Sleep Takeaways: Be a bit of a Grinch. :)
Client Sleep Case Study: 70s, Male, went from a weekly average low of 7 minutes of deep sleep to a high of 52 minutes this past week by adding in 4 new things:
- Chilipad, Ooler (cooling mattress pad)
- ChiliBlanket (weighted blanket)
- Qualia Night (supplement, no affiliation)
- Added Meat (he was vegetarian, and after some low iron levels, he added meat back into his diet a few weeks ago)
Important Callout: I know that I mention this a lot, but it’s crucial to note not to put too much stake into the sleep stages of hand/wrist sleep trackers. I share them because it’s probably one of the most asked questions, “How do I improve my Deep Sleep scores?” and from an overall trends perspective only.
Sleep Takeaways: Never stop experimenting!
Resource: Article, Psychology Today, The Dangers of “Sleep Machismo” Culture
After reading this article, I’m embarrassed to say that you definitely could call me Mollie Sleep Machismo for the better part of my life before I had insomnia. Until then, I honestly thought that it was mind-over-matter and that I just had to train my mind just to power through. I learned the hard way just how necessary sleep is, and I’m assuming that you agree if you’re on this newsletter.
The term “sleep machismo” refers to those who sleep less and so are deemed stronger and more masculine than those who obtain an adequate amount of rest each night. As if our society is not competitive enough, must we now compete against each other in regard to lack of sleep? The culture of “sleep machismo” normalizes and even glorifies sleep deprivation as a sign of mental strength, ambition, and dedication.
Resource: Article, The Atlantic, The Mysterious Link Between COVID-19 and Sleep
The primary takeaway with this article is that if you do not want to get COVID, you had better get to work on your sleep! Not just in the cliche, annoying ways. But take the time to teach yourself about the skillset of sleep and create a clear structure to get more of it.
One observation stood out: The virus could potentially be blocked by melatonin… in addition to melatonin’s well-known effects on sleep; it plays a part in calibrating the immune system. Essentially, it acts as a moderator to help keep our self-protective responses from going haywire—which happens to be the basic problem that can quickly turn a mild case of COVID-19 into a life-threatening scenario.
Resource: Article, Psychology Today, Eating Healthy and Sleeping Well
This topic is a big one if you want to get your sleep right. The health of your microbiome is critical to your sleep results and is not something that you can eat “healthy” for a few days, get frustrated, and go back to your old ways. A commitment over the long-haul to get the results that we are looking for with our sleep.
Our microbiome is regulated by circadian rhythms. We know from scientific research that when circadian rhythms are disrupted, and sleep is irregular, the health and functioning of the microbiome suffer: we have more unhealthful microorganisms and fewer healthful ones. And recent research suggests that the timing of daily food consumption has effects on both the composition and functioning of the gut microbiome. Establishing regular times for eating, optimizing those times to align with your circadian biology (aka using your chronotype to set your daily eating schedule), and allowing sufficient time for the body to fast overnight (by not eating late at night and close to bedtime) may help you keep your gut stocked with more health-promoting bacteria.
Resource: New Book, Dear Gratitude: An Anthology
I shared with you all that I’ve done a nightly ritual of daily gratitude emails to friends and family for the last #2128 days. This new book written by the host of Gratitude Radio featured the story! Gratitude and sleep make excellent bedfellows (check out this study on the link between gratitude and sleep for more).
SLEEP & WELLNESS EVENT
Resource: Summit, Join The (Free!) Coping With Trauma Summit on Dec 27-30!
I’ll be speaking about how sleep (& HRV!) is a required tool in your mental health management arsenal, not to mention overall wellbeing. It’s free to sign up and brings loads of presenters for those who struggle with long-time trauma or flare-ups with this
crazy year of ours.
SLEEP IS A SKILL PODCAST
Resource: Podcast Episode, The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast, 026: Julian Jagtenberg, Founder of Somnox, Welcome to The Future of Sleep: The World's First “Sleep Robot”
Julian Jagtenberg, Founder of Somnox, has created a robotic sleep to aid us in our nighttime struggles. Somnox was born from Julian’s desire to help his mother manage and overcome insomnia without the need for prescription medication. As an industrial design engineer, Julian is on a mission to develop soft robotics to contribute to health and well-being. In this episode of Sleep is A Skill, we discuss some of the science behind our breathing patterns, practice some new breathing techniques, and then connect the conversation back to the essence of all life. BREATH!
Julian shares his personal story of insomnia within his family
How he got inspired to prototype a sleep robot-like BIG HERO SIX
What his alternatives to sleep pills are for a more holistic approach to sleep
How unique our breathing patterns are and why?
Single, taken, or just stressed this sleep robot can help your insomnia problem
No, it’s not R2D2 from Star Wars, Julian shares what the robot is like
Mediation vs Breathwork: who wins?
Julian gives us some direct breathing exercise examples to relax and to also rejuvenate
How our breath is the very essence of life
Contrary to what you may believe we also need co2 to survive
Discusses the science and cellular processes behind breathing
His favorite suggested resources
As always, please send me your thoughts on this week’s obsession or your current fascinations.
P.S. Fed up with your sleep? Here are five ways to transform your sleep:
1. Subscribe to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast (*NEW: If you leave a review, we will give you a shoutout in our newsletter!)
Get guidance from experts on all things sleep! We’ve got you covered from light, darkness, temperature, sound, meals (type & time), exercise, gadgets, etc.
2. Take our Free Sleep Assessment
Receive personalized feedback on where your sleep is and what it will take to turn it around.
3. Check out the Sleep Is A Skill Sleep Resource Recommendations
Inspired to transform your sleep but aren’t clear what sort of resources will help? Start here.
4. Book a 15 Minute Call To Discuss Our New Year Sleep Case Study
We have something for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your sleep. Book a quick call to discuss what the next best steps are for you.
5. Download This App If You “Can’t Turn Your Mind Off” At Aight...
Then check out our sponsor, BetterHelp, or as I call it, a “Therapist In Your Pocket”! The exact app that I used when I went through my bout of insomnia while traveling overseas and maintaining a consistent therapist IRL was not an option since we were bouncing from country to country. The app paired me with a great therapist at a way more affordable rate than prices I’d paid in the past to meet in person (and you can always swap out therapists, no questions asked). However, I found it far more of an intimate and helpful offering than traditional therapists because I could do it basically from bed (LOL). Another cool feature is that you can send voice notes, texts, and images in-between the weekly video calls to keep the sense of ongoing connection and support alive. You can cancel at any time, and for our sleepy community, they have hooked us up with 10 percent off if you go to https://www.betterhelp.com/sleepisaskill.
Naked and Unafraid to Exercise in Virtual Reality
Naked and Unafraid to Exercise in Virtual Reality
In this episode, we discuss:
- Dr. Killen’s story and how her work transforms the conversation around sleep
- Biohacking your rhythm with increased sexual activity
- Different methods to improve your sleep...like mouth taping
- Current research on different forms of pleasure before sleep and their effectiveness
- The relationship between one’s sex life and depression/anxiety
- Myth or fact: people should ejaculate less as they get older