Exciting Press Release Update!
Apollo Neuro Introduces First Wearable with AI-Driven, Personalized Sleep and Stress Relief
MALIBU, Calif. – October 18, 2023 – Apollo Neuro is revolutionizing the wearables category with the introduction of SmartVibesTM. Designed by neuroscientists and physicians to calm the body and restore balance to the nervous system, Apollo delivers gentle, soothing waves of vibration, called Apollo VibesTM, that improve sleep and lower stress. This is also the very first wearable technology to use both predictive and generative AI to learn about a person’s stress levels and sleep quality to proactively deliver soothing vibrations tailored to their body’s specific needs;improving sleep and supporting the body's recovery from stress. Available starting today, Apollo customers who subscribe to a membership will get SmartVibes for sleep, enabling their Apollo wearable to sense when their sleep is disturbed to soothe them back to sleep in real-time. In early November, SmartVibes for stress relief will be available and will integrate with more data sources - starting with Oura Ring - to better understand the body’s readiness, and deliver personalized Apollo Vibes to support stress recovery during the day.
Dr. Dave Rabin, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, health tech entrepreneur & inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for over 15 years. He is the co-founder & chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, which has developed the first scientifically-validated wearable technology that actively improves sleep, relaxation, focus, and calm, using a novel touch therapy that signals safety to the brain. Dr. Rabin is the Executive Director of The Board of Medicine & the Medical Director of the Apollo Clinic. In addition to focusing on integration therapy, plant and natural medicines, couples therapy, and medicine-assisted psychotherapy, Dr. Rabin specializes in treatment-resistant mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosomatic disorders, personality disorders, chronic pain disorders, insomnia, and substance use disorders using minimal and non-invasive treatment strategies.
Dr. Rabin has always been fascinated by consciousness and our inherent ability to heal ourselves from injury and illness. His research focuses on the clinical translation of non-invasive therapies for patients with treatment-resistant illnesses like PTSD and substance use disorders. In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice, Dr. Rabin is currently conducting research on the epigenetic regulation of trauma responses and recovery to elucidate the mechanism of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the neurobiology of belief. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and specialized in psychiatry with a distinction in research at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 Sleep and chronic stress
😴 Sleep and mental health
😴 Techniques to calm the nervous system
😴 Cardio respiratory resonance
😴 Sleep and intimacy connection
😴 Sleep improvement data
😴 Middle of the night wake-ups
😴 A.I. revolutionizing personalized medicine
😴 Breathing for better sleep
😴 Wearing Apollo on the ankle
😴 Techniques for managing anxiety
😴 Prioritizing skincare and emotional health
😴 Misconceptions about sleep
😴 Sleep and vivid dreams
😴 Neuroscience of psychedelic states
😴 What could we learn from Dr. Rabin's sleep-night habits?
😴 Discover Apollo Neuro! , your personal solution for improved sleep and stress relief. It's the first-ever wearable infused with AI technology.
😴 And More!!
🧠 If you “Can’t Turn Your Brain Off” at night… https://magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill
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I drink 'Good Idea' before a meal that I KNOW I'll likely spike from since it has been shown to reduce glucose between 20 & 30 percent!
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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. Our guest today is Dr. Dave Rabin, MD, PhD, neuroscientist, board certified psychiatrist, health tech, entrepreneur, and inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for over 15 years. Because of this, He is the co founder and chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience.
That's primarily what we're going to be diving into today, which has developed the first scientifically validated wearable technology that actively improves sleep, relaxation, focus, and calm using a novel touch therapy that signals safety to the brain. safety is key in the world of sleep. And we're going to get into that and more, but first Dr.
Rabin is the executive director of the board of medicine and the medical director of the Apollo clinic. In addition to focusing on integration therapy, plant and natural medicines, couples therapy, and medicine assisted psychotherapy, Dr. Rabin specializes. In treatment resistant mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, psychosomatic disorders, personality disorders, chronic pain disorders, insomnia, and substance use disorders using minimal and noninvasive treatment strategies, Dr.
Rabin has. Always been fascinated by consciousness and our inherent ability to heal ourselves from injury and illness. His research focuses on the clinical translation of a non invasive therapies for patients with treatment resistant illnesses like PTSD. D and substance use disorders. In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice, Dr.
Rabin is currently conducting research on the epigenetic regulation of trauma responses and recovery to elucidate the mechanism of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and the neurobiology of belief. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany medical college and specializes in psychiatry with a distinction in research at Western psychiatric Institute and clinic of the university of Pittsburgh medical center.
All right. That is a lot of information and I promise you we'll be getting into more information, but with practical takeaways, ways that you can support to create a sense of safety as it relates to your sleep and we go into the why that that is. And you can have the option of exploring technologies like the Apollo and understanding a bit more about why they seem to have some effectiveness for various people in support throughout the course of the day, as well as the night.
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com forward slash sleep is a skill. I will also include this in the show notes as well. And welcome to the Sleep as a Skill podcast. This is going to be an exciting conversation. Lots of new things in the world of support with our sleep, and particularly the dreaded 2am, 3am wake ups. A lot that we can do to help just the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and you know, deal with some of those early morning wakenings where, ugh, now you're just up for the rest of the day.
So without further ado, our guest, Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me, Molly. Oh, thank you so much. We were just sharing before we hit record that we've had some interactions in various capacities during COVID. Back when Clubhouse was rocking and rolling, we had been in a room with Dr.
Michael Bruce, a mutual friend. Fantastic to see you. Rockstar and I know a part of my understanding is part of some of the work that you're doing with Apollo. So I really want to hear a little bit of that background of how you found yourself in this space and have created this new piece of tech that may even really be something that people can rely on and support in their journey to improve their sleep and the ability to impact how they experience life by day as well.
Yeah, absolutely. Um, that's a great place to start. So, uh, for those who don't know me, I am a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist and I've spent many years, almost 20 years studying chronic stress, um, both on the cellular molecular level and in aging disorders, uh, where we know sleep is a huge problem and in, uh, um, in whole humans in the mental health world.
And, you know, one of the things that always stood out to me When I was working, especially in the traditional academic world at the University of Pittsburgh and then in my private practice, I work with a lot of veterans and a lot of people who have experienced severe chronic stress over time, but who have also trained themselves to be excellent at being stressed and to perform at extraordinarily high level under stress.
And yet, when many, despite all that training, when many of those folks come back to civilian life, they really struggle, uh, to just adapt to the regular day to day of not being in the military anymore for lots of reasons. And sleep always stood out as a major issue that they struggled with. And sleep, we know from year, decades of mental health research and general health research, but it's been especially More, uh, uh, more surfacing now as a much more common topic, it's sleep.
Good quality sleep is at the foundation of all health, mental and physical. And if our patients and, you know, Mike, Michael Bruce, the sleep doctor, and I talk about this a lot, which is that when we are, when we are sleeping, especially getting deep restful sleep, which includes like, you know, the deep sleep stages, the REM sleep stages, that's when our bodies do most of their physical and mental recovery.
an emotional recovery. And it's when we take memories, our brains do this automatically, it's called memory reconsolidation, where we take memories from the short term storage and we move them into the long term storage, and the stuff that's, and it's supposed to fit into the right spot, it's not supposed to be mixed up.
And when we are not sleeping well, our brains don't do that well. And so memories can get lost or just not be remembered. And, you know, this is one of the first signs that we see in people, the average folks, right, you know, who are not diagnosed with a condition, who are struggling with sleep, is memory issues.
But we also, especially in people who have severe mental illness like PTSD, those folks struggle to even learn the therapy techniques we're teaching them when they're not sleeping well. And so this was always something that was really fascinating to me is how do, how do the, you know, how do we help these people who have not only laid down their, their, um, their lives and made this ultimate sacrifice for us to be able to live happy, normal lives again when they come back.
But also, you know, where does sleep fit in and how do we help them get better sleep and what can their sleep issues teach us about? How what we need to do to sleep better and how sleep is critical for recovery and healing So that kind of led me down this path and to the eventual Uh discovery of the technology behind apollo at the university of pittsburgh Oh, wow, what a background that is so fascinating and so important And so, you know really one kudos to you for all the work that you've done all those years and then to now take this concept and kind of play around with that for a period of time and actually bring to fruition this product.
Now, walk us through what this is. And I'm sharing this too, if people are listening and like, uh, you know, this product, what have, we're really pulling out the technology behind this. So even if you don't have the funds to invest in the, in the product at the moment, we're really committed that you'll be able to just even knowing that these things are available and the how that they work, how you can bring them in.
And then if you choose to invest in something like that. really understanding how that could support you. Yeah, absolutely. And, and that's what I talk about in, in most of my, most of my lectures because it's really the how and the why is the most exciting. Um, and then of course now we have tools like Apollo that I'm wearing on my chest that can help, and you're wearing on your wrist, that can help get us there more easily.
But the core of it really comes down to safety. So, uh, safety Is something that we often overlook in our society because we don't have the same survival threats that we had, you know, millions of years ago when we were living in caves and jungle, you know, we typically aren't being chased by predators anymore and we don't run out of food for days at a time and we don't run out of water or air.
And so we don't, the survival system of our bodies, what we call the sympathetic stress response or fight or flight nervous system, which is really evolved, not just in humans, but in all animals going way back, like hundreds of millions of years, the same system exists. And it's responsible for one thing, which is when threat or uncertainty in our environment is detected, how do we get to safety as quickly as possible and get away from that threat.
And one of the ways we do that is by not sleeping, right? The joke of human nature, yes, the ultimate paradox. Right, because we need to sleep to recover and we need to sleep to be well, but our our bodies and our minds are actually capable of surviving for days or weeks on end without sleep. If there is real danger around us, it's not good for us by any means.
It's very, it's very, it can be very harmful, but yeah, but if we absolutely had to had to. Our bodies would do it. But again, now transport yourself back to modern life where we don't have these threats. These are real survival threats and our nervous system is still tuned in to survival. And so when we experience anything we perceive as threatening in modern day life, whether that's too many responsibilities, too much stimulation, too much noise, too much news, too many kids screaming, too much traffic.
Right. All of these things, our bodies don't if our bodies inherently don't know the difference by themselves between those kinds of threats, which are actually not survival threats, but they are frustrating and annoying. Nonetheless, yes. And actual survival threats, unless we train our minds to tell our bodies.
That hey, I'm not actually under survival threat right now. You don't need to take all my resources and give them to my skeletal muscles and my heart, my lungs and my fear center my brain because I am. I'm not in danger of dying because of the news. I'm not in danger of dying because my kids are screaming or I'm stuck in traffic.
Right. And so it's that part that is the, that's the mindfulness practice that most of us never learned growing up. That's like a really critical piece to restore our sense of control over our attention that resets that fear response and just keeps it in check when we're not actually under threat. Our bodies will not allow us to sleep if we are not safe enough to be able to fall asleep and sleep is our most vulnerable physical state that we're in in any time of our day, right?
We're physically vulnerable. We are not especially in the deepest sleep states. We might have like, you know, our bodies and Ram are often not able to move. So why would our bodies allow us to enter those states for deep recovery and make us completely defenseless? There is Danger or uncertainty around so that's so that is the core of what's happening and so that's why breathing techniques slow deep breathing techniques, the meditation, the mindfulness techniques, stretching and things that embody us bring us back into our body.
Soothing touch is a great example, right? That's why those things work. And from our studies of soothing touch, we realized that you could deliver some of those safety signals from like snuggling with a loved one or a pet. Soothing touch. To your body through wearable that doesn't using sound waves. It doesn't require another person to be there and you can still boost those safety signals that help us to wind down and fall asleep more easily.
Uh, so cool. Okay. So for anyone listening, if they don't have the Apollo right now, I appreciate you calling out the techniques that they could bring in the soothing touch, the realization that the massive importance of kind of reframing to support senses of safety, breath work, some things that you could really do to help calm that nervous system to support the ability to fall asleep so that you don't get stuck into that kind of gear of that stress response.
Okay. And for those that are looking for alternative measures or things that could further support them, walk us through a bit more of what this technology looks like with Apollo. So, ultimately, everybody's, like, you've listened to, you've had times where you've listened to music and music has given you energy, right?
It made you want to dance or move. Definitely, yeah. And then you, and then you have other times where music makes you tired and calm. Sure. And that music. Has actually been you know the way the music does that has has been known about intuitively through the science, Eastern science and other tribal cultures and even in some extent in Western culture in the science of music for hundreds or thousands of years.
Yeah, that is very old neuroscience and we intuitively all know that feeling because music's around us all the time. so we all know that music has the capacity to help us enter these different states. So in our research group, originally at the University of Pittsburgh, we were all musicians and neuroscientists and mental health, psychology, psychiatry people, God what?
Polymaths. . Well, and, and it, and it was more like, uh, you know, it was more, and even the ones of us, like myself, who and my wife, who were really enjoyed music, but we weren't particularly good at it. Music had just very powerful impact on our lives and we always tried to surround ourselves by it. And so as we started to think about, okay, what are our patients doing to calm themselves, right?
When you have somebody who's a veteran with severe PTSD and they can't get through the day without a support, what kind of support do they use? They get a pet. They listen to their favorite songs, right? And that, and the, and the rhythm, it turns out, if you, if you dive a little deeper, the rhythm of the music they listen to is really important, just like the rhythm of the purr of the cat on your chest is really important.
And those rhythms are, again, highly evolved, like, not unique to us. Those rhythms are hundreds of millions of years old. And the reason why they work. And they all work in the same way to induce calm in the body and to restore a sense of recovery and why and even winding down for sleep is because they induce a state that we call in neuroscience cardiorespiratory resonance.
So that's a very fancy way of saying uh we also call it coherence, but it's a very fancy way of saying the rhythm that our heart and lungs get into when we're entering a meditative state. Mm hmm. And for 95 percent of healthy people, if you show them their heart and their and their breath rhythm on a screen, which is called biofeedback and you ask them to sync their rhythms with no other instructions, 95 percent of people will sync their rhythms to somewhere between five and seven breaths per minute within 90 seconds that is entering into a meditative state.
And it calms them down, and it calms them down very fast. And so that's why breathwork has become such intentional breathing. I hate to say, breathwork's an okay term, but really directing your attention to your breath, intentional breathing, rather than doing it automatically, which is what we do all the rest of the time, is enough to restore a sense of control that we By starting with our breath, if I can control my breath, then I can control my thoughts.
And when I control my breath, my heart rate slows down, right? And my body starts to release tension. And so as you do that, it's really restoring a sense of control to ourselves that reminds us, hey, if I'm in control right now, by taking control over my breath, then I'm safe. Because if I was actually running from a bear, my body wouldn't allow me to do this.
And even if we don't recognize that consciously, our bodies know that intuitively. Absolutely. Yeah, go ahead. Apollo delivers. I was going to say Apollo delivers those same rhythms and we just figured out that you can deliver those rhythms through touch the skin and you don't actually need your ears or a pet.
So fascinating and so for anyone that's trying to conceptualize what this would look like kind of Let us know or what you would see as a standard approach or protocol that you would give for people with this wearable, where do they put it on? How does it work? What is the timeline? What are they selecting?
You mentioned the differences and you know, you put on a certain type of song, you get a whole different results depending on what you're going for. So what are kind of their choices in what you created? So, so Apollo was really focused on how do we get people through the day sure so that they can sleep better at night and then sleeping better at night helps you feel more recovered during the day.
So, it's really about goes back to circadian rhythms or sleep and wake cycles. Michael talks about this a lot because he's the chronotype guy, right? Totally. Yep. So. You know the everybody has a natural rhythm and they're all they're all slightly different but they're more similar than different meaning like all of us want to get energy and wake up with the sun as it rises and the temperature of the day of the air warms up and we all tend to have melatonin increases as the temperature cools and the sun sets that wind us down and get us ready for sleep and of course then we have all the technology that interferes with our ability to have those Yeah.
But those rhythms are really important. And so in Apollo, there's seven or eight rhythms and you can choose. Um, so there's one for energy, there's one for social creative flow, there's one for focus, there's one for recovery, which is just balanced, even feels kind of like five minutes of moderate breathing.
Those are really like the Daytime rhythms. And then there's the evening nighttime rhythms that are the wind down rhythms that are calm, which is for meditation and just, you know, deep, deep self internal self reflection and things like that, um, augments access to meditative states. Then there's unwind, which is deep relaxation or anything else before the bed before bed.
And we've seen a lot of people, interestingly enough, using that. for enhancing intimacy and access to climax, which is really interesting because just just like sleep, sex and climax and intimacy are all vulnerable states of our existence. We're exposing ourselves to somebody and just showing it all right.
We really have to feel safe to allow ourselves to drop into that experience and not resist it. Sleep is the same way. Um, so that's been really interesting finding and then wow. One step down from there is sleep and so they you in the app you just schedule them throughout the day or you fill out a seven or eight question survey that customizes a chronotype to you and then we give you a custom schedule and that schedule regulates your entire circadian cycle, not just at night, but also during the day and that during the day and at night, which is again, yeah.
Newer take on sleep that we're finding from neuroscience over the last 10 years, it used to be thought you just need to focus on the nighttime when you're talking about sleep. Now, it's of course, both, you know, um, if you drink caffeine during the day that could impact your sleep at night. Um, and so it's really the balance of balancing your daytime energy and balancing your nighttime energy That really helps to regulate those rhythms and the more you regulate those rhythms and we see typically about 14 to 21 days.
People can completely restore their natural rhythm. And when you restore your natural rhythm and you continue that path over 3 months, as we've seen in our. preliminary results from a three year long study from Oura Ring and Apollo users. We've seen that people are getting up to 30 minutes more sleep a night.
We're seeing substantial increases in deep and REM sleep, up to like 19 percent more deep sleep, 14 percent more REM sleep, and 4 percent decrease in resting heart rate, and 11 percent improvement in heart rate variability. Wow. That's like comparable. If you look at the literature in the science world, that's comparable to what you see if somebody's adopting a new meditation or breath intentional breathing or yoga or exercise routine over the same 3 month period, but all you have to do is set it and turn it on and they're all activating the same parts of the nervous system.
That is wild. Um, we actually just had Oura Ring on the podcast. I mean, every client that we work with is required to wear the Oura Ring. So we've got hundreds of users on the database and really going in deep on, on those metrics. And so many of the listeners to this podcast are using some sort of wearable or wearable curious potentially.
So hearing that is really, really amazing. Is that, I missed the framework on that, on the release of that data, that's at already out now or coming out? So we published on our website the preliminary results from the first 500 and something subjects. So anybody who's interested can go and look at those, but the actual, the actual manuscript from the full study, which has over, I think it's between, it's like over 1300 people.
Um, that study is actually being submitted right now and should be published in the next. You know, before the end of the year. Oh, exciting. Okay. Well, that also might lead us into, unless we forgot anything that you want to touch on, but another thing that's coming in the fall, your AI component. So, wondering if you can share a little bit about that as well.
For sure. So over the years from doing all the sleep research and thanks to our incredible, incredibly generous users who have donated ordering data to us and data from other wearables as well, we were able to do something really interesting, which goes back to the origins of Apollo, which is how if we know when you're about to enter a state that's undesirable, like you're about to be stressed, you're about to have a panic attack, or you're about to wake up in the middle of the night, can we intervene in advance?
Right. We prevent it and that's called if we think about like where wearables are at in the wearable life cycle, gen one wearables were like the original Fitbits and things that, and step trackers just said, Hey, here's your data. We're not telling you anything about it. You need to interpret this and then make a decision.
Yeah. Then gen two wearables are like. tracker trainers. So that's current ordering, current Apple Watch, current Fitbits, and they analyze the data for you after collecting it, they interpret it, and then they give you something to do, but you still have to do it to feel different, right? So it requires effort.
And then Gen 3 wearables are what Apollo in its current form fits into, which is You actually don't have to do anything to feel different. Apollo delivers a soothing vibration to your body, and then you feel different in your body, and then your and then your mind centers in your body like a meditation practice because that's what meditation does.
That's what embodiment meditation does. That's why we do body scans during meditation, and that helps people to feel different first, and then once you have that experience of feeling a little bit better. You can say you can aim for that experience. It gives you a target, right? Yeah. And you can say, Hey, I actually slept better.
I didn't think that was possible. How can I, what can I change in my life to get back there more often? So that is how can I soothe myself more? Cause Apollo is just one of many tools. So if you're doing Apollo plus music, plus breathing, plus some of these other things, you can get there even quicker. Um, so that's gen three and that's where we are right now in the wearable ecosystem.
What we just, released going back to what you asked. Is the very first gen for wearable, which is not just detecting information and not just sending a signal to the body that changes the body, but it does both. So it's closing the loop, meaning we make the wearables responsive to you. So we detect we figured out how to over the last couple of years predict when you're about to wake up in the middle of the night, just from wearing Apollo alone.
And understand what your sleep signature looks like when you're sleeping really well and when you're sleeping disturbed and then we, and you're about to wake up, you're about to have disturbed sleep. We trained Apollo to turn on automatically to keep you asleep. Wow, that's wild. And for the listener. I was sharing with you before we hit record that one of the most common things that we hear is the frustrations around those middle of the night wake ups.
So this could be a potential support for that very, very common concern. Exactly. And as clinicians, you know, I treat sleep disorders all the time. We have very, very few interventions for people who have unwanted middle of the night wake ups. And you don't have to be sick to have this. I think 50, 60 percent of Americans who report having sleep issues.
Have this specific problem is their primary sleep issue, and there's no good medications for it, and there's no good tools for it or techniques other than breathwork. So, or breath or intentional breathing. So when we saw this, we said, okay, we see what AI is capable of doing. We see that AI can do prediction and response.
So what if we took some of that understanding of what AI is capable of, and we just apply it to a complex public health problem? Right. Complex public health problem number one. unwanted middle of the night wake ups, right? That's one of the things that affects almost every single per every single American has these issues, especially if we're stressed.
And so that became the first target and it actually works, which is really exciting. And it's I can tell you because my this is not, I don't usually get personal anecdotes, but I can tell you, please, I trained in medical school to sleep and in medical training. Anytime I get the chance to fall asleep, I'm sure I can fall asleep because sleep was such a rare commodity.
Yeah. Good sleep that I just. Taught myself to just, you know, knock, knock out as quickly as possible, as deeply as possible to get whatever I can when I could get it. Yeah. But my wife, you know, did not, did not have that training. And she wakes up, she used to wake up in the middle of the night all the time.
And, you know, for 10 out of 11 years, we've been together. She was always. Waking up in the middle of the night. And no matter how good a sleeper I was, I would almost always wake up with her at least once during the night. Oh, man, that was very disruptive for me. And we released this feature in its earliest phases in March of this year.
And neither of us are waking up in the middle of the night anymore, which is, yeah, what? Yes. That's amazing. Wow. Yeah, it's, it's wild. It's wild to see, like, if we think about we spend so much time thinking about how AI is, you know, set out to destroy all humans. Yeah, exactly. It's really, it's really us building it to do that.
But if we just direct our attention to Health and what I can do for health. It revolutionizes the way we deliver personalized medicine, which is something that's been really challenging to do over the years. Sure. Wow. That's so exciting and congrats to to the two of you. Thank you. And that would also apply by day as well.
You're saying to to help support the mirroring that can happen if we're stressed all throughout the day and having, you know, near Uh, Maybe panic attacks, unfortunately, or just very stressful periods. If we can help support that, then helping to mirror that in the evenings, so that would kind of come on command as well.
During the day will come on later, and that's going to be something that is very, very neat because it's going to be a way to upgrade your other wearables. So what that will do is we'll be able to take in data from everything from like Aura Ring to Apple Watch and then use that data to trigger Apollo to turn on during the day.
But at night, you can do it with just one wearable, just Apollo, you throw it on and it does the thing for you. So yes, Yes, it is coming. Um, but the right now the sleep, the sleep AI is really where it's at because if you think about what if you think about what you were saying earlier, right, you could wake up once in the middle of the night.
And if that one wake up takes you to racing thoughts. Which then gives you too much, just a little bit too much energy, you could be up for over an hour or more, right? And then that disrupts your entire week of sleep. And so, just to be able to interrupt one of those could really change somebody's entire week, let alone one day, right?
So, now we're seeing... Yeah, so that's so that's really the goal is just nailing that because if you can nail sleep again as we started talking about when we started chatting, you know, at the beginning of this, if you can nail sleep and you can get people sleep deeply and soundly through the night, then the next day is always going to be better.
Oh, so true. Yes. Preach to that point. You know, I appreciate that that you shared kind of your own personal experience as well. I think it can help us, especially someone that's creating this and getting to benefit from this. We do learn a lot from people just based on how they're managing their sleep. So we do always ask for personal questions for everyone that comes on the podcast.
And so very curious to learn from you with all of your years of experience and helping to manage the nervous system. And from a neuroscience perspective, so what might we see for you on your nightly sleep routine right now? And i'm sure it varies and you know travel etc, but anything noteworthy. Yeah, so I think the non technology techniques that I use are Um what we were talking about earlier and the the main one that I found the most effective is one I actually learned as a kid, which is This like deep breathing the way that we breathe when we sleep, which is a really simple technique.
So it's just long, slow inhales with little holes, maybe for a second and then long, slow exhales, which mean and then just continuing to fill your lungs, just paying attention to the feeling of the air and nothing else and just feeling the air come in and fill your lungs a little bit more each time and empty your lungs a little bit more each time.
And for many people, if you just practice doing that a little bit, it will basically trick your body into thinking that you're, you know, by through, through the safety response bagel parasympathetic system, it just trains you to get into that sleepy state. Um, and the breathing is the core. If we slow breathe and deep breathe, our bodies know that we're safe.
And that's one of the most central ways that we can just take control of our attention in any moment. So for me, that's been a mainstay and before I go to bed every night or almost every night, um, I will do a little bit of a meditation. Um, and maybe it's only usually like five or 10 minutes, but that's enough for me to just.
Drop myself into, Hey, my body and my brain. No, it's time to wind down. Um, and that's been long before I ever used Apollo and develop Apollo. That was the technique that I use the most and I still use it almost every time I go to bed. Um, and then the other thing that I use is, I mean, now that I have Apollo, I use it.
Religiously, I use I never I told you I never really had trouble falling asleep, but I did wake up stressed when I had stuff the next day that was really challenging and stuff that I always like I'm thinking about things, projects, presentations, whatever. And so I started using Apollo at night and I use it to I schedule it to put me to bed.
I do the unwind for half an hour right before I'm about to get into bed and then I use I use the sleep vibe when I'm in bed and I just schedule it and then I schedule it to wake me up the next day so I never worry about not getting up because I know it will always wake me up and not with an annoying alarm but with like a soothing gentle vibe and I wake up rather than feeling like oh my god the alarm right amazing that's so good Because, um, certain wearables have spoken to different ways of waking people up, you know, eight sleep or whoop or what have you, all nice and helpful, but it to have actually kind of more of a therapeutic component and getting to have that nice calm awake.
That's really great. I hadn't, I have not used that. I always wear Apollo on my ankle. And my, or my chest, I usually wear it when my chest was a clip during the day, because it's like really central and, and feel, I really liked the feeling just like over my sternum, but it works anywhere on the body. I didn't mention that earlier because it just works through the sense of touch.
You can literally wear it anywhere. And for sleep, the ankle is the go to it is really nice because it's kind of out of the way. You don't. And, and you don't really notice it that much, so it's not disruptive, but it's extremely effective at just sending those vibes all the way up your body. That is interesting.
I haven't tried the ankle piece. And so you feel like with that distance, it's kind of just a nice subtle approach. Yeah, I think, you know, for me, I personally don't like wearing much stuff on my arms. Yeah. And so if I'm sleeping, especially, and I have something on my wrist that's vibrating, and there are a lot of people like Apollo on their wrist when they sleep, but Yeah, sure.
The vast majority of our users use it on the ankle. And I think there's a couple, the main reason is because if you're like one of these sleepers, Yes, I am one of those. Yeah, then you're really going to feel it on your, in your head and all over, and that can be just too much. Okay. And it's supposed to be.
In the background, it's supposed to be like your ambient soundtrack, right? If it's distracting or it's pulling your attention away from just being like present and calm, then it's, it's too much. It's just like your music being too loud. Yeah, I've seen that too, because I don't know if you know my story, but I had gone through my own period of sleep issues, had a whole sleep breakdown and thought I was losing my mind.
I'm stuck like this for life. You know, the freak out response, Lisa, that's what I had. And I found for a number of people that come my way in similar frameworks or ways of kind of navigating these problems of sleep that sometimes where there's this extra stimuli, they're so Hyper vigilant and then they notice the thing and then they start queuing in on that thing.
So I appreciate that because that sounds like it's another way to just make it very a soft approach from what I'm hearing. Cool. Yeah, just yeah, and I think that's and that's actually the same with music too. It's no different, right? Like, like you said, if you're going to send a signal to the body, that signal should ideally be aligned with the state that you want to be in.
And when you're When you're falling asleep, you don't want stuff that's drawing your attention outside of you. You want stuff that's drawing your attention inside of you, right? Sleep is a very internal process, not an external process. We're tuned out to the environment. So anything that pulls us out like too bright, like lights too bright, sounds too loud, vibrations too intense, right?
All of those things will pull us out of the internal sleep, uh, space. Sure. And so Just adjusting whether, you know, you use the buttons on the Apollo or the or the slider on the app or whatever and just turning it down to where you just barely feel it, but it's noticeable is that sweet spot for the best experience.
And what vibration intensity are you at now? Has it evolved or changed with all of your use? Yeah, that's an interesting question. So I'm an addiction and trauma psychiatrist by training. And so when we developed this technology, I was working with a lot of people at addiction issues and we were trying to give them something that was useful and could be used often in replacement of substances, but was not addictive.
Yeah. And, um, so We didn't necessarily know how that would go until we did longer term, uh, follow up in the real world. But for myself and our users, what's really interesting is we, people get, myself included, we get more sensitive to, to the vibration over time because if you think about it, like, Uh are you familiar with like cognitive behavioral therapy exposure right so the way the NCBTI the way those techniques work is they work by engaging in behavior that reminds us that we're in control and we're safe enough to fall asleep right.
Yeah, our bodies are if we know at baseline that our bodies are resisting sleep because it's they're perceiving threat or uncertainty from the environment. then we just remind them that they're remind them of the certainty remind them of the certainty of our breaths remind them that we're in control of our breath of our attention of our muscles and we do oh my other favorite exercises um progressive muscle muscle oh great yeah so doing like little stretches lying down in bed like these things just reaching as far as you can with your fingers and toes and then relaxing and then reaching again and those are really great especially if you touch them with your breathing absolutely Amazing.
Okay, so your evening routine could look like a kind of potpourri of some of those different things that you could bring in. Downregulate, have Apollo to support. You're a fan of the ankle use. Of course, people can find what works for them, but utilizing that at night. But also you did, um, over the sternum you mentioned, which is great.
I hadn't, I haven't tried that. I should do that. And then what might we see in your morning routine? I know you hit on the nice, beautiful, kind of easing into your day with, with the Apollo. Kind of walk us through your morning from when you first wake up. So I think, you know, when I wake up, I try to just get right out of bed at the time that Thought that I, you know, that I said I set my intention to get out of bed at six or seven, whatever it is for that day.
So I try to just get right out, go brush my teeth, do like a, you know, my little bathroom hygiene routine. Um, and then I typically drink a, I do, I do like an Ayurvedic, uh, tradition, which actually has changed my morning routine because brushing your, so the Ayurvedic tradition is that you, first thing in the morning, you wake up and you drink a glass of lemon water.
Yes. And lemon water is thought traditionally to alkalize the body and that's and it's I actually find that to be extremely helpful um for just you know, setting my rhythm of the day and yeah um and that changed my morning routine because I used to wake up and brush my teeth and then drink lemon water and that's gross.
Yes, exactly. So now I wake up and I go get my lemon water and I drink my lemon water in the sun. I get some nice sun and then I go back and brush my teeth and I take a little break. And then when my mouth is no longer filled with like minty freshness, I go and have a cup of coffee. So it's like an hour, hour and a half after waking up.
Um, and then, you know, I try to do some movement and some stretching, but being an entrepreneur, doctor, person, you know, we often don't have the time for that, like first thing in the morning, but I highly encourage people to do that because I think moving a little bit, even if you're just doing like a few sun salutations in the morning, a little bit of like gentle stretching and yoga, it's so great to get your blood flowing and just get your body moving.
And it just reminds you of, you know, How excited you are to be awake and alive. Oh, I love that fantastic. I love that. Sounds like you've been iterating and improving and optimizing your morning routine. Fantastic. So what might we see on your nightstand or if you're traveling, maybe proverbial nightstand kind of ambiance apps, gadgets, supplements, et cetera.
So I actually don't keep a lot of things on my nightstand. I definitely don't find that for a lot of people. Yeah, that minimalism, which I think can be really important. Yeah, I try to if I have my phone there, it's off or on like airplane mode and not something that I is. It's like not even like within reach of when I'm in bed because if the first thing I do as a tendency to wake up in the morning, it's like a reach my phone.
That's that's disruptive immediately to my day. So I definitely try not to do that. Um, of course I have a lamp on my stand for reading and that kind of thing. Um, I have my Apollo charger. What else I have? I have like some like, you know, moisturizing oils for my skin. So I'll like, I'll try to do a little bit of like skin routine before I go to bed.
Cause my hands get really dry during the day. Sometimes I'm like. Doing dishes, hand washing, things like that. Yes. I feel like we always we neglect our skin so much, but it's something that I learned from my wife that and some of my um, you know, friends who are women over the years that you really have to prioritize taking care of our skin because it's an essential part of our nervous system and it's our skin and our gut are very tightly connected and our emotional health is connected to our gut and so they're all kind of connected and so I try to, you know, if I'm going to do a.
skin routine. It's easiest for me to do it like first thing in the morning when I wake up and then like last thing before I go to bed. Oh, I think you're the first person to kind of call that out as a nice habit anchor. That's fantastic. Great call. And I like that kind of mind body connection there. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think that's one of the common misconceptions of Health in general is that we're often we're taught the mind and the body are separate. Yeah, and they are absolutely not separate. They're absolutely connected. Um, we have thoroughly disproven the separation part. And so by uh, Taking an approach where we to ourselves where we look at ourselves as one organism rather than a mind up here and a body here.
We realize that we have a lot more ability than we thought we did because our minds can be tapped into our bodies. And then we have like, we can listen to our bodies. Um, and there's so many techniques that we've talked about even here that. Just help to amplify that and and our bodies are always present also reminds me anywhere past present or future and they're usually in the past or the future.
So if we do embodiment techniques, like breathing, soothing touch, even just like giving yourself a hug, rubbing your hands, right, doing things that like draw your attention back into your body, it's very, very quick at helping us feel safe and safety, unlock sleep and everything else to do with recovery.
Oh, so wise. Okay. Well, thank you for that kind of approach because so often we ask that question and people will, you know, litter off their gadgets or their items, but you're really pointing to ways to help support yourself feeling, feeling good. And these practices around safety, which to your point, I really have gotten that through line from you of just the massive importance.
We're not looking to support that and you want to improve your sleep. It's like you're missing the whole piece of the puzzle. So yeah, that's why we see all the time, like whether, you know, if you're Michael Bruce or you're myself or any other clinician who sees patients for sleep issues, we see people taking all the right supplements.
They're doing all the right in general, like most of the right behaviors, but their mind is not in the right place in that they could be doing something as simple as. Think about this for a second. Think about how interesting this is. This is my favorite part. We could be doing all the right things, and if we believe, even just a tiny bit, that there's something wrong with us, that we can't sleep, that makes us feel unsafe in our beds.
So why would our bodies allow us to fall asleep if we have something in here? That's a thought loop that we've trained, which is a which is incorrect misconception. We were all born to sleep. We're all humans. There's only like one family or two families in the entire earth that lose the ability to sleep because of a disease family.
Yeah. Exactly. Everyone else, all the other 99. 999 percent of people and animals, we were literally born to sleep basically one third of our lives. One third of our entire life should be like in bed, getting that restful, deep sleep. So if you think about that and you know that neuroscience is without a doubt showing that, then.
We can dispel that misconception that somebody taught us or we accidentally taught ourselves that there's something wrong with us that we can't sleep and then all of a sudden all that stuff you're doing actually starts to take effect, but that single seed of a thought that we might not be capable of sleeping there might be something wrong with us that we can't sleep can literally create enough resistance to entering sleep that all the things that we're doing don't work.
So why is a couple of quick thoughts there. One, I was definitely one of those people that was must be thyroid. It must be hormones. It must be the whole world of it as well as the fact that some of the people that I communicate with or some of our demographic might have some of what are this, you know, biohacking leading or what have your data curious and then looking to optimize and yet and there can be um, Points where that's fantastic and we do all kinds of great stuff in that arena.
And yet there can also be that disordered thinking so common that you're pointing to where they will buy all the things, get all the supplements, get all the gadgets, do all the mantras, whatever. And yet it falls on deaf ears and the frustration that begins to mount. Literally exactly. So I so appreciate you calling that out because it makes all the difference in the world and I wonder if that your answer to this next question, given some of the wisdom that you just shared here.
Our last question is what for you has made the biggest change in your sleep game or said another way. Maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your own sleep. I think it was those two. It was those two things that you mentioned earlier was yeah. Recognizing that like when I learned about sleep in medical school and learned and then studied like evolutionary biology and things like that, which you don't have to do to understand this, but when I learned that stuff that way, yeah, I think that was a huge like aha moment because it's like, oh, we evolved to sleep.
Yeah. We evolved to sleep. The only thing that's stopping us from sleeping is us most of the time, right? So that our lack of belief in ourselves, this is part of who we are naturally. Our bodies want sleep. They want it so bad, right? All we have to do is allow ourselves To recognize that and to do and and to do even just one or two things this be everything, but one or two things that help us feel safe enough to transition into that state with the understanding that we evolved to do this.
It is part of our core of our human being and every human being. And then the other thing was breath. And as a kid, I used to have nightmares and so, um and very vivid dreams. I talk about this a lot because I think a lot of people have very vivid dreams and and never have anybody to talk about them with because everybody's like, oh, those aren't real.
Don't worry about it, but they feel real. Yeah. And so when you're a little kid and you start to associate falling asleep with scary nightmares, why would you wanna go there? Right? Right. It's like, it's like traumatizing for a lot of children over time if we don't have a framework of understanding for it.
And for me, the way that I. I think I must have been, must have been like seven or eight years old, but maybe nine. But I remember a distinct night when I went to bed and I just had the thought as I was struggling lying in bed awake for like two hours or something like that, which happened reasonably often.
And I was like, yeah, like many people, what if I just breathe the way I breathe when I'm sleeping? I've heard people breathe when they sleep next to me. I've heard people, you know, I've heard my parents breathe when they sleep. They breathe long, slow, deep breaths. That's not how I'm breathing right now.
What if I just tried that? What would my body do? And so I just started doing that and it worked. And now, and that was like, that was a very, very first aha moment with the mind body connection and sleep. Wow, I love that. Those are so helpful. One of the things I really like about finding and listening to the current ways that other people are managing their sleep, not just any humans across the board, but people that are really, really passionate about this topic and have thought deeply around it.
And it's clear that you are one of those people and the wisdom that's coming out from what you're sharing is so important. And then in tandem with that wisdom, if people are Looking for other ways that they could support their nervous system, trying out something like Apollo, especially with some of the new features that are coming with the AI component and venturing us into this new realm, a new paradigm of this kind of responsive tech.
Really, really exciting. So thank you for the work that you're doing. And then how can people follow all this progress? Because I'm getting the sense that there's like a lot of studies and research and things that are being released and on the forefront. So how can they follow along? Yeah, if you want to learn more about what we're talking about, you can check out apolloneuro.
com. That's A P O L L O N E U R O. com and you can also go to apolloneuroscience. com or if you prefer the way the kids call it, you can go to wearablehugs. com. Nice. And you can find me on, uh, socials on Instagram, Twitter, threads at, uh, at Dr. David Rabin. And I also have a consciousness show that just came out that talks about some of these topics, but in the context of what we can learn from psychedelic medicines to augment our health, and that what that has taught us, the neuroscience of psychedelics.
States like dreams, which are very first psychedelic states we all experience and what that can teach us about sleep and that's called the psychedelic report and a special feature called your brain explained, which comes out quarterly and you can check those out on Spotify and uh Apple podcast. Ooh, I will be checking those out.
Jeez. Okay. Well, I'm sure you're busy. You're clearly a busy man. And yet maybe somewhere down the road, part two to touch on that very fascinating topic. I loved what you spoke to in the dreams component. I think many people will appreciate what you shared there and how we can kind of navigate some of that.
And then definitely checking out we'll link to the show notes. So those other ways that people can continue to be a part of this, check out Apollo, follow the work you're doing. And just in summation, thank you. Thank you really appreciate your time and then your commitment to helping support people, you know, in this vital area of their life, their sleep.
Of course, it's my pleasure. You've been listening to the sleep as a skill podcast, the number one podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday, I send out something that I call Molly's Monday obsessions, containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep.
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