Women and men everywhere are discovering the incredible health benefits associated with Fasting. But it's much more than a weight-loss solution - it impacts your sleep…for better or for worse depending on how you manage it.
Dr. Mindy Pelz, a nutrition and functional medicine expert who wrote best-selling books Fast Like A Girl & The Menopause Reset, is here to answer all your questions about fasting and women's cycles related to getting a good night's sleep.
Dr. Pelz also shares tips for safe and effective fasting methods that work for everyone. Plus, let's learn about how these impact sleep habits too.
So don't limit yourself - explore all this powerful practice can offer!
Dr. Mindy Pelz, D.C. is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, nutrition and functional health expert who has spent over two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health. She is a recognized leader in the alternative health field and a pioneer in the fasting movement, teaching the principles of a fasting lifestyle, diet variation, detox, hormones, and more.
Her popular YouTube channel (which just celebrated 24 million lifetime views) regularly updates followers on the latest science-backed tools and techniques to help them reset their health. She hosts one of the leading science podcasts, The Resetter Podcast, and is the author of three best-selling books. Her celebrity clients include Danica Patrick, Leann Rimes, Kat Graham, and influencer Jesse Itzler. Dr. Mindy has appeared on national TV shows including “Extra TV” and “The Doctors,” and has been featured in Well + Good, Parade, Muscle & Fitness, Healthline, and more. For more information, please visit https://drmindypelz.com/.
In this episode, we discuss:
😴 Dr. Mindy Pelz's book Fast Like a Girl and what inspired her to write it
😴 Fasting and Women's cycle how it relates to sleep
😴 How does Fasting improve sleep quality?
😴 Fasting and sleep are both healing states
😴 A common misconception about "Fasting"
😴 App: Fast Like a Girl
😴Taking the time to understand your body and cycle allows you to learn when you are at peak arousal, allowing for an enhanced sexual experience.
😴 What are some tips for beginners who want to start fasting?
😴 The relationship between meal timing and sleep
😴 Tips and advice for men and women on how to fast safely and effectively?
😴 Dr. Pelz's morning and night routine
😴 Top biohacking devices recommended by Dr. Pelz
😴 Dr. Pelz’s best-selling books:
- Fast Like a Girl: A Woman's Guide to Using the Healing Power of Fasting to Burn Fat, Boost Energy, and Balance Hormones
- The Menopause Reset: Get Rid of Your Symptoms and Feel Like Your Younger Self Again
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!
Dr. Mindy Pelz, Mindy Pelz, Dr. Mindy Pelz's book, Fast Like a Girl, the Fasting Revolution Diet, the fasting revolution diet, sleep, sleep optimization, women's health, men's health, menopause, natural rejuvenation, meal timing, women cycle, detox, sleep better
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.
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 is a Skilled podcast. Our guest today has actually been on the podcast before and we have brought her back. She's got a new book, and one of the reasons we brought her back is that we've looked at ours. Stats on this podcast and some of the most popular podcasts that we've had with the most downloads and comments, and the whole thing has been podcasts that relate to this concept of kind of cycle syncing.
Alisa Vidi had coined that term, so she was a very popular episode and another very popular thinker in that domain. Has been Dr. Mindy Pells, so she is back better than ever and she's got a lot of wisdom to share for us in today's episode. So I think you're gonna be really interested in why are we talking about cycle sinking with sleep?
Well, It has everything to do with sleep. And if you're a man listening to this podcast and you think that this doesn't apply to you, you're not a woman of menstruating age, so you know, tune out, please don't tune out because one, please send this to someone in your life that this would apply to. And two, I think there's a lot to be gained by understanding just how dynamically our hormones can be shifting for these women of menstruating age that are important to you in your life, and it can really, really impact not only their sleep results.
But many other aspects of their life. So the more information that you are able to gather, the more you can help support those people that mean the world to you, and help ensure that they are set up powerfully with this information and unfortunately is just not as readily available as it could be. So, jumping right in, I wanna share a little bit about Dr.
Mindy. She is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, nutritional and functional health expert who has spent over two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health. She's a recognized leader in the alternative health. Fields and a pioneer in the fasting movement, teaching the principles of a fasting lifestyle, diet variation, detox hormones, and more.
Her popular YouTube channel, which just celebrated 24 million lifetime views regularly up. Dates followers on the latest science backed tools and techniques to help them reset their health. She hosts one of the leading science podcast, the Resetter podcast, and is the author of three bestselling books.
Her celebrity clients include Danica Patrick Leanne Rhimes. Kat Graham Graham, an influencer Jessie. Slur, Dr. Mindy has appeared on national TV shows including Extra TV and The Doctors, and has been featured in Well and Good Parade, muscle Fitness, Healthline, and more. For more information, you can visit dr mindy pells.com and let's jump into this very important podcast.
I hope you enjoyed as much as I. 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% off. And welcome to the Sleep is a Skill podcast. I am very, very excited to have my guest here today.
Mindy, Dr. Mindy, thank you so much for taking the time to be here and I'm happy to, you know, go deeper with you. I know we had an opportunity to connect at, uh, biohack in Congress. Earlier this year and was blown away with your content and certainly had been aware of some of the work that you've been doing, but just to see you speaking live and to see the passion so palpable up there on the stage, I am just elated to get an opportunity to speak with you more.
So thank you. Oh, thanks for having me. And like I said, I mean, I, if we can chat about sleep, I'm like, become like obsessed with it, . And I have, I have like a long list of hacks that have been working for my menopausal body. So I, I'm just excited to be here. Yes. Oh, I'm love to hear that. I know we were.
Chatting before we hit record and you were saying how you're really stepping into this element of like what's possible in mastering sleep. And I know you've got tons of things to share. And I was also sharing with you too before we hit record of one of the things I thought was really one of my favorite, honestly, takeaways out of.
Biohacking Congress was one of the things you said on a panel where you mentioned how a reframe for women and our cycles and what can be possible if we work in alignment with our cycles of this ability to almost have this built in sort of system or map, if you will. Of how to really lean into different times to ebb and flow of when to fast, when to take it easy, when to eat certain things, when to incorporate certain types of workouts.
All of these things that I think many of us might not be aware of. So I'd love to turn the spotlight onto you a bit to hear how you, you know, became so knowledgeable in this area and how this can relate to. Yeah. You know what's really interesting is that I think that I never fully appreciated my hormones until they started to go away.
Yes. So , it was like they were just there, you know, when we get pregnant, I think we had sort of our experience of like what that feels like. We went through puberty, there were waves, but. When I hit 40, I really started to see the effects of my hormones coming and going in very unusual patterns and in an attempt to solve my own hormonal issue.
I personally, like a personal value system for me, is to solve as many problems with my health as I can through lifestyle. I'm not a fan of, like I definitely, I haven't taken a medication since I was 20. I am not a fan of what I call the magic mushroom where we just start throwing all these. Supplements and hope that one of 'em sticks.
Although I do think supplements are great, I'm just not a fan of that being the solution. So when I started getting hot flashes and not sleeping and feeling depressed and putting on a little bit of weight and energy crashes, I really went looking for what was the solution. And in that, that discovery, which was so fascinating.
I got reconnected to my cycle and I started to really analyze all the hormones that were coming and going in a 30 day period. Now, the funny part about this story is that my cycle was disappearing, so, but yet I'm, I was charting it. I was analyzing like, when does estrogen come in and what does estrogen need me to do?
When does testosterone come in and how can I make testosterone more efficient in my body? And why do I need progesterone? And I started to look at all of this and I walked, it came out of my own desire to solve my own health problems and realized, Oh my God. As women, we should not be eating the same. We should not be fasting the same.
We should not be exercising the same at every single day of our cycle. We have different needs with because we have different hormones, and once I figured out how to eat, how to fast, how to exercise in accordance with my cycle. Like my hormonal health was better than ever. Mm-hmm. . And then I started thinking, why aren't we teaching this to women?
Why aren't we discussing this? Why is this like, this is so obvious when you look at it. Why have we never had this conversation before? So that's kind of where my journey started. I love that and I love how you share of your own story and how that kind of motivated this going down the rabbit hole on this topic and learning so much about it and really solving and making difference with your own struggles and then now so many other women as well.
And you know, I, I can share from my own experience, there is a period before, you know, some part of my stories, I went through my own period of insomnia and that's, Birthed, you know, the sleep is a skill, but before going through that purum insomnia, I had this outlook that you just wanna, you know, kind of put the pedal to the metal and you know, this concept of like, oh, well don't baby yourself.
Oh, just because it's a particular time of the month. Like that's just, you know, you gotta be your word and let's do this and you know, this type of ethos. And clearly that didn't work so well for me, and . So, you know, it's, you know what's so interesting? Yeah. Is that, Like sleep, navigating, menopause, both of those have two commonalities.
You can't muscle your way through it. Yes, yes. And so those of us that have been type A, like, let me just do a little bit more, let me just push myself a little bit harder. Women, we are not biologically made to push at any time of our life. So whenever we approach anything from that pushing standpoint, our hormones.
Hmm. And that is, that was my another really big aha because I was a competitive athlete. I played on a tennis scholarship in college. Oh, wow. I was always under the impression that I could outwork anybody. I could out exercise anybody. But then when I hit menopause, I realized, no, this is not a moment to push.
This is actually a moment to understand myself and to actually do the opposite, to kind of ease up a little bit. And that's, Thing that I think, you know, I, I have this picture of Rosie the Riveter in my kitchen. Yes. And I would, I would pass it and I'd look at her one day. I remember looking at her and going, I don't, I dunno, Rosie, I'm not sure we're supposed to do it all.
And I'm like the total feminist. I'm like the one who's like, I'm the, you know, primary breadwinner of my family. Like you, I, I believe women can accomplish anything yet our physiology tells. , we have to take breaks, we have to eat different, we have to rest at certain times of our cycle and we're not being taught this.
Yeah, and even as you share that, I feel like there's like a nervous system, like ah, just even hearing the reminder that yes, this is important, and to have that built in and to be aware of that and that that's okay. We don't have to make ourselves wrong. So even just from that philosophy I think is so important and you have a bit of.
Kind of map that you've created for people. I'm wondering if you can kind of walk us through what that looks like and how, you know, we can be, use that to fuel some of our decision making on what we're taking on and whatnot. Yeah, so what I did is I took, and, and I would en encourage any, any woman that's listening, just Google a woman's, you know, monthly cycle.
Yes. And it's very linear. See that there's, there's times that our hormones are peaking and there's times that our hormones are dipping. So the first thing to understand is that in those dips, we can do something different than in the peaks. So then what we did is we took that and we created a circle. So it was like, and I'm just, I just used 30 days, you know, this is the other confusing thing, is that some women have 24 day cycles, other women have 34 day cycles.
So what we did is we took it and put it into a circle. And then I decided, you know, you hear a lot of women talk about the lal phase, the follicular phase. It's really boring, . So I'm like, let's just name it for what it is. And so I created, uh, different languaging around it. And basically the first part of our cycle, day one through day 10, is what I call a power phase.
When I go into the ovulation phase, which is day 11 to day 15, I call that the manifestation phase. I'll explain why in each one of these. Yeah. When you come out of that ovulation, your hormones are low again, this is a power phase, another power phase. And then the week before our cycle about day 20 is what I call nurture phase.
And the reason I gave it that name is because we need to nurture ourselves at that point. We need to slow down. That's a really pivotal time that week before our cycle. So then when I looked at these different hormones, I started to figure. . Okay. What are the hormonal needs? So if you look at estrogen, estrogen is coming in really strong from day one to day 10, and estrogen needs you to be insulin sensitive.
So those of you that do keto, those of you that fast like go to town from the day your period starts till day 10, you can do as much as. Now I have women say, but I don't feel like doing anything on day one. But if you follow this fasting circle, you will be amazed that when day one happens, you're like, oh, I feel so much better.
Yes, you don't feel worse. The only reason you feel worse is cuz you didn't mind that week before your cycle. You didn't pay attention to what progesterone. So on day one to day 10, we do keto, we do fasting. If you wanna run a marathon, you could run a marathon. That's why it's called the power phase. Once you hit day 11, now your body's ovulating.
Some women, it'll be day 15 that shall ovulate, but that little five day window, you've got estrogen at its highest and you've got testosterone at its. So this is when estrogen is the hormone that improves language for us. So we're great conversationalists when estrogen is high. We're really good at multitasking when estrogen is high.
Our hair looks great, our skin looks great. We're quite beautiful when estrogen is at its height. So anything you need to do that requires beauty language, that's a good time to do it. You've also got testosterone, and testosterone is your motivation and it's your drive. So I always say if you wanna ask for a raise, if you have something really difficult, you need to talk to somebody about if you're gonna, you know, go on a big speaking stage.
Do it when you're ovulating cuz you are powerful. Mm-hmm. . That's why we call it manifestation. And you know, we don't want you to work out a ton at this time. I recommend intermittent fasting at this point. I don't recommend a longer fast. I really think you should focus on your microbiome at this moment because all these hormones need to be broken down by the microbiome.
You could do more weightlifting. You have so much testosterone in you at that time that if you wanna build muscle, that little five day window is a great time to build muscle. So, and then when, when we come out of that, we have another five days about day 16 to 19, where I call that a power phase. It's very much like the first one.
You can do more keto, you can do more restriction, you can do more fasting. And then the last phase starts about day 20, and this is the nurture phase, and this is where everything has to change. So you got your workouts need to be yoga and walking in nature. If you have a good rhythm with your workouts, great, but this would not be the time to start training for a marathon or to push yourself.
Progesterone is very vulnerable to to corti. So we wanna keep cortisol low so you don't go into a long fast. In fact, I don't even recommend you fast during this time. You don't wanna be in ketosis. So more foods like tropical fruits, citrus fruits, beans, potatoes, squashes, these will feed progesterone. You don't wanna be staying up till two in the morning.
You've really gotta mind your sleep during that time. And then if you do that once your cycle, You'll feel good again, like day one starts over and the whole cycle starts again. Yes. I'm so, I'm so Well, one, thank you so much for taking the time to, you know, work those out. I was just taking tons of notes and two, I love, um, what you're pointing to around day.
One through 10 in particular. And that's one of the things we see too, is sleep is a skill. Everyone we work with as of 2021 are all wearing the aura ring. And so every single person they get to see. So for women that are of menstruating age, they can see some of these measurable effects. So the changes in their body temperature and their H R V.
And I think one of the things, once we start getting more of these dialed in, it can be really such a new way of relating to our cycle and our, and our period in particular. Because what you're saying is so true. That's what eventually, often women, um, shift to is like they're excited for their period in a new way that Right.
Um, right. Because now suddenly, oh my God, our H R V went up, our heart rate went down, everything, you know, fe like really measurably shifted. Yeah. Our body temperature went down. There's all kinds of things so that it can really be a power phase, whereas so much of. The, there's, there seems to be this misnomer that that's the period where you really baby yourself, but not baby yourself, but where you really Right.
The Yes. It's a total misnomer. Everybody's like, oh, you know, I, it's like the red tent theory. Like, oh, you're bleeding. Go, go chill out. Yeah. But actually it's only because you didn't manage that week before. Right. You the, your hormones are at their lowest, and honestly, if you do the circle, the way I just explained it, when your period starts, you'll be like, okay.
I feel normal now I feel good. And the other weird part for the fasting world is that you actually will feel like fasting on day one. But when I get women that are like, I'm struggling to fast, and I always ask 'em, what day is your cycle? And they're like, oh, I don't know. It's like, it's like day, you know, 22.
And I'm like, yeah, I struggle to fast on day 22 as well, because your body wants you to bring up glucose. It doesn't want you to. Yes. Yes. So that's so helpful. And I think also for the sleep conversation. So, and we can certainly speak to some of your, I know you've got tons of information on there, but I think even that alone, that reframe can be so powerful for women of almost the awareness.
That, that area, that time is so important to nurture and to prioritize sleep because it is so common to have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, all of those things. Yeah. So one, to know that we're not alone, we can right, anticipate this area, but then take care of it accordingly. And so, From that place.
Do you find that that's an empowering place for women to be able to almost have the heads up to take care of themselves during that period versus like, oh no, now I'm insomnia. Now it's a snowball effect and with question marks as to why. Yeah. I think it's a total empowerment to know. That the, when our hormones are coming and going, they are a giving us superpowers, which is great.
So let's stop like estrogen. I always say like, I feel like estrogen gets a bad rap. Yes. But I'll tell you, we need estrogen, good estrogen. It makes us, I don't wanna say superior cuz that's not right , but it makes us very, very powerful. Sure. And we should not villainize it, but there are, we need to understand how to.
Work in alignment with it. Progesterone really makes us calm. It wants us to chill out. And so, yeah, if you don't mind it, sleep is gonna be a little harder. So what I'm finding is that we have never been taught this. So when you start to teach women that the hormones are coming and going and they're gonna teach, Change your mood.
They're gonna change your sleep, they're gonna change your hair. They're gonna change your skin. Then you don't look in the mirror and go, what's wrong with me? Why can't I sleep? Why is my hair not looking the way I want it to look today? It's all just about your hormones, and when you love on them and you work with them, then all of a sudden it stops becoming your fault.
Hmm. Ah. So wise, and where do women fit in? Who are either have been on the pill for an extended period of time or they're post-menopause, you know, those two categories, how do we think about that? Yeah, so there's a few like weird, like little spots like that. Sure. So for starters, and since I've gone publicly to talk about all this, yes.
I cannot believe how many women don't have a cycle like young. Yes, yes. That's concerning. Cause your cycle is how you detox every month. It is a shedding process. So that part has, has shocked me. Women on the pill, women on a marina, i u d, they tend to have an unusual cycle. I think the best way you can do it is the minute you hit day.
Just make sure you're mapping it like I use the Clue app, so I just, I just map that first day and then that's the start of the fasting circle that I talked about. So you're not necessarily going based off of, if all of a sudden 15 days later, let's say you get a period, well guess what? Day one starts over again.
So you're using that first day of Bleed as. To start the 30 day period that I talked about. Hmm. Postmenopausal women, the challenge for them is that estrogen's low, progesterone's low, and they're never coming back. So we still have to use the principles. The freedom for the postmenopausal woman is you can do it whenever.
You don't have to follow a 30 day cycle, but you still have to make sure that you're not fasting all the time. You're not doing keto all the time. You need to have days where you step out of that and you're doing more hormone building days, so you can kind of do that. We've come up with a 30 day hormone reset that I teach in my academy, and I just have 'em go through.
Just start day one whenever you want. Mm. Whereas if somebody has a cycle, , they've gotta start day one. They've gotta do it in accordance with their cycle Postmenopausal. Women don't need to do that. And then the last thing I'll say that's fascinating, and I'm doing more research on this, is that more women ovulate at a full moon.
So yes, we can map ourself to the full moon and just say, okay, the moon is full today. So that's maybe day 10. And then go through the circle the way I explained it, according to the full Moon. Can you explain that real quick? Just, um, a little bit more, just because, you know, it can land for, we tend to get a lot of like biohacker types, what have you, and Akin land is like, wait, what?
That's like so woo. But it's really interesting when people dive into that. I believe it was, ah, what's the book? Follow the Sun or one of these books that's really centric on the importance of the light dark cycle and some of the origins of like the word lunatic coming from cycle and some of the changes in the light activity.
And people suddenly are able to be up later because of the changes in the moon cycle, how women used to lean into the lunar cycle more as a group. So curious if you can just shed a. No pun intended. Yeah. Yeah. And from a scientific level, you know, I'm currently like diving through all that and looking at it to, to see, but from a physiological level, this is the way it makes sense to me.
Sure. Is that, you know, the tides change if you, according to the full moon. Yeah. So the magnetic resonance of the earth is going to change. Sure. And as women, we are more in tune with that magnetic resonance. And so when the full moon is, is going, we're also seeing tide changes. We also. Your body's just in sync with that magnetic energy.
Yeah. And so now not every woman does that, but I think the cleaner, it would be really interesting to see a study that, like if your diet's clean, you don't have a lot of toxins, your stress levels are low. Do those women, are they living more, are they ovulating more with the full Moon or not? Hmm. So, and I don't think we, I haven't seen a study on that.
Now for the postmenopausal woman, let's just say the majority of your time of your cycle, you've probably been somewhere around the full moon because the magnetic pull of the earth is so strong that I am sure that you've been more likely to be around that full moon. So once your period stops, You still have a rhythm to your hormones.
Like if you look like a 13 year old when she goes into puberty, it takes, you know, four, five years for the the brain and the ovaries to get a rhythm with each other. Well, when a woman goes into menopause, it's gonna take four to five years for the rhythm to slow down. Hormones don't just turn on and off.
They have a pattern that takes time to build up and a pattern to mellow out. Yeah. So helpful. One of the things that I thought you were really particularly made such a great point about in one of your speeches at biohack in Congress was when women. Are kind of trying to navigate this period of life where perimenopause, menopause, and beyond, and they go into their doctors and they're complaining of some of these different symptomologies and often leave with a recommendation or prescription for, you know, more in the realm of its.
Is kind of their problem or a pressure or a suggestion to start layering in pharmaceuticals. Yeah. And I felt that that was really a cool, you know, mission of yours to help women really navigate this. And certainly sleep can be one of those things. So we might see women leaving and that's one of their main symptoms is the difficulty sleeping.
And now they've. Ambien or certain, you know, anti-anxiety medications and all of these things that we know can be really problematic down the road. So I'm just wondering if you can speak a bit more to that, what we've seen for so many women, what the path can be and the opportunity that there can be to learn this kind of way of navigating it.
Yeah, it's such a great question and, and what happened to me is at 40 I literally was in the best shape of my life. Like I felt invincible. I slept great. I always joke, I'm like, I just wanted to fit in my skinny jeans, like my favorite pair of skinny jeans, , like I was running marathons. I really felt invincible.
By 43, I was a hot mess. I wasn't sleeping. I had night. I was depressed, I was anxious. And so I was trying to find a solution and it got so bad I literally would've taken a drug. I was looking to take one. I'm like, just give it to me cuz I gotta end this madness. And I ran into a friend of mine who was a very well-respected ob and she said, I asked her, I was like, I told her my symptoms and.
There was something about the moment. She literally stopped and looked at me and said, Mindy, I have a practice full of women with these symptoms and my medical textbooks have failed me. And she's like, I could tell you to go on H R T, but I don't see that work for everybody. I could tell you to go on to an antidepressant, but I'm not a fan of them.
They're highly addictive, they're hard to get off of. So she started going down each one and I'm sitting there think. Oh my God, if you don't know the answer, who's gonna know the answer? So she was like one of the top obs at Kaiser in our, in Silicon Valley. So I started finding the answers and that's when I realized, gosh, there are things that have to change after 40 in our lifestyle, and if we do not change those things, then these hormones get outta.
And I just started playing with the different pieces and that's how I solved my own path. And then I practiced it on all my, all my people in social media, and everybody started getting the same result. Wow. Ah, so powerful. Yeah. Cause you know, that was one of my stories. When I wasn't sleeping, I went into the doctors, we were traveling internationally with Google Translate.
I go into the doctors and I leave with Ambien. We travel to the next place and then, oh, here's some Xanax, here's this. You know? And clearly that was a particular path that could have had a particular type of life. So I really Yes. Appreciate you sharing that and also your vulnerability in saying like, you know, I was, I just wanted to, you know, make a diff fix this thing.
Yeah. . Right? And so there are times where that's where we're at. So to shed a light that there could be an another path is so important. Yeah. Real quick, I just wanted to touch on, cause I know you're, uh, known as well, you've lots of different areas of knowledge and one of the areas that people really look to you around is fasting as well.
And you know, when some of us are going through all this and we've got hormonal, we might think that fasting would be too extreme or too much. I wondering if you could just quickly touch on how that can be powerful for women. Um, and I know you already laid out the, the timing mm-hmm. . Yeah. But we also see for different people how leaning into fasting seems too, if done mindfully can really make a difference.
Sleep or H R v or heart rate, all kinds of other things. Just curious if you can share. Yeah, yeah. I mean, the research on fasting is vast and impressive. Yes. So if you're unsure, go to my YouTube channel because I, I bring all the research out so people can see it. But here's the basis of it, is if you look at things like.
P c o s, infertility, menopause. When you start, even if we go into metabolic syndrome stuff like cardiovascular problems, obesity, at the root of all of those problems is insulin resistance. Hmm. And there is no better way to solve insulin resistance than fasting. The science shows it, people are showing it.
There's just no better way. Well, now let's look at a woman like in the perimenopause years, as estrogen goes up and down, which is what happens in your forties, it's like going up, it's high one day and then it's like lower than it's ever been the next day. I mean, again, just talk to a, like a 47 year old woman and ask her how her hair's doing.
One moment. It's like, psh, it's big and and puffy. The next moment it's flat. That's all estrogen. But what that wild ride of estrogen does is it makes you more insulin resistant. Mm-hmm. So if you already are insulin resistant going into menopause, You're in for a hormonal like shit show, . I mean it's . It's not thank going to be great.
So I like fasting to really help balance estrogen out. Where fasting doesn't work for us isn't when we're trying to balance progesterone now. Yes, because fasting is very much like, , it raises cortisol just a little bit and I, and everybody when they hear that is like, what do you mean? Like I don't want cortisol to raise, but actually a little bit of cortisol going up makes you very strong, very alert, makes your body adapt.
You want a little bit of cortisol except the week before your period that progesterone does not want an increase in cortisols. So what we started teaching people is in the most simple sense, Fast. Most of your cycle, it's gonna help your hormones, but not the week before your. That's like the most simple way to explain it.
Yes. Simple. So good. Yeah, and I appreciate that too, because I've seen different women navigating different periods in their life and they might have said, oh, okay. You know, I went through adrenal issues or lots of stress, chronics. Stress, burnout, yada, yada. And now they're saying, I'm gonna be gentle.
There's no room for fasting. And I think you really point to, and I think absolutely people should check out, uh, your many resources because there's so much that we can use this as a tool to actually facilitate that healing. So, yeah. And on the adrenal fatigue thing, I think this is a really important point.
We have to not shy away from hormetic stressors. Yeah. So, and just so your listeners know, hormetic stress is when you get a little bit of. Your body adapts in a very favorable way. So if I'm an adrenal gland, that's exhausted, which is sort of a misnomer on to it. Yes. Itself, yes, it's the whole HPA access.
But let's, for simplicity, say, say that's exactly bigger topic, but I hear exactly bigger topic another time. But you place a little bit of the stress, just a tiny bit through something like fasting on those adrenals. And you can actually re-energize those adrenals. Mm-hmm. So, and I've done videos on this on YouTube, right.
I have a whole protocol for adrenal fatigue, but we've taken people in extreme adrenal fatigue and used some really gentle practices of fasting and have watched it heal better than a, than a supplement would. Yes. Yes. Okay. Well, I. So much knowledge on that. So people definitely have to check that out. And since I know you have really gone through lots of different ways of mastering your own sleep, we wanted to hear a little bit about how you're managing your sleep.
So what we can learn from that. So a couple of questions on your, you know, kind of personal relationship to your sleep. So the first question is, what is your nightly sleep routine look like right now? I'm sure it, you know, evolves and changes, but what are you leaning into at the. Okay, so I have a couple of things.
So I've really recently discovered the routine around sleeping matters. So I'm going to bed at the same time. I'm getting up. At the same time, I've also realized the timing, and this was through, I've used Aura, I've used Whoop, I'm kind of used 'em both, but I really saw that my H R V improved if I ate two hours before I went to bed.
Yes, if I. And I go to bed, my H R V tanks, so I'm trying to eat dinner a little bit earlier. The other thing I've been doing is we have, in our bedroom, I leave the shades open on the side where the sun rises. Yes. And so I'm getting natural sunrise come in. Since I started doing that, I haven't had to use an alarm clock to wake up.
Nice. So that has been incredible. And then when I get up in the morning, I go outside. I have a little meditation routine I do. And I. Side that spend the first hour of the day outside of my backyard getting sunlight. So I've been really working on the timing, like time, my circadian rhythm with what there's like a pattern to it.
Mm-hmm. Now, outside of that, I've got a few more hacks. I've got a weighted blanket. Love it. Yes. It's working great. Sometimes I gotta like pull it like the week before my cycle is the toughest time to sleep. Yes. I gotta pull that thing like up over my head. . , like I gotta get everything weighted down. The game changer is the chili pad.
Yes. I. Game Game changer. Yeah. And, and I, and the week before my cycle, I gotta put that chili pad way down. Same. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So that's another one. Magnesium I've been supplementing with magnesium. And then the other one is melatonin. Yeah. And since I've been doing that, I'm just, my sleep is dialed in.
It's doing really well. That's great. Is there a type of magnesium that you prefer? Well, so I've been experimenting with a bunch of con different ones. I'll tell you the brand I like right now is Upgraded labs. Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. That one seems to work the best for me. I don't know what Barton put in that product, but it works really well.
Yes, I haven't, he's coming on the podcast, uh, later on a couple months. He'd sent some of those to test out and I've been really, really liking those. It's. The first time I used him, I was shocked. He gave me a sample. Yeah. And my H R V was like, and my sleep recovery was through the roof and all I changed was adding that supplement in.
Amazing. And I was like, what is this? This is really cool. . So that's awesome. I tried a lot of magnesium for sleep, but that one worked. And then the other one I'm using recently, and it's not for everybody, but I've been using Melatonin and I'm using It's a suppository. Yes. So it gets in, it's called Sandman.
It's the same guy who does the Zen Zen spray. Yes, exactly. Yep. That is incredible. Wow. And how do you think about melatonin since I know there's, you know, different camps on, oh no melatonin and some people like high dose melatonin, the suppositories, all these different modalities. How do you think about melatonin?
Yeah, I mean, I've had melatonin work. Really great for me or suppository. They've both worked really great. The suppository seems to be working better. I'm actually doing a 90 day trial right now with it to see, because I see there's other benefits to melatonin. Yeah. And so I'm like, let me try it for 90 days and then I wanna get off of it mm-hmm.
and see if my sleep is still as good. So I'm, I'm curious if I have like a, a deficiency of melatonin and if I bring that up, Then can I get off the supplement? That's to be determined. Okay. Well, so I'll let you, I'm sure you'll do some, uh, yeah. Tubing and what have you. I'll definitely wanna, I definitely that.
Okay, cool. Yeah. And then the second question is, what would we see on your nightstand? And that could be like proverbial nightstand or apps or ambiance, gadgets, anything to be aware. Well, okay, so there's a couple things. A glass of water. Yeah. I always have a glass of water. Yes. The Sera Foss is a great supplement.
If you're under a lot of stress, it brings cortisol down. Sure. So I always have Sera Foss in case I'm going through a stressful time. Wake up at two in the morning. The other really weird thing I started doing years ago, and this is a little more woowoo, is have you, have you heard of, um, morphic Energy Fields?
Oh, I have heard. But I'd love to hear how you're, uh, leaning. Okay. So more I think of, uh, morphic energy fields like, like a radio station. They're like frequencies of information. Sure. And there's a lot of belief we can tap into these frequencies and your books give off a frequency. So I actually have very positive mindset books on my nightstand.
As a way of just putting in positive vibes into my sleep area. So I don't, I don't have any fiction, I don't have any like angry books or, yes books that have any conflicting or controversial topics. They're all like positive mindset. A lot of Pema Sjo. Let it go, but David Hawkins, oh, it's one of my favorite books.
That was one of the books that I, that was on the many, many layers of things that kind of brought back my sleep. Was actually that book. Yeah. Was one. And actually the audible version too. That's very calming narrator. But I love that one. And that's one of the first. Times I've heard anyone mention, uh, that, and it's almost leans into kind of the Fung shwe conversation or, you know, what's in your environment really impacting your reality.
So I appreciate that, that one. That's very unique. Yeah, it was just something I learned when I, once I learned Morphic energy fields, I'm like, I looked at my books different. I'm like, where are they? , what are they saying? What energy are they giving off? I love books. I have books all over my house. Same, yeah.
But the books on the nightstand are all positive, like calming and the way I wanna think in the world. I love that. And that's also just in alignment too with kind of, um, doing a, a very least bedroom audit. You can certainly do an audit of your whole life and what's around you, but certainly in the bedroom.
And is this in alignment with kind of a sleep sanctuary or something that just brings you joy to go into? So I love. Yeah, and my, and I would also say my, my bedroom's the cleanest room in my house. Nice. Yes. Which is also important. You don't want the clutter and to feel like, ugh, when you get in there.
Great. And then the last question is, what would you say has been kind of made the biggest change to your sleep game or biggest aha moment for this conversation of sleep for you? You know what the biggest one is, and I wanna give you a free solution, but it's, it's really the freaking chili pad. I know.
It's so good. . And people can be like, really? What is the big deal? This like, you know, mattress pad, right? Honestly, it is a bit, and I was resistant to trying, because first of all, we, me too. Where you say, yeah. Cause I was like, well, I don't wanna be dependent on this thing. We've been, we were traveling for three years, digital nomads, were in Southeast Asia and you know, backpack carry on.
And we're like, we can't travel around with this giant, not, it's not giant, but you know, a thing. You can't put that in, check that. And yet, so I was hesitant and hesitant then tested it and I'm with it. I'm addicted now. . Yeah. It is truly amazing. And I was the same way. I was like, hmm, I don't understand. Why would I?
My mattress to be cold. Yes. But then when I started to do the research, your body te, your core body temperature has to go down anywhere from one degree to five degrees in order for the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. I'm like, okay. And then what I do now is if I wake up at two in the morning, I put that thing down, I'll make the temperature go down and it knocks me out.
Yes, I liked how, um, I think it was Rob Wolf that put it in a kind of ancestral kind of mindset of framing, and he was pointing to this concept that thousands of years ago, it's likely as we had been living much more in alignment with nature, really outside in nature, but likely sleeping on the ground and the ground would be much cooler than anywhere else in the environment.
And then even this. Kind of theorizing that likely sleeping with things like hides or something heavy. And that could explain this idea of the weighted blanket. So between the cold ground and the, the heaviness of the, you know, cuz it's almost tapping back into this kind of, um, ancestral knowledge is the thinking, which I like.
Brilliant. Yeah, it's a cool way to think of like, why are we leaning into this technology, but how this aligns with our, you know, kind of, um, our modern society. So those are fantastic tips. So how else can people learn more about what you've got? I know you have a book that's really, I think, so important for so many women to know about, maybe even for the, um, significant others in their lives.
Yeah. My fiance has, he knows more. My cycle. He's like, are you in Ludial right now? What is going on? Like, that's awesome. He's, that's a good fe. You gotta keep him around. That's awesome. He's the best. Yeah, exactly. He knows all about it. But also for people who are mensing, how to make peace with this, like I had other friends that would call it ludie Lucifer.
And like, it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad, horrible day. You know, it's a, we can really come to, you know, level of grace with navigating these, these periods. So how can people follow you? What are. Modalities. Yeah, so you could get the book, the Menopause Reset if you are over 40. It's a quick, easy read.
It has everything you need to do, and it's all about lifestyle changes you should make. So that's a great resource. My YouTube channel is really my passion project. I spend a lot of time, love, energy, making as many videos as I can to really inspire people to fast. So all the science of fasting is there.
The application of fasting is there. On Instagram, we take little squares from my videos and we try to bring it in in another medium so that people who are maybe not video watchers, maybe they wanna see it on a nice little info square. We'll put that on Instagram. I have a free fasting group on Facebook called the Resetter Collaborative, so we fast together, we do a five day, all different types of fast.
Once a month. And if you forget all that, you could just go to dr mindy pells.com and it's all there . That is awesome. Wow. Well, I didn't know about the Facebook group. I'm definitely gonna tap into that. That sounds incredible. I myself have, I've done some shorter fasting, um, period, but I wanna start tapping into some longer fast.
Yeah. Uh, so definitely gonna lean into some of your teaching. Love it there. Love. So, yes. Thank you. Yeah. And I just so appreciate you taking the time, but also just your passion that you share with the world, you know, it's really resonates. Honestly very much blown away at the um, biohacking Congress. Just, it was palpable.
It was real. And you know, you don't see that every day. So anyone listening, I hope you definitely check out her work. Cause I think it can really be transformative. Yeah. Oh, thank you. And yeah, I mean, I just want, I think on the women front, we're just, We haven't been given enough tools. Yes, and we've been disempowered in the healthcare system and it really is time to give women their power back and so I just, anything I can do to inspire.
So thank you for and sleep. My gosh. You know it's funny because I actually have these five things in the menopause reset and I've been rethinking, I should've put a sixth one and it should have been. Oh yeah. Well, it's an opportunity for, uh, a part two. I. Yeah, right. There we go. For sure. Yes. There we go.
Well, thank you for sharing with Yeah, thank you. Your name, and I know you're very much in the conversation that, so I'm sure you'll have lots of evolving tips for people. So this is just the beginning, but thank you so much. 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 Molly's Monday Obsessions, continuing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep. Head on over to sleep as a skill.com to sign up.