Welcome to an exciting episode all about weighted blankets! We've got two fabulous guests on board today, Dr. Janet Kennedy and Dr. Kathrin Hamm.
Dr. Kathrin Hamm is the brilliant creator of a weighted blanket line, Bearaby. Her struggle with chronic insomnia drove her to seek a better solution. She created a revolutionary weighted blanket crafted from breathable cotton, ensuring ultimate comfort and temperature control (and it looks beautiful!).
Dr. Janet Kennedy delves into the science behind the effectiveness of weighted blankets.
Discover this game-changing blanket and how it can be your perfect sleep companion. Sweet dreams await!
Dr. Kathrin Hamm, CEO and Founder of Bearaby, the leading home wellness and sustainable weighted blanket brand. Specifically, I’d love for you to consider interviewing her for an upcoming episode, alongside Janet Kennedy, Ph.D., a Brooklyn-based clinical psychologist, sleep expert and author with two decades of specialized experience treating sleep disorders.
Kathrin's is a compelling story: after leaving her role as an economist with the World Bank in 2018 following her own personal struggle with chronic insomnia, she found respite in the science of Deep Touch Pressure, and was able to improve her sleep issues naturally. Growing frustrated when she couldn’t find a weighted blanket that checked all of her boxes (breathable, sustainable, stylish), she drained her 401K to create her own. Bearaby’s award-winning, sustainable, and first-of-its-kind products include weighted “Napper” blankets, calming “Hugget” pillows, a cooling “Pupper Pod” dog bed, a “Cuddler” body pillow, and most recently, a weighted “Napigan” (cardigan).
Alongside, Janet Kennedy, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and sleep expert with two decades of specialized experience treating sleep disorders. She is the founder of NYC Sleep Doctor and NYC Sleep Consulting LLC, where she provides psychotherapy, coaching and consulting services. Dr. Kennedy is the author of The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby (and You). She is also a sought-after speaker for corporate wellness events (Facebook, Barclays, Lazard, Chanel, Aesop), retail events, and in-house product development events.
Dr. Kennedy has been featured on Good Morning America, NY1 News, ABC News, The Tamron Hall Show, Good Day New York, Business Insider, and CBS This Morning; and podcasts such as MomBrain, Secrets of the Most Productive People (Fast Company Magazine), The Upgrade, Reid This Reid That, Raw Beauty Talks, and Simple Families. She has been widely quoted in print and online publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, Parents Magazine, Marie Claire, Self, Shape, Parade, Redbook, and Real Simple. Dr. Kennedy lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.
In this episode, we discuss:
🛌🏽 The inspiring backstory behind Catherine's successful weighted blanket line
🛌🏽 How weighted blankets promote better sleep
🛌🏽 Bearaby innovative blankets and its heat-trapping solution
🛌🏽 Expert tips on choosing the perfect weighted blanket
🛌🏽 Explore different ways to incorporate weighted blankets into your daily life and optimize your sleep routine.
🛌🏽 Dr. Hamm's advice for a better night's rest.
🛌🏽 Power of a consistent wake-up time
🛌🏽 Peek into Catherine's nightstand and sleep habits
🛌🏽 Dr. Janet Kennedy's most significant aha moment in managing her sleep
🛌🏽 Check out Bearaby Weighted Blanket!
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Mode + Method - HRV+ Code: SLEEPISASKILL15
🎢 If you're waking up at 3 am & suspect blood sugar...
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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 is a skill podcast. This episode is all about weighted blankets. The amount of questions that we get about weighted blankets is a lot. We have done one other episode on weighted blankets, and this one is an interesting one because it does thread in the founder's personal story, but also the commitment to style, to actually having a beautiful looking.
Weighted blanket that you want to display. So both having it look good and have the effects on your sleep. So how can we really have it all in life? This company aims to help support that. So our guests, we actually have two people on this podcast. So Dr. Catherine Ham is the founder and CEO of Baraby, a ward winning sustainable home wellness and weighted blanket brand on a mission to create a calmer, more comforted home named one of entrepreneurs.
Powerful women, Catherine's approach towards simple and sustainable self care without compromise has woken up a tired industry. She aims to de stigmatize sleep, make naps guilt free and champion rest as a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. So it was Catherine's personal sleep struggle that inspired her to launch a game changing product with the brand's flagship weighted blanket in 2018.
During a robust career as an economist with the world bank, her on the road lifestyle began to take a toll on her sleep, leading to chronic insomnia issues. Can't we all relate or maybe not all, but many of us can relate through the science of deep touch pressure. She was able to sleep better naturally and without medication when she couldn't find a weighted blanket that was breathable, stylish, or sustainable.
She set out to create one. Since bootstrapping the company with no outside funding, Barabee has grown immensely 4, 999% in 2022. And Catherine has secured numerous patents for her proprietary materials that are ethically and sustainably sourced, setting the bar in both sustainability and transparency with her.
supply chain. Catherine built her fully sustainable Baribee production facility in Sri Lanka, where she previously worked as an economist to support the local economy and environment with a focus on providing jobs for women. We are also joined by Dr. Kennedy, who is a clinical psychologist and sleep expert with two decades of specialized experience treating sleep disorders.
She is the founder of NYC sleep doctor and NYC. Sleep Consulting, LLC, where she provides psychotherapy, coaching, and consulting services. Dr. Kennedy is the author of the good sleeper, the essential guide to sleep for your baby and you. She's also a sought after speaker for corporate wellness events, Facebook, Barclays, Chanel, et cetera, retail events, and in house product development events.
Dr. Kennedy has been featured on good morning, America, New York one news, ABC news. Good day, New York, Business Insider, CBS This Morning, many podcasts and so much more. We've got a great group today in this podcast to discuss the ins and outs of weighted blankets, why they can be so effective for some people, understanding the weights that might make sense for you.
And just how to navigate this often kind of confusing concept in the show notes, you'll find a link that can hook you up with free shipping, easy returns to dive into this world of weighted blankets, but also have a way to blanket that looks beautiful in your space that you actually want to showcase.
Now, without further ado, let's jump into the podcast, 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. I've recently started testing a unique product from our newest partner mode and method.
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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 skill podcast. Today, we're discussing all things, weighted blankets, and I'm really, really delighted to have two people on the podcast today.
We've got. Dr. Janet Kennedy, as well as Catherine, creator of this exciting weighted blanket line that we're going to get into all the details as to what makes it kind of unique, why it's really taken off in the marketplace. But first, really want to just thank you both for taking the time to be here.
Thank you. Awesome. Fantastic. Thank you. Well, let's just jump right into it. I'm wondering if we could get a little bit of the human backstory on how this all came to be that you've really been on the forefront of innovation as it relates to weighted blankets. Yeah, I mean, I can, I can get started. So I never had, you know, entrepreneurial ambitions in the first place.
I So I used to work for the World Bank, been kind of traveling, working in, uh, you know, different markets, um, moving from the Middle East to South Asia. And, um, so I think from my end, I always have been a light sleeper, even as a, as a child, you know, I think you already realize like, okay, some people just, they pass out and then.
They don't wake up eight hours later. I was never one of those. Yeah. Uh, but then kind of when, you know, I had like a really stressful phase in the job, kind of like it really creeped up on me and, you know, it starts like slightly where, you know, you don't fall asleep, you wake up multiple times at night.
And when you're younger, you don't think about it much. You're like, Hey, no, it's. So I'm a bit stressed out. We'll go away. But then actually, in my case, it didn't and it really became chronic insomnia. And I think at that stage, I think it takes some time to admit, okay, I have to do something about it.
Otherwise, it really impacts me, um, not only at night, but also, like, during the day and kind of. From there, I just started doing research. I'm like, so what's out there? What are like natural solutions? What can I do? And I think you start from the surface level. You change your pillows, you change sheets. Um, and, and then you see like sleep tracker, white noise machines.
So I definitely, I think I tried like probably everything that's out there in the market. And, um, it was like kind of some things were just hit and miss. And then I came across like, uh, A study where someone mentioned a weighted blanket and I mean that was like eight years ago, right when I first read about it So and at that point weighted blankets were advertised for kids So first I didn't want to try it, so I'm like, you know, that's kind of probably the least likely that will help me.
But then I'm like, okay, I tried so many different things, like basically nothing to lose. And I ordered one from a German pharmacy. So that's kind of like at that time where they were sold like really medical, kind of niche, orange bean bag type of style. filled with all these funky plastic beads. Yeah. Um, I mean, it kind of, I put it on and I slept for four hours, like during the day.
It's kind of something, and I literally just passed out. And then like, whenever I put it on, I just, you know, I felt calm. I felt relaxed and I could sleep. And I think the story would have ended there and I would have just gone with my. You're going on with my normal job, um, if, if I could have slept under it for a whole night.
But then if you imagine if you like a weighted blanket, you usually have 10% of your body weight. So you sleep between like 15 and 20 pounds under like beets. And so it just gets incredibly hot. And I'm also like, I'm not a really hot sleeper, but then like the 20 pounds on top of it just like really didn't work for me.
And then I started like realizing that actually even though the product weighted blanket itself has been out there for more than 30 years now, that actually there was no product invention. So there was like, there was no innovation, it was just all like these different beads and like generally just a really hot product that was not kind of designed to be used in like a way that it's, that you can sleep under it.
For eight hours, and that's kind of like where I started researching and I'm like, I just need to get that thing readable on. And like, I even wanted only at the beginning of prototype for myself and then I could move on and I came up with the idea actually together with my mother, who's like a knitter, avid knitter.
That if you layer different layers of cotton, you get like a, a yarn, like a thick yarn that you can then knit into an equally heavy, uh, throw and like full blanket. And so you get also, you can make it 20, 30 pounds, like the sky is the limit, but you have the breathability through the cotton and through like the knitted structure.
So that's just natural airflow. And, um, that was like the first aha moment of getting to that. And then also getting the patent, uh, for the product. Uh from there we did a kickstarter campaign and we raised a quarter million dollar in a month And I think that was the entrepreneurial moment when I realized okay I'm, not the only one looking for that.
There is a real market for it And my boss was really supportive and basically said, why don't you take a year off, see if you can get the thing off the ground, not come back, take a case study out of it and how not to do it. I mean, so far I haven't feedback, but yeah, that's kind of how, how, how I got started.
Wow. Such an incredible story and really acknowledge you for taking those steps. You could easily have just noted the difference and yet moved on or kind of just tried to piece something together that really wasn't available and to take that kind of the ingenuity to take those steps is really impressive and clearly needed with the response that you got and so fantastic that you had a boss that was so receptive and really worked with this kind of unique situation.
It's amazing. And Dr. Janet Kennedy, I wonder if you can kind of point to what is going on here? Why would there be such a response, like a positive response on this topic? What is some of the science behind the why that this is impactful and, you know, why Okay. might Catherine have experienced this kind of positive response from, you know, something heavy on her body impacting her sleep results.
What's going on here? Well, it's a pretty simple process where when you have that weight on your body, it's, it simulates deep touch pressure and that releases oxytocin from the brain, which Signals to the body that you're safe and it's okay to calm down. It's like getting a hug does the same thing. And so when you feel that way, especially when you're able to feel that way quickly and make such a fast transition from the overstimulation of our lives these days, um, wrapping yourself up in something like that, or Getting cozy underneath it really speeds up the wind down that we need to be able to transition from our daily, you know, nuttiness to what we need to do.
And we're sleeping, whether it's napping or sleeping at night. And then, but the trouble that Catherine ran into, and I ran into myself when I started testing these things years ago, is that. Particularly as women, temperature is a huge issue, and so if you're surrounding yourself in something that feels amazing, but 20 minutes later, you're suffocating and you feel like, you know, you're just pinned down with your own heat, then it's not a real solution, right?
You're kicking it off. You're struggling with this really heavy thing. And, um, and so this, Technology, I think, is just brilliant. And, um, you know, it gives it gives women and and others who also have concerns about, um, that that feeling kind of. Backfiring, um, that it gives us all this opportunity to have that deep touch pressure without that, um, that unwanted heat, uh, which is, which is really, really important.
Absolutely. Yeah, the temperature piece seems to be so key. Do you feel like that's a real problem in the industry as far as, uh, as you compare. this product to what's out there. It's kind of the persistent concern that the, the heat is trapping and many other products. And then you've all like how a little bit curious on how you're able to make such a difference in this model so that it's not having those same sort of problems.
Just a little bit of detail on that because I know so many people will message and they'll say. Heard about these weighted blankets, but I'm kind of confused on which ones to go with and they're not cheap and I don't want to get it and then have to return it. It feels even like a lot, uh, just physically to because of the weight and the process to go through that, you know, want to have a little bit of clarity on how to distinguish from the masses.
So from my perspective as the professional, not directly part of the company, I think that what really matters here, um, in addition to the, you know, the temperature aspect of the breathability is also that feeling of freedom because you, you have this sort of combination of the pressure and that cozy, protected feeling without feeling Um, without feeling like you're in a cave, like, you're just sort of weighted down and you can't get out.
Um, and I think that that's really important because these, these blankets are, are especially good for people who have sensory issues and, um, but people have sensory issues often are also sensitive to being able to, uh, to move and to be, you know, and to have that air flow and feeling too tightly bound.
So it's a really, yeah. It's a really wonderful balance between the, the benefit, um, and then really sort of, um, not, not having all of the drawbacks that you can have with a blanket that is just really, you know, a solid mass. Um, and the other piece of it that I think is really important, um, is the sustainability aspect of it.
Because, you know, as a consumer, that's obviously important to me, um, also just thinking about what are you putting in your washing machine when you launder this, you know, this item. And, and, you know, if you're putting a bunch of plastic beads in your washing machine, how's that going to work? And how's it going to even balance so it can get clean?
Um, I think, feel like this. This just feels, um, different from, from the other options and, um, you know, that, that's the appeal for me and why I wanted to be a part of, um, you know, working with the brand. Absolutely. And Catherine, any call outs there from your perspective on just some of the unique indicators or qualifiers and that sets this weighted blanket company, uh, apart from the masses?
I mean, I think what we hear a lot from our Bearaby customers is also the noise. So with the beats, obviously heat is one thing, but then you have like, when you move at night and you are covered with beats, they're shifting around. And that's kind of something, I mean, I would wake up right away. But it's just people who have like, you know, light sleep anyways, or stressed out and kind of like New York City is like, you know, you have enough noise already, so you don't need to have your weighted blanket to be on top of that noisy.
So I think that's a big one that we keep hearing from people who love the feeling of the weight, but then I just, they're like the drawbacks and, and noise shifting beats. It's definitely like a big one in addition to like, just sleeping cool at night. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. And I'm wondering if you can share kind of a guide, and I guess technically this is for either of you, whoever's more interested in this topic, just some more guidance for people as they are, maybe they've heard about weighted blankets or listening to this podcast and then want to test this out, but getting kind of analysis paralysis on what size to get, what weights to get, the whole world of it.
There's different types of materials. I know you guys do a great job of There's velvets, there's, you know, so there's a stylistic piece, there's more breathable fabrics, if we can kind of break down that thinking process. I mean, I can, can start on like how we think about it. So, I mean, in the studies that are out there is like most of them recommend 10% of your body weight.
Yeah. And don't, um, and kind of not seeing the blanket as like, uh, covering the bed, but covering the body and really seeing it as a tool that's tightly wrapped around your body. So you get that effect. Um, it comes off like materials to choose from. So we have, um, we have the cotton, uh, organic cotton version.
So that's the one that probably is the, the, the one, if you want to get started, uh, when you just want to get a feel of it. Um, and then we have for people who are sleeping hard, we have like a version that is made with a triple fabric that's even more cooling because cooling, sleeping cool is just such a big aspect, like in that category.
Um, what we recommend is like, yes, one is kind of the body weight, but if people feel anxious or have like an extra amount of stress, what we found is that when people are in between sizes, that they actually are better off upgrading to a higher size. So even if you technically should have a 15 pound blanket, but you really kind of, you know, going through a lot of things or you have consistently like issues sleeping, um, you might want to get started in a 20 pound blanket because like the heavier the weight, like, uh, you know, the more effects you will feel.
So it's, it's something where we always. Try to, you know, talk to people and try to give as much guidance as possible on what their specific needs are. But yeah, when in terms of stress of sleep, when you are on the higher end, you also should go with a higher weight. Okay. Thank you for that. That's helpful.
And you can also modulate it. Um, if you get one, that's a higher weight, if you don't put the entire thing on your body. And so it has that kind of flexibility built in where you don't have to feel like, oh, you've made a terrible mistake. If you've gone heavy, you can, you can, um, adjust that and how you use it.
So great. Yeah, thank you for that call out. Quick aside, some of my research over in the past, there was call outs around this being used for years back in a kind of a mental health approach. Any kind of insights, any call outs there? Because it's just kind of an interesting thing to look to if, if this kind of had originated and seemed to have some efficacy for helping from a mental health concern.
Well, I've certainly been seeing this used for years. Um, this technology, um, and, um, you know, both in. My work with, uh, children in years past where parents were looking for, uh, ways to help kids settle down who had sensory issues or autism. And, um, and it's very helpful there. Um, but also just in, um, my patients who, um, really have trouble unwinding at night.
So even just sitting on your couch with this across your lap or wrapped around your body can really help to. Um, Separate from your day and and facilitate that. Um, that wind down. I talk a lot in my practice about creating an off ramp for the day because we're we move at such high speeds now with information coming at us that is often very agitating and activating and certainly it's coming from multiple sources all the time and we're having to juggle in ways our minds never had to do in the past.
And so, uh, Finding a route off of that without just sort of saying, All right, it's bedtime. I'm going to dive into bed with my mind still buzzing. Um, I think this is a tool for that kind of out. Unwinding is really, really helpful. Sure. No, I appreciate that. And I like that the different use cases. Cause this can look different for different people.
Like I have seen for some people that they'll use these, they might not use it for their whole night. Instead, they use it on the couch to kind of unwind or for naps or that sort of thing. Or some people have it fully on their entire bed and they use it the entire night. So I've seen different ways that people utilize that.
That's a great reminder. And before we switch into our kind of four questions, I am definitely curious to hear, especially with two people, just a little bit of more insight into how these things can work into our day to day life, any call outs that we want to make sure we address as it relates to weighted blankets and this skill set of optimizing our sleep, anything we left out.
I mean, I think for me, napping is a really important, important aspect. And I know they're like different, like views or like to nap or not to nap. But for me, it's really critical. And I think, um, you know, like any time between like one and 3 PM when you just feel like, okay, it's, it's the days like, you know, still not over and you're feeling a bit, um, slowed down, like just 20, 30 minutes of kind of napping.
I think that's like where I'm also loving kind of like having that tool, which kind of almost cues me into like, okay, now it's nap time. And I think even as like an entrepreneur, you like, okay, you're not supposed to nap. You're kind of supposed to be like going, going, going. I think, like, allowing, like, short breaks and just kind of, I guess, also what we're trying to communicate, like, from, uh, to our, like, to our team, but also to our customers, it's like, it's okay to, like, accept that, like, You know, you're not a machine, you can take breaks and I think like I said, mental health stigma that we also talked about.
I think that's something that, um, you know, taking breaks and with a way to blanket or without a way to blanket. I think has been really helpful for me. And then if times get more stressful, I think it's easier to manage and you kind of like accepting when they're like days that go this way or that way.
But then at least you have a tool that, you know, if, if you need some extra support, you have it. Okay. So well said awesome. I think the nap the nap is a really good point and that, you know, especially using it. For that short power nap, um, that really is, you know, a healthy alternative to a cup of coffee late in the afternoon, you know, um, you know, that kind of napping has been shown to boost productivity, um, health, learning, memory, you name it.
And so, um. Finding ways to do that. Um, and efficiently is really important. And I find that, uh, you know, I'm a big, I'm a big power napper myself. And, um, just having the blanket as that cue sets my body into that mode. A lot faster. I don't need as much time to fall asleep, which is great because the whole point of it is that you're trying to do it and get back to the business of the day.
You don't want to spend an hour and a half trying to get a 20 minute nap going. So. Exactly. So well said. I appreciate that. And I think that's can be one of the use cases where weighted blankets can really shine. Because again, I've seen different things for different clients and how they think of weighted blankets.
And for some people, the naps, especially, it's like their go to and it starts to have this Padalothian response where the minute that weight is on, then they're calming down. So really, really cool. And some Super curious to hear kind of how you are managing your sleep. And I think Catherine honing in on you in particular, an end getting from Dr.
Kennedy, some kind of feedback from the science side of things of how this all interplays and how these things can be useful and what they can learn. So we do always ask our guests four questions of how they're managing their sleep. And our first question is what is your nightly sleep routine? And I think we heard.
Some possibilities with, you know, even when you're on the couch, how it can begin and all these different things. But curious, starting Catherine with you of how your nightly routine, what it's looking like. Yeah, it's a, it's a really good question because again, when you're an entrepreneur, you kind of work never stops, you can kind of keep going.
And I think also in my earlier days, I was like, okay, stop at 10 or 11 and then. Basically, like thinking that you can sleep longer in the morning, but kind of tricking myself because you kind of wake up every day at the same time, even though you, like, you go to bed later. Yeah, I think one of the changes that I've been kind of recognizing is like the consistency in going to bed.
And then I think like the rest almost falls into place because like the morning I like, I think with my internal clock, I'm waking up at the same time, no matter what time I go to bed. And I don't know if that's only me or if that is, if there's something to it. I love that because that's one of the biggest blind spots that we see for so many clients where their sleep might not be working and they might, and will begin, you know, one of the areas to begin bringing that consistency, kind of an anchoring point of that consistent wake up time.
And of course, with the idea of leading to consistent bedtimes to a certain extent as well. And yet people will say, Oh, yeah, I'm pretty consistent. And we look at their stats and then it's like the weekends are all over the place. Dr. Kennedy, any call outs as far as what Catherine said? Anything to underscore there?
Well, I think it's really important that if you do not have a strong internal clock, the way Kaepernick is talking about herself, that you really set that morning wake up time first, because people often read this prescription of going to bed at the same time. Yeah. You know, they're not following what their body is ready to do, and that can induce a lot of insomnia.
And stress if you're trying, if you're saying, oh, it's, you know, midnight and I supposed to go to bed at midnight and, um, and then you're diving into bed and you're not ready. You're not going to be falling asleep until, you know, hours later. Um, whereas if you have the idea of midnight, and you structure your evening to allow that to happen, but then you follow your body to bed, whether it's 1230 or 1, even on that night, for whatever reason.
You'll get to sleep faster. Um, and so having that, you know, setting the stage for for sleep and sort of making it possible is the 1st step. Um, setting the wake up time and then your body clock will help you and push you to go to bed. When it needs to, um, when you do that consistently over time. Yeah, I think that's so important and it's so interesting because I've seen even for people who are in this conversation of sleep optimization and they'll have heard this message of a consistent bedtime, consistent wake time.
And I appreciate your call it because that's one of the reasons why we'll often point for people to begin with that consistent wake up time, because that can be so problematic if you try to get. too dogmatic with the bedtime and play they're stewing but at least the wake up time you can certainly control and we'll see for so many people that they will think that they have that message but then something rough like it's a rough night and then it just They move it out and they think that that's a logical because it feels logical.
It's like, well, let me sleep a little bit longer, but in reality, it can just skew that all very important internal clock that we are speaking to in many, many clocks. It's super important while you're trying to make that adjustment to remember that it's not about. What happens on any given night and that, you know, you will have nights that are shorter.
You will have nights that are rougher and that's all in services of this calibration. And in order for that calibration to happen, you, you have to. Be ready to struggle with days that don't feel as fabulous as you want them to and with sleeps with sleep that isn't optimized or maximized and feel like the most refreshing that like being able to get through that is what gets you over the hump and into that routine that then starts to automate.
Uh, I love how you said that, that ability to pan out in service of that calibration. So well said, because I think, you know, you can feel, you want that short term win, and you want to feel good, and then the frustrations ensue. Oh, well, maybe I'm just a bad sleeper. Maybe it's in my genes, you know, and you start going into all these narratives, and to your point, it's this long term game.
So really, really appreciate that. And then, Catherine, I think we might have started to spill over into this one. But our next question is, what is your morning sleep routine with the argument that how we start our days can impact our sleep? And I know you kind of touched on some of those things, but are there other additional things we might see in your mornings?
So I mean, personally, I really like a slow morning. Uh, I think that's one of the reasons why we have flexible working hours at Baribee. Probably like one of the first policies, like primarily, like I implemented with me in mind, but no, I think realistically, I think if you get like a lot of the things that are good for you done in the morning, I think that's when it's still fresh.
So for me, I mean, like, I, I love a good cup of tea and just kind of like being by myself and like, I think also what I, what I noticed is like, if I get early sunlight. Um, and I think there's also probably Dr. Kennedy can speak to it, like there's, uh, there are scientific studies on it, but I'm trying to have a cup of tea, like just by myself, um, and trying to get some sunlight.
I mean, I grew up in Germany, like wasn't much sun, but I still always tried to catch something in between like the rain and, uh, kind of the bad weather. And I realized like when I have like these mornings, like, and ideally like I have and then I exercise. I love doing yoga or running. And I'm switching out between those.
So that's kind of like, if I have that in the morning, um, I can see like better results in my sleep tracker at night and just also how I feel and how it sets me up on the day. But I think kind of getting that early sunlight exposure is something that I realized makes a big difference. Um, I don't drink any coffee.
So I think for me, like the tea needs to do the trick. Um, and so kind of like making sure my internal clock is. somehow align when I kind of get going and but like allowing my body also kind of to get into like the rhythm and I think like any like natural like solution like sunlight exercising. Um, it's kind of, that's something that really made a difference for me in the morning.
Mmm, love that. Where are you located now? I'm into checking on that. Yeah, I mean, we're in New York. Oh, New York. Okay, got it. Yes. Totally. So Germany to New York. Yeah. Very cool. Yes. Yes. I totally get that with New York. So important to seek out that son. I lived in New York for like a decade. And so depending on where you might be living, it's like sometimes you got to go find that son depending on your location.
Dr. Kennedy, any call outs about, you know, kind of Catherine's approach to the mornings, anything to underscore or anything we might want to add in. I think the morning light is extremely important. It's so helpful if you can do it. Um, I have a new dog and I'm walking her in the mornings now and I lose the difference even just from that.
Um, you know, um, but the other thing that. I, I think is really important is that it's okay to have a slow morning. You don't have, you can sleep really well and still wake up, not thrilled to be awake, you know, like that doesn't mean you didn't sleep well or there's something wrong. It's just that you're a person who is slower to wake up and.
If you don't, um, identify that as a problem or some kind of flaw, then you can learn how to manage it in a way that, you know, makes your morning more pleasant and gets you, you know, off to a start when it's, when you're ready. Yeah, I think that's a really important call out because we see so much in the research that oftentimes it's that inner narrative that can be the difference maker between people that they go to bed, they wake up and that's just sort of how it is.
And they go to and the other group that goes to bed wakes up and then has a. real problem or concern with how that night went and that, uh, inner dialogue then causing a whole ripple effect. So I really appreciate that call. And the trackers, the trackers really contribute to that too, right? You get a dream when you wake up and you're like, I didn't even, you know, like, how did this even happen?
I don't know what I did or didn't do. So the way that's interpreted can really, um, you know, ripple through your day if you feel like, oh, I didn't sleep well. So that's why I'm not happy today or why I'm not productive or, you know, why I have a stomachache or something. And, and, and that creates more of a problem that leads to all kinds of behaviors that often make sleep worse.
Right. Sure. Kind of an overcompensating or negative kind of inner conversation or monologue. Yeah. Really interesting. And then Catherine, the third question would be what is on your nightstand or maybe if you're traveling, maybe kind of proverbial nightstand apps, ambiance, gadgets, things to be aware of.
Yeah. There nightstand. Let's start with supplements. So I, I like taking magnesium. Sure. Um, like, so I think every night I take like a gram of magnesium and I just kind of like sets me up to feel calm and like just, um, gets me through the night and I feel good. Um, I like, you know, I think I also have like a, the ashwagandha.
So I like to mix that in. Um, I like just generally like creating like an ambience. It's like, how do I get into that routine that like sets me up to get to sleep? So I have like a pillow mist and I kind of like my body knows, I don't know if it's helpful, but it's, you know, like, I feel like I spray it and then it's kind of like more like that mental cue that, okay, I'm getting ready.
Um, for bad. I also have a, um, humidifier, like really kind of keeping at the right temperature like the, um, and then, um, I keep a sleep candle and some essential oils, not using it every night, but from time to time. So I like to have it, uh, cozy. And, like, just to set up and, uh, just wind down. Um, and then, like, I think on the bed, actually, like, um, trying to have a comforter, like, light comforter.
Again, I don't want it too hot. And then, personally, I mean, I sleep under a 30 pound blanket, but I think that's just fine. Someone who's, you know, like has been, uh, entrepreneur and kind of, uh, uh, I need that extra. So I'm really like, like, if I sleep under 15, I'm like, that's not doing a trick for me. I need a 30 pound blanket.
So when I'm trapped, I'm actually carrying a 10 pound blanket with me and I'm like, I can't wait to get home and get under the 30 pounds. Um, and, uh, I just, I like everything that's kind of sensory comforts. I also like, like, um, like, uh, a hot water bottle. I don't know if there's anything to it, but it just makes me kind of feel kind of calm.
And it's like that too, uh, at your feet. And there's actually evidence that it will help you fall asleep faster. Yeah. Yes. So I was right on that one. So, yeah, I think it's, it's like. Having what I have around it and then kind of how I layer, layer the bed on really being as comfortable and, and body supported from like body pillow is another one that I swear.
The body pillow too, you said? Do you have a particular brand for that one? Well, I mean, for me, it's, um, like I have a long body pillow because I want to have support. I have like sometimes back issues when I'm a side sleeper. So sometimes when I woke up, I have like a numb, like arm and then like, uh, kind of having my knee on it, having my arm aside, like it just kind of like helps me like all the positions that I like want to be in and kind of on the side and not waking up with back pain and like numbness in my arm.
So that was a was a big one for me as well. Great. Yeah. Um, Dr. Kenny, any call outs about all that? I think it's, it sounds so luxurious and I think it's important to though that it doesn't have to be so elaborate if you don't want it to be like, if that is, if it, for some people that can become a burden and it feels like, oh my God, I have got to do all of these things.
And if I don't, it's not going to work. Right. Um, you know, especially if. You don't have a lot of time in your evening to yourself. So if, if that doesn't bring you pleasure, um, then, then it starts to feel just like one more part of your, the job of your day. And so, um, you know, I encourage people to start simple and then add things that.
Make it feel, um, more comforting and luxurious if that if they want to, but for me, you know, I, I just, um, get myself, you know, I'm just I love my bedroom. My bedroom just feels like I'm so happy. I get to be there at the end of the day. Yeah. And just, you know, after I do my sort of beauty routine, such as it is, um, I just get into bed with a book and, um, and that to me is the most important thing.
Um, you know, there are obviously other, I like an eye mask, I use CBD, I will read with under the Barabee blanket, but I don't, I don't go to sleep at night with it. For me, that's not how it doesn't feed. It's not the feeling I want at night, although it's wonderful for naps and for unwinding for me. Um, but yeah, it's, I think that it's really important that whatever you do feel like something you get to do and not something you have to do to be able to go to bed.
Yeah, really important call outs and it sounds like Catherine for you, these things kind of bring you joy. So for you, it's it's workable and just a thing, something you look forward to. And I like what you're calling out Dr Kennedy that kind of finding that for so for the listener. Discovering that for yourself and then not feeling like you have to have this particular routine that you're now bound to or, yeah, sleep will not come to you as a result.
Because then you're in performance anxiety land again, right? Yeah. Yeah, totally. So good. Okay. And then the last question would be, what would you say has made the biggest change to your management of your sleep, or said another way, maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your sleep? I mean, I think for me, it's, it's, I'm probably biased, but it's definitely been when I first slept underweight and I'm like, I can see something like so simple as a, as a heavy kind of evenly weighted, balanced weight, kind of just do the trick for me.
Um, so, I mean, it, it, it moved me so much that I quit my job based on it.
But as I get older and think more holistically, um, about sleep, it's, it's also about just. Out of awareness of, you know, not a quick fix, but it's really like, it's consistent, like, so people come to us and say like, wow, I need something quick and I need something just to work like a drink or gummy or like something.
At least like from my perspective, I think sleep is just like it's part of your life and it's not like that's kind of with a quick fix, but you need to do it on a consistent basis and you need to find like the routines as we discuss it work for you individually. And I think just kind of listening to my body and what feels good, what brings me into kind of like that internal thought.
Um, that, that I'm aligned, that I'm feeling good and that I'm like, again, I'm guilty of a sleep track. I like tracking it, but getting also into like that sense of like, I listened to my body and like, ideally, like the instinct, my sleep tracker says I had great sleep. But I also like, if I didn't look on the sleep tracker, I'm like, I know I slept great and I feel good.
I think that's kind of like getting into like that routine and knowing like sleep is not a quick fix, but it's really. Like a consistent routine and then taking it serious. So great. Yeah And dr. Kennedy any call outs with those? No, I think that's, I mean, the idea that, um, you know, you can just find something that, that feels so right.
Um, I think it's, it's beautiful. And, you know, I think that understanding that sleep, um, can vary from night to night and still be normal, that it doesn't always have to feel like, you know, the best it's ever been. For it to be healthy and, um, supporting you and you're in your life, um, I think is really important.
And that that is something that I learned along the way and through doing this work for the last 20 years, um, really. Understanding that putting it under a microscope all the time. Yeah. Um, can, can really create problems where none exist. And, and recognizing that, like, okay, so here's a night where I'm waking up a lot.
I don't like that, but I'm gonna be okay. And being, and really trusting and that, um, makes it okay. It, it helps you to get back on track. It lets your body rebound the way it's designed to the next night and the next night. So true. Great words of wisdom. And for the listener who's now saying, okay, well, I want to check out more about this, uh, get myself a weighted blanket, the, you know, follow what is happening in this, you know, innovative company.
What are the steps that they can take? I mean, you can find more about our blankets on our website. That's bear. com and on our socials. It's a promise. My bear be, and you also find my bear be on tick tock. Cool. On tick tock as well. Yes. Amazing. Welcome to 2023. It's so funny. I was just at a dinner and.
Someone was talking about how they learned so many things, just even from on the sleep perspective on tick tock nowadays, you know, it's just, that's the medium. I love it. So you heard it here, folks, definitely check them out. Clearly the passion is there and. I love that you sleep under a 30 pound weighted blanket and you're so tiny.
That is so amazing. I got to step up my way to blanket game. Really, really fantastic. Thank you so much for both of you taking the time to be here. It means a lot. And just for really making a huge dent in this. area of sleep and sleep health and wellness, uh, and providing, you know, real steps and strategies and routines and rituals that people can take to relate newly to their sleep in a healthy kind of empowered way.
Thank you. Thanks for having us. Awesome. Thank you both. Appreciate it. You've been listening to the sleep is 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.
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