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Feb. 18, 2021

076 - Why Sleep is THE Skill to Prioritize Now and in the Future with Mollie McGlocklin

Learn how to better manage 1/3 of your life (the time you sleep) to overcome burnout and create greater energy, focus, productivity, and results.


Learn how to better manage 1/3 of your life (the time you sleep) to overcome burnout and create greater energy, focus, productivity, and results.

 

ABOUT MOLLIE

Mollie is the creator of Sleep Is A Skill, a company that optimizes how people sleep through a unique blend of technology, accountability, and behavioral change.

The company was born from “scratching her own itch” after a lifetime of poor sleep habits culminated into a mega-challenging bout of insomnia for months without end.

With a background in psychology & human behavior, she went down the rabbit hole to solve her own sleep disturbances without sleeping aids.

She became fascinated with chronobiology, and by extension, its practical applications to restore a state of homeostasis not only to her sleep but also to her life as a whole.

Knowing the difference between a life with sleep and without, she’s now dedicated her life to sharing the forgotten skill set of sleep.

  

CONNECT WITH MOLLIE

 

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Transcript

One of the things that I really suggest in the twenty first century is beginning with a sleep tracker. The reason I say that is just because I've spoken to so many people that are very adamant that they they sleep, they sleep great. No problem. And then they get some sort of sleep tracker and it can actually become, you know, a new challenge for them to take on, because then they start to see, oh, wow, wait, what I get my heart rate is high throughout the entire night and maybe it's just finding its lowest point right before and waking up, which tends to relate to being just really dragging and tired or my body temperature is high throughout the whole night. Oh, my goodness. Is that relating to the nightly cocktail that will have or what have you starting to get connected to all of those things that we're doing and the results that we're having? So I think that that can be a great place to begin because then that can start to show you in black and white the reality of those things, because there are a number of things around sleep that are grey areas. We might not actually remember the many wake up. So we might have had and once you start seeing that in black and white again and again, then it can motivate us to make up the difference. Welcome, everybody.

 

Today, I have Mollie McGlocklin, she is the creator of Sleep is a Skill, and she's going to talk with us about why sleep is the skill to prioritize now and going forward. And one of the things that really engaged me in her work is listen to our podcast first, her story about how she got engaged in this work and then listen to the first episode of that after that and realized that there's a lot I don't know about sleep. And I pride myself on being pretty well informed. But there's still some things I can improve on. And I figured as entrepreneurs, just as people, we could definitely use more of this. And so first, welcome to the podcast. Molly, thanks for coming out.

 

Oh, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate and thanks for listening to the podcast. I hope you got some hopefully some sleep gems out of that. Absolutely.

 

And I've got some I've got some sleep homework. So real quick, I'm going to read to you a little bit about Molly's background. She's the creator of sleep, which is a skill. A company that optimizes how people sleep through a unique blend of technology, accountability and behavioral change, the company was born from scratching her own itch after a lifetime of poor sleep habits culminated into a mega challenging bout of insomnia for months without end, with a background in psychology and human behavior.

 

She went down the rabbit hole to solve her own sleep disturbances without sleeping aids. She became fascinated with chronobiology and by extension, its practical applications to restore a state of homeostasis not only to her sleep but to her life as a whole. Knowing the difference between a life without sleep and with, she's now dedicated her life to sharing the forgotten set skill set of sleep.

 

So, again, thank you for coming here, and what I want to do is first ask you to share a little bit about your story and sometimes I. Don't ask people this is much, but when I listen to your story on your podcast and heard a little about where you're coming from, it became so critical to me or so clear to me why this was so important for you to really get a handle on this. And I know sometimes when people see a finished product, so to speak, of an entrepreneur or someone say, oh, this person would have had sleep issues or this person would have whatever it is.

 

We might share a little bit about your story and how it led you to where you are with this work today.

 

Yeah, great. Thank you so much for putting it that way because it is really partial to how Sleep is a Skill was created and why I feel so passionate about this topic. And it began because really solving my own personal problem with my sleep and what it looked like was for many, many years living in the middle of Manhattan, burning the candle at both ends, I was an entrepreneur and would go to bed as the sun was rising and had this narrative and identity of myself as a night owl.

 

And I do, I get my best work done at night. And and oh, I am also a short sleeper. I don't necessarily need to sleep as much as everyone else. It's really a mind over matter thing. Even if you didn't sleep well, you can still get your stuff done, a lot of that. So that's how it was for many years. I didn't think too too much of it. As I got older, I was I was having more and more irregularities with my sleep.

 

Certain frustrations where I would need to be up for something. The next day would be a real struggle to kind of try to pull myself back onto some sort of perceived workable schedule. And but that's just how it was until I went through my own period of insomnia while traveling internationally. And it was a really, really scary time in a real kind of wake up call in my life. It was. And of course, like many sleep issues that didn't just come out of nowhere, it was really managing my days and my nights in a way that just was not working and wasn't prioritizing health and wellbeing.

 

I was more anxious than ever. And what ended up happening was I just was so over in this overdrive state and I could not sleep. And it felt so I mean, disempowering was like the least of the words. It was frightening. Scary. Is this going to always be like this? And really one of the tipping points was when I went to the doctors in Croatia and couldn't speak the language, had to Google Translate, and the doctors were just sort of like, oh, well, I don't know what to do with you, but besides just give you some sleeping pills.

 

So they gave me their generic version of Ambien. And and that's where in that moment it was kind of OK, something's got to shift here. And so what ended up happening on the other side of it? I really went down the rabbit hole and on now today I get to stand as confidently saying that during that period of my life, while it was so challenging at the at the time, it end up being one of the best things that ever happened to me.

 

And I think for so many people that find themselves looking to improve their sleep, I think it can be a real, you know, pun intended, a wake up call to really take hold of our lives newly in a way that we haven't before. Awesome.

 

Thank you. You mentioned a couple of things in there. And one of the things. That comes up a lot as this whole. Myth of glorification of the, you know, never sleep, hustlepreneur, that just can handle everything and certainly some people need more sleep than others. But I know when I talk to people about entrepreneurial performance or any sort of performance. I like to use the analogy that I heard once before, I can't remember where, but the idea of the athlete, the physical athlete, if they have a big game coming up in a week, you would not tell them to train.

 

You know, extra or to get no rest, you get your sleep. I mean, we so know that we're so clear that for physical performance, sleep is necessary. If you have children, you're so clear. And if you're a teacher, that sleep is necessary for kids to not be just completely off.

 

And yet we tell us ourselves this idea that intellectually, mentally, that our brain, our mind, that dimension doesn't need sleep, you know, at a five hour energy drink can cut it. And I know when I look back at my career of the poorest decisions I've made, they've been a combination of my biggest fears, combined with a lack of sleep that would then overemphasize in my mind the likelihood of that worst case scenario happening.

 

And so then I would take these actions that, looking back, were so clearly fear based. And yet somewhere in there, again, I was telling myself this story, I'm the good entrepreneur. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. I'm working hard. And so it was hard to see through that. Sure.

 

A little bit, if you don't mind, with how you see that play out in other people's lives or how it played out specifically for you. And what led you to kind of break through that myth or that idea? Yeah, really well said, and I think so many of us can relate to at some point in our lives, maybe my story is a bit on one side of the spectrum. Maybe you haven't had insomnia for months and months, but maybe you've had a couple of nights that were bothersome and disruptive.

 

So wherever you might be on the spectrum, I think we can all relate to that time of almost a little bit of that snowball effect that happens where we don't get the best night's sleep and then we're a bit more anxious about whatever is on the line for us. A game, a job, a relationship, whatever.

 

And then it begins to kind of cascade and those catastrophic thoughts pop up way more than we might normally in our well rested state. And so and they're what's really exciting about sleep, really, to kind of take it back to some of the basics is that in recent years it is starting to get a lot more attention as it relates to some really powerful findings about some of the effects that it has know, really insidious in all areas of our life and in our in our physiology, but particularly in our brain and sort of the health of our brain and even the our cognitive effects and how we make sense of the world around us.

 

So I think what's really important is that once we get grounded in how much even a difference one or two nights of sleep deprivation can have on some of the results of our cognitive function. So the way we've seen that for many people relates to having certain studies where we'll see mistakes that people will make, how error prone they might be the next day. And we find that tends to really go up when our sleep wasn't as powerful.

 

But of course, you apply that to being on the road. You apply that to relationships.

 

You're not quite as fast or processing things in the same way that we might be able to. So it really becomes a a high performance tool in a lot of ways, or certainly just from a perspective of having a great optimized life. Many of us in this conversation maybe around entrepreneurship are taking on your on the world around you. It becomes really, really powerful. And when I can certainly share is also with working with so many clients and seeing the before and after effects as we do a lot with measurements and metrics.

 

So instead of just sort of like, well, I feel like I'm sleeping more, we have them wearing a lot of sleep tech so that we can point to, OK, before when we were sitting here, this is how life was really working for us and some of our results versus now when we can literally see the measurable difference, how things work out for them. And it just tends to be really powerful. That's awesome.

 

And that's one of the tough things in any profession is to measure change, especially when it's in tangible areas.

 

I know sort of anecdotally that my children know.

 

My wife certainly knows when I'm in a busier time of my year, I have a season to my software business that my fuse is shorter. And again, I'm not sure if I just magnify a much more likely to bring up past stuff that I normally don't do. Just frustrate this again.

 

And it's this, again, sort of heightened state of either frustration. And usually for me it is literally just less sleep, because actually during that time of year, I'm making more money.

 

So it's not I can say for me it's not a money issue. It's I'm just physically tired. How is getting better sleep improved your work, your life, your happiness, and how does that translate, would you say, with your clients as well? What do they report.

 

Mm. Well to bring it back to that, the, as much measurement as we can bring to, to your point, an often intangible sort of gray area of a, of a part of health and wellness.

 

One thing that we like to bring it back to a couple biometrics when we relate to once people begin to really restore the work ability in their sleep, we kind of have this particular sleep philosophy under the framework of circadian rhythm entrainment, and we can share a bit more about what that looks like. But once they're working within, they're really strengthening their circadian rhythm and their results are improving. What we tend to see from a health perspective. And also just you know very much how your nights are mirror of how your days are.

 

And they often are very reflective. So what we tend to see is heart rate going down, certainly nocturnal heart rate, and then it tends to lend itself to our daytime heart rate. But the the lowering of that can help to ensure that we feel more rested by the time we wake up. Also our HIV, which is our heart rate variability, which can be really helpful in this conversation around stress and how much how much load the body can take on it will often improve.

 

So when we look at it improve for the most part, it's usually that the numbers are going up for HRV heart rate variability.

 

Then our body temperature tends to lower depending on the person or where their issues might be or certainly stay.

 

Lies and for menstruating women, it might actually go in this nice cycle, but we can kind of count on what those cycles will look like and then as well as respiratory rate tends to go down. And that's the amount of times we're breathing per minute while we're sleeping. And it tends to relate to a number of things. But one of them can be anxiety and how shallow our breath is, how for over breathing and the problems that that can bring about.

 

And so those are some of the health and wellness elements. But then as we trickle it out into the ability to take on our days, then we have some subjective scores around 17 areas of life where we're doing from zero to 10 and often see real improvements in there because then you're more rested to take on the day as it relates to that. But also another tangible metric that we can point to in things that people might not think about for sleep and how this would be connected.

 

But it is interesting. Continuous glucose monitors will often have people wear ring and we'll see that their glucose can actually stabilize as it also runs on a circadian rhythm. And we tend to see that improve in alignment with a number of other things that we're doing. But sleep deprivation can make our glucose rates go crazy and then you're craving all the sugar and all the fun stuff. And that can also relate to how your glucose performs when you're working out. So all of these things relate to your overall picture of health.

 

OK, great. So I definitely want to get back to circadian rhythm in a minute. So I want you to be able to explain that a little bit. I'm going to go back to a simple example that I think I'm going to ask you a question, but I know how it played out in my case or how it plays out as sometimes for every reason. In my case, it was the Miami Heat in the playoffs. I stayed up later than normal.

 

And, you know, there's this good, exciting reason to be awake and, you know, game is done at midnight. And now I'm trying to get to sleep to be up at 6:00 the next morning. And it's only a couple of times. And I still work for days. So I've got the weekend to catch up, but it's still off. And I know there's this idea. Well, I'll catch up and I'll make up for it.

 

But I know for me it's it's not easy to do that or just say, well, you know, if I get fifty six total hours in a week that I'm fine no matter what sequence they come in.

 

What would you say is. And maybe this does relate to circadian rhythm, I don't know. Consistency versus total hours. How does that play out, because, again, I know when I'm off with my sleep patterns, my work does, just like you said, it reflects it's almost as maybe not exactly, but is fragmented.

 

It's often an energy burst. And I'm crashing and I'm then I'm back up again. And then I have to eat more sugary foods and I notice these things. How does that play out and how does that relate to circadian rhythm? The idea of, you know, things just being smooth and steady as opposed to this up, down and trying to catch up later? Yeah, great question.

 

It is important for us to remember that our circadian rhythm, when we've been speaking about that's even kind of back up a bit, that for those that aren't as well connected as humans were diurnal creatures, meaning that we're meant to be active during the day and at rest at night. And so coming from that perspective, we've been able to ascertain so far is that we operate around on a 24 hour cycle and that cycle becomes really, really important. And it leads to what you're speaking to, which is consistency.

 

And it's so important to touch on for sleep because with sleep, consistency is king. And it's so often say the unsexy reality around sleep is that it's so many of us. I'll get so many questions around.

 

Oh, well, how about if I take five HTP and I layer it in with some nootropics and Rababah and all this, but not to discount it, but at the same time the one that we're often avoiding is, is the one that takes the daily discipline for, you know, consistent bedtime, consistent wake time. And we also mean that seven days a week, because many of us might think, well, I largely do that except for, you know, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, except for whatever Friday, Saturday or something.

 

And when we do that, it's wild, with one of the kind of known terms is related to social jetlag and social jetlag, meaning that we didn't travel anywhere. And yet we are experiencing with some of the symptomology around jetlag, but it relates to our management of our of our calendar and our maybe social interactions, maybe just Netflix schedule or whatever.

 

But either way, you're you're off of your regular cycle.

 

And when we're off of that cycle, the reason why this is important, I think it's so fascinating because if we bring it back for some of the less of like a I know I should do that. But instead, if we look at it from a perspective of ancestral health, that for thousands and thousands of years as hunter gatherers, we would have been so much more connected to the outside environment. In 2016, the World Health Organization quoted that the average American was spending over 90 percent of their days inside, and that was in 2016 before a virus, before anything.

 

So we could argue that most people are probably spending that, if not more time inside.

 

The reason that's important for sleep is that in the past, we would have been really the opposite of that and we'd be so entrenched in the world around us and the cues and the time givers, it's known as for what informs the body of what to be doing when. So the reason that that's important is that if we were sleeping outside, you know, in a cave or what have you, right. We're outside in the elements and the sun rises when the sun rises.

 

Not only is that light acting as one of the most important circadian rhythm cues, the second thing that when the sun is out, suddenly it's warming up the environment around you. So that acts as the second really important cue of this is time to awake. And that would actually release a kind of cascade of hormones around, notably being cortisol in the morning. And that would give us like that natural energy boost to get us through the day. Nice kind of bell curve effect of cortisol.

 

But then it would slow down in the evening directly in alignment with the actually lowering of the sun, the darkening of the environment, the cooling of the environment, and that would signal all that we need to be signaling. We were tethered to that rhythm in a thousand thousand years. And it's only really been since Edison that we've been able to augment our days so artificially. So that's where we really get into this conversation of why I would make the argument that we often can't look to our neighbors or friends of for sleep advice because many of us, if we're in a Western society, are kind of doing it wrong, unfortunately, right now.

 

But that there's an exciting time ahead of us, because now, even though so much of the tech has been part of the problem there, now we're in a conversation where there's so much tech that can help make a difference to game of ideas and bring us kind of out of that as well.

 

Awesome. You know, one of the best gifts we got, my wife and I when we had our first child was a book from a friend of ours. Thank you, Jen, actually. Thank you, Tiffany. Two of them told us about it. And it was called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. And it was a social killer. Yes. But it helped us survive.

 

And what I mean by that is. Well, first of all, it was about, you know, certain sleep habits of when the child would go to sleep and how you recognize things and just we really learned the art of that. And I just think of a few things. First of all, the first month, which was still difficult no matter what. And I literally I mean, I and my fraternity for hell week we had sleep deprivation means it's not.

 

Yes.

 

You know, it's not a coincidence that it's used as a torture for people. And so I done that before when the first month I remember literally almost thinking, like, I don't know if I'm going to make this when our child wouldn't get to sleep.

 

It was that difficult enough at different times. But then when our child got used to this, this book was advocating simply consistent sleep times.

 

And we would leave parties Saturday or 7:00 p.m. and say, sorry, we got to go. And a lot of people we unfortunately angered quite a few relatives or. Yeah, but we're doing this at this time and this and that, and our child will get great sleep. And I had the example of my sister who did something similar.

 

So I got to see the results. And I remember so many times people would say, oh, your sister's so lucky, her kids are so well, all this and my sister is a teacher and just everything into her kids and whatever is for the kids. So it kind of spotlights to other habits of these other parents, good people. But they weren't as concerned, like, you know, the kids adapt. And not only do you see the long term as far as the kid being able to study in school and focus and ADHD like symptoms of, you know, just constantly being wired or needing stimulation.

 

But that was something that I think is what by the third month of the second and a half month in our child was sleeping, you know, six to eight hours to get people.

 

You're so lucky. Like, no, I just saw at the party last week and your kid was tired.

 

You gave him Coke or your kid got.

 

Yes, yes. I know. 7:00 a.m. is really bad.

 

Your kid was tired and they were rubbing their eyes like, oh, they're hungry. Like, no, they're not hungry or they're they're getting, you know, grumpy.

 

No, they're they need sleep.

 

But of course, parent doesn't want to say that. And we all know the whole thing. I mean, what's the worst thing you can tell a kid is you're overtired. That's basically tell them often, you know, call them, call their mother something they get so but it's so true. And we can so see it. Somebody needs a nap. And yet with ourselves for like, I don't need a nap and races around like I do.

 

Yeah, exactly. You nailed it. I mean, it's, it's such a thing that kind of been that old adage around, you know, looking to the advice of a sick society and expecting any sort of information that's going to help us alleviate this. It's unlikely because so many of us are living with and then sounds like, you know, you guys really did your homework and were able to kind of step out of some of that insanity. That state's not challenging and takes a lot.

 

Absolutely. And you're able to kind of find workability in that many people don't. And that becomes the new normal. And I'm not meaning to say any of this from like a high horse, because I was, again, doing for so many years all the things very much not to do to get great sleep results. So I've seen both sides of it. And I will fight for this side of it because it's just the difference that it makes in your preparation, your groundedness, kind of self efficacy of being able to handle what comes your way.

 

I think it's really, really powerful. So I think of it as a great foundation or starting point for not only just this the basics of health and wellness, but also for interpersonal relationships, for productivity. I mean, the list is really endless immune function, certainly in 2020 and beyond. Very important conversation and always. But it's I struggle to find one area of life where it's not making a significant difference to bring that in. So I'm really gaming to help it become, you know, how can we make sleep trendy, really?

 

Absolutely.

 

And something you said also earlier to know. When I was studying my master's in psychology, we would talk a lot about misdiagnosis of ADHD or is used to be called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and very often it's. You know, sometimes it is actually that the person meets the criteria, and that's exactly what's going on. There is something that Israel call ADHD and there are certain indicators that you can measure that will say, yes, that's there.

 

But a lot of times you might have a teacher diagnosing a person saying, well, you know, this person has this style. My parents are from the islands. The island style is bipolar. My wife is Latina. The Latina the Italian cultures are notoriously bipolar ish. The style. That doesn't mean they're bipolar. Yes.

 

And so make sure if you're going to take an audio clip of this, anybody, anybody, by the way, make sure you take the whole clip out of context and work.

 

But in the same thing with the ADHD, people say, well, if a person can't focus their you know, they must have ADHD or ADD, it's like, whoa, slow down. Did they get sleep? What do they drink last night? Oh, they're drinking Coca-Cola at nine o'clock at night. They're up playing video games, all these different variables. And again, don't get on the high horse either. But it's for the most part, barn an abnormal situation seems to be there is this very clear cause and effect.

 

And, you know, when I think of even the technology that we have of even been able to say, OK, I'm going to record this game and I'm going to watch it tomorrow or whatever, there's so much in our favor. Whereas before it's like, no, there's if you want to step up the game, watch the game, you to watch the game to whatever hour deal with it. And I think this is something to your point of just becoming something that we just become more OK with.

 

And especially if you're an entrepreneur and you want better results and you're in the knowledge economy, just about all of us are at least 50 percent of what we're doing. If your brain's not functioning well and again, I can literally. Three decisions that in total have cost me well over multiples of six figures that were during a time when I wasn't getting the sleep that I could use and I won't even say should because, again, that's that's a moral judgment.

 

It just I wasn't at the top of my game. And so, again, so many things. When you talk about people that are paranoid on a on a drug and say, oh, the person's paranoid, they've been smoking something forever. Yeah, well, when you're really tired, like my kids, like dad, are you drunk? When I'm really tired, like, no, I'm just really I can't I can't really make sentences.

 

Well, and there's so much of I know there's been studies. Maybe you probably knows more than I have. I do. Haven't there been studies about correlating lack of sleep to certain either drug use or alcohol or like what a difference a with anything on that.

 

Yeah. So our ability to kind of response or kind of responsibility, you know, so when we speak about that, often many of the studies have been related to safety. So whether it's for pilots or if it's looking for driving a response, time tends to be one of the things that we look at. The equip, the equivalent of how much to sleep deprivation kind of is akin to things like one or two drinks or more. And so that has been really popularized from a safety perspective.

 

But I think also to your point around just general interpersonal, interpersonal connectivity and our ability to really kind of fired on cylinders for whatever is listed on our calendar for today, that we can actually show up powerfully. That is very much influenced by that sleep. And so one of the things that we speak to, one of the things that I was alluding to earlier about sleep getting a bit more press recently has been related to this finding a few years back around lymphatic drainage.

 

And what that is, if people are familiar, is they might be familiar around the lymphatic drainage, but lymphatic drainage is really the cleaning or cleansing out of the brain while we're sleeping in the first stage of our sleep in deep sleep primarily. So with that, if there's a missing of that cleaning process, that's kind of the toxic build up, a cellular waste from the created from the brain throughout the day. And if we're not able to go through that process as the primary time, when that cleansing and kind of you think of it as kind of a janitorial process, you know, when you leave the office building at night and you come back and I'm getting sparkling again, you know what happened?

 

Well, that part was really crucial because after if you go bunch of weeks without that process happening, it's going to smell. It's going to be really funky.

 

So we want to ensure that each day we're allowing the brain to do that.

 

And if we're not, the concern is that it looks really correlative to the build up of amyloid beta plaques that then can be linked to things like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, dementia and some real kind of neurological and cognitive abilities. And the the the exciting thing around that is now we're starting to lend itself to more and more energy and attention around sleep. And it's important to prevent that. I think the only challenge there is for so many of us, we think of that as so long term or, OK, that's many, many years down the road.

 

But when we do find that if we're not able to kind of go through that process, if we can think of the short term effects, is kind of being some of that baseline brain fog, slower response time and then even some more edginess. One of the measurements that we'll use it a skill to kind of bring this into a daily perspective a bit more versus being so far off is that HRB metric we spoke of and which tends to be read out of are you in a sympathetic state or parasympathetic state?

 

So when we have that kind of baseline for what we tend to operate on and then we see that after a bunch of days, with or without the right amount of sleep, then we start to see we're actually getting into more of a stressed out state measurably that can kind of help make it real for people to. All right, OK, I got to take some R and R time, maybe a nice Epsom salt bath or whatever it looks like for you, but really can make it more like a game, if that makes sense.

 

Awesome. Absolutely. So one of the things I think of is a lot of people take a lot of pride. And I know this is certainly a male affliction. It's an entrepreneurial thing that we've as we talked about earlier of, you know, I can handle it. I'm tough. I'm tough enough.

 

How does a person or that or what signs would you say that a person's going to see that let them know that it's not just, well, I'm getting older.

 

So look, for example, I'm forty nine now. I know there's certain things I can't do as well as I used to. I know I don't remember quite as much as I used to not even ask do it yourself was my mind like, no, you just get a little it's ok.

 

Yes.

 

Well how does a person know from a self-diagnosis. OK, maybe I'm you know, maybe I'm off or maybe I've been off because it's not even so much, sometimes I think we can see the acute events. Oh well, this just happened. And so I think we can logically say, OK, this happened. That happened. That happened.

 

OK, now and then I blew up at my spouse or whatever it is, what I normally don't versus how could somebody tell what would be the signs that maybe they're simply not that it's horrendous, but they're just missing out, that it could be a lot better?

 

Yeah, great questions because one, it's almost like the analogy runs the fish in the fish tank. They don't know they're in water. It's just they're always swimming in it. So for many of us and certainly that was my case for so long, I was just swimming in an environment of kind of ill health or poor management of my days and my nights. And that was how I was used to it. So I didn't think much of it. So really good point there.

 

One will we can bring it up on the perspective of sleep, just some of the the tangibles. So one being that for the average healthy adult, we're looking for a round between hitting the Makarand between seven to nine hours of sleep that I know has a lot of asterisks to it. And depending on different parts of your life and the quality of that sleep. But, you know, ballpark around that, is that consistent? Is that consistent bedtime wake time?

 

And then as a result, some of the things that we've been speaking to, too, are energy sustainability throughout the day. Are we finding ourselves going to a lot of caffeine to make it through the day, multiple, multiple naps?

 

Are we looking for kind of nootropics, energy supplements, all of those sort of things, external things to get us through what we perceive to be a challenging thing to to to manage the 16 hours when we're awake versus the maybe eight or more or less hours that we're asleep.

 

So we're starting to take note of all those things. But then one of the things that I really suggest in the twenty first century is beginning with a sleep tracker. The reason I say that is just because I've spoken to so many people that are very adamant that they they sleep, they sleep great. No problem. And then they get some sort of sleep tracker and it can actually become, you know, a new challenge for them to take on, because then they start to see, oh, wow, wait, what I hope my heart rate is high throughout the entire night and maybe it's just finding its lowest point right before hang up, which tends to relate to being just really dragging and tired or my body temperature is high throughout the whole night.

 

Oh, my goodness. Is that relating to the nightly cocktail that'll have or what have you starting to get connected to all of those things that we're doing and the results that we're having.

 

So I think that that can be a great place to begin because then that can start to show you in black and white the reality of those things, because there are a number of things around sleep that are grey areas. We might not actually remember the many wake up. So we might have had and once you start seeing that in black and white again and again, then it can motivate us to make the difference.

 

Awesome. Thank you. When you work with people, whether they're entrepreneurs, let's focus on entrepreneurs second. What are the unseen costs, not only as far as their health and their frustration or low energy, what have you find are some of the financial costs maybe people aren't aware of and maybe you can't typify it or, you know, speak to it. But in general, as far as fatigue, lower performance, because I think a lot of people, until they think that's at stake, they might say, OK, well, now now you've got my attention.

 

If if that's if that's their primary focus, you know, their business or whatever it might be. Yeah.

 

Because there certainly are different camps for people around sleep. Usually when people are coming to me, something has happened. They've whatever they've gotten a divorce and now their sleep is really abysmal or they lost their job or or it's just become so chronic. And, they just hit their sixtieth birthday and realize, oh, my God, I have not been able to sleep for this has been decades and decades of this problem and really looking to take that on.

 

So I'm usually getting most people when they're it's kind of this enough is enough point. But there's also many other camps for people that might be listening that maybe they're not there, but they either are kind of in that bio hackers group where they're looking. They're already sleeping pretty well, but they want to be elite athletes. They want to or just really, really take their health really seriously. And they want that added edge.

 

Or there is also the group kind of that you might be pointing to, too, that they they're not nothing's kind of hitting them over the head with that difficulty around their sleep. But maybe things are not working as well as they might like it to. What I would say for most people is I really believe that if you're in the conversation of health and wellness, productivity, entrepreneurship, all of this, that if we're looking at this conversation in a pyramid structure, that sleep should really be the foundational largest bottom part.

 

So if that is the case, I think it could behoove us all to take another look at the thing that we do every single day without fail, for the most part. So from that place, really reexamine. And that's the reason why I really urge people to take on the title of this company from a place of a new context to stand in of sleep being a skill. Because if it is a skill, then what level are you at right now?

 

Because I think many of us certainly don't. I didn't know that the timing of my food would impact the quality of my sleep. The type of that food, the timing of my exercise could impact the quality of my sleep, the timing of my thoughts and the type of thoughts could impact even my body temperature, you know, just so many things that then would impact my results when I would wake up the next day. So taking another look kind of under the hood at our results in and sleep can really make a difference in this goal to improve our overall life.

 

Absolutely. One of the things that I tell people as an entrepreneur, I hate being told what to do. Yes. But if I find something that'll work, I'm open. And as I've gotten older, my reasons for eating better, my reasons for going vegetarian and now pretty much almost vegan and and different things, whether I'm right or wrong, I might not even have it all right or wrong. But my reasons have been I want more energy to be around my kids, more energy to be more precious with my wife.

 

So that's become more of a driving factor than, OK, I want to look a certain way or whatnot, and there's nothing wrong with that either. But for me, I was like, OK, I've got a D metabolism. I look good enough or healthy enough or skinny enough or whatever the words that the magazines or whoever says. But for me, when I look at it as. What I've seen a big difference it makes and even something as simple as when I get in a really good day of volleyball on Fridays at the beach and I come home borderline comatose and I'm like, I'm happy, almost drunk.

 

My kids like, OK, what are we doing? OK, we're watching a movie on Netflix that I might pass out halfway through or not.

 

And I would realize that.

 

And again, all positive stuff. I got to play volleyball at the beach, good exercise, so many positive things. And yet would still realize that the next day I was a little grumpy the next day if I didn't get the sleep I needed. So it wasn't even, oh, I got to do what I wanted to hear people say, well, I like my work. And so if I work extra too, I'm not sure that's the variable.

 

And I also throw in the idea and this is more of an opinion, I believe there's so much going on in the world to only do work for six days a week or seven days a week. I just think, again, it's not a moral judgment. I think we're missing out the same way. If you're if you're missing out on sleep, you're just missing out on things.

 

And I know for me, there's a there's a certain pace that I operate out that when I'm at my pace, I'm happy and when I'm not at my pace, whatever. And there's no everybody's got their pace.

 

I'm not advocating a particular pace, but I know what my pace feels like when I'm not feeling rushed. And part of it does have to do with cash flow.

 

And if I have money in the bank and the sales are going up, but also part of it is because of I'm observing a certain thing. How have you found that's worked for you? Because one of the things maybe and share a little bit about your entrepreneurial tricks, I think correct me if I'm wrong, you've done a lot of world travel and that's a lot of adjusting to sleep and doing the digital nomad thing. So for a lot of audience, that's that's a big tool.

 

Our big idea, too.

 

How is being able to sleep well helped you? And maybe, if you wouldn't mind, shed a little bit about traveling and crossing time zones and how you even try to manage that?

 

Yeah, I going to so much gold there are. Well, one, I think one of the fantastic things that I got out of seeing both sides of what life is kind of like without sleep and with sleep was that now I've become so committed and I often say like addicted to feeling good because I'll be willing to make some of the changes that I think without that I wouldn't have done. So, for instance, you know, I would have a meeting up with friends, oh, have a drink.

 

And yet now I know so much of how much that will impact my sleep and how I feel the next day. It's no longer worth it to be in the same way that it might have been saying that you have to not ever drink to to get to sleep. But I am saying it definitely does tend to make a difference if done regularly. So things that might be hard, behavioral shifts, things like, you know, there's there's a lot and this could take an entirely separate podcast.

 

But even the timing of your meals and how that will trigger you are basically the strength of our circadian rhythm. So moving.

 

I used to love to sit at the end of the day, have my popcorn, some wine or whatever. So shifting so many of those behaviors then became so paramount to getting the sleep results that now I've become really accustomed to and and committed that it continues in my life and then for other clients as well. So it's once you get that groundedness, I think it becomes really a no brainer. But as it relates to then managing that and when you when you now expect to certain readiness for your day and then you start traveling internationally, you skipped time zones, how do you manage all that?

 

And so one, I would say even just from a practical takeaway, I really love, love, love this app called Time Shifter, which I think is really helpful for anyone traveling internationally. I know it's a tricky time for international travel, even maybe domestic travel, but if you do find yourself going to be hopping time zones and that app is really helpful for kind of creating an itinerary around light timing as well as if you use melatonin or caffeine or what have you.

 

So taking a look at that is really helpful. But as far as going into different time zones and then different sleep environments, the measurement system is really eye opening because you get to see how much different environments can impact the quality of your sleep and your health. And it might be, as you know, kind of basic as even some basic air quality and how that will impact our respiratory breathing or respiratory rate and body temperature and then the ambient temperature in your space and the lighting in the space and all of that sort of stuff.

 

So it does have us get more kind of responsible for that. So it begin to have a bit more of a system with each place. I would go to kind of like the must haves to kind of transform my space, but also the. And at the same time, how to have that balance of not getting to, you know, fragile or if you will around are what we're expecting for our environment. So making ourselves be resilient in the face of that, too.

 

So finding striking that happy medium. But it became really, really important for me to have those structures and consistency. So even if I'm hopping from whatever New York to Bali or wherever that I get myself quickly kind of back onto that primary consistent schedule. And the body really, really appreciates that and returns in kind with your hormonal functioning, your kind of mental stability. You're the measurement system that we get to see. And then if something's really out of whack, then it can be a sign for me to really take time to recover.

 

Awesome. Thank you. So I got a chance to take a look at one of the tools you share on your website to optimize bedroom. And you have some strategies for people just very clearly laid out, you know, things of here's exactly what you can do to improve your sleep environment. If somebody is just listening to this and even by the way, I do recommend they go to your website and get that.

 

But if they didn't, what would you say for most people are the top two or three things that people are either doing wrong or at least not not effectively, if that makes sense, that they could make that are that are pretty easy changes as opposed to.

 

I know for some people, lifestyle changes, such as when I drink or eating popcorn, are tougher things.

 

What are some of the easier things you say, gosh, here's these two or three things. If you just observe these that don't make a big difference for you. Yeah, great question.

 

So if you get nothing out of what I'm saying, I hope that you're left with a couple of these main takeaways. One being that we want to create a real two party system today so that during the days they're as bright and literally bright, like tangible lumens or luks output, literally bright as is humanly possible, where we're getting outside, getting full spectrum sunlight, that you're having plenty of light in your environment during the day you're moving. During the day, you're getting your body temperature up.

 

All of that activity. Also the the stressful, perceived stressful activities, maybe those hard conversations or the things that might be kind of keeping you up at night, that you're handling those during the day. But then on that two part element of things, once the night hits, when the sun sets, that we're really transitioning and managing our our stress levels and our environment in alignment with that darkness.

 

So we want to actually cultivate that darkness. So ideal end of the spectrum would be kind of utilizing a digital sunset where you're once the sun is setting, you also kind of putting away your tech around that same time. However, I do know that many of us are not going to do that. So if that's the case, then managing the light in that environment. So then that's when you could put on blue blockers, but make sure they're not clear ones.

 

So they need to be really amber or red to cut the blue and green light that can suppress melatonin. So we're trying to cultivate a very unequivocal, clear ratio for the brain to know, OK, I did that the big day of beach volleyball like you're speaking to. And it was so clear that I just got so much sun and that was very obvious to the brain. And now here I am in very dim lighting and it's time to then eventually go to total blackout lighting for sleep.

 

And you might think that I'm like belaboring the light element, but it's really a big, big, big deal. And it really relates to the tangible results of our melatonin production. So just remember that melatonin is known as the hormone of darkness. So the reason for that is that when darkness is present, melatonin can really be repeated in the same level to the to the amount that we want to achieve so that we can have that rich and uninterrupted, largely sleep.

 

So those are a couple of the things. And the big thing I would like to also put in for those of us that are kind of get stressed or anxious around our sleep is moving a bit of the focus of the of the sleep kind of awareness to from the nights to the days. So beginning when you first wake up, the the big element is that we're getting outside, getting a full spectrum of sun first, because once it hits the eyes, that communicates, that's connected to our suprachiasmatic nucleus and that basically sets our time clock, their internal time system, IT timekeeper, to then create all that cortisol that we want to have to get at its peak and then be replaced with melatonin later on in the night.

 

But it really does work on that system. So start shifting to really bright days and very dim nights.

 

Awesome. Thank you. Yeah, that's one of the things I'm so always try to look for.

 

What's a natural way. And I. Leave so much that. What we have, the way our body works, if we can just align with it and tune into it, that so much of what we need is there. And even if you you know, you have to buy sleep pills with this, that, again, these are things that hopefully can help you not need that if you get in tune with what's the body's already set up to do most of these things.

 

So awesome. Thank you so much. Where can people find out more about your work if they want to learn more about this or your consultations? The two I mentioned about helping people create the optimized bedroom, how can they get in touch with you?

 

Yes. So sleep is a skill. Dotcom really acts as a great bucket for all the things. So once you get there, there's a bunch of different steps you could take no matter where you're at with your sleep. So one, you can, like you said, download that PDF and along with that PDF, then you will be signed up for our weekly newsletter. So every Monday we send out a newsletter. In case you haven't noticed in this conversation, I'm pretty obsessive personality.

 

So I called Mollie's Monday obsessions. And so it's all these things that are obsessing about around sleep. So really we can go to town with that. And I make sure I try to make sure that there's just so many it's very resource rich so that you can get lots of articles and videos and what have you each week in alignment with that. We also have a sleep assessment on there. If you want to go deeper, have some more insight, you know, or connection or accountability or coaching around your sleep.

 

We are launching later on this year. We've been running cohort's for this, but now we're going to be doing a more DIY version with accountability structures of online sleep training course, which is exciting. We also have the Sleep is a skill podcast on there. And then so once you get onto that platform, there's lots of different ways that you can engage, whether it's social media or what have you. So I do encourage people to at least begin this road of improving their sleep from just being in the conversation.

 

immersion around that.

 

All right. Thank you so much for sharing what you know. And there is a thermonuclear something to use this sentence.

 

So that's I'm afraid I don't have a fun time with the transcribers on that. See if they got that right. Thank you so much. And hopefully those your listening or watching understand why I said I just feel there's so much you have and definitely check out her podcast. I've listened to it. The first two episodes were awesome. And thank you again for coming out, everybody. I hope this encourages you to get a sense this is it's not a value judgment thing.

 

It's not a moral thing. But if you're looking to have better performance the same way we talk about in general for days, we're not specifically for days, but just more time to enjoy life to to have to find your pace. Hopefully this will help you do that. And it's always to helping you help more people and make more money and less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends in your life. Thanks for listening.

 

Mollie McGlocklin

Founder, Sleep Is A Skill I Podcaster I Course Creator I Optimizing Sleep Through Technology & Behavioral Change

Mollie is the creator of Sleep Is A Skill, a company that optimizes how people sleep through a unique blend of technology, accountability, and behavioral change.

The company was born from “scratching her own itch” after a lifetime of poor sleep habits culminated into a mega-challenging bout of insomnia for months without end.

With a background in psychology & human behavior, she went down the rabbit hole to solve her own sleep disturbances without sleeping aids.

She became fascinated with chronobiology, and by extension, its practical applications to restore a state of homeostasis not only to her sleep but also to her life as a whole.

Knowing the difference between a life with sleep and without, she’s now dedicated her life to sharing the forgotten skill set of sleep.