087: Heath Wilson and Joey Odom, Founder And Creators Of Aro Smartbox: Setting A New Standard For Productivity, Reconnection And Sleep

Ever notice that you spend most of your time with your phone? 

Whether scrolling through Instagram or talking to a friend on a messaging app, it's easy to get lost in the digital world. But it is important to disconnect and enjoy time without our phones, especially before bedtime.

In this episode, Heath Wilson and Joey Odom join us; they are the founder and creators of Aro Modular Smartbox. They're both fathers and husbands who felt a need for uninterrupted time with their families.

We discuss the impact of phones as one of the significant causes of sleep destruction and how we can set boundaries with technology. Heath and Joey also discuss tips for creating a healthy balance in our lives and their experiences with implementing Aro in their household. 

Find out how Aro can help you improve your lifestyle and maximize your time.


Aro's mission is to have a little less phone time, so you can experience life, uninterrupted.  It is the first of its kind smart box that individuals and families can place their phones in while not using them. As soon as the devices are in, the time spent inside is tracked and logged through Aro's companion app. Not only does Aro track your time away from your phone, but it also charges your phone while you recharge. The Aro smart box acts as the visual cue to put down your phone, while the Aro app acts as your coach by helping you set goals and encouraging you to reach them along the way.

In this episode, we discuss:

📱 Aro: Beyond just a box, how can it improve your phone and bedtime habits?

📱 Heath thought most things we own have a place, like cars, silverware, and clothes, but not phones.

📱The power of groups in improving phone habits

📱What is the impact of phones from a productivity perspective?

📱Beta testers' experiences with ARO

📱Aro App gamify 

📱As Joey says, if you begin with one small step, you're not far from what you ultimately want

📱Joey noted the implications of Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point, especially in an age of technology

📱Joey and Heath's biggest sleep game changer

Mentioned Resources


Huge shoutout to our sponsor: Biooptimizers!
They are my nightly source of magnesium supplementation
go to www.magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill for the kind I use every night!

Guest contacts

Website: https://www.goaro.com/
Instagram: @goaronow
Twitter: @go_aro
Facebook: @goaronow
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/goaro/


Welcome to the Sleep As a Skill podcast. My name is Mollie McGlocklin, and I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts, ranging from doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper.


Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.


Welcome to the Sleep As a Skilled podcast. This episode was actually recorded on location in a really cool spot. Highly recommend checking it out. It's called The Bolt Farm in Tennessee, where I was grateful to have been invited to spend some time with the RO team. The RO team is looking to really help make putting your phone away.


Thing. Imagine that. Imagine that. And what could that do to our sleep and our mental health and a number of other kind of positive, presumably implications in our life. And I just have to say on a personal note, had a tremendous time spending, you know, the weekend with this team.  Blake, my husband also joined me, and it was really, really cool to actually on the court experience what life can look like when a whole group of people are putting their phones away.


Now I know this could land as like, Oh, we'll just put your phone away, but. If you're like many of us, it is not that simple. And these phones have been really designed and engineered in such a way that we have quite an addiction and a hold and a connection to them. So to have spent the weekend with the entire team and all of us as a kind of part of our group dynamics, suddenly.


The urging was to put the phone into their creation, which is the RO box, and we're gonna kind of talk about this on the podcast today and a little bit about that company. We are joined in this conversation with Joey Oldham and Heath Wilson, and the two of them are just such awesome individuals and they're really on a mission.


So a's mission is to have a little less phone time so you can experience life. Uninterrupted. It is the first of its kind smart box that individuals and families can place their phones in while not using them. As soon as the devices are in the time spent inside is tracked and logged through ROS companion app.


Not only does RO track your time away from your phone. But it also charges your phone while you recharge. The RO Smart Box acts as the visual cue to put down your phone while the RO app acts as your coach by helping you set goals and encouraging you to reach them along the way.  now, if you wanna learn more about ro, you can go to www.goro.com.


It is spelled a r o, so go a r o.com and they have hooked up our entire community with a special code. Sleep is a. Skill and that will give you a little discount off if you are interested in kind of joining what they hope to be. A real movement in this area around down regulating and putting that phone away and having some time in the real world.


And of course, in our efforts at sleep as a skill to help support you in really balancing your life and your sleep. This could have really great implications into your evening routines and your morning routine. And certainly even potentially productivity throughout the course of the day. So let's jump into the podcast.


So I get a lot of questions around sleep supplements, and I'm very hesitant to just throw out a whole laundry list of possibilities. One, I don't think it's the most responsible thing to do. I really do believe in testing to see what types of supplements make sense for you. And two, because I really truly believe that most of the things that you can do to improve your sleep are behavioral, psychological, environmental in nature, and often don't cost a.


However, there is one supplement that I personally take every day and that I do feel quite comfortable with suggesting for most individuals to experiment with because of a couple of reasons. It's high safety profile and high rates of deficiencies in our modern society. Some put the numbers as somewhere around 80% of the population being deficient in this one area, and that is magnesium.


So magnesium has been called the calming mineral, and some report that magnesium can increase gaba, which encourages relaxation on a cellular level, which is critical for sleep. Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating our bodies' stress response system. Those with magnesium deficiency usually have higher anxiety and stress levels, which negatively impacts sleep As.


Now before you go out and buy a magnesium supplement, it's important to understand that most magnesium products out there are either synthetic or they only have one to two forms of magnesium. When in reality, your body needs all seven forms of this essential sleep mineral. So that's why I recommend a product from my friends over at Bio Optimizers.


They have created something called the Magnesium Breakthrough, and taking this magnesium before bed helps you relax and wake up, refresh and energize. And while we don't recommend that you go two nuts on looking at all the sleep staged classifications on all your wearables. I will share anecdotally that many clients have reported improvements in their deep sleep trend numbers.


Again, I don't want you going nuts on the sleep stage classification numbers on your wearables, but I do wanna let you know about that because I know that many of you do reach out on questions of how to improve your deep sleep. So I also love that bio optimizers offers free shipping on select orders, and they offer a 365 day money back guarantee on all their products.


Plus they have a customer satisfaction rating of 99.3%. Very impressive. And you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, this is the same magnesium that I use every single night. And finally, you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, that's the magnesium supplement that I use every single night by going to www dot mag m a g.


So mag breakthrough.com/sleep is a skill and be sure to use the code. Sleep is a skill for 10%. And welcome to the Sleep is a skilled podcast. This is an exciting moment for me. This is only of a handful of live podcasts that I've done, and certainly the first podcast that I've ever done in a dome  on location.


We'll explain all of these things and more, but thank you so much for doing this and for your generosity and inviting myself and Blake to come and be with you guys and see what you're really creating. So exciting. So thank you. Thank you, thank you. Yes. It's been a ton of fun hanging with you guys. Yes. No, we are just blown away.


What you're creating is so, so important. So I think we should probably just jump right in, into to what is it that you all are up to? What have you created? What's going on and how does it relate to sleep? Go ahead. Gosh, several years ago I started to have attention around kinda my personal failures with my devices.


Yeah. I was an entrepreneur, had a business, had a family bunch of kids, and just kinda woke up one day and thought I'd need to be better. Right. I was really kind of connected all the time to work, and it was around that same time where I started meeting other professionals and it seemed like everyone was struggling with the same thing, and it occurred to me that.


Know, we have a place for most things in our lives. We have, we put our car somewhere, our, you know, silverware, our clothes, but we don't really have a place for our phone. And because of that, we keep it in our pocket or in our purse or on us all the time. And the, and the statistics back that up. So it, it really just occurred to me like, we just need better habits around our phones.


We needed a place for it. We needed to make it easy to put it. So we just started concepting there. It really started with even like a cardboard box. Uh, and, you know, we iterate along the way, but really it was all around let's make it easy for people to build a different relationship with our phone and, and more than anything, just make it easy and fun to put down.


Yeah, absolutely. And there's been different things somewhat on the market, you know, um, Ariana Huffington. Made this little bed. Mm-hmm.  to tuck in your phone. Right. Different things. But yours is interesting from a gamification perspective, from kind of a social perspective. And traditionally when we have people on the podcast, we don't even highlight the product that much in the beginning, but.


This one, It warrants that. Yeah. Because it's a whole new thing that actually does bring about behavioral change, which we're really fascinated in as it relates to sleep optimization, because we're committed that, you know, so much of shifting your sleep is really about shifting your behaviors. Mm-hmm. . So how does this kind of gamify that process?


Beyond just the cardboard box or the, the bed or whatever. I think it's such a good point because we all have cardboard boxes Yeah. And drawers and cabinets and baskets and other places we could put our phone even in the car. Yeah. But we're not doing it. And I think what we learned with the cardboard box in particular was that yes, it was a visual cue.


That's where my phone needs to go. Sure. But there's no credit. I didn't get credit for putting it there. Yeah. I didn't get a pat on the back. Uh, I didn't track my time, so it wasn't a way to journal or measure it. And we just realized like the, the habit. Is is built upon this reward. So we've kind of focused on the science of habit formation and said, yes, we need a visual cue, but it also has to be fun.


We need to be able to measure it. We need to be able to gamify the whole experience of being off screen. Cause really that's what we're doing. We're saying, Hey, Apple can tell you how much you're on your phone. We're gonna help you learn how much you're off your phone and encourage you to do more of that.


Yes, absolutely. And so many apps have tried to do this or programs and you know, sometimes people do have success with it, but I have struggled to find for clients to really stick with programs that elegantly approach this, but also just the physicality of this too. Mm-hmm. , the putting this away with that also symbolizes to, you know, our minds and.


Ourselves as far as we're, we're not using this thing right now. And so I feel like you've been able to kind of make that happen. But also from a group dynamic perspective, this is not just a singular loan. You know, you can do it by yourself, but there's also an opportunity to do it with a group, like just story time.


We are here on  in Tennessee, and I had a blast with your whole team yesterday. Everyone put away their phones. I know. So crazy, and I'm really not, I'm not trying to almost just speak to the fact that we're taking these steps and over celebrating or what have you, but I really think there's an opportunity to celebrate these things because it create an entire different evening than I've certainly been a part of in quite some time because all those phones are away.


The intention was suddenly so present and everyone is just engaging in a way that you just, It's unusual in common days, so a bit more. How was it that you're able to make that so that it's like a group thing and kind of encourage that from, whether it's a family or friends, What does that all look like?


Well, Joey always says that you can't build the solution side of the problem, and I think that's so true. You know, there have been a number of apps created that say, Hey, Open this app, click a button, put your phone down. But if you're like me, when I have my phone, I use it. I check the weather, I check scores, I check trivia, I do anything right.


So I think it's tough to again, build that solution inside of it solely. Certainly, you know, we have an app alongside of ours, but really it's all built around that gamification you were talking about earlier. And we know the power groups, it's so much easier to get up in the morning and do a workout if someone else is doing it with you, if, if you're on your own.


It's just tough to sustain anything. So we knew that community. We'd be a part of this. We knew the, there would be competitive aspects to it. We knew there would be challenges. We wanna have our entire community roll out challenges. We wanna let people know what others are doing. You know, one of the common questions we get is, what do I do when I put my phone down?


Yeah. Right. So we wanna help highlight, well, here's what others are doing when they put their phone down, right? Like last night we played, you know, put a puzzle together, did trivia. So those are things that probably wouldn't come to mind when you put your phone down, but it was a lot of fun. Oh, it was so fun.


So fun. Wholesome connected. Fun. I loved it. And so with that, you know, this is called a Sleep as a Skill podcast. So how does this have the possibility, potential to really speak to sleep and help to make a difference with that behavioral change piece as it relates to sleep? Yeah, I think, I think that the, our thesis began, Heath and I are both dads.


Yeah. And so this began largely as a tool to be more present with our kids. Yeah. To be more present with our families. That was a really big piece of it. And it's. And, and I think in the back of of our minds, we obviously knew that it would impact sleep as well, but we've seen it significantly in people who have beta tested ro and it's been really, really interesting.


And I even, I even laugh when I think back on, on myself. I was just giggling to myself thinking about my 2:00 AM go to the bathroom, check my phone. And it's absolutely, it's unthinkable. I mean, and that's, I think that, I think probably millions of people, that's, that's a nightly thing. And so we have found, surprisingly, It's been majorly impactful on the, on beta users.


So we have one, there's a gentleman by the name of Matt who lives up in, um, in Connecticut, who, who was a beta tester for us. And he, he said one day, he said, I just want you to know something. This is, this has changed my life. And we said, Oh, cool. How do, how do you use it? And he said, he goes, Oh, I, I use it at night.


Um, and when I sleep, they're like, Oh, that's great. So when else do you use it? And he just looked at him. He said, No, no, no, no. That's the only time I use it is when I'm is, when I'm going to sleep. And it's, he said it is. It is totally changed. Not only his sleep, but you know this better than anybody. Of course.


Yeah. So then what does that change? That changes his relationship with his partner. That changes his relationship with his work, that changes his, his daytime, everything that he does now, because sleep is such a foundation of everything that we do that's changed everything in his life. Just by that simple thing of having a second putting it down.


And he was one who helped build out our gamification design. He's a game expert and so he building in those streaks where you can see the little moon in the app that says, Oh, this is pretty cool. I've had 17 nights in a row where my phone has slept apart from me. Hmm. And so it's a really, really powerful concept and I think that that, um, the way that it impacts sleep, I think we all take for granted that piece of it.


And it's funny when people say, they say, Hey, okay, so my wife even said this, which is hilarious. So, okay, well, but how will I wake up ? Just like we really, that's, that's our biggest problem. A lot of people say that. Yeah, I think we can find, you know, Friends over at Lofty who do a pretty good job of, of absolutely.


Um, with, with the alarms. I think there are other ways to, to actually wake up or if you're as good as you, you probably wake up within like 30 seconds without an alarm. You got the perfectly time for circadian rhythm and everything, right? Yes, absolutely. No, a hundred percent to your point, even if you didn't use this for anything else but your evening routine, I think that that could be transformative enough for people, you know, because we see so many people struggling just with that ability.


Put down the phone and have that willpower to then get themselves into bed from a sleep perspective. Kind of the stimulus control as part of the terminology. So ensuring that we're putting those things away and then having that kind of down regulation opportunity for the brain. Just doing that alone would be really transformative.


Well, you hit on something that that's important there and that's the concept of willpower. Yeah. And we all know if we are, if we're reliant on our willpower at all times, it's just gonna give out. Yeah. And so we, you know, James, Clear and Atomic havoc says, he says that environment is stronger than willpower.


Yes. So over time, our willpower will always lose to our environment. So that's what we're trying to do. And you talk a lot about it, just curating that, that bedtime routine, the nighttime routine, and curating that environment and just that one small thing, it takes one second to drop. Our friend, Tanner Clark talks about one second of strength, and so you just have to have that one second of strength and then reinforcing all of that, is that that proud feeling you have when you know that, okay, I'm on a streak, I'm doing something that's good for me, and then you can see, especially if you track it through Whoop or Aura or whatever other sleep tracking, we can actually see that in the numbers that my sleep is better.


Then, you know this, it's in a way, it's almost a placebo. You see that your sleep is better, which means like, Oh, I'm gonna have a great day. You know what I mean? Yeah. So it does, it just kind of changes everything just by that small change in your environment. Oh, absolutely. And so I think what I'm excited about with this possibility is certainly the evening.


Element. So how that could play in with sleep. Also, the domino effect of how that might shift people's tendency to, you know, reach for the phone automatically in the mornings. Cause we are really trying to train people to get outside, get that sunlight in the morning, you know, kind of how that really helps set our circadian rhythm and help improve our sleep.


So that could create the possibility for keeping that on longer. So there's that. But then also so much of this, especially in our modern. So many people as remote workers that they're having difficulty kind of blurring the lines. Yeah. Or their, their experiences that they're blurring the lines and they're constantly kind of working.


So I think even from a productivity perspective, to have the sense that we're doing the things we need to do throughout the day so we can actually almost, it can feel like, this might not be accurate, but it can feel like earning our ability to be off in the evenings and not feel like, Ugh, I, what did I even get done today?


What just happened to the day? You know, so that alone can be so important because so much of sleep also is having the peace of mind to lay our head on our pillow. Uh, I feel like we did the things we need to have done. So have you seen that from a productivity perspective? I think most of us would agree that the phone is our number one distraction.


Yeah. And it doesn't matter what field of work you're in, in fact, the more creative you are, the more likely it impacts your work. So I was in the corporate. My phone was my biggest distraction. If I had a creative mind, you know, artistic, I'm sure it would be the same. So getting the phone out of your hands is really important.


Yes. And we always say that you need a little bit of distance. You know, again, you could, you could put your phone face down, but, But studies show that even with it in the room or on the table, Yes. Beside you, there's a tension there. So certainly it impacts productivity in fact. So in my last company, I would've given anything to have one of these boxes in every conference room.


Yes. Because the number of St glances in the middle of a meeting, it's just impacted productivity so much. And, you know, the whole work from home scenario was, you know, was new, uh, at least, um, for, for me. And yeah, it's just difficult. I mean that, you know, the next you wanna check the weather and 30 minutes later you're doing something you didn't even know you, you needed to do.


So we found the best way is. Put some distancing between you and your phone, then that, that will lend itself productivity because the last thing you wanna do at that point is break the session. Right? Yeah. You're like, Alright, I'm locked in. I wanna keep going. And some, sometimes even, you know, you forget about it.


So it really is kinda like a muscle, you know, if you think about working out, I mean, the more you build that habit, the easier it becomes. Oh, absolutely. You, man, Heath mentioned, um, just the term distraction and that that's, as we've. Kind of circled around the bowl here. I think the distraction is the word that we keep coming to, and we've, this is a very close definition to the actual definition of distraction.


We, we've redefined it to say that, um, distraction is anything that gets in the way of your intentions. Yeah. And so I'm sure that literally everybody, we could go survey a hundred people right now and a hundred people would say, I wanna be a good sleeper. I wanna sleep well at night. Mm-hmm. , I wanna be productive, I wanna be, So all of those things.


But naturally the thing that gets in the way is, is could be something as small as a phone. Now this is not, you know, people could have like, chemical stuff going on, but if it's, But if you start at one small step, and I think that's another thing that we continue to tell people is you're not that far away from what you really want.


You're really not. Yeah. Like, you're just, you're just, you're just a one, you know, you're really a drop of the phone away from potentially improving things a little bit. In fact, I, um, I was talking with your husband Blake yesterday. Blake said something I thought that was just brilliant is that instead of seeking transformation, just seek like a 15% better.


And that may actually be full transformation, but instead we try to do these all these crazy, you know, huge things. And then maybe it's just a little small step. Again, changing compounded every day. That's right. What would that look like? Yeah, exactly. And you get. 15% better than all of a sudden your world feels a lot different.


So I think a lot of us sacrificed that. Cause we're looking for the, the one eighty, a hundred eighty return. It's just not, not necessarily what we need. It could just be a 15% difference. Yes. I love that. You got, you got a good one. I mean, right. That Blake Eastman. Come on, . What a guy. Oh my God. He loves you guys too.


It the mission, you know, there's. Good vibes coming from what you're creating and it's just easy to get behind, you know, what's coming out of this, which is, I just think that's something that so many of us are craving and I love how, you know what, pulling it back to what your wife had said about, Okay, so suddenly we're putting our phones away.


Mm-hmm. , and then there's new things that we need to set up. So we need to, you know, set up the alarm or whatever. Maybe. So we have a lot of clients that in the evening, then if they, They'll use their phone for a flashlight. Yeah. Or this, that, and the. So I really am a big proponent of setting up your environment so that it can really serve you.


So this actually might have us think newly about what are those things that, those gaps that we need to fill? Yeah, we have people have like red motion lights to get to the bathroom and various things. So kind of taking the time to set up the environment so that you're not beholden to these things.


Because to your point, we might say, Oh well I gotta check the weather. Yeah. Yeah. I gotta do this one more thing. And. Spoke to attention residue and how it can be challenging for us to kind of get back to, you know, the task at hand that we're looking to do. And to that point around, you know, really just making this kind of 15% or small percentage difference each day that can make.


Such a huge impact and cause us to set up our environment powerfully. Yeah. To be devoid of that phone. And it's not, it's not as hard as you think. So I, I'm, I'm approaching I think almost two years of not having my phone beside the bed. It sleeps downstairs. Yeah. Can we underscore that just a little bit more?


I mentioned this to a few people and I wanted to make sure I got it right. So two years you have been on a streak where you put your phone away at night and that's just what happens. It's on a different floor. I get credit, you know, in the R every night when it's there. Yeah. And now it's become a little bit competitive.


Right. Cause I don't wanna break a two year streak. Yeah. But I did have to set up a couple things in my environment. So initially I started with a, with a garin, watches my alarm. That was a little, little too loud for my wife. So yes. I have a whoop band that now has a haptic alarm to it. Yeah. Perfect.


That's great. And it's a light way to wake up, so that's, that's been very helpful. And I've also noticed that, you know, my morning routine is better because of it as well. It's not the first thing I pick up and look at Yeah. When I wake up. But I, funny story, So maybe you, you were talking about flashlights, so maybe a month and a half ago the power went out.


Okay. And we've got flashlights over to the house Of course, but I had no idea where they were. So you grab your phone. Yeah. I get upstairs, I sit down the bed and 30 minutes later I'm watching the Braves game. And I thought, , what just happened? What happened? What just happened? Right? So, you know, the power comes back on a ticket downstairs, but it's that, I mean, and I have a strong muscle when it comes to putting it to bed.


And even as strong as I was, yeah, it was just almost automatic. I fell back into the trap. Oh, I, and I feel like the best of us if you're able to train that muscle. Just in general, you're. Setting yourself outside of the bell curve of the most of society right now, but even in those moments, if it just happens to be around you.


Mm-hmm.  the same way that for food, you know, our, our alcohol perspective. Yeah. We don't wanna surround ourselves with alcohol for, you know, trying to really overcome that temptation or certain types of foods. I feel like this is just a, there is an opportunity or a becking to be able to create new environments for the same problem that we are all very clearly addicted and how much it.


You know, kind of domino effect in those moments. I'm interested in your perspective on this statement first. Then I have a question for you on it is what's cool again that starting as parents, we've seen this impact, we're able to, cuz we're all about teaching the relationship, we're not anti-tech. We love our phones, never gonna get rid of 'em.


Yeah. But the relationship, we just need to get that in order. So there's an opportunity, an amazing opportunity. . My kids are 14 and 12 and so they've gotten their phones while we've had ros. We've been able to initiate that good relationship, but we've even seen people with kids very, very young. The opportunity as a parent to begin teaching what's normal in a relationship, Your phone and modeling it.


Yeah. I think anybody who's listening, who's a parent probably feels a little tinge of, of guilt and thinking, Have I really modeled it right for my kids? And so. I would say my kids, their sleep is drastically better than any of their peers for that simple fact, it just doesn't, Their phone doesn't go in their room.


Yeah. Yeah. It goest all right before bed. I gotta think. So here's the question. One, I think that's an amazing opportunity as a parent. Two. I'd like to hear just a little bit put you on the spotlight. Yeah. About sleep and adolescence. I, I think that's gotta be like that has. Probably a crisis, doesn't it? Oh, absolutely.


I mean, there's even advocacy groups that have taken upon themselves to really help change, uh, legislation around school, start times around sleep to help facilitate ensuring that our teens are getting more sleep opportunity and not kind of, Dipping into that time, because we do know that certainly there's sleep is dynamic and throughout the course of our lives, there's different times that we need more sleep.


And certainly our teens need a lot more sleep and tend to have a bit of a delayed sleep onset. So they tend to wanna fall asleep a little bit later, sleep a little bit later. And so from that perspective, it can be really challenging. Especially if now they're also having kind of dings on their attention.


Yeah. That come from the phone and the light. So you're getting hit with the stimulus. Mm-hmm. , you're getting hit with the, the light piece on top of this extra need for sleep. That can sometimes get hit into with. With school start times and other things. So huge, huge. And I mean, that is incredible topic for even like what could, what could this be doing to their brains?


Oh yeah. From even just a stress load perspective or their interactivity with their peers, uh, with the phones. I mean, you know, you can certainly take into many directions, but if you're just looking at sleep yeah, there's absolutely some concerns. And I like what you started with too. It. Kind of Pandora's box, not to keep talking about different boxes, but , no


So, so we're probably not gonna, you know, be advocating for people to just get rid of the phones, Is that what we're saying? There can be amazing benefits that can come from it. The app that you're speaking to is, uh, one example of that. And, um, we're friendly with. Uh, near who wrote Indestructable, who also is of that same perspective that it can be used in different ways that can either improve your life, supplement your life, or kind of take away.


Yeah. So I think this is a big opportunity for us to say, Okay, so there's benefits and how can we make this work for us? But to your point around the modeling, I think that's huge because if our. Kids see this, then they might have more of that opportunity to start making those differences earlier, especially as our brains are still developing.


Yeah. There's a kind of more controversial topic on EMFs and what that could be doing to brain disruption, like electromagnetic frequencies. But even if you put that aside, just the pure stimulus, uh, and the light piece is huge. Yeah. And that's not even, And then what's funny? That's not even taking the account.


All the stuff that's out there, like what you can do on your phone. We're not even, we, we're not even talking about child predators or anything out. I mean, there's a bunch of, there's a bunch of crap out there the kids can get into. How about just like, just reduce their light exposure before bed . You know what I mean?


Yeah. There's, we'll figure out the rest of it later and you know, the. The ills of social media for, for a young brain in comparison, but just let's get 'em to sleep better. Yeah. That could make a significant difference. We, we always say, you know, you get to this age when you're a parent, where your kids are about to get their phone.


And, and I always make the comment, it's like, I'm, I'm about to give them infinity in their pocket. Mm-hmm. , and that's pretty scary. Yeah. I've never even thought about it through the context. I'm letting them take infinity into their bedroom. Man, Right. Dang. Yeah. Cause I mean, how hard is it to put it down? I mean, you could scroll TikTok for hours and it feels like minutes or play video game for hours.


It feels like minutes. So, Yeah. Yeah. I mean it's, I've got three teenagers right now and I'll ask them, I say, How many of your friends have to put their phones, you know, downstairs somewhere before they go to bed? And, and the answer's very few. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So it's, so I do think it could be an epidemic, you know, And again, we're talking.


Let's just reduce license sensitivity. Yes, we are giving them infinity, but let's just reduce license. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, and I think there's also, in our kind of group programs, we talk about almost sleep leadership and how to, because sometimes this can be a societal thing, you know, to just prioritize our sleep in general.


It can often take being the person that then leaves the priority at a certain time. Yeah. Or, you know, does some things that are maybe out of the norm. Mm-hmm. You know, you make sure that you're kind of winding down. You do all these things that might be outside of the scope of what most people are doing.


And I think this is an opportunity to kind of bring about some of that leadership and within your own household. Cause it sounds like you're whole, so you know, both of you, the whole household is getting behind this, right? Like you're all kind of putting it in there. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's interesting what happens, people.


People sometimes need a little boost of confidence that they can do it. Yeah. And they can gain that from, by seeing you do it. Yeah. I mean, think Malcolm Gladwell talks about that in the tipping point. Just seeing that, uh, someone else did that and you'd be like, Oh, well maybe I can do that. Cuz I think in many ways a lot of us are resigned to the fact that, hey, this is just how it is.


Yeah. Especially with, with our technology. Like, no, you lie in bed and you sculpt, you know, tick talk for an hour before bed. And then you hear someone who doesn't and you think, Oh, well I can do that too. And so it, it is a little bit of a cultural shift. I think it's, it's almost when you change your physical environment, it changes kind of the environment of everything around you and the culture of how your family works or your friendships work.


And it's, it can be a really powerful thing with just when someone gets the confidence of seeing somebody else doing something and realizing they can do it as well. Oh, absolutely. In some of, with our private clients, we'll, Then screenshots of their screen use time. You know how some of our phones will log, how much we've been on our phone?


Yeah. And there could be an opportunity to send screenshots of how much time it was in the box. Mm-hmm.  and what that looked like and the streak effect and how we can kind of gamify that. That's huge. And it is, And you said it earlier, just that piece of mind you get when you lay your head on the pillow.


Yeah. And. A lot of that, I believe, and I've felt this from experience, a lot of that just comes from feeling proud of how you used your time. Yeah. How did I use the minutes ahead and we're not talking, I'm not talking about this ethereal, magical moment that you had, and all of a sudden the sky's open it.


It could just be like, you know what? I had a project I really need to focus on and I got 48 minutes of focus on that project today. Yeah. Even that in and of itself is great. At the end of the work day, I like to write down my, my, my wins. That's kind of hard. If you, if I can write down three good wins for a day, that's a great day.


Right? And so we're not looking for a million things. It could just be those little moments of focus and generally any, This is, this is interesting. Yeah. Generally any of those wins comes as a result of a moment of focus. You know what I mean? And whether that. On work, whether that's, you know, interacting with a friend, whether that's having a, you know, having a talk with one of my kids or whatever that is.


It's, um, it comes as a result of focus. And, and in fact, a, we even think there's a step before focus the term A is a Maui term that means to notice. Mm. And so that concept of notice, I believe many of us have lost that, that ability, myself included. Sure. Sometimes something's bothering you and you just need to take a pause.


Okay. And just notice. Even recognize what is this feeling before you even try to resolve it? What the heck is it? Or notice the beautiful lines of a novel or notice something that's really backing you up. Work that you need to just get that blocker out of the way. Any of those things, even before we can ever focus, I think that notices what's most important.


And if we get rid of this just for a few minutes, this distraction that's always with us, then we really do have the ability to notice something inside of us or the world around. Oh, absolutely. And certainly so I love from that positive side of things and versus the negative side of things. Yeah. Like I've been experiencing that recently.


I've just told you that I was really happy to be coming here because one of the things that I've seen myself fall into, I've recently started this daily real challenge. Mm-hmm. , you know, you're posting reals online and social media, all this things. And so then just very quickly in being a part, I found myself, Oh, well I need the phone to take this shot of this.


Yeah, and I'm gonna piece it together and this whole real project and whatever. And then really feeling, So this is my experience, but by the end of the day of so much more time on this phone, and then interacting with comments and the things on social media, just. Feeling like an ick factor, you know, just like, where do my time go?


Just much more of a black hole. Granted, this is a longer topic, but I think if we have too much of that compounding, that can really just impact our generalized kind of. State, our cortisol levels and certainly from a long haul perspective then impact our ability to have that peace of mind that we're looking to cultivate.


So I personally am gonna be really excited. I know I've had the opportunity to beta test for you guys a while back, which is amazing. So I cannot wait for this to become like a movement's. Exactly. It's all do this. Yeah. Well it is. And Ros an invitation. I mean, if RO could speak, it would say something like, Hey Molly, I know you've had a long day.


Let me hold that for you for a few minutes while you and Blake have dinner. Yes. Let, lemme, lemme just, Hey Blake, let me hold yours. Two, and you guys can focus on each other. So it is again, on the positive thing. It is, we're totally shame-free. We need our phones, we love our phones, but hey, let me hold it while you're sleeping or let me hold it while you're, while you're about to eat dinner, whatever that moment may be.


It isn't a, a positive invitation for you to engage in something else that, that you probably have more intention around. Yeah, absolutely. I'm a big fan of having different coaches in your life, so got different coaches and one of my coaches had became very clear to me some of this addiction piece with the phone, and one of the things we started to discern was this, Let me just do one more thing.


Like even if it was just said in my brain, like, Oh, just one, I'm just gonna quickly check the email. One more thing, one more thing akin to what you were sharing. Then suddenly, you know, like, all this time has gone by and now you've just lost something and you know that autopilot ness is, uh, what we're really aiming to disrupt for ourselves, and that's one of the things we're speaking to asleep as a skill is really being informed.


Data. So getting to see how much time we're putting the phone in the box, how much time we're using the phone, all of this can be helpful to just, you know, disrupt things. And I really wanna make this clear for people that this can ebb and flow in different parts of their life. So you might have certain periods of time where you say, Oh, I'm good with that.


No, I got a system. Or, Great, but then something happens. Then suddenly family member's sick and you got the phone near you or whatever comes up. So to have these different guardrails I think is really, really, Well, we're not prescriptive at all. So we, you know, everyone lives a different life. You know, we've got four kids in school and my wife will tell, be the first to tell you when they're in school.


I need my phone. Yeah. You know? Okay. Something happens. So again, we, it really needs to be built around whatever lifestyle, you know, you're living. So for us, for me, just like Joe, you know, those, those crucial hours. Uh, at night, certainly sleep we talked about. That's, that's important to me as well. And then, you know, there are moments of at work where, you know, I log a lot of hours time cause I need to be locked in and dialed in and what I'm trying to, trying to get done, but I'm not on the weekend trying to do 12 hour detoxes.


Yeah. That's just not sustainable for my lifestyle. So this, again, as we always say like this, this is about minutes, not about, you know, in minutes and moments as opposed to hours and a complete, you know, lifestyle change. As Joey said, I, I'd like my phone quite a bit and I'm not,  not giving it up. Cause it does a lot of great things.


So building into your lifestyle, use it in the moments that you don't need it. Right? We, yeah. A guy that used to, to help us consult a bit would say, I started out by using when I went in the shower. Right. Mm. And that sounds so simple, but actually a lot of people actually take their phone into the shower.


Yeah. Believe it or not. So, so start with those moments where it makes sense and then build from there. Yeah. Yeah. Really great. And that's, um, something that we really wanna make sure that none of this feels overwhelming and just, uh, an opportunity to. Start to reclaim some of those minutes in the day and those moments.


And then certainly as it relates to sleep from, you know, I would love to just be able to see all my clients and you know, people listening even if they were to kind of bookend their days. So if they could have a little bit of that peace in the morning, a little bit of that peace in the night into sleep and certainly uninterrupted throughout their whole sleep cycle or sleep period and sleep opportunity, that would be huge.


I have another question for you. Yes. This goes back the nighttime. I wanna know, and I know you've talked with this, I wanna know your nighttime routine. I wanna know, and even with, with respect to technology, obviously with you beta tested a, but just even without Aura, what is your, what is your nighttime routine look like?


So without a, One of the things that we do is there's just this one cabinet that we put the phones away into, but it's not, Rewarding. Yeah, sure. Fulfilling. And there's not that streak effect that's happening. Um, and how long before, before bed do you normally put your phone out? Uh, so that's more of around like a 45 minute Okay.


Uh, kind of span of time for the most part. And what we try to do is when we go to a new place that we kind of discern, okay, where are, we're gonna charge the phone or what have you. So that's been one of the things we try to do with travel. Is just kind of established like the phone spot. Yeah. And then in ensuring that we're really kind of just winding down in that evening.


So for a long time, I used to do, for 2,500 days, I did nightly gratitude emails, which was the longest streak I've ever done for anything. 2,500 days. Yeah, it was nuts. Uh, trying to do quick math. That's a lot of, It was a lot of years. . Yeah, a lot of days. I know. It was crazy. I like intentionally completed that earlier.


This. And this was with friends and family, so that was only because of the accountability perspective and the gamification. Mm-hmm. , if this was just me on my own accord, a hundred percent this would've gone out the window. But because there had all my friends and family on there, then it became to be that streak.


Like, you know, you've got your two year streak, so it's like, Oh, well I don't wanna stop it now. So for a long time it used to be that nightly gratitude kind of routine, and it could just be like inno. Silly little things, you know, grateful for our podcast today, grateful for the great conversation, all that stuff.


And so going through that, so now that I don't have that practice and intentionally, because I did find I was getting a little like routine with it. Like I wanted to kind of mix it up a bit more. Yeah. So now Blake and I do this nightly gratitude routine just in bed. Like, and often one of the reasons I.


This is just because it brings about like, you know, you start laughing about silly things and it's just kind of light and fun and whatever, and kind of brings about this nice downshifting down regulation opportunity, but also really, really big on the environment. So the temperature we have that that's going down into the evening that the lights are all like, Basically, pretty much never use any lights in our space into the late evening.


And it's mainly like red lights. So this, you know, if anyone's listening and say, Ugh, I don't wanna have it look so weird and funky. You don't have to do that. But you could do, uh, you know, more hily and salt lamb. Or candlelight, or some people do like Philip Hughes and make them more like kind of amber tones or what have you.


But certainly addressing the temperature and the light piece because those are just huge kind of circadian movers. So addressing those. But we did have the sleep coach for the Olympics on the podcast at one point, and one of the things I loved that he pointed to is ensuring that you have a lack of novelty in the time.


To bed. It doesn't have to be the entire evening, but just certainly around like the hour and change before bed. So wouldn't necessarily be the time to, you know, discuss, uh, big bills or stress points or whatever. So just ensuring, and, and I get in trouble with this all the time, Blake is actually really good at policing on this topic because I'll often, even if it's co, you know, goes in the category of you.


So exciting things like, Oh, let's talk about the trip or the thing. Mm-hmm.  that, you know, this new business idea. Like that's could, there's an opportunity to really shift, Okay, let's address that tomorrow. And it's not really the time to be addressing that now. So that's even just however our brain is gonna be overly activated, stimulated, kind of nudging ourselves back to just calm, relaxing.


Another thing we've been recently doing is, uh, music and having just, you know, in the background, just chill. Uh, some Metallica or something like that. Yeah, sure. . Well, we know your abilities. Spot tunes in like one second last night, while we didn't have, none of our US had our phones, you were like super sonic abilities.


Oh, I'm trying to keep up with, uh, with our teammate, Caitlin. She's, she's, she's a real wizard. Yes. She's a real mvp. Amazing, Amazing. Oh my God. But yeah, so the Mu So the, the music. Music, yeah. And this is, you know, all goes back to, I think there's an opportunity in kind of design. Doubt things. Yeah, like the music is a bit of a newer thing we've been adding in since we've been in Austin.


Also, you know, in the time leading up to to bed, we often like to do a sunset walk. So being like kind of present outside for sunset is really biologically hardwired to impact our ability to kind of set ourselves up to produce more melatonin because of the presence of the infrared light that's, you know, happening when the sun is setting.


So that pinkish you, so some of those practices, just bringing those in. , but the more mindfulness you have, if you're not just, you know, kind of captivated by your phone, you have the opportunity to kind of do more of these things. That's amazing. I love that. I mean, I've taken notes. I mean that, that's you just two or three of those just start to your point.


Just start integrating little bits of that here and there. Yeah. Yeah. Well, so actually you set us up perfectly for what we actually ensure that we do in every podcast, which is ask our guests that are involved in some way, shape, or form in something that relates and can benefit sleep. So people wanna know, okay, well how are they managing their life, their sleep, um, and what might we be able to learn from them?


So our first question is, what is your nightly sleep routine look like? So thanks for setting that up. Good job, Joey. Yeah, very good. . Yeah. So it's second nature now to put the phone in our, So that goes without saying. I like quality time with my wife. She likes to wind down with a little bit of TV before bed.


Typically, I'll fall asleep. Particularly she puts Dateline on, So , if I'm really tired, I'll just kind of lean us in that direction. Let's why da watch daylight and, and that, that puts me to sleep. But yeah, it's, it's put the phone in a maybe a couple hours before bed. You know, we do have three teenagers, so you can't really.


Plan when those conversations happen. Yes. So sometimes those do erupt. Yeah. Right before bedtime. But yeah, we just, we just kind of take it easy in the evenings. Maybe go for walk with the dogs, but I wouldn't say there's a great routine other than the phone being put away. I mean, that alone though, is one of the things that we're at.


Working with people to set up to make sure that they're doing more of that, or even for them, even if they're not willing to put the phone away, I'm ensuring that the types of content that they're on, you know, is, uh, kind of conducive to sleep. And we make the argument that a. I think there's an opportunity for people to start having more empowering thoughts around putting the phone away, which I think is what we're doing here.


Mm-hmm. , that's awesome. I mean, even the, the two year streak effect is just amazing. I'm amazed by your 2,500 days. I know that is, That is amazing. I did 31 days of gratitude notes one month, and I felt like I knocked apart  2,500 days. That's the only thing. I have a streak like that period in my whole life.


Well, you know, people ask me about AR and they're like, How long should I use it? And I said, Look, and this is the example I give a lot. I'm like, If you just used it for 10 minutes a day. Yeah, yeah. And in that 10 minutes you wrote a thank you note or gratitude note. Can you imagine the impact you'd have, not only on the people you're sending it to, but also just your state of mind?


And so, Lots of different ways that gratitude helps us. Yeah. Well, I mean, I know we were talking about too, how you guys were sending handwritten notes to some of the people that you're partnering with or that you're working with, and I think even things like that are so rare nowadays. Yeah. And oftentimes that I would think could come about from having more of these moments of pause to actually consider, Oh, that would be a nice and generous and thoughtful thing to do.


And I think we're in a society that's craving more of that. Yeah. So I'd love that you're leading by example. And it is. It is an. Things. It, it, it's, I think of it as an opportunity I think about for my kids. I think they have an opportunity to do things that may have used to be normal, used to be kind of status quo and now it's above and beyond.


Yeah. And so you just, those, I mean, again, it's an opportunity. Write a handwritten card. Yeah. When was the last time someone got a handwritten note from somebody outta the blue? That's, so it's, it is a cool opportunity to kind of set yourself apart and, and do things that maybe others aren't doing. And it's, it's a cool, it's a neat opportu.


Yes. I mean, oh, that just made me think of even walking into this space here. And so we go into our room and you guys had left out handwritten notes, which was so great. And I didn't even mention this to you guys, but I loved you even included one of my favorite books, The Dallas Clayton. Mm-hmm. . So I even put that in my newsletter.


I meant to tell you guys this, uh, put that in my newsletter years ago, really, because we saw him speak. He was killer. Absolutely. And so anyone listening, it's, you know, like a children's book, but I feel like it applies for all of us. It's never too late. Never too late. Late. It's never too late. The subtitles a children's book for adults.


Yeah. Yes, yes. It's wonderful. It really is. He's, he's an amazing human. He's done some really cool work. Yeah, it's, it's a great book. I highly recommend. Yes. And sorry, I didn't mean to tangent us, but I. And it's just this opportunity to actually be thoughtful, to take the time to do these things that are just outside of what we often see.


Yeah. And I, I think that it's a product of, you know, some of these habits. So really, really great. Did we miss anything with the nightly? Go ahead. Um, half a bottle of cab, a bill, Parmesan, and then, you know, I'll probably, usually, I usually weigh, I'll get in middle of the night and brush my teeth. But it's, it's, no, I, um, my mind's pretty basic.


It's, it's, since I'm an old. It's, you know, hit those vitamins, put the phone away, turn the air down to 67 degrees. Is that cold enough? Should I go colder? I mean, I am a pension for even colder, but, uh, but at least the fact that forties , arctic temperatures, we learned some trivia about the Arctic the other day.


Uh, yeah, so, I mean, certainly the fact that you're. 67 is, That's great cuz often people might be having an even, even warmer. So I'm glad to hear that. Yeah. Okay, good. That's, and and truly the, the putting away the phone, I love the stuff that you said about routine though, where I'm gonna integrate, Excuse me, I'm going to integrate some of those.


Yeah. And it's, yeah, I think that'd be great. Oh, amazing. Well, and just to be clear too, I feel like mine is often, it's always evolving, shifting. Yeah. For me, then I'll find myself, oh, I'm getting, I'm starting to do too much of this other thing. Starting to, for a while I was reading, but I was reading too, like exciting thing, like getting too many ideas.


So I started shifting off of that. So it's not, I, I hope I'm making the point that these are things that evolve and that you might, sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. So just testing things. Yeah, sure. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. And then morning routine. What do we see there? Joey and I, in the last six to eight weeks have been working out every.


Uh, so we've been going to a CrossFit gym in, in the, in the area, which has been great. But because my phone is not by my bed, it's not the first thing right, that I do in the morning. So some mornings, you know, the kids need a ride to school, though we have two drivers now. So that's changed quite a bit. So I think, you know, for me, getting the day started with the heart rate up Yeah.


Is helpful. The days where I'm able to, to get into workout before the gate day gets started is, is really transformational. And the days when I don't do it, I. Yeah, I do a morning, about 30 minutes, carve out, wake up, do a little bit of reading, do a little bible reading every morning, and then do a five year journal.


It's like a five lines. Heath introduced me to it and it's just five lines of journaling, reflection on the prior day, which is so fun to look back, cuz then you, you look back to several years before. I'm on the fourth year now of doing it, and so it's just reading, journaling, and then going to the gym.


Ooh, I love that one. What's the name of that one called? It's by company called Laventure. Okay. Yeah. And it's a five year journal. Yeah. And it's, again, five years on each page in five lines. So it's really easy. I mean, I started journaling years ago and I was, I was, there was too much pressure. I would try to write a page and a half and I was, was to three days and I quit.


So, This is a great bite size way. Great gift too. It's, yeah, they're great. I love that. I might be gifting myself that . That is awesome. Okay, and then maybe I know the answer to this, maybe I don't. What would we see on your nightstand or proverbial nightstand? Could be ambiance or, you know, gadgets, things in the, in the space.


I still keep the garment watching a nightstand because it's easy to, if I do wake up and wanna check the time, it's, you know, it's a dim light. I don't use the alarm anymore cause it vibrates and shakes as well. But that, that would be on my nightstand. Sure. I don't have a nightstand right now. We've just moved and so we're getting settled in and so don't have I that it's normally, it normally becomes my junk drawer.


Yes. And just have my glasses sitting on it, so nothing. That's about it. I'm the minimalist. Exactly. It's part of the, the goal. It's pretty minimalist by accident. It's not by design for me. Just, I like it. No, it's, it's working. It's from the south of it and certainly not your phone is what we're getting.


Okay, good. So then the last question would be, what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your sleep? Mm. We spoke a few months ago and you recommended the chili pad? Yes, so I bought one the the following day or week, and I've been using that every night since.


Yes, it's terrific. You love it. Yeah, it's terrific. Oh, that makes me so happy. Have you noticed a difference on your stats? I don't wake up hot, you know? I get it. It's good temperature. It's been a game changer for sure. Now, I will tell you, my wife has incredibly upset with me because she asked me for one of, Probably six or nine months before you mentioned it.


And I was like, Oh, what, what are you talking about? What? You don't need one of those. And she comes home from a girl's trip and she's like, I'm sorry, what did you buy? And I only bought half of the bed. Yes. So have a, Well, weren't you so excited to show her what you bought? You bought I bought for yourself and I'd forgotten the whole conversation.


And she reminded me that, So, so now I've gotta make that up. Oh yeah. Okay. Well we've got some holiday gifts coming, uh, her way. My biggest aha I think lately has been the, I mean, everybody knows that alcohol affects your sleep. Yeah. But I've, I've, I guess it was last week, I had a late dinner and I was shocked it, it wrecked my sleep and I think I, it's, it's so I wear a whoop band and so it's interesting to see those stats and just how perfectly correlated it is because it, it would be one thing for them to.


for people to say it would affect alcohol, food affects your sleep. But then to actually see it is, it was really, really interesting to me. So I think the eating late and then the thing that I, I wear an eye mask every night. Yeah. So, which I love. It just, it's, it's, uh, it's got hearts on it. , it's, it's, uh, I wish I were kidding.


It. It's, it's got, it's, it's brown with pink hearts on it, . Um, it's, so, it's, uh, but that's been transformational for me and. When I wake up, you know, I start, the day starts coming in, I'll, I'll just like lightly take it off my eyes and let the, let the uh, the natural sunlight come in and start waking me up.


Great. Yeah, I love that. No, those are great. And cuz you guys were supposed speaking to the light, the temperature, Yeah. Some of these are just, even just harnessing those two pieces alone can be so, you know, game changing for people's sleep. So that's amazing. And. People listening likely are now saying they've heard about this box.


What is, what is this? So what is the best way for people to check this out? Follow all the things you're doing. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. On Instagram, we're at go ro now, and RO is spelled a r o. So at GO ro now, and our website is go ro.com and we are within. About eight weeks of shipping. And so you were right within the window of shipping and um, so yeah, so go R now at go R now on Instagram and um, go ro.com.


Great. And it sounds like you're starting to do more kind of the podcast circuit. Yeah. So lots of different opportunities for people to kind of follow what you're up to and this really movement that you're looking to create. So it's amazing. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you both, so appreciate, Just love what you're doing and excited to follow this more.


So we'll certainly be putting all that information in our show notes so that everyone can check this out. Truly, truly excited about what is to come with this, so thank you. Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you. You're the best. All right. Back at you. You've been listening to The Sleep As A Skill Podcast, the number one podcast for people who wanna take their sleep skills to the next level.


Every Monday, I send out something that I call Molly's Monday Obsessions containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep. Head on over to sleep as a skill.com to sign up.


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