Are you struggling to stay focused? Feeling like you can't get a good night's sleep?
Then, join us for a deep dive into brain fitness and how Peak Brain Institute might be able to help you.
Dr. Andrew Hill, Neuroscience expert and founder of Peak Brain Institute, is the go-to resource for anyone seeking to overcome cognitive challenges and individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Dr. Hill discusses various unique approaches to brain training that combines the best of modern neuroscience with traditional mindfulness meditation techniques through QEEG (with remote options available!).
Dr. Andrew Hill (Cognitive Neuroscience, UCLA) is the founder of Peak Brain Institute, a leading neurofeedback practitioner and biohacking coach for clients worldwide.
At Peak Brain, Dr. Hill provides individualized training programs to help you optimize your brain across goals of stress, sleep, attention, brain fog, creativity, and athletic performance.
Peak Brain is a virtual and in-person peak performance center for the brain. We serve clients throughout the world (ages 4+) with QEEG brain mapping and neurofeedback. This highly individualized form of biofeedback trains brain waves (EEG) or blood flow (HEG) and is a gentle exercise designed to support changes over time in areas like attention, stress, sleep, mood, head injuries, brain fog, seizures, migraines, alcohol recovery, and peak performance goals, etc.
In this episode, we discuss:
🧠How did Dr. Andrew Hill get into creating Peak Brain Institute? …and how does it relate to sleep?!
🧠What are some benefits of Neurofeedback training for people with sleep disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
🧠Link between sleep spindles and attention deficit disorder (ADD)
🧠Multiple studies found that individuals with ADHD have fewer and shorter sleep spindles compared to those without the disorder.
🧠Sensory motor rhythm (SMR) prevents you from waking up throughout the night.
🧠SMR activity is associated with a state of relaxation, and that increasing SMR activity through neurofeedback training can help improve sleep quality, focus, and mood.
🧠At Peak Brain, Dr. Hill provides individualized training programs to help you optimize your brain across goals of stress, sleep, attention, brain fog, creativity, and athletic performance.
🧠What we should know about Quantitative ElectroEncephaloGram “QEEG brain mapping."
🧠The vast benefits of Peak Brain Institute neurofeedback training VS D-I-Y meditation
🧠Dr. Hill's morning and night routine?
🧠Enroll in the QEEG brain mapping membership at a discounted price. Mention the keyword Sleep Is A Skill—and you'll receive $250 OFF for all QEEG brain map services.
"The brain is a machine thats on the edge of chaos —-it can't be too organized, or life stops. It can't be too chaotic, or information stops. The brain is always balancing between falling over into chaos and falling over into too much order." - Dr. Andrew Hill.
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.
mental health, neurofeedback, peak brain institute, brain mapping, biofeedback peak performance, EEG, Dr. Andrew Hill, remote programs, quantitativeEEFassessments, holistic approach, health and wellness, sleep, sleep health, sleep deprivation, stress reduction, improved focus and memory, deep levels of relaxation, mindful meditation, personal brain coach, meditation trainer, innovative brain training methods, research methodology, better mood regulation.
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!
Welcome to the Sleep is 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. My guest today is Dr. Andrew Hill. He has a background in cognitive neuroscience at C L A and is the founder of Peak Brain Institute, a leading neurofeedback practitioner and biohacking coach for clients worldwide. Now at Peak Brain, Dr. Hill provides individualized training programs to help you optimize your brain across many goals such as, Sleep, attention, brain fog, creativity and athletic perform.
Now for some background context, I had the opportunity to use Peak Brain Institute's Remote Q E E G to test my brain in a sleep deprived state, a well-rested state, and in a well-rested state while caffeinated. Now, I was really blown away by the results. The experience gave me a greater sense of agency over my brain's.
Response to its environments and my own behaviors. So for instance, I've significantly reduced my coffee intake after seeing just how much it was not serving my particular brain makeup. The kind of call out from Dr. Andrew Hill as we reviewed my results was that I seemed to have a bit of a paradoxical response to caffeine, and it was making me almost.
H adhd, like so I made some changes accordingly. Now, overall, I would highly recommend the Peak Brain Institute's Remote Q E G to anyone looking to improve their sleep and gain greater control over their brain's response to their environment in daily habits. It's been a game changer for me and I am confident it can be helpful for others as well.
And one of the things that I like about this is I get a lot of questions. Neurofeedback training and yet it's not quite attainable for the average person. Quite often due to the price, peak brain has made it more accessible. It's still gonna be an investment, but it's still more accessible than a lot of the options that I've seen out there.
So I really encourage you to take a look and also the sort of innovative approach in that it can be sent straight to your home. So you don't necessarily have to go, you know, anywhere. It can come straight to you. And thankfully, peak Brain Institute has further made this accessible For our listeners, anyone who mentions Sleep as a skill will receive $200 off all Q E G brain mapping services.
Now. Without further ado, 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 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 body's 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 stage 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 as a skill, and be sure to use the code sleep as a skill for 10%. And welcome to the Sleep is a Skill Podcast, Dr.
Andrew Hill. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. It is such an honor. Thank you for having me, Mollie. Nice to be here. Yes, absolutely. Uh, before we hit record, I was sharing that I just have to be mindful of your time because I know that one, there's so much that we can discuss. Two, I know that we already.
A fantastic, certainly was fantastic for me conversation where we went deep on the readouts of, um, a set of brain scans that I had the opportunity to do, thankfully with your team remotely so fascinating through Peak Brain Institute and. . The findings were really transformative. We did this a while ago.
What we did was we looked at a kind of baseline of a fairly well-rested brain. We looked at a jet lag and sleep deprived brain, and then we looked at a caffeinated brain and some of the results that I discovered through what you shared, kind of your sherpaing of, of going through this information was so, so helpful.
And as a result, I've changed some of my behavior. One of the things that we discovered was looking at kind of this. Effect for myself in when I'm having caffeine. It's really not doing me any favors, seemingly from a productivity perspective. So now I've drastically lowered the amount of caffeine that I'm intaking.
So it's just one example of the practical application. So cannot wait for you to share all of your wisdom again. Thank you. Thank you. Well thanks with that, uh, introduction, how can I, you know, fail to drop some wisdom? I'll do my best. Okay, fantastic. Well, given that this is the Sleep It's a Skill podcast, that was one of the reasons why we designed those brain scans on purpose, cuz you, you've also shared that you can test for many different things, but we on purpose looked at this.
Experience of what happens to a resting brain as it relates to the amount of sleep that it had gotten the night before. So I wanna just hand things over to you to share. One, how did you even get into this? How does this relate to sleep? And what can we kinda learn from what it is that you've created over here at Peak Brain?
Yeah. Thanks for the question. So I didn't start thinking about my brain work as sleep, focus work necessarily. Yeah. Yeah. , but every single thing you do with regards to the brain either has an impact on sleep or as sleep is changing, you get a sense of how the brain itself is changing. Sleep is a fairly fundamental resource.
I really think of sleep, stress, and attention as three aspects of human experience of the body of of the mind regulation that sort of sit just underneath the stuff we call the mind. And they each actually overlap each other and resources shared one level below that. So sleep. Attention. There's something called SMR waves or sensory motor waves, which you may have seen a calm cat in a windowsill holding.
Very still, it's an SMR state. Humans use smr, so we don't wake up when a car goes by. It's called sleep spindles. You, you resist the rousing of sleep, but if you make SMR poorly, then your sleep architecture tends to be wonky and really poorly tend to have h D. So sleep spindle stabilization is actually one of the theories of how H adhd.
I wonder if you can kind of share a bit more about that in particular. I just was at the Sleep 2022 conference and there was a number of talks discussing the correlations between poor sleep and experiences for people of A D H D, and particularly in children. And what, I'm curious if you can share a bit more about what you've seen.
Sure. So a lot of the field of neural feedback is very experiential and phenomenological. We don't always understand what we're doing, but we create experiences for people and we're looking at real data and we sort of move people through arcs of, of transformation. The field's been around since the sixties at least, and since about the sixties.
At least half of the field's been built around this particular frequency that I mentioned a moment ago called smr or Sensory motor Rhythm. It's about 12 to 15 hertz or 12 to 15 cycles per second in humans, adult humans. And it is sort of central to the regulation of sleep, a as I was saying, or attention, but through a mechanism of creating inhibitory.
So we have a cortex, a bark that surfaces the brain, you know, bumpy and groovy, little bark, wrapping the brain, and then. , we have deep in the brain a switchboard called the, uh, thalamus. And there's lots and lots of neurons going from the cortex down to the thalamus. And there's lots and lots of neurons going from the sensory tissue like the retina or the cochlea into the thalamus or from the body into the, those places.
Then up into the brain and there's a big strip of tissue that runs ear to ear that regulates a lot of our sensory system and our motor system, and it uses. Frequency called sensory motor rhythm. And it was maybe 20 years ago that the first papers on this started coming out that showed that this thing that neurofeedback people like me think of as an attention resource.
I can explain why we think of that in a moment. We discovered the, the field of neurofeedback discovered S M R sort of by mistake as a core regulatory frequency because it also helps you resist seizure. . So the same inhibitory tone preventing things from running away. The brain is a machine that's that's on the edge of chaos.
It's balanced at the edge of criticality. It can't be too organized or life stops. It can't be too chaotic or information stops. So somewhere between those two things, the brain's always balancing between falling over into chaos and falling over into too much order, essentially. And unlike the heart, the heart wants to be order.
You see a heart EKG looking like a brain wave. That's a heart attack. You see a brain wave looking like a heartbeat. That's a seizure. Uh, a coherent wave. Mm-hmm. , that's too organized, not, doesn't have enough differentiation. Sure. Differentiated seizure. So SMR became this thing that crapped out and the field of neurofeedback.
Thinks of it as a thing, you can train up and reduce seizures and improve executive function, improve sleep. Neurologist called it sigma or sleep spindles. And maybe 20 plus years ago in the field, a researcher in UREs named uh, Dr. Matine AEs, A R N S, started discovering that there was a very high correlation of.
Disruption of sleep spindles in the A D H D population that he was working with in the Netherlands. Very, very high correlation. And at the same time, or maybe the year before at the big trade shows, the organizations that were, well, the providers getting together every year, there's one called, uh, A A P B, and one called is S n R.
So one of these organizations for a couple of years, one of the more exciting. Bits of research that had been published and that we're all talking about was the ratio of theta brainwaves to this S M R brainwaves as a diagnostic in the brain maps for A D H D. Mm-hmm. And for about a decade there was this really interesting diagnostic of the theta beta ratio.
And the first work was done by, uh, Dr. Vince Monstra, and it's 25, 30 years ago now, probably. It was very highly correlated. A high ratio of theta, which is lubrication to beta, which is activation, would produce a brain that was disinhibited that couldn't control s. , you know, kind of stuff. Yes. A d h, adhd. So, Dr.
Montra found this stuff as a very high correlator, could blindly sort thousands of cases into buckets of a h, ADHD and non d h adhd. And there's a similar feature of extra alpha for inattentiveness, which is a alpha is a neutral frequency, so too much lubrication. A D H D, too much neutral a D D, so to speak.
And these are pretty strong factors in the brain mapping Litera. . And because of it, lots of grad students and postdocs were like, Ooh, replication. And everyone kept replicating it for their posters or their little papers, and the statistics kept getting weaker. Minero's first work was 94% accurate and for A D H D, and every year the signature in the literature kept getting weaker and weaker by a few points.
Hmm. And then Dr. AEs published a thing showing that sleep disruption and ADHD looked the same. . So somebody in a metadata study and discovered that the reason we had sort of lost sensitivity in the the beta ratio is cuz the population of adolescents being examined over the decade. The cohort, as you know, time slid was getting more and more sleep deprived.
So the adolescent population was too deprived to see a D H D anymore because they all look the same now. Both sleep, DAP and ADHD was everywhere and you couldn't tell it. . Wow. So interesting. Okay. And if you exercise the smr, you get the inhibitory tone back between the cortex, meth thalamus, which produces someone who can sit still, not be distracted, who can sit on a coherent waves or spike waves, ictal events or seizures, and.
This, this storm of, of overly coherent waves burst through, it's called a seizure or an epilepsy, essentially, or a, a discharge, a spike discharge. S m r prevents that s m r prevents you from waking up throughout the night. So for humans, it's producing this, uh, dampening effect between the cortex and the thalamus.
So signals bounce back and forth. There's signals going down into the thalamus and signals coming up from the thalamus all the time, and there's a net of tissue that sits around the themus and wraps everything coming in and out of it called. , the NR T, the nuclear reticularis themi. It's the reticular nucleus of the thalamus.
We have one in the brainstem for waking us up and making us alert, and then an extension of it wraps the thalamus as a gain knob on experience and excitation of the entire system. And that uses smr. So as you exercise up the SMR through meditation, or deep pressure on the body. The way that Temple Grandin talks about building cow crushers that make you feel deeply calm if you're autistic, it's the same smr.
Mm-hmm. Deep capsule pressure creates stillness in the body. That's also smr. So SMR is a core feature of sleep, and as I get into the neurofeedback stuff, everywhere I look, we were seeing sleep effects. So every single client I work with, we track their sleep day to day because when you work on the brain, you create sleep change.
Whether or not that's a. , right? So you have to navigate it as part of the whole system. So, somewhat long-winded answer, but Well, I appreciate it. I know I, I gave you quite a big, uh, series of questions, so thank you for . I tied it all together. Thanks, you, you did a great job with that. And so actually, you've painted that picture so well.
Maybe we should also share for people just learning. Peak Brain Institute and what this all looks like. Like how could this work for them to be able to have access? Like how is it just about going into a lab? Is it virtual? How does this all look in other practical applications? . Sure. So Peak Brain, the company is sort of like your gym for the brain.
So while most people, there's about 10,000 I would guess in North America are practitioners that do neuro feedback. So not a huge amount, but there's certainly some, in most areas, most big area, big cities. Peak Brain has a few offices in New York City and LA and St. Louis and other places, uh, in Southern California.
But most of our clients never see our offices because over the past several years, we developed this completely virtual, uh, business. And we send you brain mapping gear like we did for you. And we had you map your, you know, put a cap on your head and the coaches were watching you stick gel in this, in the holes and you know, And we have people mapping their brain all over the world and you know, as long as you've got internet, we can help you set yourself up and get good signals and get a good Q E E G or e EEG done.
We then analyze, and most of our clients who are doing remote work will do neurofeedback, which is where they're exercising brainwaves to create some change. And for those clients, we give you a live support. On Slack, we use a chat application that's private. Your own private channel and it's always open seven days a week.
So we spend some time for a couple of weeks teaching you everything how to stick some wire because the brain mapping that you did is a, is a giant cap and it's kind of involved and it takes a minute. It's a little unwieldy. for brain training. We actually just use a couple of ear clips and one or two wires at a time, so, oh, I didn't realize that.
Okay, great. We teach you how to do basic neurofeedback where we, okay, we're gonna SR training today. That's done at c4. Let's say there's spot on the right hand side of the head, or maybe you have sleep onset issues. You might train it more at the vertex called cz. So, okay, Mollie, today you got a, you know, third session.
Then we're gonna do a C4 and then a cz SMR for you. You're like, great smr and. , you would do two 50 minute protocols and we'll teach you to put a wire in that spot and look at some signal on the screen and make sure your frequencies are set up right. And then the way neurofeedback works is the way you'd enhance or train up your SMR is you would just measure it, stick a wire.
There's uh, a circuit in the right involved with executive function and with knowing if you're paying attention, and also knowing if you should be asleep, so to speak. So it helps. General sleep architecture, and it's a big generator of this frequency called smr. Uh, it lets you sit still, especially, and the way you would change it is ma stick a wire there, plus the mirror eclipse, and measure your smr, your low beta waves moment to moment and measure your theta waves moment to moment.
and whenever your brain happens to make little more of that beta, that s m r for half a second and a bit less of the theta for half a second, the computer's gonna applaud your brain and make a little game start moving on the screen or some audio start playing. And so the brain's like, Ooh, stuff cool.
Why is changing my s m R and my theta, why is stuff happening? All right? I like stuff and it watches the stuff, and a couple seconds later, your brain moves in the wrong direction and the game slows. or stops the brain's like, Hey, where's my stuff ? And a couple seconds later, the brain happens to move in the right direction again.
And the applause resumes. And then the big trick here is we move the goalposts. Every few seconds we adjust. So the brain's getting applause for a little trends. It engages in over half an hour, 10, 15, 20 seconds in a row of raising that low power beta or dropping the theta. And it's mostly involuntary.
You can't feel your brain wave. . So after two or three sessions, your brain goes, huh, I was getting information when I dropped my theta and rose my beta. I'm gonna do that. And you feel that and you're like, Ooh, huh. I feel kind of clear. I feel kind of focused. Interesting. Nah, I must be imagining it. And then you go to sleep that night and you have great sleep and extra dreams, and you wake up and you're like, that was a little different, guys.
I might have felt something. Try it again. Try more smr, do it again. Get a stronger effect. So it rapidly ceases to become blind because. pushing on your brain and getting effects. And as you work on these basic resources of stress, sleep, and attention, you get changes in stress, sleep, and attention since you get to sort of grade and evaluate.
And each little half an hour push or exercise you do is transient, so it's not a permanent effect right away. So you can gently stretch something, see how it feels. Grade it, tweak it, evaluate it, do it again, and start moving your brain. So we, we looked at your brain map in three sort of rest conditions.
One was distorted by sleep, dap and time zone stuff, and one was distorted by. Caffeine, but typically I would look at a brain map, and even with your distortions, even with those, you know, three very con different conditions and some time between them, your maps didn't look all that different. In fact, they were similar enough that we could tell where the distortions were showing up from caffeine or from sleep depth.
Hmm. Now with neurofeedback, you use a brain map every six or seven or eight weeks, and you're picking up the change you're making. Um, the resources of beta or the structures involved with anxiety or sleep or stress or whatever. So you developed this relationship with your brain that's much closer to like changing your lipid panel or going after some, you know, back pain in the gym with a trainer or something where you have goals and some data.
And sort of iterate towards, uh, better data and better experience without relying on somebody else to sort of be the magical holder of knowledge and to treat you, if you will. This is why Peak does this as personal trainers. Well, he teach you to read your, your brain maps more than sort of say, you know, here's the answer about what it necessarily means, you know?
Sure. And on your site it says, we offer effective training protocols for stress, creativity, sleep, migraines, brain injuries, anxiety, mood focus, presumably beyond, uh, I know you've also mentioned things. Mm-hmm. , like Covid and other things that might show up for people with their brain. And then some people might say, oh, well, why can't I just do this on my own?
Why? Just meditate on my own. I'm like, can't I just do some deep breathing? All of these sort of things. I'm curious if you can help us walk through just the, the whole different world that this is. Yeah. The real reason why you can't just do the things Nerf feedback does voluntarily is because you can't feel most of what Nerf feedback is training.
Yeah. So while you can do voluntary things with the frontal areas of your brain for meditation and things, you know, different styles of executive function can activate sort of the frontal lobe areas. You can't get at. , lots of other areas, and you also can't get precise. So while meditation and other mindfulness practices will actually accelerate the gains you get from neurofeedback and vice versa, I have six month meditators experiencing the genres often, which are these absorption experiences.
Six months into meditating because they're also doing neurofeedback and the plasticity. Boost is just outta control. So everything's changing across their lives. And these things synergize meditation and neuro feedback. So it's not one or the other. Yeah, from both. But you're not gonna like help some seizure focus or the little ptsd.
S d structure, you know, the threats, sensitivity for the posterior cingulate meditation directed attention stuff isn't necessarily a tool for anxiety or for trauma for brain injury. In the same way that it might be for like A D H D now. A D H D. Mindfulness meditation could be a primary first line intervention for it, but it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem.
Mm-hmm. With regards to meditation practice, if you're really a D H D, you're gonna sit down for 20 minutes every morning and meditate. , that's all it'll take. Yeah. , you know, you gotta go to the gym three times a week and drop all the carbs. That's all it'll take for abs. You're gonna do it. Yeah, yeah. You know, like there's a difficulty with execution perhaps when there's executive function challenges or stress or fatigue or overwhelm.
And this is why we have the live coaches when doing remote training. Well, we don't just say, here's some gear have fun. Right? One size fits. It's also heavily tailored. So when we're working with your brain, we don't just build you a plan based on the brain maps we looked at. Well, the starting place based on your maps and your goals.
But then every day or two we're like, Ooh, how'd you sleep? How's your stress? How's your day? How's your mood? How's your drinking? Whatever. Yeah. And we give you new things to try. You exercise your brain, you feel a little different, you check back in. So it starts becoming this iterative approach where you're getting guidance as you try different things.
So it's a much more. . It's like working out in the really, really high end jam of complicated equipment, but coaches are there to run around and, oh, set this one up. Yeah, here's how you do it. And they help you troubleshoot so you can then just worry. if you're sore in the right way after the gym, and in this case with neurofeedback, you don't feel too much afterwards, but you feel a little clear or a little focused or a little calm or a little tired after the session.
And then for about 24 hours you have a little bit of a lingering effect, usually of subtle background stuff. Sure. Wow. So when people come your way and one of their primary concerns is sleep for various capacities, whether difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or they're just tired throughout the course of the day, what are some of the steps that we might expect that we might go through on that journey?
Yeah, so of course all of our clients do brain maps. So if you're near one of our offices, people will map, you know, frequently because we have a sort of unlimited, uh, open-ended mapping and teach people how to use their data. You'll see things related to sleep as you look into a brain, you'll see, for instance, the speed of your alpha waves alpha's your idle speed.
It's the resting mode of the car, the driveway just kind of ready to go, and the alpha spreads out across circuits and slows down when you're not getting enough deep. and the experience of that in somebody north of 30 is like word finding and tip of the tongue and delayed recall kind of phenomena. And someone south of 30 might be difficulty absorbing information.
So you gotta read a book and it's just sliding off here. Your friend always talks to you about stuff after dinner and it never quite gets in the next day. You've forgotten it all. That's a a speed of processing lag. People often think it's their memory, especially in their forties and fifties. Oh, Dr.
Hillen, uh, is it aging? Is it aging? You look at their brain and there's no issue at. Sep for alpha draggy. Mm-hmm. and, and the delta waves will often respond as well. And this is a sign they're not getting their resources restored. They're not getting enough in enough deep sleep. So you see the alpha waves as a drag.
You don't know why somebody has word finding or delayed recall or other sort of like draggy internal states, but it's plausible. They do from the maps, usually it's a pretty, you know, pretty good read. and if you see their delta waves, which is the rest, you know, slow wave, sleep wave, the dreamless sleep wave that you make when you're awake, but to do all the involuntary stuff, you kinda live in Delta.
So it keeps the heart and lungs moving and the cell metabolism moving. And when you're in slow wave sleep, it becomes a dominant wave. And does this like metabolic reset thing where it causes. Delta waves are about two times per second, and they cause this SMR signature then causes a ripple in the hippocampus, which causes memories to move from short term into long term encoding throughout the brain at 0.9 hertz.
This little ripple that responds to the S M R uh, stabilization as you hit deep sleep. So these are all involved and as you move up through the brain waves, you will see different aspects of your sleep. So the slowest brain wave delta. often push up faster when you're a little chronically sleep deprived, kind of like the cleaning crew in your office that usually sparkles the place for you every morning and has your water and coffee waiting has been cut in half, so it's like 10 people instead of 20, and they're still there, midday, rushing around, spilling trash everywhere, trying to clean up.
Hmm. That's what sleep depth feels like. It's that under-resourced, but rush. Kind of mode and delta shows that it shows fast delta waves and often slightly excessive delta. As your brain tries to sleep a little bit to make up for some metabolism, you are getting restored and the alpha drags down spreads out consequence, and the thinking brain waves called beta brain waves will often also drag down, or you can see where people stand in the gas to make up for it.
sometimes anxiety features, little circuits involved with selecting or focusing or deciding what's going on will cramp up into high gear in response to being tired, especially chronically or for some of us when we have caffeine. Mm. The brain goes from looking chill, a little bit tired to stress. Your brain actually cramped up and had a paradoxical, got a little bit like.
stressed and didn't get more performant and didn't look more relaxed at all or more awake. Actually, it looked almost like a caffeine, like you had too much even moderate amounts appeared to like. , like leave you tired. In the brain maps and all the anxiety marks, all the beta waves actually got jacked up to like 11 for you.
So it didn't leave you more performant or more smooth inside, just sort of briefly woke you up and then it wore off. Absolutely. That did not serve me from the looks of it . So for you we did a, you know, a contrast map condition. Look at different conditions. We, we did some science, we learned some things about your.
Sensitivity to sleep depth when disrupted by jet lag and fatigue to your sensitivity to regulation being disrupted by stimulants like caffeine. Yeah, you would see the same thing though if you looked at someone's brain at rest. Usually a barring distorted conditions. If you look at someone's brain every day, it's roughly the same brain map.
So while the performance test, the ones and twos tests we had you do will fluctuate based on how you're feeling, the amount of alpha, the speed of your delta, that kind of stuff is generally pretty stable at a 10,000 foot level. Sure. So if you see that. and you can paint a picture for someone around their architecture of sleep and stress and attention.
And even before we think about doing neurofeedback, I'm often suggesting some different sleep hacks or circadian stuff, or they're realizing for the first time that the sleep problem, they kind of know they have, or they kind of know they're suboptimal. Or you can sh show them just how much it's in the way.
So that has two consequences. One. Makes it real. So if you're kind of like, ah, I sleep fine, I sleep fine, I sleep, oh my goodness, look at that. I don't sleep fine. That's right. Okay. Okay. I am really tired. Yes. You know, you can kind of get a real clear like, okay, here's some data. What do you think? And while I'm never gonna tell you what the data means, if I tell you what's plausible and you're, you already know it's true, that can be become somewhat bracing.
Same token though, if you look at your brain, it doesn't become this perspective of, ah, my gosh, something's wrong. . When you understand the circuits, you can see at the EEG level, those become things you can change if you see them. Mm-hmm. . So if you see you have weak bait or slow alpha delta that's running high, and your SMR tone is iffy, you can exercise your SMR up and change your sleep architecture.
So it changes the relationship from, oh my God, I'm so bad at sleeping. Oh, I'm doing something wrong. I'm staying up too late. I'm eating too much, whatever, into a realm of like, oh, my brains are having a little bit of difficulty. You can be annoyed with it without feeling like you're shamed or something's wrong with you.
And sleep stuff is very, very stressful. Yeah. Many folks that have sleep issues. , the initial sleep issue they have is not the current problem they have. The current problem they have is massive stress around the sleep issue. Absolutely. Ugh. And is that part of what you see often then part of the protocol that you're creating is to deal with that kind of stress response and performance, almost anxiety, and how that all kind of shows up for them.
Yeah. I never know. Chicken or egg. You know what? Yeah. Right. What started it. But you'll see a signature of a high elevated beta waves broadly across the head. Mm-hmm. and what's called hypercoherence or stuck together brainwaves and beta waves broadly across the head. And you'll often see on the left side of the head part of the brain involved with sustaining.
Your focus is kind of weak, and that usually means folks are experiencing a generalized anxiety state with poor sleep maintenance. So they weren't staying deeply asleep, kind, skimming the surface, waking up, tired, never diving all the way down, and that's a tired but kind of anxious, kind of like activated white knuckling brain.
And you see it barely, clearly it can be compensatory yet covid brain fog that may be there because you have the stress with which to cut through the fog and you're using. , or it may be that the stress in your life or the chronic stress developmentally or whatever has caused the sleep dysregulation, perhaps because nighttime isn't a safe time for you or because, mm-hmm.
chronic stress, it disregulated your insulin, or who knows a thousand ways that sleep is dysregulated. , but you can go after the phenomena of your sleep dysregulation, your executive function, your S m R, your alpha, your theia, your delta, and it changes it into more of a mechanical, okay, let me work it out and see what happens.
And less about like, oh my God, my brain's not behaving. Why won't you shut up and let me sleep right now? Brain . So it gives you agency even if it's not perfect clarity. , it does flip the relationship as you look at your brain maps into one of like, oh, okay, I wonder how I can get you to behave. Piece of machinery I carry around and less about why is this happening to me?
So that's a lot of our personal trainer perspective. . Love that. Amazing. And what are some of the things that you've seen for people that come your way and they're really struggling with their sleep, but they've got certain experiences of, oh no, I'm a bad sleeper. Oh, I can't sleep. All this kind of construction of how they think about their sleep.
And what is kind of the timeline for someone like some of those people? What can we expect of a length of time before they might bust through some. Yeah, great question. I would say that regardless of which flavored sleep disruption it is, and I would say I could probably pick out three or four or five D.
Categories of neurological signatures or brain stuff. Sure. And one is that sort of h d slash sleep issue at a regulatory level that I mentioned earlier. Yep. One might more be more of a brain fog kind of metabolic hip signature where the brain's always sleeping a little bit, trying to deal with a concussion or covid or whatever.
Mm-hmm. And it's more of like stuck in that deep metabolic mode. And the other is more of an anxiety almost, or an over arousal where you. down, regulate reliably. Mm-hmm. . And there can be complicated inflections on top of those. Like the over aroused person can also be an alcoholic. Yes. For instance, which can complicate some of the, the state change stuff quite dramatically.
So people are not as simple as any one particular feature. We might guess about their map. Yep. Obviously. But if you see somebody with classic brain fog from apnea that was never treated, now is treated so the cause is gone, but the sleeps status is regulated or major A D H D. Or anesthesia disorder, throwing their sleep off or covid throwing their sleeping brain fogs or trauma P T S D stuff, throwing their sleep off dramatically.
You'll see change in the presenting symptom of attention or anxiety or trauma or cravings or whatever, as well as the sleep architecture. By self-report in the goal landscape, you'll also see the change in executive function and in the resting e EEG all about the same magnitude. It all coheres or converges for things like A D H D I test the attention frequently, so I can tell you exact.
Statistics, it's something like a standard deviation of change against the average person every other month. Wow. So we tend to do about three months for like ADHD with sleep issues. Mm-hmm. or someone has chronic anxiety and heavily medicated 20 years on sleep stuff. It might take three to four months and somewhere around three to four sessions, five sessions, six sessions in, there's a subjective experience and they're like, Hey, wait a minute, do I feel different?
Nah. We're like, okay, try it again. Oh, wait a minute. This feels like so. and then we're off the races. Cuz then we can provoke a subjective, a subtle, but a subjective effect that you're like, this feels a little different and you get or don't get a sleep effect. Wow. And we evaluate, you know, it's, it's very iterative in that way.
We get about that much change. Someone comes in with major sleep issues with anxiety and generalized stuff, or drinking or a D H D in sleep issues. Or always foggy because of concussions or covid three to four months, 50 sessions roughly. Will make usually more than two standard deviations of improvement in brain maps and performance testing.
Mm-hmm. , which for folks who aren't statisticians, couple standard deviations is moving from fairly problematic executive function, stress, sleep, really in the way. Plus or minus one. Standard deviation is normal. Variants plus or minus, where stuff gets in the way. Stuff pinches up more than about a standard deviation away from typical in stress management and sleep management and executive function.
That's where we've defined societally as weird. Oh, okay. That guy's acting weird. It's usually more than a standard deviation out on the bell curve. And when someone comes in with complaints of A D H D or sleep issues or fatigue or burnout, they're often running two standard deviations, three standard deviations out on the bell curve.
in unusual features. So when you look at. And you measure it in their performance and their brain. Yeah, you'll see sleep stuff and executive function, et cetera. But you know that you can generally make a nice, solid change of about one color shade in our data sets, which is one standard deviation every 20, 25 sessions.
So people train three times a week for half an hour, just a couple of ear clips and a couple wires in the head. Most of it's passive, subtle, gentle effects afterwards. And you make notes afterwards about what you notice. Hmm. If that's nothing great, if it's something. and we then adjust what we do. Oh, try this.
And it feels a little different as you adjust it. So it rapidly becomes this thing where you're like, oh, okay, that left side protocol that feels like this, oh, this right side protocol that feels like this. And you end up with these like menu of the Mollie specials that we slowly iterate and figure out.
Okay. Mollie likes c3, left side for sleep, maintenance, and C and cz, the vertex for sleep onset, and a little bit of, you know, midline structures to help her. Unclench ruminating mind as she tries to fall asleep and worries about her sleep anxiety or whatever. So we would build a customized plan and then evaluate if you get the effects you're looking for after a few sessions.
And then rinse and repeat essentially. But it certainly takes about three to four months for a permanent change and to get people where they want to be. If nothing's in the way, keeping it going. And if you don't have a huge amount of like major catastrophic needs, so to speak, you've got major autism or lots and lots of brain injuries.
Or 17 different uh, uh, needs, including major anxiety and developmental trauma, and you're using substances and you're, you're probably doing six months of neurofeedback. You're regulating more and more and more the whole time. and, and some people do more because peak performers, you can also do things around creativity and flow state, and I bet you'll love to know that a lot, an awful lot of the peak performance neurofeedback that's done in the field, like 90% of it is done exploiting the hypnogogic state shift where you bring people to the edge of sleep and hold them there and the monkey mind drops away.
Insight and awareness and stuff starts to bubble up. You do it by manipulating an aspect of sleep without putting them to. . I love that's that's a big portion of the work that you're doing day to day of peak performance work. Yeah. And of alcohol work. It's called Alpha Feta. Mm-hmm. . And it's the basis of most peak performance work in the neurofeedback world.
So most sports and performance, most cognitive performance work, most creativity and flow state work is, is run alpha feta. And Alpha Theta is the Hypnogogic State access training. It brings you the moment that you fall asleep when you're having the best idea in the world, you solve world hunger, you plop the next book, you solve the next business idea, and then you fall asleep and you're like, wait, oh, I had the best idea last night.
Ah, what was it? Yeah, well, Al Alpha Theater neurofeedback does the road wonder thing where it paints a little door on the cliff side and the knob and behind that is all your juicy creativity. Cool. So as your sleep gets regulated and as your stress gets regulated, now your next opportunity is off and to start, you know, prying open the juiciness and developing things that aren't about fixing problems.
Yeah. That are about stretching the resources in a different way. So I love. Just not to focus on this being only about fixing, you know, difficulties for you necessarily. Yeah. I appreciate that too, because that's one of our commitments with Sleep as a skill is making this argument that sleep has become a skillset in our modern society, and we're also arguing that.
there can be a bit of this Trojan horse effect by virtue of going to work on improving your sleep. Mm. You're actually addressing many areas of your life that might not be working in the way that you would like them to, and bidirectionally. By improving those, you improve your sleep and you improve your life as a whole, so, absolutely.
Yeah. Yeah. Love that. And one of the things I wanted to point to too, you mention. This whole world of neurofeedback and what a lot of people are doing out there. One of the things that I really like and respect about the work that you're doing is I have the experience that it's kind of this democratization of access for people to be able to have an opportunity to utilize this where, you know, I grew up with no money, like was not an option, at least in my vantage point for a lot of access points to things like.
And yet it feels like you're looking to do as much as possible to make this accessible to the masses. So I'm wondering if you can share about some of the kind of out of the box ways, you know, and I'm not trying to make this like a infomercial or anything, but I think it's important because we want people to have access to resources.
And people hear about, oh, this neurofeedback, but ooh, that sounds expensive. Can't do that. Yeah. And it often is, unfortunately, it's often done in a therapy model by very skilled individuals. And not to ding that model, there's, there's massive. Value in a therapist with domain expertise in eating disorders, sleep, autism, trauma addiction, doing neurofeedback alongside their new deeply nuance skill.
I sort of view neuro feedback like the coach in the weight room helping you build the resource and therapy or your guru, or your mindfulness person or your trauma coach, whatever, like the person in the field helping you learn to lift your elbow more and be more voluntary with your resources and integrate them more.
So there's definitely a role for both pieces of it, but unfortunately, even though the technology in the past 20 years has really come down in cost, I mean, when I got involved in the. You needed to hook two computers together. Yeah. With a parallel cable. You had two separate DOS based computers running those you don't know DOS was something before Windows.
Yeah. And you had to connect with a parallel cable. Cause one computer wasn't powerful enough to run both the game and the signal processing. So you needed two. And now the computer is powering. Is is there, the amplifiers are cheaper. This offer is cheaper. And yet the skillsets to do this work are still somewhat expensive.
If you. . So you have sort of rarefied individuals doing it to some extent, especially when they're really, really good and a lot of the one size fits all systems that are out there don't really fit people that well either cause weak effects or can cause some side effects. So when we were starting peak break, we changed a little bit how we do it.
Again, we're more personal trainers and coaches for you than doctors. And we have a few physical offices and one example of our sort of different approach to this is for the brain mapping, the Q E E G and the attention assessment, which is usually fairly expensive at competitors so to speak, or therapist model offices.
It's usually a grander more for a brain map in an office. Our normal undiscounted sort of annual membership, which gets you free brain maps throughout the year and some mindfulness groups and other coaching is normally 500 bucks. We're gonna give it to sleep as a skill folks for half price. So two 50 for in.
Thank you. You know, one fee once a year. Free brain maps in LA or New York or St. Louis. Best deal in the world. . If you wanna do a bunch of evaluation, you happen to meet into the cities. Great. Yeah. Most of our clients never visit our offices. And we do remote programs. We send you equipment, we do maps like we did with you remotely.
Yep. Those programs are a little more expensive. Yes. But folks can still use the same discount. And we're still in the ballpark of competitive against a like therapy model in that I think our three month program is about 5K or just over right now. , which gets you a couple remote brain maps and 40 to 50 sessions of neurofeedback, which are initially guided and instructed, and then have real time, seven day a week support as you need.
So 50 sessions of neurofeedback and a couple brain maps for south of 5K is in this landscape. In the field we're between half and a quarter, like, like in LA or New York City, we're a quarter. And in St. Louis we're, you know, half or sometimes we're getting close to competitive for some of the smaller operations, but.
The point isn't to sort of say, here, let me sell you neurofeedback. Yeah. Cause we offer. , the brain mapping almost as a loss leader, it's not really a loss leader for us. I mean, yeah, we don't make any money on the brain maps, but the point is to provide a tool set for you to develop agency. Mm-hmm. , I don't wanna be an expert for you.
I want, I, I'm happy to be an expert. Yeah. But I don't want you to have to rely on any expert. I don't want you to have to find the next guru, the next doctor. When I'm teaching sleep hacks, I give Dr. Hill three or four circadian rules, and then I say, these are experiments. Talk to your kid, play with 'em.
Totally. So they feel they're guidelines. If they work for you, great. If they don't, that's real. Yeah. Evaluate. Explore. Have fun with it. Play with it, track it. And the same becomes true of your brain once you can look at data. Mm-hmm. . So we started off thinking, okay, we'll just do this more, you know, personal training style made sense for us, but rapidly we found that the brain mapping.
Tool set for people that have difficulties for biohackers, for folks that are aging nowadays. For that post covid sort of, you know, brain fog signature that we see so clearly in maps is a tool that even before we start doing neurofeedback, becomes something you can often go, oh, okay, my sleep is very bad.
Yeah, I really should get a better fitting. . C P A P mask. Oh yeah, I switched to BiPAP. Oh yeah, I probably should, like, okay. Mm-hmm. , my wife wouldn't happy him up snoring anymore, but Dr. Hill says, my Delta's crappy and oh my God, I'm feeling that. Yeah. And now you can check it out, get a new mask, do some interventions, come on back a few months later, get another map.
And you have agency. You don't have to rely on the next polysomnograph or doc to, you know, the next sleep specialist, the next pain doc to say, yeah, here's the answer. Here's the, here's the right thing. and get some support. A lot of my sleep client or sleep goal clients will come in initially saying something like, I don't sleep very well.
I never have, or for a very, very long time. And every single thing someone gives me to help me sleep works for about two weeks, and then it stops working and then it'll sleep again. And those folks generally respond to neurofeedback. That's great. Not always. almost all the time, so, okay. So this is really fascinating.
I'm sure people listening then are curious of, for someone like yourself who's seen all these brain states and then what's possible for people as they really go to work in this? People often wanna know, okay, well what are those people doing? So we do ask four questions and just to try to understand a bit of.
Are some of the things that you might have pulled out for yourself in your life that are helping to support your sleep. So we always ask these four questions. The first one is really about your nightly routine and what could we learn from your nightly sleep routine that's kind of noteworthy? Yeah, I mean, I have a couple of sort of just guidelines for myself around the evening.
I'm not too strict about it. I pay an awful lot more attention for sleep support for circadian to what I do in the morning. Yes. But in the evening, I tend to have a couple of guidelines. The most important of which I find is to not eat within a few hours before bed game. Huge. A big piece of that is that as melatonin rises, it completely suppresses insulin release from pancreatic eyelet cells.
You can't release insulin as you get tired. Can't do it. So if you. Food. What you do is you create a high blood sugar state, and that means once you're asleep, you can't release growth hormone. Mm-hmm. . So if you go to bed full and tired, you wake up hungry and tired. If you go to bed hungry and tired, you wake up full of energy.
so fast before bed, at least three hours is my rule. I don't worry too much about screens. I'm not one of those biohackers that thinks light is all that important, with the exception of morning light, which I really care about. Great. But first rule, I, I try not to eat several hours before bed. I, I, I usually do what's called E T R F, early time or shouldn't feeding same.
I try to stop eating after two or three in the afternoon and have a nice long window, but I also go to bed at. eight 30 at night. Yeah. So that's another piece of it. I like to go to bed fairly early. I, one of my rules is the time to sleep in the beginning of the night, never the end of the night . I like it.
Okay. And you've, and you've always done that for a long period of time, and now you're just, you've layered in the, the meal timing piece over the years. And you're cognizant of that, not too crazy, but the lighting piece in the evening. Yeah, and I, and I really find that I'm dependent on locking in my wake time as a core circadian queue.
So my bedtime and not eating before bed and eagle in bed early enough is actually about facilitating the proper wake time. Yes, a hundred percent. Okay, so that leads us to that second question, which is, what is your morning? Arguably sleep routine it looked like. Yeah. And I love that anchoring of that consistent wake up time.
We find that to be so, so important and, and I hold the wake up time consistent. No matter when I go to bed, yes, I'm late partying or working or stressing or whatever, it doesn't matter. I get up the same time. In fact, I've been doing it, you know, when I was much younger, I, I was a baker and I used to get up super, super early.
So I used to think it was because of that. But then I, throughout college and grad school would sleep, you know, poorly like everyone else. and maybe 10 years ago I started getting earlier and earlier and started noticing that when I get up very, very early, it creates this, this, this strong circadian response.
Yeah. Such that I can get a lot less sleep. . Yeah. In the sleep that I do get is dramatically better. Like I can get six hours sleep night after night from night and feel great if I'm up at 4:00 AM but if I'm up at 7:30 AM. I need like eight hour sleep or more. So why would I wanna be up at 8:00 AM you know?
Mm-hmm. So, so I have this, these days, past several years. I'm usually waking up before four going, oh yeah, it's probably not quite four yet. Yeah. I should probably stay in bed for another 2010 minutes. Ah, it's nice. , you know, languorously full of energy, gently waking up. Yeah. At like three 50 cuz my brain knows that it's getting close to.
wild. And you said the morning light piece is really important for you. What does that look like? Yeah, well, the only light that really has circadian signal entrainment that is strong is the light that's there in the first hour or so. Uh, well, it's gone by an hour after sunrise. It shows up before sunrise when dawn comes up the certain golden color.
Mm-hmm. or, or blue collar really. And then once the sun is about an hour up into the sky, there's too much reflection and there's no more circadian light that the blue light's not in the air anymore. Don't ever get up later than an hour after sunrise. If you want the circadian benefits of. and what does that look like for you as far as the amount of, you know, people always ask about these questions, of the specifics of light viewing behavior in the morning.
What do you do there? I don't think it matters too much, honestly. Little ambi. I, I have, I have windows around my, you know, first story LA apartment. It's really sunny, but I don't bother too, too much about direct. access. I just get that exposure. Mm-hmm. , I find that if you're fairly well entrained, a little bit of signals are fine.
If you're poorly entrained, I might, what I recommend for folks that are poorly entrained is when they get up in the morning is they go for a walk. Yeah. Because the motion creates plasticity. The side to side eye thing creates a emdr, like extra plasticity response that drops thread improves. H R V expending energy before you receive energy is extremely strong.
Circadian q so. When you first get up, I don't want you moving from the bed to the couch or the desk, the breakfast table. I want you to move from the bed to the yoga mat or the tai chi mat, or do some breathing or do some walking, or bring your friend cough. You're in the place that's three blocks away or something where you're expending, you're burning off.
A tiny bit of fuel. Now, I do think a light matters in the evening, but the color of it does not matter. And a lot of biohackers get this wrong, and I'm, I'm sorry for any of my friends that own companies that have glasses with shades in them and stuff. But the color of lights are relevant. The research has shown for circadian distortion.
It's the intensity of light. Not the color of it that matters. So all you have to do to minimize the impact of building a modern world with screams after dusk is have your screens at moderate brightness instead of ful brightness. Another hack suggested by Andrew Huberman is to move your lights after dust from overhead to only eye level or lower because it's a positional effect That's somewhat impactful as well.
I think the intensity is the primary effect literature shows of of light brightness. Mm. With the blue versus yellow versus whatever does not seem to matter in terms of melatonin suppression, really at all. It's intensity. . Well, and I think it's important call out too for the people that have the big, bright, even red lights and panels and, you know, yes.
Thinking that that's a good move when that can be concerning to have that. Yeah. Brightness is, is kind of a d a big deal after dusk. So I recommend no overhead lights, trillion dust lights, and use moderate intensity, you know, soft, warm. Colors after dusks to avoid suppression. But honestly, evening melatonin suppression through bright light is like so far down the list of things that people usually do to screw with themselves.
It's like they're looking for, oh, I can't, I gotta get some glasses. Can't get exposed to blue light after dusk. Yeah. How about you don't eat crap? How about you put the ice cream away after 5:00 PM ? How about you're like, don't sit there and have, you know, 300 grams of carbohydrates eight minutes before you crawl into bed.
Maybe that'll have more of an impact. Timing is wild. New timing is number one. Number one, huge. And then wake timing, I think is number two, and low intensity exercise first thing in the morning and moving high intensity. , the kind of spikes cortisol to afternoon. Mm-hmm. , because then you aren't gonna create cortisol resistance, insulin resistance, et cetera by working out too hard first thing in the morning and processing your circadian rhythm by causing cortisol spikes when the receptors have already been full by waking you up.
Sure. So good. And what might we physically or visually see in your environment, whether on your nightstand or proverbial nightstand if you're traveling? Apps, gadgets, any noteworthy. Yeah, I really keep my, my sleeping environment fairly simple. I don't do anything in my bedroom except for sleeping. Well, that isn't exactly true.
It, there's a bed and there's stacks of guitar cases. Cause I have a slight guitar collecting problem. . That's amazing. But, but that's just, that's just cuz I don't use the bedroom for anything else. So these stacks of guitar cases, you know, at the front of the bed, I can see some guitars in the corner too.
Very nice. Yeah, you gotta have. Joint stacking, . But yeah, I, I don't go in the bedroom basically, unless I'm trying to find my cats or I'm sleeping . It's fairly bare, fairly austere. Nothing really to distract me. I don't, I don't read in bed if I can avoid it. I wanna create a state dependent reflex where I'm like, oh.
oh, bad. And like, yeah, five minutes later I can be asleep. And that's harder to do if I, I mean, when I was growing up and for years I was just habit of reading in bed for hours. And it's a, once you get into that habit, your brain isn't always sure when you're done reading and when it's time to sleep, you know?
So you can be like lying there for two hours thinking about the thing you read or the next day, right, because you developed an activation thing. and these days reading on Kindles and other, you know, screens creates secondary problems cuz of the intensity Yeah. Has to be managed, uh, of light again, so.
Sure. Okay. So good. And then the last one would be, what has made the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your sleep? Yeah. Um, I probably have already mentioned it in that I figured out when I started to really try to, well, I guess I realized how important it was to get up at 4:00 AM essentially.
Okay. Like, I was like, oh, isn't that important? Sure. And then I'd be getting, you know, time zones would change, I'd travel or the clock would shift or something. I'd keep at five or five 30 and I just wouldn't feel the same during the day. I just, just feel as resourced even with enough sleep. Even when my oral ring told me that, oh, a little crown.
I didn't believe it. Yeah. Didn't feel it. . I started really realizing, you know, maybe only five years ago, a couple of different times throughout a year when it got thrown off that if I made an effort to get. early, getting up earlier than you want. Reintrained, circadian rhythms. Here's a nice insight. And I was, I was applying something I already knew.
I wasn't really an insight, but oscillation all life, all natural system, be it weather or the planet or our bodies, require delay and feedback to create oscillation. And oscillation is where life lives essentially, or di or dynamic information lives. So if you shut off oscillation, you. And vary billion signals, be it circadian stuff or blood sugar, whatever else are involved with healthy life, essentially healthy, healthy regulatory range.
Well, the fastest way to reset a system that's oscillating to retrain it is to create a signal that's slightly in advance, slightly negative in timing. Which means getting up early works, sleeping in doesn't. That's interesting. No one said it quite like that on any of our episodes to date. I appreciate that.
There you go. A new one. That's what happens when you get neuroscience neuroscientist in your, in your corner. So systems fantastic. That is, I love that kind of approach in the simplicity of that. . But then having that in our background of that idea of almost like resetting the system That's right. Day in and day out.
That's beautiful. And for anyone listening then is saying, wow, okay. I'm blown away. I need to know more. How can people learn more about what you're up to and what you're creating over here at Peak Brain Institute? Yeah, so please check out our socials, most of which are Peak Brain LA because that was our first location.
Sure. The website is Peak Brain Institute. again, we can work fully, virtually around the world. We have rental everything in the US so you can just give us a call or send us an email and stock get shipped out to you. And if you happen to have the luxury of living in LA or St. Louis or New York or Orange County, California, then you have a local office and a very good deal for essentially unlimited brain maps for a, a reasonable fee to learn to get into this tech and take some control of your.
So fantastic. Well, thank you so much. I feel so aligned with what you all are up to and the fact your use of the word agency is just music to my ears because that's really our intention with the work that we do, and I feel like there's such camaraderie here because it's just. So, so important that people are not feeling at the effect of, or dependent on finding, you know, the guru, the, this, the that and the other.
It's the having the inspiration and experimentation to be able to dive in and play and find what works for them and gamify this in a, to a certain extent. So thank you so much for the work you're doing. It's so, so important. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks the kudos and thanks for having me. Ah, thank 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 Mollie 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.