Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping. Experiences may vary from struggling to fall to sleep to difficulty in staying asleep as long as is desired. A little google research reveals that the word insomnia has a monthly search of over 1.5 million demonstrating that this is a common issue. Given that insomnia is often followed by day time sleepiness, irritability, low energy and depressed mood it is clearly a problem! Further research demonstrates that the cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences. From diabetes to obesity and from depression to stroke the case can be confidently made that sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health.
In this episode we talk about the importance of sleep with Mollie McGlocklin. Mollie is the creator of Sleep Is A Skill, a company that optimizes how people sleep through a unique blend of technology, accountability, and behavioral change. Mollie’s obsession with sleep came after her own experiences when her lifelong poor sleep habits progressed to a challenging bout of insomnia. With a background in psychology & human behavior, she went deep down the rabbit hole herself to solve her sleep disturbances. She became fascinated with chronobiology and its practical applications to restore a state of homeostasis to sleep. For the past three years, she’s traveled the world testing sleep quality in different environments across the globe. Knowing the difference between a life with sleep and without; she’s dedicated to sharing the forgotten skill set of sleep.
Some of the things you’ll discover…
- How the body pulls for homeostasis, it wants us to sleep but often we’re the ones that get in the way of it!
- Just how lonely insomnia can be and the physiological responses that people can experience as a result of it
- The science of time, chronobiology, and how this can influence your sleep potential
- Just why exposure to light throughout each day is so important to your sleep health because of the full spectrum of light we’re exposed to
- How our thoughts can increase the temperature in our brain and the influence can have on our sleep
- The importance of consistency when it comes to improving your sleep
- The influence of hormones on our body and the impact they have on our sleep
- That the now common blue and green light immitted from many modern light bulbs suppresses melatonin which impacts sleep
- Why re-thinking your use of sunglasses, baseball caps and even suntan cream can be beneficial
- Understanding the influence of thought timing and the impact this can have on your sleep
- Why you may be waking up tired despite thinking you’ve slept well throughout the night
If you want to start to improve your sleep routine, then start by getting more sun exposure daily. You need to prioritize periodic breaks throughout the day to get sun exposure, whether you’re working from home or from the office! Exposure to natural light exposes us to full spectrum light which is important to our health. Evidence shows that those that are admitted to hospital and have a room with windows recover more quickly than those that do not so the importance of light exposure cannot be underestimated. Clearly there are geographical considerations to think about particularly in those regions that experience long periods of light or darkness during different times of the year. Here it is important to set a routine to get the light exposure needed and where necessary, although not ideal, may be consider light boxes to support your exposure.
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