episode#169

169: Carrie Bennett, Quantum Health Educator & Clinician: Why Sleep Is A Story Of LIGHT & Where To Begin To Take Control Of Your Light Environment Through The Laws of Nature!

Biography

As a college athlete, supposedly at the pinnacle of health, Carrie began suffering chronic joint issues and insomnia. After her first child was born, she developed debilitating stomach pain, adrenal fatigue, and brain fog. Armed with a BS in Biology, an MS in Nutrition, and certifications as a personal trainer, massage therapist, and breathing coach, she still couldn't find the root of her issues. That's when she found quantum biology. Now, as an online educator, clinician, and faculty member of the Quantum Biology Collective, Carrie's mission is to teach her clients how to create a healing environment by applying quantum health strategies around light, water, electrons, and mitochondrial support. Given these tools, clients who have spent years trying to improve their health—just as Carrie did—finally experience powerful healing and lasting benefits.

In this episode, we discuss:

😴 Carrie's health issues post-childbirth 12.5 years ago

😴  How light-related strategies transformed her sleep & health

😴  How modern lifestyles are affecting your light exposure

😴  Mastering light exposure

😴  Blue Light vs. Red Light

😴  Impact of EMF exposure on mitochondrial health

😴  The Morning UVA walk secret

😴  What can we learn from Carrie’s sleep-night habits

😴  And more!



SPONSOR:

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

https://magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill​

🧘 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

🛌 Can't afford a cooling mattress pad?
Let me introduce you to Muslin Comfort's oversized blankets—Oprah-approved luxury that keeps your temperature just right, all year long. Perfect for those who seek the cool side of the pillow, but not the price tag of high-end cooling bedding. Code: SLEEPISASKILL **20% OFF

🚴 The Biohacker’s Bike — Need a no-excuses, 5-minute workout (!) that's exceptionally effective for managing glucose levels and building sleep pressure—outperforming others in its category for quick fitness results?! The Carol Bike has become my go-to. Code: SLEEPISASKILL **$100 OFF

GUEST LINKS:

Website: https://www.carriebwellness.com/

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@carriebwellness

Online Courses: https://www.carriebwellness.com/store

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended to be medical or health advice and shall not be understood or construed as such. 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

Transcription

Welcome to the Sleep as a Skill podcast. My name is Molly Eastman and 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.


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, 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 as a skill podcast over here at sleep as a skill. We talk a lot about light. Light is fundamental to understanding and tapping into what's possible for each and every one of us in this journey of optimizing your sleep. And we can't have light without the flip side darkness. So those two components are huge as far as strengthening your circadian rhythm, but so much more.

It spiders into aspects of our health and well being that is often really surprising to many of us that delve into this world. Now, for me, I dove into this conversation around quantum biology, if you will, back in two thousand seven.  That's when I got my first pair of blue blockers. They were UVEX blue blockers, construction worker, blue blockers, if you will, and the things that got uncovered for me, as I dove in deeper into this world of how important it is for us to align with these rhythms of nature, but also going deeper into the science of physics, the elements of light and how they can absolutely transform our health and biology.

It's truly a fascinating area and there are a few people out there right now who are doing a better job of explaining and opening up our eyes, no pun intended, into this fascinating world than our guest today, Carrie Bennett. It is absolute honor that she has taken the time to be on this podcast. And so not only do we touch on light dark, of course, but we also get into topics of mitochondria  and how.

Understanding elements of our mitochondrial health could play a huge role in your ability to sleep and sleep well. But a little bit about our guest. With multiple degrees in biology, nutrition, and body work, Carrie's relentless enthusiasm to learn has made her one of the leading educators in the emerging field biology.


She combines deep research and clear explanations of the complex quantum mechanics at play in the human body to teach people how to use light, water, and nature to thrive. Carrie is a sought after scientist. speaker and guest lecturer. She currently sees clients in her online practice. She's also the lead faculty member and on the board of advisors for the quantum biology collective, the world's premier certification for applied quantum biology in clinical practice.

I am clear you are going to be fascinated with today's conversation. And of course, we're only just scratching the surface in this huge area. So without further ado, we're going to jump right into the podcast. But first, a few words from our very, very important and cherished sponsors. Truly, these sponsors keep this podcast alive and going.

So if you can take a moment to check them out, go to their website, see what they have to offer. That would make a huge, huge difference. If you're listening to this podcast, you're likely looking to improve your sleep. And one of the first places that many people begin when they talk to me about sleep is they want to know what's the supplement I can take.

Well, I got to say, I honestly don't take that many supplements nowadays for my sleep. And I'm very grateful for that. A lot of things you can do for free. However, one of the supplements that I do consistently take and have taken for ages is magnesium, specifically magnesium breakthrough. It's an all natural supplement that helps you reduce fatigue and sleep more peacefully.

It even strengthens muscle and improves your heart and brain function. So while most magnesium supplements aren't full spectrum, magnesium breakthrough is the only magnesium supplement on the market that contains the optimal ratio of all three. All seven essential types of magnesium. So imagine having the strength and energy to get out of bed every morning and face the day boldly, courageously to be able to show up as your best self and keep that energy up throughout the day and into the night.

So if you want to give it a try, go to bio optimizers. com forward slash sleep is a skill and you can use the code sleep is a skill to get Gifts with purchase up to two travel sized bottles of magnesium breakthrough. So you want to act fast on this. It's a limited time offer. Again, go to buy optimizers.com forward slash sleep is a skill.

And I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised by the results.  Today, I'm very excited to introduce you to Moonbird, a pioneering biofeedback device that's revolutionizing the way we approach sleep, and they have just sponsored sleep as a skill. So in the realm of sleep science, stress management is always key, and Moonbird leverages the science of heart rate variability, or HRV, which, you know, we're talking about all the time on this podcast, and it leverages it in a way to combat sleep disturbances caused by stress.

This innovative device isn't just for relaxation, it's a tool to activate your body's natural sleep mechanism. So according to a significant study in psychophysiology in 2015,  paced breathing, which is facilitated by something like Moonbird, was found to significantly increase vagal activity. This directly impacts your parasympathetic system.

system leading to improve sleep quality. It's about making tangible physiological changes for better sleep. Now Moonbird goes beyond being just a sleep aid. It's a scientifically grounded tool for managing stress and achieving deeper, more restorative sleep. Now for listeners who want to transform their sleep patterns, Moonbird combines cutting edge technology with proven scientific strategies.

So you can visit Moonbird. life and use the code, Sleep is a skill for a special discount. And just a quick aside, I am using my Moonbird every single day, and it's made a profound difference in how I'm managing my stress and improving my own ability to manage my health and wellbeing through heart rate variability technology.

If you want great sleep, you've got to get your temperature, right? Which is why I'm so grateful to have partnered with Muslim comfort home of the viral temperature regulating 365 blanket created by a real mom battling postpartum night sweats. Blankets are meticulously crafted from 100 percent muslin cotton to provide a perfect blend of softness and breathability.

So no more restless nights, sweating, tossing and turning. Muslin comfort is designed for hot and cold sleepers. It's temperature regulating and oversized to ensure that your sleep is not interrupted. Additionally, Muslim Comfort offers a 30 night risk free trial. No questions asked. And beyond that, this part was really important to me, affordability.

We understand that not everyone has access to high end cooling mattresses or mattress toppers, so Muslim Comfort Emerges as the perfect solution, providing a breathable and comfortable alternative at a fraction of the cost. And now for the exciting part, Muslim comfort has brought us an exclusive offer.

If you head on over to muslin comfort. com and use the code sleep 20 for an amazing 20 percent discount on your first order. That is right. 20 percent off to get better sleep. Again, remember temperature is key to getting great sleep, and this could be your path to controlling your temperature on your terms.

And welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. I know I say this a lot. A lot of the times I start these episodes saying I'm so excited to talk to this person and I am excited to talk to these people. But this person I am really, really, really, really many really is excited to speak to Carrie Bennett.

Thank you just so much for taking the time to be here. I know you're just an in demand woman at the for a long time and ongoingly. So to take this time to speak about what I truly believe some of the ways that you are sharing this information in such a unique fashion is absolutely life changing. So thank you for taking the time.

Oh Molly, I am so thrilled. I've been looking forward to this conversation. So thank you for having me.

Yay, amazing. Okay, so we got a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time. And really, so because we know this is the Sleep is a Skill podcast, we're focused around sleep. But I think you and I also know that sleep is a story of light.

Sleep is a story of the light dark balance. It's just a, there's so much there that I think it's just this whole fantastic, fascinating world. And I know you have so much to share in that arena and more, but potentially maybe starting with how I think of you as such a connoisseur and a educator in this area of the physics of light and more.

But how did that come to be? How did you become known as kind of this quantum educator? Oh, gosh.

Yeah. You know, I didn't even know this existed, right? Like, this is actually a thing. Um, so, like all of us, I'm pretty sure it's our own health journey and maybe, maybe allopathic or even functional medicine failed us in some way.

I said that was me, you know? Um, I always had rants and random stuff going on, but it wasn't until my first child was born about 12 and a half years ago now that,  stuff hit the fan. Yes.  And um, and yeah, you know, not only was, you know, I kind of, part of me was like, well, I'm a new mom and I'm supposed to be tired and bloated and have insomnia, but feel just completely exhausted and have joint pain and then have massive digestive issues.

And there came a point where I was just like, This is BS. I don't, I don't, I don't buy into like, this is how I'm gonna feel. And so, um, having already experienced at the best allopathic care in previous challenges in my life, I went more of the functional route. And, um, it moved the needle a little bit, but it was a lot of testing and supplements and some strict diet plans.

And I, I felt better, but I just didn't feel like I was my thriving state. And I was like, there's gotta be something more than this. And this was after also me like literally suffering through a two year, not because it was a bad program, but like because my status of health was not great at the time, a two year master's program in nutrition, right?

Cause I'm like, okay, nutrition must be it. You know, I had already had advanced degrees in massage therapy and in movement as a movement specialist and you know, a background in biology. And  so. I just was like, okay, nutrition has to be, and it wasn't, and I was kind of disappointed to be like, oh gosh, so if I move perfectly and I eat perfectly, somehow there's something that's still lacking, you know, and I was still on a, you know, three handfuls of supplements a day.

It just didn't feel great. And so one night  after I had, you know, been bouncing my child to sleep for 40 minutes knowing that he had only maybe 40 minutes to sleep before. Yes. And he was bigger at the time so it was more like patting him to sleep. I was scrolling on my phone and don't write something I don't recommend doing.

Totally, yes. The more we know, yeah. The more we know, but I'm grateful, right? Because this gave me my huge aha moment because I found a blog from Dr. Jack Cruz, who is, you know, a really a pioneer in the world of quantum biology, and he was talking about my light environment, my circadian rhythm, all of these things that I was just like, Oh, I mean, I kind of learned about the circadian rhythm in undergrad a little bit, but like we didn't touch on it maybe more than a tiny part of one lecture.

And he was saying, no, this is it. Understanding our relationship with light matters so much for every aspect of health. And so I started to dive in. I dove into all aspects of light, how it intersects with water and mitochondria and every aspect of human health, basically, and started to apply just a couple of simple strategies.

I felt within three days, I had felt like better than I had felt in years and years and years. And so I was like, there's something to this. And so that's when I really fully committed to this to be my path of exploration and to share it. Cause at that time I still had, I have had a clinical practice. I still do.

And as I evolve my learning, so do my clients, they also evolved. And so I started applying this in clinical practice and it was a great experience. game changer. Uh, you know, it for mood, for energy, for sleep. As you know, as you well know, right, these some little key things could just make all the difference.

And as a side benefit, so people's gut health  improved, you know, uh, people's pain levels went down. So it was just like, this was really, you know, so inspiring to me. And it really helped me learn all that I could about light and how light affects our health.

Oh, so important. So impactful. And I love how you're pointing to the kind of for many listening, I'm assuming would be the surprising benefits that even, you know, cause spider into many aspects of health.

Often we think of circadian rhythm and we think of sleep. We think of the sleep wake kind of balance and that is true. That is a component and yet you're pointing to these many aspects really touching on virtually every aspect of our experience of life being impacted when this is working and then maybe not so favorably impacted when it's not working.

So thank you for painting that picture too of how things were for you before I had a similar story too of doing all the things unbeknownst to me that were just not serving me and the gratitude for those moments because sometimes That mess becomes our message and then we have the resolve to shift the thing so beautiful.

And so maybe we can go in a little bit deeper in this connection and bridging the gap a bit more on how in the world light dark is just so important because I think a lot of people can hear this and they'll be like, okay, so what I, you know, turn off the lights at night. What's, is this really that much of a focus?

And yet. As we know, one, it takes a lot to really understand what this would look like. And there's so much that we can all continue to evolve upon to really paint that picture, but then further the why on that. I know you do a lot of great work with mitochondrial health, among other things. So maybe helping us understand this a bit more.

Yeah, sure, sure. So, you know, light, um, light's a signal. The body basically works on signals. We're always sensing our environment in so many different ways. And so I think for so long, especially this is when I was an undergrad, the emphasis was placed on our genes and you're born with these genes and these how your genes are going to operate and too bad so sad if you got dealt bad genes.

Yes. And now we now we know that they're the genes are there. But they're dynamic, and they're responsive to the signals that we give it. And it turns out that one of the primary signals every gene in our body is looking for is the timing, the light, you know, the light signals coming from our environment.

And that would have naturally been built into us if we were living more like a wild human was designed to live, right? From being basically outside, even outside living in a more, much more natural type of a habitat, right? Then, you know, being outside from dawn till the sun reaches the high point till dusk, maybe going in into something but still being amongst nature and recycling that same pattern day in and day out, we were able to set up some key timing mechanisms in our body to optimize every cellular process.

Every cellular process. Every gene in our body is looking for the time. They have a clock gene. Every cell in our body is also looking for what's called the circadian oscillations, or basically a communication signal from us that, of the accurate time of day. And so it makes sense why every aspect of our health is impacted by light because the light is signaling our cells to do something or not do something.

It wouldn't have made any sense to optimize digestion at three o'clock in the morning when we likely wouldn't have been able to have time to hunt, gather food, right? Um, similarly, it would be really silly for me to optimize My muscular tissue repair for three o'clock in the afternoon, when perhaps I would have been out hunting, gathering, building a shelter, doing things that would have been causing my muscles to have a little bit of micro damage that yes, needs to be repaired, but not the ideal time.

And so that's a more macro perspective of like, the timing really matters and every single cell that has 100, 000 tasks happening every single second needs to coordinate it with signals, these light signals. Otherwise it's pure chaos. And my favorite analogy for that is an airport with, you know, a hundred arrivals and departures happening, right?

They're coming in, and you have an air traffic control tower that is telling these planes, Okay, the wind's coming in this direction, you need to come in this way, taxi, land on this runway, then taxi to your gate, right? We have someone coordinating it. Because if it was just left up to the planes, well, okay, maybe it looks like there's an opening right there.

You know, it just would be utter chaos and disaster. And so we have a central timing, a central control tower in our brains, our suprachiasmatic nucleus. It's a clock in our brains that is dictating time to all of our cells so every task can get coordinated. But without accurate timing, that's when things can go awry.

I love that analogy. That is so, so helpful because I think one, people might now be starting, hopefully, to be hearing about these clocks. And actually, I shouldn't just assume, I think a lot of people, this still could be brand new. And yet, when you put it in those terms of that analogy, that can be really, really helpful to just kind of, hopefully, Get that resolved to understand that we need to help these clocks stay on time.

And then the fallout that can occur when we don't quite do that. So going in a little bit more deeply on this conversation. So understanding this clock component, we need to keep these on time. Maybe painting a bit of a picture of what that might look like for people that would be foreign to how they're managing their lives now.

Sure, sure. So that clock in our brain has a direct connection to our eyes, right? The retina of our eyes via a pathway called the retinal hypothalamic tract. So that hypothalamus is the word that I want you to hear. We've got the clock sits right in that hypothalamus and there's a specific wavelength or color range of light.

So we've all seen light that goes through a prism or a rainbow and get divided up into the colors, the different colors. And what we know is that the  clock in my brain is keying in on the blue. range of light. I have these little sensors, essentially at the backs of my eyes, called melanopsin receptors.

And they're sensing the amount and intensity of blue light in my environment and conveying that message to the clock in my brain. And it's determining a time of day based on that information. And it can then can spread that message to every cell in my body via something called oscillation. It's, it's a vibratory message, which is something that could be felt very subtly for in every cell of my body.

And so what happens then is when we were, when we live out in nature, dawn, those little sensors aren't picking up any blue, right? It's not intense enough for any blue to be picked up. As the sun breaks the horizon, now the blue is just there and just intense enough to start triggering those sensors. And so the day has started.

So the clock in my brain, which actually kicks off so many cascades, right? People have maybe heard of adrenal fatigue or maybe even sluggish sleep. thyroid issues. Well, the  hypothalamus has to communicate to the pituitary gland and then the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, then to the thyroid gland, when we need to upregulate metabolism, when we need to increase certain chemicals and hormones related to energy.

And so these signals start to get initiated as the brain perceives the start of the day, which is why we're designed to have this beautiful cortisol surge during the first morning hours. And so the sun gets a little higher, a little higher, more and more blue, more and more blue. And again, it's a beautiful crescendo of the blue increases in amount and intensity until the sun reaches the high point in the sky, solar noon, and then decreases in intensity until after sunset, it's not there anymore.

So it was the perfect wavelength range to key in on to changing time. Right? Yeah. And now, unfortunately, due to modern lighting and modern screens, they specifically chose that wavelength range of light. Um, yes, it creates a very bright, vibrant screen, very easy to see, you know, what's on the screen. But unfortunately, picture what the average one of us who is unaware of this does, right?

We wake up maybe at three o'clock in the morning to check the time. Okay.  chaotic signaling, right? Maybe hopefully we fall back asleep. We wake up first thing in the morning, again, shocked the eyes. We flip on artificial lights to go to the bathroom to make our coffee, get ready for work. Sometimes we're going to be wearing sunglasses on our way to work, right?

And then at the office, very likely we're not under an ideal artificial lighting environment there, so you can imagine how we were designed to hear or to feel or to sense this crescendo and decrescendo. And now, that's chaotic. It's not there. And so timing is really off these days.

Ah, so, so good. Okay, so understanding and managing our timing, our light environment, our dark environment, so, so crucial.

And I know we're just scratching the surface, I know we could spend an entire session on, the entire podcast time on this. And I Maybe we can also shift a bit into this conversation of mitochondrial health. Why is that something that is so crucial when we're talking about sleep optimization and this whole conversation of light dark?

Yeah, sure. Mitochondria are little organelles in our cells and they're essential for many things. Yeah. I think the average, you know, the average person who's maybe, maybe remembers high school biology when I say, hey, what are mitochondria known for? The powerhouse of the cell, right? They make ATP and they do.

They make ATP, but ATP isn't the only energy currency of the cell. Um, in fact, mitochondria also make water. They also make infrared light. They make such amazing things for us and they're their own keen sensors. of what's happening in our environment. So they are picking up on the light signals just as much as the, you know, the DNA is in other, in other parts of the cell and other organ, like the organ systems in general.

And so these mitochondria are using that to determine, okay, how much energy does each organ have? organ need given the time of day. This kind of ties back to, um, what we, if you've ever looked at the traditional Chinese medicine organ clock,

where we know that certain organs have a higher energetic input at certain times of the day and then a lower energetic input.

And so part of this hap, you know, the more maybe modern viewpoint of this is that the mitochondria are receiving these timing messages and saying, Oh, okay. This is the time now for kidney bladder, right? I mean, like, so it's like this is the time for liver gallbladder. And so it can understand how to increase energy production in a given in a given tissue based on the time of the day.

And so, um, beyond that, the mitochondria also, as, as they're, as they're making that ATP, they're making a key, key thing that we overlook tremendously. And that is. Water.  That water is, I would say, one of the most key products of mitochondrial metabolism because, according to the beautiful work of Dr. Jerry Pollack, that water actually organizes itself into what has been shown to be a transcript.

Battery of potential energy. Or another way to look at it is a healthy cell requires a certain amount of voltage or electricity, and that electricity now is is being discovered to be held due to how the water organizes and structures itself. So yes, the water we drink is important, but the water our mitochondria make is Very important for intracellular voltage and hydration and as a mitochondria or as a cell, it gets drained of voltage either due to mitochondrial dysfunction because water isn't being able to be made or there's other things that can can kind of drain that voltage.

This is a cell that loses energy. It loses capacity. It becomes dysfunctional and starts to create inflammatory cascades. And so we know now that maintaining mitochondrial health to maintain this energetic battery inside of every cell is very essential. And unfortunately, two things we see with modern living these days involving light.

Unopposed blue light can't, there's evidence to suggest it can inhibit mitochondrial  water production at that, at step four in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. So, uh, the mitochondria now. are being impaired with their water production. Unfortunately, also with modern living, we know that a lot of non native EMF exposure can also impair mitochondria.

And then you compound that with the fact that the mitochondria really need two wavelength ranges of light to optimize their function, especially at that cytochrome C oxidase step four, and that's red and near infrared light. And Molly, you know this, right? Modern living has completely divorced us from those light frequencies because modern window glass blocks a lot of it.

Um, modern light bulbs completely omit those ranges. And so now we're indoors with a lot of blue, which is chaotic to the mitochondria, chaotic to our circadian rhythm, and we're lacking the beautiful red and near infrared we need to support that mitochondrial health. And so that leads to organs and cells and organs that are just low energy.

And if you're dealing with some sort of a toxicity or some sort of a pathogen or something like that, and you need the energetic capacity to clear it, it's just not there.

Are you looking for an easy and impactful way to elevate your fitness and sleep quality simultaneously? Well, then you need to hear about the Carol bike.

It's become my latest obsession. It's an AI powered, exercise bike that's really creating a lot of buzz in the fitness world with its effective five minute workouts. The Carobike stands to support your heart rate variability, HRV, and VO2 max, which are key markers of cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing.

And this boost in your fitness protocols can directly influence your sleep by aiding in blood sugar balance, which consequently supports reducing those disruptive wake ups that are often tied to metabolic health. What makes the Carol Bike especially appealing is its focus on brief, approximately again, five minute workouts that fit effortlessly into even the busiest of schedules.

These workouts are tailored to tap into your body's innate mechanisms for balancing blood sugar, which is crucial for avoiding those restless nights caused by glucose fluctuations. Just today, after indulging in a meal rich in fruits and sweet potatoes, a combination that typically would really spike my glucose levels with the addition of the Carol bike, my continuous glucose monitor showed that my levels stayed nicely balanced thanks to that quick five minute workout.

So this is a testament to how integrating Carol bike workouts into your daily life in between zoom calls and all the things that you got going on can help you commit to a journey towards improved fitness and more. Serene uninterrupted sleep. And isn't that what we all want? It even earned the 2024 good housekeeping award for its innovation in health and fitness.

For those who are eager to integrate an efficient science backed workout that aligns perfectly with a hectic lifestyle while delivering enduring benefits. The Carol bike represents an exciting opportunity to do just that. Now, thankfully Carol has hooked us up with a discount if you use the code Sleep is a skill, all one word, you'll get a discount at checkout.

And if you pull the trigger on the Carroll bike, please let me know how it works out for you.  Important question. Can you see the hand in front of your face in your bedroom? If so, you need to hear about our next sponsor who is revolutionizing the blackout shade space and finally making it easy and affordable to get a truly blacked out bedroom.

So challenging in the past, right? So introducing you block out the ultimate solution for creating the perfect sleep environment, ensuring total darkness, comfort and control. So why you block out in particular? Well, a hundred percent blackout guarantee comes with this product provides temperature comfort all year round.

So you keep your room warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You block out helps in enhancing your sleep quality by maintaining a comfortable temperature, regardless of the season. Acoustic noise reduction. Enjoy a quieter sleeping environment with uBlockout Shades designed to minimize external sounds that can disrupt your peace.

Ideal for urban dwellers or anyone looking to reduce noise pollution. Customizable and easy to install. Tailored to fit your space with a simple 30 minute installation process, uBlockout makes it hassle free to achieve the perfect sleep setting, ensuring your bedroom is a Sanctuary for sleep. And for listeners of the sleep is a skill podcast, use the code sleep is a skill for an exclusive 10 percent off and embark on the journey to unparalleled sleep quality.

Remember, light is the number one external factor affecting our sleep with you. Blockout. You're not just investing in a blackout shade. You're investing in your health, wellbeing, and quality of life. So again, go to you. Blockout spelled the letter U blockout, blockout. And use code sleep as a skill for a discount.

I love all of this. And I love the use of the term chaotic. It was bringing it back to, um, oh my gosh, I'm so dating myself. And what a random reference, but Jurassic Park, right? Like the moment of chaos theory. And yet, and then the profound moment of life finds a way. But I think we're dealing with the fallout of life trying to find a way.

And what are we seeing? We're seeing illness everywhere, poor sleep, a whole fallout. So the workability is massively impaired. And yet people are like, well, I'm still sleeping, so it can't be that bad, what have you. And yet what you're pointing to is a whole paradigm shift of what's available for people, and especially if we keep on managing our health and well being the way we're doing, and it just keeps getting more augmented with the levels of hits with the EMF components, with the going indoors more frequently, the work from home revolution, the pandemic, all these things that have augmented just how divorced we've become from these rhythms.

So, Thank you for painting this picture for us. Now, I wonder if you could touch on two things, and I don't know how you feel about these questions. I feel like I'm hearing them all the time, and so I don't know if this is like a fun question or not, but melatonin  and vitamin D, two things that then sometimes people hear these things, and they're like, well, okay, could I just supplement vitamin D?

Could I supplement melatonin? I wonder if you could help guide us on those questions. I know those are two big questions in one, but.

Yeah, I know that they're great though. It's great because there is a lot of confusion about that. And you know, people may have said, oh, but I get, I fall asleep with melatonin supplements.

No problem. Right. So why, like, why is that a big deal? And I always say, if we can make it, our body was not designed to take it, especially not in the big quantities that we're taking. Yes. There's the melatonin in dark cherries. Yes. There's some vitamin D in eggs, right? And, and, but the quantity that we're trying to supplement and have go through our digestive route is just unheard of.

And so these days, it's not because it's not because of a, you know, we don't have a supplemental deficiency in melatonin. We don't have a supplemental deficiency in vitamin D. We need to change our light environment because we're designed to make melatonin in response to darkness. And we're designed to make vitamin D with sunlight exposure on our skin, specifically UVB sunlight exposure on the skin.

And so you cannot touch what can be made naturally and try to out supplement that. With vitamin D, We don't only make vitamin D. We make literally a dozen metabolites of it, all of which are biologically active. We just haven't studied them enough, right? With the research is just slowly trickling out about these other metabolites.

And then with melatonin,  um, again, we're, I don't, I think that people are starting to realize that it's a challenge and it's an issue, but the solution has been to supplement and that's not the way our body was designed to do it. We were literally, we have to make it in our pineal gland. We have to make it in our pineal gland because that pineal melatonin.

Gets secreted in a key fashion into the bloodstream to inform our brain and our bodies of a signal of darkness. We have to do it that way. It also has, I mean, listen, Molly, we don't have to go into this, but it has bigger impacts into like even consciousness, our ability to like conscious awareness,  there's, there's, there's a lot,  right?

There's so much. And so I'd love for people to optimize it whenever possible. And the, the, the, there's a nuance there that people also have to be aware of because we hear. uh, with vitamin D. Oh, no, but I'm low in the winter. I must supplement vitamin D. And then, you know, I think to myself, for the longest time, I was like, that makes no sense.

I live in Michigan. There's no UVB. There's no way I could make vitamin D in the winter. Why would I, my blood range of vitamin D need to be super elevated if it's not available to me in my environment, except through maybe eating a liver here and there, you know? And that's where, um, research is probably just a year or two old now came out to show that melatonin Binds to the vitamin D receptor to affect things like support for metabolism and immunity and inflammation and and all of these key things that we could talk about with vitamin D.

So I think when people were testing low vitamin D in the winter, yes, vitamin D is low in the winter. And yes, then in the winter, if someone has potentially not maintained their appropriate melatonin function, yes, they're going to experience more challenge, more health challenges.

Yeah,

but in people who optimize melatonin in the winter because you got plenty of opportunity with all that darkness totally

and then optimize vitamin D production in the summer because you got all that beautiful sunlight, then that's what the body is looking for.

We don't have to artificially supplement to inflate it depending on the time of year. We have to optimize one or the other. or the other. So

good. I'll speak with people and I'm curious your thoughts on this when you know you talk to someone in Canada and they'll say oh my vitamin D levels are great they're actually high they're in the 90s or what have you and it's December and I'm curious when you hear that.

Is your guidance then to take on what we're we've been discussing and starting to minimize that supplementation slash put it aside and then really manage it and how we're speaking about the seasonal kind of approach and multi part question. Do you advocate for or is it layered on using things like the spurty lamp or a chroma D lamp or any of those or light source?

What are your thoughts there?

Yeah, sure. It's a good question. Yeah. So if someone is, I mean, if someone is 90 or something, I've seen I've seen about 120, right? It's for sure supplemental, right? They're supplementing massive amounts. And unfortunately, what I see with that too is typically not that, not that I think cholesterol is bad, but it's, it's.

synonymous with elevated cholesterol, elevated LDL, because that's how you have to carry that supplemental form of vitamin D through the bloodstream. And so then, you know, oftentimes doctors get involved and say, Oh, your cholesterol is insanely high. We got it. And so like it just, it can just become quite, quite a challenging message to, to, to get across about no, no, no.

Okay. It's wintertime. We don't have to supplement. And if you want to have vitamin D, feel free to eat cod liver. or liver or eggs, right? Mushrooms, like things that naturally contain the vitamin D in it. And then, yeah, I would have people pull back on the supplementation. Sometimes it has to be done very slowly because vitamin D can act as a psychosteroid hormone.

So it can act as a hormone, a steroid hormone in the same way, like someone, um, he's on prednisone and feels better, like they less pain, less inflammation when they're on it because it's They're adding something to help suppress it.  Vitamin D can do the same thing. So to pull someone just automatically off of D, they can feel like garbage.

In the same way you pull someone off of prednisone, it can be life threatening.  And so, and so yeah, so I would say it can be a slow thing, but it's just an understanding of you know, okay, we're going to slowly titrate down on that while we make sure your body's making melatonin so it can use that arm in order to help control this particular gene and this pathway in the wintertime.

In terms of like my high, high northern latitude folks, it's a case by case if people use 30 or not or a light such as that, right? Some people, Um, I had a Spurdy as, as I was kind of navigating this, you know, getting to like my state where I feel great. I don't, I don't use it anymore. I, I in fact gave it away to a client because I don't, I don't use it anymore.

I don't feel like I need it. Um, however, I do have some clients who really, they feel a lot better if every once in a while they're using a Spurdy like three times a week, something like that in the middle of winter. Um, so a couple of clients, Oh, even use tanning beds in the middle of winter, you know, a couple of times a week to feel that dopamine burst, to feel that sometimes it's the warmth even.

Um, and so it's a case by case basis. Sure. And typically what, what I find is the, the application of a Spurdy or even a tanning bed, the application is, the duration So short that it does nothing to negatively impact circadian signaling. And if it did, what I would see is a phase shifted circadian rhythm depending on when they did their, their treatment.

And it could be that you can see phase shifted rhythms with red light therapy too, right? Due to the brightness of that light based on when it's used. So if a client is doing something, if they're doing that too close to bedtime and now all of a sudden, they can't fall asleep before 11 o'clock, it tells me something.

Or if they do it first thing in the morning and now all of a sudden they're waking up at 4am, 3am, earlier and earlier, we've shifted their rhythm inappropriately with the light exposure. But if they typically do it in the middle of the afternoon, like I said for these short bouts, it's usually about two minutes, right?

A couple of times a week. It gives them a feel good effect for their bodies, which I'm all about without dysregulating things.

So good. Okay. Well, so one, I'm so excited to dive in on how you're managing your own sleep. We ask everyone that and lots of people have different insights and I'm clear though you're just going to be really fascinating.

But before we hop into that, is there anything that we want to make sure that we address or that we left out? I know, you know, there's tons of things we can talk about, my gosh, but anything, any closing thoughts on this topic of sleep and how you think about this uniquely?

Well, you know, I think that this will, I think part of my answer about what has most impacted my sleep, if we can go there and then I'll elaborate on it.

It's what I call a UVA rise,  right? It really is. So yes. So for my strategies for myself or clients, I try to get clients to go outside and what I'm going to sink their circadian rhythm with morning light. Ideally, it's around sunrise. Usually they get outside for a little bit. But a prime window of time for people to try to catch for about a 20 minute chunk, whether you take a work call outside or you bring your computer outside to do a little work, you sit in your car and you take your mid morning break with the window down.

However that looks, I love to go for a walk, a UVA walk. When the sun reaches 10 degrees above the horizon, so a little bit higher, that is when ultraviolet light starts to penetrate our atmosphere and starts to appear to us. And that wavelength range of light. converts an amino, a couple of amino acids, but specifically one called tryptophan, which I think the majority of us have heard of being relaxing because at least in America post Thanksgiving, right?

It's like, Oh, well I'm so groggy because of the tryptophan and the turkey.  And, um, and yeah, it is, it's a calming amino acid. But it pulls in our eyes, we have high amounts of them in our eyes waiting to capture light energy. And when the light energy reaches a high enough point, which is UVA light, that tryptophan  captures the energy it needs to convert it to something else.

And it converts it to serotonin. And serotonin during the day, makes me feel really good, right? Like I'm my day is great. I'm I'm focused. It feels great. I'm having I'm having a joyful day. Then that serotonin pool that we build up upon darkness signaling at night starts to become melatonin. The melatonin at night breaks down.

down into tryptophan and we start it back over. It's this beautiful cycle. And so I find that one of the biggest banks for my buck when it comes to energy and mood and metabolism and then ultimately sleep is to key in on this UVA rise. And so again, that happens when the sun is 10 degrees to 30 degrees above the horizon.

It's the window of time to get, and I do that using the circadian life app and it's been a game changer in so many ways.

Ah, thank you so much for closing that loop with that call out because it's just something that so many of us, I mean, really, truly could take the steps to figure out how to align our days so that it can support this and call for this.

Um, I know Jack Cruz is one who's been great with the analogy of the smoke breaks and how can we make those sun breaks or whatever, right? And so you're pointing to something that People can figure out most often I know there's situations and shift working and etc. But how can we take steps to really prioritize this the same way we might to make sure that we're taking our prescription medications or supplements or this that and the other and the timing matters and the transformative impact.

I think you're this is where tapping into your space in the in the quantum space of how this can really ripple and have surprising impacts for such a free and manageable aspect for most people in a behavioral change component of their lives. So good. Okay, so having said that, then shifting gears into a bit more, elaborating a bit more on how you're managing your own sleep and circadian health.

So our first question is, what does your nightly sleep routine look like right now?

You know, some days my husband and I and the kids are playing outside at sunset, sometimes not, kind of depends, or sometimes we're naturally out there because it's t ball practice or something like that. Right. Um, and so typically we try to get at least some afternoon outside time together as a family if at all possible.

Um, at sunset and sometimes a little bit after sunset depending realistically family life, um, but before nightfall certainly, which is again listed on app. Um, I, I put my orange tone blue blockers on. Yeah, and pretty much that is all I need in order to start to make melatonin. I know, um, that I can just feel the calm, essentially, when I put those on, um, and then I, I, you know, I don't use a, I don't use a small screen, I call it.

I find this, the, um, Addictive technologies, even with blocking the artificial light that can stimulate such a dopamine pathway, such an addictive pathway that we don't want to put it down. So even reading my books and stuff, like I even found that, uh, you know, reading, uh, murder mysteries and things like that just to be too much.

So I put that down. Um, sometimes I'll read just a nice little book or sometimes, you know, we're, we're a big sports family. So, you know, again, with. screen mitigation. We might watch a little bit of, you know, we've been watching the NCA basketball tournament lately, things like that. So just something like that, but always having a wind down routine too, which typically for, for our family, it's prayer and just a little bit of peace and quiet.

And, um, and so, yeah, I mean, that's what my nighttime routine is and it's nothing extensive because Busy life, right? But it's consistent. Orange tone, blue blockers put down the small screen and by putting it down, it's on airplane mode. It's away from me, right? It's not a part of my sleep space. And then something that, you know, kind of puts my brain into that parastat sympathetic state and a state of gratitude.

And so, um, Voila and it works

and it works so effective so good and I'm curious too if you have any call outs on your Light environment after sunset because you know some people hear this and they're like, oh well What type of light bulbs and the whole thing curious if you have any call outs there.

Yeah, you know, I mean I'm pretty sure I purchased a hundred Edison style incandescent bulbs. So I do. I really love decorative incandescent bulbs because that's such a warm amber style glow to them. And we will only typically use table lamps. Sure. Or we have one little tiny delicate one above the sink.

And that's it. That's all we have on. Enough to illuminate the space. But you know, you, it's amazing how quickly eyes can adjust in the same way that people who used to wear sunglasses all the time because the light was too bright. Like that was me. Yeah. Like I don't need them anymore, right? Blue eyes, right?

Like I don't, I don't need them anymore. It's like they used to, I just, you adapt as long as you, you know, are consistent with it, you adapt. Same thing with this, you know, it feels, really actually too jarring to have overhead lights on and a lot of lights on at night. So yeah, we have a dimmer house for sure.

Um, we'll keep our window curtains open until the sun is setting so we can catch that transition as well if we're not outside or if we come in and then yeah, you know, close those up and you know, everyone's room in terms of this true sleep space, we try to keep our room as dark as possible and that just feels so good.

So good. Okay. And our second question is what is your morning sleep routine? And few people understand this more than you. So what might we see in your mornings to support your sleep?

Great. In my morning before sunrise, um, I put my orange tone blue blockers on. I have these, I have them on, um, up until actually at this current time, I still have mine when I'm back in the car out of the driveway because the garage light is a disaster, right?

And then that's when I'll transition and that's as I'm driving to, as I'm driving the kids to school, right? Before I leave, they'll go on the top of my head. Um, but yeah, and then, you know, in the morning I just try to expose my eyes to as much natural light as I'm, as my schedule allows.  At this current time, like I said, it's sunroof open.

It's kids complain with the windows down. Every once in a while, I'll stop on our drive and I'll actually roll the windows down that face east and we'll let the natural light in. Um, you know, and then when I come home, I take a little extra time before I actually pull into the garage or sometimes I'll just leave my car in the driveway, sunroof open or windows down and soak it in.

Um, sometimes I need to be doing a little checking some emails for school or whatever it is. And then I'll typically, whenever possible, that UVA walk. matters to me. I try to prioritize, prioritize that as much as possible.

So good. Okay, great. And then the third question is what is on your nightstand and or proverbial nightstand if you're traveling or kind of in your space?

You know, if I, when, when I travel, what I always have is some version of a portable red or like, you know, amber torch, if you will, because things happen, kids vomit, or, you know, you have to use the bathroom or, I mean,  And so it's nice to have something where in a pinch you can grab it and be like, what is going on?

Or without having to like flip on every light or even put your blue blockers on. Right. You know? Um, and so those, my blue blockers are always on my nightstand, but it is nice to have a portable light of some sort that I know won't negatively impact my circadian signaling.

Oh, so good. I know it's, it's one of the things that we've found for so many people for the compliance aspect of this, because we can talk about this and people, then they're traveling and they get frustrated and they got to get into the luggage or they got to whatever.

And then they finally just flip on the lights. And then it's throw the baby out with the bath water from frustration, but it doesn't have to look like that. I love how you refer to it as kind of that torch or what have you. I know that we've mentioned Danny Hamilton and I we're all connected. So we'll often talk about it being like this modern day lantern or red lights boots as well.

But I love that you're pointing to that. And it sounds like also in your space, the theme of some minimalism at play, potentially, it's not like you're saying, well, I've got 9 million gadgets to fall asleep. No, no, no, no, no,

we, I unplug as much as possible. And like, we, you know, we just, I don't plug things in.

Yeah. Yeah, it's a, it's a table, a table, a book, maybe a torch. Yeah,

exactly. That's pretty much what mine looks like too. So funny. I love it. Okay. So the last question, and I know you already hit on this a bit and we'll just kind of underscore, but so far, what would you say has made the biggest change to the management of your own sleep or said another way, maybe biggest aha moment in managing your sleep?

You know, two things. I can't beat the blue blockers at night. I will not go without them. I, I just, I can't imagine. If living a modern world in a modern world and, you know, having lights on or watching TV or something, and then just not having that, the eye protection. Um, so that's number one, but number two was this, this idea of doing something that calms the body down, right?

Like with, with a baby, we don't expect them to go from, you know, on and on until, okay, go to sleep now. It's like, there's a gradual transition. And so I find that if ever there's a chunk of time in my life where I got monkey mind. I need to emphasize that gradual transition and prioritize that and not just go from, okay, kids are asleep.

Okay, now I'm going to go to sleep. It just doesn't work. It just doesn't work. Yes.  

Oh, so good. Yeah. One analogy we've used is, um, you know, like that runway for a plane, you know, needing that space, right, to down regulate. And you so are beautifully illustrating this with the airplane mode and just setting yourself up for success, setting yourself up to win by removing some of those components that for many of us are such a struggle and so addictive.

And, uh, yeah. Great. Okay, so one quick question. Is there anything that we left out? And obviously this could be an ongoing multi part series, but any closing remarks before we get into how people can follow you?

Oh, this is great. I feel like this really sets the stage for great sleep. I mean, this is something, this is what I've done for years now and so many clients, so it doesn't have to be complicated.

It just has to be consistent.

Beautiful. Wise. Okay. And so I'm clear that people that have been listening are absolutely going to want to know how can they follow you and also be a part of your world, learn from you. What are the best ways to do that?

Well, my hub on Instagram is great because it's pretty easy.

I try to trickle them as much of this as I can. So carry the wellness. com on Instagram and then carry the wellness. com is my website. You'll see that there's a tab. If it's, if you're just looking for your own support, for example, I just did a gut health. You know, gut health webinar, essentially, which is all about gut health from the circadian perspective, quantum perspective.

Um, and so stuff like that, if you're looking for your own, to support your own health challenges, I've got a practitioner tab. If you're looking to learn as a practitioner, how to incorporate this in a clinical setting, there's ways to do that. And so I would say those are two great places to start engaging here.

Amazing. Well, thank you so much. We'll put all that in the show notes and definitely follow this woman on social media. Check out her site and all the offerings. So fantastic. Really, really making a difference. And I so appreciate the time again. Yeah. Likewise, Molly. Same to you. I appreciate you and the work you're putting out in this world.

Oh, 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. Fun fact, I've never missed a Monday for over five years and 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 forward slash newsletter to sign up.

THE SLEEP ASSESSMENT

Complete a short assessment to test the quality of your sleep

Free & Customized Actionable Strategies for Changing How You Sleep
Start the assessment