Journey with us as we delve into Dr. Emily Kiberd's remarkable exploration of functional medicine, with a special emphasis on sleep optimization. As a new mother, Dr. Kiberd grappled with personal health struggles, including the disruption of her sleep patterns. Today, she harnesses these experiences to guide others, particularly those battling the autoimmune condition, Hashimoto's.
In this episode, we unpack the multifaceted causes of autoimmune conditions, with a focus on how these factors can detrimentally affect sleep. Among these causes, we discuss genetics, leaky gut, and stress, and dive deep into the ripple effect of cortisol dysregulation on sleep patterns.
Dr. Kiberd illuminates the world of alternative lab tests, highlighting those which can reveal hidden health aspects affecting sleep and immune health. We also delve into the vital subject of comprehensive thyroid testing, and Dr. Kiberd presents an informative course on integrating workouts and functional medicine for robust thyroid health and sleep improvement.
Join us for this inspiring episode, as Dr. Kiberd advocates for holistic health, offering invaluable advice for anyone seeking to improve their sleep while navigating the challenges of autoimmune conditions. Tune in to enhance your sleep quality today!
Dr Emily Kiberd is a chiropractor, creator of Thyroid Strong, an online program to help women with Hashimoto's learn how to work out without the burn out. She has put her own Hashimoto's into remission with diet, workout, and lifestyle changes and helps women do the same. She see's patient in NYC and Boulder, Colorado.
In this episode, we discuss:
1️⃣ The journey of Dr. Emily Kiberd in functional medicine and its crucial connection to sleep
2️⃣ How motherhood spurred Dr. Kiberd's healing expedition and her wisdom on sleep support
3️⃣ Empowerment for women struggling with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's disease
4️⃣ Delving into the triggers of autoimmune conditions: genetics, leaky gut, and stress
5️⃣ Exploring the intricate interplay between stress, cortisol, melatonin, and our immune system
6️⃣ Symptoms of cortisol dysregulation and the importance of achieving balance
7️⃣ Environmental toxins, parasitic infections, and their impact on our health
8️⃣ The benefit of alternative lab tests for an in-depth understanding of one's health
9️⃣ Insights into how excessive cardio affects cortisol levels and adrenal function and the importance of muscle-building workouts
1️⃣0️⃣ Discussing valuable resources, including research studies on the link between thyroid function, autoimmune disorders, and sleep quality
- Risk of Autoimmune Disease in Adults with Chronic Insomnia Requiring Sleep-Inducing Pills: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study
- Fatigue, Sleep, and Autoimmune and Related Disorders
1️⃣1️⃣ The significance of comprehensive thyroid testing and the value of advocating for your health
1️⃣2️⃣ A sneak peek into Dr. Kiberd's course on integrating workouts and functional medicine for women's health
1️⃣3️⃣ Drawing lessons from Dr. Kiberd's own sleep-night rituals
1️⃣4️⃣ Diving into Dr. Kiberd's “Thyroid Strong” course and podcast for integrating workouts and functional medicine in women's health
For a deeper dive into this topic, check out Dr. Kiberd's extensive research and insights here.
Have you ever struggled with sleep due to an autoimmune condition? Let's discuss in the comments below!
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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. My guest today is Dr. Emily Kiberd. She is a chiropractor creator of Thyroid Strong, an online program to help women with Hashimoto's learn how to work out. Without the burnout, she has put her own Hashimotos into remission with diet, workout and lifestyle changes, and that includes sleep, which we'll be discussing and helps women do the same.
She sees patients in NYC and Boulder, Colorado, and we together on this podcast, go deep into the topic of thyroid health, understanding how that very much plays a role in your results with your sleep and is. Often, sadly missed in some of our standard, uh, routine care. And so it does often take educating and advocating for ourselves to ensure that if your thyroid health is playing a role in your sleep results, that we absolutely have some steps that we can take to gain control back of our sleep and our health.
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Sleep is a skill, all one word, and join in on the mission of revolutionizing our sleep. And welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. This episode has been a long time coming. Dear friend, Emily, I'm so happy that you've taken the time to be here. I know you've got a busy schedule, so thank you. Thank you.
Really appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Amazing. Now, before we hit record, we were discussing how we want to, you know, what we wanna go into on this conversation to get max value for people looking to improve their sleep. And one of the things that I was saying to you is that I don't believe we've had a real episode where we have delved deeply into the topic of.
Autoimmunity and sleep in their correlations. And who better to do that than yourself? So if you can help kick us off, share a little bit about certainly, one, how you found yourself an expert in this area, and two, how that relates to sleep. Yeah, 100%. So I've been a chiropractor since 2007. I had my first born in 2016, and all the noon mom symptoms of fatigue, exhausted.
Difficulty losing weight, my hair falling out. Everyone was just like, you're a new mom. That's a new norm. Obviously not sleeping. Cluster feedings, lots of breastfeeding which can deplete nutrients. And typically, you know, for the women listening, One year postpartum, you can have postpartum thyroiditis that usually resolves after 12 months, 18 months postpartum.
For myself, I was like, I feel like death. This cannot be how I live. Like this cannot be like how my life moves forward. And I remember one of the sleep issues related to this was, Exhausted all day. Yeah. And then I would lay in bed, I'd be like, oh, I'm finally horizontal. And I'd be tired, but I would be super wired and I couldn't sleep and I'd have insomnia and eventually going through kind of the conventional medical system and actually a couple functional medicine docs.
Sure. A third functional medicine doc, Dr. Gabrielle Lion, she's like, You have an autoimmune condition, and it's called Hashimotos. You have the presence of thyroid antibodies, you have some cortisol dis regulation, insulin resistance, but we caught it early and if you catch it early, about 20% of women can go into remission, which I'm one of those women ah, amazing.
Uh, stayed in remission through a second pregnancy cuz pregnancy is a stressor and can cause a flare up. And that's what's, that's how I was diagnosed and now, Going through that journey of healing myself, uh, treating women in the clinic with. Joint pain, muscle aches, which is another symptom of an autoimmune condition, and trying to get them strong and move better as well as having, having them see a functional medicine doc, uh, started a program online for the the autoimmune women because they need help.
A hundred percent. Well one, I acknowledge you for keeping going on that journey cuz it can be a lot when you're exhausted. I love how you described that. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I appreciate your description cause I'm sure so many people listening can understand those moments of you're exhausted all day long and you finally get into bed and then why can't you fall asleep?
The frustration that amounts, you know, in those moments, but then to keep going and to have. Question mark after question mark with all these doctors, even going into the functional medicine route, still having questions, and then finally finding what's going on and getting at the root of it and being in remission.
So you act as this example for us of what's possible. So thank you. Thank you. And so delving in a bit more, when we talk about autoimmunity, Men, Hashimotos from within the umbrella. Wondering if you can help kind of shed some light on this vocabulary, how we think about autoimmunity, how it relates to sleep for the masses of people listening and saying, maybe that's me.
Yeah. So when you think of an autoimmune condition, there is this kind of trigger trifecta. Like if you think of this Venn diagram. So one piece is genetics. Your mom has an autoimmune condition. Maybe your dad, maybe your sister, and you just. By chance denigrate get the best jeans. Yeah. And I'm sure you've heard the saying that genes lo load the gun and then your environment pulls the trigger.
Yes. So the other two pieces are leaky gut or gut lining, hyperpermeability, where there is some inflammation in the gut lining, and now the junctions between the little villa where things pass through. Uh, ideally things would not pass through, but. Viruses, fungi, bacteria, undigested food particles are passing through the gut, lining into the bloodstream, and then your own body is having these foreign particles in your bloodstream and your body is saying, I need to attack, right?
Mm-hmm. And so then it causes this kind of chronic low grade inflammation. So that's the second piece. And then the third piece is stressors. And stressors could come in the form of a gut infection. Uh, could come in the form of over-training environmental toxins like parasites, heavy metal toxicity, exposure to pesticides, mold exposure over-training, physically working out.
I've seemed like run those crazy running races, right? Yeah. Spartan. Yeah, Spartan. And so those three pieces, you know, probably a lot of women. Have the genetics, but maybe they don't have the other two pieces. And then a lot of women have that leaky gut component and then that stress component. Stress could also be psychological stress, past trauma.
And it just triggers. It's like a light switch was turned and all these symptoms you literally hear women say overnight. Feeling different. Like the fatigue is not just like, eh, I kind of need an nap. It's like worse than first trimester pregnancy fatigue. Mm. Wow. And so, A lot of the autoimmune women, if we're thinking about stress, we're gonna think about cortisol and cortisol dysregulation.
And so if you think about cortisol, like the sun, right? It gets you up, it gets you moving. I like to think of it as our motivation hormone. A lot of people, you know, you've seen these Facebook groups and they say, My cortisol is high. Oh my gosh. And you're like, well, actually, if there wasn't part of your day where your cortisol was elevated, you would probably be dead.
Yeah. So, yeah. So cortisol is like the sun. It gets you out of bed, it gets you moving, it gets you motivated in the morning, and then it starts to decrease throughout the day. And then think of like, melatonin is like the moon, right? It puts you to sleep. Mm. And especially when we are overburdened with stressors, you know?
And my story was like, I had mold, I had parasites, I had insulin resistance. I wasn't sleeping. So I'd wake up and my cortisol was low, and I would just be dragging, like everything felt like I was moving through sludge. Ugh. It was just, everything was a struggle. It's like pushing water. So if you think about, you know, Being stressed with a new baby, running a clinic with a team of 10, seeing patients trying to like do so double soul cycle classes, like all that stress was creating this dysregulation in my cortisol.
And that in itself can lead to inflammation. And inflammation can lead to the dis the cortisol dysregulation. Um, a in conventional medicine, you'll hear doctors say, you know, if you wanna lose weight or you wanna change your symptoms, like, just move more, eat less. And I was, I was that, I was like barely eating, not eating enough, which is another stressor.
Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I was seeing patients all day moving my body working out. So with that cortisol dysregulation, that is where that feeling of tired but wired comes from. Yeah. Right. So you, the cortisol is low and then it starts to increase. In the evening, it's like as if the sun was coming up when it's 10:00 PM and you're just totally wired, your brain can't turn off.
So that was one of the big pieces related to my sleep. And so I was under sleeping cuz I had a baby. And then when I tried to sleep, I wasn't sleeping. It was, it was not a pretty time. But a lot of women experience this. They're like, I'm literally dragging all day. And then I. Try to go to bed and I just can't.
Or they're, maybe they go to sleep, but then they're waking up throughout the middle of the night. So that was one of the big dial movers to help my sleep as well as help kind of put my Hashimotos into remission, was addressing that cortisol dysregulation. Um, another piece was addressing some insulin resistance.
And you know, I was starting my day with a coffee and a croissant and I would not, yes, I would skip lunch. Yes. I was very Parisian in New York. Right? Totally skip lunch and then I'd have like a little piece of steak and some broccoli and so I was, uh, I. I was, I was having insulin resistance. And you typically, the primary causes are like obesity, being significantly overweight, having extra belly fat, a diet high in carbohydrates.
And uh, when I started to add protein, like three meals a day, minimum 30 grams, that started to, um, Get better. Hmm. Yeah. So that was one piece that a lot of women experience is this insulin resistance, um, that either kind of makes them want more carbs Sure. Or, um, contributes just kind of that low grade inflammation.
Okay. What's so great cuz I love following your content and you do such a great job of helping to paint this picture of, there's certain things that for a lot of women in particular that might land for them as, oh wow, this is so much protein for me to be taking in. This is so much for a change in the types of exercise I'm engaging in.
You're kind of like shaking things up to redefine what it looks like for women. I know I'm talking about women in particular, but the certainly autoimmunity extends. To, you know, both men as well, but in this conversation of women, I think you really do such a fantastic job of helping to lay the groundwork on, it might look a little bit different than we had thought of how we'd be managing things.
So you spoke to the cortisol dysregulation about how to regulate that, bring that back into balance, and then as well as the protein piece exercise piece. So now that we're learning to. Follow the footsteps of how you've been able to put things into remission, which is, as you shared, doesn't always happen for people with autoimmunity.
What kind of painted the picture? Walk us through some of these things that you were able to do to make this difference. This is like amazing. Yeah. So I mean, one of it was changing how I was eating, right? Yep. Prioritizing my protein that addressed Totally. Yep. One of them was, one of the major things was addressing some chronic.
Inflammation. Yeah, that was coming from environmental exposure to toxins, specifically mold. And mycotoxins. Those are kind of go together. And then, yeah, I did a lot of developing world travel. Yes. In my twenties, same. I got sick in like every single developing country and I kept doing parasite tests, like kind of the conventional PCR R tests and it would not pick anything up.
And I was like, there's no way. I don't have a parasite. And then I went, um, there's a lab in, there's university in Africa that where they do microscopy, where they like put it on a plate and they're looking for ALM and larva. And they were like, you have a severe parasitic load of whipworm hook worm, um, round worm.
It was like every, it was many worms. It was gross. Many worms. Yeah. But for people who don't know, like parasites, especially around, um, Times of the full moon and I, I'm not sure why, but yeah, you'll see functional medicine docs talk about this. There will, there'll be not only the typical symptoms of parasitic infection, which is like, you know, itchy around your booty hole.
Yeah. Uh, skin rashes that you will not be able to sleep. Mm. And, or you'll get up at like between two and 4:00 AM. So parasites, you know, if you feel like you've kind of been doing all the things. Yeah, dialing in your sleep, tracking all the data and things aren't moving the needle, maybe there's something else going on.
Maybe you have an underlying parasitic infection. If you have any sort of underlying anemia, like you're fatigued, do anemia, a lot of autoimmune, uh, women and men will feel that. And you try to treat that anemia and it's just not getting better. Uh, parasites can. Cause that anemia, cause they're literally attaching to your, the lining of your intestine and sucking the blood right at thousands, like tens of thousands of load.
And so there's ways to pick this up on lab work without doing a stool test. The other environmental toxin to think about is mold. Oftentimes if a conventional medicine doctor hears kind of some allergies or sinusitis, those are the traditional symptoms associated with mold and they'll recommend an antihistamine.
Well, mold can cause like a very long laundry list of symptoms, one of them being insomnia due to the neural inflammation. So, you know, I was living in a condo in Brooklyn. There was water damage and. I didn't know, and it was behind the walls and people think, oh, if it's behind the walls, it doesn't affect you.
But it does. Yes. And so for me, that was one of my big triggers was getting mold exposure on top of probably having long-standing parasitic infection. New baby. It's like think of your cup. It's starting to like fill up with all this load and then it overflow us, and then your autoimmune condition is triggered.
So that was one of the other pieces. And you know, if you do a mold or parasite protocol, it's a lot of binders. Antifungals sitting in a sauna trying to sweat things out, which I know you have a sauna on your porch. Yes. You know exactly. Not a porch. What is that? A balcony. Yes, the balcony. Exactly. Obsessed.
It's such a difference. So fantastic to bring that in. And so that was one of the practices that you brought in as well from the sounds of it then with pairing it with the binders mindfully. Yeah. As well as supplements and um, sure. Some different supplements to help with like mitochondrial function.
Keep the energy up. Cuz when you go through those protocols and you're trying to kill parasites and there's die off symptoms, you're trying to bind to mold, it can, you can feel significantly worse. Like, I was like, I feel like death. Yeah. Like I had a dear friend, look at me. She's like, what's going on? She said, these dark circles.
And I was like, I'm killing a parasite. And she's like, yeah, you, you do not look good right now. But um, that was one of the big things. Yeah. And all those things contribute to inflammation in the gut lining. And if you have that leaky gut component, yeah, you can think about things passing through that gut lining.
That's, you know, probably little microtoxin particles. And then the other thing that was a really big dial mover was, Letting go of over training. Mm. And I think as a new mom trying to lose the baby weight, living in New York City, running this practice like up near Central Park, I was doing a lot of cardio, which can affect.
Uh, our cortisol yes. As well as our adrenal function. And so I really just shifted from letting go of that kind of chronic cardio to trying to work out smarter from the angle of prioritizing my muscle tissue. Like, yeah, I just wanna feed my muscle tissue, especially for women who have an autoimmune condition where they have an underactive thyroid, right?
Our thyroid hormones are required for every metabolic process in the body. And so if our thyroid is underactive, like muscle wasting and atrophy is one of the first things to happen. So really shifting to like resistance training, lifting heavier, doing three days a week, doing like 30 minutes instead of trying to go to a 90 minute soul cycle class.
Yes. And um, That also really shifted how I was sleeping. Cause I, what I would do is I would work all day. I try to get a late, like seven 30 spin class. Yeah. And I, I'm sure, uh, you know, obviously contributed to that tired but wired feeling and that Totally. Yeah. Yeah. But people think, but it's like, it makes all the sense in the world cuz you're trying to tick all the boxes and do all the right things and, well, I gotta exercise, but you've got all these considerations and lots of things that you're trying to juggle throughout the day and.
For many people that it feels like we're doing the right thing. Why are we not getting the results? So I completely hear that. So you shifted that mindfully to bring in, and then did you shift the timeline too, by which you're doing those things? Yeah. So, you know, when you think about exercise, it is a stimulant.
It increases our cortisol. You probably wanna do it during that time of day where if your cortisol is low from a dysfunctional perspective, like. You would wanna try and shift that. So I moved my workouts to the morning versus trying to squeeze it in at night. Yeah. And that helped, but it was really a combination of everything.
Yes. You know, sometimes you hear people, they're like, I went gluten free and Yes. Why didn't you feel better? You're like, well, it, it's a little more right? Like, yes, that's the first step and you did a great job doing that, but now you gotta take the second step. I was actually digging around for some research for you.
Oh, great. And there was a study in 2019. There were uh, 2,224 hypothyroid patients who reported significantly poorer sleep quality compared to the individuals, which is normal thyroid function. And some other symptoms were feeling tired, but they couldn't fall asleep. A shorter sleep duration, feeling groggy when they wake up, which is often related to that cortisol and just overall reduced sweet uh, sleep quality.
And then the fifth one was that feeling that you just. Never got enough sleep, even if you slept 14 hours. So for the people who maybe have an underactive thyroid and are like, God, what's wrong with me? Know that you're not alone. Yes. Well that even in and of itself is so helpful. And actually, I'm wondering if we can double down on that for a minute, because part of your story, I think, which so many people could relate to is like, you went to doctor after doctor, and I'm sure they, you know, were.
Really qualified doctors. You were in New York City, had access, and yet it was still missed what was happening, particularly just even in the thyroid component alone that was still kept getting missed and missed and missed. Do you have kind of insights or guidance for people that suspect that, you know what's being said really fits kind of some of their story and yet some of the tests come back in a particular way where their doctor is saying, oh, you're fine.
What do we need to make sure that we're doubling down on so that we're understanding more about the nuance as far as thyroid and how it should function? Yeah, so most conventional doctors will check A T S H, thyroid stimulating Hormone. That is one of five tests, six tests that ideally those, you know, the six tests would give a full.
Pitcher. Yeah. The other tests ideally for full thyroid function would be a free t4, which is the inactive form of thyroid hormone free t3, reverse t3, and then there's two antibody tests. And if the two antibody tests are above a certain range, that's the autoimmune component. And you know, when I got checked by my first four doctors, they checked T S H and my T s H was 3.2.
Which, if you look at conventional ranges, which include the very sick. Uh, normal on the high end is five, so I'm within the range. Sure. So they're like, you're good. Right? But if you look at through the lens of a functional medicine or maybe naturopath and you wanna feel optimized, you wanna thrive, you don't wanna just feel like you're like barely surviving on this planet.
Uh, Some docs, you know, Institute for Functional Medicine, the high end is 2.5. I have some functional medicine doctor friends, they're like high end 1.8 to two. So I was outside optimal range, but within conventional normal range. And so I think because I was in the conventional norm, no one started to dig deeper.
Hmm. I think ideally, You would be able to get a full thyroid panel with antibody tests. A lot of doctors won't test to reverse t3 cause it's a very short snippet of a snapshot of what's going on, like about four hours. And most insurance doesn't cover it. So a lot of patients will have to pay extra. So, and then I also think sometimes conventional medicine, they get that data and then they're like, okay, I don't know what to do with it necessarily.
So. I think that is just one piece of the puzzle. Uh, you know, even now, like if I see my OB here, I have to kind of push, I'm like, Hey, I'm a little tired. Should she goes, great. We'll check your thyroid. I'm like, great. Can you check more than t s h? And she's like, uh, and I, you, you really have to be your own advocate on this really wild level.
So, um, I think that was why it was missed. Because you know, for when you get pregnant and postpartum, they will continually check your T s h uh, because sometimes it can elevate like your, just cuz pregnancy's a stressor. Yeah. And so it can really stress your thyroid out. So they always check it at a OB B G Y N appointment, but they're not doing a full thyroid panel.
Um, So I think that was one big component. You know, there are inflammatory markers that you could check for pre-diabetes, like an a1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin. There are things to check for cortisol. You could just do a morning cortisol blood draw. That would be like, sure. So basic, you could go more in depth with a Dutch test, but I don't know.
I don't know why it's not checked more. I think sometimes our medical system is waiting for. You know, full blown disease before, you know? Yes. Even from a chiropractic perspective, they don't, insurance doesn't cover preventative care. Right. You know, once you're at a point where it's like, okay, let's do preventative palliative care, they're like, great.
Discharge the patient a hundred percent. So I think that's part of it. And with you too, cuz you called out that part of the magic formula for being able to get into remission was that discovery early enough that you could put these kind of puzzle pieces into place and really make a difference. So I'm so happy that you stand here as an example and a testament to that.
If we keep pushing advocate for ourselves, hopefully align with kind of practitioners that can also help support us along the way. It sounds like you had a great partnership with Dr. Gabrielle Lyons incredible work that she's doing and really. Bringing that to the masses. And of course you have your course that you put out for people too, that are looking to make a difference with this.
And you, you help lead people through that process there as well. Yeah, so inside my course, thyroid Strong, and so it's a workout course for women with Hashimotos. Yeah. Which is the non-immune condition. But there's also a functional medicine piece, so just bringing in all those functional medicine docs that are experts in parasites and mold and insulin resistance.
And I originally recorded them live as like, Kind of a Q and a. Yeah. And then women can, women in the course can ask their questions. So every round that I do, um, women have an opportunity to get access to a functional medicine doc. So a lot of functional medicine docs are like tens of thousands of dollars.
Yes. They're not, you know, super access accessible to the common general public. So I bring those women, you know, functional medicine doc friends, I usually bring one in per week two. Share their wealth of knowledge on whatever topic they're, you know, if maybe it's like thyroid meds and then nuances of a compounded t3, T4 medication, and then women can answer questions.
So, It's kind of like, it's a workout course that has a functional medicine piece, which I don't really know of any of the workout course that has that. Wow. But then it's also this functional medicine piece. And I know there's tons of functional medicine courses out there, but none of them have, you know, a workout component.
So it's kind of the, the beauty of both, which is really what I think women need when they're healing on their healing journey. Um, wow. I wanted to mention one of the things that really changed my sleep great was, um, I don't have sleep apnea, but I got checked for sleep apnea. I'm actually a really good sleeper.
Great. And I have just from dental work, uh, and then not wearing my retainer. I had like the, the shape of my palate and my mouth had changed and I was mouth breathing as I was sleeping and. You know, I'm sure your listeners know you wanna be a nose breather, nasal breather. Yes. And I'm lucky that I didn't have sleep apnea cuz that can lead to full body inflammation, increase in heart disease, uh, all coast mortality.
And you know, when you sleep better it will improve your thyroid hormone function. And so one of the things I did was I got this, uh, device in my mouth because a lot of people sleep apnea. If they are diagnosed with it, we'll get a C P A P machine. Sure. Usually like two months later they're not wearing it.
Yes. I don't know. Their compliance is very hard. Compliance is horrible. Yeah. So if you are mouth breathing or you snore and your tongue isn't suctioned to the roof of your mouth, you need to get your tongue back on the roof. And if your pate is too narrow, it won't sit there. It will just lay like a flat, like a little flap.
Yeah. So I got this, um, the company's called Vivos Therapeutics. Yes. And it just expands the pallet. And like the facial, my faces changed the P structure and like my tongue can sit on the roof of my palate now. Mm-hmm. So I think for people who have not had success with a C P A P machine start to dig deeper, maybe it's like literally there's a structural thing going on with your mouth.
You also have to do. Myofunctional therapy, which is basically tongue strengthening exercises. Yes. Which I've had to do. And um, and I think that was one of the big things that also helped my sleep a hundred percent. I mean, of course, you know, Blake, he Yeah. Ends up using, so he is rem dependent sleep apnea.
So he'll go into sleep apnea when he is in rem. And not, he doesn't have the normal things that people might think of. He's not like a, uh, there's not a huge amounts of snoring. He doesn't have some of the key characteristics and yet very much has sleep apnea. One of the treatments that he does is excite O S A, which is the tongue trainer.
So it's basically, which he gets a lot of jokes about. What is Molly having you do? What's your tongue? What is happening? But, um, strengthening the tongue through, basically, it's like a tens unit essentially. Specifically for the tongue and approved F D A approved for mild sleep apnea, snoring. Some people use it for upper air resistance syndrome.
Some people use it in lieu of, instead of doing some of the tongue training, uh, modalities, then they just skip right to that. Also for tongue ties, which I think you've spoken to tongue ties as well, right? Yeah. Just so many people have no clue that some of these things could be impacting their sleep.
Yeah. My, uh, eight-year-old has tongue tie. Yeah. I brought him to three different dentists and they were like, they check, okay, can you put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth? Which he can do. Yeah. You're like, oh, he is fine. Oh, did he have a trouble breastfeeding? No, I breastfed him to 18 months.
Oh, he's fine. So I brought him to Vivos and they're like, well, he can put the tip of his tongue, but can he suction his whole tongue and then open his mouth? And he couldn't do that. Like even just suctioning was tricky. Yeah. And they're like, yeah, he has like moderate to severe tongue tie and lip tie, and.
I think the common pediatric dentist doesn't know. I think the other thing to think about, and I think of my younger one who's almost four now, so breastfed till she was 18 months, you know, natural home birth? Yes. No C-section going on. She is a mouth breather and when I go and check at night, her tongue is not on the roof of her mouth.
And I feel like I've done all the things, like we don't give them processed foods, we give them protein. Like there was proper jaw development. I breastfed her, which felt like forever. Yeah. And. Sometimes just a um, episode of you know, not being able to breathe through your nose cuz you're congested and you're sick for two weeks will just cause that patterning where the kids used to breathing through their mouth and they don't go back to once they can breathe again, breathing through their nose, tongue on the roof of the mouth.
So I'm gonna talk to Vivos in the fall about that for my three-year-old. And I asked them, I was like, how young do you guys treat people? And they said three and they have a little mouth appliance. And I was like, Kids wear it. They're like, yep, kit is not an expander. But yeah, like kids actually love it cuz they can actually then sleep better through the night.
So important. Yeah. I was also, I was looking for more research, so I found another study for you. It's in. 2016, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, there were 29,000 participants. So this is like a robust study. Wow. And they found that chronic insomnia is associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease and autoimmune diseases, um, commonly caused disruptive sleep.
So it's like this vicious cycle, right? So like insomnia causes autoimmune, but then autoimmune causes disrupted sleep, as well as brain inflammation, anxiety. Physical joint muscle pain and cold intolerance, which is also one of the like hypothyroid Hashimoto symptoms. I was like 29,000 people. 29,000. Ooh.
If you have those studies available, we can link those in the show notes cuz this is super valuable. So thank you for doing that. And it just speaks to how important this topic is, how overlooked it can be, unfortunately. So many doctors. So if you go to your primary care and speak, if you are lucky enough to even have the conversation around your sleep, which often doesn't happen unfortunately systemically, just because of the lack of training, and it's not, you know, their fault necessarily.
But unless you're getting yourself all the way down the rung to a sleep specialist, uh, doesn't always happen that people are having these conversations. So the more and more people like yourself that are bringing attention to this, the better. And I think we're gonna learn a lot too about. The fact that on every single podcast, we ask every person that comes on four questions about how they're managing their own sleep, which I'm super curious because I know that you take this topic very seriously.
It's been a big part and my understanding of all the work and the ability to put autoimmune condition into remission such a big deal. So I'm curious. Our first question is always, what is your nightly sleep routine looking like? And I'm very curious to learn what that looks like. Oh, kids definitely change it.
I'm not gonna lie. Yes, totally. Yes. I try to put the kids down at eight 30. Okay. I hang out with my husband. I like to jump in a sauna and then a cold plunge. My husband is like a morning cold plunge guy. Yeah. And uh, I actually learned this in the recent podcast from Dr. Jay Tida, who's a naturopathic physician.
So Asana. Puts you in the parasympathetic and then once you get out, puts you in the sympathetic. Mm. But then you get in the cold plunge and it puts you in the sympathetic. And then once you get out of the cold plunge, it puts you in the parasympathetic. Yes. And you wanna be in that like parasympathetic, rest, digest, sleep state.
So put the kids down. I'll typically jump in the sauna, jump in the cold plunge, and I try to put myself to bed by 10 30. Mm-hmm. I wake up at six 30. Um, I tried, I tried to get eight hours. Yeah. And I have, you know, a whole host of. Toys to you. Yeah, right. I would send our voice notes or our videos over Instagram or what have you, and be different, like red lights and we got all the Oh, yeah, yeah.
Hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Okay, so, so you've got, you're pretty dialed in on also. Paying attention to that thermal regulation piece, tapping into the difference that you can make for your nervous system to help kind of guide yourself to be able to fall asleep with more ease, stay asleep or aim throughout the course of the night.
And then what will we see in your morning sleep routine? We call it just with the argument that how you start your day can impact your sleep. Yeah, I think an ideal world and someday, you know, 80 20 rule here doesn't happen a hundred percent of the time. It's, I wake up before the kids, I go stand on the porch.
Colorado's super sunny, luckily. So I stay on the porch for five minutes. Is it the 15 minutes that Huberman says no, but it's more than nothing. I make the kids breakfast, I get them out the door. So you know, six 30. Drop them off by eight 30 I'm back and then I have my coffee. So I try to delay my coffee and not just drink it when I first get up.
Yeah. And then I try to work out to kind of, you know, have that like cortisol high of the morning stimulated by the cortisol release from my workout. That's great. And you found now that you've put things into remission, and has that been something where you've now tested your cortisol levels throughout the course of the day and now you've been able to really measurably shift how that's all occurring?
Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. I mean, you can do a Dutch test. Yeah. Now that I'm kind of out of like the darkest depth of my autoimmune condition, really, I just do like Yeah, I know. So I, I still get my blood work tested every six months. Yeah. Um, so I will do a, um, a cortisol drawn that and I try to get my blood work, like I try to be the first appointment of the day so that it's, Pretty accurate.
Totally. Sure. I like that. Every six months cadence too. That's great. And then what might we visually see on your nightstand or if you're traveling, maybe proverbial nightstands apps, uh, ambience gadgets, et cetera? Yeah, I mean, you actually turned me onto the uler, so we have that, uh, for the summertime, like yes.
Game changer. Oh, totally. I have the sleep crown. Oh my god. Yes. Love it. Amazing. I have travel size. Yeah. Yeah. I have blackout curtains. Uh, I have an intelli pure air filter, so. Mm-hmm. I am a big fan of air filtration, especially if you're like living in mold or you're living in somewhere like I am where there's like wildfire.
Yeah. Even if you're living like in Brooklyn, next to the highway, next to the B Q E, you should have an air filter. So I notice that I sleep way better when. My Intelli Purate air filters on. Yeah. Have an aura ring. Yes. I'm a good sleeper. I'm like you. If I go below dialed, I feel like death. A hundred percent.
Yeah. Isn't it interesting where you start to have just like a low tolerance for stretches of poor sleep? Doesn't work. Yeah. Yeah. Like my husband's like, oh my God, I got a 63. I was like, how are you function right now? Exactly. I, and that's what I often say too to people, cuz uh, when in the beginning when I started talking about some of the things that it takes to, you know, get really dialed in sleep, people will say it's like, Blake has always mentions I need a segment called Molly Ruins everything, because it's like, oh, that alcohol, you like the thc?
You're like, God, that's gone, but gone. Gone next. But the thing is, once you start dialing in, you're sleeping like you're speaking about you. I argue that you get addicted to feeling good and suddenly you're so willing to do whatever. You know, some of those things that initially maybe felt like, oh, this is a big task.
It's. A pleasure to do those things when you're gonna wake up feeling the way you feel down the road. It's just such a big deal. So, yeah. And I tell all my autoimmune women, cuz a lot of them, you know, the biggest struggles are fatigue and weight gain. I go, if you are not sleeping, you're not gonna lose weight.
I don't care how many, you know, how much caloric restriction you're trying. So, thank you. Preach. Yes. Amazing. That's great. I love my, the massage sauna, so it's like that bag that you sit in. I don't love getting my head hot. I don't know how you feel about that. I don't. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, I get it a hundred percent.
Not the easiest to clean, but Yes. And I have, originally we had a. A cold plunge called a new recover. It's like a hundred bucks just cuz we wanted to try see if it was, you know, our jam. Yeah. And then we invested in the Cryo Springs cold plunge. They're in Austin. Mm. And it has a chiller and a ozonator and a, uh, water filter.
And so, and you can sit down in it versus an ice barrel, you're kind of squatting in it. I kind of wanted one that I could like. Chilling a little bit. So we invested in the cryo spring cold plunge, uh, this past February, which, ah, Game changer. Loving it. Yeah. Yeah, totally. I mean, I think it's underestimated often or just, or just not, people are not always aware of the difference that can be made when we do leverage these kind of different ranges of our thermo regulation.
So diving into, no pun intended, cold plunges diving into sauna use and how those can be combined mindfully. Like you really seem to have thought out the timing by which you're bringing these in, the effects that you wanna have. Uh, so really, really important stuff. And then the last, unless, did we miss anything in your environment or did that speak most?
Uh, I wear like a breathe right nasal strip. Okay, great. Yeah. And I got DJ one that's, um, a little more, Environmentally friendly. Like you can reuse it. Yes. So, um, but I still use the breath right nasal strip. I, I mean, I love them. I totally, I wear during the day sometimes just around the house. Yes. I'm often speaking about this one that literally looks really dramatic, the intake breather, which basically has magnets on either side and you'd look just wild.
But, um, it you, that's the one I got dj. Yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. Amazing. Yeah. Okay, so then the last question would be, what would you say with all of the, you know, this journey you've been on and that period of time where you just felt so dragging and then to now how you feel and helping to guide so many people to make a difference with their health.
What would you say has made the biggest difference in managing your sleep? Or said another way? Biggest aha moment in managing your sleep. Yeah. I think addressing all those little stressors that add, you know, fill your cup and overflow with. Yeah. And I wish I could just say it was one. Yeah. But it was really all of them.
And, you know, addressing those stressors then will help change any sort of cortisol, just regulation. So, I mean, I, if there was one big one, it was moving out of a place with mold. Yeah. Cause it was just causing so much brain inflammation. I couldn't function. Sure. And I couldn't sleep. So. That was probably the biggest one.
It won't, not everyone is sensitive to mold, so. A hundred percent. Well, and I so appreciate you speaking to that, cuz wouldn't it be nice I, I get that all the time too. Yeah. Where people are like, well, to sleep better, just, what's the one tip? And you're like, okay, really. Like, it just doesn't work. And anyone who tries to say that it works like that is probably, you know, there's a whole other conversation to be had there.
So I appreciate that holistic lens by which you're viewing this and helping to set people up powerfully. Because that can often be disappointing too, when we just say, oh, well once you fix. You know, X, then you're good. And it doesn't quite work like that. And it's an ongoing thing. And it sounds like you're curiously engaged and continuing to uplevel various places and whether it's, you know, tongue health, whether it's the amount of protein you're getting, you know, just it's an ongoing thing to really look at and be intentional about our health.
So, Now clearly we've only scratched the surface of all that there is to understand in this huge, huge topic. So how can people both learn more about you, follow you, and highly suggest everyone follow you on all the social platforms and all the things, but also wanna know more about your course and your other offerings.
Yeah, so Dr. Emily Kib Bird across all platforms. The course is Thyroid Strong. And the podcast is thyroid Strong. So beautiful. There you go. Amazing. So good. And how often do you have the flow for your course? How often can people kind of join that? What's that look like? Yeah, three times a year. Three times a year, okay.
Yeah. All right, so whenever you're listening to this, when we, when you're listening, you're clearly gonna wanna learn more, follow Emily, follow her on all the platforms, the podcast, and then definitely, you know, you can get yourself whether on the wait list or set up to be in the next upcoming program.
Well, thank you so much. I so appreciate you taking the time. It means a lot and it's just, I think, really one of the big things I know when I was struggling with my sleep, one of the things that I was looking for was examples of people that had made it through, cuz I was so afraid that I'm. Stuck here.
This is my new reality and I've just gotta deal with it. And I think for people that are struggling and navigating this topic of autoimmunity, thyroid health, it can be challenging cuz we might not have those clear examples that we can actually impact this and get on the other side. So thank you again for being that person.
Thanks for having me. Awesome. Thank you. 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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