Nicole Moyen is the Director of Science & Clinical Research at Eight Sleep and is an expert in thermoregulation and exercise science. She got her Ph.D. from Stanford University and has 30 peer-reviewed publications.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 Temperature and sleep
😴 Temperature regulation and sleep
😴 Sleep and temperature regulation
😴 Cold therapy and heat therapy
😴 Brown fat and improving sleep
😴 Improving deep sleep with heat
😴 Clothing and bedding for better sleep
😴 Temperature patterns during menstrual cycle
😴 Managing sleep and bedtime routines
😴 Men and women need different temperatures
😴 Physiology and sleep improvement
😴 Temperature and sleep patterns
😴 Continual improvement and learning
😴 The intelligent sleep system of Eight Sleep Pod automatically cools or warms your bed based on your body and environment, for perfect sleep, every night. Enjoy $150 off using the code "sleepisaskill" Limited Time Only. Check out Eight Sleep HERE!
😴 And more!!
🎢 If you're waking up at 3 am & suspect blood sugar...
Good Idea Code: SLEEP10
🧠 If you “Can’t Turn Your Brain Off” at night…
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Welcome to the Sleep as a Skill podcast. My name is Mollie Eastman. I am the founder of Sleep as a Skill, a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability, and behavioral change. As an ex sleep sufferer turned sleep course creator, I am on a mission to transform the way the world thinks about sleep.
Each week, I'll be interviewing world. class experts ranging from researchers, doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper. Ultimately, I believe that living a circadian aligned lifestyle is going to be one of the biggest trends in wellness, and I'm committed to keep.
Keeping you up to date on all the things that you can do today to transform your circadian health. And by extension, allowing you to sleep and live better than ever before.
Welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. If you have been tuning in to this podcast, It is clear that you are likely looking to improve your sleep in some way, shape, or form. And you've probably heard us mention the importance of minding your temperature to get great results. Well, this episode is going to be a deep dive into all things temperature, how you can influence your temperature by day and night to make a difference with your sleep results, both.
subjectively and objectively if you are tracking. So our guest is Nicole Moyen. She's the director of science and clinical research at eight sleep and is an expert in thermoregulation and exercise science. She got her PhD from Stanford university and has 30 peer reviewed publications. Now I'll just tell you that one of the most purchased items that many of my clients do end up investing in if it is available to them is some sort of cooling mattress topper.
If this is something that you're in the market for it, that you're going to be very interested in some of the new advancements that eight sleep has to offer, including their dynamic temperature modulation offering. So what that looks. like is they're aiming to create kind of this banana shape temperature shift throughout the course of the night.
So you get in to your bed and it's nice and warm, and then it drops down to some of these cooling points throughout the course of the night and then rises in alignment with some of our natural sleep cycles as your body does start to warm up into those early morning hours. So if you're looking to test out something like eight sleep, they have hooked us up with a great code to get you a discount because I know it is an investment.
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Now invest in better sleep and in turn. In a better, more energized life. As we head into the fall and vacation season winds down, i. e. a time when late nights, irregular eating habits, and indulgence tend to become the norm, it's time to get back on track with our health and of course, our sleep. Just a quick, interesting fact about sleep to mention drinking more than two servings of alcohol per day for men and more than one serving per day for women can decrease sleep quality by 39.
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And trust me, it is a game changer to test it out. Visit mag breakthrough. com forward slash sleep as a skill. You can enter code sleep as a skill for 10 percent off for any order. This special offer is only available at mag breakthrough dot com forward slash sleep is a skill I will also include this in the show notes as well And welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast This is going to be a pleasure.
The pleasure is not even the right word. This is going to be an awesome conversation Nicole, thank you so much for taking the time to be here We were just chatting before we hit record and some of the things that we were speaking to is Naturally, of course, we're going to be talking about temperature, all things temperature and sleep, and I think so few people understand the depths by which temperature and our understanding of how our temperature fluctuates throughout the day and night can really, really make a difference in some of our sleep results.
So really excited to have you and all your expertise on the show today to go in deeper. So thank you for taking the time. Thanks for having me excited to be here. Awesome. Okay. So let's begin at the beginning. How did you find yourself as a standing expert in this area? What was the what was the impetus behind this?
Why is the passion there for you on this topic? Yeah. So first of all, I never thought I would become a scientist. So I'll start there, but I uh, I played soccer in college, and I went to school in Indiana, and it was like very hot and humid in the summers playing soccer, and it was just gross, and some days you felt like you couldn't breathe, and when I got to grad school, I was like, maybe I'll try out this research thing, and my advisor there was like, hey, we don't actually know how humidity affects Exercise and I was like, that's crazy because I know humidity really impacts exercise from like running out in there and so I just became super wrapped up in temperature regulation and exercise at the time and this was over 10 years ago.
And so since then, I've really been, that's been my main area of expertise is temperature regulation, thermoregulation with. Exercise with, um, just passively sitting there and just understanding how humans respond and adapt to those different environments. And so I've worked at a few wearable companies before this.
And when I got the reach out about eight sleep, I was like, wait, temperature regulation and sleep. Like I've never really thought about this before. And this would be really cool because different to a wearable, we can tell you all the same metrics, but now we can actually do something about it. And I can apply my background in temperature regulation to.
What we're doing at the company. And so this became like a really cool niche for me to kind of dive into. Um, and so I've been really excited to work in this space. And as I've been learning more over the last two years about temperature regulation of sleep, I'm realizing how much we don't know, and that's been really, really fun to dive into.
Wow. Okay. So this is sounds very kismet that you've now found yourself in this arena with your natural inclination and interest in this area, both on the ground for yourself. And then as you dove in even deeper into the research and cross multiple domains, and now to see this conversation apply to sleep and what you've been gleaning, what are some of the things that you think is really important for the listener to explore.
Take away when they're thinking about temperature and sleep. So some people listening might be like, okay, boring. So what, do I just turn down the temperature at night? Is this really worth a podcast? And it turns out that I am going to make the assertion that it's huge and much more complex. And to your point, there's still so many things that we don't understand.
So what do people need to know? Yeah, I think, you know, I I didn't know this about temperature regulation and sleep before I joined the company. And I just think the main things that people need to know is everyone's focused on melatonin, right? And that's the driver of sleep. But really, there's there's studies like where they don't they keep the lights on the entire time and somebody's core temperature is still gonna take the exact circadian rhythm.
So it's gonna be highest in the night and then drop throughout the night until it reaches a Bottom low point around 4 to 6 a. m. and then start to increase again. And this drop in temperature before you start to fall asleep is actually what drives your sleep. So melatonin does to a certain extent too.
But if you kept the lights on completely, we'd all still experience this temperature drop. And that's what's really driving you to sleep. And so from that context, temperature regulation is so important, um, in terms of sleep onset. But then you can also think about throughout the night. I'm sure we've all woken up too hot, too cold, right?
Like woken up sweating, chilly. So obviously temperature plays a role there. And there's been tons of research. Showing like, okay, if someone's too hot, here's the temperatures, they're going to wake up, if they're too cold, here's the temperatures, they're going to wake up. And so we know that we have to keep our body temperature in this really tight range to optimize our sleep.
Yeah, when we think about that tight range, so people listening might say, or might be thinking certain things around, All right, so are you saying that I need to lower the temperature in my space? And if so, to what? But then taking a step further with something like eight sleep, some people might say, Oh, is that really necessary for us to do?
We really need all these fancy things to sleep. And yet I will point out that one of the first places that I have people begin with improving their sleep. If available to them, I know these can be investments, but if it's something that's on the table, if they can have a cooling mattress topper, some way to cool the bed, we just see time and time again, making such a measurable difference to their sleep.
So I know there's a lot of questions, but one, what do we want to think about with how we can be impacting our temperature, you know, while we're sleeping, as you said, it's going to happen even despite some of the environmental pieces, but how can we help support it? Yeah, there's a couple things. Um, one you've probably heard of like taking a warm bath or a hot shower For at least 10 minutes one to two hours before bed that has been proven to help you fall asleep faster And the reason for that is temperature related.
It's not just because it relaxes you but it also causes All your blood vessels in your arms and legs to dilate, which helps you get rid of heat and helps your core temperature drop. And remember, as I told you, when your core temperature is dropping, you start to feel sleepy and you want to go to bed.
And so that helps you fall asleep faster. So that's one thing is like warm bath. You could use like the eight sleep to heat you up, um, you know, before you fall asleep. So we often recommend people get into that at warm temperatures to help. And fall asleep faster. And we do have research showing this too that we've done at the company.
So that's really cool that we can help people fall asleep faster. Um, the other part that's really prominent in the research is that during deep sleep or non REM sleep, we need cool temperatures. And there's been a lot of research showing we get our first. Largest chunk of deep sleep in the beginning of the night and that corresponds with when your core temperature is dropping and even in sleep deprivation studies where you haven't gotten any sleep the next night, they've actually shown your body type body and brain temperatures are.
Almost two times colder during that phase to try to get you more sleep to recover. So it's like your body is doing some of this, but due to environmental factors, other things, right? Like the pod or whatever temperature changes you can make to make it cooler in the beginning of the night after you fall asleep can really help maximize deep sleep.
And then in the second half of the night, when we get more of our REM sleep, that's when your core temperature is starting to go back up again. And so you need those warmer temperatures, and that's going to help facilitate, you know, more REM sleep, keep you from waking up, keep you comfortable, and kind of follow your body's natural circadian rhythm in that way.
And so if you have something like the pod, where it's going to continuously modify your temperature throughout the night, right, we can program someone to have a warm temperature to help them fall asleep faster, a cool temperature in the first half of the night to get more deep sleep, and then a warmer temperature.
later in the night to get more REM sleep. That's great. And so for anyone listening, if they were to try something like this with the pod, then is it something where if they're getting like overwhelmed, Oh no, do I need to kind of program all of this? Is it something where it can be guided for them or what does that look like for that?
It kind of has that. Dynamic nature to it. Yeah. So we we recommend temperatures when people first join and start on the pod so that they're not overwhelmed and confused. But actually, recently last week, we just launched temperature profiles that completely match in real time with your sleep stages. So it will automatically reduce your temperature during deep sleep and increase it during REM sleep.
And to our knowledge, this is the first day. Technology we're aware of that does that and really like there's haven't really been any studies doing this too. So we're kind of like I said pioneering in a way this new sleep temperature regulation and Understanding how the body how we can optimize sleep through temperature regulation.
So we will do that for you automatically Um to help you maximize each of those sleep stages Amazing. Okay. And so for the person listening that then wants to really optimize for this and maybe they have trouble with lowering their body temperature at night or they have the experience of whatever hot flashes or they tend to feel like they quote unquote run hot if you will.
Are there things that they can be doing by day that can also support the lowering of their body temperature at night? Yeah, so. Hot flashes are tricky, right? Hot flashes can also apply to people going through chemotherapy. We get a lot of write ins about that. Um, some people are just more predisposed, but some things that you can control are like exercising earlier in the day.
So if people exercise later in the evening, closer to bedtime, their core temperature is going to be hot. They're more like higher. They're more likely to sweat. Um, so I would recommend if you can moving the exercise. Earlier in the day. Um, that's one of the main things with regard to hot flashes. I mean, I haven't gone through that yet, but from what I hear and have read, you know, the patterns can be either really common, like every night at 3 a.
m. you always wake up sweating or it can be pretty variable and you can't predict it. So I think there's a lot of research being done there now trying to help minimize hot flashes, um, but from a temperature perspective, you could keep your pod or your room cooler, like especially if you knew like a certain time of the night that this was happening.
Sure, absolutely. And just to further tap on some of your knowledge on the temperature piece because we get so many questions around for the Through and through biohacker, if you will, they might be leveraging things like cold therapy and heat therapy and then questions of the timing and then certain things that seem to be some of these anomalies of pointing.
Oh, well, I do a cold shower and I get this great sleep and what have you. So I'm curious if you have any generalized rules of thumb around how we might think about the timing for those interventions. So, I don't know about cold showers specific to sleep, but I would imagine it would do the opposite of what you want in terms of waking you up, right?
It's a very like fight or flight response. Alerting you, right? So I, I don't think that that's going to modify your core temperature substantially, but I do think it's going to trigger your mind to stay awake. So I'd probably avoid cold showers at night. Yes. Or plunges, which I've also seen people doing.
Oh. Yeah, I think those are generally done in the morning, which makes sense. We would hope so, but you'd be surprised the number of people I get that are like, no, it's so great, you know, so. Oh, at night, really? Okay. At night, and they'll do contrast therapy in the hours beforehand and be really kind of righteous about, it's, it's helping.
I see a change on my wearable and what have you. So I appreciate kind of underscoring that that might, you might want to question that. Yeah, but I think at the end of the day, right? And I don't know if you agree with this, but I think if something makes someone feel better, that's important too, right?
Like, if they feel like it's helping them and I think there's a lot to be said about whether it's placebo or not, if it helps you sleep and it's part of your routine, then great, right? Like, if that... Yeah. Yeah. Like, if that triggers you to be like, it's bedtime, then great. Right? Yeah. It's an interesting thing because I've heard enough about it.
I just would love to, I wish there could be, you know, it wouldn't be amazing to just on demand, have studies done on things that you want to see done, but the amount of times that I've seen people legitimately send in compelling, what appears to be data, at least from a consumer tracking perspective. Yeah.
Yeah. Just noteworthy. So, and it is a complicated. Topic. Yeah. So there's a lot of totally nuance there. Totally. Like I've heard about that for muscle recovery, but not sure necessarily for sleep enhancement. So I'd have to look at that more. You caught me thought that . Yeah. Well, and I like that you're pointing to the inclination for the warming temperature to get into bed, because that's been part of the.
pushback that I might hear from some people around opting to get some of these cooling mattress toppers is they don't want to get into bed, into a cold bed as a way to kind of have it all. How long is that timeframe that you suggest for the warming, initial warming factor? Yeah. So we have, I mean, the research, if you're, if you're not using the pod, right, if you're using a shower, it's recommended to do it for at least, or a bath, at least 10 minutes, uh, minimum for within the one to two hours before you intend to go to sleep for the pod, you can set your pod to, we have a different, we have a bedtime temperature and then we have like an early phase, which is the first half of the night and the late phase, which is the second half of the night.
So you can set your bedtime temperature to be warm. Okay. And then we detect once you've fallen asleep and transition you to the next temperature, which theoretically should be cooler for deep sleep. Nice. That's awesome. And I have a question for you too. I've seen certain studies. Now these are around ambient temperature in the bedroom and some even we're talking around one of the studies I looked at was at 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
versus 72 degree versus more. And then the 66 degree around ambient temperature space, they'd actually pointed to brown fat. And I'm curious if you're, what, if you have any thoughts on that. And then as it relates to something like eight sleep, is there enough of a solid theory that by using something that we could be producing more brown fat or is that a stretch?
Oh, interesting. Yeah. This has become, Brown fat is really cool. Um, we have a lot of it when we're born, right? And then there's certain, uh, and then it kind of goes away and changes to white fat as we age. And then there's some ethnicities and groups of people that maintain a lot of brown fat. Typically, those are the ones that live in very cold environments.
So, there is research showing that if you expose yourself, I thought it was like 55 Fahrenheit. No clothes, like you're nude, no clothes, no blanket sleeping in that will induce more brown fat. I don't know how many people want to do that. That's right. Quite a lot. I love party volunteers for that served by that.
But I mean, yeah, I definitely think to your point like that, I don't necessarily think that we're inducing brown fat through the pod or brown fat. Genesis or creating more brown fat. Um, but there's definitely some people could with it. It definitely gets cold enough where if you didn't sleep with blankets and you just use that, you probably could be.
Right. And then if we know that mitochondrial dense brown fat and we know that mitochondria also produces melatonin, which a lot of people don't realize, they think it's just the brain based kind of creation, then we could make, you know, this is obviously just leaps, but yeah, you know, the possibilities of improving sleep as a roundabout way because we're improving mitochondrial function and improving melatonin.
So with that, I'm curious your thoughts to one of the things that I often point to when people say. come on. Why do we need all these gadgets to sleep? It just we're getting extra. But one of the things I'll point to is kind of evolutionary biology and this concept or this idea that what was likely is that while we were sleeping out.
side, much more closer to the natural elements of nature, that we're likely sleeping somewhere close to the ground, one of the coolest places in the environment. And so it's, if you will, more hearkening back to how things may have been historically. Do you think there's some validity to that thinking that our modern bedding is so, has taken us away from some of our natural connection to temperature change?
Maybe, maybe. I think that's interesting. I've never thought about it from that perspective. I've thought about it more from a perspective of, you know, all mammals have this circadian rhythm of core temperature. And you see, like, mice, um, cats, dogs, they try to curl up before bed, right? They're trying to, like, maintain body heat and, like, get into a small ball.
And they're trying to, as their core temperature is dropping, they're trying to get, like, minimize heat loss and keep their energy. And We are trying to do that too and presumably we curled up before we had all those blankets and things um The other thing I would say with that evolutionary side is people didn't live as long then.
Right. And we do know that sleep tends to be much better when you're younger. And then as you age, your sleep gets worse. And we are living longer than we did back in the, you know, age or whatever time frame you're thinking of. Um, and So there have been, there has been research showing that because we lose our ability to regulate our body temperature very well as we age, right, especially 50, 60, 70s, like deep sleep just shoots down, people get really low amounts of deep sleep.
It's because they can't regulate their body temperature well. And so there's research showing like even then using heating pads and like things like the pod at warmer temperatures can improve deep sleep. So I don't know if. Like the argument is really evolutionarily, I think we also have to take into the context of like the other things that are changing like lifespan and diet, right?
Potentially metabolism was higher than 2 because they were moving a lot more or eating different things, which could also change the temperature dynamics of the person. Yeah. Could you kind of share more too about what you just mentioned about the HEAT application and helping to support deep sleep?
Yeah. So that's an older adults. There's, I think only been one or two studies, not very many. Um, and showing that they lose deep sleep as they age, right? Typically they call them elderly, but it's really like 60 year olds. So they're not elderly, um, older adults, I'd say. Um, so they are. They're getting low deep sleep.
They give them basically like they put something like the pod, right? Like a heating pad on them. And they heated them during the first half of the night and they found improvements in deep sleep. And yeah. And so part of this could be because they're not able to, you know, they're, they're Not losing heat as easily So as you age you lose a lot of blood vessels in your skin Which doesn't allow you to regulate your body temperature as well So if you think about before we fall asleep your hands and feet usually get pretty warm in your arms And that's because we're losing heat to the environment to try to drop our core temperature And so if older adults can't really do that as well They're sort of not getting that drop and they're not getting that lower Temperature during deep sleep, so it kind of helps them to lose that heat and drop their temperature interesting.
Okay. You just made me think of something that you know, kind of has been circulating. I wonder if it is irks you or not irks you or what your thoughts are, but some of these like quick sound bites on. Put on socks to improve your sleep or so I just wonder if you have any thoughts on things like that. So there is like, there is a lot to be said about what temperatures you need.
So without trying to overcomplicate things, um, when you're, when you're awake, your hands and feet are going to be colder than the core, the center of your body where all your organs are. Right. And we want to keep those at a certain temperature. As you start to fall asleep, what happens is that. All your hands and feet temperature start to get closer to that core temperature and so they heat up and all your temperatures in your skin kind of converge.
Most people don't think about their skin temperature as being like various and different points of their body, but it is. And as you, as sleep approaches, your skin temperature all starts to get pretty uniform. So you kind of have the same skin temperature everywhere in your body and this helps you lose body heat or lose core temp.
Your core temperature goes down to help facilitate. Falling asleep. Did I answer the question or did I go on a tangent? Yeah. No, I think that was, I think that was helpful. Well, I guess I'll ask you, are you someone that would advocate, yes, put on socks to improve your sleep or not? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Totally.
Yeah. So I think when you're falling asleep, yes. So there's, there's Data showing like feet warming is really helpful for sleep onset or hand warming is really helpful to reduce sleep onset. So definitely that should help you fall asleep. Interesting. Whether that's helpful during the night is less well known.
Yeah. Okay. So great. Okay. So beyond this, so we're thinking about temperature for the person listening that maybe unfortunately can't quite for a lot of the population if they don't have access to air conditioners, let alone pods, etc. Are there things that you would suggest that they could do or did we already hit on them of trying to bring in the warm shower and certain things around movement?
Is there anything else that we can do in those situations? I think like your bedding and your clothing can make a huge difference as well, right? So, um, for example, there are studies talking about in Japan, they don't usually have central heat. And so it gets really, really cold in the winter and people will sleep in like five plus layers of clothing.
And they're not impacted at all. And their room temperatures are like very cold. Like you would think like, how do you sleep in this? But they're totally fine. And so clothing can make a huge difference either way, right? Like either keeping you warm, same thing with bedding. So I wouldn't underestimate that.
Um, and just kind of evaluating. how that's going. Are you getting good airflow through? There's other factors that can affect your sleep and the environment too, other than just temperature. Okay, great. And if people are considering something like an eight sleep, what might they want to take a look at with things like some of the metrics that are available on the eight sleep?
Yeah. So we have heart rate during sleep, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, or your breathing rate. And then we also offer our sleep stages. Great. Okay. Amazing. And it's something that in your estimation, people can be logging, taking note of, and is that something that can also be helpful, particularly for women of menstruating age to notice some of those changes in temperature?
I know that's a whole other topic, but curious if you have thoughts there. Yeah, totally. So this is something really interesting that we've been talking about a lot is, um, and we've actually. With members consent looked at their menstrual cycles and when they blogged it and as you probably know, and your listeners know, the body temperature is different in the first half versus second half of your cycle, right?
And then second half, the luteal phase, you have hotter temperatures, your heart rate is typically higher, HRV is lower, and your sleep can be worse. So we've actually looked at our members temperature patterns and they do modify their temperatures on the pod slightly lower in the luteal phase when their bodies are warmer.
Um, so this, we are able to support them in that way. Um, so you can start to notice patterns like that. Um, You can obviously see patterns in your sleep based on what autopilot or our temperature control is doing for you. Um, and then we also alert you if like, you know, your heart rate, HRV are out of range and our accuracy is similar to a lot of wearables out there.
Very cool. Okay. Is that something you would suggest for people if they're not kind of innately or just naturally? then adjusting that temperature when they are in luteal phase? Is it something you would suggest that people do manually or is something that you anticipate that 8Sleep will kind of dynamically be addressing?
Yeah, it's definitely something that's In the works, but for now, manually adjusting is, is great. Okay. So kind of like dropping it, like just a little touch and that second half of your cycle. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And then modifying it again when you got your period, we could raise the temperature again. Yeah.
Great. Okay. Really cool. So to that point, I know we touched on some elements of temperature and so we'd love to. See if there's anything we can learn through how you're managing your own sleep wake cycles your own circadian health So the first question we ask everyone is what is your nightly sleep routine looking like right now?
So I don't have a lot of things that I particularly do but I do like to have tea like herbal tea And just try to dim the lights and Avoid any sort of like checking work within the hour before I'm planning to go to sleep or anything stressful, right? Just trying to kind of wind down. Um, and then one of the things I've really been cognizant of is trying to go to sleep when I know I need to, which is easier said than done.
So that's one of the main things is just trying to just really focus on. Okay, here's the time. It's time to just go up there, even though you are wanting to do other things. Absolutely. I completely hear that. And then for you, are you setting your eight sleep on anything noteworthy? Or do you have a particular kind of system that you like to follow there?
Yeah, I have mine at, I don't know if you wanna know the temp, like the temperatures? Yeah, if you, yeah, curious. Yeah. Yeah. Right now, 'cause it's getting a little colder in Boston, I'm doing like a plus one or plus two to fall asleep, and then going to about a zero. For that early phase and then going back to a plus one.
Really interesting. Okay. And then on the flip side, your morning, quote unquote, sleep routine with the thinking that how we start our day can impact our sleep results. So anything to share there? Yeah, I wouldn't say that I'm a prime example of that. It's like I need to get sunlight and I don't do that first thing in the morning.
Um, so I usually have coffee. I'm a morning person, so I'm like ready to go first thing in the morning. Um, just get up and usually start working because that's when my best brain power is happening. Um, and hydrate, try to get exercise in the morning as well, um, to try to just start the day off. In a good way.
Great. Okay. And then in your environment, so your nightstand or if you're traveling maybe kind of proverbial nightstand, anything that we would see in your environment that's noteworthy that can support sleep? No, I think it's pretty typical like blackout shades. I have an air purifier because I get seasonal allergies and that also acts as like a white noise machine.
Oh, yeah. Mine too. Um, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No TV in the bedroom. And then try to just silence all devices and flip them over. So just try to keep it pretty dark and not loud. Like no sounds. Yeah. Exactly. Okay. Great. And then the last thing would be, what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game or said another way, maybe biggest aha moment in managing your sleep?
Yeah. Yeah, so this one, I was a little bit surprised by, I think, and now I finally accepted it. So I'm, because I'm a morning person, I need to go to bed pretty early, like 9. 30, maybe 10 at the latest. And so I've realized that when I go to sleep later, from being able to track all these things, right. And like look at my sleep.
Stages and how much time I'm getting in deep sleep. If I go to bed at like 11 p. m. I just get less deep sleep Yeah, it's not like i'm making it up, right? It's just like I just don't get it that night and it's because of the temperature in my circadian rhythm, right? So i'm like missing that initial drop in my temperature because it's going to happen Anyway, even if I push past it and I stay awake and so I think that's one of the things that People maybe don't realize about temperatures, like your body's going to do it regardless of your pattern, regardless of the light.
And you're kind of missing your optimal window to get those, that restorative sleep that you need. So that's really been my big awake, like, realization and, um, just trying to, that's why I'm trying to go to sleep earlier. So I'm like, I need that deep sleep. Yeah. Has there been anything that you've been successful in adding in?
Are you someone that has like an evening wind down alarm or is it just more the mindset of, okay, this is important to me, I'm going to prioritize this, anything that's been effective and having that happen? Yeah. Yeah, I sometimes I will set alarms if it's been like a really, you know, week where I'm having a hard time with that.
I also have noticed that Throughout the menstrual cycle, my ability to stay up late or like, like I'm more alert can stay up later during the follicular phase, the 1st phase, and then the 2nd half, I'm like, need to go to bed earlier, get more sleep. And so just also being aware of that, trying to pay attention to that too.
Um, yeah, so just like bringing awareness to everything. Amazing. Okay, great. And then the last question would be, so for people listening that are interested in some of the things that you're pointing to and that you're sharing, how can they learn more about some of this information that you're kind of uncovering from a research perspective?
And if they're interested in testing out something like an eight sleep, how can they do that? Yeah, so we are constantly doing studies where you could test out the pod if you want to sign up for those, but you can go to our website, AIDSleep. com, and then we also have a science blog on there where we write up all of our findings and our accuracy metrics and everything, and we have a link there to our, um, one of our publications that compares people sleeping without a pod.
or no temperature control versus on the pod. Um, so that's some cool findings to look at there. And that's eight sleep. com slash blog slash science. If you're interested in that. Awesome. Great. Is there anything we left out that's important to share in this topic of temperature and sleep? Anything that we want to make sure we underscore for people?
I think the only thing Maybe that people are surprised by it's that men and women need different temperatures, um, when they're sleeping. And I think people kind of intuitively know that, but they don't think about it. And so, um, this is, you know, we hear this a lot from couples who purchase the pot.
They're like, we're not fighting anymore over temperature in the room. Right. And men will typically want it cooler. Women want it warmer. And that's because women generally have lower skin temperatures. Because their metabolism is lower. So their skin temperatures are about 3 to 4 Fahrenheit cooler than men's.
And so... Men and women actually prefer the same skin temperatures during sleep, but women need warmer temperatures to get to that point than men do. Um, so having like warmer, and we actually see this like across the board when we look at, you know, member data men versus women, it's like, yep, women actually have warmer temperatures by about that temperature amount.
Um, so it's, it's pretty cool. Yeah. So. Yeah, and same thing with office spaces too, right? Like, women tend to like the temperature a little bit warmer in the office than men do, and so, um, you know, temperature plays a role in everything, I think. Absolutely. Actually, that just made me think of one other thing is that some of the pushback I've heard sometimes from people is they say they're dealing with issues with their thyroid and that they're very cool.
They can't possibly have something that could make their, you know, sleep environment cooler. They're not interested. Are there rules of thumb with something like that? Is that maybe a dynamic element where maybe at this point in time, of course, That might not apply for them. But as we do some work to help facilitate that problem, or is that a longer conversation Oh, I mean, I think that they like so that's that's a great point like all kinds of people with different temperature regulation problems Right could benefit from something like the pod like not just hot flashes, right?
So there's like insomnia leads to desensitization of temperature in general and so this could help People who have insomnia to try to increase or lower the temperature, however, they are needing it. Same thing with the thyroid issues, right? Like they could just sleep at a warmer temperature to help facilitate their sleep, get them back on track.
So I definitely think that that's same thing with Parkinson's. They have temperature regulation issues, right? So there's lots of these like, um, diseases or conditions that would benefit from help, extra help in regulating body temperature. Love that. And just checking in on that insomnia point, because certainly, yeah, we have a lot of research to point to that manipulating temperature can facilitate sleep onset for people that are dealing with insomnia and improved sleep results.
Is that something too, that you're ongoingly finding with eight sleep, any call outs there, anything that people that right now are actively dealing with insomnia, they're buying the eight sleep, anything they need to think differently as they're using it. Nothing differently. We have found that those with the lowest sleep, I guess one thing is we find over and over again in every study that we do, the people who have the worst sleep benefit the most, whether that's no deep sleep, no REM sleep, really low total sleep duration or a lot of weight throughout the night.
They're the ones that are seeing the biggest improvements. And this, I mean, it's pretty similar for a lot of things in physiology, right? Where like you have an elite athlete versus a couch potato and they both do a training program and the couch potato is going to see a huge improvement in their fitness.
And the elite athlete is going to see barely anything, right? So, I mean, it's, it's not surprising, but to that point, right? Like insomnia, if you're awake a lot during the night, part of it could be temperature issues. Part of it could be like your circadian rhythm is just off, right? And so this can help you kind of normalize, get back, back to the.
That circadian rhythm that you need to get optimal sleep. No, I think that's great to hear because, um, it points to some, particularly it's making me think of some of my clients that are, I have some clients right now I'm working with that are 74 or 76, you know, just dealing with some of this more sleep fragmentation, less total sleep duration and some of these elements and this might land as a kind of this newfangled suggestion to get something like this.
But I feel like that is helpful to hear that that can really potentially help support them. Yeah, yeah. Definitely. And in those people, we find that warmer temperatures are actually what they need. So they usually they need like a plus one plus two from what they're currently sleeping at. So it's almost like these people think that they're cool sleepers and that they need these cold temperatures and in actuality, like bumping it up a little bit as best supporting them.
Okay. Sorry to keep you going. But, um, so as you're saying that For anyone. Listen, listening. They're like, what? Well wait. I thought it was always to keep it cooler. How do they know? Like even if they're using it now, maybe they've had the eight sleep for a while. How do they know, oh shoot, maybe I've been using it wrong.
Maybe I've been selecting the wrong temperatures. Do you have any kinda rules of thumb for those people of when it would make sense to have warmer versus going cooler? Yeah, and we're working on. Like, you know, and, and helping people with this and, and automating it as well. But generally, I mean, you can always try it and then look at your sleep the next day, right.
And see how, how you feel and everything like that. But with REM sleep, you know, that's when your body temperature is already starting to increase. And so you do want warmer temperatures. I would say the temperature changes are like a plus one from where you're currently at. So if you look at your sleeps and you have less than like six and a half hours of sleep.
Definitely would increase that temperature in the second half of the night. Um, because you can really benefit from that. It's likely to cold and it might be like waking you up early. Whereas if you increased it, it would better support your body, which is naturally warmer during REM sleep. So you're kind of like trying to just support your body in its natural state, natural sleep stages, and it will help extend your total sleep time.
Um, same thing if you look and you have low REM sleep, right? Like low meaning like less than 20 percent tonight. Um, I would increase that late stage temperature by plus one and try it out. See if you get more REM sleep. And then for deep sleep, if you have really low deep sleep. Generally, we're seeing that lowering the temperature by minus one is really improving deep sleep and also improving heart rate and heart rate variability.
Okay. So most of the time, what we're looking for is kind of this, maybe U shape. I call it a banana. Banana. Yes. Yeah. Most of the time it's this banana shape. So for people that buy this thing, they invest in it, they want to make sure they're kind of doing it right. So you want to think of this for most of us, a banana shape where it's kind of a little warm ish and then you're lulling yourself to some of those lowest levels throughout the course of the night.
And then we're shifting over to it's warming up in the early morning hours. Now, the exceptions are that there's some groups that might benefit from just kind of a warmer, uh, maybe less of a banana shape. That same banana, but just like increasing all the temperatures, right? So I would just raise them up.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. The other issue and I don't know if you've experienced this or a lot of people will when you're awake, you prefer a lot cooler temperatures than what you actually need when you're asleep. Mm. And so this is a lot of discrepancy. Yeah. So like generally when you're awake, you prefer temperatures that are, I think I'd have to double check the numbers.
I think it's like four to six Fahrenheit degrees Fahrenheit cooler. Right. And so this is the other problem is a lot of people will either go to bed in clothing. That would mimic that or bedding that would mimic that find themselves like too cold or opposite usually too cold in the night because they're like, oh, this temperature feels really good.
And I'm going to change all my temperatures for the night to these cooler things. And then they wake up and they're like, freezing. Right? And. The other thing with REM sleep, and I don't know if a lot of people know this, but we're essentially like paralyzed, which means that our thermoregulation or our body's ability to regulate temperature is also paralyzed, essentially, and like dampened down so we don't sweat as well.
We don't get rid of body heat as well. And so that's why we're more likely to wake up. During REM sleep too, if there's any temperature disturbances. So I would, I would just recommend like whatever you feel while you're awake. Sure. Set that bedtime temperature to whatever feels comfortable when you get into bed, but then on the last morning, your early morning, yeah.
Go up a little more than what you're feeling right now. Cause it's definitely going to be helpful for you. Did you ever see that Seinfeld episode where Jerry Seinfeld talks about Night Guy and Morning Guy? Did you ever see that? No. He does such a good bit about, like, Night Guy is his, like, worst enemy.
Night Guy always wants to, like, stay up really late. And then Morning Guy is, like, just dragging and so upset about Night Guy. But I feel like we want to, when we're setting our temperatures, we want to remember our morning self, our early morning hours, that it's going to feel a little bit different. So interesting.
Yeah, you are such a wealth of information. Did we cover most important things? Anything else? So I think so. Right. Okay. Yeah. To your point, it's like one of the things I love about Eight Sleep is it really, I get the sense that there is a commitment to kind of that Kaizen approach of like continual improvement and learning and getting out more and more information.
So this is kind of just a foray into what is available and a lot more information to help support people. So. Yeah. Awesome. Well, constantly. Yeah. Yeah. Constantly. Exactly. Constantly trying to push the limit and see what we can figure out. So, yeah, it's really fun. It's really fun as a scientist. We'll say that.
Oh, well, they are so lucky to have you and I'm grateful to have had some time with you today. So, thank you so much and really appreciate this and what we'll certainly be doing is sharing more in the show notes of how people can be a part of Following some of the research that you are continuing to be a part of.
So thank you. Awesome. Thanks so much. It's been fun. Thanks for having me. Thank you. You've been listening to the sleep as a skill podcast, the top podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday I send out the sleep obsessions newsletter, which aims to be one of the most obsessive newsletters on the planet.
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