In this episode, Lunden talks with Sleep Health Specialist Sarah Moe all things sleep. You're going to learn about the 4 phases of sleep, how to get better sleep, how to turn off your racing mind when you sleep, what you can do during the day to help you sleep better at night AND you're going to learn what sleeping arrangements actually hinder our sleep quality. They also discuss sleep trackers like the Oura Ring & Eight Sleep Bed and discuss the benefits of tools like these. You're going to LOVE Sarah and love this episode.
Timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
(3:33) Food, nutrition....and SLEEP!
(6:13) How many hours of sleep & "panic math"
(8:25) Are naps helpful?
(9:46) Seasons of our sleep
(11:53) Getting the whole family on a good sleep schedule
(12:42) Sleep hormones, working out & weight loss
(17:13) Caffeine & sleep
(19:43) Sponsor: Snap Supplements 25% OFF using code LUNDEN25
(22:50) 4 phases of sleep
(27:51) Phone & electronics at bedtime
(30:02) Sleep post-COVID & restorative sleep
(35:51) Is your bed partner disturbing your sleep?
(38:24) Sleep technology: Oura Ring, Eight Sleep Bed, etc.
Connect with Sarah Moe to improve your sleep:
Connect with Lunden:
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One-On-One Life Coaching & NLP with Lunden:
FREE Self Love & Sweat Monthly Life Coaching Calendar: http://lifelikelunden.com/calendar
FREE ACCESS 15-day #BreatheBeforeYouScroll Breathwork & Mindfulness Challenge: https://lifelikelunden.com/breathe
One-On-One Life Coaching & NLP with Lunden:
Connect with Lunden:
Use code LUNDEN25 for 25% off Snap Supplements: https://bit.ly/snapsweat
Lunden Souza: [00:00:00] Welcome to Self Love and Sweat the podcast, the place where you'll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers, and do what sets your soul on fire. I'm your host Lunden Souza.
Lunden Souza: [00:00:20] Hey, have you grabbed your free self love and sweat monthly calendar yet? This calendar is so amazing. It comes right in your inbox every single month to help you have a little nugget of wisdom, a sweaty workout, a mindset activity, just a little something. Something to help keep you focused and motivated and keep that momentum towards your goals. So every day when you get this calendar, you'll see a link that you can click that will lead to a podcast episode or a workout or something that will be very powerful and quick to read. And then you'll also see on the top left corner of every single day there's a little checkbox in the calendar. And what that is, is that's for your one thing. You can choose one thing every month, or it can be the same something that you want to implement and make this something that you can easily implement, like daily meditation or getting a certain amount of steps or water, for example, and staying hydrated and even taking your supplements. This can be something, if you want to get more regular, doing a particular habit and routine, you can choose what that checkbox means. So if you want your self love and sweat free monthly calendar delivered right to your inbox every month on the first of the month, go to lifelikelunden.com/calendar. Fill out the form really quickly and you will have your calendar and your inbox within a few short minutes. That's lifelikelunden.com/calendar Go get yours for free and enjoy this episode everyone.
Lunden Souza: [00:02:06] Today we have Sarah Moe, a sleep expert and specialist with us today. I'm super stoked to talk with her all about sleep, all about recovery, all about these, you know, this time that we spend, hopefully most of us, at least some time every single night, just kind of doing it because it's just a part of life. Sleep, wake, sleep, wake. But I've really learned so much about sleep from Sarah, and I met her originally on clubhouse, which I don't know if any of you are familiar with clubhouse, but it's a social media platform that was really just audio communication between experts hosting rooms to share information, science, facts, information, important information with people right through their ears. And so I met , because we happen to be in, I say, by accident, kind of by accident, one of the most amazing clubs ever on clubhouse. I made so many amazing connections with these people through clubhouse and through also a time this was really from 2020 to 2021, throughout a time where it was really so profound, not just for the people listening to get the expertise from all of us, but for myself too, as a coach and as a person. Just being able to connect with other people like throughout such a time was so profound in my life. So, , I'm so stoked to have you here today. Thanks so much for your valuable time and tell us more about you and why sleep is like your favorite topic on the planet.
Sarah Moe: [00:03:33] Of course. Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here. So yes, I work in sleep medicine. I am boarded in Polysomnography, which is sleep studies. So I started my career in sleep medicine, very hypocritically, working overnights to diagnose sleep disorders. After that, I became an adjunct professor at Minneapolis College, where I taught the sleep medicine program. And now I have a small business where I do corporate sleep education. I teach sleep classes for tired employees. So obviously I'm a little biased, but sleep is so cool. My entire career in sleep, whatever hat I have been wearing has just been really, really interesting to see how forward we have moved with our appreciation for it in these last few years because it is considered the third pillar of health. But when we think about health, the focus has always been on diet and exercise from a very young age. This is forced on us. We have gym class where we're forced to move our bodies. We learn about the food pyramid and what we put into our bodies, how it makes an impact. But none of us ever had sleep classes from a young age, and it carries forward into adulthood in a way where it causes us to suffer. That lack of understanding how important our sleep is really does put us behind. And it is kind of an American culture mindset to this whole hustle mentality, this sacrifice your sleep to be more productive. We really are getting to a point where we have learned that that is the complete opposite mindset that we should be having and our sleep is so, so important to our overall health.
Lunden Souza: [00:05:00] Yes, I'm definitely not on a team. No sleep. In fact, I'm one of those people. You know, my sleep's been pretty good. We'll talk about this too. But I'm one of those people when I have like a bad night's sleep, I'm looking at the phone. Oh, my gosh. Okay, now I'm only going to get 6 hours of sleep. Now I'm only going to get 5 hours and 30 minutes of sleep. I'm like, I know the. Importance of protecting it. I know how you know, when I sleep better, I just feel more focused. I feel better recovered. So many things that I think a lot of us know when we have a good night's sleep. But it can also be something like you said, that's put we have so much to do. Go, go, go. Doo doo doo. That was my story for a long time. It was just like, work out more, do more work, and then like sleep whenever there's time left over. And I know and maybe people listening know to like, you can't catch up with sleep on the weekends or, you know, it's not like a bank where you accumulate hours, you know. And I think people might know that. But really, how true is that? How important is the amount of time that we sleep throughout the week and how can we not catch up on the weekends and just kind of like the overview there and what what would also be. I'll also ask too, like what's the ideal amount of hours we should be looking for in our sleep?
Sarah Moe: [00:06:18] So first of all, you're not alone. We call that panic math when you wake up and then you start doing the math to see how much more time you have to sleep. It's very counterproductive because when you reactivate your neurological system by doing math in the middle of the night, it makes it that much harder to fall asleep again. So just know you're not alone. We do really have a term for that. Everybody does it. It's instinctual. You wake up and you want to know what time it is because this is going to really move kind of your decisions forward for the rest of the night. So when it comes to the amount of sleep that we need, obviously as individuals, we are all very different. I'm sure you've heard we need 8 hours of sleep every night. This has been a public service announcement for like 20 years now, but it really is based on our specific chronotype, meaning each individual body has a different circadian rhythm and an ideal sleep time and wake time. Now, one of the most popular sleep books out there right now is Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker. And this book is very, very fascinating, educational. I don't suggest the audio book. He's got a monotonous voice, but the information is amazing.
Sarah Moe: [00:07:22] But one thing that Dr. Walker always speaks to is that one of the most important things we can do to help keep our bodies regulated is to go to sleep at the exact same time every night and wake up at the exact same time every morning. I do not agree now. I personally don't practice that for myself as a sleep expert, so I would never recommend it to my patients or clients if that's not something that really falls within the realm of their ability to do that with their lifestyles. And for most of us, especially through COVID, that has not been the case every day has not looked the same. So that we have the ability to have that structure. We really do need to be more flexible. But getting sufficient sleep is important. Now, 93% of people are going to feel great from 8 hours of sleep. That is what our basis is. Are you waking up feeling rested? If you're not if you're waking up wanting to go back to sleep, that's an indicator that fatigue is your body's way of saying we didn't get enough. So if you are somebody who's rising with an alarm clock and you know that it's going to be a struggle to get out of that bed, then we should be trying to get a little bit more sleep.
Sarah Moe: [00:08:25] The average American does get 6.5 hours of sleep, which is about an hour less than we need to feel rested. So this is the easiest place to start. If you are somebody who does suffer from fatigue, if you do feel those sleepy bouts throughout the day, you know, we do have a natural circadian rhythm shift from about 1 to 3 p.m., where most of us do want to close our eyes. And this is a very instinctual circadian rhythm shift that most of us do feel like it would be a great time to take a nap and we should take a nap. If you're feeling tired, listen to your body. But starting with that, full 8 hours of sleep really is going to make a big difference for the vast majority of people. Now, that being said, there are long sleepers who need a little bit more to feel rested. There are shorter sleepers who are just fine with about six each night, but you are probably a 7.5 to 8 hour person because most of us are. And that's what we really need.
Lunden Souza: [00:09:14] Yes. Yes. And I like that. Just having some actionable takeaways, things we could do start tonight or start to think about now. But then also understanding. Yeah, like you said, different people are going to need different things. And sometimes I find two different seasons of my life. Seasons like Guess of the Year too, but just seasons of my life too. I noticed fluctuations in my sleep or moments when I just might need a little bit more or can totally do on slightly, just a little bit less. So that's definitely powerful.
Sarah Moe: [00:09:46] Very powerful when we think about not even just seasons in our lives, but those that we share houses with. So our family units, when we think about sleep, it should be kind of considered as a whole because your sleep is going to be impacted by your bed partners or your children's or vice versa. If they're not sleeping well, you're not sleeping well. It is a conversation to be had within the entire family because, of course, starting with you is the best way. Improving our sleep habits and trying to get a little more rested is going to be helpful for everybody within your household. But it really is a great conversation to. Had for everybody.
Lunden Souza: [00:10:20] Yeah, I love that you said that, too, because I'm thinking about the family that I live with when I'm in California. It's like back to school time now, and it was like summer vacation time. So their sleep patterns and her and I were having a conversation of like a couple of weeks before school started, like getting back in the flow of like early night sleep, waking up like not long prolonged naps throughout the day and but also appreciating some of the longer days, being able to sleep and nap throughout the summer and more restorative seasons for a season for the family and the kids and all of that. And then also reminds me to like and this is probably the way that I the reason why I'm early sleeper now too, is like my parents always went to sleep super early and my mom just kind of was like in the best way, like after 8:30 p.m., like eight, nobody like bedtime, you know, just like, that's it. And so as a kid, and pretty much the whole time I lived under her roof until about, yeah, 17, we were just always going to bed early like eight, 839. It was just kind of like lights out. You couldn't be super loud because somebody was asleep around that time. So I can really see how that can make an impact and that can be something. And you know, I work with a lot of women one on one moms kind of, and they're always so surprised. I'm of course, I'm equally as excited with them, but not as surprised as maybe they are where they're like, Oh, yeah, I started making these healthy habits or implementing these routines and now the whole family is doing it. We're all on board. Like the the women that I work with. It's really cool to see the impact that they make when it comes to habits and routines surrounding health and wellness and sleep and stuff. As you mentioned.
Sarah Moe: [00:11:53] I love that because it is something that we lose sight of as caretakers, as mothers that that our example is so strongly held to our with our children. You know, we are the the top of the tier for them. And what we do, they're always watching and how we model ourselves, they will follow. So I do have that conversation with patients and clients frequently as well, where they're like, Oh my, I can't make my kids go to bed and they always get out of bed. And I say, Well, what are you doing at bedtime? You put them to bed and then you stay up and binge watch Game of Thrones with a bottle of wine. And by you, I mean maybe that's me. But they they know that. And they know that if you're not taking sleep seriously, how are they supposed to? So getting. Yes, the whole family unit involved and having them really see what what you are doing is very helpful and all healthy habits.
Lunden Souza: [00:12:42] Yes. Yes. One of the things that I loved about being a clubhouse rooms with you and of course, anybody listening can tell like your vibrance and personality in the way that you teach and coach and spread your gift. But one of the things that you would say because we were a lot of personal trainers and nutritionists and people were asking us like, oh, which specific exercises and plans and workout strategies. And sometimes you come on and be like, Well, by the way, all the workout advice, tips and everything in the world is not gonna be as impactful if you're not like on the other end of the coin, resting, recovering, focusing on sleep and all those things. And I just I really do stare. I hear your voice at my head a lot when it comes to sleep, just based on those conversations and those hours of time spent in clubhouse. But how really important is that? And especially those listening who are strength training, who are doing lifting weights and working out regularly and breaking down that muscle tissue and want to see results like lean muscle tissue gain and fat loss and just overall more vibrance and energy, less aches and pains. How important is sleep to all of those things?
Sarah Moe: [00:13:53] Every single thing you mentioned could be a separate one hour podcast them all. So the important thing to know is that sleep is the start. Our sleep is our baseline for what's going to happen throughout the day. Whatever it is you're hoping to accomplish, understand that that 8 hours, that is where your body is going to listen the most and where it's going to start its day. So, for example, when we're sleeping, there are two hormones, leptin and ghrelin that are regulated, both during sleep. These are the hormones that are involved in appetite control and ability to effectively burn calories. So let's say your goal is weight loss and you are getting insufficient sleep. You're waking up with those hormones already deregulated. So instead of saying, all right, with the ability to control my appetite, maybe I would choose an avocado toast or egg white omelet instead. It's okay. I just I'm going to grab this donut and head out the door. That right there is the start of that vicious cycle of how your day is going to look as we're attempting to lose weight now transversely, if we are getting sufficient sleep in, those hormones are regulated properly. All of the work that you are putting into, whether it is lifting weights or cardio or all of those things, are going to be even more efficient because of our good sleep.
Sarah Moe: [00:15:07] So when we think about strength training and breaking down that muscle, the recovery that happens happens during sleep in deep sleep, which is considered stage three and REM, which is the. Cellular restorative stage of sleep. So every time you lift a weight, every time you break down that muscle that is considered damage, your body is going to damage itself in order to transform. But when our body does feel damage happening, it automatically knows we need to repair this damage. And that repair is happening in those two stages of sleep. So the more we're working out, the more sleep we need for that to come together. Because if you are doing extensive damage to your body and not giving it that chance to repair, it's almost like you didn't do it. So it is another conversation that we have to have, especially within not even just the gym, but the studios. And with yoga or Pilates, whatever it is you are doing in attempt to make your body healthier, none of it is going to stick if you're not sleeping as much as you're supposed to. So it's just really important for people to not only understand you're going to feel better from sleeping more, but you're going to get you're going to optimize all of those days in the gym.
Lunden Souza: [00:16:16] Yes. Yes, totally. And I think to as you were sharing that, we all know what it feels like when those hormones, leptin and ghrelin that you mentioned are. Yeah, just not not regulated, not inflow there where you kind of just like you said, you don't get good that good of sleep and you're just like craving everything that's going to give you this like energy boost and nothing's really satisfying. Everything sounds, at least in my experience, like good and not good. It's like, I want that. But then when I eat it, it's like didn't even satisfy me in the way that I thought that I would. And that can really be that cycle of of not sleeping, sleep deprivation and then poor food choices or breaking. And I tell my clients and everybody listening to this all the time, it's like working out is stress to the body. It is causing micro tears in our muscle tissues. It is break down very much. Right. And so we need to make sure that we're very much taking that rebuild seriously. Caffeine. What impact does that have on our sleep? How do we know if it's cool to have our cup of coffee in the morning? Why do some people like my dad can have a cup of coffee? Like any time? Really? And his bedtimes? Pretty much 930, always. And pretty much sleeps like 9 to 5, you know, And just it's not doesn't give him that jolt or impact to sleep much. I go through phases with me like sometimes I notice I don't know one cup, but I'm like totally fine in the evening. And sometimes I really can still feel the impact of that later on. So what's like a rule of thumb for that and when should we like hard cut? No more caffeine?
Sarah Moe: [00:17:56] Yeah, again, it all depends on our individual bodies. For some people it's going to come down to our metabolic rate, how quickly we can process that out. So it won't be impactful in the evening. But general rule of thumb is that we should be stopping our caffeine consumption around lunchtime. And I know that the National Sleep Foundation recommends 2 p.m., but given the amount of caffeine that the majority of us do consume, myself included, I start every morning with a triple espresso. But it's important to know that it is going to impact you even if you think your tolerance is so high where you really won't even be able to notice. The way it works is that caffeine is actually similarly structured to a hormone called adenosine, and adenosine is the hormone that initiates sleep. Our adenosine builds as our day goes on. Then we turn our serotonin into melatonin with darkness. The adenosine is released and it goes on to its adenosine receptor where it then initiates sleep. But when we consume caffeinated beverages, well, it's similarly structured. It will go into our neurological system, onto our adenosine receptor, so tricks us into feeling nice and alert and energetic, which is great when we need it. But at bedtime, when that adenosine is trying to go to its home, it can't because of the influence of caffeine. So that presence needs to be eliminated. Otherwise, this is very frequently confused as my head hits the pillow and then my brain starts racing or I can't turn my mind off. That's because this connection is not happening from caffeine influence. So I always say lunchtime is a great time to stop because we don't even think about not only the amount that we put in, but the different ways it can enter our system. So chocolate has caffeine and there are a lot of different foods that kind of sneak it in. And it's just important to pay attention to it because without that adenosine release, connecting with the receptors, we're not going to be able to initiate sleep.
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Lunden Souza: [00:21:41] Yes, yes. I love that that visual and learning that I didn't know that before. And again, we're all unique individuals and we kind of have to figure that out for ourselves. And I know some people who are like that. I mean, who that triple espresso that you have in the morning would last them, you know, a whole weekend versus maybe you're like, okay, it's perfect. It doesn't affect what's happening later on in the evening and just kind of getting to know ourselves that way. So you mentioned like can't get to sleep or the scenario of head hits the pillow, thoughts start racing, can't get to sleep. And then the other one I think up to is sometimes this happens to me too. It's like I'll fall asleep pretty quickly and then I'll wake up one, 2:00 in the morning feeling like, Oh, it's time to wake up. And then I look at me like, Oh yeah, no, I still need some more hours. So what would be some tips to help with the racing mind and get to sleep? And then I'll on the other end to of the second scenario I heard like get up out of bed when that happens, if you can't fall asleep and you're tossing and turning. So maybe we can break down both of those scenarios and give some takeaways and tips that can be helpful.
Sarah Moe: [00:22:50] Absolutely. So as important of the quantity of our sleep, how many hours we're getting is the quality, which are the different stages of sleep throughout the night when we are supposed to get them and getting them in the right amounts. So there are four different stages of sleep. When we fall asleep, we go from wakefulness into stage one. Stage one is considered the transitional stage of sleep. This prepares our bodies to go into the deeper stages. Next, we have stage two, which is considered a light stage of sleep, but it's very important. We spend about half of our night in stage two sleep, and this is actually the stage where we make memories. When we learn something throughout the day, we take in information like you are right now. It actually sits in our hippocampus all day until we go into stage two sleep, and then we have a brainwave that we call the princess layered waves because they circulate on our brain in this motion. Then they get processed back into your neocortex. That's how we make memories in stage two sleep all night. Next we've got stage three, which is the deep stage of sleep. This is the stage that makes us feel really rested. And last we have REM, which stands for Rapid Eye Movements.
Sarah Moe: [00:23:47] And most people know that this is the stage where we have dreams. But what you might not know is this is also a stage where we become paralysed. Everything but your brain, lungs, heart, diaphragm, all of that keeps you going. But our muscular system is completely paralyzed so that we can't act out our dreams and harm ourselves or our bed partners. So as we go throughout the night, what we call sleep architecture, when we fall asleep, we very quickly go into deep, restful sleep. Within 10 minutes we're in stage three sleep, and then as our night progresses, we get less and less. But the vast majority of it does happen at about 1 to 2 a.m., which is why when we have that awakening in the middle of the night and we feel wide awake, like we could get up and go, it's because you were just in that restful stage of sleep. It makes you feel alert and awake, but do not get up and go. In fact, it's arguably more important to get that second half of the night because that's when we have the majority of our REM. And yes, we are paralyzed. But again, it's that cellular restorative stage of sleep. This is such an important stage of sleep.
Sarah Moe: [00:24:44] In fact, without it, for six days, you could die. So with all that REM happening kind of towards the back end of the night, this is also why when we wake up to an alarm clock and feel like, Oh, I cannot get out of bed, you were probably just in REM sleep where you were paralyzed, giving us that really groggy, slow feeling. Now, for most people, we do have about three or four awakenings throughout each night. It's our body's natural way of saying, okay, this transition didn't happen. Well, transitioning from different stages of sleep is very different for everybody neurologically, but for our bodies, it's a it's a big transition and it doesn't always go well. So those awakenings are normal, but just no, the majority of people are able to re achieve sleep re initiate it quite quickly and that's what we want. It's okay if you do wake up, but we do want you to be able to fall back asleep quickly. And changing habits prior to bedtime is going to be super, super impactful for the vast majority of people. Now, obviously there are some people who will have an underlying sleep disorder, which a third of the population has a classified sleep disorder. But if you are somebody where it's just kind of habit based, two of the biggest things you can do to prevent yourself from staying up when you do have those awakenings is reducing caffeine intake and reducing blue light exposure prior to bedtime.
Sarah Moe: [00:25:59] Now, this is really difficult for us right now because we just went through this pandemic where our entire lives were online, but blue light, which is the light that is emitted from devices like our cell phones, our laptops, our Kindles, our televisions. That electronic device light is actually a really, really fast frequency. So when it enters through your retina into our neurological systems, it continues to reverberate throughout the night. It's literally shaking our brains awake. So if you do have that spontaneous awakening and then you just can't fall back asleep, it's there's a good chance. That's because the last thing you did was check one last email, maybe play a little candy crush to relax and then set your phone down and try to go to bed. This is a huge, huge issue for so many people, and most people don't realize how influential it really is. We think, Oh, it's just real quick peak, but that's it. That's all our brains need to say. This isn't going to stay. This isn't going to keep us asleep.
Lunden Souza: [00:26:53] Yes, I had a client, a one on one client I worked with once where literally just getting the screens out of his sleeping room, TV, iPad that was next to it. Like just all the things that he was kind of tapping into before bed got him all out. And yeah, like you mentioned, there are sleeping disorders, things like that. It wasn't that at all. I went from sleeping about 4 hours a night to seven, just really getting into a good, solid nighttime routine. It didn't involve screens and phone and iPad and computer and TV and was like, you know, we were laughing. He was laughing one time was like, I literally cannot believe it. He's like, That's what I'm like, Well, you know, we didn't that's all we did. And you said that you were on this before bed and checking this first thing in the morning, like, let's just sleep here. Like, let's just make sleep happen here in this space. And so that was really helpful for him.
Sarah Moe: [00:27:39] I've literally had patients tell me I haven't slept through the night ever that I can remember. And then Sarah took my phone away and sleeping like a baby. It's unbelievable.
Lunden Souza: [00:27:51] Yes, yes. No, it makes a huge difference. But like you said, we had a time where all of us transitioned into that world predominantly and it became second nature and habit and just kind of the world that we live in. And so that's why I really make time, even despite still pre COVID and during and post I've been online and whatever but is to break away from the screen, get outside, get the natural light, not be looking at something that's so close to me and have some more depth of field happening within my vision. I feel like that's super helpful to just to help me like disconnect and then also having like hard boundaries with myself with electronics because I am on them a lot. So really paying attention to like the screen time thing that pops up on the iPhone telling me how long or which hours sometimes even just like having to slap my hand off the phone and be like, No, not until 8 a.m. or it's past nine. So no more phone and really setting those boundaries. Super, super helpful, super.
Sarah Moe: [00:28:50] Powerful, important. It really is. Historically, human beings were not meant to be active up until bedtime. That time before bed was sacred. That was the time that you spent around the fire catching up with neighbors. This is your body's chance to allow your brain room and space to initiate sleep. We can't do it automatically. We cannot do it with neurological chaos. And we have neurological chaos throughout the day. We have to take that time prior to bedtime to do relaxing, calming things in order for our bodies to be able to fall asleep. And most of us are very, very active right up until bedtime. We cannot continue to do that. Children have bedtime routines, and if you have kids, you know, your entire household would fall apart without these bedtime routines. But adults, we're supposed to have them as well, even if it sounds childish, that time before bed really does need to be more relaxing for most of us. And I know that we think we're relaxing by watching a Netflix show or but now we have that new thing that we call revenge procrastination, where for most of us who have busy work days and families and that time right before bed is the only time we have to ourselves.
Sarah Moe: [00:30:02] So it's really, really great to do what we want. And yes, I know I should be falling asleep. But one more episode. I got to tell you, it's really, really been hard for all of us, for every single human going through this pandemic. We're not meant to live through extended periods of uncertainty. Human beings need to be able to solve their problems. They need to get to solutions. So uncertainty has led to increased stress, worry, anxiety for all of us, and that has negatively impacted our sleep. So that is one more thing that we can do. Take that hour before bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation says 2 hours before bedtime has you start your routine. But I personally, I do an hour take that time before bed to give yourself that quiet, relaxing time, that relaxing space, so that when your head does hit that pillow, there is room for those hormones to be released.
Lunden Souza: [00:30:54] Yes. Yes. What about when, like you mentioned, COVID brought a lot of feelings of just. Yeah, distress, of anxiety and fear and a lot of these feelings. What are some tips and tools for better sleep throughout times like that and maybe for some people still feeling the aftermath effects of some of these really intense traumas and feelings and emotions. And I know that sleep is so restorative. How is how does it benefit that, like if you're stressed, how can we get to sleep to have more restorative sleep to help us get out of that kind of fight or flight mode?
Sarah Moe: [00:31:37] It is.
Sarah Moe: [00:31:38] Yes. Very much that vicious cycle. We'll have a poor night of sleep and then those hormones will escalate. So we'll feel more anxious and more worried then we think, oh gosh, we didn't sleep well last night. I hope I get to sleep better tonight. Already setting off the train of more worry and more anxiety, leading to another poor night of sleep, increasing, worrying and anxiety. It's a very vicious cycle that can actually surprisingly be easily interrupted. If we just have a little more faith in ourselves, we do very quickly learn to to worry, especially when it comes to our sleep, because we do know we need it. But one thing that I've seen from my. Patience throughout this is that the realization of taking care of ourselves is now something that's a priority for even people that never would have thought it would be before, because we've literally had to think about life or death for three years now, thinking about this pandemic, thinking about this virus. You know, it really has put a focus on our wellness that was just never a focus before. So when it comes to that worry, that stress, anxiety, those things that are keeping us up at night, literally again, it's about the hormones and it's about that space being open and open to sleep.
Sarah Moe: [00:32:53] So the number one thing that I've heard that has been impactful because I try a lot of things with my clients as well. I won't say journaling, but it's about writing things down because a big part of worry for us is control. So when you are feeling like, Och, I cannot fall back asleep or my brain will not turn off, write down the things that you're worried about. And I personally do two separate columns, something I'm worried about that I can control. I've got a client meeting earlier than I wanted. I didn't finish this class so I can write down. I'm worried about this class. Here's the time. I'm going to complete this presentation. Then the next column is things that I'm worried about that are completely out of my control. So now just writing it down, releasing it from my brain space and recognizing and acknowledging that there is nothing I can do about it, why waste the worry? It can be very freeing and very helpful and very relaxing.
Lunden Souza: [00:33:47] Yeah, and a great way to release it and also kind of categorize it and put it into perspective like immediately. So then if you're up and you realize, Oh man, all the things I'm thinking about are in the cannot control list, you know, then we kind of, I don't know, can check ourselves a little bit when it comes to that. But I love the separation of that because I always have a notebook or a pad of sticky notes like next to me or especially when I sleep too, just to write things down because I'm like, once I'm in bed, I love the way it feels to feel rested and be in my sleep and I know those things can keep you up. I found you. Just write it down. You're not going to have to worry about remembering, remembering it the next day. And that was one of the questions I wanted to ask you is like, out of all the people that you help, what is like the number one of the top reasons that you see why people are not getting good quality sleep? Is it the blue light thing? Is it the technology? And then would you say that the that that main solution of just having people get the monkey brain out on paper the best solution or what would be some other helpful solutions we could kind of close things off with here today?
Sarah Moe: [00:34:50] Yeah, so those are the main ones. The blue light exposure and the caffeine intake are the two biggest for the vast majority of people. But I will also say depending on gender, females tend to have worse sleep than males for a lot of different reasons. But the main one being neurologically, we're very different. It's a firing of synapse issue, which is how the gender roles of women being the caretakers and the multitaskers and our brains are built and wired to do that. But unfortunately, because of that, we are going to worry more. And that does cause more sleep issues for females. Also reproducing once we create offspring, once you have a child that is shown that you will never really sleep as well again because we continue to wake up to check on the breathing of our offspring. If you have children, you know the first baby, you were up all the time making sure that they were still alive. It does start to dissipate as you continue to reproduce, but even when your kids are off to college, you will still wake up in the middle of the night for no reason because you have offspring out there in the world causing you to worry.
Sarah Moe: [00:35:51] So that's unfair. But also we do have a lot of issues with bed partners. Bed partners are causing huge disturbances for a lot of people's sleep, and we've had to have some interesting conversations about what really matters the most. Now, if you've ever heard me speak, you know that I'm a huge advocate for separate sleeping rooms. You can be romantic with your partner and then go your separate ways. But a lot of people do feel like co-sleeping is something that is necessary to prove love or affection. But that is not the case. Historically, we did not co-sleep. It was so important for everybody in the household to get good sleep where it was. The families that were so poor that would co-sleep only for warmth. Other than that, our grandparents had separate beds for a reason. And now we got the invention of the Queen mattress in 1958 and they Mad Men style convinced everybody that they need to get a big bed or you don't love your spouse. And everybody started co-sleeping. That's when we got the start of sleep medicine because everybody was like, This isn't good.
Lunden Souza: [00:36:51] Now we know the root cause. But that cracks me up because my great grandparents, they passed away when I was like 15, 16. But at their house and their sleeping room, they had two separate beds, two just two single beds. And we were just, you know, as families, we're like grandkids in my aunt who would joke and be like, Oh, how do they have so many kids if they have separate beds? But it was funny because, yeah, they were much older and that. Probably just like what they did. It's like you were your partner, but you also love your sleep and you're sleeping. So it's like, how do you know that? They're like, what's going on really in their life at that moment anyways? But that's the visual I had. I'm like, okay, am I not knowing why they had separate beds also?
Sarah Moe: [00:37:29] Yes. And that was the common practice because of the importance of sleep. Now the likelihood of two people coupling together and having the exact same sleep habits basically 0% there's always the snorer or the kicker or the light sleeper or the early bird versus the night owl and your bed partner sleep is so rarely just like yours, and we are disturbing each other. So that's an important conversation to have as well, as long as it's a nice, open, kind conversation and not All right, said, I can kick you out. This is great because it might be let's get a king sized bed so we're not disturbing each other as much. Let's maybe you look at your plugs or I need it really dark. So the blackout shades or just have that conversation because your bed partner shouldn't be disturbing your sleep because that just leads to bad nights of sleep. Waking up in a bad mood, starting maybe with some resentment. You know, it's just it is really an important conversation to have.
Lunden Souza: [00:38:24] Yes. Yes. I mean, yeah. And conversation and communication with our bed partners and relationships, I feel like is so powerful and so important. And yeah, if you're waking up groggy and in a bad mood and another vicious cycle, I think you know, just a slight goodnight and into the other room or into the other bed can be so helpful. The last question I want to ask or just want to kind of get your input on is like sleep technology. So like I'm wearing the aura ring. I mainly use it to track sleep and monitor those things. We have a bed that you can like separate, so one side can be colder or warmer than the other to kind of customize it. This that also tracks your sleep and has like an app that tells you how much you moved and blah blah, blah, yay or nay in or out. What do you say about this?
Sarah Moe: [00:39:10] Oh yeah. I think the advances in technology through sleep medicine, even in the last five years, have been incredible. And the vast majority of these things are really here to help us. I wear a Fitbit, you know, I track my sleep as well. I do like to tell people, keep an open mind. These aren't 100% accurate. We can't really tell what stage of sleep you're in without having an electrode on your brain, but they're they're pretty good. I give them a good B-plus and it brings awareness to movement and good estimates of stages of sleep. Just take everything with a grain of salt. But if you do have the money to invest in your sleep environment, I highly recommend it. Yes, these smart beds can be very expensive. And you see all the the aura of rings and the sad lamps and the weighted blankets. There is a lot out there. It can feel overwhelming or confusing, but just know that investing in your sleep environment is a great investment because there's going to be something out there for you that will be an absolute game changer that's going to change how comfortable you are, how quickly you're able to initiate sleep. The quality of our nights can be improved. So just yeah, save up, keep an open mind, look around and get all those little fun gadgets and tools because it really will improve our sleep.
Lunden Souza: [00:40:18] Yeah, cool. I really enjoy using them and I feel like over time, as you have more and more data and things to compare to, I guess start to notice. Yeah, that was a good night's sleep and I can see some of those numbers and I know what that might feel like when I wake up. Like you mentioned some of those groggy mornings versus not. So it's been fun. Way to Yeah. Just track my progress there and yeah get more and more information that's unique to me. Right. Which is what we kind of been talking about a lot. , thank you so much for being here with us today. I love our conversations. I love what you're doing. It's so interesting. It's so cool. And like you mentioned, there's topics we could have like rather hold for an hour on their own. So totally look forward to more conversations with you. Let everybody know where they can connect with you, how they can potentially work with you, or find more information on how to get better sleep.
Sarah Moe: [00:41:07] Great. Well, my company is called Sleep Health Specialists, and you can also follow me on Instagram. It's @sarahsleepzzz. I love to post all kinds of funny things from other people about their sleeping issues. It's all very relatable, you know? It's nice to know that we're not alone, but yes, an oral just send me an email. Moe at sleep H s dot com and I'm happy to help with any of your issues with fatigue as we continue to barrel our way through this epidemic, this pandemic, this COVID time that we're hoping to see an end to shortly.
Lunden Souza: [00:41:43] Yes. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. You guys get connected with , start taking our sleep and recovery seriously. And yeah, thank you for your time.
Moe: [00:41:52] Thanks for having me. Bye.
Lunden Souza: [00:41:54] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Self Love and Sweat the podcast.
Lunden Souza: [00:42:00] Hey, do me a favor. Wherever you're listening to this podcast, give. Us a review. This really helps a lot and share this. With a friend. I'm only one person and with your help we can really spread the message of self love and sweat and change more lives all. Around the world. I'm London Sousa, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence. And purpose. Fueled by self love and sweat. This podcast is a Hitspot Austria production.