We dive deep into mold and its impact on our health and well-being. Our guest, Jason Earle, a mold expert, sheds light on the often-overlooked connection between mold and sleep.
One of the highlights of our conversation was Jason's innovative approach to mold issues. Discover how he has created user-friendly test kits that enable you to easily assess mold presence in your home. Bonus: They are affordable!!
Gain valuable insights on how to transform your living space, your indoor air quality and embrace a better, healthier life.
Jason Earle is a man on a mission. An adoring father of two boys in diapers, incurable entrepreneur and indoor air quality crusader, he is the founder & CEO of GOT MOLD?, and the creator of the GOT MOLD?® Test Kit.
The realization that his moldy childhood home was the underlying cause of his extreme allergies and asthma led him into the healthy home business in 2002, leaving behind a successful career on Wall Street.
Over the last two decades, Jason has personally performed countless sick building investigations, solving many medical mysteries along the way, helping thousands of families recover their health and peace of mind. He has featured or appeared on Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Dr. Oz Show, Entrepreneur, Wired, and more.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 The emergence of mold awareness
😴 Fear of addressing mold problems
😴 Mold growth and its consequences
😴 The quality of our environment
😴 Poor indoor air quality
😴 Mold and moisture problems
😴 Disconnect from our environment
😴 Less chemicals, more nature
😴 Mold testing and remediation
😴 Taking the first step
😴 Maintaining healthy humidity levels
😴 Wet head in bed
😴 Sleep environment and nightstand
😴 Quitting alcohol and its impact on sleep
😴 How to Find Mold
😴 What could we learn from Jason Earle’s sleep-night habits?
😴 Check-out Got Mold? Test Kit
Enjoy 10% off on your purchase. Use code: sleepisaskill
😴 And More!!!
📈 If you want to raise your HRV AND get a free HRV consultation...
Mode + Method - HRV+ Code: SLEEPISASKILL15
🎢 If you're waking up at 3 am & suspect blood sugar...
Good Idea Code: SLEEP10
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Veri Continuous Glucose Monitors Code: VSM-SLEEPISASKILL
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.
to the sleep as 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 is a skill podcast over here. We look at a lot of different things that could be impacting your sleep. And today's topic is no different mold, mold in your bedroom, mold in your living space. How could mold be impacting your sleep results? We are going to get into the nitty gritty of it.
And our guest is Jason Earle. He is a man on a mission. An adoring father of two boys in diapers, incurable entrepreneur, and indoor air quality crusader. He is the founder and CEO of Got Molds? What a good name. And the creator of the Got Molds? Test Kit. The realization that his moldy childhood home was the underlying cause of his extreme allergies and asthma led him into the healthy home business in 2002, leaving behind a successful career on Wall Street.
Over the last two decades, Jason has personally performed countless sick building investigations, solving many medical mysteries along the way. Helping thousands of families recover their health and peace of mind. He has been featured or appeared on good morning, America, extreme makeover, home edition, the Dr.
Oz show, entrepreneur, wired and more. Now we're going to get into all the details and more, but first, a couple words from our sponsors. If you've been listening to the Sleep as a Skill podcast, you know how passionate I am about understanding the metrics that impact our sleep. Well, I've got some exciting news to share.
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We want this to be both objective and subjective. So visit mode method. com and use my code sleep as a skill, all one word and join in on the mission of revolutionizing our sleep. The CDC reports that more than one in three Americans are sleep deprived, and it's estimated that sleep related issues like trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and sleep disorders affect around 50 to 70 million Americans.
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And you can also check out our online store at sleep as a skill. com here at the sleep as a skill podcast. We're all about enhancing your sleep and a cornerstone of that journey often revolves around stabilizing your blood sugar levels. That's precisely where Good Idea steps in. Good Idea is an innovative drink crafted by scientists in Sweden that actively assists in balancing your blood sugar.
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By creating a consistent internal environment, good idea paves the way for a more tranquil, restorative sleep. So enjoy a good idea alongside your meals. Often I use it as an alcohol replacement, whether you're at home or on the move or at work. And here's some good news. We've teamed up with good idea to offer you a special deal.
So visit www. goodidea. com and use the code sleep 10 for a 10% discount on your first order. Now invest in better sleep and in turn. In a better, more energized life and welcome to the sleep as a skilled podcast. Jason, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. This is going to be a very, very entertaining podcast.
I can already tell we were just actually struggling to hit record because we had so many things to discuss before, before diving in. So this is going to be fun.
Indeed. It's great to be
here. Thanks for having me. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Now, we've, uh, originally got connected, I believe, at Dave Asprey's event, right?
Wasn't it? That's right. Yeah, and you were one of my favorite conversations that I had out of that entire conference, to be honest. Like, it just, what I was left with in our conversation was just your commitment to really educating people on this. area that has really made a difference in your life. And you've seen it make a difference in other people's lives.
And then just kind of like re imagining how we relate to this area. And this, what is this area? What I am imagining we're going to be doubling down on, or maybe you have some new things that you're up to, who knows, but mold and sleep, uh, really uncovering how those things play together, or maybe not. So nicely together and understanding how you just kind of created a whole very cool new relationship to what I have seen as or felt to be a very wild, wild West.
It feels and a lot of the websites I'll go to, or resources that I've. Come across often. It just feels there's a lot of feelings when I experienced some of those sites and they can get expensive or confusing and it feels to me like you're really looking to demystify that. So that's a lot enough of me talking.
I'm excited to hear more from you of how you even got into this world and why this is important to
you. Well, first of all, thanks for all that. And yes, I very much enjoyed our conversation too at the biohacking conference and was looking forward to a chance to do exactly what we're doing right now. So thanks again for making this happen.
Um, yeah, no, so the mold thing is when I first got started doing this 20 years ago, it's crazy to even say that, um, it was very much a push market. In other words, you really had to educate people about this. People oftentimes are like, you're in the, what business? Yeah, you know, mulch mold, wipe it off, you know, it was just most of the time I was dismissed as some, you know, woo woo or some sort of fringe, you know, health, not or something like that, you know, um, and then around 10 years ago after Hurricane Katrina and a whole bunch of other.
You know, coastal flood, you know, there are 100 or, you know, the 100 year floods that kept happening every year. Suddenly, people started realizing that, you know, when terms like Katrina cough entered into our lexicon, you know, where we people suddenly started realizing, wow, this is a real problem. And then the medical research.
Was emerging and then all these big lawsuits started happening and the headlines and there was a big shift. It went from, you know, wives usually calling to schedule an appointment. They spent 45 minutes on the phone. This is through our mold inspection company, 1 800 got mold and the husbands would call to cancel.
And then about 10 years ago, like I said, the husband started calling, uh, to schedule and then people stopped canceling. Um, and so it was a real title shift. And now we're at the point now, which is really gratifying to see that it's pretty much common sense that mold growth of any significance in your home is not a great thing.
Um, and so now we get a chance to, to get past this idea of having to convince people that this is a health issue and then start getting into the actual practicalities of it. Right? So what can we do to improve this thing? What can we do to prevent these things? Um, and so that's my entire mission. It's, you know, we, we, we have products and services and things like that.
But really, my mission, as you said, is to give empower people with the tools and knowledge they need to make better decisions about the air they breathe.
Absolutely. And it's interesting. Often when we have people on the podcast, we'll begin with the going in deeper on the actual problem before mentioning the product.
Because, you know, I'm really committed that people no matter what, if they buy things, don't buy things that they get value. However, I do think it's noteworthy to mention that one of the things I was left with that I thought was really cool is that with your company, you've Created these kits that can just provide such ease because one of the things that I find all the time when I speak with clients that imagine that they might have mold, they have an assumption or an inkling that there's likely mold or maybe just unknowing, but they don't know to what degree.
Maybe there's other areas that are not clear and it feels confusing, overwhelming, maybe expensive, They And then they are analysis paralysis don't take action. But one of the things that feels like you're really unique about is you're making this more user friendly. So I definitely want to talk about that kind of test kit and how that all looks.
But I guess to even before we get there, get myself to get it ahead of myself, why would we be considering like, why is it that big of a deal to think about mold and sleep? And why do you think these rates are kind of climbing of more problems in this area?
Well, so first of all, I think that when it comes to the psychology of a mold problem, this is something that I think a lot about more than probably anyone else.
And you know, this is really something I obsess about and it's because the biggest impediment to people Taking care of a mold problem is fear. Um, and, and, and the fear is, is manifold. Everyone has a different flavor of it. Um, but usually it's the, what if, you know, what if I do have a really big problem and then, you know, what, who do I call?
And, you know, who can I trust? And God, I don't have the money for this. And even if I do have the money, it's so nebulous. It's just a big open Open ended thing and am I going to be taken advantage of and gosh, if you go online and look around, it is the wild west. It's so confusing. In fact, I estimate that probably 95% of what you read online about mold, uh, is misinformation.
It's all driving people towards these, these gadgets and, and, and Gizmos and sprays and all these band aids that are ultimately, they call them mold treatments, but really they're just kicking the can down the road and oftentimes causing other problems along the way, uh, because mold that isn't remediated properly, which means fixing the underlying water problem, the mold that isn't remediated properly, um, it will just grow.
Um, you know, at the end of the day, mold is really not the problem. Mold is a moisture issue. Mold is the symptom. And so, so a moisture problem creates lots of other problems, too. It's not just mold. It's beyond mold. It causes, you know, proliferation of other allergens, like dust mites, which are, of course, a problem for sleep.
Um, and, you know, and for, for general indoor air quality. Um, but also can lead to degradation of your structure. I mean, you literally, a moisture problem can take down a building. So mold is just the first thing that happens when you have a moisture problem. And in fact, I would even argue people love to vilify mold.
I would even argue that mold has a benevolent slant to it. Mold sends a signal to you that there's a problem in the building in the form of a musty odor. And if you don't listen to it, the same way, if you don't listen to your body, give it sending you a pain signal, it goes from acute pain, right? With some of you manage you, you, you do something about that pain to chronic pain, which is its own disease.
Right. Chronic, chronic inflammation, chronic pain, chronic inflammation leads to other things. So, you know, mold in a building might be like the, the pain that you have, uh, and then when you ignore it, it's like turns, it's like cancer in the building. Um, and so that's how it really is that serious. And, and the escalation occurs quickly.
Mold growth to 48 hours of a moisture problem. So, so, and when I tell people this, they're always kind of amazed by that, but you know, you have to move quickly with this stuff. Um, you know, the, according to the industry standard. 72 hours of a water event that isn't dealt with properly, uh, all things that are porous and absorptive should be treated like they're mold, whether they're visible, visibly moldy or not.
And, and, and so what's really crazy about that is that at the 24 to 48 hour mark before you've, before it's, before mold has actually started to grow, you can tear that stuff out usually, unless there's a pre existing mold condition, because that would be a bad idea, right? Make it all airborne and create a bigger problem provided there's not a preexisting moisture problem.
If you have a leak or flood You tear out that stuff get all the wet stuff out. You can do that for free or for cheap And in fact your insurance will cover that almost to the replacement cost of the building I mean, it's unbelievable what they'll cover for water damage Before it becomes mold. Um, and so, so you, so you move quickly on that and you've all the assistance and support you can, you can ask for.
But as soon as you get that three day mark, as soon as you hit that 72 hour mark, then you move into motor mediation. Now you've got specialists. The price goes up tenfold. And guess what? Insurance doesn't pay for it. Now you're on your own. You're up a creek without a paddle. And, and, and now you go from something that could have been dealt with on a weekend to something that may be as much as a month of disruption where you may have to move out of your house and you may lose a lot of your precious belongings.
And, and, and it's just like, it's an incredibly disruptive thing to happen in the middle of your life. And that's all because many people are. Are stuck in, as you say, paralysis of analysis where they had their heads in the sand or they're too busy worrying about other things instead of worrying about the fact that the quality of your air, the quality of, of, of the, of your environment, the shell that we call this exoskeleton that we live in, or this exoskin, which is really an extension of your immune system.
You know, the buildings that we live and work in are really an extension of your immune system. And if that's not taken care of, then you've got to, there's a whole cascade of other problems. And of course, sleep is one of the big things that gets affected.
I've never heard anyone explain it or kind of sum it up like that, that this presence of mold can really be an opportunity for us to take action.
And I like to think of that in a similar way for sleep, that sleep, when we are having sleep disturbances, it can be a signal from the body that something in our lives, psychologically, physiologically, environmentally is not working. So it's really this barometer of the workability in our lives. And I love that concept to apply in the world of mold.
That's a really great and visceral and visible and with tangible things, smell, visibility, et cetera, that we can really start to utilize and use to our advantage. And one of the things I loved that you did for your talk at the biohacking conference was that analogy around our buildings and kind of having this, that breakdown of the skin, the, the skin Skeleton structure, all of that, and I think one of the things I was left with was just the evolution of how things have changed in our modern structures that have made us more efficient, but also mean that there's a lot more instances of problems.
Maybe you put it in terms of like. Uh, Tupperware esque type, uh, environment, right? Wherever we're kind of like locked and sealed, which is nice for temperature control and certain things, but can really be gr breeding grounds for more mold issues and might speak to the why that we are seeing so many more instances of this and maybe more need to get this really handled quickly and have a clear pathway for action.
Is that all accurate? Are there Yeah,
absolutely. No, you've, you, you've, uh, been paying attention for sure. I mean, thank you for watching that talk. Um, the reason that mold is such a problem now is because, um, we live, well, first of all, if you bet, if you, if you rewind all the way back, it's really modern construction and then a whole bunch of other things, but it all began really around, uh, the time, uh, after world war two, where there was a need for fast and cheap building materials, um, because of the baby boomers, right?
There was a. big demand for, for, for new housing. And so, um, so construction companies or more importantly, the chemical companies, uh, started producing, uh, things like gypsum wallboard and, um, which is a perfect growth medium for, for, for mold. Previously, buildings were made of plaster and, and, and laugh and old growth timber and concrete and stone and all these things that are really impervious to moisture issues.
Um, and also we didn't put fluffy insulation in the walls, which is a sponge back then. Of course you didn't heat or cool your house easily either, but. You know, so in the interest of comfort, we started, we started, you know, started packing our walls with insulation, which of course, when water gets in the walls, it stays in the walls and then the building materials themselves support fungal growth.
And then we also started using more plastic and vapor barriers and vapor retarders to keep water from getting in. Um, but what that does is actually keeps water from getting out to, um, so, you know, like double edged sword. Right. And so, uh, and, and then, um, and then of course, you know, due to the energy crisis in the, you know, in the late sixties and seventies.
Um, in the early seventies, we, we ended up with, uh, you know, people were more concerned about energy efficiency and energy, you know, uh, saving, uh, saving money and energy. So they started building really tight, much more, you know, and so the tighter the building, that means less air exchange. So so then you end up with these chemical boxes that are very mold friendly and when water gets in, it doesn't get out easily.
And then when mold grows, it produces a few different things. It produces the spores, which everyone's pretty much familiar with these microscopic seeds that are. The cause irritation and allergies and things like that. They also happen to carry mycotoxins on them. Um, if they're mycotoxic genic, but they also mold also produces these microbial gases and these gases have long been dismissed as an aesthetic nuisance.
Just musty smell it, you know, his grandma's basement smell, whatever. But the current research. Um, is very clear on this. That the musty smell is neurotoxic. Um, it is a health hazard. Um, and so, uh, and the animal studies, it's amazing. It actually, they show that they, the fruit flies stop producing dopamine, they stop reproducing, they fly down instead of to the light, they develop parkinsonian like symptoms, uh, as, as well as mitochondrial disorders, locomotor dysfunction, eventually premature death.
Um, yeah. And so this has been replicated in numerous studies. Um, so fascinating. But what the point is, is that those those chemicals in addition to the chemicals that we're using and building materials all accumulate indoors. So beyond mold, it's V. O. C. S. If you really look at the problem that we face as a society in terms of what air quality has that we live, we spend 90% of our time indoors.
Which is insane or more in certain climates, right? Uh, and there's very poor air exchange. In fact, there's no regulations requiring air exchange in residential construction, yet there is in commercial buildings. Uh, which is just insane. We also have building materials that are literally leaching carcinogenic chemicals, off gassing chemicals that you would never ever allow knowingly to be in your home if you had the choice to.
To to to make that decision, right, you wouldn't expose, but yet we build our buildings out of these, which is just bonkers because the chemical companies are the ones who make the building materials. And so it's like big food, big pharma, and then big chemical. That's the, these are the, these are the, these are the players that make the decisions on our behalf and then we have to live with the consequences.
And so this is why we're seeing big spikes in autoimmune disease in, uh, um, Of course, climate change plays a big role in this, too, by the way, so it's it's, you know, it's the fast and cheap buildings, and then it's the and then it was also tighter buildings, um, and then, uh, and then we also saw all this, this, this flooding and coastal and climate change.
So all those things stack up. Um, but at the end of the day, it's more than mold. Um, although mold is the centerpiece because mold is the clearly definable target and it's the clearly definable. It's also the one that gives you that signal. You know, people like to vilify mold and, and, and for understandably so, we all like to have a bad guy.
Yeah. Mold is just doing its thing, right? Mold really is not, it's just, it's job is to take stuff that's dead and turn it back into dirt. And if given enough time, it will do that to your house. Um, so you're just, and you're in the way. You know, uh, and so the idea here is to be aware of the fact that it's just doing its thing as as nature's great recycler.
Um, and and if we can understand that moisture is the enemy of a healthy building, uh, excess moisture is the enemy of a healthy building. Um, then then that's the target. It's not the mold. It's the moisture problems. And so it's up to us as homeowners or as as people who live in buildings and breathe air.
Really? I always say I have a niche niche business, right? I only work with people who live in buildings and breathe air.
So just let me know and you can send them my mic.
Well, we also, I mean, I'm in a similar business. I only work with people that sleep each night. So I totally understand. It's very odd. Very narrow. Very
niche market. Yeah.
Wow. Okay. Well, one, I just love your passion on this topic. It's so clear in your knowledge base runs so deep.
It just is so uncommon. to know this much in this area and so needed to your point. I guess somehow that I don't know why until you said it right now I just missed this call out that commercial buildings have these certain requirements for ventilation and certain standards that we just don't have in our residential buildings which I don't know how I snoozed on that but that's a really Fantastic point and just one more piece of the puzzle.
And I mean, I talk about from a sleep perspective all the time that EPA study done ages ago around the call out that the average person is spending around 90% of their time indoors. And that study was done like so long ago. That's probably way more now. Given pandemic screens, Netflix, all the things. So we know what that does to sleep, even in and of itself.
It's such a problem from a disconnection from circadian rhythm elements. And now as we just layer in this topic of what are we breathing during all of this time that we're dealing with? So I guess a couple of things I wanted to back up on or to underscore from a place of empowerment as it relates. to mold.
One, I think you're reframing for us that it could be actually something that is beneficial sign for us telling us that we need to take some action. So I love that new framing for it. And secondly, I guess one of the other things I find from people is almost just this like resignation. Well, yeah, there's probably mold in here, but whatever, you know, your effect or avoidance or just numbness or.
What have you. Apathy. Apathy. Some, just a varying degree of well what am I going to do with it or it's going to be too big of a problem or I plan on moving in two years anyway so you know what I'll just deal with it for now. A lot of reasons to not act on this so. I guess if we could shift a little to, all right, so we get this sense that maybe mold's present.
What can we do about it? Like, how, what are those visual steps? Because I think some people just can't even imagine what this would look like beyond spending just so much money to have someone else come in. My understanding is you're helping to bridge that gap and kind of bring in our own utility in this
So, yes, and it is that overwhelm that, you know, it's, it's, it's hard to imagine going through the process in advance of finding an inspector, finding a remediator, you know, where do you even begin? Do you go to Yelp? Do you call your uncle? You know, what are you going to do? You know, it's just like, where do you begin?
Um, and, and that is, therein lies the, the, the, the major problem that we're trying to solve again, based on, you know, thinking about the psychology of someone who's got their head in the sand on this, or just wants to look away from it. We want people to respond to this as quickly as they can.
Unfortunately, most people don't. So we built something that helps them respond to it cost effectively, uh, so that they can at least have a stepping stone. So, so there, if you, if you want to get your house tested for mold right now, you'd. You, you can go to the hardware store and you can buy these 10 Petri dishes at the checkout at the hardware store.
And these are scientifically invalid. Uh, almost anyone who's been through a mold problem has seen these. Many people have bought them. They sell hundreds of millions of dollars a year worth of these things. And they're complete junk science. Uh, they always show up positive. So not helpful at all. And what that tells you is that.
Mold is a normal part of every indoor environment. And by the way, I want to back up for a second and we'll come back to the when we talk about the disconnection from from our environment and spending 90% of our time indoors, the word human is the root of that is humus, which is soil. Mm. Wow. How disconnected can we be right?
We're from the soil and then back to the soil, right? The idea. In fact, almost all of our digestive organisms, the many trillions of microbes that make us up. We are microbial, right? 37 trillion or so human cells, 35 or so trillion ballpark figure here. I don't know who's counting, but but of microbes that That, that, uh, produce all these amazing things, you know, the neurotransmitters and, and, you know, the, the, the B vitamins and just the digest doing all the work for you.
We are composters, by the way, and you know what, all those microorganisms, mostly they're soil organisms. Um, and so, so these are naturally occurring in the dirt in your yard, unless you've got a sanitized yard. And a lot of people have done all sorts of weird stuff to their yard too, which is a different conversation, but, um, but the bottom line is that, you know, what we see in healthy indoor environments.
Um, much like healthy human environments, the microbiome that that's on and in us is a very high microbial diversity is correlated to low incidences of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disease, which is to say that the more bugs you have in your house, not insects, the most microbes you have, the more different kinds you have, the better.
And that's But you don't want any of them growing in your house. See, here's the difference, right? So you want the microbial diversity, you just don't want them growing in your house. And what makes them grow? Moisture issues. So you can control the moisture issues and open your windows, right? Yes. Uh, and allow nature back in.
And then, then you start to be able to create an environment that's more conducive to our natural state. And so people want to run HEPA filters and, and HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners, and I advocate them wholesale. Everybody should have HEPA filtered air cleaners and HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners in their home.
And you should absolutely keep a clean environment, but not a sterile one. Clean is not, is not, does not equal sterile. Um, and, and so, uh. Uh, so I always tell people, use your HEPA filters, use your HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners, but recognize that mostly what you're trying to do is remove the building material debris that's laden with chemicals that's in the dust in your home.
You don't want to remove all the spores. Use that thing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, but open your windows. Right. Yes. Bring that back in. Clean your building of the chemicals that are in the building materials and then bring in nature. Um and and that's really how you that's that's the the baseline for a healthy indoor environment is less chemicals, more nature.
Yes. And so, you know, less dust, less debris, of course. Right? Again, clean is not sterile. Um, and so, so the idea is that when we, uh, we, our, we we, when we do mold testing, you know, again, you can go, go get a $10 Petri dish, uh, which doesn't work. Uh, or on the other side of the spectrum, you've got companies like my other company, 1-800-GOT-MOLD where we, uh, in-house mold, uh, uh, mold assessments.
Mm. Um, the, uh, Uh, that those inspections are 1, 500 on average. If you're hiring somebody who's qualified, who doesn't have a conflict of interest, that's not using that inspection as a sales tool to sell you a remediation project, watch out. Buyer beware. Watch out for the free inspections because nothing's free.
Right. Everything, you know, if it's free, watch out. It's a sales call. Um, And so, uh, so in between, there's this big gap, and this is where people get shut down. This is where people put their head in the sand. Yeah. 10 doesn't work. They know it intuitively. And like you said, most people who have a mole intuitively know they have a mole problem.
And most people look at a 10 test kit and intuitively know. Can't be that promising, right? Yeah. Um, and so, but, but there's this big gap. So what we decided to do was take a look at what was out there in terms of the DIY marketplace and the at home test kits. And I started this project, uh, 15 years ago. Um, it took a long, long time to get all the pieces in place and also for the consumer to be ready, quite frankly.
Yeah. You know, again, I think it was a push market 20 years ago and now it's more of a pull market. And, and so. Yeah. So what we decided to do is take all the, try to take the ethics, ethical quandaries out. So how do you get rid of, if it's hard to know who to trust, and mold, mold testing is expensive and it's hard to know how to trust, well, let's take the human part out of it.
Let's get rid of the inspector for a minute and just say, what's the most important thing here? Let's do, let's look at like a pregnancy test kit as an analogy. Sure. Right. And so essentially, that's what we decided to create a very high quality way for people to quickly assess whether or not it's worth their time and energy and money to invest further in this because any mold test kit, no more test kit is a replacement for a professional inspection.
If, in fact, you do have a problem of any significance, the next step is to get a proper assessment done, which would then be the. Prelude to proper remediation. A lot of times people don't need that. And also a lot of times people who are testing for mold may not even be able to do remediation because they may be renting.
Uh, or they may not be empowered to take make those decisions, but then what they can do is they can use this data to protect themselves. To minimize exposure, to get air purifiers, to maybe let the powers that be know what's going on, to start bringing this to health departments, or landlords, or husbands and wives, and you know, it also settles a lot of A lot of debates.
Oh, I think we have a mold problem. Oh, I don't think we do have this. And then now you can test your house without having to get permission from someone, right? Without having to schedule appointments, all the without having to spend all that time doing research and, you know, putting yourself out there, so to speak.
Um, and so what we did was we took essentially the same devices that professionals use, which are known as sport traps. Um, and this, the sport traps are Use worldwide by professionals for indoor air quality assessment on and they usually have to be interfaced with an air sampling pump. That's a calibrated, expensive, delicate device.
tripod. People have seen it. Asbestos testing looks a lot like that. Um, and what we did was we figured out how to make one of those for a whole lot less than a thousand bucks, which is what they sell for. And so, uh, this is our air sampling pump. And believe it or not, I've got a chief inspector at HUD who, who, who's calling me on a regular basis.
He, he buys, he's using these in the field, which is not what we designed. Really? Yeah. Yeah. No, he's amazing. It duplicates a professional air sampling, air sampling pump exactly, but for a fraction of the cost, and it enables consumers to be able to use that same same method, but without having to deal with all of the potential conflicts of interest and things like that.
Uh, and then we decided to take this idea and go to the big labs and see if they were interested in working with us. And we were fortunate enough to be, uh, to be embraced by the number one lab in the country, um, who then subsequently got bought by the, the, The number one lab in the world. Uh, and so we have an exclusive partnership with a Eurofins, which is the number one environmental microbiology lab in the world.
Yeah. So, uh, so what you do is you, you use our kit to be able to collect air samples, you send it back in a prepaid mailer. Uh, we have a simple pricing. So all the lab fees and shipping are included. There's no, no, no fine print, no nonsense. Uh, and, uh, and then once the lab data is ready, which is, uh. Two to three business days at the lab.
Uh, you get a beautifully formatted report with a color coded interpretation as well as some next steps in terms of, you know, uh, some, some resources. We have an ebook, uh, to guide people through, uh, the, some of the frequently asked questions as well as links to, um, how to find an inspector in your area, how to find a motor mediator in your area as well as some other resources.
So the idea here is to give people that stepping stone because you got this 10 1000 gap right between 10. And so what we wanted to do is give people a stepping stone. Um, because the journey of 1000 miles because with one step, right? And so, so we want to give people that step to get them out of inertia into motion.
Right out of this app out of this shutdown. So I look at this as a lever for change as a lever for action to give people an affordable way to take that first step safely. And I mean, emotionally safely, you know, because this a lot of people have been marginalized by their fears and they express their fear about mold.
They express their concern about mold. People shut them down. You know, it's very common for one person to have a problem, five people living in a house, one person's vociferous about it, and everyone else is kind of like, eh, and then, and then when it gets fixed, by the way, suddenly the other people start recognizing that they're feeling better too, they're sleeping better, you know, they're, they're not having so many, so much as emotional dysregulation, and suddenly, you know, there's validation and not just one person heals, in fact, the family often heals.
You know, um, in many ways, you know, so, so, so that's, that's the, that was the motivation behind this and what's really gratifying. We launched this March last year, almost exactly a year ago, March 21st last year. Um, and that's exactly what we're seeing. Um, it's, it's been remarkable to see, um. Gets me a little misty eyed, quite frankly, uh, to see how, how, how, uh, how, how much, how much positive change is occurring in the lives of the people who, who have decided to, you know, give us the confidence to spend a few hundred dollars to, to see if, uh, if they've got a problem with their, with their home.
Wow. Well, that is just incredible. I think it's so important. And one underscoring that I want to make for the listener is my hope is that in this conversation that we're providing new pathways for action to deal with this problem that can really, really just completely derail our certainly our sleep and many facets of our health and our life and our psychology and beyond.
So having this very crystal clear Transcribed way of getting this information I think is so important. And actually, it's yet another way where I feel like this is very parallel to how I discuss sleep. From one of the first things I often have people do is get some objectionable or objective data in relationship to what's going on because there can be this gray area that we're swimming in.
In the realm of sleep. And I think it certainly applies in this world of mold. And so that's one of the often the first things I have people do is get, you know, an aura ring or whoop in this kind of modern society. Sometimes we need some modern solutions. And that's kind of one of the things I'm getting in this conversation too, is just the power.
That can come when suddenly you have this color coded piece of paper that points to all right. So the bedroom and this room and that we are swimming in molds. We got to take some action or maybe not, maybe yay. We can celebrate and there, you know, so whatever it is, that knowledge is power. So I absolutely encourage people.
And usually again, I usually leave this to the very end, but if you're listening. Go to got mold dot com. Take a look at the website because so far one of I mean, that's one of the reasons I wanted to have this conversation is it's even just the experience of this website. It's like nothing I found yet in the world of mold.
Often they're like just the UX UI experience on a lot of these sites is archaic and weird and creepy and just like where am I giving my money to? What am I getting exactly? Uh, I feel like so true. Right. A lot of them are very just, yeah. So checking this out because it absolutely has accessible price points at various tiers that can allow you to take some action now.
And you know, I'm not affiliated. I'm not getting anything to say this, but I'm saying just my whole mission on this planet is for. People to be able to empower themselves with their health and well being as it relates to sleep. And certainly this area is going to be a huge, huge problem if we don't handle it and get some information around it.
So, okay, that's enough of me talking what I'd love to do is shift to understanding about how you are handling your own sleep with all of the knowledge that you have. Kind of how I'd imagine you've got some cool setup with your environment where you're sleeping every night, et cetera, et cetera. So we do ask every person that comes on the podcast four questions.
And the first one is what is your nightly sleep routine looking like right now? And I'm sure I know you travel and do different things, but what can we learn from that right now? Well,
so I have recently quit caffeine, uh, caffeine a few times, um, and, and, and I always go back to it like a, you know, like a moth to the flame, but I'm, but I'm, but I'm back to no caffeine and, uh, that, that helps a lot because I tend to go to bed much earlier.
Um by by default, uh, mostly because i'm still in withdrawals and sleep and feel yeah I get laid out at you know, one o'clock in the afternoon You know the first couple of weeks after I quit caffeine, you know Um, yeah, so so the first thing is I tried it to to um Disconnect from screens, of course, you know, uh, as early as I can, of course, that's not always easy because I actually really love my kindle.
So I, so I'll wear blue blocker glasses to, to, and, and I've got a blue blocker screen, uh, screen saver on a screen cover on my kindle, but I, but I do like to read a little bit oftentimes before I go to bed, but before, but, but if I have my druthers, um, what I'll do is I'll make sure I don't eat too, too close to bed.
Um, yeah. And I, and I minimize, uh, uh, beverages, uh, as well, um, too close to bed. Uh, I tend to meditate, uh, for 15, 20 minutes, um, as close to bedtime as I can after I've brushed my teeth and done some basic hygiene stuff. Right. Cause I found that that disturbs me again. So I try to, uh, I also happen to have an aura ring.
Um, Oh, great. And I, and I, and I live by it. I found it to be, uh, powerful as a gamifier. Uh, again, I subscribe to the philosophy as many functional, uh, medical practitioners do is test. Don't guess. And that's, you know, so, so the same thing goes with our test kit, of course, you know, I, I subscribe to this philosophy and I, and I try to have it be, you know, uh, operative in, in other areas of my life.
Um, and, uh, and I happen to also have, uh, an eight sleep. Yeah, sure. 100%. Um, and I, and I was, I was reluctant to do it because of the wifi aspect of it. Um, but I, but I have a, a, a, a try, um, try band meter, uh, EMF meter and, and a close, a On my bed. There's no detectable, uh uh, E M F. Yeah. So, so I, I make sure that, that I'm actually, that I don't have a Faraday cage, although I, believe me, I've been tempted to actually put one up.
have one coming. I can let you know,
know, let know, cause I'm actually there. There's beautiful fabrics that you can do. I mean, gorgeous. You can do them like this. Elegant, uh, um, yeah. Elegant, uh, you know, something you'd see in, uh, you know, an old, like, you know, An old film. Yeah, exactly. Caribbean, you know, like a mosquito net or something like that.
You see, um, but any case, you know, so I use my, my a slip. I also, uh, uh, now I take my mouth at night. Yeah, I run a HEPA filtered air cleaner and in the in my Room. It's a little white noise. Not that I really, I don't really like white noise, but it does serve its own function as a little bit of a background.
I've got two little kids and, you know, there's lots of other noises going on. So that tends to flatten it out a little bit. Um, and, uh, and I, and I, and I do go through the day. Um, yeah. In my mind and I and I and I do cultivate gratitude. I don't sit and write like a lot of people do but I go through and I I do.
Um, I appreciate the things that occurred and I think and I thank the universe for all things, uh, especially the challenges That i'm going through because the challenges in my experience have been where I grow. Um, you know, I don't just You know, thank God for for the rainbows and butterflies, you know, it's this there's a I think the universe for the whole package Um, and and that and especially my kids, of course, you know There are certain high points that that I make sure to never miss and um And, and I, and I, uh, and I also, I also fall asleep flat on my back, uh, which is, and I, and I make sure my sinuses are clear.
Of course, I'm taping my mouth, but, um, but a lot of that has to do with making sure that I've maintained a good humidity in the building, which goes back to mold moisture as well. But when, when. If your humidity is too high, obviously you're going to have mold moisture issues. You're going to have a mold and, uh, uh, and dust mites and things like that.
Um, but if the humidity is too low, you all end up with dry mucus membranes and inflammation in your sinuses and have a hard time breathing. And so, so maintaining. healthy humidity between 40 and 60% according that's according to ASHRAE, but that's a really good and so below 40% is danger zone. Um, and that's how people get sick.
By the way, in the winter, people think that you get cold, you get, you get sick from being cold. You don't you get sick from being dry. Yeah, and then the mucous membranes are cracked and then and then the critters can get in, right? Um, your mucous membrane is your protective, your protective shield for these things.
Um, and so, uh, and so I maintain it. You know, I've got a humidity gauge up there in my in my room. And, you know, I've I maintain that sort of environmental control, uh, over, over um, Um over the humidity, um, and then also it's important to to realize I don't use any fragrances at all in our bedding There's no dryer sheets.
There's no candles These are all antithetical to anyone who's in the indoor air quality business, of course And so, you know, I I walk my talk Um, and uh, and i'm also very careful about and this is just a little Sort of a an aside note, but i'm also very careful to make sure that there's no wet heads in bed Um, because that, that, that drives dust mite growth, um, and, and wet towels on beds also facilitate dust mite growth.
So no wet heads in bed. Um, and so it's just basically clean, dry, uh, healthy humidity. And, uh, and then, and then I, and then test don't guess. Yeah.
Yes. Oh, that's, those are a lot of good gems and just the wet head in bed. I haven't heard anyone mention that piece at all. And I think I got to add that to. Some of the things that we do for behavioral and environmental kind of cleanup in the bedroom specifically for sleep.
So that's a great call out. Oh, really good points. And as far as your morning routine, what might we see there? I'm sure all these things evolve and shift and change, but anything noteworthy there at the
moment? Yeah, provided that there's not some sort of, you know, a one and a half or a four year old little boy, uh, you know, invading my sleep.
Yeah, exactly. They can really mess up these perfect morning routines and all that. Yeah,
I used to have a perfect morning routine and then, and then the crib went away. It was great when you had them in that little baby prison. As soon as they got out, as soon as you take away the bars, you let them free, they, they, they, they, They abuse their freedom, but you know, it's the cutest thing in the world.
And so it's hard, but so what I try to do is get up way before they would even have a chance to do that. So the first thing I do is go to bed by going to bed early. I can get up around five. I like to get up well before the sun even comes up so that I, and I also don't, I don't, I leave my phone down in my office.
So important. So and and you know, I kind of hem and haw on that because if something goes wrong I want to be able to have my you know, but my but my wife my wife sits and she she and I have very different sleep Habits, uh, so she'll read her phone at night, you know, whatever that's you know to each his own Um, but so I know there's a phone up there So anyway, I keep my phone down here and I and I and I try to get to bed I get up around 5 a.
m. And uh, and the first thing I do is Drink a big glass of mineral water, uh, sometimes with some lemon in it. Um, and also this, this occasional drops of some supplements that I, that I take. And then I'll meditate. Um, and at this point i've not turned on any lights. Yes, there are no lights Yeah, in fact, I will then sometimes go take a shower and I uh, and I don't put lights on in the bathroom I've got night lights there.
So it's So i've got everything kind of arranged. So it's it's it's an it's actually a really nice way to just Peacefully greet the day and get cleansed and everything else. Um, and I have you know, it's a it's a pretty simple routine um, and then i'll uh Take the time to read, um, some, some, some spiritual texts, uh, sometimes, um, you know, just some stuff I'm, I'm digging into, uh, uh, try not to read stuff from work, uh, try not to read industry stuff, uh, that early, uh, I try to read some stuff that's, that's more heartfelt, um, that, that will get me in a, in a, in a deeper state of mind, um, and then I'll oftentimes take a few moments to read, to, to write a little bit.
Um, if I have time, um, and, uh, and so, you know, writing, I'll, I'll go through, you know, some, some gratitude stuff, but, uh, oftentimes I'm just sort of, you know, uh, pondering the, the magic of the universe and, um, and then sometimes I'll talk about the, the previous day and then my intentions for the day ahead, um, and, uh, and then, and then I, and then, uh, it provided that the kids haven't, uh, gotten to me yet, then I'll, yeah.
Then I'll try to find some movement, some time for some movement, which generally speaking, I've had some joint pain issues over the years, which thankfully has gone, uh, gone away because of some dietary changes. Uh, but, but, but I, uh, ended up having to reduce my movement to essentially sun salutations. Mmm.
And and and powerful, though. I mean, it's super important for me to be able to get that full body stretch and a little bit of, um, just a little bit of resistance in there, even if it should, you know, um, even if it's just muscular resistance. Um, so so that's yeah, that's that's that's my sort of. And then, unfortunately, I live, you know, I live in a place where the That bright daylight sun is not abundant, uh, for six months out of the year.
Uh, you know, so it's it's hard sometimes to get outside and also I live in minnesota So it's cold and i'm reluctant because i'm kind of lazy with that I don't necessarily want to go outside when it's really cold. So that's one thing that's a big gap for me is getting that That, that, that, that strong daylight sun to, to kick in my circadian rhythms.
Um, but if I have my druthers, uh, that, that will be something that is added to my lifestyle at some point in the not so distant future. Oh,
exciting. Okay. To be continued. Fantastic. And then what might we visually see in your sleep environment on your nightstand or proverbial nightstand ambience? You mentioned humidify or well humidity levels any call outs and things like that or others.
us know. Yeah. No, I've got it. I've got a few books there. Um, uh, right now, I I've got smart brevity, uh, which is a fabulous book. I highly recommend it to anyone who's who who you. Needs to communicate in the modern world. And I think we all do that. That's again, a niche thing, right? Communicating in the modern world.
If anybody who, you know, speaks and uses words, they might, they might want to look at this. Yeah. Um, and it's, it's actually, it's a, it's a, it's written by the guys that, um, the founded Axios, the news agency. Uh, and so they're very good at that. So, so I've got that book as well as, uh, a fabulous book called the hidden kingdom of fungi right now.
Oh, wow. It's really cool. It's actually fabulous. Um, and a mouth tape. You'll see mouth tape there. Uh, you'll also see earplugs. Uh, I mentioned, I didn't mention that, but I oftentimes will use the swimmers earplugs, the really waxy ones. Yep. I sleep so well when I, when I just use them. Earplug and mouth tape.
It's fabulous. Um, of course, I have to be careful that, you know, that, that, uh, I want, I still want to know that if I hear something with the kids, you know, so that's something I do kind of intermittently, um, and, uh, and I, and, and, and alarm clock, which I never use. And I don't even know why it's there anymore, quite frankly, because I don't even ever really, except for to know what time it is for me to get up.
I don't ever use an alarm. Uh, haven't used an alarm for years. Oh, nice.
So it's very, very simple. Wake up.
Yeah. Yeah, no, I've, I've alarm clocks are, first of all, alarm is alarming. Yes. What
a way to greet
the day. Yeah. Zig Ziglar said, don't call it an alarm clock. It's an opportunity clock.
Oh, I love that. Oh, he's, uh, I love the cadence, the delivery from him.
Absolutely. No, he was, he was, he was one of a kind.
Absolutely. Amazing. Okay. So I love that breakdown. We visually see. And then for the overall experience of your relationship with your sleep throughout all your years thus far, what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your sleep?
Well, this is something that hasn't come up in this conversation yet, but I quit drinking alcohol five years ago. Oh, um, and, and I, and I, and I quite frankly was a, I was a professional drinker. I mean, I was, I was absolutely, you know, that was, that was part of my lifestyle before I started, before I was in mold, I was on wall street for nine years.
So, um, so when in Rome, And so, uh, so the big game changer was knocking that out. First of all, alcohol is the great sleep distributor. Um, but I used it as a, as a way to, uh, I would over medicate in that way. And, and, and never thought anything of it. Of course, I didn't have an aura ring and I wasn't nearly as focused on, on sleep quality back then.
Cause I quite frankly probably didn't even want to know. Yep. Um, absolutely. The denial is, is, is a real thing. Um, but once I got rid of that, then I also noticed, by the way, also cannabis is a sleep distributor. Um, it's not, people like to say that it helps them with their sleep. And I would suggest that if they stop for a little while, they might find that they really sleep.
Yes. So, you know, what I'm doing, what I'm, what I've, what the big change for me is recognizing that, um, As with most things, it's not adding something that helps. It's often removing things.
Oh, my God. Are we a kindred spirits? I'm always saying that some line, some version of that it's, you know, versus additive.
It's subtractive in nature, often for the things that make the difference because I get so many people want to know. What's the list of supplements and things I can take and add in and the elixirs and this, that, and the other, but you just hit the nail on the head that removing some of those big, especially heavy hitters, I mean, alcohol, just so clear wearables really do a great job with showing unequivocally the impact that those can make on our sleep and our health.
And I so acknowledge you. So not a small thing. And then to share about that is just so helpful. The more people that we can think to in our minds that have gone first and have done this and now are experiencing all those benefits on the other side. It's just so, so helpful. So really
fantastic. I will also add that I, that I do, and this is something I like that is that I do supplement at night.
It's a magnesium and theanine as well. Yeah. And those I find to be just, I have, I get like, I'm often, I do cyclical ketosis. And so I get cramps in my legs and things. And so I have to supplement with electrolytes anyway. And so I just go heavier on the magnesium at night. Yes. And, and then the theanine, and it's just, it's such a beautiful combination that, and there's like no downside to it that I've been able to, it does nothing but benefit me, at least in terms of the objective data, and I, and I just noticed that I, I wake up feeling clear, uh, and, and I'm well rested without my legs tingling or cramping.
And, you know, so those kinds of things.
Ah, amazing. Well, those, uh, all of those things are so, so impactful and clearly move the needle on our overall health and life and experience of our sleep. So I really acknowledge you for clearly thinking deeply about this area and for providing breakthroughs in this realm of what are we breathing in throughout this entire time when we're sleeping.
So, so grateful for that. So for anyone listening that then is like, okay, I need to learn more about this product, how to stay in this conversation, what are the best ways for them to
do that? Sure. So we actually made a welcome page for your listeners on our website at gotmold. com slash sleep is a skill.
Amazing. And so at, if you go to gotmold. com slash sleep is a skill, you'll see that there is an ebook there, uh, how to find mold. And it's about 46 pages of inspection checklists, as well as, uh, uh, some FAQs. Um, there's a, we get a lot of positive feedback about that. There's also a coupon code there. For your listeners, which is sleep is a skill 10, which gives them 10% off of any of our kits as well as refills that does not expire.
Um, and then there's a, and then anyone who wants to get in touch with me, uh, the best way is really to go to got mold. com, go to the, the bottom of the homepage. There's a contact form and I see all those messages. I don't necessarily answer all of them, but I see all of them. Uh, and we've got a fabulous team and if it comes in and it's something that's right.
That, that, uh, uh, that, that I can, uh, uniquely answer, I'm, I'm more than willing to do. So. Uh, also social media, we're not, I'm not, I'm, I'm somewhat allergic to it. Yeah. . But, but, but I, but, but those messages do make it to me too. So if you want to post something, uh, I, I will often, uh, uh, be the recipient and the, and the, uh, and answer those questions there too.
Oh, my God. Okay. Instagram at Got Mold and Facebook at Got Mold.
Okay. Got Mold on all platforms. Number one, I didn't even realize we had a page. That's amazing. Okay. Thank you. So I'm going to be spreading this far and wide. That's fantastic. And we'll actually be sharing that then, of course, with our cohort participants, because I think that this is, it's been a missing piece of the puzzle, I think, because often what we've done is individually where people are kind of.
Find local providers and different things and this is an exciting opportunity to have more cohesion with where we're helping people to make this just fast and easy and doable and clear and, you know, minimize all that confusion. So that's amazing. Thank you so much for that. My pleasure. I just thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge.
I know we only scratch the surface on your knowledge. I really was blown away by your talk again at bio hacking conference and. So I know that this is kind of just the beginning, maybe down the road when you're, you know, in your sunny environment place, we could do our part to find out how you're living then and going deeper.
But, uh, this is, this has been fantastic. So thank you.
It's my pleasure. Thank you.
You've been listening to the sleep as a skill podcast, the number one podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday, I send out something that I call Mollie's Monday obsessions containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep head on over to.
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