Quit Taking This Memory-Stealer Today

Sleeping pills are no joke.

A few years back, I had a layover flight in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was early in the morning, so I headed to Starbucks for some coffee. I happened to run into my brother. He had come in on the red-eye from Los Angeles and had the same idea to get coffee. We chatted a bit and he mentioned he had been able to sleep on his flight because he took an Ambien, a prescription sleeping pill.

After our goodbyes, a woman asked me if a briefcase at our table was mine. It was my brother's… He had left it there by mistake. I made it to his gate in time to deliver it.

His response: "I don't even remember bringing a briefcase with me."

Turns out, Ambien caused my brother's memory lapse. That's a common – and dangerous – side effect. Not to mention the studies out there about sleeping pills raising the risk of cancer and premature death.

So when we received a question recently from one of our readers asking for our opinion on sleeping pills, I had to share this story.

Take any sleep aid with caution and only when you're around people you trust. Forgetting a briefcase is the least that can happen... That kind of memory loss, especially in a strange place, can get you into serious trouble.

In fact, I've written before about using other methods to get more sleep, including good sleep hygiene. Don't forget to unplug and keep cellphones away from the bed. I also like to drink a glass of whole milk before bed... It contains a type of vitamin B that promotes rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep.

Q: Your letter stated that subscribers were entitled to a copy of The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual. I have been a subscriber for a long time and do not have a copy. How can I get one? – G.N.

A: In The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual, I show you ways to protect your privacy online, how to prepare for disaster situations, how to ship your assets offshore, and much more.

If you're a Retirement Millionaire subscriber, you can read the e-book online for free here. And if you'd prefer a physical book, you can buy it by clicking right here.

Q: In your most recent article, along with yogurt and apples, you mentioned dark chocolate as a good food to control sugar. Where does one find dark chocolate? I find it in the grocery store, but it is in large Hershey bars which you say are not good. – J.C.

A: The key is to look for chocolate that lists its cocoa content. Lots of cheap chocolate claims to be "dark chocolate" but it's still packed with sugar. You want to look for chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.

If you don't see dark chocolate bars in the candy section of your grocery store, check out the health food aisle. We checked a few grocery stores near our office and found dark chocolate bars (the kind with high cocoa content) alongside gluten-free foods and organic foods.

Q: I was reading the comments on protecting your accounts, and they are all good.

One additional point:

When a brute force attack happens against a password-protected account where the password has not been compromised, length is more important than any other consideration (caps, special characters). The length of time required to brute-force crack a password increases geometrically with each character added. As in >100x. At some length point, it is simply impractical to use brute force. A password that takes 0.2 seconds to crack takes 2,000 (~45 minutes) if it is 2 characters longer. Even someone using a seriously powerful computer (crack in .0001) takes too long if you make it 5 characters long, and it doesn't have to be hard to remember; "Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow" is going to take a LONG time. – C.G.

A: Thanks for passing this along, C.G. The most popular password of 2016, according to Keeper Security (a password-management company), was "123456." That's a password anyone, hacker or not, could easily crack.

One of the best tips to a good password is making it "long and strong." A strong password has a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols (the characters above the numbers on your keyboard) that are nearly random.

And don't use the same password repeatedly.

What are your tips for staying safe online? Let us know at [email protected].

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
Augusta, Georgia
July 14, 2017

P.S. We're introducing a brand-new feature to Retirement Millionaire Daily subscribers – a weekly video update where we answer readers' questions. Click here to see our debut.