Join us in a fascinating discussion about the connection between the gut microbiome, immune system, and sleep with Jennilyn Griffith, a gut health and neurotransmitter specialist.
We explore the effects of leaky gut and dysbiosis on autoimmune conditions and how they can disrupt our sleep. Jennilyn also shares her personal journey of overcoming severe gut issues and offers valuable insights into optimizing our morning and evening routines for better sleep.
Let's dive in!
Jennilyn Griffiths specializes in gut health and neurotransmitters! Started as a personal trainer 10 years ago and got deep into fixing imbalances in the body with a holistic approach to nutrition, supplementation, and behavioral changes.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 Jennilyn’s severe gut health issues and misdiagnosis of IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
😴 What is leaky gut, and how does it contribute to autoimmune conditions
😴 How leaky gut and dysbiosis can negatively affect sleep quality.
😴 The impact of dysbiosis on the immune system and sleep
😴 Fungal and bacterial overgrowth disrupt sleep and cause stress
😴 Symptoms of Candida overgrowth and its effect on sleep
😴 SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and its misdiagnosis as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
😴 The importance of a strict morning and night routine
😴 What is "game over time." means for Jennilyn
😴 And More!!!
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The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
Welcome to the sleep 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 as a skill podcast. Ask my guest today is a friend of mine that I actually met at keto con when we were both speaking there. And again, that does not mean that you have to be keto to attend a conference like that. I am certainly not exclusively keto, and yet I was able to connect with some fantastic speakers while there.
And Jennilyn Griffiths was one of them. Now she specializes in gut health and neurotransmitters. She started as a personal trainer 10 years ago and got. Deep into the world of fixing imbalances in the body with a holistic approach to nutrition, supplementation, and behavioral change. Now she started in on this journey due to her own story of having severe gut issues in high school and getting passed around from doctor To doctor for years without ever getting any answers or solutions as to what was causing her gut issues So different topics that we hop around on in this conversation include Gut health, microbiome, and their impact on sleep and how leaky gut and dysbiosis can negatively affect sleep quality.
Get into the weeds on topics of circadian rhythm health and the practical applications of bringing that into your life and more. So I really hope you enjoy this conversation and we're going to jump into more, but first a couple of 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.
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Now invest in better sleep and in turn. in a better, more energized life. And welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. Oh my goodness. This is going to be a fun one. I literally, before hitting record, was just sharing that I feel like I'm going to be chatting with an old friend on this conversation. You know, we really pretty recently met at different conferences and what have just the energy, the excitement, the enthusiasm, and the knowledge is really, really incredible with our guests today.
So one, just thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Yes, thank you. I feel the same girl. Like we, we're like old souls. Like when we met and connected the way, like you said, we're both passionate about this subjects and these subjects and health. I was like, how did I not meet her earlier? You can't leave out.
I just have to tell the audience how we met is at the biohacking Congress in Vegas, right? And I was talking to one of my friends for Oz and I noticed that she, Molly comes up and she has an aura ring and I'm like, you have an aura ring too. And then the other girl that was with you, I can't remember. She had one and then me and Faraz.
So we're all like, You can totally tell, like, we're biohackers. Like, all of us were like, biohackers unite! And we like, did this cheesy little thing. It was very, like, Captain Planet and all of our rings came together and we took a picture. It was great. Yeah, it was like that great cliffhanger of, oh my god, you know, such kindred spirits.
And then we got to meet again more recently and spend more time together at a more recent conference and just the energy, the palpable enthusiasm and excitement and mission to really help people make a difference with their health is so clear. So I couldn't wait to get you on the podcast. So thanks so much for taking the time.
So this is going to be awesome. You are so welcome. I'm so excited. Yeah. Well, I know we have a lot of ground to cover. So I wanted to just actually give you the opportunity to share a little bit about. As far, you know, I'm mentioning a lot about this energy and excitement and mission, but why, why this energy and excitement and mission for some of the topics we're going to speak about today, which we're going to be hitting on the microbiome, dysbiosis, mental health, and how that all is connected with gut health.
And certainly it's called the sleep is a skill podcast, how this all relates to sleep. So if you can just share a little bit of backstory as the, why, how did this come to be for you? I love that question because I feel personally like people that are really passionate in this space. They usually have a personal story.
You know, that's what I found. Yeah. So yeah, my personal story, it's probably similar to a lot of people that maybe just didn't go my same path. But, um, back honestly, when I was like a teenager, like junior high, I suffered a lot of gut issues. I actually dropped out of school for a couple of years because I had so many gut issues.
Pretty much every time I ate, I would get sick. I'd have to leave school. I'd have to leave at lunch. All my symptoms, which is really funny because now I specialize in gut health, so I'm very aware of what I had at the time. I had like severe leaky gut, severe dysbiosis, um, of course they just diagnosed me with IBS, which is irritable bowel syndrome.
Yeah. Which I'll get into that later because that drives me absolutely nuts that they just call it irritable bowel syndrome. Yeah. I'm like, So wait, why are I'm like 13 right when they tell me this and I'm like, okay, so why, like, why are my bowels irritable? Like, I don't know much. I'm a 13 year old. I haven't even like barely studied anatomy, you know?
Yeah. And they're like, uh, you know, there's just, we don't know. There's just like lots. And I'm like, now I'm like, uh, you didn't even test me for dysbiosis. You just kept getting me antibiotics. So their protocol that they gave me when I was sick, um, was to put me on antibiotics. And so they were like, you have parasites.
We're going to put you on antibiotics. Um, if anyone that knows microbiome and gut health, that is the worst thing you can do. Um, especially if you're not sure what you're doing. They didn't do enough testing to know really what was wrong with me. They did like an MRI, which I'm like, I don't even know what you were looking for with gut health when I'm with an MRI, but whatever.
So it's like, I mean, honestly, I was 13 or 14 back then and I still was like, What is this circus going on? Like I've been sent to like five different doctors. I went to a GI specialist. It took me like five months to get into. And she was the one that gave me antibiotics. So I'm like, yikes, dude, like our system is a little scary to me because and then it gets worse.
So not only did she give me one dose of antibiotics, I did not get better. I felt worse. She gave me a second dose of antibiotics. She's like, Oh, it must not have killed it. Let's give you a second dose. Still didn't feel good. And then she gave me a third dose of antibiotics right in a row. So if you know, I mean, I'll go into it later, but if you know What that does, one dose of antibiotics kills a third of your gut microbiome.
So if you give someone three doses back to back, you've almost obliterated their microbiome. Like it's really hard to recover from that. I honestly, I'm like amazed about how good my health is today, just because I'm like, I know how much that impacts, even though I was 14 when that happened. I mean, I was sick for the next probably four years because of that, to be honest, like it was really hard.
And that's. When you ask, why am I so passionate about this is because I'm like, I would love to save any teenage daughter, like teenage girl, boy, whatever, to go through what I went through for four years because of an uninformed doctors. You know what I mean? Yeah. I try not to be too, I'm not going to lie.
I've kind of had some bitterness around regular MDs because of this, just cause I was so mistreated and not helped. But at the same time, now I've kind of stepped back and realized, Oh, this is just what the system is designed like. I think the system is designed very like, it's not helpful for gut issues.
Really? Like they're really misinformed about gut issues and in general, all your general, you know, general practitioners, even your GI specialist, she was the one that gave me three doses of back to back antibiotics with no, like you should take probiotics after like nothing. Like I was just. So just so you guys know too, some of the issues that come up with gut once you start to have really bad leaky gut, dysbiosis, you get so much inflammation.
So I was having acne. I had like, like lots of acne. And if you're a teenage girl in junior high, that is like very embarrassing, you know, like you're already going through puberty and then you have acne and then you have gut issues and then... If you have acne and gut issues, obviously, you know, there's a brain gut connection.
So if your gut is like severely inflamed, your brain is also going to be inflamed, and you're going to experience mental health issues. So I had severe depression, anxiety, and they just were like, Oh, let's put you on antidepressants. Luckily, I didn't do that. I was 14, 15. I think that like you should definitely be looking at like, okay, well, she's probably, you know, having mental health issues because she feels so crappy all the time and her body's inflamed chronically.
But again, it's like they don't look at this stuff. So when I got like, I honestly figured out a little bit in high school, like of what foods kind of worked with me and what didn't, I still didn't say I would like regained my full health until like after high school. Like it was like, it was like an ongoing, like, let me try to manage the symptoms.
They don't act up too much, but I really didn't understand. Like leaky gut, it wasn't talked about back then at all, like at all at all, like, this is kind of, leaky gut has really been talked about in the last 10 years more so, it really wasn't talked about before then that much, you know what I mean? So I didn't really hear about Candida.
I didn't really hear about dysbiosis. So I didn't know, but I just started to like, okay, I read about gluten. I eliminated that. I read about some brain. So I eliminated that. Like I just started to feel a little better and figure out some things on my own. I don't think I fully, like I said, figure this out until the last, like I've specialized really deep dive and gut health for the last like six years.
And then I was like, Oh, I could go back to my younger self and totally help myself like a hundred percent. So knowing that I have that knowledge, I almost feel like it's selfish not to share with people because I'm like, if you were as miserable as I was, which I know the statistics, you know, the 80% of the hospital visits are, are digestive issues.
So I'm like, why don't we know why, why are doctors not more informed about dysbiosis? It's very common. It's like, I talked to one guy that specializes in candida. And he says a third of America has a candida overgrowth, a third. And it's, it honestly is not surprising when you think of a third of the Americas also pre diabetic, they do go hand in hand.
I mean, candida overgrowth tends to happen when you have high blood sugar, ding, ding, you know what I mean? So it's anyway, there's so many aha moments now that I'm like, okay, I have to share this information. This isn't just about money for me at all. This is about like a mission, a mission because I'm like, If people could just hear one podcast with me and you and be like, that sounds like, yeah, I have depression, acne, uh, anxiety.
I get sick when I eat. I get bloated. Like that sounds like I have some gut issues too and they know what to do about it because there's like, I mean, I don't want to say it's a simple thing. Like it does. It depends how severely damaged your gut is to repair it. But there's some simple, there is some simple things you can do that you can feel so much better so quick.
So that's why I'm like, that's why I'm passionate. I'm like, dude, people need to know. They need to know about gut issues. It's very prominent. It's like, seriously, like the amount of every gut issue, acid reflux, like, you know, uh, IBS is diagnosed way more and more every day. Even Crohn's, IBD, all these like, um, autoimmune kind of conditions with the gut, they all have to do with leaky gut too.
So it's like, why are we seeing such an increase all of a sudden of all these autoimmune, all this Crohn's, all this, you know, diverticulitis? It's because we haven't understood the microbiome and now we finally are understanding it. And I can just tell you the science in the next 10 years is going to blow people's minds because I'm like, I'm ahead, like I read the research and stuff and I'm like the things that people are understanding now with the, with science on the microbiome and everything it influences.
This is going to be game changing, I believe, for the medical industry if they choose to accept the new data, you know? Yeah, well, absolutely. And one, I so appreciate the mission that you're on and really sounding the alarm and from the Yeah, absolutely. systemic breakdown of physicians and primary care physicians, certainly at the very least, and to your point, even extending to, uh, practitioners in specializing in gut health.
As far as even just the numbers of the amount of time that's allocated in training for some of these conversations, certainly, As far as sleep is concerned, we see that out of Harvard Medical School reports that on average, the average primary care doctor is getting about two hours of training in sleep.
That's a real stat, uh, two hours in, in sleep. And a lot of it's more in the realm of pathology, certainly, obviously, but not even getting into more nuanced elements that can be rather layered as it relates to sleep. So that's in the topic of sleep. sleep. And certainly, I don't know the numbers for as it relates to the gut.
And certainly we know in nutrition, how much or how little the average primary care does. Okay, there you nutrition. There you go. Eight hours guys. So when you're asking your doctor, what should I eat? Just remember he's had eight hours of education in nutrition versus me and Molly have probably been studying nutrition for the last eight years consistently.
You know what I mean? So it's like really think about the time spent. And it's a disservice for them as well. And, you know, so really, I appreciate that you are sharing your experience, but also helping to educate and open up this dialogue because it is so important. And so what you were sharing about just All of the realms that gut health can touch in, in our health and well being.
I wonder if you can help us bridge the gap of how does this affect sleep? Why would we be caring about this in a conversation around sleep optimization? Yes. Great question. So the issues, it's funny, they tie in very closely with sleep because they disturb sleep. Okay. Yeah. So you have to realize, let's just go into Candida for instance.
So Candida is a fungal overgrowth. Okay. So it's a fungus. We all have it present in our bodies. It's not like having Candida in your body is a problem. It's having an overgrowth is a problem. Okay, so we're seeing a lot more overgrowth happening and it's, it's because of the environment that we're creating.
So when I say Candida, people are like, okay, what can you do to kill Candida? What supplement can I take? I'm like, I wish it was that simple, my friend, but it's not, you know what I mean? So it's, it's the environment that creates the overgrowth of Candida. So I'll talk about the environment and how that affects sleep.
So The environment that Candida thrive in, as well as, well, I'll stick in Candida and then we'll go to SIBO, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, but the environment they thrive in is high sugar, so high blood sugar, they love sugar, that's what they eat, that's why they eat it, they multiply, they want more sugar, they can actually send signals to your body to want sugar, to crave sugar.
It's insane. We're understanding the microbiome is an endocrine system now. So it actually makes hormones. It makes neurotransmitters like it is highly intelligent. So they can actually hijack you and want you to eat sugar all the time. So when I get a client and they're just like, Oh my gosh, I have sugar cravings, especially at night, very active at night.
Okay. So especially when I have people that are like, I do good throughout the day, but then at night I just binge on sugar. I always, I'm like probably candida overgrowth. Because people feel hijacked. They literally feel like their willpower is gone. And I tell people, I'm like, if you have Even if you have like super good willpower, if you have a big candida overgrowth, you're still going to fight sugar cravings like mad, like they will crave sugar.
That's how they survive. That's how they multiply. So when you get a lot of sugar cravings that are intense, um, I mean, sugar is naturally pretty addictive. Obviously we know that, but especially when you have a candida overgrowth, it's more intense. And so breaking that sugar addiction is huge, but they thrive on high sugar.
and high inflammation. So just having more inflammation, more inflammatory cytokines, you know, um, they thrive on that. You usually kind of see insulin resistance with it as well. They do go hand in hand. Um, there's some studies that have said that candida overgrowth may be actually a way to prevent our body from becoming diabetic, which I thought was interesting because it doesn't make sense.
It's like, Oh, it's going to eat the glucose so that you don't have high, high blood sugars. You develop insulin resistance, you develop diabetes. So, yeah. Understanding Candida is interesting and also understanding that you can have an overgrowth for like 10 years, like people can have it their entire lives.
Um, the ways to know if you have a Candida overgrowth, like I said, the symptoms are high, uh, high need for sugar, like a really cravings for sugar, especially at night. Um, skin issues are really, really common with Candida. So not only acne, but just like little red bumps, rosacea. dandruff. Actually, you get dandruff more when you have candida overgrowth, um, athletes foot, because it's fungal, right?
It's a fungal overgrowth. So athletes foot can show up, ringworm can show up. And it's funny because when I've gotten clients in the past, they go to like 10 different doctors for all this stuff. Like, Oh, I'm having ringworm and then I'm having dandruff and I'm going to this and I'm like, it's all the same issue.
It's all candida. You know what I mean? I'm like, you literally could make your life so much simple if you just like took care of this candida problem, you know? Um, Uh, weight gain is very common and then bloating is very common, like especially after you eat carbs, you're going to get really bloated, really fatigued, like heavy fatigue throughout the day, brain fog too.
So again, they're hijacking guys, you have a gut brain access and they're hijacking your gut. So of course your brain is going to be like slow, brain fog, can't focus, fatigued because you're getting those signals all the time that are connecting with each other that you have a high level of inflammation.
So those are some of the symptoms. Candida is interesting because like I said, they are the most active at night. So they do disturb sleep quite a bit. So people that have frequent wake ups, I mean, there's, you know, sleep, there's a different, there's a lot of reasons that could be magnesium deficiency, uh, heavy metals, there's a lot of different things, but I have seen like people that have Candida, they can have a lot of wake ups because they're disturbing your sleep.
They're like very active at night and they're looking for sugar and they're trying, I've even, I even have theories and I got an idea to look up research, but. When people like wake up in the middle of the night and need to go get sugar, I think that could also be Candida signaling, like I need more sugar, right?
It could be also low blood sugar, it depends on like how insulin sensitive that person is, but I don't think that that could be a factor. Um, one thing you just gotta know though is dysbiosis in general, which all dysbiosis is, is your, your bad bacteria are outweighing your good bacteria. So your gut is an ecosystem.
It wants balance. And, and, you know, it's just like an ecosystem in nature where you have balance of predators and prey and all the things that feed on each other. When you have a candida overgrowth, it's like you have like a, the increase of predators. You know what I mean? Like all of a sudden you have like way too many wolves and they're going to eat all the deer.
You know what I mean? Like you can't just like the road. Like I heard a story of many laughs because it made me think of gut. Where they said in Yellowstone National Park, they actually threw in, I think like 13 wolves and didn't think it would make a huge difference and it ended up really affecting the ecosystem like a high level.
And I thought it was interesting, so I'm like, us intervening, yeah, we affected the ecosystem because nature has a natural balance, right? Sure. So we, it's like the same thing in our gut. We have this natural balance, but we usually affect the ecosystem by allowing an environment Yeah. That allows a predator to overgrow, if that makes sense.
So either whether it's Candida, which is a fungal overgrowth, or it could be a bacteria too. So small intestinal bacteria overgrowth is known as SIBO. It's also very common, very, very common. Um, if you study, his name is Dr. Michael Ruggio. He wrote the book called Healthy Gut, Healthy You. I love him. As far as gut health, he's very knowledgeable.
He actually says that in his practices that he's seen, he believes that up to 80% of IBS is actually SIBO. 80%. IBS. Like people coming in, they're diagnosed all the time, it just means irritable bowel syndrome. Again, my 13 year old self asking a doctor, why are my bowels irritable? And he's like, I don't know.
Like, literally, like, didn't even try. Like, I don't know. Like, there's a lot of reasons. What are the reasons? We don't know like acted like there was like no research and then now I'm like, Oh, there's actually a lot of research on SIBO. This has been like around a very long time. So, so SIBO, like, and again, when I say that people get confused.
Cause they're like, what do you mean a bacteria overgrowth? Cause aren't you supposed to have a lot of bacteria? Yes, but Not in your small intestine. So you're supposed to have a lot of bacteria in your large colon, your, you know, the, your colon, your large intestine, and you have a ton in your mouth. Like that's actually the second most dense microbiome area that we have.
Because that's where we're interacting with the world the most. We're eating food all day. We're like putting food in our mouths, you know? So that's like the really dense areas. But we're supposed to have systems in place. that, that keep small, uh, the bacteria out of the small intestine. And it's for a reason.
The small intestine is meant to absorb food. Mostly it's 90% of your food is absorbed through your small intestine. So if I have a overgrowth of bacteria in there, can you start to see how that can create issues? I can't absorb my food. I'm getting a lot of gas and bloating because the bacteria is eating my food and then they have a byproduct of methane gas that is giving me the bloating and the gas, you know what I mean?
So. There's, again, it's the environment we could go into, but when you're allowing, uh, a lot of bacteria in your small intestine, then it becomes small intestinal bacteria overgrowth SIBO, and it's the bad bacteria. So you're getting an overgrowth of bad bacteria too. There is good bacteria and there is bad bacteria.
And I can tell you a couple of differences right now. Again, I know I'm like. I'm very obsessed with this. So some people might not be like, fully as amiss as I am, but I think it's fascinating. It's like, this is going on in our, in our bodies at all times. Trillions, trillions of bacteria that are always communicating with each other 24 seven.
Isn't that insane? Like we don't even talk about it, you know, a hundred percent. And real quick, how would people discover that they have, I know we're touching on SIBO and Candida right now. If anyone's listening and saying, Oh, some of those symptoms sound like me, how can they test for those? Very good question.
So there's some really good testing. So SIBO, for instance, there is a breath test that you can take. There's actually, uh, the gas that they emit, um, will come out in a breath test. I believe it's called lactulose. I'll double check. But if you look up like SIBO breath test, that's usually what they do to see if you have a small intestinal bacteria overgrowth.
Yeah, there actually is. Um, so I partner with microbiome labs. I love, love them. They have a stool test that's called GI mapping. That's super amazing because not only will it tell you if you have SIBO, it will actually tell you like all of your ecosystem going on. So one thing that they've discovered more in this microbiome, the world is you can't just pinpoint a few strains as bad.
You have to see the environment, the community of going on. So if you have a lot of overgrown strains and they're like, The definition of good or bad. Okay. Bad bacteria are typically gram negative so they can measure them. They're called gram negative bacteria and they're kind of more pathogenic where they actually eat away at your gut lining the mucosal lining around your small intestine.
So leaky gut is what we talk about right. They will actually eat away at it. The good bacteria build up the mucosal lining. And they're gram positive, so that's what they can measure. They do these stool tests. It's like, I think it's, it's a stool test that gets sent to your house. You send it back. It's like, I know it sounds gross, but they send gloves and they send solution.
And you just have to take a little sample, you know, and they're able to fully map your GI and say, this is all the bacteria you have going on. So I would probably. recommend that test the most is because that'll show you like the ecosystem what's going on. Yeah, I actually recently just did that exact one, the GI map, and then also did TrioSmart, which is an at home breath test for SIBO and have SIBO and I know we were talking about Some of this so I'm actually actively in an exploration of all kinds of different things on this.
So you took tell me about that second one. I haven't heard of that second one. That was interesting. Trio smart. So that one's an at home breath test and you have to eat in a particular way and you know, leading up to the day prior and then for the day that you do the test, I want to say it's like eight or nine.
bags that you're strategically breathing into with 15 minute increments in between each time to see kind of what's growing and what's evolving after you drink this, you know, kind of drink and what have you. So what you're speaking to are all things that people could hypothetically do at home. They could have it sent to them.
So it doesn't have to be a wildly arduous thing. I mean, I was, you know, I did that all everything got sent right to me and I sent it right back. So very it's like, yeah, it's easy. There's There's so many at home tests now going on. You can do cortisol tests from home. You can do hormone tests. Like I feel like we live in an age of like, get the data dude.
Like I, and I do want to speak to one thing. If you can't afford to do testing right now, I believe you can diagnose yourself. a little bit with by if you meet all the criteria of symptoms, I'm just saying this is so highly common that I would not say you didn't have SIBO. You almost have to prove to me that you don't have SIBO at this moment because I'm looking at our environment and I'm like, sorry, I'm seeing a ton of dysbiosis, like a ton.
So if you have all the symptoms and you can't afford testing, I would say just start doing protocols. The thing about my protocols is they're all herbal pretty herbal and bacteria strains. So I'm like, They wouldn't hurt you if you didn't have it, right? So I'm not giving you, I'm not prescribing drugs that could hurt you.
People are like, what if I take this stuff and I don't have it? Well, then your gut is healthier, like, you know what I mean? You're not going to hurt yourself. Like these are all just different probiotic strains. I use a lot of microbiome stuff. I use a lot of different herbal stuff that works. So it's like, you're not.
Like I said, I love testing, but I know people on the podcast probably listening are like, I don't have 500 or 300 spent on testing right now. Yeah. Cool. Well, then let me just listen to the symptoms. I just, you know, laid out. I can say them again. If you have a lot of them, you probably do have it. I mean, I'm just saying like, it's so common.
It's not like a. a crazy rare disease. It's, it's, I want to get, I'm going to talk to Kieran, which is the CEO of microbiome. I've done a couple of lives with him, but he knows, I mean, he's like really intelligent and I'm sure he knows the numbers of SIBO. But I believe when we were talking, I mean, he was saying they were very, very high and leaky gut was very, very high too.
So I'm just saying If you have a lot of these, it would not be a bad idea to start a protocol, even if you can't get testing done yet, you know? Absolutely. Okay, so we're looking at Candida, SIBO. Are there, are there any other things for us to be aware of or on the lookout when we think about gut health or anything that we left out?
Yes. So, so you got to understand the connection of, of your microbiome and your immune system are like literally like this, like they are working together all the time. So when I see a big increase of autoimmune conditions, I do look at leaky gut for sure because you're Microbiome is what establishes if you're how your immune system reacts.
So what me and Kieran have talked about a lot is an underactive immune system is a problem because if your immune system is missing like cancer, right, that's going to be a problem. If it's missing a virus or bacteria that could kill you or make you sick, it's a problem. But what we're seeing right now is a lot of overreactive immune systems.
So they're overreacting, which is autoimmune, right? Um, Hashimoto's has gone up, which is, you know, thyroid, like hypothyroid. That I believe I've seen a lot of really good research papers tying it heavily to leaky gut. And it makes sense. Because if your immune system, if your microbiome is compromised, your immune system is compromised, it can start to overreact.
So your microbiome is really what regulates your T cells in your immune system. They get it to be like, that's okay. Or like go attack that. Right. So they, they're like surveying the area and they're like, managing your immune system on what to attack and what not to attack. So when we see this rise of autoimmune in general, I get really curious about, it doesn't, it does make sense to me because the rise of auto of dysbiosis is also going up and that really compromises our immune system.
And you know this, I mean, we could go all into sleep too because if you're not sleeping, like I can just tell you, if you have dysbiosis, it will affect your sleep. Your gut is doing a lot of things at night and if it's not able to just do repair and it has to deal with all these bad bugs that are like, it's like trying to keep you alive.
Imagine you have an ecosystem that's completely messed up and you have an overgrowth of fungal overgrowth of Candida and a, and a bacteria overgrowth of SIBO at night. They're all active. Like there's like a war going on in there. Like I'm surprised you could sleep, you know, like of course it's going to wake you up.
It's going to keep you, uh, your brain spinning. Like you just sit there in bed. You can't go to sleep because you're just like stressed out of your mind. Yes. Yeah. And if you're not sleeping, what do you think that does to your immune system? Pains it. Yeah. I can tell you like, I, I feel like I never get sick.
Like I have very good immune system. The only times I'll ever get sick is when I lack sleep. Yes. That is the only times when I got COVID. I was traveling and I was in Miami and I was at a girl's birthday party and we were like getting no sleep for days and we all got sick. And I'm like, dude, I know this.
I know better. I know if I don't get sleep, I'm going to get sick. Your immune system needs that time to repair. So it is kind of a vicious cycle because dysbiosis causes sleep issues. If you don't sleep, your immune system is compromised. If you have a weak immune system, it affects your microbiome, which affects your mental health.
It's just like a it's a vicious cycle I'm seeing right now. So it's like where do you start? I mean, there's a lot of places you can definitely address gut issues, which will help, but you could also address sleep issues to improve gut health because if you sleep better, your body has a better chance about fighting this dysbiosis as well.
You know, that's when you repair. That's when you fight a lot of inflammation, you clear out stuff and then you go into elimination when you wake up and I do see when people, um, I don't know if you've ever looked at there's like a Chinese medicine chart that I use with my clients that I love and it talks about the three cycles of the body and it's like, um, 5 a.
m. to 12 a. m. p. m. is elimination, right? And then 12 p. m. to 8 a. m. is called appropriation. And then 8 p. m. to 5 a. m. is assimilation. So I always try to tell people this because I'm like, I know that your sleep schedule might be all sorts of crazy because you're like getting to sleep at 2 a. m. I'm like, you've just missed a lot of time of assimilation, right?
So it's like, Like for those night owls. I'm sorry. I can't buy into that stuff. Like, I'm, I'm like, it's, I swear. I know chronobiology. I've read about it. Do I still think that some people go to bed at 2 a. m? I don't really think so. Like I, I, again, you can, you can argue with me. That's fine. I don't care. But like.
I don't think you're going to get quality sleep if you go to sleep at 2am. I just don't. I think your deep sleep is going to suck. Like, I, that's at least what I've seen on my aura ring. And maybe, maybe some people are different than me. So well, there's, there's certainly research to point to concerns when we see people living outside of our circadian rhythm.
So diurnal creature is meant to be active during the day and at rest at night when we deviate too strongly from that. And in case in point, when we look at Sample sizes of shift workers or certainly rotating shift workers or what have you, things start to go awry. So you're absolutely pointing something very real and tangible.
And I know this is way too much to get into in our limited period of time, but You certainly do have an entire protocol that you have people go through depending on what is going on with their gut, but you from the sounds of it very thorough in the testing, so we're not just kind of blanket approach.
It depends on what would come back for people with either those tests or the if they do meet the criteria based on the symptomology that they're showing. Yes. Okay. Yeah. So the cool thing about gut health is yes, you can get really particular. It's like I do work one on one with people. Um, so those people I'm very, very particular.
We're doing the testing, but I realized that some people can't afford that right now and understand that. So I do have a gut health membership site. It's just like 39 bucks a month and it's just education around this stuff. So I understand it's not personalized to you, but I think some people just need to know about leaky gut to know about candida.
So you actually can become a member and just look up these courses and yeah, you won't be one on one with me, but I can still answer questions and stuff. So if that's like not in your price range, I do recommend people start there because if you, you know, if you have got issues, I mean, if you've had bloating for years, depression for years, weight gain issues for years, you're trying to have thyroid stuff, that's all pointing to gut issues.
I'm on your site right now and I like how you clearly lay out, you know, if you're dealing with bloating, gas, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, abdominal pain, anxiety, depression, acne, skin issues, brain fog, trouble sleeping, achy joints, hyperthyroidism, hormone fluctuations, you know, this could be a pathway for you to take.
And I like that you're really addressing that at a price point that many can step into action around that. So that's fantastic. That's great. Now from all of that, and I know that we just, these are like teasers in the topics here. And yet I'm curious to see how you're managing your sleep as it relates to your individual health.
And so we do ask every guest that comes on for quick questions and The first one is around your nightly sleep routine. I'm just curious what we might learn from that. I love this question because I'm, so if you know me, I'm very picky on my morning and night routine. Like for real. Like I'm, I protect it.
Like I don't, so one thing I've started doing, especially this year that has really transformed, um, I really have stopped. I have a game over time every night. Right. So I'm, I'm kind of, I can be a little bit of workaholic, like I really enjoy what I do. I can spend a lot of time doing it, but one thing I realized for me is because I keep so excited and stuff and amped up my nervous system, I need proper time to wind down.
I have to, I'm a really energetic person. Like I have energy for days. So if I don't have a game over time, like I don't fall asleep at the right time. Right. So my game over time is like seven 30. Like I'm done. No more stuff. No more quick email. No more quick call. Like I'm just done. You know, like I'm done by seven 30.
It's like, dude, let's. Let's check out and let's like do some like, so I just try to do calming activities after that. Like I love walking my dog for the sunset. That's like one of my favorite things I walk. So first thing in the morning, which I mean, we'll get to that, but I do walk first thing in the morning and I like a sunset walk.
Cause I'm like, dude, I'm getting exposed to all these photons that are telling me what time of day it is. So my body's not confused. My circadian rhythm knows what time it is. So. Like I said, my game overtime is 730 and then about 830 I take, um, or eight actually. I usually take magnesium, glycinate and threonate, so that really helps my nervous system and my brain like, like calm down.
I sometimes take theanine or glycine too. I just like have different stacks, but I always do magnesium. That's like my fundamental. I don't travel without magnesium ever, ever, ever. And then I have started doing melatonin too. I really. Um, some like genetic testing and neurotransmitter stuff with me is I'm a slow, uh, methylator.
So like I generally, I just, I mean, I could go, it's a long, long thing, but for me, melatonin supplementation is pretty game changing. Honestly, like pretty game changing. I know there's controversy about should you always take it? Should you not? I personally see like the research about it. And I feel like if you are doing it, Um, it's also an antioxidant to like melatonin is not just like master antioxidant.
melatonin about an hour before bed. So I usually do melatonin, like I said, 830 or nine and I try to be asleep by 10. If I do that routine, like, like I said, if everything goes well, I mean, I'll be honest, I'm human. Sometimes it's 1030, sometimes 1045, but I'm pretty consistent with. My sleep, my, my, uh, bedtime is usually between 45 consistently.
Um, so that's like my, and then also I do, I'm really picky on light. I'm very, very picky on light. So in my house, after the sun goes down, no lights are on. I just have salt lamps. I have three salt lamps, one in my room, one in my kitchen, one in, you know, in the main area. And I just put those on and I do not use, I don't use lights.
I know. I love this. Like, honestly, that was huge for me. I always thought I was a person that just couldn't go to bed at 10. I was like, I just don't, I'm not tired. Dude, it was light. It was totally light for me. That was messing it up. Cause I would just like have the kitchen light on or whatever. Um, another thing I want to mention that's huge is not eating close to bed.
Oh my gosh. I used to be bad on this because I used to have a sales job. I'd get off late, but my cutoff time, I kind of the earlier the better. I'm for sure cut off by eight. There's no food after eight, but sometimes I like to cut off by like seven. I do better. My sleep is better when I cut off by seven and go to bed at like 10, something like three hours of no digestion.
Um, so cutting off, I'm sorry, I know I just went to this big thing, but cutting off, yeah, cutting off food by like, you know, turn off time, melatonin and magnesium, no artificial light. Like I said, just, I do have blue blockers in case I do need to like get on my phone or whatever. I'll put on my blue blockers from, uh, who was I use, um, get Occushield.
I like them. They send me some. I really like them or they're light. They're like, So anyway, blue blocking glasses, like I said, a game over time. So I love that game over time. I know like don't, don't do a stressful call at night. Even if it's like with, I don't know, even if it's like with your sister, like don't do something stressful.
That's going to amp up your nervous system at night. I only allow like calm things. It's like reading and going for a walk or breath work or And even you stress like even positive stress and I'm right there with you with, you know, having a day where there's often exciting things that are happening too.
And you could go into that in the evenings. And even that is something that is excitatory and we want to just be mindful that there there's a time and a place for those things throughout the course of the day and that you really can train that muscle to kind of reorient those types of thoughts and conversations and what have you to earlier in the day.
That's great. Yes, yes. So that's my my nighttime routine. Okay, that's beautiful. And then what would we see in your morning routine? I know you alluded to the morning walk. So yeah, take us through what we might learn from your morning routine. So yeah, morning, I it's funny me and you are the same. I say you're, you know, your sleep starts in the morning like you're circadian rhythm literally starts like people always like what can I do at night to fall asleep.
I'm like, um, wake up differently. You know what I mean? like how you wake up. Okay. So there's a few big things. Again, I'm, I'm real picky on my morning routine too. So a big thing for me is I do wake up without an alarm. Now I've really trained my circadian rhythm. I wake up at like six, 645, 650 on the dot.
Like it's the weirdest. It's like every day, like 645, 651. It's like, it's like, it's consistent. So I wake up without an alarm, which for me, that's really helped with cortisol. I used to have really high cortisol in the morning. Now it's lower. Because I wake up naturally and I'm just like, I pet my dog. I don't like rush out of bed, you know, like I feel, I feel really good when I wake up because I finally have gotten my circadian rhythm online.
So I wake up like I said without an alarm. I don't look at my phone yet. So I used to like always check my emails in the morning. I actually don't like do anything on my phone for at least 45 minutes. That's great. Um, so I keep it in airplane mode at night. Yeah. And then I just keep it on airplane mode in the morning.
And what I do is, first thing when I wake up is I walk my dog. So I, I have it in airplane mode still. I do, usually I'll listen to either a podcast or a a Yeah. Music. So I guess I listen to my phone, but there's no, it's still in airplane mode. There's no outside people. Yeah. Trying to get my attention, you know?
Sure. So I go for a walk. Like I said, I am kind of, I'm getting the sunrise. Um, Like a little after the sunrise, and I walk for, um, it's my walk that I do, take him on, it's a few miles, so I'm gone for like half hour in the sun, sometimes 40 minutes if we take our time, so that's like my first 30 40 minutes of the day is always walking him, I'm getting sunshine, I don't wear sunscreen, cause your body...
First of all, people like you're not going to burn first thing in the morning. I'm sorry. Like if you don't know that, like you're not going to burn 30 minutes first thing in the morning at all. Yeah. And then if you're concerned about it, I can tell you what to do. But anyway, so I do that without any, so I get a lot of sun and then I open up all my windows.
So even when I come back, there's a ton of sunlight. Yeah. I don't even have, like I said, I usually don't even use artificial light because I'm like, you do it right. You just use the sun like all day, you know? And then I do gratitude journals. So I, I make my, I do wait my coffee. Um, so I don't know, uh, Dr.
Huberman, I follow him like religiously. I love him. I just saw him in Seattle. He talks about waiting, uh, 16 minutes to 90 minutes to two year coffee. Cause it actually improves circadian rhythm. I was like super hesitant on that. Cause I love my coffee. And I was like, I can't wait an hour. Like, no, but I started doing it.
I started doing it where I do my coffee after my walk instead of before. And I actually, it's awesome. Like. You don't have a crash anymore. There's like no crashes. Like my energy is phenomenal throughout the day until I go to bed. It's like, it's amazing. I know the walk, you know, and gratitude journal. I do while I have my coffee.
I think gratitude journal is like the best, easiest hack to prime your brain for a good day. Like you just have to think, Oh, what are three good things that happen? I'm like, Oh, cool. Like the sunset was really pretty. You know, I got on a cool podcast with Molly. Like I just write, you know, three cool things.
And then your day is just like, You're so much more positive about your day. You know? Oh, absolutely. I recommend to if anyone's like me and likes to kind of log numerically, I just completed 2, 500 days of gratitude journaling while I emailed them every single night to friends and family. And so it was like that accountability element of, you know, just knowing that there's people that would notice if you didn't send it.
And so since, and once you get past like a couple hundred days, like you can't stop or not can, but you don't want to break the streak. So that was really, really powerful. I did mindfully complete that. That was just probably, I don't know, 100 days ago or something. Completing that process because I want to kind of explore new ways of expressing gratitude and, you know, kind of a new chapter, but really recommend any way that will speak to you.
For me, that was powerful because it just ensure that I would keep doing it so that I wouldn't kind of, you know, step away from it. Right, but whatever is going to work for you for some people want to have a nice peaceful time with themselves. Great. And there are studies looking at gratitude and as far as sleep onset numbers, so making it easier to fall asleep, but also staying asleep for people that wake up.
So looking at this is that a positive psychology and kind of. Gratitude logging for extended period of time and how that can support sleep results. So really great that you're rooted in that. And then I'm so no wonder we get along. We're both like gratitude people, everything you're saying, all your schedules, all of these things were so aligned.
It's ridiculous. I know. So what might we see on your, uh, your nightstand or even if you're traveling kind of like your proverbial nightstand, what you might bring with you or apps or anything. I love this question because, okay, so I have my blue blockers on there. They're just like, I said, I'm a kind of a, my environment's very clean, but I purposely leave things out to trigger like you.
Right. So if I, like I said, if I get on my phone at night to like, you know, message people, like I said, past sunset, they're definitely on. Right. So that helps remind me. Okay, cool. Like if you want, you know, you have your blue backers on, if you're going to have any screens on. Yeah. blue blockers. And then recently, um, I don't know if you know, Lumen, do you have the Lumen device?
So they sent me one a few weeks ago and I am like, I'm obsessed with it. I think it's so cool. Like, I don't know. It's a few of those you guys that don't know. So that's on my nightstand. And it's because I'm trying to develop a habit with it right now. So I purposely new things that are in my awareness of trying to develop a habit.
I'm pretty good at If I can do it for like three weeks, it's done. I can have a habit for the rest of my life, you know, but getting that habit established sometimes for me, I have to have like visual cues. So I keep my lumen on my nightstand. And what it is, is this breast device. Um, you breathe into it and it tells you if you're burning carbs or fat.
So I think it's really cool because I wanted to do first thing in the morning before I got up. Cause that can affect your results. Like I did it one time after I walked my dog and then I was in more car burning just cause I was like active, you know, it was hot outside. It was active. I get it. But if I do it before I walk, I'm always like in, in fat burning.
So I've tried to make a habit of doing it first thing in the morning. It's really cool too, because you can take it before bed to see like, it's been surprising to me because I, um, I've been pretty much ketogenic, like strict ketogenic diet, but I have been incorporating carbs more this last like six months.
And it's been interesting to me, like I had carbs. last night, like for dinner, and then I woke up in fat burning. So it's interesting. And the night before I didn't have carbs and I woke up in carb burning. So it's really interesting to see how your body can actually use carbs or fat, not always just depending on what you're eating.
It's depending a lot on like your activity or, you know, like even like your, where you're at, your menstrual cycle, your hormones. I'm kind of learning that I'm doing this little test right now with myself on, nightstand, but I just brought it up, but. the biocoach meter. Oh, sure. Yeah, they're great. I love, I'm kind of testing like blood sugar and lumen at the same time and seeing how they correlate, you know, the breath test versus the blood test, see if they correlate high or not.
So I'm just doing like the things I'm testing on are on my nightstand right now. So lumen and biocoach. You're getting me excited because we also have biosense coming on the podcast. soon for their breath meter. So all of this is cool. Very cool. It is see the measure device. The measuring devices are getting more and I'm loving it.
I'm like let's have all the data on ourselves. This is awesome. Absolutely no and it gets you in the game and in the conversation curious testing experimenting so really great stuff. And then, so certainly you're someone that's thought deeply about all of these things. So I am very curious for this last question, which is, of all the things you've been doing, I'm sure this will evolve and shift, but what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe biggest aha moment in managing your sleep?
Oh my gosh, like one thing. Okay. So I would honestly say light. Like, honestly, like, I, I do, I do know stopping eating earlier has helped me a lot too, you know, but light in general has made the biggest impact on my sleep. Like I didn't, I used to get sunshine, but I didn't used to get first morning sunshine.
I wasn't like really quick to get out there and for sure get that and make that like a prescription type thing for myself. Yeah. Um, as soon as I did that and then also, like I said, eliminated the night. Because like what I used to do was so dumb before I like actually learned this, but I used to just keep like lights on and then all of a sudden I'm like, Oh, it's 10.
I should go to bed. I guess I'll turn off the lights. And then you like try to go to bed and you're like, I'm not tired. But if you just naturally like turn off the lights when the sun goes down, and you have a couple hours of darkness, you're gonna go to sleep, dude. Like it's, it might take a little bit, but like I, I definitely, I honestly had a circadian rhythm during 2020 that was bad.
I had roommates that were also up, but it went from like midnight Like consistently, I feel like to like literally 10 p. m. by just shifting light like I was able to shift it almost 2 hours. I don't know what time frame but by really eliminating light at night and then having bright light in the day in the morning for sure and just throughout the day.
So I'd say light was probably the biggest hack for me was sleep. Oh, 100%. And then, of course, we know for anyone listening that maybe could feel like that's a, a light thing to be looking at, you know, or just a, a, a small change. Since we know we don't certainly have the time to get into it all, but it's so systemic and how much that can make a difference for your mental health.
for your physical health, for your immune system, for the gut, for just so many things. It's so pervasive. And then certainly as we're speaking about circadian rhythm health, it is the number one lever as far as Zeitgeibers or time givers as you know, impacting these rhythms. So you're pointing to something that's really rooted in heavy research and Absolutely.
It's one of the tops for myself as well. And because it also just sets a cascade of behavioral changes that occur. So when you're mindful of that, you're going to be mindful of the time you're waking up, getting outside, having generalized movement, and then also having generalized down regulation in the evening.
If you're now, uh, kind of dousing yourself in darkness or dim to darkness in the evenings, and you're just acting differently, that all in in alignment with what we know for to be really important for human beings. So yes, really wise. And I'm clear we only just scratched the surface. So how can people follow you learn more about you and actually get to be along for the ride with a lot of the experiments as well that you're doing.
I love that you share what you're testing out on yourself, which is so interesting. Yeah. Yeah. How can you know, I I love that. I know. I really do think we just scratched the surface. I'm like, we could do like five more episodes, but, um, yeah, you can connect with me. I'm the most active on, um, Instagram and Tik TOK.
So it's at Jenny Lynn fit J E N N I L Y N fits. Um, so I post a lot of fitness content, gut health content, just like overall content, um, on Tik TOK, it's the same at Jenny Lynn fit, um, That's like, honestly, the most, like I said, my website I'm active on, it's called gut health for life. com. It's super easy.
Um, like I said, that is more of a, um, a monthly thing that you get one new course per month. Like I just released leaky gut last month. I'm going to release candida now. So you can, if you just want to like get started. started and see kind of, okay, that sounds like me. What do I do about it? I do give you some actionable right to deal with Candida.
Um, like I said, I also do one on one coaching. I don't actually know if I have any space right now because I'm full of clients, but you can always get on a waiting list for me. Um, and I do one on one coaching calls, which are like zoom calls every single week. And we dive deep dive into your blood work and your stool analysis and everything like that.
So those are the ways you can connect with me the easiest ways. Ah, amazing. And I definitely recommend following her. Now I'm following you on Instagram, but I didn't even know about the TikTok world. Actually, it's like triple the amount of my Instagram. Oh my God. So I do post on there probably a little bit more.
Yeah. So cool. Okay. Well, I'll make sure to follow you there as well. Everyone listening, please follow because you're actually, you make this fun and exciting and you bring this energy to this. And, but there's a rigor too, as well as having these kinds of conversations going deeper on these topics. So I just really appreciate what you're doing.
So thank you so much. You are so welcome. You're so welcome. I love it. It was a pleasure. Thank you. You've been listening to The Sleep As 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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