155: Chuck Hazzard, Entrepreneur & Wearable Expert: Everything You Need To Know Re: Sleep Tracking Technologies & Digital Therapeutics


Chuck Hazzard is an entrepreneur and wearable expert. Chuck is currently working with Heads Up Health, the leading connected health platform being used for remote patient monitoring, precision medicine, and individuals seeking to achieve peak performance. Chuck is also an advisor to CardioMood, a Swiss-made, and clinically validated wearable device.

In the past, Chuck has designed and built computer networks, developed software applications for large corporations, helped build a successful telecommunications business from the ground up, helped a large telecommunications company develop and bring to market products and services yielding an additional $500M in annual revenue, and most recently worked with Oura Ring during their early growth years.

Chuck earned his BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Maine, where he also earned his JD at their School of Law. Chuck is also a graduate of the FDN program and is a licensed Heartmath Provider.

In this episode, we discuss:

😴  Sleep tracking and wearable technology

😴  Sleep staging explanation

😴  Consistency in sleep patterns

😴  Paying attention to sleep fundamentals

😴  Sleep apnea and wearable devices

😴  ECGs and heart rate tracking

😴  Wearables and fitness tracking

😴 Smart home sleep tracking

😴 Morning sleep routine

😴  Sleep and external data

😴 Sleep and stress management

😴  What can we learn from Chucks’ sleep-night habits?  

😴  Some links to things we touched on, in no particular order:


Bed Sleep Trackers

Other Sleep/Recovery Aids

Digital Therapeutics

IOS Apps


😴  And more!!


🧠 If you “Can’t Turn Your Brain Off” at night…


🧘 Need help meditating /HRV?! Check out my new favorite tool that you literally hold in your hand and feel it breathe with you, like a baby bird 🐤 Moonbird  Code: SLEEPISASKILL


Website: https://chuckhazzard.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tchazzard/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tchazzard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tchazzard


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.

Mentioned Resources

Guest contacts


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 life. Style is going to be one of the biggest trends in wellness, and I'm committed to 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 Skill podcast. Today we're talking all things wearables. You have questions around the latest and greatest of things that you can do from a wearable perspective to improve your sleep, to be in the know this is the episode for you. So Chuck Hazzard is a entrepreneur and wearable expert.


Chuck is currently working with Heads Up Health, the leading connected health platform being used for remote patient monitoring. Precision medicine and individuals seeking to achieve peak performance. Chuck is also an advisor to Cardio Mood, a Swiss-made and clinically validated wearable device. In the past, Chuck has designed and built computer networks, develop software applications for large corporations, helped build a successful telecommunications business from the ground up, helped a large communications company develop and bring to market products and services  an additional 500 million in annual revenue.


And most recently worked with AuraRing during their early growth years. Chuck earned his BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Maine. Shout out to my home state where he also earned his J.D at their school of law. Chuck is also a graduate of FDN program and is a license.


HeartMath provider. So we're gonna get into lots of conversations around things that I think you're gonna wanna be aware of from a wearable perspective, including things like what is important to pay attention to as it relates to your sleep results. How do you interpret the data? How are they getting this data?


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And well-being through heart rate variability technology.  And welcome to the Sleep As a Skill podcast.  I am really, really excited for our guest today, Chuck Hazard. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Well, thank you for having me on.  Yes. As we were just chatting about two local Mainers uh, of origin,  which is a rare thing, but then I'm delighted to be able to go in more deeply with you and your knowledge in certainly the wearable space and beyond, and how that can all apply to sleep.


So if we can just kind of begin at the beginning, how did you find yourself becoming such an expert in the wearable space and more? I. Uh, I got started in the, the wearable space pretty early on, uh, because I was, you know, fairly athletic and so I started using Polo watches early on, um, and started looking at h heart rate variability, which I think most of you listeners know what that is.


Um, and, and was always in, well, not always interested, but at some point I got fascinated in how to increase my productivity and performance, and so I started doing a lot of reading  and, uh, keep my eyes on, I.  What was coming out for technology And, you know, Garmin started offering running watches, uh, 20 years ago, uh, this month, last month, I guess, started using the nose, but nobody addressed sleep.


And then I, I heard about this startup out at MIT called Zio Sleep, and I was like, oh, very cool. And so I reached out to them because I've never had done a sleep study, didn't know how I slept. I felt like I slept good, but you know, who knows? Right, right. And so I became a beta tester for them.  And as most people know, they didn't make it.


They were probably too early to the game.  And then after they kind of imploded, uh.  Withings came on the scene with a weight scale. Then they had this thing called, it was like a pulse one or something. It was a pedopter, but you could check your heart rate, you know, just, you know, check it with a thing and, and your SPO-II.


So blood oxygen, and then they had a strap. You put it on your wrist and it would do really, really simple sleep tracking, like total time of sleep, basically. So it was like, okay, now I'm hooked. And yeah.  And then, uh, I was having coffee with a guy.  In Maine. In Yarmouth. Maine. Nice. And he said, Hey, I think there's somebody you would be interested in talking to.


And I said, do tell. And he said, oh, I, I was, uh, uh, talking to this guy who's starting up a company. He is outta Harvard. It's called Bobo Analytics. I said, sounds interesting.  And so he introduced us. So I went down to meet with Willam, Ed,  whoop. And so it was called Bobo Analytics early on.  Uh, spent, uh, probably over an hour, maybe two hours there.


And he showed me the mock-ups of the original WOOP app, prototypes of the WOOP strap. And so I kept in touch with him and, uh, they let me, you know, test their early straps. So I was on their platform for, you know, quite a few years. I still have whoop straps. Um, but that was the first company that actually was really going after Sleep and Recovery.


So I was like, this is really cool. Um, and this was my, not my full-time job by any thing. I was working out there in industries. Uh, and then I saw on Kickstarter, OuraRing came out and I said, wow, a whoop on your finger, kind of thing. So, um. I, uh, you know, bought a ring off Kickstarter, uh, and I tracked down the original CEO founder of Petri and we had a call and he said, let's keep in touch.


And then one thing led to another and I ended up working for a ring for basically the first almost four years of their existence.  Wow, that's amazing. And what's your interaction with wearables look like now? I keep on sort of on top of.  Uh, you know, most of the wearables, you know, when they, a lot of them have sleep now, like Garmin, Polar, Woop, Aura,  Withings, on and on on.


So as they come out with new features or. A new product, I usually pick it up, test it, um, and see how it works, you know, and sometimes they'll get some of the metrics. How do they correlate between each other with, they don't on the sleep side, but  that's another thing. And, uh, tested, uh, like eight sleep. Uh, their first, uh, was Luna sleep, way back, tested that.


Now I've got an eight sleep pod, uh, plus a Withing sleep mat underneath that. My side of the bed. So lots of trackers. Yes.  Uh, fantastic. Okay, so now with our look on this podcast of all things sleep, I'd love to just kind of begin to break down some of these things that you've gone in depth on and helped really be at the forefront of in the, their creation.


When we think about tracking our sleep, 'cause some people listening are tracking and some people are not. And so if we can kind of just begin at how is the best way to think about tracking your sleep? Like for instance, I just got off a client call with someone that they, this is their first time tracking and so they just got an or a ring.


They're about a in and they're like, well, I don't know. I'm my, I have the sleep score and the readiness score. I got some crowns. Like, what else is there? So for that sort of listener just starting at ABCs, like how can we maximize the value out of these metrics? What's important to look at what isn't?


Just kind of beginning there. Yeah. So right off the top, let's talk about sleep staging. Please. From a science standpoint, uh, what scientists recognize. Is REM sleep, so rapid eye movement and the other stuff.  Sure. There's really no such thing as deep sleep  and light sleep.  Okay. That is an artificial breakdown of non-REM sleep.


Yeah, and most people don't know that. And so what I would tell anybody you're coaching or the listeners  do not focus on sleep stages. Absolutely. People get nuts about that. Oh yeah. I don't get enough deep sleep. Yeah. I talk to people all the time. It's like, oh, my Apple Watch says I get plenty of deep sleep.


And since they changed their algorithm, I don't get deep sleep anymore. Who do I believe? And I said neither one. Um, but anyway, what people should focus on  as a otherwise healthy adult  is seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Now there are some outliers. Always. There are outliers. They could get lesser and some people see more.


And how athletic are you? And, you know, uh, uh, total, one of the best athletes in the world. You might take long naps and sleep, 12 hours, a, a day,  whatever. Um. I usually tell people to look at consistency. Uh, when do you go to sleep at night when you wake up? It should be the same or reasonably the same within 30 minutes, seven days a week.


Uh, 'cause what happens is you probably, your listeners know, uh, you go out on weekends and how it up till 12 at night and you Monday morning, you have the equivalent of jet lag, the same kind of physiological results from your weekend. Warrior stuff. So those are the two big things. Uh, other people that I coached over the years, I sometimes look at restlessness, like, you know, how much time in bed do they spend to sleep?


Because if they're restless, then start looking at environmental things and they're sleeping, you know, environment.  Is it too hot? Uh, pets jumping on the bed, um, noises, uh, light, you know that they're not controlling accurate, you know, uh, accurately, that kind of thing. Absolutely. Well, I'm so glad, one that you hone right in on one of the biggest things and I've seen, so it's been alarming, um, over the years.


Sure. It's certainly for someone like you that was in the thick of the design for some of these and just aware of what is coming out of these metrics, the sleep stage classifications, and how much stock so many people will put into those, and I mean, really speakers with big platforms. And a quite impressive background, really putting so much stake into these numbers.


And then it just goes to show us that when they change the algorithm, totally different numbers come out. Then what do you do?  No sleeping the same.  Right? Like what happened?  Totally. So people listening because, and we hear that all the time. People come our way of like, oh, I'm really nervous 'cause I'm only getting whatever, 14 minutes of deep sleep, or twenty-two minutes of REM, or yada yada, yada.


So for you, 'cause we hear so much about that question, would you still look at the trends within a particular wearable? Or you say, listen, I really think that for right now, and unless it's on the head, you know, and you're getting those brain sleep stages, would you really truly throw it out altogether?


What do you think about that? I think it, if it's an idle curiosity, there's nothing wrong with, especially if you're running sort of your own personal experiment. To look at trending on, can I increase my REM sleep or my deep sleep? You know, that could be interesting. But, uh, don't for one minute believe that this is based on any sort of scientific principle.


Um, but, but I also wanna say, because you mentioned the head things like dream.  Yep. Even though those are measuring EEG,  which is electro, how would that stand for electro.  I can't know what this, anyway, you're measuring, uh, brainwaves with those things and that's one piece of if you go into a formal sleep study Mm-Hmm.


But when you go into a formal sleep study, they actually, the technicians are very meta method. Um,  careful about where they put the sensors. Yeah. And when you get a muse of that, you've got the sensors where they put them, and that's not necessarily the right way. And then they have to also look at the raw data coming off those and develop algorithms.


So even though Muse and Dream, uh, are using EEG, what's called EEG measuring brain waves, they're still not all that accurate on sleep staging. Yeah, and your sense is right now where we're at, there's not a wearable on the market that really makes sense to put too much stock or stake into the sleep stage classifications.


I think they all do a pretty good job. You know, if you look at the, you know, I've worn many wearables to see night after night on different rents and all that stuff, and when they say you went to sleep and woke up, you're usually pretty close.  So that's pretty good. And most of them now, if you look in their apps, they actually do show you consistency.


And so that's it. You know, you can see like a weekly graph of where you, you know, it was some higher weekends. And so it makes it easy to visualize, you know, am I fairly consistent? And when I go to bed and wake up, and if people don't realize that, I mean it, that that's one of the one things about sleep that can really, really change your life is being consistent.


And a lot of people don't realize that. I'm so glad you said that and what you said about the, you know, seven days a week waking up around the same time. I think it's such a blind spot for so many people because, and some people know, they're like, oh yeah, I'm all over the place, but I've spoken to enough people and looked at enough sleep stats to see that many people are like, yeah, pretty good.


And then you look and you're like, Hmm, there is a lot of variability here, especially on the weekends or their time off, whatever it might be for them. That there's so much that we can kind of fine tune. And if anyone's listening and saying, well, I'd like to go to bed around the same time, but I go, or I'd like to have consistency, but I can't fall asleep.


Well, at least if we can begin with the wake up time, that can be so powerful. 'cause we Right, we have a say in that. Yeah. Yeah. Well that's the thing. And, and that's, you know, where, you know people. If, if, if you don't have to be to work at a certain time and  some people work from home, have the pleasure of that.


Um. What the best thing to do is, is to keep a journal and say, when you know, when did I actually go to bed? Even if you have a wearable, and when did I actually wake up without an alarm? And after a while you can kind of figure out what the sweet spot for going to bed for you is. Um, and there and the reasons why you, some people might go to bed labor, uh, LA later than.


Then they're  going to get into the crown type right now. But anyway, when they should go to bed, like their body wants them to go to bed, some people don't listen to their body, so they're not really aware of when they should go to sleep. And so they may use, may have other stimulation that makes that not possible.


So they have a false bedtime. In other words. Yeah, that's such a good point. So I love what you're saying. Really paying attention to the fundamentals of sleep. Being clear on are we hitting desirable sleep duration? And part of the, you know, means or pathway to do that consistently can be around that consistent wake up time.


And, and then by, uh, connection the times that we're preparing ourselves to go to bed, that makes sense for us. And then putting a bit more of our. Awareness to the quality of that sleep and you know, maybe the fragmentation throughout the course of the night. And you also mentioned things like HRV and some of these elements.


How do you feel about utilizing those as it relates to sleep? Any call-outs about that best practices for people? Well, it's not something that the user would have any input into. The companies do use high rate variability to figure out what sleep stage you're in to the best of their ability, which is.


60, 70% accurate. So it is what it is. Um, and actually, you know, people should think about that. Just real quick with sleep staging. If someone told you the sleep staging is 70% accurate, and you said, oh, that's probably okay, you know, or says that's pretty good. Um, but if it was the high rate actually on a sport watch, you know, and you're using it to judge, you know, do heart rate training running or something, 70% wouldn't be that good.


Right. Totally. What do you think about the callouts that, so part of, um, some of these wearables then will say, well, for PSG, the agreement among technicians still might only fall in the 80%, mid eighties range, so we're not that far off from that perspective. What are your thoughts there? Well, again, they're, you know, the reason that the wearables track sleep staging is because they, when you go to sleep study, they track sleep stages.


So yes, it's still only 80, eighty-three percent accurate when you go to a full sleep study. Um, but that just because they're only 80, 85% just in or says they're 70, it doesn't change what I mean, what I'm saying about this. Yeah, I hear you. I won't focus on it. Yeah. Thank you.  Save some sanity for people.


Yeah. One thing we probably forget about with the, the thing about restlessness and see fragmentation, um, going to conferences over the years while I was at Aura was interesting how many people, um, would come over and say, well, you know,  Aura says I get, you know, seven to eight hours a night of sleep, but I always wake up exhausted.


Why could that be? Is the ring wrong?  I said, well, you know, it depends if you are, how, how much you're waking up, you know, like how awake you are in the middle of the night. And I said one way to figure it out. And I actually had people do this and, and get back to me. I said, buy a game camera, set it up in your bedroom and watch how you sleep.


'cause that's what a sleep study, full sleep study. A technician watches you sleep,  which is cool. So if you use a game camera, you can play it back. And so all the people that said they wake up, woke up exhausted. I  came back and said, you know what? I noticed that during the night sleeping, I'm just constantly rolling over, like all night long.


And so now they, they probably should go get a sleep study and figure out why that is.  Oh, that's so great. And actually it's funny you said that, 'cause over the years I have been meaning to do kind of a time-lapsed video. I'll have to do one and tag you in it or something because I feel like that's it.


All of us could do a little bit of that and given how many sleep disorders that there are and if any of this could help inspire people to. Be tested. That can be really, really game changing. And to that point, I love that you brought that up. I'm curious if you see certain red flags from consumer trackers that might be clear as someone like yourself looking at these stats that said, oh, you probably wanna get tested, is, are there certain markers that come up that would be red flags for you?


The only wearable that.  Is in that game where I think it, you could justify, definitely saying you should go get a sleep study. Uh, talk to a sleep doctor is, uh, Withings, um, because both the scan, watch and the, uh, sleep mat, um, will track sleep, uh, breathing disturbances.  And so they can look at the patterns with, you know, I hate the term, but artificial intelligence, but ai,  um, and so they, they, they can out, you know, come right out and say you've got Sepapnia,  but they can suggest, like, nudge you without, you know, you know, being a follow of the FDA,  that you might wanna talk to somebody, you know, professional.


Um.  And so they, they do do that. And so, and I've gotta scan, watch one and two and uh, and you know, and the O-ring kind of does that too with the blood oxygen. They measure breathing disturbances. So if you had a lot of breathing disturbances on the graph, you could, looking at a client's graph, you could probably say it would be interesting for you to get a sleep study.


Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. The other one I've seen interesting correlations or a higher likelihood that they do come back with some sort of sleep apnea can be just a bunch of wake up throughout the course of the night, especially when then they say, oh, I don't even remember it. Waking up. And then we'd see all these little ticks, you know, awake times.


Now that doesn't always mean that, but it is interesting. I've seen a higher correlation of people coming back. After testing and then having some sort of breathing disturbance, whether it's mild, moderate, severe for sleep apnea or upper air resistance syndrome. So we have really interesting that none of these are diagnostic, but that they might at all,  not medical devices.


But I can tell you some other trick if you ever see this, and it won't work with the oar ring. If somebody, if you have a device like, you know, say Garmin Polar. Uh, and Whoop doesn't show you the graphs. They do heart rate, but, um, if you see heart rate go like straight up during sleep and stay up and then come down at HRV, will hire rate variability to do that.


Uh, or it throws 'em out because it's noisy. They have to filter out. So if you see you got insisting a lot of gaps at night, uh, you might wanna check and see if you have AFib  because go into an AFib while sleeping.  Your heart rate in HRV goes up like a cliff and stays up very high and then comes down when the AFib episode stops it.


Uh, likewise. I mean, or if we saw somebody that consistently had gaps, like firstly no data. Yeah. We tell them to check for AFib, go see a doctor.  Yeah, that's not a diagnostic tool, but it is a strong correlation. 'cause I've, I've got AFib and I see it in my own data. Totally. Yeah. Like, it just, it's, I've seen that for a number of clients that we have then discovered AFib being present.


And to your point, that was the biggest red flag is that, you know, we see hundreds and hundreds of people's data. And then what the ones that stick out are the ones that wait. Why is there like nothing on.  On your HRV for that night and your heart rate's all funky. So yes, thank you for saying that. Now, given the AFib topic real quick, and since you are dealing with this yourself, are there particular wearables that you like for that, to manage that?


Yeah. Well I, um, and I'm not clear on a whithing stance on the style, but um, apple.  Last year or the year before, you know, they have ECGs on the Apple Watch, um, but they actually came out, um, with uh, um, ability to sort of passively check for AFib. So again, looking at patterns in high-ridden HIV with samples they take during the day and at night.


Um, so that's handy because, because AFib you may be not have any symptoms. And so, you know, you're not going to use the ECG functionality on a watch if you don't know what happened, right? Yeah.  And you're spot checking. So it could only happen during sleep, uh, which a lot of people have it during sleep or not during the day.


Um, but Withings does have an ECG and they do some sort of heart rate scanning. I don't know if it's quite the same. Fitbit, ECG, background scanning. They have to get separate approvals from the FDA for the background.  Um, and there are some other  MedTech devices I, uh, um, tested like Corsano, which does the same thing, ECG plus background scanning.


Interesting. Okay. Wow. Really fascinating. I'm curious, just given your breadth of knowledge across many wearables, when you think about starting with sleep, kind of recommended wearables that you would, as of right now we're recording this October, 2023. I know that there's all kinds of changes that happen all the time, so I get that it's dynamic, but are there like the top three that you might recommend for people, and I know there's asterisk.


Based on what people are going for, but call. Yeah. Well, and again, it comes down to, I mean, the first thing I usually ask people are, you know, would you wear a rim? Yes or no? Oh, would you sleep with a watch? Yes or no? Do you want, do you see, wanna sleep with anything on? Yes or no? Uh, some of those questions, uh, the ones that seem to be doing well, they're, they're probably four.


Please. Yeah. Or yeah, anyway, uh, if, if you don't wanna wear anything, I think the Withings or sleep mat or the, uh, eight-Sleep pod, which has the benefit, that also, um,  um, it does really good job tracking your sleep, but also cools your bed, which is cool. Yeah,  absolutely.  If it's a ring, I'd say the Aura ring, hands down and partial to Aura.


Uh.  Outside of that, I mean, most people don't like sleeping with watches on, so I tend to prefer, uh, straps like the Whoop Strap or the Corsoano device, which again, is a MedTech device. Um, but you know, this, the sleep, uh,  uh, I mean app Apple is not bad. If you wanna sleep with a, an actual watch on the Apple Watch, their seat tracking is reasonable.


They say they have a, a study. Behind their algorithms, but no one has, has ever seen it, so Oh,  oh, thanks. Not good that they haven't shared it anywhere, but, so I'd say, uh, I mean, whoops. Got studies or has got studies, um, and Withings got studies. Uh, I don't know if eight sleep does, but I know people that have done formal reviews.


I have found it quite accurate. Okay. That's so great. And how about for HRV, for those people that are really in the HRV conversation, any distinctions that you make or, you know, based on how they're pulling this data? Well, I, I did a, uh, three-month, um, comparison between Aura, Gen, III, ring Whoop, Four-O Garmin, Forerunner nine-fifty-five.


Um, what else was I wearing?  Oh, uh, a Corsado device.  So it was those four and within, you know, there were a couple of times when they, you know, didn't match exactly, but they were use it within two to three milliseconds, which is how you measure high rate variability. Um, or whoop was sort of the outlier occasionally because the way they do, um, calculate their HRV is a little different than everybody else.


Everybody takes the average, uh, whoop takes a weighted average, so the morning measurements get a higher score. Which actually probably isn't a bad thing. But anyway, they all pretty much mash up, so they're all doing a pretty good job. Uh, you can't, uh, compare against Apple 'cause they actually use a different way to calculate HIV.


Yes, they use the medical way, which is probably the best way to do it. But anyway.  So for you, when you, maybe you're not using all of these all the time, but say during that stretch of time when you had all of these pieces of data for that period, was there one that you might just kind of think to or go with a bit more when you're making decisions or maybe you don't make decisions based on your HRV, I'm not sure, but when you get all of these different readouts from across these wearables, are there ones where you're like, Hmm, I'm gonna go with whoop, or do you not think like that?


Well, what I do is I'm, I'm lazy. I mean, if  as an athlete, most of the coaches say, get up in the morning. Yeah, go to the bathroom, you know, lick the chest strap, put it on, relax for five minutes, and use an app like HRV for training or something to check your recovery.  I'm too lazy. Mm-Hmm. We got Marco Altini from HRV for training to pull in Aura's API.


So what I do, what I rely on for the, the, the one thing to gauge if I'm gonna work out and how hard is I feed my Aura ring into HRV for training  and my workouts from my Garmin watch go into Strava, which he pulls in and he, he figures out how hard I should train. Oh, really? Okay. So that's how you do. So you have it set up.


You connect Aura once you connect Strava once to HRV for training. Ah, and that one app, I look at that and as soon as my Aura rings synced, it sits there and it gives me a very simple, uh, green, yellow, red, just like whoop. And I'm good to go. So that's how you do it. I love that. And I think they're coming on the podcast.


Uh, I gotta look a couple months. I'll double-check. But um, that's great. So I'll discuss with them, uh, that call out. And I mentioned that that's part of your ritual, so that's fantastic. Oh, I love that. 'cause it's, it, we get so many people that get really frustrated 'cause they'll be comparing and you know, those are the, not the people I mentioned that are not tracking.


We have many people that. Track a lot with many pieces of tech and they get really, really heated because they might say, all right, well today my whoop said I'm green and then my aura said Watch out, or vice versa. Um, yeah, but that's uh, one thing you should point out though, that Aura is sort of an outlier in that fact is the readiness score is really a.


A number, uh, to quantify if you're living a healthy lifestyle. It's not a athletic can I work out? Um, whoops. Scores and a lot of these iOS apps like Athletic and Chipper and Envy outta Germany. I'm tag-testing all these things. Wow. Feeding a data. They just poke from Apple Health. So if you get data in Apple Health, they're good to go.


So anyway, um.  So, but the, the ones that do track for athletic things like whoop, or these various absentee tests, they're all directionally the same. You know, they, they may not be one, might be yellow, top of yellow, the other one's green, but they're close enough where they're going the same.  Sure. Okay. Got it.


So interesting. So as we were talking about wearables and kind of giving our, you know, top three or four or what have you, how about wearables that might support our ability to sleep and sleep well? I see it looks like you're wearing the happy from what it can notice. Yeah. So that's, yeah, so that's one.


Another, uh, area of fascination I've had is brain entrainment, uh, which I first heard about back in I think 1986 when I was at MIT. Uh, binaural tones. Um, and I used those the years, uh, when I was in law school to de-stress while I slept. Um, but yeah, so I became very fascinated in the sort of the uptick in the recent years of digital therapeutics.


And so there are many that I've tested. I mean, Apollo Neuro is one. I've been using that there Sleep lab, which is kind of cool. And that's something that, um, we can talk about too. I'll branch into, but.  With digital therapeutics, um, you can use 'em during the day for like depression, anxiety, increased energy, that kind of thing.


And a lot of them also, like Apollo Neuro now has, well, they always have the sleep thing, but now they've got a, a cool add-on to that. Um, but they also, a lot of these things have, uh, you know, sort of the brain entrainment to help you sleep.  Happy, as an example, is pretty cool. Their technology,  everything in the world has sort of gives off a magnetic fingerprint.


Yeah. And so the things they've been able to sort of catalog  is molecules of interest that you could use to help people live a better life. So they've got, um, the fingerprint for like caffeine.  So that's like a, you know, I can run right now and that, you know, gives you a wake up without drinking coffee.


CBD, THC, melatonin, um, adenosine, you know, all these different things. And so, uh, they have this, they also have a sleep mat, which I have. It goes sort of inside your pillowcase  and it uses low power electromagnetic stimulation. Um.  So I just put it on a, a track that's just melatonin and run that for 10 hours and I start it right before I go to bed and lay down and boom, I'll go to lights.


I've also tested, uh, Bella Bee, um, is another one out of Europe. Uh, similar technology but different, but that is something goes around your head. Well, I guess you, I think back of your head, but as band and the, the sensors are on the back where the electro stuff is on the back. Um, but that one has a wire that goes through a box that controls it, the battery.


And I just found it difficult to sleep with it. Yeah. You have to wear a shirt to bed and put the wire down through it and tape it. So the thing under the pillow for HAPI is easier. Um, and the Apollo Neuro works well. Um, the only part I have of that sometimes is if the band has gotten a little bit.


You've used a while, the Velcro doesn't stick and it falls off at night. So of your top, like three digital therapeutics, would you put so happy Apollo, and then are there other ones that you would, or are those in the top? Yeah, those are part of the, the top two. I mean, the Bellaby is interesting. I mean it's fine for the day, but I just couldn't find good to sleep with.


So yeah, I'd say happy and Apollo. Nero for sure. Okay.  Um, if somebody wants to, I mean, try something else. You can get, there are companies coming out, like Mellacura is one out of Europe. Um, and there are a couple others in the US that they basically use sound for ground and, uh, brain entrainment. Hmm. And so we've got a bunch of, uh, Bose speakers in our house.


And so I've run, uh, not my wife's home, but Mellacura on a seat track at night. And those seem to work extremely well. Amazing. Interesting. Okay, so you're testing some of these. Are there anything that we've left out that you find noteworthy or new and noteworthy, or even if it's coming down the pike, anything to be on the lookout for?


You know, some people talk about like. Radar tracking for sleep or, you know,  crazy things. Anything that you're interested or excited about that you foresee? I think, uh, there's a lot of stuff in development. I think we're gonna see a lot of trends towards passive tracking for everything and so sleep. Like  the, the sleep systems, like I already have the eight sleep and the, the Withing sleep pad.


You're gonna see more stuff like that. Um, you know, there'll be sensors all through your house. It'll track your movement so it'll know exactly how many steps you've taken. Um, your mirror, your toilet, like the new withing thing. And, and the other smart toilet systems. They'll be able to take measurements of lots of different biomarkers when you brush your teeth.


When you use a toilet, uh, when you look at the mirror, it'll, it'll calculate your stress. Um, you know, your heart rate, your heart rate variability, um, like, I dunno if you read a lot of books on longevity, but, um, Sergey Young's book. Mm,  he has this passage he talks about, basically you get up in the morning.


You go in, you go to the bathroom, uh, you brush your teeth, you look in the mirror, and by the time you get downstairs, there's a shake waiting for you to sort of, uh, compensate for all the damage you did to your body for the previous day. And plus, you've had all these biomarkers as a report waiting for you.


You can basically see on the refrigerator, like in a translucent screen that shows you all the, you know, the important things you need to focus on for the day.  Oh, absolutely. We had him on the podcast, uh, a while back and some of the things that he's speaking to, you know, in the past might have sounded so wild, but to your point, I mean, the Withings toilet is like here, you know, there's so many things that are coming.


Yeah. I tell you, even I, I got the, uh, luckily before they ran out of stock, I got the new Withings of body scan weight scale.  For something you can step on in less than two minutes. It gives you a, you know, probably not as high quality as a DEXA scan, but a full body scan composition,  visual fat measurements, uh, stress checking ECG off a six lead.


Uh, and then the, their vascular, um, score for how, what your, the health of your arteries  and that tells you the weather.  No, you just made me think of, I just pulled out this thing because I haven't done it yet, but it's this whole suit. This Oh yeah. The suit, you know, that can supposedly get your, we'll, we'll see how it all works.


But your body, you know, specs and just, I mean, some of the things are wild. I'm assuming you go to CES or, or you, do, you follow some of the Cs? I've only been there once. I, I just think it's too, too busy. So big. Oh my God. I've only been once also  going this upcoming year. I don't know if be.  Fascinating. I mean, the sleep tech section alone, I had to go multiple days.


Yeah. And I still couldn't get through everything. Really funny. 'cause the year that I was there was right before Covid. Yeah. And it was the first year that, uh, sex tech was allowed to be in there. Oh, okay. Was right next door. So it was like sleep because their alphabetical and then sex tech was like right next to it.


So that brought some crazy things. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But yeah, so interesting. All of this, so, okay. Switching gears. Yeah, we ask every person that comes on the podcast about how they're managing their own sleep. So I'm very curious, given your breadth of knowledge in all of these arenas, like what actually makes the cup for you, uh, across, you know, in your mornings and your nights and all the things so.


The first question that we ask everyone is, what is your nightly sleep routine looking like right now? So, I, I, I am not perfect, but I try to be extremely protective to the la the last three hours before I go to sleep. Sure. So that means no eating, uh, nothing that's gonna stress you out. No exercise, certainly no alcohol.


Um, so passive tv, you know, fun TV shows Yeah. Or reading in bed kind of thing. Yeah, so very protective. Um, we, we use, uh, we have a, a very super-efficient, highly efficient house here in Vermont, um, you know, very well insulated with a, a heat pump. So even in the winter we cool the house down to 60 at night.


Plus we got the A-Pod system sleep system. So we get the house nice and cool by the time we go to bed.  We're in a very rural part of Vermont, so there are no light, you know, no streetlights, no nothing. So it's perfectly dark.  Um, and there are no noises. Hmm. Uh, you know, so all those things and, uh, that, that seems to work for us.


Um.  The other toys we have besides, you know, using like the Happy and the Apollo.  Neuro is we have a, uh, an earth Pulse. I think they're coming back on the market. So it's ba uh, four pulse magnets under our mattress, ah,  uh, pulse Schumann's frequency for what the earth gives off the same frequency. So picture camping in a tent.


So it's the same kind of thing. Your body thinks you're camping 'cause you're getting all the, you know, the natural frequencies the earth gives off. 'cause when you're in a house in concrete and all that stuff, you're not gonna get those frequencies. So that's what we do at night.  So interesting. So have you noticed, 'cause I've looked into this and I can't ever seem to find much.


So when people use different kind of magnetic therapies or grounding mats or all these different things for the bed itself, seeing if there's any measurable change on any of her wearable data, have you noticed any of that? Or seen like, say you go to a hotel and you don't have those things, you know, so many variables, but any color?


There are a lot of variables there. I. I, the only thing I've, I mean, um, I've noticed with the, the magnets, the earth Pulse, uh, uh, muscle. So soreness goes away. I mean, when you don't have the earth Pulse, it makes a huge difference. And we've used this on stage races, earth Pulse. So that's great technology for that.


Um, the only thing I've noticed on, um,  wearables is like the Apollo Neuro, uh, increases. Garmin's body battery when using it during the day on their recovery store frequency and my body battery will start going up. Um, the happy in the pillow, my h my heart variability. As soon as I started using that pillow on the, uh, melatonin all night, my HRB has been higher on everywhere will I wear.


Across the board and that you seemed to be the only variable that you changed from what you could ascertain? Yeah. I, that's the only thing I changed. I added the happy and all of a sudden my HRV started climbing on every wearable and stayed up higher. Oh, that's great. So that works. Speaking of that, um, just real quick while we're on that topic, have you noticed many o like any noteworthy other things that you've been able to observe on HRV that is pretty reliable that you've seen for yourself or others?


Any call-outs there? I mean, the obvious things is the, the lifestyle choices one can make.  Do not drink alcohol. Oh my gosh.  If you want it to go down, drink alcohol. Yep. It's like as simple as that. Ugh. That's probably one of the more common things that I hear for people getting is like the broad takeaways from using wearables is, oh, I guess I can't drink like ever.


I think I could have one glass of wine three hours before bed, no effect. But any more than that or. One glass an hour before bed. All bets are off. HRVs are off. Yeah. And I'm so glad you said that. 'cause one of the things we'll talk about is kind of, um, tongue-in-cheek, joking for, uh, daytime drinking or, you know, yes.


Bloody Marys or happy hours or whatever. Those might work better, but I, those, that's like, uh, training late too though, depending on how late the happy hour is. Oh, totally. Uh, and it can be a slippery slope, especially when you start day drinking. It's then you're, you're not a good thing. Yeah. Your, uh, indicators for your ability to decide when to end can get a little tricky.


Okay. So, so that captures some of your nights. And then we put in, we used to only do three questions, but then we added, what is your morning quote-unquote sleep routine. We're saying that by virtue of the thought that how you start your day could impact your sleep results. So what do we see there? Yeah.


And actually I used to tell people that, uh, sleep begins when you wake up.  Yeah. So when I wake up, uh, uh, my wife is a, uh, a feline veterinarian. So we have five cats. So I, I, I go to the bathroom, I.  Feed the, the kittens,  make coffee. I've got an infrared sauna in the house, in the utility room as a closet kind of thing.


It's nice and warm in there. Um, so I have a cup of coffee in there and kind of chill. Yeah. Um, with the red light. And then I usually come out, have breakfast, and depending on the time of year, uh, even in the winter, we have, uh, Adirondack chairs on the east side of our house. By the garage.  Uh, so there's sunrises there.


And even in the winter, I shovel a path and I go out and just, you know, tear my shirt off, sit in shorts, even if it's, you know, 20 degrees out. If the sun is shining, I have another cup of coffee out there. Oh my gosh. Okay. Could you.  Just underscore that a little bit because so many people will say, well, Mollie, yeah, but I, I can do that during the summer, but I live in Seattle.


I live in Canada, and now it's January and I'm not gonna, possibly, I need to do a sun lamp, or you know, an indoor options. So you're demonstrating that yes, you can still get actual real, yes. Okay. Yes. So, okay. And, and you, sorry, you said about how long do you stay out there? I'm sure it ranges, but, oh, it, it's, well, in the winter it's probably, um, 15, 20 minutes.


Sure.  Uh, the summer I usually use the D-Minder app to decide how long I'm gonna stay out. So good. Oh my gosh. Love it. So that's starting your day. Any, and you did mention that you might look at kind of thread through for HRV for training your HRV. Is that part of something that you're doing outside or where does that go in your timeline?


Oh yeah. So when I'm sitting in the infrared sauna, I usually look at. I open up Athletic, Chipper, Onvi, Onit, all these apps that I test Sure. And get feedback to companies. Um, and then I usually, you know, upload, you know, my Woof, my Ora, my  Corsoado device, uh, my Garmin Wash, Withings, Hsley, all the devices that I I tracking consistently.


Apple Watch.  Wow. Oh my gosh. Now for anyone listening that's like they're barely leaving using one, are there a part of a stack that you would say, like even if you chose like one or two of those in the morning, uh, certainly I, I heard you on the HRV for training being important. Are there other noteworthy  things that you would suggest to bring in?


I know it's. Bio individual, but well depend. Yeah. It depends on the person. I mean, you know, I usually tell people like, you know, where, uh, you know, meet them when they start. It depends if they're an athlete or whatever. A lot of people don't wanna have a lot of apps to open. Yeah. Um, so I usually try and steer people if they're athletic at all.


I try and get them on like garments platform. Okay. Because they do garments, do heart rate variability, and they check all the boxes. Yeah, we can't get wrong with it.  Tractor training, recovery, the seat's kind of so-so, but it gets the total time of sleep well enough. Hmm. Um, but it depends what they're interested in, but I think for most people it's probably better to stick with less is more.


Yeah. Um, I only do it because it's part of my job is to keep on top of the stuff. Yeah. Otherwise, you know, a lot of times I, I load the apps. I don't look at the data. Really? Okay. Yeah.  Love it. That's awesome. And you mentioned kind of journaling about your experience around your sleep. Is that something that you do for yourself or now you feel so like kind of attuned to these things?


Like do you still log certain thoughts or reflections? Uh, only when I'm testing. Okay. You know, like, uh, you know, I try journaling on Whoop and a couple of these apps do journaling and I just find that the, the way journals are implemented is totally wrong. It should be, there's a lot of stuff they could pull in from external databases, sort like sea sleep cycle.


The app did. So moon, moon, moon phases can affect your sleep. So, you know, tell me about that. And put that into my, pull that into my sleep. Um, they, you know, there apps, they were around a long time ago, one that, uh, one of the guys at Aura was at that Google bought, uh, that they could track. Like we know their, our phones track everywhere we are.


Yeah. So they know. So take some of that data and feed it back into the sleep data for the journal. Like they know you go to the gym, they know you go shopping when you're driving as you move around. Um, but for journaling, they should let you add the journal entries as they happen.  Audio especially.  Yeah.


And uh,  Aura, I believe Aura is gonna let you do that with the new stress tracking. They just announced, I believe they're gonna let you do audio input, which is cool because the tagging and all that stuff. You gotta do it when it happens. Like with Wouk, they say, well, how many drinks did you have last night?


When was the last time you drank? How much did you drink? You know, it's like, I don't know. I had five, so I can't remember. You know? Well, when did you last eat? When did you, you know, when did you exercise? How long I.  You know, it's just crazy. It is crazy. Oh, okay. Got it. Well, that's really important and I love how you're speaking to so many components that can impact your sleep and health.


And this is where I think if we pan back this concept of sleep being a skill, one of the reasons I'm so passionate about that is just because there's so much for us to learn and hopefully be empowered by. The complexity, but also not overwhelmed, but from a place of intrigue or interest in this thing that we do.


A third of our lives, on average, 26 years for the average person. Like, you know, there's some room for us to get curious, so love that. And then we ask, I think it would be particularly interesting for you, we say what's on your nightstand, but it could extend to ambiance or things in your environment, any call outs there.


Usually a bottle of water, a book.  The controller for the earth pulse.  Okay. I love it. Fantastic. Okay, so we've got the clarity on some of those things that work consistently for you and you keep those in your environment. Yeah, yeah, no, I should say that. Uh, um, I dunno if you've ever had, uh, um, Daniel Gartenberg on your podcast.


Uh, seat, uh, sleep space. What do we have it? We're supposed to have him coming on. That's where it's, okay. So he's got a thing. It's like a, a little cradle. Your phone goes on. That's under my mattress. My wife's going too, and his thing. You can actually track your sleep from your phone. The micro movements, it doesn't work so well.


We have, um, uh, um, what I, what mattress we have drawing a blank on it. Anyway, it's in a really high-end, uh, latex mattress.  Um, and anyway, so, uh, it doesn't work well for us, but, uh, he's done some pretty cool stuff, but that is clipped into our bed. That's where our phone is.  Yeah. And I think that's so helpful for some people.


You know, that maybe whatever their constraints are, if they're like, it's not in their budget to get certain wearables at this time, that there's still places that we could begin. So, yeah. Well that, that definitely will attract most people would work. It tracks the seat off, the sound, out the microphone on the phone.


Sure. The micro movements that this bone, you know, determines from your side of the bed. So, yeah, it's a very low cost way. I think it's, I don't know, it's a hundred and something dollars, not very expensive.  Sure. Great. Your phone's being charged. Yeah, there you go. Win-win.  Okay. And then, oh, actually, I would ask too, for your eight sleep, any call-outs on the settings that you found or any.


Any, uh, I put it really cold. I don't think, uh, my wife wouldn't go this cold. I, I don't, I think it's minus six or something. Okay.  Got it. So it gets pretty cold by, I I had turned it on two hours before I tend to go to bed. Yep. So nice and cold. Um, like I said, we cool the house down too, so Yeah.  Sounds just like us.


Yeah. We make it arctic over here.  Yes. If you have to go to the bathroom, it die. So you run to the bathroom quickly back.  It's like those Maine winters. Yep. Totally right. Okay, so then the last question would be, what would you say out of all these things you've been doing and you've been. Pretty OG back of the Zio days and beyond.


So what would you say so far has made the biggest change to your sleep game? Or said another way, maybe biggest aha moment in managing your sleep? Um, I think, you know, I'm, I'm glad that I got into trackers and actually figuring out, uh, you know, how I'm sleeping, how well I'm sleeping. I'm getting a pretty good idea about that.


But I'd say now, I mean, knowing what I've learned over the years, just. Going to bed and waking up the same time every night. Yep, that that would be enough for me. I would have to wear a tracker. I would know that I would get the seatbelt and it would need to get with few exceptions. Sure. Oh, it's so important and yet so often overlooked or mismanaged when unfortunately not by, you know, any, for many people, just not, it can seem intuitive that you'd say, well, hi, I didn't get up to sleep till late last night.


I'm gonna sleep in to let my body kind of take care of itself, and you'd think you're doing it a nice. Service turns out not so much. So I think that that's a really fantastic and wise call out and something that's free. Something that's, yes, exactly. Well that's just it. I mean, you don't have to buy any wearable to track, I mean, to track your sleep.


You do. But if people just went to bed and got up to the same time seven days a week Yes. And didn't drink and eat and do that kind of stuff, you know, close to sleep, you know, read a book. Yeah. There you go. Stress management. Sure. All those things kind of just handle themselves in a lot of ways. Yeah.


Those are those big leavers, so, so well said. I know we just scratched the surface for all of your knowledge and all of these areas, but how can people follow more about what you're up to, what you're, you know, reading into, I know certainly I follow you particularly on LinkedIn and I love when you share all kinds of great stuff.


What are the best ways for people to follow all the work that you're doing? Yeah. I think LinkedIn is the best one. I'm more of a, a, a reader on other platforms. Like I, I don't use Facebook anymore. Mostly Twitter. Yeah, Instagram. But the only place I really post is, is LinkedIn. Okay.  I tried to blog occasionally do.


I should get back into it. Uh, people wanna check some of my past stuff. They can go to Chuck hazard.com.  Uh, no spaces and, uh,  um, anyway, so that I have a, a link to my blog over there and I just don't do enough blogging. I understand. Well, well, we'll begin with LinkedIn and highly suggest people follow you on there.


It's always great to see some of the late breaking information coming out, and you're almost always like the name attached to whatever I'm reading on there, if that's noteworthy. So, so appreciate that. So keep that coming. And I also just really thank you for sharing your knowledge, sharing what you've discovered, what's of interest, um, and taking the time.


Well, thank you. It's been fun. Oh, thank you.  You've been listening to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast, the top podcast for people who wanna 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.


Fun Facts. I've never missed A Monday for over five years in counting, and it contains everything that you need to know in the fascinating world of sleep. Head on over to Sleep as a skill.com/newsletter to sign up.


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