Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice.
Sleep. We all need it, and very few of us are getting enough of it. Hectic lives, work, children, poor diets, bright screens, and insufficient exercise often result in very poor sleep for those few hours that we are actually in bed. The result is a whole nation of people driving and working while sleep deprived, resulting in car crashes, low productivity, and general negative health outcomes.
Side note: Did you know that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to crave carbs and overeat? Just saying.
None of these things are changing soon; jobs aren’t becoming less hectic and screens certainly aren’t becoming more rare. We all know that we need to improve our diets and exercise more, but very few of us are actually doing it. So what’s to be done for the poor sleep deprived worker?
While most Americans would reach for drugs to fall asleep, I think supplementation is a far better answer. For the past two months I’ve been using Lucid, a supplement from Totem Nutrition, and it has radically altered my sleeping habits.
First off, what’s the difference between a drug and a supplement? Legal definitions non-withstanding, I use the following definition: a supplement is composed of naturally occurring or extracted compounds, while a drug is a new creation that’s completely new to the human body. I’m not one of those people who think that all-natural is the same as safe, since nature manages to produce some pretty poisonous stuff on its own. What I do believe is that well vetted supplements tend to be far more gentle and free from side effects than legal prescription drugs. That’s been my experience at least.
Okay, back to Lucid. So what in the heck is it? Well it’s a sleep aid, a supplement that’s designed to help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. It comes in a liquid form in a dropper bottle, and you’re supposed to hold it under your tongue for about a minute before you go to bed. I really like supplements that come in liquid form, because they’re far easier to adjust the dosing on. For me, half a droppers worth of Lucid does the trick.
You might be tempted to compare it to drugs like Ambien, but how they work is basically completely different. Ambien is a sedative, it literally knocks you out. This might beat laying awake staring at your ceiling, but it has not been shown to improve sleep quality. Also, it increases your risk of doing something silly like hopping into your car naked and crashing it into your neighbor’s house.
Rather than forcing your body to sleep, Lucid is designed to help your body through the entire sleep process. It contains the basic ingredients your body can consume in order to sleep deeply and recover from your day.
First of all, this supplement actually contains a few different supplements I’ve used on and off over the years. Melatonin (you’ve heard of this right?), Velvet Antler Extract, and Colostrum. I’ll go over what these are and why I’ve used them before in a bit. Your body knows how to use these to make you sleep, among other things, but it won’t overuse them. Example: Lucid contains the pre-cursor compounds for testosterone. If you’re running short on this vital hormone, and yes ladies need it too, then your body can use these compounds to make more. But if you’re not running low on testosterone your body won’t overdo it, so no it won’t turn you into Dolph Lundgren or anything, sorry.
Subjectively, I’ve noticed that Lucid has helped me sleep better and wake up better. I spend a lot less time in the morning trying to wake up enough to get dressed and make coffee since I’ve started taking Lucid. I’ve also noticed a marked reduction in tossing and turning, as well as the minor aches and pains that I pick up from the gym. I typically haven’t struggled to fall asleep, so I can’t comment on how Lucid helps me there.
Objectively, I’ve been tracking my sleep via the lovely AutoSleep app for my Apple Watch. I’ve noticed two different things since taking it.
First of all, taking Lucid has comfortably added 30 minutes to an hour of “Deep Sleep” to my nightly statistics, take a look at a control night and a night with lucid. I’ve also noticed fewer incidents of waking up in the middle of the night, and my sleep data shows that I’m more consistently asleep. Well, except for when the cats start crying and biting me for breakfast early. Nothing short of a serious sedative could keep me asleep through that.
More shockingly is what it does combined with alcohol. Alcohol is not good for your sleep, even if it does knock you out quickly. On nights where I drank and forgot my Lucid (hey, nobody is perfect) I averaged a miserable 15-30 minutes of deep sleep. On nights where I drank and remembered my Lucid I got anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours of deep sleep, which is pretty close to a regular night of sleep. Look, I’m not saying that Lucid is a hangover cure, but I am definitely saying that it helped.
Cool, so what’s in it?
- Melatonin - To help you get sleep.
- Velvet Bean - Prevents a sleep hangover.
- Vitamin B6 - Energy & Mood enhancer.
- Colostrum - Growth factors & immune booster
- Velvet Antler Extract (VAE) - Pure magic.
- Water - Duh
- Alcohol - To protect some of the more fragile ingredients.
Velvet Antler is the one I’m most interested in. I have very fragile tendons in my wrists because of a genetic mutation I have, and statistically 1/3rd of you reading this share that mutation with me. These tendons always get sore from working out, and can strain extremely easily. I’ve had to miss close to a year’s worth of gym time because of injuries to this part of my body. The only thing that got me back to training was cryotherapy, I’ll talk about that another time, and Velvet Antler Extract.
So why don’t I just take it alone? Well, I could, but taking VAE as part of my sleep routine is awesome. First of all, it’s one less supplement to take daily, and that’s great. Secondly I have to take Lucid at night, no point in making myself drowsy at lunch, which means that I get a dose of VAE right before my body does its best repair work: at night. And did I mention that I like getting a good’s night sleep? What’s not to love?
Anyways, I highly recommend that you give Lucid a try. A bottle lasts me about a month or so, and for me it’s a good deal to ensure a great night’s sleep.
Totem Nutrition, the makers of Lucid have been generous enough to offer my readers a 10% discount for trying out Lucid. Use the code “ASHTON2018” for 10% off your first order through the end of 2018.