Is Your Sleep Making You Sick? with Dr. Christine Schaffner
Sleep is required to maintain your immune system, regulate appetite and metabolism, and support cardiovascular health. Also, with our patients at Immanence Health, it can be a “Catch-22” because sleep is needed to heal, but they can’t sleep because of their chronic illness. Fortunately, there have been recent advancements to support restorative deep sleep.
In this episode, Dr. Christine Schaffner takes a deep dive into the widespread modern-day issue of Deep Sleep Deficiency (DSD), signs and symptoms that you may be suffering from DSD, and 5 steps you can take to detox your sleep.
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Dr. Christine Schaffner is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor who has helped thousands of people recover from chronic or complex illnesses. Through online summits, her Spectrum of Health podcast, a network of Immanence Health clinics, and renowned online programs, Dr. Schaffner goes beyond biological medicine, pulling from all systems of medicine and healing modalities–helping patients reclaim their wellness and reveal their brightest light.
Dr. Schaffner completed her undergraduate studies in Pre-medicine and Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and went on to earn her Doctorate at Bastyr University.
With her diverse skill set, Dr. Schaffner seeks to improve access, outcomes, and speed of recovery for patients struggling with chronic, complex, and mystery illnesses. Patients travel from all around the world to reclaim their wellness using her EECO methodology.
EECO™ captures the complete picture: your body’s internal environment, how it interacts with the world, and identifies the personal obstacles interfering with healing.
Most modern medicine practitioners see and only treat symptoms. This is why it fails.
EECO™ uncovers the root causes of illness and reveals the interdependencies of our biosystem, energy, and environment.
By pulling from multiple systems of medicine, Dr. Schaffner is able to develop individualized treatment plans that focus on addressing the underlying cause of complex chronic illness.
Dr. Schaffner is passionate about educating patients, as well as other practitioners, bringing the most advanced medical protocols to all, as well as creating spaces for healing and rejuvenation.
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TRANSCRIPT: Is Your Sleep Making You Sick with Dr. Christine Schaffner
Dr. Christine Schaffner: I want to welcome everyone. I’m really excited to connect with everyone who’s live, and then again, who is listening to the recording. This is a fun, new topic from a different angle that I’m going to be sharing with everyone today. We’re going to be talking about solutions to restore sleep for healing. We’ll go over a lot today and I’m going to save some time for Q&A as well. I am taking a deeper dive from a different angle with sleep, and we’ll discuss why. We’re going to go through the phases of sleep, the benefits of these two important phases of sleep, which are called deep sleep and REM sleep. I think a lot of us know that sleep is really important and it’s so key to our healing and our ability to function throughout the day, but really, what kind of sleep do we need to aim for? What does that actually do for our brain that we need to optimize?
0:00:54.9: We’ll talk about the role of GABA in restorative sleep, those two sleep phases, as well as the pineal gland, which is an important topic that I love diving into more and more, and then some solutions to optimize the pineal gland’s production of melatonin. We’ll also cover a lot of the toxicants that affect the pineal gland and also the role of GABA with the pineal gland. We will touch on the importance of circadian lighting, creating a safe sleeping location, and nighttime rituals to have a healthy night’s sleep. Then I’m going to talk about a new solution that we have for improving deep and REM sleep.
0:01:30.9: I was reviewing sleep statistics for this conversation and these are not even that up-to-date. The statistics that I’m going to be sharing are from 2013, 2011, even, and we all know after 2020 and all the stress that we have gone under through society, I think these are really underreported and also probably low for what people are going through right now. So the reports state that about 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder, and 75% to 90% of insomnia sufferers have also an increased risk of all these medical conditions, leading to hypoxemia, so low oxygen states, depression, and pain conditions, just to name a few.
0:02:14.7: This was also interesting to me: 40% of all insomnia patients have a co-existing psychiatric condition, so the connection between our mental health and our neuropsychiatric health with sleep, that’s really important for us. This was also a really eye-opening statistic: The British Medical Journal show that those who take sleeping pills have a 35% higher chance of developing cancer, and we’ll talk about potential mechanisms for why that is. I’m not anti any medicine or solution, but I think there is over-reliance and dependence on these medications, especially when you see how many Americans are suffering, and I know well-intentioned people are trying to give a solution to get people to sleep, but we’re not looking at the whole picture and we might be putting people on these things for way too long with really serious side effects.
0:03:02.8: Just an overview, some of you may already know this, but we have four stages of sleep, it used to be five, now it’s four. Sleep is really divided between non-REM sleep and REM sleep. So non-rapid eye movement sleep has three phases, so when we go to bed and we’re in light sleep, that’s phase one or N1, then phase two, we’re going to be using more theta brain waves, where we have these sleep spindles that are more rhythmic brain waves and patterns as your body is getting more deeply relaxed and in sleep. And then there’s a deeper delta wave sleep which is stage three, this is a really important phase of sleep that we’re going to be talking about today as well as REM sleep, so the transition from phase three to REM sleep. REM sleep stands for rapid eye movement, this is the time we dream, so it’s a time while we’re relaxed and we’re sleeping, we’re more alert and more is happening physically, because we’re going through a dreaming process.
0:04:00.4: During the eight-hour period that we should all be striving for, the brain goes in and out of REM about four to five times, and every 90 to 120 minutes REM sleep and dreaming occurs. So we have to go through these phases and cycles of sleep to get to REM. Again, just to share information, sleep doesn’t progress through these stages in a sequence, they’ll go from one to two to three, and then maybe two then REM, so it’s not as linear as it sounds. Once REM is over, the body usually returns to stage two and goes through these cycles about four or five times throughout the night. The conversation around sleep is whatever we can do to get people to sleep, but we have to not only think about having our patients sleep, but we have to think about if you’re struggling with sleep, it’s not only the hours or the solutions to have you be unconscious, but the type of sleep that you get is really important, especially stage three, and then REM sleep.
0:05:00.3: Americans no doubt have a sleep debt. Sleep debt is just what it sounds like, it’s like our bank account. If we are not saving enough hours of sleep, we can run at a deficit, which has a cumulative effect on your body. About 40 million Americans struggle with sleep debt, and then this again is a statistic from 2013, that the average hours of sleep per night for Americans is around 6.8 hours. In 1942, before our smartphones and our 24-hour TV and all of that, it was 7.9 hours. There is a long list of short-term physical effects of having a sleep debt and then long-term physical effects also.
0:05:41.1: Short-term effects are probably pretty obvious, from brain fog or memory issues, to feeling drowsy throughout the day, but when we think about long-term effects of not having enough sleep, we can have metabolic effects, so insulin resistance, we can impair our immune system, we can age, we can have more inflammation in our body, and parts of our brains actually can shrink, which would lead to less cognitive functioning. So, we don’t want to have a sleep debt.
0:06:08.8: Transitioning into discussing about these two phases of sleep: So deep sleep and REM sleep is really what I want to educate you all about today. Again, it’s not just about getting to sleep and finding a solution to sleep, but it’s the quality of sleep. With the sleep tracking devices that are out there, wearable technologies, there are ways that we can really monitor the type of sleep that you get rather than just doing a sleep study in the lab. And so again, stage three is part of non-REM sleep, it’s really important for memory consolidation and brain restoration, and this is the slowest brain wave time of sleep, it’s also called delta sleep or delta brainwave sleep.
0:06:50.2: These brainwaves are really high in amplitude and low in frequency. During this time, because the brain is resting so much, there’s more glucose that’s being taken up and metabolized in the brain. This is really helpful for creating and supporting short-term and long-term memory and overall learning. Then there’s a relationship between sleep and our hormonal production and control, especially the relationship between the pineal gland and the pituitary, so when the brain is resting, the pituitary actually secretes hormones at night. We actually increase our growth hormone secretion, it becomes the highest at night during deep sleep. Growth hormone is really important for growth and repair in the body. It’s a longevity hormone. So as we age or if we’ve had traumatic brain injuries, or if we’ve had concussions or other physical stress, we could have a low production of growth hormone.
0:07:46.9: That can lead to a lot of physical effects and advanced aging. This is also interesting, during this time that we have more parasympathetic neural activity, which makes sense, we’re resting, the body is repairing in a parasympathetic mode, and we decrease that sympathetic neural activity. In modern life, many of us are stuck in that sympathetic state and we need to engage the parasympathetic part of our nervous system so we can heal and repair.
0:08:17.3: Other benefits of deep sleep are that it helps with our energy, it helps with cell regeneration, increase blood supply to our muscles and with the growth hormone, it helps promote growth and repair of our tissues and bones. It also helps to strengthen our immune system. During deep sleep, our immune system strengthens its memory of encountering different pathogens, so we actually enhance our immune memory, not only our cognitive memory, but our immune memory. When we’re not getting adequate amounts of deep sleep, we might not be able to engage our immune system or have an appropriate immune response. We’ll go into some solutions for deep sleep, but those who exercise more are more able to get into deep restorative sleep at night. So, that’s a really high level overview of deep sleep. And then we have REM sleep.
0:09:06.1: REM sleep is rapid eye movement, it’s the stage of sleep when dreaming occurs. Physically, what’s happening in the body when we go through REM sleep is that we’re paralyzed. Our muscles are paralyzed so we don’t act out our dreams. Our heart rate and our blood pressure increase, as well as our breathing becomes faster and more irregular. REM sleep is associated with a brain-wide increase in cerebral blood flow. So again, our heart rate and our blood pressure is increasing, so we’re getting more blood flow to our brain, which has a lot of benefit. We’ll talk in a moment about how that also translates into a greater influx of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. That connection between the flow of blood in the brain and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in lymph, that really activates our glymphatic system that I’ll spend a moment talking about. This is really interesting as well.
0:10:01.8: There’s a book, many of you have heard of this. One of my patients told me about it, it’s “Why We Sleep” by Dr. Matthew Walker, and a really great read if anyone wants to dive into more of what I’m talking about. He talks about how noradrenaline or this sympathetic hormone that many of us produce in over-abundance, being in modern life and chronically stressed, this is really the only time that hormone is essentially shut off–when we’re dreaming. Again, this is a quote from him: “In fact, REM sleep is the only time during the 24-hour period when your brain is completely devoid of this anxiety triggering molecule.” So there are many reasons why we need to get into this phase of sleep for us to get a break from that stress response that probably is flooding all of our bodies too much, especially nowadays.
0:10:58.9: There are lots of benefits of REM sleep. From a physical perspective, it’s going to help with learning, memory, mood. It also helps with us because of how dreams help us to process in our brain, it can help with emotional recalibration, there’s study with PTSD and REM sleep and dreaming and processing trauma. Also, it helps us to be more creative and to problem solve. So, not only this emotional piece, but also this creative problem-solving. If you’re having a difficult time finding solutions in your life or creativity, then this could be an area to focus on, to make sure that you’re remembering your dreams and actually dreaming at night.
0:11:39.3: There’s some other kind of more complicated language I wrote here, how we essentially form and consolidate memories and allow our body or brain rather, to process information, create short-term and long-term memory, and this allow us to learn new skills throughout the day. When we don’t have REM sleep we’re going to have more impaired neurological and psychological functioning. Again, impaired learning, memory, creativity and brain detoxification, we’ll talk about that in a moment, and then just interesting other connections with lack of REM.
0:12:13.4: If you are having trouble losing weight or if you have a metabolic disease and you’ve tried a lot of things, but your sleep is not a priority or you haven’t tackled this part of your health, there are certain hormones that can either rise for benefit or rise to work against us that affect our metabolism. One is called leptin. There can be an increase in leptin if we’re not getting enough REM sleep, and leptin puts us in this fat storage mode. So we’re holding on to fat and we’re not able to break down fat, so we can be having difficulty losing weight and in a state of chronic inflammation with a high leptin level.
0:12:52.5: Again, there can be memory and cognitive impairment, and then from the dreaming and emotional, and the consciousness piece, we can have unresolved trauma from lack of REM. So, many of you who have listened to me talk before know that I’ve talked a lot about the glymphatic system, but I haven’t talked about the glymphatic system in relationship to REM. For those of you who are new to this topic, that glymphatic system is the glial-dependent lymphatic system. It’s the lymph system that was newly discovered in 2015 in our brain. Our brain actually has a natural self-cleaning ability at night, so when we get into this certain phase of sleep at night, our brain actually shrinks. Remember that increase in blood flow, that increase of cerebrospinal fluid floods our brain and bathes our neurons, and so this is a picture of neurons and then these are the glial cells or astrocytes, and they have these little end feet. This is the artery and more blood is perfusing the brain, and alongside because of the gradient pressure, the cerebrospinal fluid is flowing.
0:13:58.3: And then these end feet in these glial cells regulate the flow of lymph to bathe the neurons, bringing oxygen and nutrition, and then the big part of my world, which is removing waste. So removing waste and then it flows along the venous system in the brain and your body detoxifies whatever is mobilized. They’ve shown studies that people who have an impaired glymphatic system or poor sleep have a build-up of beta-amyloid. Basically, when that builds up in the brain, that can lead to neuronal cell death and impaired communication and cognitive impairment, and can be a risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s.
0:14:39.1: So again, thinking from this other angle that I haven’t shared as much about, REM sleep is really important to achieve at night in order for our glymphatic system to be more active and for us to remove not only normal metabolic waste, but a lot of the environmental toxicants and pathogens that we’re exposed to, that our brain is struggling with. My work has always been focused on the fact that to have a healthy brain, you have to have a healthy glymphatic system, and we need optimal amounts of REM to achieve this.
0:15:16.9: So why don’t we have enough REM? Again, a long list of substances that are often common: caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, certain medications, so this is the chicken or the egg, right? The hard part with these medications is that unfortunately, people who might be in more pain or more anxious or have sleep deficits are prescribed these, and they actually may have a sedating effect but they might not get into stage three or REM sleep, which has all of these other benefits and it propels this vicious cycle. That’s why I think through the British Medical Journal, that’s one of the reasons why cancer might be on the rise, because we’re not getting this repair time when we use these substances that again, serve a purpose at times, but I think people are on them for way too long without other solutions or looking at the underlying cause of why they were prescribed. These should be short-term solutions, not long-term solutions.
0:16:19.0: From my lens, those substances can interfere with our ability to get into REM, and then REM activity can also occur with not enough sleep. So remember that we have to, on average, sleep for 90 minutes before we get into REM, and we have to have those cycles of sleep happen for us to achieve REM. So ideally, in that eight-hour period, we want to get four to five cycles. If we don’t have enough sleep hours, we’re not going to achieve REM in those, in that amount of time. A lot of chronic illnesses that I see can interrupt our ability to achieve that. Exposure to EMF has been shown to also affect this phase of sleep.
0:16:58.0: I’m going to go through some solutions in a moment and again, the big message of my talk today is, it’s not only achieving sleep, it’s achieving the deep sleep and the REM sleep for our bodies to be as healthy as possible, not only on a physical level but on a psychospiritual and emotional level as well. When we think about some solutions, GABA is a neurotransmitter many of you have heard of and its role is inhibitory in the brain. So it is going to be the neurotransmitter that makes people feel calm and relaxed. A lot of pharmaceuticals actually manipulate GABA receptors or GABA amounts in the brain to help achieve this feeling.
0:17:43.6: GABA is a really important neurotransmitter when we look at sleep. It helps to facilitate sleep, it also reduces mental and physical stress, and lowers anxiety, and people feel calm when GABA is flowing in the brain. It also helps to break down serotonin, so it can produce melatonin. So again, affecting more of the regulatory effect, melatonin and GABA I think work very well together. One study showed that GABA levels were reduced in 30% of adults who have primary insomnia, so that’s significant, and then low GABA is not only associated with insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns, but also anxiety, chronic stress, depression, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, muscle pain and headaches.
0:18:34.0: Also people who tend to have low GABA might be more prone to abuse different substances like alcohol, because alcohol has a gabanergic effect. People who have low GABA might feel better with alcohol because they’re stimulating their body’s own ability to produce it. GABA has this effect that it helps support our sleep, and then remember, if we don’t have enough GABA and we’re not getting in deeper phases of sleep, it’s kind of a self-fulfilling cycle where we can actually be more prone to anxiety and depression, and pain and memory issues, so it’s an important thing to look at when we’re looking specifically at how to give people a solution for deep restorative and REM sleep.
0:19:22.2: Dr. Ruggiero is a good friend, and I’ll talk more about him today, he did a ton of research around the role of GABA and sleep. For any of you who are interested in studies and more research about all of the benefits, I just listed a long list of research articles he gave me. GABA helps to potentiate other neurotransmitters, it helps to modulate also the cannabinoid pathways and the endocannabinoid receptors in the body, which is also supportive for sleep and pain and mood. It also helps us get into that deeper state of sleep by inhibiting the prefrontal cortex in the adult brain, so we can relax and we can achieve deeper sleep. Just for those of you who like articles, I just gave you a list here. Thinking about deep sleep, REM sleep, we’ve got to acknowledge GABA. GABA has a huge role, and we’ll talk about that more.
0:20:26.6: I can’t talk about sleep without talking about the pineal gland. I feel even more intimately connected with the pineal gland, as recently, I went to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s event in Orlando, Florida. I had been following his work and a handful of my patients have been helped tremendously by his work, so this always piqued my interest in his work. He does a lot of work around the role of the pineal gland, its power to not only regulate the brain and our body, but also to connect to consciousness.
0:21:01.0: He had us up a few times, I think twice during the retreat, at 4:00 AM to do a pineal gland meditation, where he really works on breath work, not only to get into a deep relaxed state, but also to create fluid dynamics, to create more fluid to basically create more blood flow and pressure to the pineal gland to stimulate it more. He times that at 4:00 AM because that’s the time that melatonin peaks, to get the most out of that experience.
0:21:36.9: I had never done anything like that, and it was really transformative. Not to get too personal right now, but I guess I will. I had a hormone imbalance, where my prolactin levels were a little high. I found that out just before the retreat, and so I took labs right before the retreat and I just took labs again, and my prolactin went from 37 to 25, which is pretty remarkable in that short amount of time. I’m going to give you solutions, but I’m just taking a little dive into that world and the power of meditation, breath, and opening up to consciousness through his work as well.
0:22:12.4: Anyway, the pineal gland is a small pine cone shaped gland that sits at the center of the brain. It’s what we call a neuroendocrine transducer. It takes light information from the outside world through the retina, to the brain, and transforms that information to endocrine information, so that’s why it’s called a neuroendocrine transducer. That information helps us to produce melatonin at optimal times.
0:22:43.9: It really is master regulator. It helps to regulate our biological clock, our circadian rhythm. And then again, in some schools of thought, we call it the third eye because of its ability to help us connect to whatever you believe higher consciousness is. A lot of my work has also been educating people about a lot of the effects of the environment that we’re up against and how this effects our pineal gland. Because of where the pineal gland is positioned, it’s not protected by the blood-brain barrier and it’s more vulnerable to toxicants that reduce melatonin production.
0:23:21.0: Many of you know about how fluoride calcifies the pineal gland. That is very true. We have fluoridated water. Fluoride gets taken in, and because of the pineal gland’s vulnerability to bloodborne toxicants, fluoride finds its way there and can calcify. I had a patient who sees one of the dentists I refer to and she even wrote on the CT scan that she could see that her pineal gland was calcified from a dental image. So it is objective. It is happening. Again, we can avoid fluoride in our water and have good water filtration, and the tools that I’m going to share today are strategies to reduce fluoride and to decalcify the pineal gland.
0:24:06.5: Through the work of Dr. Seneff on glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, actually facilitates the transport of aluminum to the pineal gland. She wrote a whole paper on that, if you want to dive into all the mechanisms, but the high level of glyphosate makes our gut more leaky. The aluminum that we’re overexposed to and ingest through our digestive tract then gets into circulation, and because of the way it’s transported via transferrin, it makes its way to the pineal gland and accumulates. That can reduce melatonin production. Mercury, we forget about because we have all these other toxicants to think about, but mercury, for people who have had dental fillings or been exposed to mercury, that can affect the pineal gland. And then EMF, there are more and more studies showing how EMF can affect the production of melatonin and is linked to an increase in urinary excretion of melatonin as well.
0:25:02.2: Those alone can be problematic, but those toxicants can combine and create these other molecules that also can be problematic. Aluminum and fluoride can combine to create aluminum fluoride. Aluminum can be used in different municipalities in the water, where it’s used as a coagulation to get bacteria out of the water, so it’s aluminum sulfite or sulfate, rather, and that is combined with fluoride and it creates aluminum fluoride that can create more excitation and disruption in the brain. And then aluminum and glyphosate, not only does glyphosate facilitate the absorption of aluminum to get to the pineal gland, but that combines into different molecules to be more disruptive in not only the pineal gland, but in other parts of the body as well.
0:25:52.5: Now I have this experience with meditation with the pineal gland, around the role of melatonin production of the pineal gland, but again, as we’re diving deeper into GABA, there’s a relationship between the pineal gland and GABA. Pineal sites and glial pineal cells, those are the cells within the pineal gland that actually take up GABA from the extracellular space and they also can synthesize GABA within the pineal gland. This is interesting because GABA can signal the breakdown of serotonin to produce melatonin, so it has this regulatory role to optimize our melatonin. GABA also assists us in achieving REM sleep.
0:26:36.3: The glymphatic system is going to be really important to keep our pineal glands as healthy as possible and to remove all these toxicants and this metabolic waste and pathogens out of our brain. So GABA not only is important for regulation and production of melatonin within the pineal gland, but also GABA, because when we get into deeper sleep, this helps to detoxify the pineal gland via the glymphatic system and it can also prevent it from getting calcified. Making that connection with the pineal gland and GABA, that was new to me.
0:27:14.7: When we think about solutions, we’re going to talk more about GABA. We want to talk about things that we can do to strengthen our pineal gland, to optimize our pineal gland’s production of melatonin, and also optimize our sleep, so we can detoxify our pineal gland. Lighting is really important. I do this in my own life and I feel like it’s really important for me, and I see this in my patients as well. Circadian lighting is this whole school of thought, about how lighting supports the natural sleep/wake cycle of our circadian rhythm. We’re inundated by a lot of junk lighting. We have a lot of blue LEDs or fluorescent lights, or we’re surrounded around too bright or blue light at the wrong biological time that can affect our regulation and our pineal gland’s communications.
0:28:02.2: I interviewed an architect, she was on my podcast years ago, her name’s Malena Simonova, and she just does circadian lighting for buildings. The world’s catching up with her, and now we have more solutions, but it’s this idea of, how do we mimic nature in our lives and mimic the light that we’re exposed to throughout the day, so that we can have an optimal circadian rhythm? This is just from a website, showing natural lighting throughout the day and that we should mimic that within our indoor environment.
0:28:29.8: For sleep, you want to minimize blue light exposure at least two to three hours before bedtime. I feel that there’s a lot of awareness around that now. So screen savers, obviously, with our technologies, we want to reduce blue light exposure. I use f.lux, but there’s a lot more of them nowadays. Blue blocking glasses, there’s a ton of them these days. I have a circadian light bulb in my study where I turn it to red at night. I have to still work when Ann Marie goes to bed, so I surround myself with red light, that is one of the most relaxing things that I have done and implemented over the years, for helping me to transition to sleep when I’m done. TrueDark is the light bulb. In order to optimize sleep, we want to create a safe sleeping location and mimic nature in our home environment.
0:29:16.8: So with that, tagging on to lighting, we want to create a dark room with blackout shades in our bedroom. We also need to look at EMF exposure because again, a lot of my patients struggle with insomnia. This alone I’ve seen help a lot of patients improve their sleep. So mitigating dirty electricity, dirty electricity is when the electrical wiring in the home can be putting off essentially a disharmonic electrical field that can affect our bodies physically. Stetzer Filters have a tool where you can measure that. The solution, if there is dirty electricity, you can put a filter in the plug and that can create more of a harmonious electromagnetic field from the electrical wiring. With that alone, I’m seeing patients do better.
0:30:01.8: Removing electronics from the bedroom. Try not to bring your phone into your bedroom. Use a book or just go to bed when you’re there, and then again, nothing plugged in in the room because that can create a magnetic field, even when things are turned off. I’m really concerned about this, if you’re struggling with a chronic illness, I would even consider to measure the EMF in your bedroom. You can get a measuring device or a meter that looks at electric fields and magnetic fields, and you can measure that and see, again, how much work you have to do.
0:30:34.4: If you have to do a lot of mitigation, I would consider working with a building biologist because the technicality in making sure that everything’s done appropriately is so you optimize the space rather than making anything worse. There’s paint and window films, and sleep canopies and so forth, that you can put in your bedroom, so that you can have a really safe sleeping environment to have restorative sleep and reduce EMF exposure for that amount of time, that eight hours that you’re going to be sleeping.
0:31:04.5: Shielded Healing is Brian Hoyer’s group that does a great job and he has trained people around the world, but this information is more and more widespread now, there are more people doing this, which is awesome. Turning off your WiFi at night. If you have WiFi in your home, turning that off at night can also really improve sleep. When we think about the glymphatic system, we think about the brain draining at night, so some people sleep at a five-degree incline, and that can really help to allow the lymph to drain out of the brain more optimally. SAMINA Bed, they’re friends, and they have a wonderful sleep system. They make inclined bed frames, they have really beautiful mattresses that are really healthy, and they have a really great grounding mat. Out of all the grounding mats out there, I think they have the best one, when you sleep grounded, that can be really great for not only deep and restorative and REM sleep, but also for inflammation and a lot of other health benefits as well.
0:32:03.2: Air filtration’s really important. I can’t express, there’s so much information now about mold in your home. If you’re struggling with a chronic illness or struggling with sleep, please get your home checked out for mold. That is far too common and can be really disruptive. So identify the source, remediate, and get air filtration that can also mitigate any environmental toxicants to keep the indoor air quality healthy, especially in your bedroom. Another thing to think about is, when we sleep, our core body temperature actually cools, this shows from 10:00 to 6:00 that our body temperature drops one to two degrees, that actually helps to optimize getting into deep restorative and REM sleep.
0:32:46.0: So either adjust your thermostat, so you’re not hot at night and adjust your sleep blankets and so forth. I’ve been friendly with the company chiliPAD. I sleep with a chiliPAD, and that’s been a really great tool for myself and my husband. That’s another great strategy to improve a deep and REM sleep. And then nighttime rituals, I think this is really important. We all have so much stress in life these days, and I think that it’s important to create a nighttime ritual to have that sacred time of relaxation to again, in order to optimize your sleep so that you can live a long, healthy life.
0:33:24.3: There’s schools of thought that a consistent bedtime can be very helpful. Avoiding eating two to three hours before bed, especially for my intermittent fasters, that’s going to be even more important. I think this is also important: Avoid stressful conversations or looking at stressful things on your devices or social media. Again, we want to be in a time of parasympathetic and relaxation, so we can optimize sleep. Sound medicine is an interest of mine that I just love, either doing sound baths or tuning forks or meditations. There’s so much available, sound changes our field and can also get us into the parasympathetic.
0:34:04.6: Journaling can be a really great way to offload stress before the end of the day. I think these are really great. We had a meeting before this call today with my team, I work with a wonderful group of doctors, and we were just talking about a lot of things and Dr. Beattie saw a quote today from Brené Brown that said “Sleep is a form of self-respect.” I thought that was really wise.
0:34:26.8: I think in American culture, we’re transitioning, but a lot of us kind of wear a badge, “Oh, I don’t need much sleep,” or “I’m good,” or “Sleep is a form of sacrifice that we all make, and it’s all good.” But ultimately, loving ourself and making time for sleep really not only restores your body physically, but it also restores your spirit, and I think nowadays, when the world is so intense and so full of all of this information that can be really anxiety and fear-producing, this is a time that we should guard and protect and make sleep a priority for ourselves.
0:35:06.5: I’ve talked a lot about GABA, and we created a product with Dr. Ruggiero. Dr. Ruggiero is a dear friend. He helped me create the flow creams that have been really wonderful, and his passion has been the lymphatic system and the immune system. He dove deeper into, how do we heal and restore the brain through sleep, as well as open people up to this other part of our consciousness that we can achieve through dreaming, and also all of the beneficial psychological effects when we get deep sleep.
0:35:44.1: Our passion is both supporting our patients who have sleep disorders who are chronically ill, but also during this time, connecting people to something greater and bigger than ourselves. I didn’t mention when I was at the Joe Dispenza event, I had met a friend…I met a lot of friends there. I had samples of this, and one of my friends, we put it on before one of the meditations, the cream that I’m about to share. We both got into such a deep state of meditation that was way easier to achieve than prior meditations.
0:36:20.4: I think this is a good shortcut to help optimize meditation, if that’s something you’re drawn to. So again, there’s a lot of GABA on the market and there’s a lot of products that work, but I’ve always been frustrated because a lot of oral GABA is poorly absorbed and it’s not as bioavailable to the brain. Dr. Ruggiero, in his wisdom, again, we’ve created a lot of transdermal products together, he is one of the world’s experts on the role of chondroitin sulfate, and how chondroitin sulfate is a proteoglycan in the extracellular matrix, which has a structural but also an immune effect in the body, and also regulates inflammation.
0:37:07.0: In our flow cream, we have the chondroitin sulfate as a delivery device to optimize absorption and effect, and so we paired GABA and chondroitin sulfate with a lot of clean, organic ingredients in combination to essentially be a way that GABA could get into the interstitium, into the lymphatics, into the brain, and have a more powerful effect. He also has created a microbial chondroitin sulfate, so people who are vegan out there, it’s not animal-derived, which is awesome. We call the cream Somnium, and we have been working with it before we brought it to market, and I’ll show you some studies. It helps with all of these stages of sleep, so it helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, it helps you to access REM sleep and it essentially helps you to improve overall sleep quality.
0:38:02.7: It’s going to help those phases of sleep, but also gives the brain benefits. So again, it helps to activate REM sleep, therefore activating the glymphatic system, therefore detoxifying the brain. This is the perfect marriage for a lot of our work with the glymphatic system, that we’re now helping people to achieve that non-REM sleep to activate glymphatic system. And then again, it has a regulatory effect on the hormones, the hypothalamus, the pituitary, memory, learning, creativity, reducing anxiety, and then again, with the trauma and emotional support, because if we’re accessing more deep sleep and REM sleep, this helps us to process certain life events so that we’re less prone to neuropsychiatric illnesses through the role of GABA.
0:38:50.0: It does a lot of things, and we’ve heard so many wonderful anecdotes that it is a really, really fun part of my work right now to see people not only sleep better, but also have these really insightful moments in their life as a result. Marco had a study where he looked through a wearable technology, a FitBit before and after the use of Somnium, and we could look at deep sleep score and also REM sleep percentage. And this, of course, is a small study, but the results are so promising before and after and this coincides with anecdotes. Again, I learn from my patients every day. We only want to do things that work and that we hear improve things, or if I hear something that works that my patient shared, I go research it and make sure that we learn about it, because our patients tell us what works and what doesn’t. This has been a really exciting support for people who haven’t gotten where we want them with sleep.
0:39:49.2: A jar of Somnium will last you at least three months, you only use a little bit at a time, and you put it on your temples, and then we have people put it behind their ears at the top of their ear, that’s the thinnest part of the skin so it’s really well absorbed, before bed time or if you’re going to meditate or do more of the experience in that way, apply before that, and we would love to hear how it goes for you.
0:40:16.1: We have a promotion where we’re going to be doing 10% off for a little bit, so there is this code, DEEPSLEEP, and if you purchase this, we created a Dream Journal. Part of my work with this product with my patients is also hearing how they’re processing dreams, how they’re processing different memories or traumas or unconscious parts of themselves that are coming to the surface through this, so it’s exciting, and then you not only get a Dream Journal, but also a recap of the ten tips that are foundational for improving sleep.
0:40:52.5: So today, I wanted to share my exploration in sleep, and we have a solution and a product that we’re really, really excited about. If you choose to purchase it, please, we’re collecting more and more anecdotes, and we’d love to hear from you how this transforms your sleep and hopefully your life as well. This is a new area of interest, a new exploration, a new area of education that I’ll be sharing with everyone, so we’ll be doing more of this. I appreciate everybody who joined live and everybody who is watching this later. Please if you are feeling drawn to Somnium and check it out, please share your feedback with us. We’d love to hear how this is supporting you, and I’m excited to hear from you, and always good connecting with everyone, so have a good one. Bye.