101: Anthony Vennare, Co-Founder, Fitt Insider & Fitt Capital: Trends in the World of Sleep, Fitness and Wellness.

We explore the innovative world and biz of sleep.

Anthony Vennare joins us, an expert in fitness and wellness. He'll be sharing his inspiring journey in this industry, plus valuable advice for how embracing accountability through CBTI can truly revolutionize your life!

Additionally, Anthony got some great marketing tips that will give any wearables business an edge - you will want to take advantage of it.

And remember to sign up for Fitt Insider Newsletter, so you never have to worry about missing out on fitness-related news and trends. So hurry now - let's get sleeping better together!


Anthony Vennare is the co-founder of Fitt Insider and Fitt Capital. As a lifelong athlete, strength coach, and former United States Marine, Anthony now works at the intersection of technology, venture capital, and health/fitness. An experienced operator, exited founder, and fund advisor he leads the firm’s investment strategy, working closely with startups at the earliest stages.

In this episode, we discuss:

😴 What led Anthony Vennare to the health, fitness, and sleep industry

😴 I highly recommend subscribing to the Fitt Insider Newsletter (https://insider.fitt.co/newsletter/) as it is one of the few newsletters I consistently
follow and find valuable.

😴 Discover the powerful combination of accountability and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI)

😴 New trends in the world of sleep

😴 Sleep wearable recommendation from Anthony

😴What are some effective marketing strategies that sleep wearable companies can employ to improve customer retention?

😴What is Anthony’s night routine

😴 I highly recommend you subscribe to Fitt Insider Newsletter: :


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!

Website: https://insider.fitt.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fittinsider/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/avennare

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vennare/


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.

Mentioned Resources

Guest contacts


Welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. My name is Mollie 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 As a Skill podcast. This episode is a unique twist on just about any of the other episodes that we've had available so far. The reason is because this one is actually looking at the business of sleep. So if you are interested in this whole world of the many things that might be available to you that you might not have had no idea about certain new gadgets, gizmo, Establishment companies, all the things.


We're gonna really aim to provide you with some of the latest and greatest in the business of sleep, but also provide you with a resource that I really believe that anyone that's in the conversation of health and wellness should absolutely be on this newsletter, which is the Fit Insider Newsletter with two t.


Fit Insider. I really love exploring different types of newsletters. If you're not on our newsletter, also, please make sure you get on there. It's over@sleepasskill.com. But I really enjoy newsletters that are really thoughtful and that you can sense the time that the writer has put into that newsletter.


And I always get that experience when I read Fit Insider, and I'm always left with new information that I would not have had. Without opening up this newsletter. So I definitely recommend checking it out. Again, I have no affiliation with this company. It's just, uh, one of the few newsletters that I routinely read every single week.


So I think you're gonna really enjoy some of the information that we get into. We talk about. Some of the latest and greatest that came out of ces, if you're familiar with that. You know, one of the largest electronic events shows in the world, and basically it's just huge. If you haven't been, highly suggest checking that out if you're interested in some of these topics.


But as it relates to sleep, there's entire sleep wing. I went to CS a couple years back and was just blown away by how much there was. Explore, but particularly just in sleep alone, I mean you, it took multiple days and still didn't see everything. So Anthony, one of the co-founders of Fit Insider, takes the time to kind of break down what are some of the things that you need to know about as it relates to sleep out of things like that and more.


So I'm gonna read a little bit about Anthony. So Anthony Vennare is the co-founder of Fit Insider and Fit Capital as a lifelong. Strength coach and former United States Marine. Anthony now works at the intersection of technology, venture capital, and health and fitness. As an experienced operator, exited founder and fund advisor, he leads the firm's investment strategy working closely with startups at the earliest stages.


I think you're gonna really, really enjoy Anthony's awareness and breadth of knowledge in this area of the business of health and wellness. So let's dive in. 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 dime. 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 a 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 As. 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 product. 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 night, 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 is a skill. And be sure to use the code. Sleep is a skill for 10% off. And welcome to the Sleep Is a Skill Podcast, my guest today, Anthony. Anthony, thank you so much for taking the time to be here.


Really, really appreciate it. No, thanks for having me. Excited to. Yeah, absolutely. So funny, on your calendar you'll have different things coming up and you were on my calendar and I was so excited because I am such a fan of your newsletter, one of your newsletters, which I know you've expanded, so I'm excited to newly for me check out these new ones.


That you also have, but the one how I've known you is through Fit Insider where you're really helping to you and your brother. It was my understanding is really helping to get out this information in health and wellness in a really innovative and. Thorough way, and it's one of the few newsletters that I consistently follow and I really believe anyone in the health and wellness space like should be on this newsletter.


So really, really acknowledge you that, uh, for that. And you have done a great job with zeroing in on the latest and greatest on what people need to know in the world of sleep and the business of sleep. So without further ado, one, just thank you so much for being here. Two, uh, wanna hear how in the world did you get into this space?


Tell us everything. Yeah, it's, uh, would not have expected us to be here. I started out as a, well, one in the military. I was in the Marine Corps, uh, getting out. It was, I was a trainer. I started training people on parks and I got like the most basic like ACE certification you could get cuz I loved fitness and Joe and I, he was a high school history teacher and I just got outta the military.


So we. Started training people in parks and training people in their houses and like lugging around kettlebells. At one point I had like a Ford Explorer and I had so many kettlebells in the back that the axle broke on the car. Oh my God. Cause I was like driving park to park, doing like group workouts with people.


So very much on the ground as a trainer and coach. And kind of leading up to now, it's kind of a crazy transition that is such a crazy transition. I had no idea. And I mean even in before we hit record, I was shocked to realize that it's just the two of you writing these amazing additions that you're getting out every single week and now not just in fit and signer, but these other areas that you've ventured into as well.


Do you have like training in this or did you start, start diving in? How did this all happen? Because you clearly are both very, very skilled in this. Yeah. No, it, it's just through trial and error being kinda entrepreneurs and building businesses, you know? Yes. Even back to when we first started running our own gym, Creating copy writing before anyone was thinking about being a fitness creator online or that was a thing.


And creator economy. We were selling programs and building sites and SEO and blogs and all that. So it's just something over the past 10 years we've learned over time. And then luckily now, so we do have an awesome editor named Ryan. And, uh, our newest platform. We launched in, in partnership with a writer named Melody Song, and he's awesome in terms of the headlines, which is the newest one around mental health.


But yeah, Joe and I, I think, continued to, even now with our new fund and all of the investments that we're doing in the space, we've continued to focus on writing and creating the content. He also does the podcast as well. Mm. Just because it's important for us to know what's going on, the research that goes into the newsletters, and yes, talking to the companies and seeing it, we have to do it.


It can't be anyone else. Because that's how we learn and know what's coming next. And you know, with the writing that you do, it takes 10 pages to get one page, I feel like is like the method we're at where you find all this, you, you get this long Google doc and then you eventually iron it down into something that's reasonable and every week doing that I feel like has, it's just the amount of things that we've seen is why we still want to do it and love doing it.


So yeah, it's not something we're trained in, but we've learned over. I couldn't even tell you. We formally say I think like six or seven businesses over the past 10 years. But I feel like we've tried so many things, especially when we were younger. It was like that hustle, trying everything you could. Yes.


So it, it's, uh, very informal. I never went to college. He had a degree. He was a teacher, so, um, yeah. Not something that we, we studied specifically. So Good. Let's impressive what you've created, and again, I really, really suggest for people to. Right away. Listen, as you're listening to this, to make sure you get yourself on this newsletter, cuz it's just so much information to ensure that you're well-versed in if you're in this area of health and wellness.


And then to your point, if you can share again, the name, it's, uh, headliners, is that right? For the mental health aspect or the mental health newsletter? Headlines. Yeah. It's CK That one's specifically headlines and, yeah. And, and ours is the, it's more, I. There's experts like you in certain categories, whether it be sleep or otherwise, that really dive into the scientific approach.


And ours is focused on the B2B kind of publication side of here's what's happening in the space, here's the data round sleep and the newest companies, and really tracking more of the business side of, we say the business, fitness and wellness is where we're at. So yes, uh, it's fun to be able to highlight awesome things and be the one that surfaces them versus, you know, I know how hard it is to go and down the path of being an expert in each category, which for us, I feel like we get to sit back and just point out the cool stuff.


Yes. That's the best. Okay. Well, speaking of that as, as you all are very well versed in pointing out the coolest stuff, so tell us about the coolest stuff, the things that you're most excited about in the world of sleep. As of right now, 2023. What are we seeing? What do we need to know? Yeah. Um, I mean, that's a big question.


I know that's a big question. Fair. Wherever you want the list. Okay. One that I've seen that I think is a passion for me because I, I have had a ton of sleep problems and something that has worked is like the C B T I stuff. I think that there's a lot of opportunity there. Yeah. But it's just who can do it in a way that isn't so medical and so like, you know, Boring.


I've seen a lot of decks lately in companies pitching that, and I have really high hopes for the mixture of, we look at it as like accountability is a service where, you know, future and noom and other things where it's, it's not medically directed, but it's helpful. Yes. And there's, it's more than anything goes back to the science run.


If you go to the gym with a trainer or you go to the gym with a partner, you're going to be more successful cause somebody's there with accountability. It's mixing that with the C B T I. I just talked to a company the other day, a core sleep that's doing some stuff, and there's a few others out there, but I have really high hopes for that and putting it into a, an app or a system that makes it attainable for most people.


Because the research least that we have done is if you go the actual CV t route and you go and find a place, like for example, we're based in Pittsburgh. If we did it in Pittsburgh, it would be like six months before you could talk to anybody or like, there's really no way to do it. Right. Absolutely. And for instance, you just mentioned core sleep.


What for you stands out there or, or things like that? What are some of the things that you're getting really excited about that they're doing differently? It's really productizing it. Yeah. And making it something that feels like a startup and like a new product versus going through like a clinical process.


Cuz there's tons of these like consumerized healthcare offerings that I just think never work because Yeah, they, they don't have to like Kaiser or Optum, whoever is doing it. They're, they're too big and too slow that they're never gonna make anything that looks cool. And that makes me excited. Other ones I've gone through like, rise sleep.


I've tried their thing in the past. Yeah, the, the app that goes through the tracking and sleep, that stuff. Yes. Just things like that that I think. Nothing in particular that we've ever invested in or worked with, but ones I've seen them, I'm like, okay, if they keep down this path, it seems like it could be something that the average consumer could easily use and improve in some way.


Oh yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I completely agree with that too. It's. This call out of new and innovative ways to help support this thing that had been afterthought for so long. Meeting the world of sleep for so long. It's if you're taking on your health and wellness, it might be nutrition, it might be exercise, but then sleep might be just this like nice to have element and then.


Dead now. I love kind of the, the callout around accountability and the importance of that, like what we're seeing. For instance, you mentioned future and I love some of the stuff that they're doing in both the fitness space, but then also I believe I had read, I think it was from your newsletter, some of these callouts where they're seeing certain like very high percentages right, of, of trainers that are also speaking to what did you eat, how did you sleep?


All these other things that kind of like this coaching of everything is coming together. So are you starting to see that as well where sleep is kind of interwoven now into many areas of health and wellness in the business of health and wellness? Totally. And then like back to the, the certain apps like Paratherapeutics and Don Health just raised some pre precede not too long ago.


And uh, I think Creston was the other one, offering coaching. There were those that were focused on that, and I think they're either gonna have to scale up an offer more or with the futures and others and. It's on the list that they all have to be all encompassing because I don't want to, at least personally, I would hate to have a nutritionist on this app and a trainer on this app, and workouts on this app and this other stuff.


So I think sleep is gonna become much bigger in the focus of the overall health because we know. You can't be truly healthy. If your sleep's bad, your weight loss isn't gonna work, your recovering training isn't gonna work, your mental health isn't gonna be there. So it is a very, and it's one of those things that if you give me a room of 10 people, I know X amount are not sleeping well.


And that's probably where most of their problems are. Goes back to the same thing where if you look at some of these personalized supplements, In reality, if I just took the broom and I said, where do you live? You're on the East coast. Your magnesium's probably low. Your vitamin D is probably low. It's the same thing, like it's a general sweep of if you can improve on sleep or you can improve on these things, your life will be X amount better, almost guaranteed.


And I think it's gonna continually be a bigger part of, we're seeing it now, the the amount of startups that are talking about sleep and the amount of companies that are adding sleep into their Dex as they're adding new service. Oh, absolutely. Okay. And we mentioned this call out of, and then improving sleep.


So on the process of how do we know if we're improving, we often can get into that conversation of wearables or tracking or the gamification of all this. Are there particular types of wearables that bleed into this world of sleep that you're excited about or have any call outs around? My obvious one is eight sleep.


I feel like, I don't know how much you've talked about them in the past, but I know that they. Are the one that is, I feel like most people bring up to me that are like touching on the health and wellness space. Yeah. You know, we haven't done enough on that topic cuz so we've done a lot of work with chili sleep, so we're often speaking about chili.


Oh nice. But I would love to also feature and share more about eight sleep. So what has you in particular excited about? And of course to your point, I mean, it's just so clear some of the innovation. There, the unique kind of ways that they keep upleveling in some of the tech that's coming out of that, the ability to kind of have unique ways of waking up physically with the eight sleep toppers and all the different cool things available.


But are there particular things that you're really loving about their products? Yeah, I think just the way what stands out to me is, is both the product is great with their, our competitors and have similar products. It's sure, it's probably brought up to me the most just cuz their marketing was done well with a lot of different brands and amazing, they had some really good marketing out there.


But, um, no, I mean it's just the level of quantifying sleep and having people understand what that means, whether it's, you know, whoop is doing it to some extent with their sleep score or I've seen a lot of success in that. A ton of wearables. I know we were talking about cs, but like Yes. Halo debut, a sleep, uh, shirt for like what babies even on the wearables.


Yeah. I know that one was funny, but I think it's the Smart Bed integration with Garmin and Ergo Motions, uh, ergo Sport. It's all of these platforms that focus on quantifying it in a way that is passive. So it's not something you have to do every night. Yeah. And check and sleep because, so I wear it, it's funny, everyone asks me what I wear on a wearable.


I just do an Apple watch. Yeah. And um, just cuz I'm like, don't miss meetings and track my steps when I walk a lot. That's fun. But yeah, I am definitely missing out the sleep tracking side and understanding that. And I think, I don't have one personally, I've tried them out, but I think having an eight sleeper, maybe upgrading tool aura for certain things would help me understand sleep way more than I do.


Yes, let's get you an aura. Like immediately. Yeah, let's get had pod. I bet they would be mad at that. I don't have one, but um Right. Let's, let's, it's one. I think we gotta make that happen. Especially, I've been loving some of your content too, around some innovative ways that we're seeing H R V come into play.


Like, you know, being able to have people on a Zoom call and then we can understand their heart rate and their H I v just by like looking at them and just crazy. Pieces of tech that are becoming more and more available. I mean, one of the things we do with people with wearable data is a lot of work with H R V, and it seems as if you're been covering some of the different ways that heart rate variability among other metrics are coming more and more commonplace and threaded into unexpected areas.


Is that all accurate? Definitely. And that's, it's really. For us, it's how can wearables be as inclusive, just like back to the fitness offering. I think, yeah, COVID really shined a light on these service based or these product based businesses where they do one thing really well, but their valuation was.


Way too high for the offering they had. Cause it was one singular thing. Yeah. And the market for that one singular product is not worth $500 million. It's not worth whatever the valuation was given because investors were losing their minds for the past two years. Yes. So now it's coming to a point where, and consumers are expecting them to provide more and they have to either in, we've PR wrote about it in the past, but like acquisitions at a big scale is gonna start happening.


Or these companies are gonna have to continue to develop more products to provide that full offering to where wearable. For example, I have to know H R V, I have to know my sleep score. I have to know recovery. I have to know, you know, how does this track with my integrating with my health offerings? Does it track into my Peloton now so I can get my workouts better synced versus, you know, not being informed.


They all kind of have to crosstalk and cross promote and, and be integrated. Otherwise, you see consumers searching for something else they can do. Oh, absolutely. A hundred percent. Is that something that you're covering too? Like some of the companies that are looking to thread all of these things together, like the Heads Up Health or some of these like Habit stack offerings where they're threading in the continuous glucose monitor and how that overlays with the OR ring and the Apple Watch and the all those things, or is that kind of a different convers.


No, definitely I think, can't remember what issue was, they all kind of blend together. But yeah, we talked about prescription wearables, which was one Sure. Which is, you know, how are they all getting f D a approval and adding the E ECG sensors and can detect AFib and other stuff. All the way to this like smart clothing side of integrating these things into this.


Whoop is launching Whoop body and uh, yes, veil just launched and they're trying to provide the smart sportswear and cipher skin. Their arm sensors and now I think, what is it? Nick's biosensors on Hydration and Naked List goes on. But yeah, it's all of them and they're all building and it's, I mean, it's what happens with tech where they build these advanced products, but they're singular products that.


Obviously aren't gonna be the end all. They have to either build on top of that or integrate in some way to kind of connect things. Mm, absolutely. Are you seeing too, like with all of this, cuz I get a lot of feedback from kind of like the biohacker wing of things on concerns with. E EMFs in all of these things, like, so we talked about babies wearing sleep trackers and that sort of thing, and then we get a lot of pushback from people saying, yeah, but then how much E M F is being exposed.


And then suddenly, recently, Andrew Huberman even acknowledged his concerns or an e mf, like throughout his AirPods. And so suddenly you start to have more validation around some of these concerns. Are you seeing. Certain, an upswing in pieces of tech to handle or mitigate some of those or bringing that into the conversation of while gathering data, but then also having kind of low E M F offerings or airplane mode or all those sort of things.


I've heard the concern brought up a ton, but I haven't seen companies, especially the younger ones. Yes. Uh, address it just because they're all kind of scrambling to build on top. Kind of generic platforms to get to that. They're still so early in funding. I don't think they can think about it, but I assume Apple and I assume Garmin and Polar and other ones are really internally thinking about those problems.


Cuz yeah, it's something as you think about, you know, if you're wearing your, you know, headphones, you're wearing the watch, whoop, you're wearing Aura and you have the hydration sensors, maybe you have one of the metabolic, uh, glucose sensors on Yeah. Your phone, everything else you're just stacked with.


Totally. And most of us are at some point. And then as it relates to sleep, we get so many questions around it because then it's like, okay, fine. Maybe we're inundated with these things throughout the course of the day, but then while we're sleeping, presumably not necessarily using these things, can we minimize them?


But then a lot of the things that might be coming into the bedroom to help support our sleep are they inundating us with more e. It becomes like this question. So it's something I have to deal with a lot because then it's, ooh, the shiny object of this cool new thing, but then it's like, oh, shoot, is this actually problematic to, you know what I mean?


And then the placement of this and uh, becomes a whole thing. So one with, aside from that, we, we'll table the e mf concern as far as you, you mentioned and alluded. Cs and some of these cool things that are being announced or released. Are there certain other things that you're hearing in the world of sleep?


Like I think you had mentioned something about it's called no watch, which I am just getting more connected with them, so I'm kind of curious about their stuff and yes, to the halo, oh my God, we don't deal here with kids and sleep really, but we do like to always know the latest and greatest, so. Good to be aware of.


Are there any of these things that are coming up that you're particularly interested in or the withings, kind of the bathroom installations that they got going on, and all of that is what's, what's peaking your interest? Interest from a perspective of I have to keep an eye on it. Like there's the. You know, huggable, breathing, monitor sleep pillow, and yes, the Sox sleep robot.


And yeah, all the things you mentioned with the no watch and yeah, it's, uh, the mirror fit are launched. The like smart box for motion capture stuff and yeah, all of that happening. But that's not personally anything I'm interested in. Yes, I'm as low. Joe and I both are as low. Joe has no, no wearables or watches at all.


I do the Apple watch and that's it. Even from a fitness perspective, our training is kettlebells and, and buddy weight and, and outside. Yes. Get outside and simple. Yes. And be outside and try to be as normal and natural as possible. So as much as we talk about. It's not something we, we do much of personally.


Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Cuz actually that's really for the people that we work with. We do different cohorts and we, we have them having wear herbal trackers, so they're wearing the OR ring and maybe continuous glucose monitors and H R V trackers. By day to kind of manage nervous system. But the whole piece of it is getting outside, like, uh, really rewilding, aligning with the rhythms of nature, moving your body, all of these things.


So love that you're kind of bringing it back to what matters and kind of what we did for thousands of years that seem to really work for hundred gatherers. So how can we bring that back into modern society? Love that. I've seen ones that I. I'm gonna be testing like the bright, smart wake up lamp. Have you seen that one?


Yes. Uh, b r y t e. I'm interested in that because I'm in the East coast. It's dark by like four o'clock here now and the way the sun comes up and, and how things are, I, I think that would help me cuz I hate alarms more than anything, so I'm hoping that would be a good one to really wake me up and then try to get outside as soon as I get woken up from that and get actual sun in my face, I think is a really smart plan.


Yeah, a hundred percent. So one, please let us know how that goes. Two, one thing that we have a lot of people using is the Spurty lamp, and it's the only light box that is cleared to produce vitamin D through a lamp, which is kind of crazy. Wow. So, and it's, it is a decent investment. It's like, depending on the time of when you're buying it, it's anywhere from like 550 bucks to like 800 bucks for a lamp.


Can be a supplement or like a bandaid if you are in a northern latitude location to kind of supplement some of that missing of vitamin D and just, and unfortunately just like a real inability to get sufficient amounts for the average person during winter season, so really from October until like March for most people.


So love that you're exploring some of that, and I think that that's gonna be much more of a area, the circadian health wing side of things I think is. Whole place that has not been properly explored for the average person. Right? Totally. And that's where I think it's the mix of just like in a supplement world, the mix of for at least supplements for sleep, I see so much crap nowadays.


Yes. There's a level of like what actually works and then what is out there. And I think it's same thing for tech and with other stuff. I hope that a lot of it works, but I'm so skeptical a lot of the time. Yes. So it kind of makes it hard to, to wanna push anything, or at least from our side, invest in anything cuz I'm like, I I doubt this will work.


No, I so appreciate you're saying that because, and for me, I have so many people coming in there, sometimes desperate, and I've been there, I mean, I don't know if you know my whole story, but I went through this period of insomnia, changed my whole life, my rock bottom moment. I was like, am I gonna be one of these people?


To be drugged up to sleep, like what is my future? Like a whole existential crisis. And in that process, when you're desperate, you'll do just about anything to sleep often if you're dealing with sleep, evading you in that way. So I definitely wanna, and I grew up with like no money and just a whole experience.


Uh, particular, particular. And wanna be responsible for the recommendations that we're making with people and helping to get them the biggest bang for the buck. And half of these things are free. Kind of like what you were speaking to, this, getting outside, getting sunlight, bringing the kettlebells, moving the body.


All of these things can be such game changers. And unfortunately, you know, you can't always bottle that and sell that. And we want to, when we're in those moments, actually do that and buy the thing that's gonna save the day. But it's kind of a longer term. I think brings us back to what you kind of led with, which was that accountability piece, which I think is so fantastic for that accountability piece.


You mentioned a couple companies that you're interested in that are doing it well, and what do you see that's really working in how they're bringing about accountability in a powerful way? Yeah, it's really, I think it's the mixture of using what I think. I think there was a program on, I think it was a documentary on Netflix, about social media and how they use notifications and other stuff.


Essentially for evil to use apps, smart to use other stuff, and some of these companies I've seen that are doing that for good when to recommend. Thanks to you when to send those notifications, when to have the coach reach out to you. So really productizing that and just making it seamless. And even for some of the ones like I'm assuming with you, but with other sleep coaches, I've talked to you where, you know, texting and engaging in like the simplest form is so helpful to ask those questions and what you're thinking about and, and so building that into a product is, gets me excited, is like, oh, I can see that.


You know, my mom could do. And she's 65. She doesn't understand half the time she can't get into, you know, Facebook or Instagram and, and be able to her text somebody or, or engage with somebody in a simple way. I see that being very helpful. Oh, a hundred percent. No, it's really, really cool. Some of the things that are coming out, I know I've mentioned future before and, and you mentioned future before, and it.


Feel like they're one of the people that are, uh, doing it in kind of an innovative and beautifully designed way with the experience is great and send over, oh, here's my video of what I'm doing, or here's my picture. My, the whole world of it feels very multimedia and interconnected In an disconnected world, feeling like you've actually got someone in the game with you is such a big deal that that's one of the things that we see for our cohorts is.


Something, you know, activating that observer effect. And then the minute we feel like someone's observing our behavior and then you know, we're gonna, yeah, be looking at their sleep and how much they were moving and all those things, and it's measurable, they suddenly act differently. We all do, you know, often, usually.


So it's kind of this cool opportunity to spark change together and gamify it and then be inspired by each other and like, oh my God, Anthony's doing kettlebells and sleeping great. Like, maybe I should bring a, some Kell, you know, uh, the, you know, the kind of dynamic effect that can come about. Fantastic.


And so, With these newsletters. So also I wanted to touch on the new one too, which is, this one's newer to me, so I'm very excited to follow more of this one. But in the mental health space, what had you decide to embark in that area? And I think it directly applies to our people because we know that so often mental health and sleep are so interconnected and bidirectional.


And then we often see the fact. When we think about what's not working with our sleep, often there's some element of kind of hyper aroused brain activity during times when we might not want it to be there, and the struggle to be able to control and manage that nervous system in a way that works for us.


Yeah. So what had you decide to go into this world of, you know, kind of mental health and what's happening in the world of psychedelics and all of that? How did that begin? It was really, you know, as Fit Insider first started to be, it was based off of fitness. That's where the name came from. I wish we could change the name now, honestly, it's specific, but it started there and that's where our background was.


But as we go, and that's where, you know, I forget how many issues into it, probably 20 or 30. When we wrote about sleep, then we were right about, you know, metabolic health and it's been a journey of us learning and going down the road and expanding our own know. And as we see these different companies and where the interests of the consumer is and the data around some of the newsletters, it's, you know, how many people are struggling with mental health issues and where specifically do the younger generations, these younger millennials and, and then Gen Z, where are they interested in and what is their kind of nod to what they wanna spend time and money on?


And. Then us writing, I'd say two or three issues around psychedelics, mental health and the kind of racing stigmas around what certain groups of people, specifically men, is what really brought me to it. How much they're struggling with mental health. Yeah. And where that goes. And then meeting, we had Melody met her and she's one of the writers.


For that and just the interest that she had in her own personal kind of passion on mental health. And then what we saw, the response from the community. Cuz as you go from, you know, writing our newsletters like five friends, then 5,000, then 15,000, then 50,000 as it continues to grow. The response back every week you're like, oh man, we hit a nerve with this one.


Sleep is one of them, honestly. Right. The response back, I think we wrote about like West, it was like the We Sleep things. Yes. Uh, W E S P E R, Uhhuh. And then we wrote. Friends, and then we wrote about extras. It was all in one, like these new edge sleep and the amount of, I'm talking hundreds and hundreds of emails back, ugh.


To where we're like, wow. People are crazy talking about this. They want to figure out, they really are struggling with sleep. And then the mental health side as we wrote about and then psychedelics, it's, and people you wouldn't expect, like this investor at a family officer, this big fund who has very buttoned up and he's like, I just did this psychedelic retreat, or I'm microdosing with psilocybin right now.


Yeah. We're like, wow, we want to talk about this more. But we kind of have to treat the main fit ins that are newsletter as a vehicle to cover the market, which is, there's so much. We're like, wow, I want to dive into this more. And it's too the behind the scenes we have Fit Capital, which is an investment fund that we run.


Sure. Investing companies in the space. So it was like, where are we gonna be putting our dollars over the next 10 years? Mental health and, and sleep are two big pillars. We're like, well let's kick this thing out and write about it specifically and, and let Melody go and, and research deeply into the newest trends there.


And they, now she's writing about stuff. Even in, I think it's only issue three hearing about stuff that I've never even seen. I'm like, wow, this is awesome. Oh my God, it's amazing. And real quick, cuz we have not done enough episodes at all on the psychedelic piece and we definitely need to do more about that cause we get a lot of people kind of inquiring about that.


And then a lot of anecdotal. Data, if you will, of people you know, experimenting and finding changes on their sleep trackers and their H R V is like improving as a result of psilocybin macro dosing and all these things, right? It's, we don't have enough, unfortunately, clear large scale studies for some of those pieces, like with H R V in particular, and we're like really excited to get more of those and some rumblings of certain pieces and some of the stuff outta John Hopkins and what have you.


Curious out of all of these, cuz there's so much in this space, are there particular ones for us to be on the lookout for that you would recommend that might help people sup, like support people's journey on improving their sleep through anxiety and stressors as it relates to the psychedelic space? I can, you know, personal experience, I've had a ton.


Positive benefits and, and Joe has as well going down the, uh, ketamine route, trying that from a depress depression side. Yeah. If you, or just a burnout. I feel like most people nowadays that I know that are operating at a high level, you, you know, you get towards the holidays at the end of the year and you talk to 'em and you're like, man, you need to take a week off like you are.


Yeah. You, you can tell you're just like shorter. You're just burnout. And it's that, and, and I think during those times, re resulting back to, So Ketamine and doing it through like Amont Bloom or someplace or going to a clinic specifically, but that has personally seen massive benefits as well as if you can get to it microdosing, psilocybin and doing it properly with guidance.


And then there's a company called the High Confectionary. They uh, I think it's only available in California right now, but it's microdose thc. It's one milligram edibles and they have a sleep one now. Where it's like one milligram is thc, but hemp derived one of C B D one of C B D N. So it's, it's not a lot.


It's something that for me, you know, you barely feel, but it's enough. That is, I think, super helpful. And like Joe loves 'em as well. We, I feel like those ones have helped us both sleep a ton. Um, and those ones that we've, we have tried, I feel like I'm on the list of a ton of stuff trying to get to them.


We've tried those and then a next up on my side is, is kind of M D M A. Would love to see where that goes from. Kind of treatment for P T S D and other stuff that just as things grow, that seems like it's very helpful. And then more on the psilocybin side and like Revive Therapeutics and Compass Pathways is doing it.


A lot of them out there doing that at scale. Amazing. So g ugh. Okay. I'm gonna have to stop myself from asking more questions cuz it's clear you're. Your knowledge in all of these areas is immense. So I guess then the next piece that I'd love to hear from you is how you're managing your own sleep with all of this knowledge that you have.


Yeah, so we do ask every person that comes on for questions, and the first one is always, what does your nightly sleep routine look like right now? I'm sure it evolves and changes, but anything we might be able to learn from what you're doing. Yeah, this is a super passionate side of me. Yeah. You know what I approach on on in life, because one from the military, I just came outta that terrible sleeper, absolutely horrible sleeper bet.


And I was young at the time and I was in the fitness. I'm like, I don't even need to sleep. Screw it. So I was avoiding sleep at most nights. Yes. And then as I, I got older, I realized sleep was important, but then we talked about it in the newsletter, but around the same time that Covid hit, I found out that I had a brain tumor and we found out because.


I started having seizures and then more importantly, I was sleeping one hour a night. Maybe I could not sleep for the life of me for, and I, it was when I, I even. What was it? I forget. The wearable. I bought to track my sleep for that time because I was so concerned with how limited I was sleeping and it was because I had a tumor.


We found out later it was cuz I had a brain tumor and, and that was a whole nother thing. But doing that and then coming back from that, my sleep was from 2020, early 2020, actually probably summer 2019 until end of 2021. The different treatments, other stuff was my sleep was. Even with going through like chemo radiation, I was sleeping still only a couple hours a night, so I really then was like, I need to completely change my life.


I think diet was a big thing. Yeah, I was eating unhealthy and I was drinking way too much coffee throughout the day and it was like a, I love co. I don't drink alcohol, which is great. It helped me with sleeping. I found out later, but, but I love coffee as much as people, some people like alcohol, so I was drinking like.


Three, four Americanos a day and not, you know, my last one is like 4:00 PM and I'm like, oh, I wonder why I can't sleep. So drinking, yeah, two coffees a day each. Half. Half Americanos. So it's only equal to one Americano a day. In the morning. So that's it. And then no supplements of any kind with caffeine or stimulants.


And then going into the evening, the, I feel like it's the Andrew Human stack now, but like the Amgen, if that's how you pronounce it. Yeah. Taking that and going into the evening. If that's how you pronounce that, I don't know. Yeah, exactly. Then the Magnesium Green Eight, and then also taking a company called Bio Optimizers has like a multi-form magnesium.


They're our sponsor. Um, yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. I Who? I don't know them. Please tell them. Their website makes it look kind of like, you know those landing pages with long sales pages? Yes, yes, totally. Yeah. I'm like, guys, your product is freaking killer. Change the landing pages of how you're selling these products.


Oh my God, I, if you want, I will totally connect you with them because you would, you guys would nerd out, especially Matt Gallant. We just had him on the podcast. He's one of the co-founders and he's, his whole thing is he's spent over like 45,000 on his sleep alone, just with the different gadgets and gizmos to improve it.


So he's really obsessive with his sleep and they've got some nice crazy kind of like, you know, biohackers, tinkerers on the neutropic side of things. And what ha they would totally love to connect with you and they, maybe you could talk to them about the, the landing page. They're kind of more old. So funny.


It's just like they get out the, you know, the goods, but it's, you're so right. So many people have been like, oh my God, this stuff is like game changing and then, right. Just kind of the, the marketing piece of it. Yes, please. I, I would love to meet them just to tell 'em about that because I recommend a suit ton people and some of my friends are like, are you sure about this?


Cuz it's like this long form, like old school sales page and page. But uh, their magnesium compared to, I went down the route of like a doctor recommended calm, and then you go through each one and. Three and eight helps, but nothing like bio optimizers for me. Ah, so rolling all of that together. And then sometimes taking the, the low dose t hc I infection area, like gummy at the end of the night, especially if it's been a long day.


That combination, as well as I don't have a TV in my bedroom, but I bring, I watch sometimes I try to get the bed earlier in bed, lay in bed earlier. Sure. And then I feel like if I'm on the couch, TV's there, kitchen's there. Maybe I'll snack, maybe I'll do stuff. It'll, it'll screw me up. But if I'm in the bedroom, but I have an iPad where I watch tv sometimes they still wanna watch things at night.


Yeah. So, but you can set like a timer to where it'll go off after a certain amount of time. So that kind of mixture of all of those things. I actually sleep and it's wild compared to where it used to be. That's amazing. So Anthony, I had no idea about the brain tumor. I'm so sorry. I had, I had no clue about that.


And what a difference for you to be able to, so thankfully it sounds like everything is handled and you're okay. Woo. Okay. Got it. All clear? Yes. Okay. Woo. Amazing. Life is good. Well, I'm so sorry you went through that. And if anything, I mean for someone like yourself, someone so well versed in health and wellness and to now like have that knowledge of what things can look like when.


Things aren't working, which is partly, that's like my story too. It's like seeing what life looks like when we're dealing with certain health concerns and things are just not aligning. So with all that, I so acknowledge you. That's incredible, the, the difference you've made and your, it's so clear in your speaking, your commitment to your health and wellness in your sleep.


So, and, and it's. Showing in the results. So that's amazing. And I think you might have touched on our second question, which is, what is your morning routine or morning sleep routine look like? Did we miss anything in the morning piece that we should know about? Yeah, something that has been super helpful.


Not getting on my phone when I wake up. I feel as though, and it's not like I was, you know, picking up my phone, being on a TikTok, but it was more podcast. I feel like I was, I didn't realize how much content I was consuming on a daily basis. And I was, no, not leaving any time to think. And as soon as I would get up my, my morning routine now is wake up, try to roll out of.


And go walk, hit the road as soon as I am physically awake and up. And, um, that has changed the game for me in a massive way. Oh, moving, just getting my steps in. But also, you know, suns out and, and out there, even especially cold days. It's great hot days, it's great. Love it. But I would immediately throw my headphones in and start to walk and put on a podcast.


But I feel like the rest of the, I don't know, I'm never thinking, I'm never putting time into like my own brain without consuming, and it was, Listening to stuff from you or from Huberman or other people. It's stuff that has a lot of information to consume. It's not like some goofy podcast I'm listen to.


Yeah, yeah, totally. So it's too much. So now it's no noise at all. Don't even bring the headphones. Don't even bring the phone. Go walk, figure it out and come back in a half hour plus. And it's great. I have a coffee shop that is a mile away, so walk to the coffee shop, walk back. So it's like, go get your coffee and come back for chocolate.


That's what, yes. So my husband and I, Blake, have been, we're digital nomads for a while. We are just being Southeast Asia or whatever. And that was like often our thing too. So like roll outta bed, get the sun, get the walk, and then have some sort of destination to go to, you know, some sort of coffee shop, some sort of thing.


And just having. System and then knowing that no matter where you're at on the globe, and if you're traveling, it's just kinda like what you do. Like you wake up as you're moving outside and it can just make such a difference from a kind of circadian perspective. That's incredible. So I love that you're prioritizing that.


And I love what you said too about the mindfulness of allowing your mind to. Space and not necessarily always be consuming. Oh my God, I so relate to so much of what you're sharing. Cuz I can if left my own devices, for better or for worse, just like keep consuming and like more and more then this's like this moment, I've had these moments of like, I think clarity, who knows where I'm like, wait a minute, I'm listening to like my sting at they have ninth podcast in the shower.


Uh, like, give yourself a rest person, you know, it's like, So I appreciate that you're starting to carve out that time. I've had to do that for myself too, and then also keep myself in check, cuz sometimes then I'll be justified and righteous. I'm like, oh, well I gotta prepare for this thing or whatever. And so then I got, I need to, it's for work and I'll, you know, ex And really, we know that it's so important to carve out that time of peace, so that's wonderful.


The third question would be, what would we see on your nightstand or proverbial nightstand if you're traveling or what have. Not much. The iPad where I probably have some random TV show playing. Um, yes. And that's it. That, and have it on like a 45 minute timer where it'll go off after a certain amount after 45 minutes and that's it.


And water. Another thing. Apparently I was my entire adult, my entire life in general, but I'm assuming my entire adult life just insanely dehydrated. Yeah. Never realized it to where the point where I feel like I'm drinking too much. It's apparently what I should be drinking from the doctor's recommendation.


But yeah, it's too much. Too much. I have one of these giant things that I'm always right. We out, right? Yeah. It's crazy. So that and uh, definitely the by optimizers I have, I keep it on my nice. So don't forget it. So it's like every time as soon as I get in bed I could take that and I know within a certain amount of time I'll be out.


Oh, that's awesome. I love that. Great. Okay. And so good about the dehydration piece cuz um, you. We do a lot like we were mentioning with the H R V and that's like one of those things that's just so underrated is dehydration and low H R V scores and just, you know, so often we don't make the connections and kind of the why our, our nervous system is being hit and being, and having that trouble to restore itself and kind of metric of recovery.


So having like sometimes those things which can feel like, oh, that's, you know, not a big deal getting. It's gonna be a huge deal, especially when, when it relates to sleep and it is such a brain related process and oh my gosh. I mean you're a testament to it through going through what you went through.


And again, I'm so sorry and thankful that on the other side of it now it's like that ability to, for us to think about these things and how much is asked of our brains and bodies while we're sleeping. And it's incredibly active time throughout the course of the night. And so having these steps in place and those things available to.


Easy and automated to be hydrated before bed or throughout the course of the night or whatever you need that it's all handled. I mean, I like the simplicity because actually we've found that sometimes it can skew when people have like 9 million gadgets and gizmo. It's almost like a red flag that. But they've not working.


Right, I bet. Totally. Um, and I was gonna ask you, have you ever seen with your clients, to flip the script for a minute, I had to ask this. Have you seen the, like hydration, whether it's element or other things, work for sleep at night, like taking it at night? Because that's always been something I've wondered.


If I can take it at night, is it help me sleep more? Yes, really good question. So yes, yes and yes, electrolytes and the ability to be properly hydrating. Big deal. Now. Interesting I mentioned, and I think you'll enjoy chatting with bio optimizers about this too. Matt Golan, when we just had him on the podcast, he was speaking to concerns around in the evening.


Um, just making sure that whatever choice you have for electro. Sources that you can experiment with a little bit lower levels of sodium in the evening cuz could sodium be a bit more excitatory and having higher ratio of things like potassium from that kind of calming effect. And of course magnesium from the whole equation for electrolytes.


So being mindful of that ratio and where those sources are coming from and kind of dosing appropriately. But yes, because if you're just having plain, you know, water, The distilled type that has, is lacking in all those minerals and not properly hydrating us and kind of washing right through us. That can be problematic because we know that the brain is so active throughout the course of sleep, and it's a incredibly taxing process and the electrical activity that's at play.


We wanna make sure that we're properly hydrated in a way that makes. So I'm glad that you're exploring that, cuz I think a lot of people overlook the importance of that. That can also play a role in some of people's concerns with things like the number of times that they're going to the bathroom and what have you.


Cuz if we're hydrating with kind of empty hydration, it's sort of just in and out. Whereas if we're properly hydrating in a way that our cells can kinda latch on in a way that works for us through having proper electrolyte balance, that can make such a difference. So really great edit. Yeah. Anything we missed with your nightstand, uh, setup or ambiance?


No, it's really there, so no, nothing. Perfect. Fantastic. Okay. And then the last question would be, what has made the biggest change to your sleep game? Or said another way, what maybe has been the biggest aha moment for you in managing your. Yeah, the morning sleep schedule, I never even thought about, yeah, by morning, impacting my sleep at all.


It was never even a consideration for me. Yeah, so I think that was by far number one. And then number two is, is the magnesium at night. Taking the optimizers was, was an instant. One of the few things on a supplement side that I've taken that I. Instantly knew like, oh, this actually works because I feel like 90% of the supplements I take, glutamine, treat scene, BCAs, other stuff, athletic greens.


It's good, but it's not something that I immediately feel benefit. But this was one of the things where I knew within a couple of days, this is the re. This is the thing I changed that is changed how I sleep in such a drastic way. Ah, so good. That's amazing. And especially coming from someone like you too that went through what you went through, which I really had no clue about that you experienced that level of kind of that sleep deprivation and how hard that can be.


And then so thankfully being on the other side of that and now clearly really prioritizing that sleep to this next level. So awesome. And so I'm clear. Anyone listening is absolutely gonna wanna know how they can follow, just like your incredible work. Again, I'm, I don't get anything from, uh, suggesting this.


It's like, not I, but I just really do believe, and I've recommended this newsletter to so many people. I just feel like if you're in this area, you. Be on this thing because it's gonna let you know the latest and greatest and just kind of spark new ideas and new insights and, oh, that's so interesting that this thing is happening over in this area.


Like how could this bleed into some of the things that, you know, we're looking to do to make a difference for people. So it's, I think, really, really important, like required reading. So how can they follow what you're. Yeah, I really appreciate that. Kind of hyping us up there. Um, it's, it's true. Dunno of anything else, maybe I'm missing something, but I have not found anything else that gives me that much information.


It's like one of the few things that comes through my newsletter or my email and I'm like, star, I need to make sure I read this. No, I, I love it. I appreciate that. Yeah. So it's. Uh, fit Insider, f i t t, uh, insider. Uh, so fit with two T's website is where all the information is, newsletters there, and then on LinkedIn is where personally the, the audience is fairly large for us.


Where we share mostly, you know, I think LinkedIn is a lot of the research on newest stat around obesity or sleep or other things. And then the newsletter. Is more of the kind of long form reports. We call them deep dives that we send out. And the last thing is Joe, my co-founder and brother has a podcast where he interviews, it's a really awesome podcast where interviews founders in the health and wellness space, and specifically about how they build their company.


So it's how did Strava build Strava? How did Athletic Greens build their company? What is Lululemon doing? What did Tonal do, et cetera. So diving in, if you like, the business side of those. That industry. And then the last thing I love to talk about is our jobs. So we have an industry jobs board. It's free for companies to post on and it's free for people to look at.


And it's, if you wanna work at any of the companies we've talked about today, any of the, it's not for trainers, it's not for coaches for, if you wanna be at the HQ of these companies, Peloton, Nike, Lululemon, et cetera. All of the health and wellness things that we've talked about. Uh, I think there's like 150 companies with a thousand jobs there, cuz I think it's a big passion of mine is getting people to work in areas that.


So if you like fitness and wellness, don't work at P N C Bank. Go work at some company doing cool stuff where you can actually be at the company, even if you're just in marketing or you're just in HR or whatever. At least you're working on something that you think is is cool. Oh, I love that. No, I think that's a huge deal from a place of standing in something that you're aligned with.


We see this all the time in the world of sleep where people, if they are struggling, this is where it gets more esoteric and a little bit a longer conversation. But if people, and we see this, uh, quantifiably say when people retire, And now they have a missing of that sense of purpose and structure and things that was aligned with them and a reason to get up in the morning.


And then their schedules go out the window and now they're napping at weird times. They're waking up at weird times and there's a missing of kind of that why or that greater meaning to their life. And I think that the more we can really. Helps facilitate that. The difference that we can make in the generalized wellbeing for people, including things like their ability to rest their head on the pillow and feel peace of mind is a big deal.


So I love that that's at play and a passion of yours. Appreciate that. I've also loved that I've sent that to a bunch of people at different points that might be looking for jobs, so in, in areas that are kind of noteworthy or out of the box. So it can be another thing for people to do as they. Join these newsletters that they can be thinking of themselves and then other people that might really benefit from this.


So really fantastic. I really so appreciate the work that you're doing, the difference that you're making, and looking forward to continue to follow both Fit Insider and now all of these other branches that are coming out, which is super exciting as well, and I think will make a big difference for.


Awesome. So great to be on. I appreciate you having me and um, awesome to chat. Awesome. Thank you so much. 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.


Head on over to sleep as a skill.com to sign up.


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