099: Greg Calderiso, Technology Executive: A Transformative Journey: A Optimize Your Sleep Program Graduate

Get ready to hear an amazing story of transformation! Our guest today is Greg, who recently completed Optimize Your Sleep's 10-week program and achieved remarkable results. Not only did he transform his relationship with sleep, but he also started his own company and made significant progress in optimizing his health.

We discuss what motivated Greg to join our program, how he coped with the challenges of raising a toddler while getting very little sleep, and the role of sleep confidence in his success.

Stay tuned to gain insight into better sleep and how our program can help you achieve the transformative power of optimizing your sleep.


Greg Calderiso is a people-first Technology Executive with 20 years of professional experience.  He specializes in servant leadership, talent transformation, organizational design, core system modernization, strategic planning, change management, and Agile frameworks.

Greg has a proven track record of leading, up-skilling, and optimizing cross-functional teams to execute technology transformations and strategic business objectives. He excels in collaborating with C-level executives to build long-term strategic relationships and roadmaps.

Greg is a continuous learner and graduated with his MBA from Bryant University in 2009. Greg used this education to continually evaluated and pushed the use of new technologies to create a more innovative, efficient, and collaborative environment within the companies he’s worked for. He earned a second master’s degree in science and technology leadership from Brown University in May of 2019.

He walks his talk as a leader by living into his core values of leading with vulnerability, empathy, communication, and most importantly, seeking to understand. He believes in bringing his authentic self to work every day, being insatiably curious, and continuous coaching that is all complimented by data-driven decision-making.

In this episode, we discuss:

😴What motivated Greg to join Optimize Your Sleep's 10-week program? What results did he achieve?

😴 Were Greg into sleep medication?

😴 Coping with the challenges of raising a toddler while getting very little sleep

😴 What is sleep confidence for Greg 

😴 How cutting back on alcohol consumption made a huge difference

😴 "There is no drug better than a good night's sleep." - Greg Calderoso

😴 Exploring the relationship between our decisions and their effects on our sleep patterns.

😴 How lief helped Greg’s health

😴 Greg said, When you are well-rested,  you have sustainable energy to engage in creativity.

😴 Greg’s sleep-night routing

😴 What was the most significant "AHA" moment that Greg experienced regarding sleep?


LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregcalderiso/


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!


The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

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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 Skill podcast. This is a very special episode, and the reason for that is that we've never done a format quite like this. The format is actually investigating and understanding a bit more about. What it looks like to participate in some of our programs that we have here over at Sleep as a Skill, you know, for we're almost at a hundred episodes and very rarely have we actually touched on what does it actually look like to work with sleep as a skill to support your own sleep.

So if you've found yourself over here listening to our podcast and wanting to improve, whether it's your sleep stats or just your experience of your sleep, how you feel overall, your productivity, like whatever it might be, however, Found yourself on over here. We do wanna let you know about, especially if you're really struggling with your sleep or for whatever reason that you wanna improve your sleep.

We are all about doing that, but for any of those reasons and more, we wanna give you a little bit more insight into what it would look like to participate in our program. We actually have the honor and privilege of bringing over a incredible participant of our Optimize Your Sleep programs. They used to be called Reset Your Sleep, and now we've shifted them over to optimize your sleep because that's really what we're aiming to do is to optimize your sleep in to really uncommon levels in modern society.

So the optimizer sleep program, Greg was a participant of that and really transformed his entire life out of this program, and I'm so excited for him to share what came about for him, the difference that he experienced in both unexpected areas, like he lost a whole lot of weight that he's gonna share with you unexpectedly, kind of wasn't the original intention.

Per se, but he really came in to make a difference with his sleep and all of these other areas of his life improved in the process. Now, fast forward on the other side of completing the programs, he was actually inspired by this whole concept of approaching. Health and life through this lens of a skillset and gathering information, experimentation, testing, and seeing quantifiably, how we can improve our health metrics.

And he actually created a product that he. Now, unfortunately part of the podcast, we talked about this product, but he has since signed an NDA cuz he is in the midst of a very cool accelerator program. So we're gonna try to cut out some of that part , but just know that he's got some really cool things coming and he really credits his time with sleep as a skill of being an impetus behind having the insights and the wherewithal and the understanding that this is a needed area.

Of health and wellness to take on and actually created something that's never been created before. So that will be a cool thing down the road when we can talk about that. But , but getting into a little bit about Greg, so that you have that background for this conversation, I think you're gonna. Enjoy his presence just as much as I have.

Greg Calderiso is a people first technology executive with 20 years of professional experience. He specializes in servant leadership, talent transformation, organizational design, core system modernization, strategic planning, change management, and agile frameworks. Greg has a proven track record of leading.

Skilling and optimizing cross-functional teams to execute technology transformations and strategic business objectives. He excels in collaborating with C-level executives to build long-term strategic relationships and roadmap. Greg is a continuous learner and graduated with his MBA from Bryant University in 2009.

Greg used this education to continually evaluate and push the use of new technologies to create a more innovative, efficient, and collaborative environment within the companies he's worked for. He earned a second master's degree in science and technology Leadership from Brown University in May of 2019.

He walks his talk as a leader by living into his core values of leading with vulnerability, empathy, communication, and most importantly, seeking to understand. He believes in bringing his authentic self to work every day, being insatiably curious and continuous coaching that is all complimented by data-driven decision making.

Now again, this is the first of its kind of this type of podcast, so I would really love your feedback. Was this helpful for you? Did this help you gain more insights into what can become available to you as you explore this whole world of sleep optimization and all the often unexpected things that can come about in that process of transformation, let us know.

You can always reach out to. Sleep is a skill.com and if you are interested in participating in any of our programs, just head on over to Sleep is a skill.com and you can see our offerings there. 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. My guest today is just a dear, dear friend, and it began in a really amazing way. I'm just, ugh. I have so much to say on this podcast episode, and this is a unique podcast episode because we've never done one like this before.

And what this one looks like is actually having. One of our participants who have gone through our programs at Sleep as a skill and not only has transformed their relationships into their sleep, but like starting a company  and doing all kinds of amazing things in the realm of optimizing health. You know, just such a cool path that's been formed and merged or, or forged.

All the words that I'm saying. And it's so, Greg, I am so grateful to have you here today. Thank you so much for taking the time. Mollie, it, it means so much. It's, uh, and, and the honor of being the first, um, I, I will forever, that will forever stay close to my heart. Yes. And, and I agree. It's amazing what a friendship we have formed out of this.

So grateful for that and, and so many things that we'll cover today. Oh, amazing. Yeah. You know, it's, you know, I don't take it lightly. Anytime someone comes our way looking to improve, Both their, you know, sleep and their health by virtue of tackling this area of life that is so often neglected. And often, you know, it's a really cool and intimate process because we get to learn so much about ourselves, our habits, you know, what's working, what's not working.

And for those people that really put themselves, you know, at stake, like you certainly did, there's the opportunity. So many different things transformed that might have been unexpected. And so it was just so amazing to see your, you know, not only your progress, but then to take it to this whole other level.

And now you're informing me half the time around different things that are happening in the world of sleep. So you just have. Been, uh, such a delight and just such an incredible student of taking on this concept that sleep really is a skill. So, you know, just with all of that to say that, how did that even come to pass that you even found yourself at sleep as a skill?

And just hearing a little bit about all that. I wish that I could give credit to whatever podcast I found you on. Um, yeah, I, I, I don't remember, but it was, it was the name, it was Sleep As a Skill. Yeah. And, and myself be being an overachiever and wanting to build skills. It was the first time I had heard it referenced like that.

And reading through you what, you know, what your vision was and what your mission and values were, it really aligned with me in terms of like, Okay. This is something I want to invest in. I want to build this skill and become better at it. It came at at a really dark place in my life, like I was, I was struggling.

I was on the verge of do I need to go get sleep medication? I am. Barely sleeping three hours a night and just beyond ruminating and and struggling. It was a mission that really aligned with what I've, what I needed. Hmm. Yeah, and I'm wondering if you can share too, a little bit, you know, to kind of painting the picture of that cuz so many people relate to that and that happens for so, and myself included as you know.

Yeah. And so certainly when the timeline of when we were connected, Kind of in the midst of the pandemic, if I'm remembering correctly. Right. And it's a challenging time for a lot of people, a lot of new variables. What did you see for yourself that was at play there that kind of had you brought to your kind of knees on, do I need to get prescription?

What does this all look like? The pandemic, I think for a lot of people was a, a look in the mirror of, of a life that they were living and then suddenly stopped. It was, you knew your normal. Um, so my normal was just completely grinding, giving everything to my career, everything I could to my family. And on top of that, we were running an improv theater.

So it, it was . I was so exhausted all the time. I was sleeping just fine. But on top of that, I was kind of unknowingly abusing alcohol. I was, yeah, I was drinking every single night, so I probably wasn't falling asleep. It was more, I was just reaching a point of exhaustion and, and a good buzz and passing out.

So when life slowed down and we weren't running an improv theater and I wasn't traveling for work, and I suddenly had to really stop and sit in it, and you start to reflect and evaluate on like what is actually resonating with me in terms of what I want to do and the stress that I was feeling and being really home all the time and just kind of in the thick.

Now a pandemic. We also were raising a toddler. We had a six month old. Um, she was born in June, so she really was maybe more like eight month old, um, when that had all had all started. So we're going through different levels of stress and depression and isolation.  and that all manifested itself for me with sleep.

Even the overindulgence of alcohol no longer was, was helping me sleep. So it had reached a point where I knew I needed to get help and I, you know, being the problem solver I am. So I bought a woo. Um, and that was really where it all started. Yeah. Was starting to understand, um, my data and I had bought that.

Over the summer, I think in August. And then we hooked up a little bit, uh, later after that. But that, that data, that accountability, it was my digital accountability buddy. And that was when I first started to understand things like H R v, understand my physiology and then the biomarkers that were really impacted by sleep and by, um, alcohol.

So I started to take some personal steps to take a step back. I just started throwing everything against the wall, dumping all the supplements I could in my body. Everything I heard. Magnesium. You know, like anything I kept my body, I was doing that every protocol I was doing. So suddenly it's like I had this health awakening, but I was doing all the things.

So while I was trying to make improvements, I went to my extreme side of trying to be Mr. Fix it on myself by listening and reading and going down every tunnel that I could. And again, I, once I came across you, it was like, yep, I need to pause, strip this back and build the skills. Confidence in sleep. Not that I'm just trying to fix it with all these like external, I thought I was gonna do, you know, start yoga.

I did transcendental meditation and immediately I was gonna sleep better and. , while those things would work from time to time, I didn't have confidence in it and I would regress very, very quickly. So again, it really was that skill word that I was like, yep, this is the program for me. Ah, I love that. And I love that you mentioned too, the sleep confidence piece, because I think that that can be so crucial and some people will get kind of scared away or hesitant with this concept of data and, ugh, I don't wanna get obsessive and I don't wanna, you know, get lost in all these numbers, you know?

Simply wanna sleep. But it sounds, you know, my experience of you is someone that really took to this data for what we see at its possibilities are, is that it's kind of a another angle in at self-awareness and course correction and workability and seeing, okay. Let me just pattern, spot and approach this kind of like an engineer and say, all right, well some of these things, um, are serving me and some of these things are not serving me.

And I know that you really have even continued post your, the time here with sleep as a skill that you've even taken this. To the next level of further fine tuning your health and wellbeing by virtue of having some of these checks and balances. So I'm just curious, what are some of the takeaways that you then de discover with this data and then taking on this skillset approach?

Yeah, I think, you know, alcohol was the biggest one. Uh, yeah, it's. I think for the longest time, and workability is the perfect word that you use, is, is right now I'm at a place where I still want workability with alcohol. Of course, uh, there's, there's, there's social capital in it. Yes, there's, we, my wife and I went to Scotland for a honeymoon.

We do love scotch. I, I've gotten very deep into craft beers, so there's an enjoyment factor of that. There's a social aspect of that that. I haven't yet completely given up, although I, I lately have founded myself drifting a little bit further from it, um, actually in the midst of a, a dry January right now.

Yeah, so alcohol was the first thing where I think at first I tried to trick the numbers of like, how can I push the limits of this? What. Time, can I have my la how many can I have and what's the time? I could have my last one where I'll have the least amount of impact on my sleep, and then let me see what supplements I can kind of layer on top of that.

Can I use some charcoal or can I use, you know, something to try and get rid of it? So I think once I took a step back from trying to game the system and like maximize the indulgence, while also maximizing like the most I could out of my sleep and my recovery scores.  and I said, you know what, no, I'm really gonna commit to this and strip it all back and understand, just let me get to my pure baseline.

What am I actually running at when I take everything out of the mix and then start to layer back in? When you spend some time without those things, you start to really understand what is important. And I have found that alcohol is less and less important to me. There's, there's a ritual to it. Well, guess what?

I can get through that ritual with a non-alcoholic beer. So Friday afternoon craving. Works over K cracking non-alcoholic. If I still want another beer, then I have a real beer. But instead of having two, I've had one non-alcoholic first. And sometimes that non-alcoholic does it for me. Mm-hmm. And it's so worth it on Saturday morning to wake up as the human being.

I want to, to wake up, refresh, to play with my daughter, to show up as the husband that I want to show up as you know, versus like knocking a fog off, being groggy, being cranky. There's no drug in the world that's better than sleep. Like it sounds cliche and cheesy, but there is you. There is no drug better than a good night's sleep and a restorative sleep, not just your time in bed.

Yes. Oh, well, you know you're preaching to the choir over here and I love that a hundred percent. I wish that we could get that message out more and more, and. . So we're stand to have that ripple into the, into the masses. And then the more that we get this conversation out there, the more kind of partners in crime that can also be taking on things like what you're speaking to with these alcohol alternatives and you know, maybe a hybrid.

So maybe it's not fully sobriety, we're not necessarily saying that. We're just finding that workability as we spoke to and getting creative. And sometimes, you know, that might mean kind of out of the box solutions to some of these ways that we. State change and have that state change in a way that works for us.

Right. So the other thing I wanted to check in with you on is, one of the things that we like to say with sleep as a skill is this Trojan Horse effect, this, uh, concept that one of the ways we go into this topic is to really transform your sleep. , but in order to transform your sleep, there's all these other areas that get transformed in the process and that were really required to be looked at and then adjusted in order to get more workability.

So I'm curious if you have other areas of your life that kind of unexpectedly shifted in this process. You know, I wish I had my, my pompoms for you right now to shake them because, uh, what you said about a Trojan horse, uh, is exactly right and that's what you are, Mollie, is this starts as an examining and looking at sleep, but it really becomes an examination of your life and, and your values and the way that you want to live your life just through a lens of sleep.

Sleep is kind of the, the outcome. Hmm. Cause as.  and it sounds daunting. Like when, when you really Yeah. When I articulate, this is gonna sound daunting, maybe to the listener or someone who's thinking about it. Yeah. If you look at your day in a series of pluses and minuses of the actions you're going to take, the behaviors that you engage in, what you're gonna consume, , all of them have a plus or minus in terms of the quality of your sleep.

And at the end of it, and it does take some time, you're gonna discover a really specific recipe. And there was someone on your podcast that that used that term, and I've loved it as you are gonna, it's very personalized. You're gonna discover a recipe that it's like, oh, I can put it in the bank. I can use that when I know I need to hit the reset button.

But truly, the people you engage with, the types of conversations that you have, the time on your screens, the type of content, the type of food, every single thing. And again, it sounds overwhelming, yes, but leads, leads up to the quality of your sleep. So it starts with that lens, but it really is a pure, peel the layers back and deep dive into your life.

where you start to decide what choices you're gonna make. And some of those might be relationship choices of like, maybe whether it's a partner, whether it's a, a work environment that you've gotta make some choices on. I made a choice in it. It wasn't, um, a direct outcome of me going to the program, but I changed jobs and yeah, there was a lens behind being able to be home with my family, getting the opportunity to watch my daughter grow up feeling really value aligned to the work that I was doing.

There definitely was a piece of the stress I was under was impacting sleep and the quality of my life. And taking, taking that long-term lens of being able to show up as the best father and the best husband, the best coworker, the best leader, the best friend as I could every day. That was something I needed to make a change.

You definitely have, uh, a role in that. Like you, you changed my life. You changed my daughter's life and, and my wife. Oh, so number one, even as you're speaking behind you, you have the believe sign I, uh, Ted Lasso and you are my biggest Ted Lasso. . Exactly. And for anyone not being able to see this, you know, taking a high five to the believe sign, you know, such a ted lasso for life, and it's just been so inspir.

The, the type of, you know, the integrity by which you're approaching your life by virtue of some of these things and getting this dynamic feedback through data and through metrics to see what's working, what's not working, and then having that ripple effect. You're one of the only clients that I can think of that I have gotten an email from their significant other about.

Then just the ripple effects and how it's, uh, impacted the rest of the family and just, you know, and clearly. Having people in your corner that are rooting for you and vice versa, and just, it's really a very cool thing that you've taken on, uh, with gusto and really acknowledge you. Yeah. It's, um, I'll, I'll apologize in advance if I get a little emotional, but it changed the trajectory of our relationship, um, and the relationships I have in my life now.

And, and it takes a partner. This is a commitment, again, I don't mean to make it sound funny, but it is a commitment to really for the length of time you're in the cohort. Follow the protocols, and you have to have a partner that supports that. If I had had a partner who was poking fun at me for putting candles on yeah, in the middle, and we're blacking out every window and we're switching to red lights, um, we're, we're changing our dinner times.

Like all of those things to really get the most out of this, it's important to commit to. So if you have a partner in your life, talking to them about this first and having that full support. This is going to impact you. And my gosh, how lucky am I that I had that support? Yeah. Of where we are now, how worth it it was.

And we don't do all those things every night now. Right? Right. Exactly. Buffer the program. It was important to learn and to see it in the data and then make the choice of, yep, this is gonna become part of our life.  or it's not. Yeah. Or we know that when we get off track and we, we have a fun week, we go back to those things.

So I really was very, very fortunate to have the support of my partner and my family in this huge Absolutely. I'm so glad you mentioned that too because, and it's not to say if anyone's listening like, oh no, my partner's gonna not gonna be on board with all this, and yet, there's a couple things to think about with that one.

I think it can augment the experience when we have a partner that's on board and willing to support and can get right in there. And so that can become really an exciting thing sometimes. Now we've even in the cohorts will have couples, um, that will do it together, which is really exciting and, you know, all of these different ways that it can spill over.

So that can be so helpful and even help, uh, by virtue. You know, kids sleep and just by even the environment and teaching these healthy skills. And then on the flip side, if you are someone that's listening and saying, oh no, I know my, you know, whatever my significant other might, you know, make fun of me for all this process, that's even more important to then have the accountability and the support to, you know, cuz it can take even more kind of personal fortitude and willpower to then make some of these.

And the more people in your corner to remind you of the why, uh, can really help to make sure that that that happens. So that's a great point. Yeah. And, and you nailed it, Mollie. And the advice I'll give to those individuals who need to have that conversation is if I flashback and think about two years ago needing to be out the door in, in my office for eight o'clock.

I was a troll in the morning. Like it was, yeah, it was a hurricane to get up early, get on the bike, shower, make my lunch maybe if I'm lucky seeing my daughter. I was never in a great state of mind. Yeah. Grab a kiss out the door and then hope to get home before, you know, 6:00 PM and then now what the difference is where it's like, wake up with fully rested, get to to go through my morning routine, get to play in the playroom with my daughter.

Give my wife some time. We have some time later to connect and we go through our routine at night. Like it's incredible when you start to like really think out into the future of the life you wanna design. It's worth the effort to understand and put in the work with you how to design that. I love that, that you used the word design too.

Cause that's really something that I think can be such a rare opportunity to really look, sit and craft a day that, and when I say day, because you know, that's one of the places that we begin is crafting, you know, your circadian crafted day and then getting that our days are our lives. And what you just painted this picture is so remarkable because you really transformed what your days look like, which transforms how your.

Looks and the trajectory of that. So, so fantastic. And I know you also, and I'm blanking on the amount, but I believe you had lost some weight in the process of this. Was this, right? Because I mean, a lot of people, I've said this to people and they're like, wait, why would you lose weight if you're working in your sleep?

But I'm wondering if you can kind of refresh my memory on what that all look like. That was one of the best unintended outcomes of, I lost 40 pounds through this and it, and it was a combination of all the work I was doing with you and sleeping. And that came with some different protocols, like yeah, intermittent fasting that I was doing, and then zone two training.

So yes, those like three legs of the stool. Happened to be my secret sauce like that. That is when I, I know when I need to go back to something. Those are the three things I need to go back to is getting my sleep in order, my meal timing, and zone two exercise. All of them impact my resting heart rate in a really positive way and my heart rate variability in a really positive way.

And ultimately I'm getting really restful sleep when I've uh, I've got those two things going on. Oh my gosh. Who were you? I didn't realize it was up to, that was the A number. That was amazing. You are such an example. So shifting gears, flash forward, you went through this process, you transformed so many things, really just incredible, such a inspiration.

And you even then took it to the level of could this be something where you. See a missing in the market and really bringing something to fruition that might help people on a similar journey. I wondering if you can share about that? Yeah. So this, so this is again, back to the Trojan horse, Mollie. Yeah.

Through everything I learned from you and, and through the program, uh, I ended up getting a device called Leaf. And Leaf was through the day monitoring my H R V and essentially it's a proxy to your nervous system of how stressed or not stressed are you. And I was redlined all the time and it blew my mind.

But what I learned through Leaf and then as I started to, to get my sleep and my habits under control, was I started to get to much more of a balance back into homeo spaces more often. But I'd find these times where my body would slip into the sympathetic state. So I'd be in fight or flight. When it really shocked me, but I specifically remember the moment, the aha moment of I was, this is gonna sound so nerdy, I was working on a PowerPoint deck.

Yeah. But I love to, I love to create and I love to present, so it's something I was really excited about. I'm sitting there, I'm grinding away, having a great time designing stuff, thinking about how I'm gonna present it, and it starts going off and I'm like, what do you mean? Like,  and then I've gotta stop and I got really good at it.

So it would take me two or three breaths. I'd be back out, I'd be background when it goes off again. I'm like, this is just bizarre. But then finally I stopped. I said, oh, my body hunched over. I kind of stopped breathing and I, and I've learned now there's actually a term called screen apnea. Yeah. Which I, I, I didn't know.

So I'm putting myself into this stress state while I'm doing something I enjoy. I also was having that experience while I was cooking is I'd be there and I love to cook. I love to create. And I'm chopping carrots and darn things going off, and I'm like, what the heck is happening? So I started to think like, all right, I know breath work works.

I, I'm engaging in breath work in all kinds of ways, and specifically targeted with the leaf. But every way that I was engaging with breath work, I had to stop what I was doing. So I was either looking at a flower on my watch or I was counting in my head. , or I was listening to something that was simulating it, or I was following the leaf, but I couldn't keep my focus on what I was doing.

I had to stop. So I thought about that piece, and also I'm like, well, my nervous system also just got unnecessarily stressed. . So is there a way where I could engage in those breath patterns while doing the things that I'm enjoying or I want to be doing that are gonna keep me in a parasympathetic state and I don't have to stop?

So that was the pr, that was the, and as Clayton Christensen would say, that's the job to be done. And I found that I'm a, I'm an N of one for that, or at least I was at the time. Yeah, I actually listened to, um, I'm trying to think what podcast it was on. It might've been Rich Roll or Tim Ferris, but Laird Hamilton was on it, and one of his pieces would, one his advice was, uh, that he would give himself is patent all your ideas and I.

Why don't I apply for a patent? And I started going down that rabbit hole where I used, I, I just used legal Zoom. I didn't know how else to start. And then they had someone who does the drawings and I downloaded some CAD software and kind of learned that. And now suddenly I have, like, I have my original sketches, I have my CAD drawings, and now I have patent drawings and I'm, I'm patent pending for this device.

Whether it's something that's gonna come to market or not. It lit this creative fire in me. I hadn't felt in a long. It got me playing with technology a lot more. So I've actually bought some circuit boards and I sent you the video of maybe two hoses, two hoses in my mouth, but it's really Oh, good. It's a pro, it's a prototype.

It's, it's working. Yeah. And I'm going through a few accelerator programs right now. One at Brown University, um, and one through Rhode Island Hub, just to do some customer discovery. Now it's like, all right, I, I've gotta let, let my problem to solve, go and see if this is actually a problem to solve for other individuals as well.

And in one of the interviews I did, it was so perfect. It was, , you know, I explained them, they were like, would, would you use it? Well, and the person was wearing glasses and he's like, well, I think about it like my glasses, and they're there and I can see when they're on. So if you can design it in a way where I basically put it in the same way I put my glasses on and I can be unconsciously engaged in it, then of course I would.

I've gotten just really cool feedback on it. If nothing else, and I'll, again, here's my cheerleader, my, my pom-poms. I would not have applied for a patent had I not met Mollie. And had I not gone through sleep was a skill. So it, it really is, and this is the Trojan horse of you start your life, opens up the, your brain starts firing in a different way.

You have sustainable energy to engage in creativity again. And then it, it all starts with. Yes. Oh my God, you're so inspiring. It's so amazing. And as you were speaking, I realized I should have asked you this before we hit record, but is it, would it be helpful at all for anyone listening? I know you're doing some kind of focus group work.

If someone's listening and saying, oh, I'm struggling with anxiety. I'm, you know, I'd love to try this thing. Is that something that would be helpful just even to get that feedback for a free exchange for. . Yeah. Right now, anyone who's interested in just going through a customer discovery interview of getting to know me, me getting to know you, and then understanding a little bit better about what you would look for in a device like this, what if you had a magic wand, kind of what it would be able to do or what you definitely wouldn't want it to do?

Why or why not wouldn't you use it? All of those things would be incredibly helpful. I'm genuinely, I'm in the, I'm in the feedback stage. I'm doing a little, uh, basement coding and, and design work to try and get a working prototype. I can actually just, , you know, like an elite art H R V or even my own leaf to test it on myself.

Sure, sure. Um, I'm really just, I'm having fun and I, and I'm gonna see where it takes me. It's been a lot, a lot of fun to work on. I love that so much. And you know, just even waxing on a little bit of the philosophy of what I've seen, just. Personally, anecdotally, some of the things that seem to be required for people to get great sleep is to have that sense of workability in their life, the life trajectory that's going in a particular direction that they're pleased with, that they are not frustrated by or feelings.

Stuckness or just that it was, um, ascribed to them and it's really of their own creation and design, no matter what that thing is. And we just find out that sense of, well, you can call it lots of different things, purpose, mission, whatever it might be for the individual, just seems to be this inextricable thing that gets a little bit more nuanced.

And esoteric, but I think cannot be overlooked. Its importance for our sense of fulfillment in our life, and then our ability to lay our head on the pillow and feel at ease and at peace. So I love that you're creatively engaged in your own life, which is amazing. So great. So awesome. Well, so now I'm actually really curious on the four questions that we asked for everyone, cuz it's been a while.

So I'm curious what's happening with your habits? Cause I, you know, for so long was so connected to them and so I wanna see what's evolved or what's happened or where you're at. So we do ask these four questions. The first one is, what is your nightly sleep routine looking like? Right. It's funny as I think about this, Mollie, because I am so grateful, I don't have to date  cause I had to introduce someone to my sleep routine.

I, I don't think I'd ever get a second date. It's really funny to think about of like, boy, if I ever had to take someone through what I do and why, it's pretty wild. So I hold a really strict bedtime. I'm asleep.  laying down to go to sleep anywhere between 9 45 and 10 o'clock. Like that's sure that, that is, no one's inviting me to the movies or, or again, if I, if I, uh, I'm gonna be a terrible nighttime date, uh, if I had enter that market again, which I gladly do, not the, uh, same, our, our thank goodness for our significant others, man, I goodness.

They're just like amazing for what they seen and put up with. So, so actually it starts all the way at dinner, my bedtime routine. Trying to eat no later than six o'clock. Would love to have four hours of Yeah. Digestion before I go to bed. I really try to shoot for no less than three. Sure. So I'm, I'm really targeting dinner at six o'clock and back to, uh, I'm gonna ring the Trojan Horse Bell again.

Yeah. It's not us having family dinners.  because I'm just not, we're not all eating at ad hoc times. We're sitting down at the dinner table and talking to each other and having dinner together every night. Um, and that's usually between five and 6:00 PM So then we go through our wind down routine with our daughter and one of the two of us puts her down and then go the orange blue blockers.

Uh, as soon as, as soon as I'm done with my routine. So good reading bedtime books. And then we do, uh, most probably an hour of tv. I've made the mistake of watching things that are a little bit more intense. Too close to bed. Yeah. Uh, and fact, we watched the Stutz, uh, documentary the other night and which is fantastic, but you learn that it stirs things up of you, it gets your mind going in ways that aren't.

aren't great for sleep. So really the, we try and watch programming that's a little bit more low key, little bit more wind down, um, and then leave about a half an hour or so with no screens. So while I've been watching tv, my, my ER has turned on and started to get my bed to the perfect temperature for me.

I like it cold. So I have my ER drops the, the bed temp down quite a. Brush the teeth on goes the mouth tape . Here's the, I can't even imagine introducing someone to this routine, but on goes the mouth tape. Um, I use Cocoon Night Buds to have some white noise and a sleep meditation. About a half an hour sleep meditation that I usually never make it through.

And then the, um, is it Monte? Yep. I, uh, IASS. Sure. Yeah. That's it. So, and then the, the sleep schedule, my ULAs dropping the temperature throughout the night. I did get away from the warm wake up. I found that. , it started to become a signal to wake up mentally. So I don't do the warm wake up on it at all anymore.

Yeah. Mm-hmm. . And I also never check the time, um, if I do wake up in the middle of the night, uh, that's really important. Right. And I have an alarm. I wake up at six o'clock every morning. So everything is, I mean, it's a, it's a regimented put sleep in the bank routine. It doesn't mean I don't have night, so I don't ruminate.

And in fact of actually last night was one of those, Yeah, I saw by my data, I woke up somewhere around three and I struggled here and there, but I, again, I don't check the phone and I, and I don't check the time. Yeah. And more not, I'll end up being able to fall back asleep if I do that. If I do check the time I'm, I'm done.

I, I probably won't get back to sleep. Isn't that interesting too? Because then we start making all this meeting, oh, no. Count backwards. We only have excellent amount of hours, yada, yada, yada. It just, Things can hook us. So love that you're discovering what works for you, what doesn't. That's fantastic. I love that evening routine.

And what we added on, we used to not have this question, but we added this on, which is what does your morning quote unquote, sleep routine look like? Meaning that we believe that your morning routine can impact your sleep results. So what we would see, . So if I'm following a morning routine, which I'm not as disciplined with, I'm better in the summer when the light's there, it's, it's get outside and get sunlight.

That's the first thing that I'm trying to do. And actually that was a nice moment, part of the sleep routine for Casey. And I get our cups of coffee, go outside and we connect first thing in the morning. So sunlight in the morning. I'm right now doing, uh, just a 10 minute Peloton meditations. Um, I, I really like a body scan or some kind of visualization, so I'm doing that.

I was doing some breathing. I was using the, some of the late ar elite H R V protocols, so I try to do, it's always sunlight. I backed off of caffeine, so I, I do give myself a cup of caffeine in the morning, but then I switch over to, um, more of a decaf. I still like the ritual of coffee. Yeah. But yeah, so it, it's a lighter morning routine when I'm really regimented, especially in the summer.

Sunlight, some kind of meditation or breathing exercise. I don't do breakfast usually. I'm trying to do more of like a, a 16 eight fast. So breakfast is a little bit later, maybe like 10, 10 or 11 in the morning. So good. Now this one, I don't know if, if, um, it's still gonna be a staple for your summers, but I have shared with certain people that are looking to get creative with their morning routines.

You as an example. So I know there, there was a stretch, and I think this was during the pandemic, but there was a stretch where you right, the stack, the peloton, the garage, the whole. Yeah, so what I was doing in the summer was, um, I, I put my road bike on a trainer and I opened the garage. So I was getting up and, you know, between five and five 30 and I was riding the bike basically outside of all the sun rose.

So, so smart. Maximizing, I was maximizing my stack of getting my zone two in.  while I was getting sunlight and, and being able to exercise in the morning like that also showed me I didn't need as much caffeine. I mean, I was drinking four or five cups and even in the afternoon, I like my one cup of, of caffeine.

I probably don't even need it, honestly. Yeah. At this point. Yeah. But it just has become ritual and, and laziness of It's hard. I don't wanna make two pots of coffee. No, I, I metabolize it pretty quickly, so. It's not a big deal. But yeah, so that was a cool stack of RA riding my zone two in while I was watching the sunrise.

Yeah, I love that. And I remember, I think the nerd, the nerdiness in me liked, and I think sometimes you would even cut a layer in podcast. And so you're learning, you're biking, you're got the sun, the whole thing. So fantastic. F That's exactly right. So I, I, I had written, I had written an article about like being, how you can read books and maximize your health, uh, all at the same time.

You know, for, listen to a podcast, listen to an audio book while you're doing your zone too. And really just, just working on yourself. So good. I love that. Amazing. And just making it work for you within the time that you have allotted. Fantastic. And then the third question would be, what might we see on your nightstand?

Could be proverbial nightstand if you're traveling, or apps, or gadgets or anything. My nightstand is, is actually pretty clean. It's got my mouth tape on it, and honestly, that might be about it. Uh, there's, it's, it's just random things. Minimal, minimal, whatever my daughter has, has potentially left on it.

that's fantastic. From, from following you, your program, all the devices went into kind of like this wicked charging draw, so everything goes over and then that closes for the night, so no lights. And there's no, uh, desire to, to interact with it. So. Great. Yeah. The last thing are really clear. I think that's actually probably one of the most winning answers is the less that's there often can be really fantastic.

That's so great. Okay. So, and then I love the mouth tape too. Amazing. My, uh, earbuds and my, my mask or what it's on. My nightstand before I go to bed, so good. Okay. And then the last question would be, what have you seen that's made kind of the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe the biggest aha moment in managing your sleep?

Yeah, you, you know, sadly it came after us working together. Oh my gosh. Okay. Like layers on. Yeah. Yeah. It came later. It's the consistent bed and, uh, sleep and wait time. I was not disciplined with that. I was trying to find. Workability and like, okay, I'll get up and exercise this day. I won't do that that day.

Yeah. And that actually became one, it was throwing off my circadian rhythm. Yep. And my super charismatic nucleus. Yes. That's the one. Great. Fantastic. So, so it was throwing all that off and I was actually stressing myself out of like if I had a night where I was ruminating. . Oh boy. Maybe I should sleep or I shouldn't sleep.

So I was like getting into a second loop in my head over that. Yeah. So it was this silly web three N f T game called Sleep Achi. Yes. That rewards you for a constant sleep and wake time. And that was what I was like, it was just, it just is fun. Like, it just was fun to, to gamify that aspect. Yeah. And once I lock that in, Mollie, I can't, I can't make it till 10 15, like my melatonin just comes pouring in.

you know, around 9 30, 9 45, and, and I, I won't make it through a show. I won't make it through anything. That consistent sleep and wake time has been the biggest change. I would say. The one that I discovered the most with you was food timing. I don't eat dinner. I really try not to eat past six o'clock at night.

That has a, that has a big impact on my sleep. So great. I love that too, that you're pointing to the fact cuz what we wanna create for our intention is to create for people that this is a opportunity for kind of life mastery. Not just, you know, you get a couple things and now you're done. And it's good sleeper, bad sleeper, like false binaries are intention and.

Dead is that you continually evaluate, you know, things change. We, we age, different things come into play, different variables, and that we're continually experimenting and hopefully geno just having fun and being awake at the wheel of what's happening in our lives and testing out different things. So I love that you're staying engaged.

And what's cool about locking down a stack like this or understanding your recipe is we hit the holidays. Like we let it rip. Yes, we eat too much sugar. We drank too much. Yes, we had inconsistent bedtimes. , but I always knew it's like, oh, all you have to do is go back to my routine and, and it might take, it might take a day or two to like kind of get, get off the sugar fix that you've gotten yourself onto.

But yeah, all of a sudden I'm just like, well, just right, right back into the routine. So it sounds, I'm sure to a listener who, who's thinking about doing this is like, oh, I couldn't do all that. Or I want, I don't want to have to do all that. And you don't have to. Yeah. And, and it's all about understanding you and what works for you.

And then being able to have workability and confidence and back to having the skill to sleep. I have the skill to sleep well now, so now I can flex in and out of the workability that I want to have. Always having the confidence I can go back to my routine, so Awesome. Ugh. Greg, such an inspiration, and for people that are listening that are saying, well, one, I wanna chat.

I know you, like you said, it's just a free opportunity for people to learn more about what it is that you're kind of, uh, exploring and creating, and how that might be able to help them with their kind of anxiety and stress management, which certainly we know go hand in hand with sleep results. And so how can people learn more about, you know, possibly connecting with you about that and just following what you're.

So I'm, I'm just my initials at G Cal Deriso on Twitter, Greg Cal Deriso on LinkedIn and, and probably email is the best way to, to get me. It's just greg.cal gmail.com. I'm super responsive. I'd be happy to engage with, with anyone who's interested in this and honestly, happy to engage with anyone who has questions about the program.

Is, is struggling, it's. I can't speak highly enough. You, I'm, hopefully you can hear the passion and excitement that came, that's coming through. Is it? It changed my life. I just, I truly believe it can change anyone's life. It's remarkable. Oh, well, Greg, so grateful. Such a amazing opportunity just, uh, for myself to be a part of.

Seeing what was possible for you and what continues to be possible. I mean, it's just, I am always in awe of what you're up to and accelerate our programs and patents and all the things. I mean, it's just incredible and you're bringing that passion and aliveness to your life and to helping the masses, and I know that it's coming from such a genuine and awesome place.

So I'm just such a support of what you're creating and what you will continue to create and just grateful to be on this journey with you. You know, thank you so much and maybe I'll have to have you back for round two once you're got this crazy startup or whatever you're gonna build with all this.

would love to. No, and, and I'm, I'm, I'm so grateful for our relationship and, and getting to meet you and this having formed into a friendship and yeah, just getting the opportunity to be here and, and share this story, it really means a lot, Mollie. So thank you. Oh, well thank you and thank you to your amazing family too.

I know you've just been such a cool example for them and, you know, just been able to build something really, really special. So, uh, appreciate you and more to come. You've been listening to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast, the number one podcast for people who wanna take their sleep skills to the next level.

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


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