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episode #217

Q & A: Sleep Quality, Sleep Environment, and much more!

January 16, 2023 in Podcast


This week I answer your questions about sleep!

Nothing is more important than quality sleep so I thought I would start the new year by answering your most important questions around this topic!

  • Why do we need sleep?
  • How much sleep do we need?
  • What are the consequences of not getting enough sleep?
  • How can I tell if I'm not getting enough sleep?
  • How can I improve my sleep habits?
and much more!!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian grn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean e Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grn and happy 2023. Hope you had a nice holiday in New Year.

Brian (43s):

Spent some time with some family. I was traveling overseas and yeah, took a little break from the Micros, hopefully enjoying some of those interviews I sent to you. Remember, I come out with a micro podcast every Tuesday and Friday's an interview, so if you have any questions or things you want to get discussed on the micro podcast or you have a a guest that you think might be worth having on, just feel free to shoot me an email. Brian brian grn.com and I'm looking forward to a great year. Got a book coming out, step Ladder System, look out for that, that's gonna be coming out the next month.

Brian (1m 25s):

So really excited to put a lot of time and effort and it's taken a little bit longer than I thought, but you know, better late than never. And yeah, excited for, you know, happy, healthy New Year. And thank you so much for listening. Hopefully you're enjoying my podcast. And you know, today I wanted to do some q and a. I actually did a q and a a while back with Brad Kerns, and this one is gonna simply be on sleep. I grabbed a bunch of questions, you know, some from clients, some from the internet, tried to find some popular ones, ways that I could sort of guide you around sleep and maybe some common questions and answers to that.

Brian (2m 13s):

So without further ado, let's get going. And the, the, the first question that came up was, why do we need sleep? I think I remember in high school telling me someone telling me that sleep was overrated and they were wrong because it's, it's definitely like the number one pillar in health. If you're not getting adequate sleep, you could probably throw out a lot of the other advice that you're maybe getting regarding health. So to focus on that, you know, why we need it. Obviously, physically and mentally, this is a time where you're able to rest and repair your brain's, able to consolidate memory and process information.

Brian (2m 56s):

And obviously without adequate sleep, we're more, more likely to experience problems with concentration, mood, overall physical health, and I mean chronic sleep de deprivation, God that's been linked to, you know, obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes. I will say just from traveling overseas and being in a different time zone in Israel, it's eight hour difference. In Dubai, it's 10 hours and there's definitely an adjustment and you know, traveling can be tough on the body and tough on the mind, especially when you're traveling all these time zones across the country. But I'm definitely getting at getting back to normal and starting to sleep in normal hours.

Brian (3m 40s):

But you know that you can definitely, if, if you're used to getting quality sleep and then you travel like overseas, then you and you and you're not getting as good a sleep and you realize how important it really is. So prioritizing it is key. And then another question that came up was, how much sleep do we need? And so, you know, the, the amount of sleep we need actually varies throughout our lives. Babies and young children, I'm sure as you noticed, infants age four months and under sleep between 16 and 18 hours per day school age, children need between a nine and 11 hours and adults require between about seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

Brian (4m 26s):

Obviously this is general guideline. There is some, there could be some difference between individuals. Obviously some people naturally require more and some can perform just as well unless, so our sleep, our sleep needs do change over time depending on many factors. Age, health, activity level, I mean if you're feeling rested and alert throughout the day, you're probably getting enough sleep. But as I'll talk a little about on some of the other questions, if you're feeling constantly tired, obviously it might be time to reassess your sleeping habits. Which sort of leads into the next question, what are the consequences of not getting enough sleep?

Brian (5m 10s):

And, you know, lack of sleep, a lot of negative consequences, obviously around that impaired memory. Learning you can also have a tough time concentrating and making decisions. Also for some people, you know, it can contribute to moodiness, irritability, depression. So lack of sleep is one of those things that if it becomes chronic, like I mentioned, could lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, it can also weaken immune system. I think a lot of people sometimes when they travel a lot, you know, they have a, a higher, well, they just say the higher chance of perhaps getting sick and it might be a little bit more difficult to fight off infections.

Brian (5m 60s):

So you really wanna focus on quality rest, especially if you're traveling, which can be difficult sometimes. And how can you tell if you're not getting enough sleep was another question. Obviously if you're feeling like you're having trouble concentrating or you're getting irritable other ways is, you know, just feeling sluggish or even trouble waking, waking up or staying awake throughout the day. So you really wanna check your sleeping habits, which will lead to one of the other questions that was asked, but what are some common myths around sleeping? You know, some people think that they can sort of train their bodies to function on less sleep, but research has shown that it's not possible to really adjust to sleeping fewer hours over time.

Brian (6m 47s):

You know, you might get more used, you might, I should say, you might get used to it a little bit, but it's essentially you can't just program yourself. You know, if you're programming yourself to sleep on four or five hours of sleep, that's just gonna take a toll. Another one is that alcohol helps you fall asleep and it may help you feel drowsy and, you know, perhaps might help you fall asleep, but the quality of your sleep and the, and it, the quality of sleep will go down and it can lead to wakefulness during the night. So another myth is that, and I hope hopefully people listen to my podcast, don't think this because I always talk about blue, blue light, but people think that like watching TV can help them like wind down.

Brian (7m 33s):

I hear this a lot of times, it's like part of their routine to go to sleep. And don't get me wrong, there's times where I, I've watched something before bed and if I did, I u I do wear my blue light blocking glasses just so that it cuts the blue light coming in. But really when you talk about relaxing and falling asleep, watching TV should not be at the top of the list because if you're, if you're watching anything with a blue, with blue light, this can suppress melatonin and make it more difficult to fall asleep. So definitely don't wanna have that part of your sleep routine. Few more here. How can I improve my help?

Brian (8m 14s):

My, excuse me, can't even talk. How can I improve my sleep habits? Well, I'll go through a couple of things that I think are great. One is making sure that you have a sleep environment that's con conducive to relaxation. And, but I mean by that it's comfortable. Obviously it's dark, it's quiet. Actually one thing I've added my wife and I added is we have a sound machine. And the reason we put the sound machine was not because of us. We actually, there was this owl that's outside our house and one of our dogs would hear it and then would start barking.

Brian (8m 54s):

And this happened on numerous occasions. So we added a sound machine and actually we've learned to enjoy it and I, we brought it on our recent trip because you know, if you're staying in a hotel, who knows what you're gonna be hearing, you know, people coming in late or this and that. So I really enjoy the enjoy the sound machine. So if you've never tried one, that might not be a bad place to start. But dark and quiet is important. Obviously establishing a regular sleep schedule would be another great sleep habit. You know, stick to that as much as possible. Going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends, this sort of resets your body's like internal clock and it's gonna make it easier to fall asleep at night.

Brian (9m 41s):

Lastly, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime would be ideal. They both can obviously interfere with quality sleep. I do have caffeinated beverages a lot of times before a workout I might just make a coffee and add some of my element sea salt in there with Rob Wolf who's been on my podcast. You can get a discount for element tea and I add that to my coffee. He, I use the, his chocolate sea salt with coffee, homemade coffee, not from like Starbucks or Dunking Donuts or something like that. Quality beans you want.

Brian (10m 21s):

But anyways, getting off the topic. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Those are good sleep hap those are sort of good things to, to abide by quality, sleep environment, regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed a few more and then we'll, we'll, we'll sort of sum it up here. What's the perfect amount of time for a nap? So everyone's a little bit different on this, but what I, what I, from my research, 20 to 30 minutes is ideal cuz any shorter, you might not reap the benefits in any longer.

Brian (11m 2s):

You're sort of gonna, your body's gonna almost think it's going back into this deeper sleep in which you feel groggy and disoriented. You don't want a dad, you want something that's sort of just a quick, quick like, you know, get you going. Quick burst of energy. I do like power naps. I don't take them as much as maybe I should, but I don't feel like I, I really need to take them. Sometimes I'll close my eyes for 15 minutes, give or take For me, I can close my eyes for 10, 15 minutes and it, it's somewhat refreshing but from the research I've seen, typically 20 to 30 minutes you set your alarm and it's, it could be pretty refreshing. Power nap, oh here's the good one.

Brian (11m 43s):

Are there any natural remedies for any like sleep disorders or to helping with sleep quality and to promote like relaxation. So some studies have found that valerian root can be as, as effective as certain medications for like insomnia and have fewer side effects. So valerian root's. One other natural remedies for sleep. I'm sure you've heard of chamomile tea, lavender oil, like an essential oil, lavender oil, magnesium. I will say this, after doing a hair mineral test through the company, upgraded formulas, I had Barton Scott on the podcast, magnesium was, was something that I was a bit deficient in.

Brian (12m 25s):

I think a lot of people are and it plays so, so many roles in your body. I could do a whole podcast, excuse me, on magnesium, but that's one that I've been supplementing with. And I have to say it has, it has improved my quality of sleep and I was taking it when I was traveling as well. So that might be one that to look into the magnesium supplements. There's a few companies if you're curious to, to try, I just interviewed Colin Stucker from Wild Foods and check out the link in the show notes for that. You can get a, he was offering a 23% discount if you put in get lean 23 and I actually just ordered his magnesium supplement.

Brian (13m 5s):

All his products are high quality so I know, I know where I'm getting it from and so check that out. And then, you know, as far as past supplementation is concerned, you know, relaxation breathing exercises are are great. I had Avi Greenberg on the podcast and I did some breathing breath work with him for about four weeks and that was unbelievable. So that's a great way to wind down, you know, so some type of meditation or yoga could be great, even if it's just like a 10 minute, you know, guided meditation from like an app on your phone. I mean obviously you don't wanna like stare at your phone, close your eyes, but that could help you create, you know, more of a wrestle state, ease some tension before bedtime.

Brian (13m 55s):

And then lastly, good one to finish up on, what is a good sleep routine? You know, I would say first and foremost, you pick a time where you're gonna start your routine, where you're just turning off all electronic devices and you're just sort of getting into this state of relaxation. So first and foremost, pick a time. I like to pick at least probably hour and a half-ish before bed. The two hours would be ideal. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, obviously create a calm, relaxing environment. Cool as well. We keep our room pretty cool. I get it down to like God, mid sixties because your body temperature, you know, the last thing you wanna be is warm in bed.

Brian (14m 41s):

I'm sure we've all experienced that. And your body temperature tends to rise a touch as you go to sleep or during the middle of the night. So you wanna make sure you have a cool environment. You know, reading a book is something that I love to do and you know, just establishing a consistent schedule as far as time is concerned, like I mentioned, I think so important. So give yourself time to wind down. This could be a meditation, this could be reading a book, maybe writing in a journal, and essentially just be consistent day in, day out. Obviously you might have a day where you, where you go out and your time's a little bit off, but if you can be consistent 90% of the time, I think that's important.

Brian (15m 24s):

And then just create that calm, cool environment that's nice and dark. Try the sound machine. Especially, I know a lot of kids use sound machines my nieces and nephews have, but I, I have to say it's, it's great, it sort of drowns out any sound that would be coming in and creates a nice relaxing environment. So there you have it. That was about what, 7, 8, 9 questions right there around sleep. If you have anything more or if there's another topic you wanna touch on, feel free to email me, brian brian grin.com. And yeah, look forward to a great week and we will talk to you on Friday. Thanks so much for listening.

Brian (16m 4s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean EAN podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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