Dr. John Lieurance is a best-selling author, physician, lecturer, and scientific advisor widely recognized as the "go-to expert on melatonin" and biohacking. His best-selling book, "Melatonin Miracle Molecule" brings a unique perspective to the topic of supplemental melatonin for not only sleep but health as a whole.
Dr. Lieurance discusses the role of melatonin and how this compound works for your sleep and overall health (plus how it counterintuitively might help you stay energized throughout each day). He also shares his health struggles and how he found purpose in his experience by helping others heal.
Then, we'll also look into the benefits of extra pineal melatonin, uses (and the controversy!) high-dose melatonin, and MORE!
All this information is valuable and will help you better understand melatonin's role in the body.
*Note: As always, the information in this podcast does not serve or replace medical advice.
John A. Lieurance, ND, DC, DABCN (board eligible) – Best-selling author, Physician, Lecturer & Scientific Advisor.
After becoming severely ill with Lyme, EBV and Mold illness, Dr John Lieurance began to explore ways to improve health at the deepest cellular level. His journey brought him to discover Melatonin as the core antioxidant that supports all systems in the body. His book on Melatonin takes a deep dive into healing naturally and using high dose melatonin, along with various other practical healing methods to heal the body and live a longer and more vital life.
His life focus is on vitality, longevity and enhanced consciousness. His interest is in connecting what he calls, "The 3 legs of a stool": Vitality of the body, Mind Mastery & a Direct experience of God. Using science and ancient wisdom, he aims to connect these dots in his own journey to becoming the best version of himself in this life. Diving deeply into many healing methods, to discover the deepest and most profound means to activate cellular energy, such as with Melatonin, Methylene Blue, NAD+, as well as fasting with various nutrients to activate responses. Dr. John explores many new paths in the health care world, with his unique & fresh ideas using various delivery systems, such as suppositories and nasal sprays and various protocols he has created. He attended Parker College of Chiropractic & received his Naturopathic degree in 2001 from St. Luke's School of Medicine. He has practiced Functional Neurology, Naturopathic medicine and Regenerative Medicine, using stem cell therapy in Sarasota for 25 years. Founder of the Advanced Rejuvenation Center in Sarasota, Florida, and founder of Functional Cranial Release – which is an Endo-Nasal Cranial Treatment with the ability to unlock the spinal fluid to allow profound healing of the nervous system. See his next book "It's All in Your Head: Endo-Nasal Cranial Therapy". He has been involved in multiple clinical trials, including investigation into the use of stem cells for Parkinson's Disease, COPD, OA of the knee and hip from 2012-2014. He has a clinical focus on mold illness, Lyme disease and chronic viral infections. Dr. John utilizes natural eastern and western approaches to healing the true source of disease, which lies in the metabolic pathways that are challenged by chronic inflammation, resulting in infections and toxicity.
In this episode, we discuss:
🌃 The health struggles that led Dr. Lieurance toward biohacking and how he became a go-to expert in melatonin
🌃 Are there any adverse effects associated with supplemental melatonin?
🌃 Autonomic Nervous Systems: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic
🌃What are the useful tricks for using melatonin - dosing / timing /lighting etc.
🌃Benefits of high-dose melatonin suppositories
🌃What is Dr. Lieurance's nightly routine?
🌃What was Dr. Lieurance's most significant change to his management of sleep?
🌃Helpful resource provided in the book “It's All In Your Head: Endo Nasal Cranial Therapy.” Chapter 13: Pineal Spirituality Endo-Nasal by Dr. John Lieurance
🌃 What we need to know about “MitoZen’s Intranasal Oxytocin.” - and how it could serve as an alcohol alternative!
DISCLAIMER:The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
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go to www.magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill for the kind I use every night!
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Welcome to the Sleep As a Skill podcast. My name is Mollie McGlocklin, and I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts, ranging from doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper.
Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.
Welcome to the Sleep As a Skill Podcast. On today's podcast, we actually take what is really a controversial take on melatonin, and what I mean by that is that. Every single podcast that we've discussed melatonin on so far has largely aired on the side of caution of supplementing with melatonin. And I've often shared that there are two very clear distinct camps where you can have very loud opinions of one concerns around supplementing with melatonin.
And what that might mean for long term melatonin production and other concerns. And the other group being more on the side of by supplementing we can get certain benefits from external melatonin sources. So on today's podcast, we are actually speaking with a. Leader in the area of the camp that really looks at bringing supplementation of melatonin in as a real approach for overall wellbeing.
Now, as always, we bring this information to you so that you can make your own. Intelligent choices. We offer no medical advice on this podcast, so we are simply sharing different thought leaders and different pieces of information on your journey to improving your sleep and your health. So I really hope that you enjoy this conversation.
If you have any questions, comments, call outs, please don't hesitate to reach. Sleep as a skill.com and also check out the show notes for additional resources that we get into on today's podcast. Now a little bit about our guest. Dr. John Laron is a bestselling author, physician, lecturer, and scientific advisor.
After becoming severely ill with Lyme E B V N Mold illness, Dr. John Laron began to explore ways to improve health at the deepest cellular level. His journey brought him to discover melatonin as the core antioxidant that. All systems in the body. His book on melatonin takes a deep dive into healing naturally and using high dose melatonin, along with various other practical healing methods to heal the body and live a longer and more vital life.
His life focus is on vitality, longevity and enhanced consci. His interest is in connecting what he calls the three legs of a stool, vitality of the body, mind mastery, and a direct experience of God using science and ancient wisdom. He aims to connect these dots in his own journey to becoming the best version of himself in his life, diving deeply into many healing methods.
To discover the deepest and most profound means to activate cellular. Such as with melatonin, methylene blue, n a d, as well as fasting with various nutrients to activate responses. Dr. John explores many new paths in the healthcare world with his unique and fresh ideas using various delivery systems such as suppositories and nasal phrase and various protocols that he has created.
And to that point, Dr. John has created a company called Mito Zen with some. Interesting products that might be worth checking out. I also even call out one that I have had different clients utilize as. Alternative state changers to alcohol. Now, this is a big topic when it comes to sleep, how to have other options besides alcohol to kind of change your state.
And this has been one that I've seen some clients really take to, which is oxytocin spray that you spray through the nose, and it does have like a whole interesting state change effect. Now I know that's counter to what we're talking about and separate from what we're talking about here with Mela. But it is an interesting call out, and we do get into that a bit at the end of the podcast.
And you can also check out in the show notes, We do have a special link that should really help support you getting the best price for any of those products that you might test out from Dr. John's online store. Now, without further ado, let's jump into the podcast. I really hope that you find this really interesting and valuable.
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, 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. 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 as a Skilled podcast. Oh my goodness. This is gonna be a great episode. We are going to dive into all things melatonin and beyond. We'll see what we get into, but certainly we're gonna be talking about melatonin in most likely a way that you have not heard it discussed before.
So thank you so much, John, for taking the time to be here. Yeah, thanks Molly. I'm happy to be here and talk about melatonin. Ah, amazing, amazing. So I'm just gonna jump right in for us of one, how have you become of many things, You've got many expertise, but certainly the go to the guy for melatonin, and particularly in a, uh, new lens of looking at melatonin.
How did this all come to be? Well, I, Molly, I got really sick probably. I mean, I was literally, At the edge of death at one point, it was something that was undiagnosed for almost a decade, and it caused me to have to retire from. Practicing and just trying to get my health back. Traveling to Europe and all over the world and all over the United States, going to specialist, and then finally getting the Lyme diagnosis.
And of course, by then, I mean my body had just gone through so much damage from being so inflamed and having that spade just basically eating at your body for so many years. But I got better. But there was just still something going on, and then I discovered that my house was moldy, and so then the whole biotoxin illness and a lot of pieces of the puzzle fell in place for me, just for my own journey to get myself better.
That actually turned into what I call a pain to purpose, where, you know, I went through basically the dark night of the soul, right? Where you just struggling and then you come back and you have all of these answers to questions that a lot of other people are looking for. And so, At the tail end of that journey, I felt so much better.
I had healed a lot of areas of my body with regenerative medicine and, and using a lot of herbs and different types of, um, modalities, but I was still having a lot of neurologic problems. I was having word finding and and memory, and my brain, I just knew wasn't. The way I, I remember it. And so I was doing a internship with Dr.
Frank Shallenberger, and a lot of people may or may not know who he is, but he's one of the original doctors that brought functional medicine in the late eighties, and he's an md and then, He actually is considered the father of Ozone, where he brought ozone in as a, as a therapy. And now if people haven't heard of ozone, they really haven't been looking at looking at online and, and natural medicine cuz it's become very pervasive.
So he was the first one to really bring attention to that. So he's, he's very well known. He has a, a newsletter that's huge. So I went out there to actually learn how to test people. For mitochondrial function. And this has been a very elusive test cuz there's not really like a blood test in order to check the function of mitochondrial.
Like how efficient are we making energy? Cause the body wants to take glucose and oxygen and make energy that runs everything in the body. And that's extremely important, particularly for the brain and the heart, which is the most demanding for energy. And so I was interested in some of the methods. It was pretty.
Elaborate, You know, there was a lot of machines and it took a couple hours to run me through all the tests, but I got a chance to stay there for a few days and do a bit of an internship with him and wound up becoming a patient and they had an empty slot and I got in there and I told him my story, did an exam.
And not only did he prescribe, uh, hundreds of milligrams of melatonin to me, but I saw him do this. Many patients because his, his specialty sees a lot of cancer. So between cancer and a lot of, like neurologic, you know, whether it's degenerative, neurologic, or traumatic or whatnot, he was prescribing patients, uh, 200 milligrams at night.
Orally. And then if they could stand it, he wanted them to take 200 during the day. And what he told me at the time, which has really um, stood true, is that 20% of the population can't take melatonin during the day. But because the mechanism with melatonin is such that when light hits our eye, then melatonin's not active.
So during the day, the pine stores melatonin based on. Light that goes in the eye, mostly blue and green, which is what the sky is gonna admit, right? That's be like daylight. And so this causes the pine to store melatonin. And when you get darkness, then it releases and it's activated. And so we have a lot of melatonin that's running through our body at every cell, which I really like to dive into in this interview so people can understand.
The concept of extra pine melatonin, because nobody's talking about that, but the amount that's in the pine is really tiny, right? And so this amount is 100% based on light exposure to the eyes during that day. And there's no negative feedback loop. So if you take melatonin, it does never shut down your own production.
So all of these specialists and, and people that you know, we had a short conversation before we started recording about how there's a lot of skepticism about the safety of melatonin because it is a hormone and most hormones have this negative feedback loop. You take testosterone. You know, your goads are gonna, they're gonna atrophy because the body's gonna say, Hey, we have that.
We don't need to make it. If you take progesterone or estrogen, your, your ovaries can do the same thing. If you take adrenaline or cortisol, your adrenal glands shrink. So it's a very slippery slope when you get into hormones. But this does not apply to Mela. Can you say more about that? Because exactly before we hit record, we were discussing and saying that you totally stand as our first person on this podcast So far, really?
Staking this, putting the flag in the ground on, there's a new way to think about melatonin maybe, and maybe not new to you, but new to many listeners. And so I'm wondering if you can like double click on that piece of that major concern for so many people of saying, how could this be? Maybe, do we just not know?
Could there be some sort of adverse effects that we're not aware of? Can you just help us kind of understand. Well, the way it makes sense for me is that you have this pine melatonin that is going to be really regulating the sleep wake, right? And so during the day, we have cortisol, and so with your autonomic nervous system, there's two parts of this automatic nervous system that runs and works without you having to.
Think or do anything. And it's really signaled through sleep and wake, you know, day and dark. And so during the day we need to be active and we need to be able to move around and get things done. And so adrenaline and cortisol, that's something that is spiked early in the morning and it really gets our body activated and moving and that's.
The sympathetic nervous system, there's a fight or flight part. Now, there is a balance between both the sympathetics and and parasympathetic, which is the resting and digesting component that's present always, even when you're sleeping. But the favor of the balance is gonna be more with the sympathetics during the day, and the favor with the parasympathetic is gonna be at night.
The main regulator of the parasympathetic nervous system is Mela. Now if you look at a graph on what we secrete melatonin wise and age, it's very high when we're young and it just goes to nothing. Yes. You know, you look at your forties and you've got nothing there. Now, another interesting graph to hold next to that is heart rate variability.
Mm. Right? Yes. And so heart rate variability, I think for a lot of people it sounds like a really complicated science figure, and it's like, ah. You know, even early on in my career, it was something I didn't really pay attention to and I just thought was more difficult to wrap my head around than it really.
But in essence, it's basically a reflection of how balanced your autonomic nervous system is between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. And so because your heart is controlled by the autonomic, you're not having to think. Beat. Beat, beat. It's happening. Right? Breath is the same way. Your respiration, although you can control your respiration, and it's also automatic digestions the same way, right?
We don't have to think about digesting our food secreting hormones. You know, there's a number of different systems that are kind of regulating through the autonomics. But the heart gets input from the sympathetic and it gets input from the parasympathetic. And so because of that, when you look at the beat, there's a variability.
So we want it to be a little bit less regular because there's nuances that would suggest that the sympathetics jumping in and the parasympathetic jumping in. But when it becomes. Without variability. Yeah. That means that one part of that autonomic is dominant. And how often are we too calm and cool.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Right. , we are all, We've got too much sympathetic. Yeah. This is part of the human experience. In today's day and age, we have a lot of stress. EMF activates the sympathetic poor nutrition, any type of inflammation. Activates the sympathetic, and these are really big triggers to disrupt sleep. So I think.
Probably something some of your, your speakers haven't really delved into is, you know, what types of inflammatory avenues are people subjected to that might be triggering a stress state, which might be affecting their sleep? Because I know you have people that come on your podcast and you've probably covered all the basics.
So what I would like to do is let's talk about the stuff that maybe other people aren't talking about. Yeah. So we have the most common things that I look at. Well, before we do that, let's definitely touch on that because this is really at the core of a lot of the work I do here in the clinic and through mito and scientific, and we make different nutraceuticals and supplements that kind of address some of these things.
But melatonin. Is produced by every mitochondria in the body. Mm-hmm. , right? So you have the pine and it's so important, right? Because we want a strong melatonin release at night because that does some really cool things for signaling and for sleep. Melatonin is not the answer to keep you asleep all night.
Mm-hmm. . But it can help you with latency. It can help you go to. Right, Right. And so we don't wanna be looking at taking melatonin as the answer to keeping us up if you're wait. Most, I hear most often people have, they can go to sleep, but they can't stay asleep. It seems to be more common. Would you agree with that, Molly?
Oh, I hear that all the time. So, and there are some people that we do hear about the sleep onset difficulties and sometimes the unlucky bunch that is dealing with both the sleep on. The wake ups and then even the early morning wake ups, you know, now they're up. So that's a really rough period. But to your point, the most common thing that I'm hearing is the annoying, maybe middle sleep, wake up three in the morning.
Four in the morning, or they're waking up earlier. Now they're just up for the whole day. Yeah. So one of the considerations with that is if your adrenals are really challenged, right? So if you're constantly in a stress state, we'll circle back to. Because inflammation is a really big trigger to the adrenals.
Yes. Okay. But so is mental, emotional and too much exercise, too much physical work? Yeah. Cause you've got the physical, the chemical, you've got infection, you've got toxins, mental, emotional, spiritual. I mean, all these are different stresses that can converge in and there could be combinations of all of those.
So we should kind of get into that and how they can trigger an inflammatory reaction that then can trigger the adrenal. Which can trigger cortisol, which can wake you up. Right? Right. But if you don't, cuz you need to pull energy out of your body to keep, because sleep is an active process. Yes. Right. You need energy.
And so if you get depleted, then the body needs energy and if it runs out of energy and you're not really metabolically flexible because it's a fasting. So while you're in a fasting state, you can get ketones right from fats and proteins, and that can kind of keep you going, but not everybody's metabolically flexible, right?
And so if you, if you hit this end point at night where all of a sudden we run out of juice and we're not metabolically flexible, then what it needs to do is turn to liberating glycogen out of muscle tissue, right? And you need cortisol to do. . And so the body then goes in and it squeezes the adrenals in order to get some energy, and then you find yourself waking up.
And so we have to start looking. Intermittent fasting, exogenous ketones. A lot of different lifestyle and dietary concerns with regards to becoming more metabolically flexible, cuz that'll help you kind of carry through some of the old or the time tested things are eating a little bit of protein before bed, but then there's concerns about.
Not getting that, what's called autophagy, right? Yeah. Where your body doesn't go into the, the self-cleaning mechanisms, but eating a little bit of protein before bed can be helpful. Having exogenous ketones, which are readily available on Amazon. Yeah. Could be something to try for people. So those are some Absolutely.
That's a, a great one. We see a lot of that and even anecdotal conversations as well. Cause we've got a lot of people using different trackers and wearables and we'll see for many different exogenous keto companies being able to share. Of many individuals testing the waters with these keytones and really seeing differences in some of their results.
Looking at how to measure the dosing appropriately for these of not getting too activated, but having those really be helpful and making a difference with the sleep results. So that's been a really cool one that we've been able to layer in for a lot of people. Great point. Yeah. So that's good. So back to melatonin.
Yeah. So we want that signaling to be really strong. So I'm sure you've covered. Light pollution. And at my house, it looks like a submarine, right? So, Love it. And so you want red lights. And the way that I've done it at my house is I've gotten these outlets that are remote control and I plug them into a lamp with a red light.
And so I have this Velcro onto the wall in my bedroom and then one in around the kitchen or the living room. And so I can just run my finger down and it like, it turns on like six different outlets and so lights, and I've got a red rope light going up my stair. and everything just turns on, right? Mm-hmm.
And so then you turn it off at night and I've got the same thing next to my bed. So I get into bed and I, I can turn off. So I'm never using the lights in the can, lights in the ceiling ever at night. That's so great. Is there a particular type that you, We get so many questions about the lighting, cause people are just really, you know, they might get, they might invest in all the Philip Hughes or the smart options, but then they start looking into EMFs and then they wanna remove all that and so then they'll have lots of questions on different source points or types.
Um, but it's interesting about the remote option. Is that any sort of kind of setup that you've created yourself or. Brands that you prefer, and not meaning to plug any brands, but just if you have any. Well, I have some pictures and some better description of this setup in my book. Um, Melatonin mirror Molecule.
I mean, we get into quite a lot of rabbit holes like this in the book. Yeah, most of the book isn't really focused on sleep, but I think. Ultimately, everybody's looking to be the most healthy and have the most life force and vital, and so there's a lot of great applications to those outcomes. I think your podcast on sleep, I mean, there's really nothing else that is more important than sleep.
I mean, exercise, diet, hands down, it's, it's something that if it's missing, then it's gonna be difficult to really. Capture any other, you know, you can't be healthy a hundred percent. I mean, obviously I'm wildly biased, but how you described your story, uh, is very similar to my story in a certain regard as it relates to sleep of that dark night of the soul and you know, kind of really working through some of your own struggles and then finding that purpose in the wake of that.
So again, I'm biased, but I completely, with every ounce of my soul, believe. Beginning with sleep is just an absolutely transformative place to begin for not only your health and wellbeing, of course it's gonna be addressed, but really a transformation in your life and your experience of life by really tackling these things because we often call it kind of a Trojan horse effect.
In order to transform your life, you gotta transform a lot of areas of your life. Really, really virtually every area of your life can bleed into your results with your sleep. If you're really getting aware and digging in, so love that you. And you know, on this topic of melatonin, so you are likely peaking the interest of the listener of saying, okay, maybe, maybe, um, you know, all these things that I've heard about melatonins or the cautionary tales, or it's only as far as high dose melatonin.
Yeah, maybe I've heard about it in studies for cancer or specific indications, but how do we make that leap to now applying this to the general. What does that look like? What would some of the benefits be? How would this affect sleep? I know I'm asking you a million questions, and for those people that are maybe saying, What a high dose, I take like a couple milligrams and I, I feel it the next day, or I'm tired.
All those, any of those questions that you're interested in, please let us know. Yeah, well there's a lot there. I feel like we need to set a bit of a, a base here, because in order for me to answer some of those questions and have it meaningful for people, they really need to understand melatonin. I'm gonna simplify this.
Okay. Cause I mean, you can read the whole book and it, there's a lot of deep dives. But to distill it down to one simple kind of concept is that melatonin is the. Resilience molecule, right? So it is the molecule that allows us to accept stress and to maintain our ability to make energy in the midst of stress, okay?
And so there's a concept called hormesis. So we have a certain level of stress, like let's use exercise, right? You can lift a certain amount of weight, right? But then there's a certain amount of weight that becomes damaging to your tendons and your joints and your muscles. And if you don't lift enough, it doesn't stimulate any muscle growth.
Right? You don't get any, any benefit from it, but there's like a sweet spot, right? And so if you exceed that ceiling, right, where it would be the hormetic ceiling, yeah. Then there's inflammation that's gonna ensue. So if you have a sunburn and you get too much sun, Then it's inflammation to the skin. If you get toxin, but it's too much toxin, it's gonna result in inflammatory reaction.
If you're exercising and you overexercise, you're gonna have inflammation. So every single stress has one thing in common, which that stress will end up as an inflammatory reaction in the body that the body has to deal with. Mm. Now mitochondria. Are everything okay? And that's, we have to really pay attention to the mitochondria because that's how we make our energy in order to heal, in order to maintain homeostasis, in order to get good sleep.
Really, literally, every single system in the body needs the energy. And the mitochondria do not like inflammation. So if they start swimming and there's too much inflammation in the form of cytokine, The cytokines literally tell the mitochondria says, I'm done. I can't deal with this environment. It's like somebody that's working in a messy desk and they show up at work and they're like, they tell their boss, Listen, I'm done.
I quit. And they walk out. Right, Right. And all of a sudden the boss is like, Holy moly, I have to keep the work going, but like you are the best. So, and this is what happens in the cell, is that the mitochondria quits. . And so the energy has to be made outside of the mitochondria. So instead of it being aerobic glycolysis, which is with oxygen, it becomes anaerobic glycolysis without oxygen, you only get 10% of the amount of energy.
Right. So now everybody's familiar with covid and the cytokine, uh, storm, right? Yeah. And that's what kills people, right? Yeah. So that's the cytokines, the, the infection. Activates a certain level of inflammation, and at certain level, the immune cells, the mitochondria within the immune cells say, I can't do it anymore.
I quit. And so your immune cells then have to make that switch and you only have 10% the amount of energy production versus if you're in the mitochondria. So you're fighting a battle with 10% of your troops, and this happens with every single type of stress. So if you're an executive and you're dealing with, you have just had a child and you're dealing with stress with your child, your spouse, you have to go to work and you're not able to make healthy food and you're eating McDonald's.
I mean, you've got all these different stressors coming in at you. All of those are creating a certain level of inflammation, which at some level is gonna start to shut down your ability to make energy, to adapt to that stress. Melatonin is at the core of that adaptation because it's within the mitochondria and it's keeping your cell.
Making energy in the mitochondria and keeping it from going outside. And if you take it exogenously, you can actually switch it back from outside back. , and that's why they give melatonin to people in the hospitals with covid. They've done studies with like Ebola and some deadly viruses where the, the survival rate literally went from survival being like 6% to like 86% just with giving the melatonin.
And it's from this exact mechanism. So we look at people nowadays. That are dealing with so much stress and then people having birthdays, you're getting older, you're producing less melatonin, heart rate variability become declined, which is a direct relationship to the weakness of the parasympathetic, which is a direct relationship to the amount of melatonin that they have.
Because that's the parasympathetic nervous system, right? So taking exogenous melatonin to me makes a lot of sense. I personally, it turned my brain back on. I mean, I look at pictures of myself 10 years ago and it's dramatic my skin, and I've seen this with, with other people, and I can stop taking it. And I still get a good night's sleep, so it's not like something that I'm dependent on.
And I've been taking high doses of melatonin for years. I find it extremely important when I travel, because when we travel, right, it's like that's when it's like the stresses of the airplane and then you get to maybe a new time zone. So I think that high dose melatonin, if anything for the traveler, can be really a game changer.
Yeah. That also makes me think of, um, shift workers. We also have a, a particular niche in poker. We work with a lot of poker players who, you know, arguably often are like shift workers and mm-hmm. casinos that are by design meant to kind of, uh, cut us off from the rhythms of nature. Mm-hmm. . So do you see the application being there really important as well for shift workers, rotating shift workers?
That's been one of the areas. Even the most resolute of people that have been concerned or conservative with melatonin have often recommended this for jet lag and for shift work. And in often another recommendation is in the elderly population as we're aging. So for you, you would underscore the use of that in those situations, but then also for.
The regular human that's just day to day looking to improve their, their sleep, their health, the inflammation factors that you're speaking to and the mitochondrial health as a, as a whole. Yeah, there's a lot of utilities with it. I mean, I see people like myself. I'm healthy. I take high dose melatonin because I just feel better.
I look better. I can handle more stress. My sleep and my heart rate variability is incredible when I'm taking high dose melatonin, and that's kind of what I wanna do long term to. Not just live longer, but also enjoy and be healthy during my living years. But I also see people that take it occasionally when they have, like, if they have an infection.
I think there's an argument that melatonin could really help shorten and protect you during infections if you have toxic exposures. I mean, there's, there's studies showing that like, like massive amphetamine toxicity. That melatonin can like totally protect you, that melatonin can detox the brain from heavy metals.
So it has a very protective aspect to it. And again, mostly the heart and the brain because it's really a mitochondria conversation. Your point on the the low dose, I think it's important for people to understand that. Homeopathy is real. You can take tiny, tiny doses of something and within homeopathy, the smaller the dose, sometimes the more powerful it can be, right?
But you're not actually getting that substance, but you're getting a signaling with that. And so melatonin orally is only one and a half percent absorbed, one and a half to two and a half percent absorb. This is out litera. So if you're talking about two milligrams or five milligrams, you're really talking about such a minute amount.
And then the peak plasma of that is really gonna be very short because peak plasma, it's a concept where if you take something orally or an IV or any type of delivery, there's a certain amount of time. That, that nutrients gonna be available in the blood for the cells to pull it in, right? Mm. So that's the pla.
It's in the plasmas for a certain period of time. So most oral substances, peak plasmas like an hour. So the body has about an hour to, to pull it in. So it's not even the timely stuff really doesn't work very well. Mm. Now, if people really wanna mimic. The melatonin the way it's normally released in the brain and people are having a difficult time staying asleep.
And we do manufacture a high dose liposomal melatonin, but again, it's gonna have a short peak plasma, But suppository delivery, yes. This is maybe a new concept for some people to hear, you know, using in this rectal delivery, it's like, it's really, it's no big deal. You don't even know it's there. It takes two seconds and it's very popular, becoming more popular in the US and it was very popular in Europe and you bypass the stomach and the, um, first pass through the liver, which breaks down a lot of nutrients.
So the vast majority of supplements that we're taking, very, very little of it actually gets. Into the blood. No, you know, no less into the cells. But if you take it in an iv, you know, obviously you have a lot more of that. That goes directly in the blood, which makes it more available into the cells.
However, an IVs are usually even administered over an hour, you know, so you even have a short peak plasma with IVs, with a suppository, you can have a peak plasma last up to seven hours. Mm, So it's this slow release. And so melatonin is really a beautiful nutrient taken at bedtime or an hour before bedtime.
Now sometimes what happen with people, now, this is a trick with melatonin. You take it and then you wake up and you're groggy, right? So what the brain needs is it needs a very specific signaling to say, Okay, it's time to wake. Let's deactivate melatonin, and the way that you do that is you get light in your eyes.
So the first thing you do, you go outside and you stare at the sun. You know, you get sun in your eyes most of the time that grogginess goes away. There's a subset of people that don't metabolize melatonin very quickly. If you're sensitive to. Caffeine, right? Mm-hmm. , then you're likely to have the, Cuz it's the same gene variant and you might be best off taking melatonin even at dinner time, right?
So then it has more time to metabolize. So by the time you wake up you've metabolized it a little bit better. And so those are a couple of suggestions I would have for people that wake up groggy. Ugh. Oh my gosh. Well, I'm sure you've peaked the interest of many listeners on many topics that you've just introduced.
So, and to be mindful of your time, one of the things that I think might be helpful for the listeners to learn through you how you are managing all of these things. So it sounds like you got some kind of cool, innovative ways that you're managing your life and your health. So I think that will be really interesting for us to look at.
And our first question that we ask every guest that comes on is, what does your nightly routine, your sleep routine look like? I know you pointed to the light piece. Anything that we should really be aware of for the. Well, I'm sure you covered the basic, You know, I eat early, I eat at five. I usually go to bed at nine or 10.
Total darkness in the room. Cool. I have my bed angled slightly with feet, a little bit lower, and so also I have taken carbon paint and so there's no EMF in my room. I turn my phone on airplane and you know, Have you ever heard of Agna? Horta? No. No. Oh, okay. Yeah. Share more. This might be the first time. A lot of people are hearing this.
This is, Yeah, so this is a Veic, an IIC practice, an ancient IIC practice where they would take Kung and put gee on it and burn it, because the combination of those two create this really fast. Bright burning fire. And so they have like this little altar, they burn this fire and they stare at it for 10 minutes because the fire goes for about 10 minutes.
And they do that when they wake up, and they do. So when the sun's coming up and when the sun's going down, So have you kind of dived into sun gazing? Yes. Yes we have. But certainly this is a new distinction, so please share. Yeah, so, So I was fascinated by this and Luke's story, who's a good friend of mine, he also does some podcasting.
He was visiting at the time that I was like looking into this and he was totally into sun gazing. And so it's like, We would be running out there and trying to catch the sun and where I live, it's kind of hard to see it cuz it kind of goes behind the trees a little bit. Yeah. But he was just going on and on about how much better he feels when he watches.
You know, that Amber, and, and, and it makes sense because the brain is getting a trigger to say, This is when the sun goes up and this is when it goes down and it's filling in all the gaps, right? Yes. For that rhythm that's so important that all the systems in your body have rhythms. So I really loved this idea of agna horta because it just was like plain and clear that you're getting a sunrise and a sunset activation.
Right? I love that. So this is something that people can look up and can experiment with, but I think I figured something easier. Okay, so I have a friend, Brian Richards, and he has a company called Sous Based. Yes, Yes. The Photon. The Photon that single, that single light. So I set that up and I use that in the morning, and I use that at night right around the same time.
And because it's the near infrared light that is really such. That's the power behind the sun for us, cuz it penetrates the deepest in our body. And so that's been really, I've been really feeling a, you know, I put that on for about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night. And I think that that would be a worthwhile thing for people to play around with.
Yes. I love that too. I also use the photon, Brian's awesome. He was on the podcast a bit ago and also shared it as what he calls an antidote to the blue light exposure that he might have. If he's gonna watch a, like a show or a movie or whatever, he'll put that on to kind of counteract. I mean, such a cool utility and to your point, especially to creating those guardrails for ourselves of kind of the start of the day and helping to signal the end of the day.
I. Really, really a great call out. That's fantastic. Yeah, so I mean, these are some really, I think we're bringing out some really good points in this interview here. So I'm, I'm really excited for the listeners to, you know, this is something you might wanna listen to twice, you know, and take some notes. And absolutely, you know, get your book and to go in deeper to some of the distinctions that you really kind of carve out and go in deeper on.
And usually I leave that to the end, but I think it's just so clear to underscore for people that that would be a great pathway for action. So did we miss anything in your evening routine? Well, I take high dose melatonin. I like to take magnesium before bed, you know, that's about it. So yeah, great. And then in the morning I try to get sun.
I wake up sometimes really early, so I do the, the photon, the sauna space, incandescent lights, and then when the sun does come up, I try to go out there and get some in my eyes as best I can. I also regularly get into my jacuzzi, and I do like a cold plunge. And jacuzzi early in the morning and then stretch out a little bit and do some yoga and some breath work.
That's kind of my basic protocols there. Love that. Okay. Cause yeah, that was that. Next question is the morning routine. So it sounds like that's something that you bring into that consistently so that you have those two clear markers. We call them your bookends at sleep as a skill. So we'll look at having a clear bookend of your morning routine, clear bookend of your evening routine.
Also it's indicated by the environment. So certainly that lighting piece, but then also some of those activities that we're doing that can influence, you know, our body temperature and kind of, um, being mindful of all those things. So anything else that you are ensuring that you're bringing in, in your morning routine?
Well, it varies. I mean, really into this OG Horta thing and with the honest based lights, and I don't, you know, I fast until lunch generally. I've been more into Maia than coffee lately, so I will have some, some Maia in the morning. Other than that, yeah, that was it. So our next question would be, what might we see on your nightstand?
And I get the sense that you're traveling a lot, doing, you know, out and about. It could be your proverbial nightstand or any ambience or apps or supplements or, I know we've hit on a lot of those things, but anything we might see in your environ. Yeah, a couple things. I, I like to use a PEMF mat. You know, that's, I think we kind of missed that, but I have a parasympathetic setting that I'll set when I first get into bed.
And I sometimes use CBG for sleep. Yes. And I like that better than C B D. And so a full spectrum CBG is hard to find, but that's really, really amazing. There's some good studies showing that it's a good substance for sleep. And you mentioned too, like, it sounded like consistently the high dose melatonin and the magnesium.
Are your standards like your staples, is that the same with the CBG or is it intermittent? No, I, I occasionally take it, you know, cause I'd have a lot going on and it's probably more when I'm traveling. Yeah. You know, I find that when I'm traveling I get wound up a little bit, so it's hard to like kind of shut off.
Yeah. Yeah. So CBG is something that, that I found to be really helpful. I, uh, one thing that's been a really, really great hack for me. When I travel is I have these little mini red light panels. They're small. We have some that we carry at our store called Mito Lights, and they're just little, little squares, right?
And so what's so beautiful about it is that you can use it as lighting in your hotel room. Yeah. Cause I, I find that to be, So once you get used to using red light at, at night, you go to a hotel room and it's like you have no choice but to just be subjected by like this terrible light. Yeah. But these little red light panels, you can, you lay them on any, a table or on the bed or something facing straight up and you can see everything in the room.
It really helps, uh, I mean, it's very clear. And then you can put it on your nightstand. And so at night, if you wake up to use the bathroom, you could just reach over and turn it on. or you get into bed and you forgot you had to do this or that. It's like you can just reach over, you turn it on, you can see everything.
I use it sometimes as a light and I put it on my chest and so if I'm reading at night, but I found that to be something that I just won't travel without. That's awesome. I love that cuz. We'll often speak to, um, people traveling with small kind of like hockey puck motion red lights or plugin red lights, or they have their red lights to read by or all those things.
Mm-hmm. , but you're actually bringing in another layer of utility and actually getting some of that therapeutic optionality and the practicality. So that's fantastic. Love that. And the last question we ask everyone is, what would you say so far, and I'm. Evolves and changes, and you might have a new answer in a year or whatever, but so far in your life, what would you say has made the biggest change to your sleep game or the management of your.
Well, I, I would have to say doing high dose melatonin in a suppository is probably like my, my number one thing for my sleep scores with my order ring. That's what I use to track. I haven't really seen anything move the needle. It's not necessarily gonna be, That way for everybody. You know? I mean, I work with a lot of people and obviously because I wrote a book on melatonin, a lot of people wanna work with me with sleep and yeah, it's not the magic bullet.
You really have to start looking at different stress signals and making sure that you've got your book ends in place. You know, that's really important. We didn't really get a chance to dive as much into, I can quickly kind of please sum it up with inflammatory routes, right? So I talk about the doorways.
So your nasal passage. Your mouth and your colon. You know, these are doorways into your body and there's so much research that suggests that a lot of inflammatory diseases are related to either the gums and the mouth and the oral care. Not as many people are talking about the the nasal passage and the sinuses.
I think a lot of more people should, because that's a huge route into the gut and straight to the brain, into the bloodstream, and so sinus hygiene. And then your microbiome. And, and so these are endotoxins, right? So when bacteria are growing, they release these toxins called endotoxins, and they're incredibly inflammatory.
And again, they're gonna shut down your energy and they're gonna, they can drastically affect your sleep because any type of inflammation's gonna trigger cortisol and stress. And so Ganesh is the Hindu God of doorways, right? They, they say remover of obstacles. And so I, I look at this, I, I created something called the Ganesh Protocol where I have basic protocols to take care of the mouth and the nasal passage and, and the colon.
And, and that's something I'd be happy to share with your listeners. If we could send like a, an article on that that you could put on your, Yes, we would love that please. Because actually you've really brought up, cuz again, we ask these four questions to everyone and you've brought in some things that we haven't heard yet.
So I really appreciate that. And please, our audience we've found is really, really curious and we like to bring about this, um, intentionality of experimentation and exploring some of these different ways of helping to support our sleep and our health. So that would be amazing. Thank you so. Yeah. Well, it's been a real pleasure Molly, and thanks for bringing me on your podcast and introducing me to your, your followers.
Ah, well thank you so much for taking the time. And one quick question too is for anyone listening, what are the different ways? So we're absolutely gonna make that available, that information around those different practices. What are some of the other ways that they can get your book, follow you, learn about your store, all those, um, important.
Well, so the website where we, we have high dose melatonin among some of the different things we're using for the ganache protocols is mito zen.com, M I T O Z E N. And our clinic here in Sarasota, Florida is Advanced rejuvenation.us. And then I'm on Instagram as well. And that's, um, your out of box doc. And one thing that I didn't mention too, so I have a book on Amazon, it's called Melatonin Miracle Molecule.
And then I recently released another book, it's called, It's All in Your Head. And the primary kind of focus is this adjustment that I do using Endo Nassal balloons. And most people have never heard of it, but there's really a lot of really interesting information in there, especially the, the chapter on the Pine and I get deep into Agna, Horta, I get into sun gazing and you know, we really get into a lot of, I think, Deeper, more applicable subjects in that chapter than even cuz it was written after the melatonin book.
So that might be something. And that's on Amazon as well. That is really a lot of gems in there. That is fantastic. And actually one quick question. I believe you have intranasal oxytocin. Is that right on your. Yes. Okay. And the reason I ask about that is that, um, we have a lot of people that are also looking for alternative state changers to some of the state changers that might really tank their HR V, their sleep results like alcohol or THC or what have you.
Now, I know they're not necessarily interchangeable, but. There has been some interest cuz we have shared, we have this, you know, weekly newsletters sharing with you and so we put lots of just interesting kind of things that might be other practices that people might not have heard of. And I'm curious if you could just share real quick about that product cuz I have found that other, Yeah.
Yeah. Did you try it? I did, I did. And I had the whole experience of, uh, cuz it's a, a physical kind of experie, right? Like at least maybe that's, that was my response. I wonder if you can share. Yeah, well, it's based on Hoppe, which is a, it's a basically a powder that's blown up the nose, and it's in Amazon in Amazonian tribes.
And a lot of like shaman have picked it up and they'll do it in different types of ceremonies and celebrations with psychedelics and plant medicine and so forth. So I made a nasal spray with it, and we actually just launch. A CBG version of the Zen. But yeah, it's very popular and it burns. So be prepared if you do try it and you can find it at Mito Zen is be prepared for like a temporary burn and also don't inhale with it.
So it's just a small spray and just start with one side. Yeah. And it's a very powerful activator to the parasympathetic nervous system. So, and there is nicotine in there and so you get like kind of. Alert, but calm. Yes. So people use it before breath work or before meditation. I've actually had some people state that they do it and fall asleep.
They do it right before bed. Really? But I didn't wanna bring that up in this interview because to me it seems like. A bit of an outlier cuz you know, in the literature, nicotine's not really favorable. It can interrupt sleep, but everybody's gonna have their own. We're all a unique snowflake, right? Yeah.
And so some people need that, you know, kind of state change, like you said, to just kind of turn down the mind a little bit. Sure. Yeah. We had Dr. Mindy PEs. Podcast and she was speaking to, she loves to do it before meditation and that's part of her, you know, ritual or routine. Oh, that's awesome. I love Mindy.
I know. She's amazing. Well, so good. And I know this, we've only just scratched the surface, so I so appreciate you sharing and taking the time. It really means a lot. Again, just thank you for the work that you're doing and really being a stand. It's clear to me that you're a stand for health and wellness in every regard of life.
From a psychological perspective, full body perspective, and really I get that level of, uh, commitment to curiosity and exploration in this. So thanks so much for taking the time. Yeah, you're welcome. You know, Molly, I've not really delved into sleep as much as we have in this, and I think there's a lot of points that I haven't really been.
Out on platforms discussing. So you brought that outta me and this is something that I really wanna share with, with my pod as well, and really think that this was a good recording. So I hope everybody enjoys it. Oh, well thank you so much. So appreciate that you've been listening to The Sleep Is 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. Then I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep. Head on over to sleep as a skill.com to sign up.