The Trend: Sleep gamification
The growing focus on “sleep fitness” and its importance for overall health is a good thing; but we should exercise some caution, says Wendy Troxel, Ph.D., senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and author of Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep.
“There is an increasing tendency to want to ‘gamify’ sleep which can lead to frustration and anxiety if one doesn't achieve that goal.” While digital health technologies (think: smart beds and wearables) can be powerful tools to help you be more accountable and to deliver more personalized reminders or tips, “the best judge of the quality of your sleep is you,” Troxel says. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you can consider your “sleep fitness” on point:
- Do you wake up feeling refreshed?
- Do you have energy throughout the day?
- Are you able to fall asleep deeply and quickly?
- Are you able to stay asleep?
The Trend: Medicinal mushrooms
Foods and nutraceutical supplements for improved cognitive function and emotional well-being will become more of a focus, according to Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health and author of State Change. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, lion's mane, and cordyceps will be at the top of this list, she adds.
Lion’s mane, she says, can help reduce neuroinflammation, “which can result in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and mood disorders like depression, anxiety, brain fog, and poor sleep. And reishi mushrooms have been shown to reduce fatigue and depression as well as slow the spread of cancer cells."
“Often you will see these mushrooms paired in supplements with adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola, and brain-calming nutrients like magnesium glycinate and L-theanine,” Berzin adds.
The Trend: At-home diagnostics
“On the health technology front I think we will see a continued rise of self-testing and at-home diagnostics with more options for tracking everything from blood sugar to inflammation to cortisol,” says Berzin, adding that there will be greater sophistication around how we use this information to enhance our overall health and well-being. “Ultimately medicine is moving into our hands and self-testing is the bleeding edge of this trend, no pun intended.”