The 5 Biggest Sleep Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid with Tracey Marks

How any sleep mistakes are there?! Today I’m chatting with a delightful woman who works predominantly offline but is building a fabulous online presence as well. Dr. Tracey Marks shares the biggest sleep mistakes you are making that you could easily avoid. Dr. Marks is a psychiatrist and focuses on working women who are too tired, busy, stressed out, etc. Those women who are Beyond Burnout.  She helps women devise strategies to recover from “burnout” and live healthier lives for themselves and their families.

Is lack of sleep really a big deal?

Is lack of sleep really such a big deal? Many people believe they need to shave off sleep to get more done throughout the day, but your body will tell you when you haven’t had enough sleep! It starts subtly like little whispers, but eventually those little whispers will become big shouts and then the real problems start.

Did you know that chronic sleep deprivation can cause depression? Or did you know that you actually gain weight when you don’t get enough sleep? Shut the front door! The list of things that happen to our bodies due to lack of sleep goes on and on.

People are talking about lack of sleep more now than ever, but the conversation is only beginning. It’s an exercise in futility to continue making the biggest sleep mistakes and  neglecting sleep while still trying to get more and more done.

Running on only 4 hours of sleep isn’t a badge of honor! The average adult should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but that’s often difficult for most people because there’s always so much “stuff” that needs to get done.

Is there anything we can do about sleep mistakes?

So now that we know that lack of sleep is a problem… what do we do about it? First, set a bed time! Your body is a clock and needs a routine, just like it did when you were a baby. No matter what happened during the day you need go to bed at the same time each night. Once you’ve set your bedtime, it’s important to give yourself about an hour to start to wind down: turn off the phone, stop checking your email, and relax. Bedtime is something you should prepare for, not something that just happens.

Tracey offers a course (a book and a video) called Master Your Sleep in which she addresses individual issues with sleep and provides a number of tricks and tools to fix your sleep schedule. (Blublocker glasses. For real. Check out the course.)

Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be much more successful than medication when it comes to treating sleep problems which is where Tracey found her inspiration for the self help course.

Who is Dr. Tracey Marks?

The 5 Biggest Sleep Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid with Tracey MarksDr. Tracey Marks is a psychiatrist who focuses on working with women to help them jump off the hamster wheel and manage their lives so they can actually enjoy them. As a working mom herself, Dr. Tracey noticed that her patients and friends were seeking solutions to help them avoid burnout. She created Beyond Burnout to offer resources that can make a tangible difference to their quality of life.

A psychiatrist with 18 years experience, Dr. Tracey has a specific focus on lifestyle management, sleep challenges and the mind/body connection. In addition to Beyond Burnout, she has a private practice based in Atlanta. Dr. Tracey is a regular contributor to leading publications such as The Huffington Post and Bedtime Network, and has appeared as a psychiatric expert on CNN and HLN.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Dr. Tracey Marks website
http://beyondburnout.com/sleepcourse

Tweetables!

Running on 4 hours of sleep isn’t a badge of honor! - Allegra SinclairClick to Tweet Sleep… it’s like liposuction and a face lift in a pillow! - Allegra SinclairClick to Tweet

Allegra: This going to be an unusual podcast, not based on the topic, but unusual in that we're usually talking with women who are all about online business and today we're going to get some great expertise and information from someone whose expertise lives in the real world.

: Dr Tracey Marks is a psychiatrist and she works with women who are overwhelmed overtired, undernourished, you know, too stressed out, over busy, all of those things so that she can help them actually manage their lives and enjoy it. I think too often we get in a pattern of just trying to get through stuff so then we can live life, but we're so busy getting the stuff that we don't realize that that is the life, so [email protected] definitely focuses on working mothers because as a working mother herself, she knows what she's talking about. Right, and she has worked with patients as well as friends on helping them find solutions to avoid this burnout. She has over 18 years of experience as a psychiatrist and she specifically focuses on sleep challenges, mind, body connection and lifestyle management. So today we are going to be blessed with the expertise around sleep management from Dr Tracy Marks. Hi Dr. Marks.

Dr. Tracey: Hi. Thank you for having me here.

Allegra: Thank you for coming. This is such a t. This topic is so near and dear to my heart because I have all sorts of sleep disruptions and for years I didn't know that my lack of sleep was such a big deal. So let's kind of start there. How do we know that lack of sleep is a big deal and kind of why do we know now? Because it used to be like a badge of honor, right? Not just when you're in college, but it used to kind of be a badge of honor when you were building your career and you'd say, oh my gosh, I'm running on two and a half hours of sleep and six cups of coffee. So when did we learn? That's not such a great thing.

Dr. Tracey: Well, you know, I still think it's a badge of honor. I listened to a lot of podcasts and I'll still hear people say if they've got a startup going or trying to get their business going, Oh I, I, you know, I haven't been sleeping and I'm living on coffee, but I'm going to get it done. So we still are in this mode of shaving off sleep in order to accommodate all the things that we need to do during the day. How do you know when that's not working? Your body eventually says, I'm done with this. How

Allegra: does it say that? Because I love talking about how you want to be quiet every now and then so you can hear your body when it whispers, because it has. If it has to shout, you'll be really unhappy. So how does your body tell you enough?

Dr. Tracey: Well, it starts out in more subtle messages, like I'm feeling irritable, a things getting to where they're just. Everything just seems hard. You might feel tired all the time. You might even lose enthusiasm for the things that you're doing. You're ready to quit because it just seems like what's the point? And that's when people start getting close to burnout when they have the combination of physical fatigue as well as mental fatigue or lack of passion for what they're doing because they're, there's not seeing positive outcome from all their efforts and they're running their body too hard.

Allegra: Now, what's fascinating is it sounds like some of the messages that your body's sending you sound like depression to me. So I understand we're talking about burnout and stress, et Cetera, but some of those things like, um, it just seems like everything's too hard and kind of that overwhelm. Do People sometimes present with depression when really there might be sleep deprived?

Dr. Tracey: Oh, absolutely. Because chronic sleep deprivation can cause depression. I mean chronic sleep deprivation can cause a lot of problems both mental and physical, but in fact some more subtle things are having trouble losing weight. You can gain weight from not getting enough sleep.

Allegra: Okay. We just need to say that again, not getting sleep makes me fat APP. So lately. I mean I love that because then you're thinking because now I'm thinking to myself, wait a minute. Oh, I have to do is get more sleep

Dr. Tracey: is just go to sleep basically. So what happens is in the body is that when you don't get enough sleep, you get elevations in the stress hormone. Cortisol, cortisol to high levels of cortisol does a lot of things, but one of which is that messes around with your sugar metabolism in your body because that's one of the things that cortisol does is it kind of mobilizes sugar in your bodies and etc. But so when it's out of whack like that or too high, you can get abnormal metabolism of sugar or your body kind of slows down in how it metabolizes the things that you eat.

Allegra: Wow. So lack of sleep. I'm just, I'm not a psychiatrist, I'm just Breaking it down in like my language. So lack of sleep slows my metabolism down, which makes me fatter or could make me make it more difficult for me to lose weight.

Dr. Tracey: Yes. So people can also have an increased appetite which contributes to that, but on a subtle way you can see it other than just, oh, now I'm five pounds heavier is you are trying to lose weight, you have not, you're doing all this exercise and you still. The scale just either keeps going up or it's not going down at all. That's another way people can see that they're the weight gain aspect,

Allegra: debit. That is sobering. What other types of things does lack of sleep due to our bodies?

Dr. Tracey: Okay. So one of the important things that happens during sleep is what's called memory consolidation. And what does that mean to say and what is that? Yes, I just had to use a technical term, but what it really means is that is when your brain puts together all the things that you learned during the day and helps you remember them and recall them later, so it's like you take in all this data or information during the day and then when you sleep it's all that data goes into this factory and you get it gets filed into different compartments so that you can retrieve it later. It's like a data organization center if you want to think of it that way and that's what happens when we sleep. So when you don't sleep enough, you don't get. You can't remember as well as you can't remember all of the things that you need to do or even take or remember new learned information if you will.

Allegra: Now I think so. It's funny because as I'm thinking through these things, and I don't even know how I came to think about sleep except that probably I think about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I only knew what that was because I had observed my brother habit. He wasn't actually being treated for it at that time, but I learned about this and for anybody who's listening, who doesn't know you stopped breathing. I don't know any other way to say that. Right. So you stopped breathing in your sleep, but it's often characterized by like really loud snoring because as you start breathing again, there's this lady really loud snoring, a noise as a for some people I guess. Right. I can only speak to the experiences that I witnessed, but that was the first time I started thinking about sleep and I remember that, um, my father was staying with me.

Allegra: I had lived alone for years and my father was staying with me and told me, I don't know, after it'd been there a couple nights, honey, you snore. and I was like, get outta here. You mean I per gently like, no, I mean like, like a bizarre, like a bear, you snore like a bear. And I was like, is just not elegant. So I talked to my doctor and I went off to the sleep study, but the thing I remember is I wasn't freaked out about c pap machines or masks or any of that, you know, that I know troublesome people. The thing that struck me was the next morning after I came home sleep study, I was like, has the sky always been blue? I felt like my hair was alive. I was so awake. Blew my mind, blew my mind because I don't know how long I had it, but I was so asleep or so sleepy and lacking in this.

Allegra: What did you call it? Memory consolidation for so long. I'm not. It was other stuff. So I thought, oh well I'm just one of those people I called. I coined this term. I called it sad situational add because there were times when I was on fire and other times when I couldn't remember stuff right? Because it seemed like I was thinking too many things at one time, but once I got on sleep therapy I was like, oh my gosh, I haven't been asleep for like 12 years. And I thought, why aren't people talking about, right? So I've done out because it was a very specific and very personal issue, but I'm just stunned still that people aren't talking about it as much. So does it affect women more than men or about the same?

Dr. Tracey: Actually, it really does effect. It tends to affect men more than women. The kind of, um, stereotypical person is the person who's overweight and snores, um, and older. But you can have someone who's thin and doesn't snore that loudly and still have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when there's some sort of obstruction or at least obstructive sleep apnea. There's two types, but obstructive sleep apnea, which is a more common one when occurs, when there's something blocking, getting enough airflow from outside your nose to inside your body and then your brain not getting enough oxygen and that can come from being overweight and having too much tissue around your throat. But people with lots of nasal polyps or if they've ever deviate, it sounds like

Allegra: collect jacked up sinuses. But I think the technical term is deviated.

Dr. Tracey: Deviated septum or yes, chronic sinusitis. Lots of sinus problems. And congestion, all of those things can make you not take in enough air or or in in. Another issue with it being happening during sleep is that when you relax all of your throat tissues and in in a kind of mouth tissues, if you will relax and so it's harder to get and they can close off in a way that doesn't happen when you're up and talking and things like that, so you don't get enough oxygen through and then your brain just kind of. You stopped breathing and then your brain, there's an automatic mechanism to wake you up or to force you into briefing. Isn't that wonderful? We were made so wonderfully, wonderfully me. Yes. He's always backup systems, so yeah, the backup generator turns on and then you will hear often you will hear in people who are snoring anyway, this choking sound that you were talking about, that's also pretty characteristic of sleep apnea, but people don't have to wake up that dramatically and still have this on off all the way through the night of stopping, restart, stop, restart.

Allegra: Right. Which is fascinating. So I know people are talking a lot. They're talking more about it now, um, but certainly not as much as much as I think they should based on how significant an issue lack of sleep is. So, um, with your audience and your patients. I imagine so. I know, I feel like my life is insane and sometimes I'm like, if I get five hours tonight, even laying down, not even five hours, totally sleep, I'm going to be doing good. I don't do that as much now as they used to because I no longer think it's a badge of honor to say I'm running on four hours because now I realize if I'm running on four hours sleep, I'm not being as full alegra as I could because I'm working with like half of all the good stuff. Right? Physically tired. I am.

Allegra: I didn't know about memory consolidation, but my brain doesn't work as well. Right. I have the brain fog, so I certainly think people should be talking about it more, but I imagine that it's exponentially troubling if you're a working mom, right? Which most of your audiences. Because in addition to the stuff that you need to take care of for you as an individual every day or the things that you need to do for your Work every day, and then you add that layer on top that you were trying to do similar things for your children. So most of your patients, are they working through issues with trying to get better balance for themselves? Or is it more about them trying to get better balance for their children? Because I think children are also overbusy now. Um, so which of.

Dr. Tracey: Yeah. Um, well I ended up spending most of the time talking about them because because they are often so focused on the children and family that they neglect themselves when they're in my presence is like finally somebody is listening to me and I get a chance to talk. We don't often spend a lot of tIme talking about the kids, but I tell you, I recently did a career day at my son's school and I was telling them about what I did, psychiatrists and all this. And I just happened to ask anybody have trouble sleeping. And I was surprised this is a third grade class that like almost all of the kids raised their hands, waIst third grade. What is that nine? Yes. And I was like. And so I started. So then I started asking all the classes that and I would say probably 75 percent of them said that they had a sleep problem.

Dr. Tracey: Now what's a sleep problem for them? While that could be mom makes me go to bed. So I didn't get into all that. But what I did see was that a lot of them, when I'd ask them what time they went to bed, a good portion of them, they all kind of consistently woke up around 6:30. Some of them will go to bed around eight ish, which is when they should go to bed, but a lot of them are going to bed at nine, 10:00, 11:00, which is way too late for that. Nine year old is staying up until 11:00 at night playing games. And you know,

Allegra: we dIdn't get into this, but for an adult, the average amount of sleep that we should be getting is between seven and nine hours. And for kids that age it's more like 10 to 12 hours. And the reason I bring this up is because in the way this can affect the working moms or the family, is that if you have a job, so. Well let me just say if your child needs 10 hours of sleep and they have to get up at six, so that means they need to be asleep completely unconscious by 8:00. Well, if you're not getting home until 6:00 and then dinner and then there's homework, it's hard to fit all that in before 8:00 and it's difficult to sleep at eight and be totally asleep at eight. If you just ate at 7:45, that's not that. I know this personally.

Allegra: ideally there's a little time between the meal and the trying to go to sleep. Right. Okay. Yeah. So that makes for a very cramped and tight evening routine. That can be an additional layer of say, the working mom versus the single mom. I was single for a long time before I got married. I'm one of thoSe older women getting married and um, so I remember the days of coming home and it just being all about me and I was watching movies. I remember netflix had just recently come out and I was like, how many netflix movies can I watch before I have to return these? And, and now the thought of actually having time to watch an entire movie, I can't even relate to that. Well, speaking as a singleton, isn't that what they called it? And bridget jones, I don't even have netflix. I have amazon prime.

Allegra: I cannot tell you the last time we watched a movie. Wow. Okay. because so much stuff and I'll look up after dinner. so I really don't try to start eating dinner, which is an issue. Um, which is leading me to the next point of this. So, okay. So now we're all frightened that we're not getting enough sleep. So what do we do better? Right? So how do we improve that? So I should start eating earlier, which I don't because I'm typically eating dinner like eight, which is ridiculous, but that's what happens. So then at 9:00, you know what I'm fishing, cleaning up and then I'm like, you know, puttering, you know, doing stuff around the house and then like email, you know, whatever, taken care of my life. Taking your business though, and then I look up and it's 1:00 in the morning and I'm like crap on a cracker.

Allegra: I swore I was going to bed at 11:00. It does happen more frequently than I would like. But um, I, one of the things I do to try to get myself to sleep more is I have a fitbit, you know, that little pedometer thing and it tracks your sleep and I'm like, it's like a game for me. Right. So I've applied game, have occasion to my sleep patterns. So I want the little fitbit to give me that little buzz and smile at me. Then I was in bed for seven hours, so hopefully sleeping. But I'm. So sometimes I'll think to myself, oh my gosh, there's one if I'm going to get my seven hours, I mean I have to go right now, you know, based on what I have to get up. So the fitbit and kurt and I know it's about the steps

Dr. Tracey: and walking, but for me it's an encouragement to sleep better because I want that little endorphin rush I get when my little silly fitbit says, good job, you were in bed for 700. If people aren't wired by gadgets like me, what can we do to improve our sleep? Well, very good. I like, I haven't used that gadget and, but that's a, that's a great encouragement or a good motivator for people. So where I usually start with people is, and I'm so glad you gave your scenario because you will be one of these people I'd be talking to about this practice was not in atlanta. I can verY withheld what does the burt sitting in my office. Okay. So where I tell people to start is to start with a bed time and that might seem very self evident like, and, but you don't have a bad time.

Dr. Tracey: What do you do? You do stuff and then you happen to notice what time it is. And a lot of people do that and I'll ask, well what time is your bedtime? Well it depends. Well it shouldn't depend. You need to set a time to go to bed every single night. Oh, okay. So it's not like everyday I can set the time based on that day's activities. No. Okay. So there needs to be a. Because your body is on a clock and your body just like, well you don't have kids but. Well I assume you don't have kids but you don't have to. Okay, good. So you have older people though. I have 78 year old children. They do the same thing. So you know who pick up the phone and, and, and I love them. Right. I have a cousin who's 98 and still lives alone.

Dr. Tracey: I mean she's ninja but god. And so I do have family tugging on me. They're just tugging at me at different ends of the age spectrum. Okay, well we kind of regress and get back to our toddler days, but so what I was going to say is just like toddlers need a routine or they get fussy. We still need routines as adults because our bodies are on a clock. So you should vary. You should only very. You're asleep by about maybe an hour here or there on any given night. So what you should do is let's just say you need. So what you do is you determine what time do I need to get up in the morning and then you work backwards. Seven, eight, nine, whatever you need for to feel rested. And that's going to be your bedtime. So let's say it's 10:00, then you start an hour before and that is your wind down and your prep for bedtime. So, so what happens in wind down wind down is, so let's just say 10:00 is your bedtime. Nine from nine to 9:30 is when you stop the electronics use. You get off facebook, you do, you get you. Do you stop doing stuff? No more emails and brush your teeth, whatever you normally do to prepare for bed. Then from 9:30 to 10 is when you are trying to go to sleep, so you're listening to peaceful music or you are reading or something that is relaxing to prepare you to fall asleep.

Allegra: So in essence I'm getting in bed before I'm trying to go to sleep. That's right. That's interesting because I've kind of heard the opposite but I think getting into bed 30 minutes before I'm actually trying to go to sleep probably helps with one of the other questions I was going to ask which is. Well what happens if I say I'm going to make 10:00 my bedtime, but I get in bed at 10 and I lay there and I toss and turn and spin for 30 minutes.

Dr. Tracey: Right. Okay. So the the time that it takes you to fall asleep is called sleep latency. I have to throw these terms so I can sound like I know what I'm talking about. If I was a doctor, I think every other word would be just in case people forgot. Yeah. I don't want you to pick it. I'm a doctor. Bring them on out there. So sleep latency is the period of time it takes me to fall asleep. There is a period that it takes you to fall asleep. Okay. And normal sleep latency is under 20 minutes. Normal. Okay. Right. And actually more than about five. More than five minutes if it, if yOu lay down and you fall asleep within a couple of minutes, that is actually a sign of sleep deprivation when you fall asleep way too quIckly. Really? Yes. Oh, okay. So maybe dr is blowing my mind.

Allegra: See, I thought I knew some stuff about sleep then I'm fighting it. I didn't really. Well I did know it, but if you can know things

Dr. Tracey: that are wrong, that's very easy to do these days. If you fall asleep within five minutes, that's a sign of sleep deprivation. It's a sign of sleep deprivation. Oh, okay. So, um, so anyway, so yeah, if you are. So would you probably heard about the whole being in bed and lying there and all that kind of stuff. Is that if you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes or let's even just say maximum 30 minutes, then you should get out of bed and not sit in bed reading about the fact that you can't fall asleep. That is true. I have heard that. You've heard that. Okay. So what I'm talking about this like prep for bed or this 30 minutes before bed. If you don't have to be in the bed, you could be in a chair next to your bed reading or something and they're just kind of stumble into the bed when you start feeling sleepy. But the point is is that you, that 30 minutes is your relaxation to fall asleep. That should be part of your sleep latency as opposed to I want to be asleep by 11, so I'm getting in the bed, turning off the light at 11. Well you need to build in some time to fall asleep.

Allegra: That's fascinating. So it's not all about me, but I'm obviously applying what you're saying, like my own life and processing it as we're talking and I have heard before, if you can't sleep, get up and do something else. So I have always done that. Well, not always, but I'd say over the last, I don't know, seven years if I couldn't fall asleep, then I got up and did something else. I've also tried the um, I have a pad of paper by the bed and whenever I'm thinking about like that, my brain won't shut off. I write that down. That works well nowadays, right? It's some sort of smartphone. So I'll pick up my phone and leave myself a voice message or like a little audio notes. So then I'll think, oh, well, because you know, right before I go to sleep is when I think I'm my most brilliant and I'm afraid that when I wake up I won't remember that. Brilliant. So I'll have my iphone right there and I'll just make an audio note so that whatever I thought was brilliant doesn't leave me oddly enough, most of the time when I listened to it in the morning, it's not nearly as brooklyn, it is not nearly as earth shaking in the light of day, but I have tried that as well. But I think overall what I'm hearing is you have to prepare to sleep successfully.

Dr. Tracey: Yes. So, um, bedtime should be something you prepare for, not something that just happens upon you because you look at the clock or you're starting to get tired. And um, so the one other thing I wanted to throw in before I forgot is in the prep for bed that 30 minutes before, if you're someone who likes to say read on an ipad or read on a device, I would recommend using blue light blocking glasses too, because these devices, light blocking glasses, blue light blocking glasses. Those. Okay. Okay. So good. You'll learn and something else for me. So these devices emit a light, a light that has a little bit of a blue collar sign entirely blue, which is similar to the wavelength and frequency of sunlight. Sunlight is a very powerful trigger or stimulant for set setting and resetting your body clock. So there's been more studies showing that evening exposure to too much light actually reduces your sleep and actually contributes to depression. But that's a whole nother. That's a whole nother topic. Yeah. We'll have to talk about that one another time.

Allegra: So like my iphone. What about like my laptop? I try not to do this because they know it's poor sleep hygiene, but I do often have my laptop on a lap desk in my bed that.

Dr. Tracey: Does the laptop also emit blue light? Yes. Oh, okay. EveryThing. Okay? Yeah. so these devices was feeling on virtuous for not having the ipad? No, no, no, no, no, no. Now you're telling me the laptop does it all the laptop too. So the blue light blocking glasses. It sounds very complicated or technical, but really they're just sunglasses with an orange filter.

Allegra: Where do you get it? Sounds a little iron man. Where do you get now or is it like the blue blocker glasses you see on late tv? Late night tv

Dr. Tracey: probably. so yeah, they're called a lot of different things, but yeah, they're essentially blocking blue light and they use an orange lens to do that. You can get them on amazon. Okay. I got a new pair because my son broke my pair recently for like $20. Okay. Um, so, and maybe even cheaper than that. 10 bucks, but yeah, so I'd recommend those. I use them religiously every night and I will fall asleep in front of, on my looking at my ipad, whereas I have not used them before and been like, why can't I fall asleep and then remember it. I forgot to put on my sunglasses.

Allegra: Fascinating. I didn't know that at all. Blue light acts like the sun, which wakes you up obviously.

Dr. Tracey: Which wakes you up. that's right.

Allegra: Wow. Okay. So prepare to sleep successfully. Make sure That I either turn off the electronic devices 30 minutes before or try to block some of that light which prevents sleep. Are there other things that we need to do? What about the whole drink a whole glass of water before you go to sleep.

Dr. Tracey: Please don't do that. Okay. Why not? I saw that on usa today. It was supposed to be good for your heart. Okay. So if you are, water is great for your heart, but don't do it right before bed. Why? Because your bladder will fill up and then it will wake you up before you're ready to wake up. So what I usually recommend people is no fluid at all, an hour before bed and go to the bathroom right before you go to bed so that you can get, you can sleep the maximum amount of time that your kidneys will allow for you and not have to wake up two or three hours before you should be getting up. So you can go and use the bathroom.

Allegra: Wow. Okay. And what about what we eat? So are there things that we eat and I'm not saying like pepperoni pizza, I mean, or like classes of food or food groups that make it harder to go to sleep or stay asleep. Because I think the other thing when people are dealing with a less deprivation, they might go to sleep but then they wake up and they can't go back.

Dr. Tracey: Yeah. So broken sleep is, is also a problem. Some people can fall asleep just fine and then a few hours later they're awake and almost feeling like they're ready to start their day. Yeah. It's like their body's like, okay, we're done with that. Yeah. Thanks for coming. Yeah, exactly. Let's go here. So one of the things that can really do that is alcohol too close to bedtime. Oh, okay. So some people, many people will use alcoholism, nightcap. So they helped them wind down and it'll help you relax and go to sleep. but then about three, four hours later, the as it wears off in your body, it stimulates you. IT's a, it's a central nervous system stimulant. When it starts to wear off, it's a depressant as it's in your system so you can get awakened. And for some people it can be an awake that only lasts a couple of minutes. They fall back asleep so they're not bothered by that. And then other people they can be too awake. But even for the people who were able to go back to sleep fairly soon, you still don't really want choppy sleep. We do best when we can sleep straight through for the entire seven to nine hours rather than have it broken up.

Allegra: Hmm. Okay. So besides alcohol, are there other food groups noW? I'm not talking about the obvious stuff. Like if you eat something right before you go to bed that gives you heartburn? Well, hello friday, but are there other groups of food like I don't know if you are hungry and you need to have a snack before bed, do you make sure that's protein? Do you avoid fruit? Anything like that?

Dr. Tracey: You know, I, I've done some research on this because there's different recommendations people will have of food that help you sleep, like things like Turkey or or things that have that increase your trip to fan levels and things like that to kind of help relax you for sleep. The problem with that is that the amount that you need to eat to get the amount that you need in your body to be significant is a lot so to eat right before bed, right before bed, so like the glass of milk thing are hot milk is that you're getting tripped a fan and da da da da, which, which then lisa serotonin increased blah blah blah. Will you need like six glasses to get like a significant amount of trip to fan? WhO's going to drink six glasses of milk and then you're going to be me

Allegra: because you said no liquids. See I am coachable. I certainly couldn't drink six glasses of milk. I'm not supposed to drink one glass of water. See, I learned. There you go. Alright. So I saw something. So I was at a health food store yesterday and I was actually looking for something because they have cramps in my legs. I dramatically changed my diet about a month ago and I'm just in the last week or so. Really dealing with cramps in my calves and someone said, oh you need magnesium, there's this thing you buy and you drink it at bedtime. so I was in the health food store looking for this item and it's supposed to. I think it's magnesium and I didn't pick it up because a, I don't just take random stuff without checking with my doctor based on the other meds that I take. But b, I thought well it's not that I have trouble sleeping so it's kind of like people who are having trouble sleeping so they take allergy meds, don't take meds that offers a benefit for a situation I'm not having. So that's why I was kind of getting to the odor. These things really work and I'm not talking about like tylenol pm and like that, but someone was like, oh, you have to have magnesium and then it helps you go to sleep. And I was like, oh, okay. Well I think if it works for you, great. But I'm always nervous about making a medical pronouncement since I have no degrees that worked for me will work for everyone when it just might not like natural calm. I can't remember. I think it's magnesium something.

Dr. Tracey: It is, it is. And magnesium is a known muscle relaxant so it actually is a good thing that you could take that anyone could take not only to help fall asleep but just to relax in the evenings.

Allegra: Oh, okay. So that wasn't a bad thing. Not a bad thing. Someone will mention it to me. I'll go look At it at the store and then I have to go and like get actual medical information because I know you can have all sorts of drug interactions. Right? So some meds you may take also me interrupt your sleep. Right,

Dr. Tracey: right. Some medications that you take can be too stimulating. Um, and usually the thing that dictates when someone takes a medicine is how it affects their sleep. So stimulating medicines you should take in the morning in ones that make you sleepy, you just switch it to nighttime, but people can take things that just, it doesn't really matter when they take them, they're still too stimulating for them and it interferes with their sleep later.

Allegra: Right? Which is when theY need to talk to their doctor because that's the other thing. So, you know, wherever, you know, four or fIve women are gathered, there's all sorts of medical information and nine and a half times out of 10, none of the people sharing yet have any medical training. And I'm not hating, I share information all the time. I'm just saying we know that in the 25, 30 minutes we're chatting, we're not going to solve every sleep issue. Right. Um, and make very complicated. I think it is, but I think it's also, um, the headline for me is it's also worth looking at, right? So we're always looking at other stuff. So we're looking at, you know, I'm okay, I'm, we're girls, we can say that we're always looking at like, well how do my boobs look, right. Girls look or you know, my shoes are right. We think about all these other things, but we don't think about more of the internal things and sleep has the opportunity to affect so many other pieces of our lives. I just want to make sure we don't forget that. So I know that you have a course. Can you tell us a little bit more about your sleep course?

Dr. Tracey: Yes. I wrote a book a couple of years ago called master your sleep with a lot of the things that we've talked about in it. And then I decided, you know what, let me make this a little bit more visual. So I made it into a video course called master your sleep as well. So it has several modules. Um, the, the introductory ones are just kind of informing you about sleep and, and more educational. And then the late, the ladder modules are more intervention related. So essentially what I was trying to do, there's a whole cognitive behavioral therapy approach to sleep, of changing behaviors and the way you think before you go to sleep, all of that kind of stuff to treat sleep, which has been shown what studies to be more effective long term than medication. Cool prop. The problem is a lot of doctors don't know how to do it. It's time consuming and so if you go to see your doctor and you're there 15 minutes, there's just not very much they're are going to be able to say to you about it. If you go and pay someone to kind of teach you step by step, it's expensive. So I decided that's the inspiration in both the book to be a self help thing to help you with whatever sleep problem you have and then this course as well to kind of take cognitive behavioral therapy and break it down and help you do it for yourself.

Allegra: Awesome. So I know that my audience can find [email protected] slash sleep course. And this will be in the show notes, but again, it's that beyond burnout.com/sleep course, and I think it's an important to understand, um, no matter what you're talking about, right? A 30 minute conversation or watching steve harvey interview an expert or even oprah, the almighty oprah for that matter. Um, it takes more than one conversation to address something that is important and certainly something that's as important as sleep. that's right. So have we missed anything? I mean, I know we have covered a ton and I thank you so much for being here because I learned so much and I expected to learn stuff, but I was like, wow, I'm taking notes so quickly. I was like, wait, what am I talking about? Because I'm writing a talk at the same time. Have I missed anything that you want to make sure that my audience knows?

Dr. Tracey: Well, I did want to throw in that, uh, for me, my interest in sleep and my, um, how I've made it a priority also is a vanity issue. I mean, granted, there's a lot of health benefits or I guess health detriments to not sleeping and the end, just the fact that you can be so much more efficient if you are well rested and you can get to the point where you forget what it feels like to be rested when you just don't sleep enough fatty. Yeah. But that aside, um, when you see someone and they look older than they, than they really are, or you know, sleep has a whole lot to do with that in addition to what you eat because diet is super important too for your health and alcohol, drugs, all that kind of stuff. Yeah. Those things can make someone look a whole lot older, but I'm telling you, sleep makes a huge difference in just the way your face looks. Everything. So, um, you know, I know we're talking to women here. Uh, that also plays into it.

Allegra: I heard, I don't know what everyone else said, but what I heard you promise was if I get my sleep together, I will not be fat and I'll look younger. So it's like a liposuction slash facelift in a pillow, is that what they're saying? Well, I'm glad you added that because that's important, right? I'm sorry. How you look impacts how you feel. Right? We want to feel powerful and I'll feel more powerful if I look younger and I'll look younger if I get enough sleep. That's right. And look younger being mentored, said life change in a pillow. Love it. Well thank you again so much for spending time with us and I would love to have you come back again and uh, we only touched on one of your areas of expertise and there were a couple others and I was like, ah man, we need to touch on that too, but we'll touch on that another time. so again, thank you dr tracy martin for spending time with us. We will definitely check out your website and we'll keep looking for when you pop up on cnn and huffington post and all those good sites as well. So you have a powerful day. Thank you.

Allegra: Now you've been given permission to be more powerful, and if you've enjoyed this episode, please head over to electricity, clear.com/itunes and leave a review. It will help allegra get the message out to more women that they can punch fear in the throat, show up and tell their stories. We'll see you next time on the electric activity. Powercast with sinclair.

About the author 

Allegra M. Sinclair

Allegra Sinclair is a professional coach and confidence expert. She hates to see women living small and loves to help them change how they show up in the world.

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