Get ready to revolutionize how you think about air quality and achieve better sleep with our special guest, Michael Rubino, an expert in air quality. So get ready to learn everything you need about air quality and its impact on our health!
Learn about his fascinating work, including how he tests for common pollutants in our homes. Gain insights into the potential health risks associated with water damage, mold, dust, and bacteria. Then, get ready to improve your sleep quality with Michael's expert advice on the best home-use filters.
Take advantage of this exciting podcast - listen now and unlock the power of clean air for a better night's sleep!
MICHAEL RUBINO is an air quality expert and wellness advocate, helping to bridge the gap between our homes and their direct impact on health. He is the founder and CEO of HomeCleanse (formerly known as All American Restoration), a company dedicated to addressing the worldwide health epidemic caused by poor indoor air quality. He works closely with the company's advisory team, which includes global well-being trailblazers Deepak Chopra’s The Chopra Foundation and Gwyneth Paltrow,
to achieve the company's mission to improve the quality of life for 100 million people each year by 2030. Rubino is also the founder of Change the Air Foundation, a nonprofit committed to empowering the world to achieve better health by establishing safer and healthier indoor environments. “I’ve helped over 1,000 families heal from toxic mold
exposure so far, and this is just the beginning.
MEET MICHAEL RUBINO
I’m dedicated to giving you the resources you need to overcome poor air quality and create a safe home environment for you and your family.” Through collaboration with over 100 doctors globally, Rubino strives to not only raise awareness globally but also provide solutions to correctly identify and remove the pollutants causing this worldwide health crisis. Rubino specializes in working with people who are immunocompromised or have acute and sustained reactions to mold exposure and has helped heal over 1,000 families so far —including celebrities and athletes. He is a council-certified Mold Remediation Supervisor by ACAC and IICRC and is a contributing member, sponsor, and speaker for the Indoor Air Quality Association.
In an effort to share his expert knowledge, Rubino has authored the book, The Mold Medic: An
Expert’s Guide on Mold Removal, and is an ongoing contributor to MindBodyGreen. He has been featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s The goop Podcast, LiveStrong, Dr. Will Cole's The Art of Being Well Podcast, Forbes, Martha Stewart, MarketWatch, and USA Today. Rubino has appeared on television as a featured expert, including local NBC, Fox, and ABC affiliates, to name a few. To further create a worldwide community, Rubino also hosts the YouTube series, Mold Talks, where special guests include medical experts as well as mold recovery patients, including media icon Atoosa Rubenstein.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 Why did Michael choose to pursue an air quality expert career?
😴 What an air quality expert does and how they test for mold, dust, and bacteria
😴 What health problems can we face from toxins caused by water damage in our homes?
😴What is dysbiosis, and how can it impact the body?
😴 Power of Awareness
😴 How can we initiate action toward air quality testing
😴 For home use, what does Michael recommend as the best filter?
😴 Michael's morning and night routine
Huge shoutout to our sponsor: Biooptimizers!
They are my nightly source of magnesium supplementation
go to www.magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill for the kind I use every night!
The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
Welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. My name is Molly McGlocklin, and I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts, ranging from doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper.
Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.
Welcome to the Sleep is a Skilled podcast. My guest today is an expert in molds. And why are we talking about mold on a sleep optimization podcast? Well, we are doing that because if you are looking to improve your sleep and you are living in an environment that has molds present. We might have some problems.
So this podcast aims to take a deep dive on what you need to know about mold and sleep. If you have mold in your space, what you can do about it, and what are the steps that you need to be aware of. And more so our guest's name is Michael Rubino, and he is an air quality expert and wellness advocate helping to bridge the gap between our homes and their direct impact on health.
He is the founder and c e o of home cleanse. Formally known as All American Restoration, a company dedicated to addressing the worldwide health epidemic caused by poor indoor air quality. He works closely with the company's advisory team, which includes Global Wellbeing trailblazers, Deepak Chopra's, the Chopra Foundation, and Gwyneth Paltrow to achieve the company's mission to improve the quality of life.
A hundred million people each year by 2030. Rubino is also the founder of Change the Air Foundation, a nonprofit committed to empowering the world to achieve better health by establishing safer and healthier indoor environments. Quote, I've helped over a thousand people heal from toxic mold exposure so far, and this is just the.
Now in the show notes, we are including lots of information on the next steps that you can take if you suspect that you have mold present in your space, or to take action on some of the resources that Michael mentioned in this podcast. So definitely check those out. And beyond that, if you are struggling with your sleep, don't forget that sleep is a skill.
Dot com was created. We created. Just for the very reason that you're likely listening to help support people in transforming their sleep. So if you're not on our newsletter, please jump on that. You can sign right up for firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're looking for additional support to really transform your sleep, hop on over to our.
Site. We've got cohorts. We've got one-on-one options. We're adding many courses. All kinds of things are available for you to make sure that you are never stopped in this world of transforming your sleep. Then there's always things that you can do to take it to the next level. So I get a lot of questions around sleep supplements, and I'm very hesitant to just throw out a whole laundry list of possibilities.
One, I don't think it's the most responsible thing to do. I really do believe in testing to see what types of supplements make sense for you. And two, because I really truly believe that most of the things that you can do to improve your sleep are behavioral, psychological, environmental in nature, and often don't cost a.
However, there is one supplement that I personally take every day and that I do feel quite comfortable with suggesting for most individuals to experiment with because of couple of reasons. It's high safety profile and high rates of deficiencies in our modern society. Some put the numbers as somewhere around 80% of the population being deficient in this one area, and that is magnesium.
So magnesium has been called the calming mineral, and some report that magnesium can increase gaba, which encourages relaxation on a cellular level, which is critical for sleep. Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating our body's stress response system. Those with magnesium deficiency usually have higher anxiety and stress levels, which negatively impacts sleep
Now before you go out and buy a magnesium supplement, it's important to understand that most magnesium products out there are either synthetic or they only have one to two forms of magnesium. When in reality, your body needs all seven forms of this essential sleep mineral. So that's why I recommend a product from my friends over at Bio Optimizers.
They have created something called the Magnesium Breakthrough, and taking this magnesium before bed helps you relax and wake up, refresh and energize. And while we don't recommend that you go two nuts on looking at all the sleep stage classifications on all your wearables. I will share anecdotally that many clients have reported improvements in their deep sleep trend numbers.
Again, I don't want you going nuts on the sleep stage classification numbers on your wearables, but I do wanna let you know about that because I know that many of you do reach out on questions of how to improve your deep sleep. So I also love that bio optimizers offers free shipping on select orders, and they offer a 365 day money back guarantee on all their products.
Plus they have a customer satisfaction rating of 99.3%. Very impressive, and you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, this is the same magnesium that I use every single. And finally you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, that's the magnesium supplement that I use every single night by going to www dot mag m a g.
So mag breakthrough.com/sleep as a skill, and be sure to use the code sleep as a skill for 10% off. And welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. I am so excited to discuss today's topic with our guest, Michael. Michael, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Yes, thanks so much for having me. Yes, absolutely.
I know we already started, you know, before we hit record, Speaking to some of the things that we wanna make sure we share for listeners today, and one of the things we were saying is that I think this is one of our first podcasts to really own this topic of mold and sleep and go. Our aim is to go deep and give as many kind of practical takeaways for people in this realm of if you consider that maybe you have molds in your space and maybe that.
Um, impacting your sleep results or maybe you hadn't considered it and this is your first time considering it, and wherever you might find yourself then what to do about it. So thank you so much for taking the time to be here and share a little bit of like, how in the world did you get into this line of work and how can this connect with sleep?
Yeah, of course. I mean, what's really interesting about how I got into it, it was, it. Right after Hurricane Sandy, I'm in my mid twenties and I was working for my dad, who's a restoration contractor since I'm five years old. I started off working with him on summers, and even when I'm like 12 years old, I'm going to job sites.
I'm sweeping the broom and stuff like that, and yeah, soaking it all in. But I never really like thought about mold or bacteria and water damage and all the things that happened with that until after Hurricane Sandy. And it was really because of this pattern of people complaining of different ailments and symptoms they're experiencing inside their home.
And you know, I'm looking at lab results and I'm not exactly sure what they mean at that exact time, but I'm clearly, I'm looking at numbers that are high, that shouldn't be high if the homes were supposedly fixed and whatnot. And as I started to really understand, Just the toxins that that can happen when water damage, uh, take shape inside of our homes.
It really started to click, and I think part of what really defined my career is the fact that standardized remediation or water mitigation activities, they don't understand the fundamentals of microbiology. How there's living organisms that are creating particles and toxins that circulate across our home and opportunistically enter the body.
And so the protocols really weren't developed for. Purposes. I mean, even to this day, you still have industrial professionals that don't see the health connection between, you know, mold and bacteria inside of our homes and the problems that it can create for the occupants inside. And of course, disrupting sleep is one of the many things that can happen, but, um, it's just, Overall, you know, the abundance of mold and bacteria inside of our homes is just not good for our health.
Absolutely. Okay. That's an incredible kind of backstory and I'm so excited to dive in with you more today cuz it just, it can occur I think for many as this like Wild West. Of where do you go? How do you, like, what steps do we take if we do suspect this, and is it like a lost cause? Do we just sort of just decide, well, it's a, it's an old house, it's moldy, or whatever our kind of narrative might be in certain situation.
You know, sometimes we see many people come our way that are just really tired, really exhausted, and resigned to certain things that they've gotten used to in their environ. So I'm really excited to speak with someone like you that has created just a wealth of what appears to be different pathways for action for people.
But before they even get to you, are there certain symptoms that they might see, or certain things that they might wanna be on the lookout for their environment? How do we think about this topic? Well, insomnia is a big one just because. It's, there's a lot of mental and physical changes that can happen in a water damaged building.
You know, with the mental aspect, you're getting anxiety and depression. That can happen with bacteria, with mold, with the toxins that both can produce. And when you have anxiety and depression, of course that's disrupting your sleep. It's very hard to sleep when your mind is racing nonstop. You also have the physical ailments with the dysbiosis that can happen inside the.
I mean, basically your microbiome of your home disrupts the microbiome of your body. Mm-hmm. And when that happens, you can get things like overgrowth of candida, mold, physically colonizing, disrupting your gut system, which obviously impacts the gut brain connection, which can really cause, and by the way, I'm not a doctor here.
I'm an environmental expert, but I've spoken to many doctors and read many medical journals on this topic. And this is what is believed to happen, uh, when we have these water damage environments in our homes and all of those things tie together, right? Our gut and brain connection, I think is a very important aspect of health.
And when that gets disrupted, there's so many different things get that can take shape. And also depending on the species of mold, there's species of bacteria. They can be an immune suppressant too. And so, mm-hmm. When you're suppressing your immune system, obviously a lot of things can happen there too.
Mycophenolate acid, which is a toxin produced by, uh, species of mold, for example, is what pharmaceuticals companies utilize to create drugs. Suppress your immune system specifically for organ transplant patients. Because what you want to do is you want your immune system suppressed so that when you do this organ transplant, your body doesn't reject a new organ.
Right? Because it doesn't look at it as a foreign entity entering your body. So there's obviously uses of this, but if we know that it's an immune suppressant, then we also need to be careful about that. You know, when we're having an abundance of it in our. Yeah, absolutely. And also I definitely encourage people to check out your website.
We'll include in the show notes and all the links, but it's, you've got some great kind of rundowns for people to really walk through on the entire laundry list of things that they might note at headaches and all of these things that might show up that they might never have linked together that could have molds potentially at play.
And then, These like unexpected areas in their environment that they might be on the lookout for the fireplace and all of these different spots for mold that you might not be considering. So I love all this content on here so further now that if we are starting to say, oh, well some of those symptoms sound like me.
What's our next step from that place to then start to understand are we a candidate to further test to ensure that we're aware of kind of what's at play in our environment? One of the things that I'd love to see people do is test our environment, even if it doesn't check the box of the laundry list of symptoms that people typically talk about.
Mm-hmm. Sure. And the reason I say this is because one of the biggest things with mold besides the dysbiosis, right, we have inflamm. Mm-hmm. And when we talk about inflammation, we're, we're associating that with like brain fog or fatigue and all these other things that we typically get with inflammation.
And inflammation can be caused by so many different things. Right? And we, I think we all know that at this point, right? Almost any ad that I see online on Facebook or Instagram or what have you, it's always like, brain fog fatigue. Take this or take that. And like there's all the, all these a hundred thousand different reasons why you have it.
And I think. You know, the root cause comes back to inflammation. And if we create healthier environments for ourselves, how much will that benefit inflammation? I believe a lot, and the reason I believe that is because for the thousands of people that I've helped create healthier environments, every time I get a call back, I feel amazing.
You know, Gwyneth P is one of my clients. I just did a podcast with. And she's like, Michael, I just turned 50 years old this year. I feel like I'm 28 again. Wow. No bs. Right? And so what a testimonial. What a testimonial. But I think the reality of it is, is that we're so used to normalizing how we feel. Sure.
And especially when we don't feel our best. We say like, oh, I'm just getting older and, you know, I'm not sleeping well. It's, it's just part of getting older and, you know, I have kids or all the different reasons that we tend to, you know, make excuses for ourselves. I think the reality of it is, is that when we look at health and wellness, right, there's, we know that we can biohack, we know there's all these things we can do to help with that.
We know that we can drink more water, drink cleaner water, right? We know we can eat better food. Heck, we know we can exercise, but no one's ever thinking about the quality of the air that they're breathing. And if they do, they think, all right, I'll buy. I'm there purifier and plug it in. And I'm. And unfortunately, I think as a society we haven't been educated much on the effects of environmental toxins like mold, like bacteria.
And even viruses too. And so what I urge people to do is test your environment. You can do that at your home today. Right now, you don't need to call a professional. You can buy tests to test your environment. And the best way to do that is actually to test the dust. And I'm sure you're gonna ask me why.
So I'll let you do that. I've, but yes, you took the words right outta my mouth. Why dust? But because air quality, people think like, oh, I test the air for air quality. No, no, no. You test the dust. And the reason being is, Anything that is circulating through our air, it is eventually going to settle on a surface, just like our dust dusk.
Mm-hmm. And then it becomes part of our dust. It binds with our dust. Right? And so when we test the air, any instrument used to test the air is typically very small, meaning it's meant to pick up very small particles. And once you have particles bound with dust, the dust itself is too large to be picked up, and it's also not sorting dust and finding particles amongst dust to then analyze.
So you end up missing a lot of what you're actually being exposed to when you test your air versus testing your dust when you test your. You're actually getting an an accurate measure of what am I being exposed to? And I'll, I'll give you a nice analogy here. You have this amazing glass behind you, right?
Yes. And I know it, it's a gloomy day, so this is gonna be hard to do, but how many times have you spun around on that chair and you've seen a ray of light pass before you in that beautiful open space there and seeing dust particles kind of floating around in front. Yeah, definitely. They're, when it's a sunny day for sure, and probably the first thought that goes through your mind is like, wow, there's that much stuff in the air that I'm breathing in, right?
Yes. And then you just kind of blank it out and go about your day. Yeah. And you forget about it, but, right. The reality of it is our dust is everywhere and our eyes are so accustomed to seeing through it Sure. That it only catches our attention when light refracts off of the actual particles, where you see how many particles are floating.
So with that being said, our dust is constantly aerosolizing, recirculating across our environment and opportunistically entering our body. You wanna know why that is? I wanna know why that is. Okay. It's because we take 20,000 breaths per day. Crazy, right? Mm-hmm. 20,000 breaths per day. So every time you're bre taking a breath, right now I'm inhaling dust particles sitting in front of this computer screen and it.
You know, either good or bad. Now, what would make it good? Well, if I don't have that many contaminants, like mold, bacteria, toxins from aldehyde, you name it, inside the dust that I'm breathing, it's not a bad thing. Our bodies have mucus membranes. We're gonna kind of filter this stuff out and it's no problem.
But if we have all these things in our dust, it's gonna become a problem, right? Because that. If you look at, I don't know, American Lung Association for example, they'll tell you that article size matters. And the reason being is that anything smaller than 10 microns, which is mold, bacteria, viruses for maldive, et cetera, toxins is the greatest health hazard.
Because it is so small, it bypasses our self-defense mechanisms. And enters our bloodstream immediately goes right through the lungs, starts to break into the blood, and once it's in the bloodstream, guess what happens? It then starts to migrate into the gut. It starts to migrate into the brain, and we, that's where we start to have issues.
Now, if we have a little bit of mold, not a big deal. There's a little bit of mold outside right now when you go out and take a breath. But the problem is, is that a lot of people, they have a lot more than a little. And the best way to really know is to test your dust, like I've just mentioned. But I think that's where people start to get into trouble.
They have water damage events. They think it was repaired properly, it wasn't. They have stuff going on inside their home. It's circulating across the house. And they get into the situation where they start to slowly degrade until they don't feel well. And I think for me, my goal is to help people before they even get to that point.
And we can only do that through the power of awareness. Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's so interesting and especially interesting, this concept of really getting granular about the number of breaths we're taking per certainly while we're awake. And then when we go into the real. Sleep. We have so many people that struggle with air quality while they're breathing and it's affecting their readouts of, you know, if they're sleep tracking, they might see in different environments, if they're traveling to hotels or they've, you know, multiple homes that they live in.
They might see very different type of respiratory rate readings than they, depending on where they are in which environment. So meaning they might have higher breaths per minute that they're taking while they're sleeping in certain areas and potentially indicating, you know, more of a struggle with. The respiratory rates that they're having read out for them, depending on where they are.
And one of the things that is concerning is if they are dealing with things like sleep apnea and they're using C P A Ps and then they're taking in the air, in the environment, kind of shuttling it right down their throats essentially. And if we're not being mindful of the quality of that air, then you know, it's something to consider that maybe we don't always pause and reflect on.
So I really appreciate you calling that out so that we're. Leaving people in this space of like, oh no, our environment's out to get us, or what have you. What are some of the ways that we can start to think about taking action in this area? Yeah, and before I answer that, I wanna piggyback off something you said about sleep.
Good. Specifically, please, you know, not only do you have this r e m cycle, Where you're taking more breaths, maybe deeper breaths, et cetera, but you're also lower to the ground when you sleep right, than you typically are. When you're walking around, you're spending eight hours or more, or maybe a little less, but around that timeframe.
Closer to the ground where you have much more accumulation of dust that's circulating, that's getting into your breathing zone as you sleep. And so having a cleaner environment's gonna be really helpful. We'll get to how do you create a clean environment? Great. Well, it's actually a lot simpler than it sounds, and I think it's more complex and execution, but we're gonna kind of make this as easy as possible.
You know, we first have to identify as what makes an unhealthy environment. Well, two things. One, if you have a lot of living organisms like mold and bacteria, they're alive, right? And what they do is they reproduce, they create spores, which are basically like their version of seeds that aerosolize look for moisture.
And wherever there's moisture, voila, there's another living organism starting to grow and colonize. And so it's kind of how it replicates across our home. Water damage, HVACs that constantly condensate, bathrooms, kitchens. That's why we always see mold problems in our grout or our in our silicone. But the key is, is that you wanna identify where are these living organisms and I wanna remove them, right?
And when you test your dust, you can really get a sense. What's abnormally high, where those living organisms might be growing, right? Then we get to the second stage of this is it's very simple. These living organisms are constantly producing particles. Then they settle and they migrate with our dust. And so it's really important to have a, I don't wanna say dust free home, cuz I think that's crazy talk.
It's impossible, but we wanna have as minimal amount of dust in our home as possible. If you ever notice something about dust, it's really interesting what happens if you stop dusting? Well, the dust builds up. It doesn't just like go away on its own. It doesn't just disappear. It's just gonna continue to build.
If you've ever gone away on vacation and come back and you have like a layer of dust all over your stuff, you know exactly what I mean. And so we have to routinely stay up on top of dusting because when we dust, we're not just removing dead hair and skin cells. We're removing mold and bacteria and toxins and all these other things that accumulate in our environment.
So it's really important that we do that. The other thing that we can do, it's something very simple people can do right now, is, you know, there's one thing that people never really think about and it's their H V A C filters. Mm. All right. Now listen, I know that we're all culprits of this, including myself.
We have these filters that we're supposed to change every couple of months, and some of you listening right now are like, man, I didn't change my filter. It's probably been like six months, maybe even longer. And it's really important that we change those as often as we should. When they get clogged, they're no longer working effectively, meaning particles are passing through.
And so it's really important that we do that. We also wanna look at the rating of that filter is very important. This can go parallel into the discussion of air purifiers, but essentially we want to make sure that the filter we're using can remove as small of a particle as possible, because maybe we talked about particle size matters.
Smaller particles are bigger health hazard, so we want to try to. Remove as small of a particle as possible. They do that by what's called a Merv rating, so the MEV rating, the higher the rating, the smaller the particle it removes. And so if we remember that, we'll be able to get, you know, better ratings for hvac.
And whatnot. Now, you always want to kind of consult with somebody who knows this stuff when you're doing that, because if you get too good of a filter and the system isn't handled appropriately for that filter, you can cause problems at the HVAC like coil freezing and whatnot. The best filter I know is a Merv 16 that.
Has the pressure drop of a Merv eight. So that means that it's like installing a Merv eight filter. You don't have to worry about freezing the coil, but it has the efficiency of a Merv 16. And so there's stuff like that that you can look for to install inside your HVAC as better filtration. But it is something that I've seen as, as a huge problem in homes because most people, they have no idea what filters.
They just buy whatever they see at the, the store, they put it in and they forget it. And I think a lot more attention needs to be paid around that because actually all an air purifier is, is basically a vacuum with a filter on it that sucks all these particles in, traps 'em and blows it that clean air back out.
So good. And speaking of the air purifier, if now people, if you're, if they're having them think newly and saying, oh, shoot one, I haven't changed my filter. I gotta do that. And then maybe while I'm at it, I don't have a air purifier, maybe I have some little thing that I got from Amazon or whatever, and they're actually now inspired to potentially look at investing in a.
More heavy duty air purifier. How do you have any guidance on how to think about selecting air purifier that really will do the work? Totally said. A client called me probably about two weeks ago and was like, look, I can't afford one of these thousand dollars air purifiers. Sure. I need something for like 300 bucks.
What can we do? And we like shared screen. I went on Zoom, then went through Amazon and Oh nice. Found one for like 300. And the key is, again, it's like the same, it's the filter conversation. Okay? You wanna find one that can remove as small of a particle as possible. You know, in this case we found one that can remove as small of as one micron, which mold, for example, is typically between two and four microns.
So one micron would remove mold completely from the air, which was a great thing. And it was, I think 300 bucks. So it was perfectly within her, her price range, and we were able to do it and. There's, I think the biggest cost around air purifiers is all these bells and whistles. These companies put into these things that, I mean, might have some, some, I guess, user functionality that makes it cool, but at the end of the day, you only care about one thing.
You don't care about any technologies or anything else other than how efficient is this filter? How small of a particle is it gonna remove? That's what's actually going to be important for air quality purpose. I so appreciate you calling out too, that we don't have to just cut off possibility based on what our current budget might be.
Cuz it can occur for I think a lot of people that it's going to be so expensive that it's just out of our reach. So I appreciate that you share that there can be these different tiers and you can still have accessibility to some of these that can make a difference just by being aware of some of these things that are important to really clean the air.
So that's great. And I know you have a shop page on. Stored like on your website too, from the looks of it too. So if they wanna look at some of the ones that you believe in, that's available from what I see. So it's great. I think accessibility has been one of the biggest problems in my career that I've been trying to solve.
And you know, if you go on, on our website at our shop, we put together. More affordable packages to create a healthy environment between cleaning products and kits that have extension poles and microfiber mops that can help you wipe down your walls. Like when's the last time anyone wipe down their walls?
It's not something people frequently do. But believe it or not, dust can collect on your walls. And so if you don't dust your walls, you want to at least do so probably once or twice a year at a minimum. The goal is we want to make sure people have access to clean air, and I think that has been some of the biggest challenges that I've had to to face in my career is helping people with any budget create a healthier environment.
And I think one of the real positive things that I learned, You gotta help people take a step forward. And I think that's the key. I mean, we get overwhelmed sometimes. Mm-hmm. Just as human beings, right? Yes. And we're like, what step do I take? You know? And my goal is always, If people give me a budget and say, I have $250, what do I do?
I will figure out what is the best bank for the buck. It might not be perfect, but it's gonna be better than what it's, and I think sure, if we start making things better than what it is and we start moving the ball forward, I think as a civilization we'll be a lot healthier for it. And I think part of the problem has been awareness around air quality.
People just not knowing that air quality is such a big piece of the missing puzzle here. Hmm. And then just accessibility to air quality and. I'm trying to solve those two things, and I won't say that I haven't fully solved yet, but I'm making progress. I'm taking my own steps in the right direction to help people take those steps in the right direction.
Amazing. Well, I'm so happy to hear that. I mean, I grew up with not a lot of money, and certainly in retrospect in moldy environments that, you know, granted generational. Not necessarily being aware, but also I could imagine even if we really knew the magnitude of what we were living in, just not having the resources or assuming that we didn't have the resources to take real concerted action to shift what that type of environment is.
So I so appreciate when people are looking to make this something that we can all kind of democratizing this ability to have clean air. So that's a big deal. One question we get a lot too is about humidity, and I'm curious if you have any thoughts on that. So people will say, what's the ideal level of humidity in their bedroom while they're sleeping, and how can that affect sleep quality?
And then they might bring in like humidifiers and all kinds of things. But I'm curious from a mold perspective, if you have an ideal or if you think that that can solve, like bring about possible other problems with all these humidifiers or dehumidifiers and how you think. There are so many different organizations that offer guidance on humidity.
I will tell you my sweet spot is 40 to 45%. Sure. Yeah. And the reason being is because, you know, something like mold or bacteria, they're gonna thrive in an especially certain species can thrive in an environment with just 60% relative humidity or more. And so I think from that standpoint, I wanna. A little further away from that point so that something happens or it's really humid outside, right?
We get a little bit of a buffer there. Obviously there's a too low humidity is kind of uncomfortable. Your, that's where your skin starts to crack and get dry. That's where your lips get chapped and stuff like that. But it also could cause like structural issues too. I mean, wood obviously needs a moisture content level, and so if you're constantly dehumidifying, you're getting this thing below 30.
You can cause some damage to the, you know, wood artifacts inside your home and structure of your home, et cetera. So I think 40 to 45% is a really good sweet spot. I think the takeaway people should know is you can control it. You either want a dehumidifier if it's too humid or a humidifier, if it's. Too little humidity.
The one careful thing about a humidifier, right? Mm-hmm. Anytime you're adding humidity, yeah, it's a little scary because if you add too much right now, you're, you're in the danger zone where these spores and stuff can become, you know, active colonies of. Living organisms. So what I would say is always look for one that has some sort of humidistat, meaning you can control the humidity that it's set to so that it'll turn on when it gets too low and it'll turn off right when you set it to, I would set it to like 45%, so turns on if it's below 40%, turns off if it's when it gets to 45.
And it'll just kind of hold in that sweet zone. This way you don't have to worry about too much humidity because believe me, I've had clients call me and say, my walls are sweating, left a humidifier on and went away for the weekend. And I came back and my walls are soaking wet and there's a weird odor going on here.
What do I do? And it's like, oh man, ugh. Uh. So it's something to be mindful of for sure. Got it. No, so good. And quick question. We have a lot of people getting. Some sort of using heat therapy in prep for sleep. So with the paradoxical effect of when you are exposed to heat, then kind of cooling the body temperature thereafter.
So we might have them doing like hot baths, hot showers and thing I'm thinking of in particular is a lot of people with saunas, any call-outs there about molds in saunas or any, anything that you've seen for that. You know when you take hot baths, hot showers. Typically your bathroom's gonna have an exhaust fan.
Make sure you turn it on, leave it running for a good 10, 15 minutes after just to help escape all that humidity out. When it comes to saunas, a lot of us, we buy these saunas and we just kind of put 'em in our closets or something, and random places across our home. Yes. Wherever it's gonna fit. Right. The issue is, is that they're supposed to actually have ventilation, meaning they're supposed to take that hot, humid air out of the house.
And so a lot of them, when we put 'em in our closets and things like that, it doesn't do that. I mean, we're just kind of plopping it there and plugging it in. And I think the real issue there is of course, if we're adding all that humidity into our closet and we're getting our clothes all wet and we're getting the walls all wet, you know, we create this problem where our clothes, our closet itself might start growing, mold, might start growing bacteria, things of that nature.
So it's really important that. We get those properly installed. I mean, they're awesome. I love saunas. I have such an amazing health story around saunas, but I think that it's really important to make sure that the sauna itself is well-ventilated. Good call. Yeah. One of the takeaways I'm even getting with this too, and we had, um, Uh, Ryan from Tess, my home, uh, happened to come yes over.
He is great. You know, kind of went through our place and all of these kind of conversations. I feel like it's an opportunity for more up-leveling and mindfulness in these places that we are living every single day and spending all this. Time in into a level that we might not have considered. From the moment you step in, are you taking off your shoes?
Are you, when you talk the amount of, you know, kind of changing that, just even talking can bring into this space or your qualities perspective. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that one, cuz that one still blows my mind. That like the more people you have in your space, you might wanna air out thereafter.
I'm learning. Well, gosh, you know, it's really interesting. Basically, when you walk into a space, you're talking, maybe you laugh, maybe you sneeze, maybe you cry, who knows, right? Yeah. Things happen. Yeah. Your microbiome is entering into the space, and for those that don't know, you have like 100 trillion bacteria in you right now, and.
Basically, yes, your microbiome mixes with everyone else's microbiome, and this happens at restaurants and all these other places that we go to. This is why, like during Covid, it was just a, a very mentally challenging time because it's really hard to create a safe place for people without thinking about all these different variable.
Right. And uh, as you know, a lot of the covid response was, we wear masks, we do all these things. Sure. And I'm not saying it didn't help. Yep. But there was a lot more to, to this, to create a safe and healthy place that was not paid attention to, which I think drove a lot of other scientists and probably experts like myself a little crazy during this time period.
I bet. But with respects to kind of the conversation, it's like, yeah, we're gonna exchange. Microbiome with each other, it's gonna happen. Yeah. And that's nothing to be afraid of. Yeah. It happens whether you realize it or not. Sure. I think it's, it really just comes down to, it's so important that. The air you're breathing most of the time, 90% of the time we spend indoors is a healthy one because you're gonna go out in the world and you're gonna get stuff from other people.
When you walk in the soil, you're bringing in bacteria with you. When you have pets that play around outside, they're bringing bacteria in with them. You have to kind of look at this stuff. When our immune system gets overloaded, this is when we start to feel not so great. And obviously in terms of being healthy, we want to kind of control what we can.
We're still gonna go out there and get sick in the world because other people are gonna go out and get sick in the world and it's just gonna happen. It's part of life, unfortunately. But if we create a healthier environment for ourselves or we spend most of our time, our immune system's gonna be a lot stronger cuz it's not always fighting, it's not always hyperactive.
I don't know if you've ever heard of mast cell activation syndrome. Sure, yeah. There's a whole syndrome about how your white blood cells are essentially hyperactive and always in that fight or flight state where it's just like ready to attack. Yeah. We don't want that. We want our minds and our bodies to be calm.
And be able to fight whatever we're gonna have to fight out in the world. And we do that by creating as safe and healthy of a place as we possibly can in our own homes, in this offices and spaces we work in and spend a lot of time in. Yeah, so well said. One of the things just from one piece on the sleep perspective, this call out of, say if you have, and hopefully people aren't necessarily having it look like this, but some people have their partners and their kids and the dog and the whatever.
This whole party happening in a small, enclosed bedroom. And one of the things we've heard from certain experts speaking to carbon dioxide levels rising with all of that, just generalized breathing in a small. Space. Is that anything that you think is anything for us to be mindful of or is that kind of out outside of the scope on the, as far as the mold topic, I'm not an expert on the exposure of carbon dioxide for sure.
But what I will say is this, I think we build a lot tighter buildings these days for energy efficiency, and I think that's definitely creating a problem because when you have a bunch of people in a. Obviously the amount of carbon that's dioxide that's gonna be in the air is sucking away the, the amount of oxygen that's in the air, right?
And so we're constantly having, in these spaces, we're just breathing in less and less oxygen and more and more carbon, which I think is gonna be obviously a problem along the road here. I think we have to start switching our building mentality from. Just energy efficiency to also healthy, right? And yeah, with energy efficiency, it's like we want as minimal air exchange as possible because with that air exchange, we're getting loss of temperature.
We're a loss of heating and cooling, which is gonna make. Mean more energy to create more heating and cooling. And I get that. I also don't want to see people getting sick, right? And so we just gotta find some, some middle ground, right? Let's use sustainable building materials. Let's have as energy efficiency as possible, but let's be healthy.
And I think healthy needs to be at the top because it doesn't matter if we're energy efficient, if we're not having a quality of. So well said. So I'm sure everyone listening clearly not every day, you hear from a, um, such a clear mold expert that knows such, uh, in-depth information on these topics. So I'm curious to learn from you how you've set up some of your habits and routines, ways that we might be able to kind of learn more about how we might be able to bring these habits into our own lives.
So we do always ask every. Four questions. And the first question that I'm curious about your response is, what is your nightly sleep routine looking like right now? Okay, so my nightly sleep routine, first I have to get the kids to bed, so that's step one, which, you know, so sometimes they're, I'm more tired than they are, and it's a struggle of who's gonna stay awake to get upstairs after we get through that part.
I like calcium magnes. So basically I have a glass of calcium and magnesium. It's like a little mixed drink that I make, and I have that every night before bed. For those that don't know, I mean magnesium is absorbed into the body better when it's paired with calcium. It's one of those things, and not only do I have a magnesium deficiency, but.
I think a lot of people do. Yeah. And, uh, magnesium is really helpful for sleep. It calms your nerves, calms your mind, and helps me get to sleep. And I'll tell you, I mean, I typically put on a show and maybe 15, 20 minutes into the show I am passed out. So it takes me about four days to get through one episode of anything for those that figured out the math there.
I also typically keep a book, and so it depends if I'm awake. To where I wanna read as opposed to watch something for 10 minutes and fall asleep. I'll do that. But, um, just depends on the night. So. Good. Awesome. Okay. So no struggle with sleep onset for you, it sounds like? No, no. I, I have the problem where I sleep hard as a rock and so waking me up, uh, if there's a fire that that's, that's the biggest.
Hazard that we have here. Amazing. Okay. And so what might we see for your morning sleep routine with the argument that kind of how we set up our days can impact our nights? Yeah, so I set my alarm for about a half an hour before I need to get up, and I, I, I do the whole stare at the ceiling for a little while and just give my body some time to kind of, you know, I do a little, some stretching while I'm laying down and just give my body some time to really, to really wake up.
I find that if I set my alarm and then rush outta bed, I'm shocked all day. And so just giving myself a little bit of time to just kind of, Wake up and before I kind of jump out of bed and hit the day, I think has been really helpful. And depending on the day, I would say that, well, I live in Florida. We talked about that beforehand.
And so when it's nice out and it's nice a lot, which is nice. I like to do some walks, you know, in the morning time. Past couple weeks have been crazy, so I haven't been doing it as much. Yeah, full disclosure. That's been always like a fun morning ritual. Taking a walk down to the coffee shop, grabbing a coffee or tea or what have you, and, and coming back has been great and just nothing better than that fresh air on a nice sunny day.
And, uh, if anybody has time to walk, I encourage it. Ugh. I love that. That is, uh, one of our favorite recommendations for people is to get that kind of morning walk, uh, each day so that you can get that resetting of your master clock, especially when you can just link it up with, you know, the, kinda that positive energy of being able to get that walk-in.
If you get little caffeine, spacing it out depending on if your, if your cortisol levels are really high, giving yourself a little bit of time, but getting that bright sunlight can be so. So impactful. I love that. Okay, so then one of our third questions would be, what might we see on your nightstand or proverbial nightstand if you are traveling?
Well, I usually am always asking friends for book recommendations. I'm always reading books. Which book is on my, I think it's the a hundred million offer or something is on my nightstand right now. So Alex. Oh, nice. For Moy. Somebody recommended that. Oh yeah, he's having a moment for sure. He's having a moment.
So, uh, you know, I'm curious to see how good this moment is. Um, heard great things. I'd say. I've always got a book on the nightstand. I always try to finish a, at least a book a month, you know, just depending on everything else. The calcium magnesium's always on my nightstand. I drink that every single night, as I mentioned earlier.
I have a lamp for when I wanna read, of course. Cuz you know, gotta be able to see. And I think that's it, I guess. Oh, a phone charger, you know, of course. Gotta charge a phone. I pretty much, I've got this bed where my nightstand's kind of lower than my bed. It's like one of those weird platform things. Oh sure.
Yeah. I'm not in love with it. I probably won't, won't get one like that again. But I put my phone on airplane mode and just kind of put it on the charger right below me. I think that's been, that's it. I mean, I, I'm sure that other people have given some really crazy responses that have been fantastic, but you know what's so great is one of the things we've seen, um, is that often in minimalism and the simplicity that can actually be often a good sign from what we see.
So often less is more depending on how much, you know, stress load people are putting into this topic of sleep. So sometimes there can be an over fixation and there is like, you know, 20 things on there and you know, can indicate that there might be some other things at play. So I appreciate that simplicity and sometimes just even just less possible distractions and things to go, rapid holes to go down when there's not as much there.
That's true. Yes. So good. Okay, so then the last question would be, what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game, or maybe biggest aha moment in managing your own sleep? Well, actually detoxing to really answer this question, I think is been invaluable. We talked about saunas earlier. I mean, I did, I did the sauna program last year and the craziest thing, I mean, I was sleeping better.
I think that going in people's homes for like the past 10 years, just the amount of crap that has come into my body. Even if you wear a mask Yeah. And all the stuff, sure. It's not a hundred percent right. And so yeah, I started a couple of years ago, I started gaining weight rapidly, like gain like 50 pounds over the course of like a year or year and a half.
Something to that effect. Didn't change my diet. It's not like I was taking vitamins. Stop taking it. There was nothing. No explan. You know, I've started really getting into the biohacking community, listening to people empowered to take advantage of their own internal system here and fix it, right? And so people talking a lot about red light therapy and detoxing all this stuff, and of course being in the air quality space and creating healthy environments for people.
You know, there's a lot about binders and detoxing and all this stuff that people go through to kind of remove these toxins from their body. And I just was. It's gotta be that, right? Mm-hmm. There's can't be anything else because I'm like, I'm starting to feel like one of my clients. I'm like, I got some brain fog.
I'm groggy when I wake up. I'm pretty tired. Wait, I gained like 50 pounds, maybe I'm, maybe I have mold, right? Yep. And so it's really interesting. I, I did this sauna program. It was like, it was intense. It was 21 days. It was like medically supervised. I, it started off like two hours. Then it was like two and a half, then three.
Three and all the way to five hours. So what, five hours a day in a sauna? Yeah, I know. Oh, it's gotta, you gotta do it, you gotta do it. Supervised really important because you know, obviously if you don't know what you're doing, you could pass out. It could be very dangerous. But basically you have to drink a lot of water obviously, cuz you're kind of sweating a lot of out.
If you get too hot and you take cold showers and stuff, cool. Your body. But essentially, yeah. I mean, if you do it right, it's really beneficial. The first seven days I like wasn't sweating at all. I mean, it was like 140 degrees and I have like little beads of sweat and I'm like, this doesn't make any sense.
I'm taking like salt, potassium, trying to get some stuff going here. After the seventh day, all of a sudden it was like, I don't know what happened. Like a blockage was released and all of a sudden I'm like sweating like I should be in 140 degrees. I mean like profusely sweating. And that was the day that I realized like, wow, this is really an interesting, I can't believe that I didn't think about all these toxins that could potentially be built up in my body, especially going into all the homes that I've gone into and stuff like that.
And within 21 days I was like sleeping amazing, waking up. Feeling amazing. Eating the same, and I lost 35 pounds last year just doing this program. It's February. February, I just lost another 10 pounds in January. And I'm making it like my annual routine of like detoxing and kind of doing my thing. And my sleep has been phenomenal.
I mean, I was the type of guy who would go to sleep at like two, three in the morning and then wake up at like seven, eight, and, you know, four or five hours of sleep. Ah, just because I had to get the day going, but I was having trouble sleeping at night. Now you won't catch me up past like 10 o'clock, you know?
And so amazing. It's definitely been a, a sleep transformation, just kind of looking at all the things that come into contact with the body external. And, you know, making sure that I'm taking care of my body internally. I'm not where I want to be. You know, health is a journey. It's never an end destination, but yep, I'm on the road and that's all that matters.
Wow, that's amazing. I so appreciate you sharing that too. And uh, I think it can resonate for so many listeners too. And like just suddenly you start to notice these symptoms that just are occurring. And even if we're in this space, even if we. Learning about all these things. We know these things and these things happen for us, and sometimes it can take that step back and then really getting committed to make that difference.
And so I so appreciate that and congratulations. That's huge. Is there a name of like that protocol or is that just something that a particular doctor's doing that's so cool? Yeah, it's just like a, it's called like the purification protocol or something to that effect. It's, it's essentially you, essentially, it takes as long as it takes.
It could be like 21 days. 40 days. I, I forget the exact, I think it was, mine was like 25 days or something. But you basically, you take a crap ton of vitamins, drink a crap ton of water. You do everything like, uh, what's the right word on a gradient. So you kind of dip your toe in the water and then as you start to handle it better, you kind of do go more and more and more.
Uh, you're taking a lot of B vitamins, you're helping flush stuff outta your fat cells. I mean, you know, toxins are unfortunately stored in the fat layer of. Our bodies typically tend to wanna hold onto fat as a way of insulating ourselves from toxins. And so for me, it was really hard to get rid of fat if my body was trying to protect myself from it.
And so once I started kind of releasing the toxins from the fat cells, I promise you I did not change my diet at all. Been eating nothing but like cauliflower rice and chicken, and you was super healthy and all of a sudden the wages started kind of falling off me. It was one of those things where I never understood in the first place how the heck I gained so much weight so fast like you would think I was eating cheeseburgers three times a day.
But it's really interesting how the body works and I think anyone in the biohacking community that's had experience kind of changing. About what they're exposing themselves to or different therapies they're doing. It's things that you would never think mentally should this work works, right? And so. I think it's, I think it's really cool and I think the sauna and sweating, I'm with the right program and right regimen, binders, whatever.
Whatever you want to you want to do that works for you I think can be really, really helpful to helped me a lot. That is so great. Well, thank you for sharing about that because for the listeners, if they are hearing. This possibility may be newly considering, oof, maybe I need to test my home for levels of mold.
Look at this dust and let's do a whole overhaul. And then to also know that in conjunction there can be some of these steps that they could take from, you know, this heat therapy perspective, red light, et cetera, can just potentially be really empowering for people. So that's great. As people are listening, I'm sure they wanna know.
All right, so I know this, this guy is helping to really help make it more accessible to be able to test for these things and to take the next appropriate steps. So what would be some of the steps that they could take to learn more about what some of those offerings you've made available are? Yeah, I mean, if they go over to like home cleanse.com, there's a shop.
You know, basically what I did was I created all these different kits, One of the main products that I love is called Benefactor. I don't manufacture it, but it's something, it's a professional grade product, meaning like you can't go to Home Depot or Walmart and pick it up, and it's one of the best products out there, and it's, they're just not interested in, in the consumer market.
So we've created kits with that product because it works phenomenally and we wanted people to have access to it that typically don't have access to it. It's gonna sound really dumb, but there's a special mop that I like really well. Really? Okay. It's a microfiber mop. But it's flexible. So like, if you don't have perfectly straight walls or floors, it can mold to the, the floor of the wall.
And you know, like I said, most people listening probably have never cleaned their walls before. I mean, honestly, it's not something that people typically know to do. But if you use this mop, which you know, it's, it's like this big. You can do a wall in like two minutes, right? Because otherwise you're kind of ra wiping a wall down with a rag it's gonna take forever.
And so I put all these thoughtful packages together for someone who's living in maybe a thousand square foot apartment to someone who might have a 5,000 square foot home. And this way everybody in between can get access to different things, perfect for their home, to keep their home clean. Everything that I use is botanical non-toxic, because I think, you know, it's 2023 and we don't need chemical.
Toxic products to get the job done. And as far as the, the testing capabilities, you know, I developed a product called the Dust Test, and it's the dust test.com. And it's a, it's the first at-home PCR-based testing methodology for the dust. And for those that I know, PCR is like the, the scar word from Covid, but this isn't something you put up your nose.
Um, this is something it's. It's a technology that analyzes that swab that you put up your nose, but it's DNA n a based technology that analyzes your dust. So you're collecting dust with like a, you know, like almost like a Swiffer cloth, if you will. And you're gonna be able to tell different species of molds and how the quantity, I mean, quantification is really important.
Some people may have heard of like those little tests you get at like Home Depot or just like turns purple or something. That's not really helpful because it doesn't, it turns purple, but you don't know like, okay, what kind is this a dangerous kind? Okay, wait, is there a lot or a little? It's just gonna turn purple at least with this.
You'll have everything you need to know. Probably more data than you'd, you'd really like care for. Mm-hmm. But I think it's really important because you want to see what's abnormally high, what's a concern, what's not a concern, and the things that are a concern now, you can do something about it pretty quickly.
So Good. That's great. Ah, well, I am just so grateful that you've taken the time to share all of this with us. Did we leave anything out in this conversation around sleep and mold and some of these tests and different products that people can be aware of? I love. The particular type of kind of mop and just all of that thing.
I mean all of this is so great cause it gets people thinking newly on some of these actions that they can really take like today to transform their, their environment. Is there anything we left out? Oh, so I can guarantee you we left things out. There's no doubt about that. And. There's so many, so many things we can talk about here today, but no, I think we have a really good actionable game plan for folks who may have never heard about, you know, the effects air quality can have, who might be really interested in, in what I had to say today and can take that next step forward of figuring out.
What they're gonna do about it to, my goal is to get people empowered, to get people knowledgeable around this so that they can take whatever steps that they can can take on their own. Sure. And start to move the needle forward. And hopefully, my belief, and this is a belief again, I mentioned earlier, I'm not a doctor.
My belief. Based upon a lot of the research that I've done, I think that air quality is a big missing piece of the holistic health puzzle that could help us resolve. One of the craziest statistics that I know of, which is over 50% of the global population deals with at least one chronic condition. My belief is that if we paid more attention to air quality, I think that number would come.
Ugh. I really feel like you're onto something cuz one of the things that we cite so often is that old study out the EPA on one of the things you were speaking to around how, just how much we're spending our time inside, you know, over the 90% mark, either Yeah. Homes or automobiles and, you know, and that one was done so long ago, so it's likely, potentially even higher at this point, uh, after a pandemic and Netflix and Right, right.
And all the things. So we're spending all this time inside. So we're big stand for kind of this concept of rewilding. We're particularly thinking about that from as it relates to being aligned with these rhythms of nature. And I think we can do even more to speak to just how important that can be from a perspective of the air that you're breathing when you are actually getting yourself physically outside and not being kind of trapped inside these like Tupperware containers, which are really our home environment nowadays.
So really, Appreciate the work that you're doing and the education factor, but then also inspiring people to be able to take actions no matter what their budget is. So really encourage people to check out your site cuz they think there's really something for everyone. We'll be including all that in the show notes and just really wanna thank you for coming on today and for the work that you're doing.
Oh, thank you so much and thank you for having me. You've been listening to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast, the number one podcast for people who wanna take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday I send out something that I call Molly's Monday Obsessions containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep.
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