Wakeup Diet & Exercise Program Restores natural circadian rhythms
Wakeup Diet FAQ, Part 5

Miscellaneous Questions

QUESTION. Can I lose weight on the Wakeup Diet?

ANSWER. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, then yes.

The Wakeup Diet™ isn't primarily a weight-loss diet. We don't count calories or points. Yet the Wakeup Diet stresses healthy eating and two vigorous exercise sessions per day. Caloric intake should never exceed the USDA dietary guidelines. On fat, the Wakeup Diet is stricter than the guidelines. Our diet substitutes non-fat dairy products for low-fat ones.

Differences. You must adjust to the differences between the Wakeup Diet and popular weight-loss diets. In terms of weight loss, the Wakeup Diet is more or less a "maintenance diet." In other words, you don't go on and off this diet. Yet you might lose weight when you eliminate sweeteners, fatty sauces and starchy vegetables. Bingeing to celebrate "reaching the goal weight" would cause an immediate relapse. The long-term detrimental effects of bingeing include deterioration of mood, alertness and productivity. Some popular diets induce you to stay with the program by providing sugary snacks. The Wakeup Diet doesn't permit such snacks. Sufferers of phasal disorders find that their problems provide ample incentives to stay on the diet.

Regular habits are very important, because changes cause phase shifts. The lifestyle that we encourage is also consistent with a healthy heart.

Another view. There's another way to look at the Wakeup Diet. Do you regularly have cappaccinos, soda pop, pizza, or desserts? With the Wakeup Diet, you'll soon be giving them all up. One cappaccino is 510 calories. Skip one per day, and you'll lose a pound per week. The same goes for many desserts and pizzas. Dropping the soda pop reduces your chances of contracting diabetes by 50 percent.

QUESTION. What research supports the Wakeup Diet?

ANSWER. The basis of the Wakeup Diet is established information. Studies at Duke and La Trobe universities prove the impact of diet on narcolepsy. In addition, dieticians know well that starchy foods promote sleepiness. In terms of new science, this fact is no earthshaker.

I welcome researchers' interest in the Wakeup Diet. In exchange for a footnote with attribution, I'll provide researchers with background facts. These facts will help to provide questions for your study. These facts will also help you to establish your expectations. Of course, my schedule poses limits on how much I can participate.

QUESTION. How do I know that the Wakeup Diet would work for me?

ANSWER. The Wakeup Diet will help most people. The diet is balanced, and in no way radical. You'll note parallels between the Wakeup Diet and a "healthy heart" diet. Portion control, as in the Wakeup Diet, is part of any good diet. The Wakeup Diet stresses periodic, strenuous exercise. Medical science has long established that regular exercise is good for you. On the Wakeup Diet, you eat particular food types and exercise at particular times. Scheduling meals, food types and exercise periods is part of many athletes' training regimens. Other ideas behind the Wakeup Diet combine common sense with proven facts. For example...

  • Vigorous exercise at the end of the day produces fatigue.

  • Exhaustion produces satisfying sleep.

  • A cool room maintains wakefulness better than does a warm room.

  • You can think more clearly when your stomach isn't full from a major meal.

  • Sweets cause a high, followed by an insulin spike or low (hunger and drowsiness).

  • Morning and evening exercises can help to regulate biorhythms (hunger, thirst, wakefulness).

QUESTION. You compare many foods, exercises, etc. and the phase shifts that they produce. Why are most diet shifts toward sleep?

ANSWER. Because the body is finite and naturally moves toward fatigue. Speeding up the course toward fatigue is easy. Even thinking, gravity and atmospheric pressure make you tired. Slowing down fatigue is hard.

QUESTION. Contrast the alleged "external" energy source of stimulants vs. the alleged "internal" source of diet and exercise.

ANSWER. In truth, stimulants are internal, too. They aren't a source of energy. They draw energy from your body's emergency reserves. Should an emergency then strike, your reserves might be depleted. Even without an emergency, successive doses must increase. Reserves become more diffuse and ever more difficult to find. The body also reacts by developing a resistance to the irritant of the unnatural medication. Medical literature thoroughly documents this resistance or "tolerance" effect (tachyphylaxis).

Stimulant treatments can have profound side effects, including brain and nerve damage. In some cases, the drug actually destroys dopamine receptors in the brain. Should scientists identify a narcolepsy cure, it might not help medication-damaged individuals. That is, they now have a new problem that a narcolepsy cure can't repair. For example, a replacement for missing hypocretin won't solve the drug-induced need for dopamine replacement.

With the Wakeup Diet, you maintain reserves in yourself. In a natural way, the Wakeup Diet and its exercise program renews and strengthens the body. When lifetime activities deplete your energy, the Wakeup Diet restores you. You build your circadian clock to match the dayparts of your world. Now you can cope with the challenges that life presents.

QUESTION. Please contrast the Wakeup Diet™ with the Weight Watchers® diet.

ANSWER. In many ways, Weight Watchers is similar to the Wakeup Diet.

Similarities to Weight Watchers. The ideas of portion control, a balanced diet, and unadorned foods are parallels. Many of the same or similar foods are part of both diets.

Differences. In the two programs, the main difference is in their goals. The Weight Watchers program is a weight-loss and maintenance program. The Wakeup Diet is a program for restoring the circadian clock. Both diets control foods and encourage healthy eating. Yet only the Wakeup Diet controls the timing of food groups and portion sizes.

Starches. Unfortunately, Weight Watchers doesn't restrict some starches, such as cereals and snacks. The Weight Watchers snacks often don't meet requirements for the Wakeup Diet. In fact, these snacks would tend to encourage sleep attacks, microsleeps or cataplexy attacks.

QUESTION. You stress not fighting sleepiness. Then you insist that I "work with" it. What's the difference?

ANSWER. Fighting is inefficient, like thrashing your arms in a pond. Soon, you'll use up your energy. Then you'll sink! The Wakeup Diet is like swimming smoothly across the pond. You coordinate your movements. The pond is yours to enjoy.

Fighting sleepiness involves staying up by force of will or with the aid of stimulants. Stimulants include coffee, amphetamines, ephedra, cola nut extracts, yohimbe, or many other substances. Stimulants cause peaks and valleys, exactly what the Wakeup Diet seeks to eliminate.

Willpower isn't very effective against the body's need for rest. You really can't fight your own body. Specifically, tiredness erodes the will. Eventually your ego, including your will, your character and your ability to think, dissolves and vanishes. Despite wakefulness, cataplexy attacks cause people with narcolepsy to experience this dissociative state. By definition, much of normal sleep is also an unconscious or ego-free condition. In this condition, serious contributions to your job, your family or your life are at best unlikely.

If you manage to remain aware, your short-term memory will decline. You'll also become accident-prone. There are other symptoms, too: Microsleeps, indigestion, inability to concentrate and dozing off. Soon, you'll notice that you've wasted a lot of time. Besides, collapsing in a chair is an unfulfilling, uncomfortable way to sleep. Getting back to normal might take days.

Reaching sync. In contrast, the Wakeup Diet resynchronizes your circadian clock. There is no fighting. Resynchronizing is a natural process. When your personal dayparts match the dayparts of your society, you reach optimal sync. That is, you eat, work, relax, exercise and sleep when everyone else does. At any daypart, your energy level is the best that your body can deliver. Your body systems are also in phase with one another. For example, your body temperature gradients, food processing and wake / rest cycles coordinate. Even your libido rises and falls during appropriate times of the day.

Efficiency. When you achieve synchronization, you can work at your own maximum efficiency. Of course, everybody's max efficiency differs slightly. If you have narcolepsy, the underlying condition will remain. Yet you'll feel and perform better. At last, you'll be able to depend on consistent behavior that compares to everyone else's.

You are someone. You have choices. Instead of fighting, instead of peaks and valleys, instead of inconsistency, accept reliable, sustained energy. You might not be as energetic as some others. But this is a tortoise and hare proposition: Others zigzag all day, wasting time and energy. They're untrained and uncontrolled. You'll have training. You'll be in control of your life. You'll be more consistent, more stable, more energy efficient. In the end, the tortoise wins! Your friends, family, boss and coworkers will take notice. At last, you'll have something to offer. You'll be someone to reckon with. The Wakeup Diet™ will put the fire back in the furnace. You are someone and you can prove it. Seize the time. Try the Wakeup Diet. Do it now.

QUESTION. Is there a support group that can help me with scheduled diet and exercise routines?

ANSWER. No. We know of no sleep or phasal disorders group that supports alternative therapies to the typical medications. (Strong stimulants and depressants that may be habit-forming and are very expensive. As of this writing, Provigil costs $5 per pill. A month's worth of Xyrem can cost $3,000. Many sleep medications are controlled substances that require frequent visits to the doctor for subscription renewals.)

The support groups that we're familiar with tend to avoid healthy dietary or exercise solutions. Instead, they spend much time lamenting the problems that arise from using sleep disorder medications. By the way, these are significant problems. Add peripheral health issues that we all have, and you have plenty to talk about! On the other hand, shunning holistic and healthy coping methods bears its own costs. These costs are expensive, indeed. Consider just one problem that typically develops from ignoring diet and exercise...

Obesity is responsible for more than 160,000 “excess” deaths a year, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. the average obese person costs society more than $7,000 a year in lost productivity and added medical treatment, say researchers at George Washington University. Lifetime added medical costs alone for a person 70 pounds or more overweight amount to as much as $30,000, depending on race and gender.*

We know of no jet lag support group anywhere. Since jet lag is more prevalent than is narcolepsy, what a shame.

Interested in forming an alternative support group? A scheduled exercise and diet program can safely relieve symptoms. Meanwhile this holistic program will build fitness and enhance the immune system. Exercise can also improve balance. Good balance will help you to avoid injuries during cataplexy attacks. The Wakeup Diet™ offers these advantages and more. Plus, with the Wakeup Diet™, you avoid the prescription-seeking and consuming lifestyle of narcolepsy maintenance. Let's form an alternative group today! Contact the webmaster of this page.

*David H. Freedman, “How to Fix the Obesity Crisis,” Scientific American 304 (February 2011): 42.

QUESTION. I have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) Do you have a dietary way to deal with GERD?

ANSWER. Yes! Here are half a dozen tricks for reducing GERD...

  1. Keep your dinner light. Overeating can cause irregular sleep.

  2. Eat celery after dinner. If you don't like celery now, give it a chance. You will! It's an amazing way to soothe an angry stomach.

  3. Make sure that the celery is fresh. Don't eat anything on it: Unfortunately, that includes peanut butter, cheese, and mayonnaise. Cheese and mayo are taboos on this diet anyway. Peanut butter is okay in the evening, but never after you eat celery.

  4. Pillow. Sleep on an inclined pillow: Stomach acid will tend to slide back down your throat.

  5. Spices. Toning down the spices is also very helpful to reducing GERD.

  6. Supplements. Celery's better than several supplements that I've tried. But here's a list of what I've tried. Maybe one of these will help you: DGL, mallow root, bitter melon, and slippery elm. Also enzymes, such as papain. In my tests, celery also beat the old standbys: Bread, rice, and apple sauce. You can try these other substances as alternates. But you'll likely find celery far better! I believe that celery is closer to a neutral pH than these other substances are. Maybe that's the wonder of celery.

—The Webmaster

WARNING. No medical body has reviewed, authorized, approved or disapproved the statements on this Web domain. This domain exists for information purposes only. The page solely represents my observations, opinions and discoveries. The Food and Drug Administration hasn't evaluated this domain. I don't intend this domain as a treatment, cure or means of prevention for any disease. I make no warranty for the processes that I discuss here. I make no guarantee as to accuracy or reliability of my observations, opinions or methods. I hope to serve and to help. Yet you must use this domain at your own risk. Your errors, failures and regrets are your own business. Your discoveries, successes and happiness are your own achievements. — The Webmaster

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