performance and overall good health. Check him out at

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Dr. Bruce Meleski at Intelligent Sleep offers personalized assessments and coaching in sleep wellness & brain fitness.

Even the Dalai Lama knows to prioritize mindfulness & sleep. He gets 9 hours/night.

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SLEEP – This may be a good choice for people looking for an LED bulb that can help promote sleep at night with low intensity and warmer color, but try them out a few at a time rather than as a wholesale replacement. They'll work better in lamps controlled by the lamp switch. Using them in a ceiling, such as a hallway where several bulbs are controlled by same wall switch, can be a problem, especially if one gets out of sync with the others. 

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COMMENT: This entire proposal seems to be more about health INSURANCE than healthcare reform, because it says nothing about reducing the overall costs of care “delivery” or avoiding the need in the first place by emphasizing Wellness and Prevention. That makes me think the proposal originated with health insurance lobbyists, and I’m concerned that other stakeholders were excluded, including consumers.

The proposal starts with an assertion that the individual insurance market – represented by federal, state and private exchanges – is dysfunctional and needs rescuing. But that’s not necessarily true. Relatively simple adjustments to Obamacare can address the identified issues without blowing up the whole thing. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The biggest problem with Obamacare has been healthy people staying on the sidelines and choosing to pay a modest fine instead of buying insurance; because without them to expanded the insurance pool, insurers have been abandoning the exchanges in favor of higher profits from servicing corporate self-funded group plans. So why not just raise the fine high enough to discourage that choice among healthy people, or apply a penalty to their premium later once they do sign up, like Medicare does? One could even do both.

Obamacare took 5 years of debate and evolved from the Heritage Foundation with success proven in Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. Even though it’s far from perfect, it seems silly to completely replace it by another plan that also is too focused too much on payment through insurance, and with even less focus on containing runaway costs. Giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices would be another way to prop up Obamacare with much less disruption.

Obamacare made great progress in important areas such as moving away from fee-for-service business models that encourage overtreatment and instead promoting value-based care and innovative business models like Accountable Care Organizations, the Patient Centered Medical Home, and electronic records Meaningful Use incentives. As a result, we’ve seen the lowest annual cost increases in decades. Even if the overall costs have not gone down, they haven’t gone up nearly as much as without Obamacare.

There still remains a real “potential” of cutting US healthcare costs in half or more and saving $1.5 trillion/year while also improving outcomes, because we pay twice as much per capita as other nations who offer universal healthcare as a citizen right and public responsibility. The reasons why pay so much include: (1) special interest lobbying to protect industry revenues & profit, (2) misaligned incentives, and (3) an insurance middleman that adds more cost than value. (See 

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We can help you sleep better WITHOUT dangerous sleep aids.

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I’m surprised and disappointed that an article on corporate wellness completely ignores one of the biggest factors — SLEEP.

Besides the significant benefits that good sleep has on all sorts of health conditions, from stroke and heart attacks to cancer and Alzheimer’s, it also improves performance.

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COMMENT: This article is full of myth and misconceptions. I refer interested readers to a book by Dr. Russel J. Reiter, "Melatonin: Breakthrough Discoveries That Can Help You Combat Aging, Boost Your Immune System, Reduce Your Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease, Get a Better Night's Sleep."

Reiter describes Melatonin as the body's most powerful and important antioxidant, and begins the book with a discussion of evolution, the roll of oxygen & iron in cell metabolism, and the need for melatonin in all living organisms as both an antioxidant and to regulate circadian rhythms. He blames Thomas Edison and artificial light, including the bluish light from LEDs and electronics, for the fact that man now sleeps about 2 hours less per night than he did 150 years ago. He says seniors naturally produce less melatonin with age and recommends supplements for them, as well as for shift workers or for jet lag. Because supplements tend to have a half-life of just an hour or so, he prefers timed-release versions.

Reiter also keeps an emergency supply of high-dose Melatonin in liquid form stored in the refrigerator with strict instructions for his wife to use it in case of a stroke to prevent brain damage from oxidative stress, and to administer it BEFORE allowing the EMTs to put him on oxygen. I've seen his lectures and highly recommend his book, especially for seniors.

About my bias - I'm the founding editor of Modern Health Talk and work with Dr. Bruce Meleski at Intelligent Sleep, an Austin, Texas sleep wellness center. I've written many articles on the connections between artificial light and sleep, as well as sleep and health & performance.

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SLEEP – I strongly suggest that any Alzheimer’s research also includes sleep, because new research has found a direct relationship between the increase in Alzheimer’s and the amount of restorative sleep we get. We humans tend to sleep two hours less per night now than we did before electricity and artificial lights were introduced some 150 years ago. That light disrupts our circadian rhythm, and the worst is the blue spectrum from LED lights and electronics. But how exactly does sleep affect Alzheimer’s?

As we sleep, our brains quite literally clear out the waste accumulated from the metabolic process of thought. Think of neurons like fish in an aquarium and amyloid plaques as the accumulation of fish poop, a byproduct of eating food (for neurons that’s glucose). Without a filtration system, that poop can foul the water and eventually kill the fish. But the brain doesn’t take part in the body’s lymphatic filtration system and relies on It’s own. (See

The lighting issue is important because the pineal gland in the brain produces less melatonin with age, leading to shorter sleep. But melatonin is also the body's most powerful antioxidant to fight oxidative stress, so having less also impacts other biological functions.

My Bias -- I'm the founding editor of Modern Health Talk but also work with Dr. Bruce Meleski at Intelligent Sleep, an Austin sleep wellness center. My sleep interests come from its significant impact on health, safety and performance. 

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COMMENT: Intelligent Sleep knows the effects light, especially bluish light, has on our circadian rhythm, the brain's melatonin production, sleep, and ultimately our health. That's why we include lighting options as part of our sleep wellness consulting and carry products like our NoBlue nightlights (for nighttime) and full-spectrum lights (for jet lag and seasonal effective disorder).

As founding editor of Modern Health Talk, I've used Flux on my Mac since it first came out and have been critical of Apple for taking so long to build that capability into iOS for the iPhone & iPad. See

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COMMENT: Those sleep tracking apps & devices mostly just tell you what you already know -- you aren't getting enough of the restorative sleep needed for optimal health and performance. Some offer tips or minimal coaching, but there's much more to it that they don't come close to.

That's why Intelligent Sleep, an Austin sleep wellness. Enter, has so many tools it can apply after doing a personal assessment, developing a treatment plan and, like a coach or personal trainer, measuring progress and adjusting the plan to meet your objectives. 
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