What’s on My Bedside Table: Peter Attia
This sleep and health expert gives us his tips for how to ensure a restful night
Dr. Peter Attia wants to help you live longer. His medical practice, which has offices in San Diego and New York City, uses nutrition science, sleep physiology, and stress management to minimize the risk of chronic diseases, while also improving longevity.
“Harkening back to the days when a scientist’s experiments frequently consisted of a population of one, the primary guinea pig for my research into how to improve one’s performance, health, and longevity is me,” says Attia, a road biker and swimmer who has crossed California’s 20-mile-long Catalina Channel in both directions.
To find out how Attia maximizes his own downtime we asked him what's on his bedside table. Here's what he said.
Note: Peter Attia has no business affiliation with any of these products and received no incentive from mentioning them in this story.
I like the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon watch because it’s beautifully crafted and has a nice luminous glow emitted by the dials, which allows me to see the time without exposing my eyes to blue light and disrupting sleep patterns by suppressing melatonin production.
While the ChiliPad Cube itself may not be on my bedside table, the unit that attaches to the pad is on the table, and together all this gear allows me to regulate the surface temperature of my mattress. I keep it at about 56 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowering of our body temperatures at night is a cue for our brains that it’s time to go to sleep and increases the proportion of time we’re in delta-wave (translation: deep) sleep.
I’m always reading about something that happened. Mark Twain once wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” Reading about remarkable events, things that we can’t really fathom could happen, until they do, is a constant reminder to think outside my comfort zone and contemplate possibilities that many might dismiss as impossible. The current book I’m reading is Red Notice by Bill Browder.
I’m usually reading something to make me better. The current book is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’m wired in such a way that I can’t help but try to know more each day. I’m always working on how to efficiently and effectively share knowledge and its limitations, and the books in this category help sharpen the saw.
I keep a few sleep aids by my bed to use when needed. I occasionally take phosphatidylserine, I like the Jarrow brand, to lower adrenal output and to supply some of the commonly deficient nutrients associated with sleep.
I like to keep water by my side, in a Hydro Flask bottle, for replenishment and to wash down the occasional supplements before bed.
My phone is nearby, but not visible, to sync with the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM System. This device continuously monitors my blood glucose and provides streaming feedback on my health interventions.
Quality of sleep may be just as important as quantity, and the Ōura Ring claims it can tell you how much deep sleep, REM sleep, and light sleep you’re getting, along with a bunch of other variables and data points, like how much time you’re awake, heart rate variability, body temperature, pulse, and more.