FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast

Sleep Smarter: Behavioral Sleep Medicine Insights with Dr. Harris

January 11, 2024 Turo Virta
Sleep Smarter: Behavioral Sleep Medicine Insights with Dr. Harris
FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
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FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
Sleep Smarter: Behavioral Sleep Medicine Insights with Dr. Harris
Jan 11, 2024
Turo Virta

Mastering Sleep for Optimal Health: A Conversation with Dr. Shelby Harris

In this rebroadcast episode I sit down with Dr. Shelby Harris, a clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral sleep medicine. We dive deep into the world of sleep disorders and their impact on fitness and mental health, exploring practical solutions and evidence-based methods to enhance sleep quality naturally.

In This Episode:

  • Insights from a Marathon Runner: Discover how Dr. Harris, a seasoned marathon runner, balances fitness with sleep and health.
  • Combating Insomnia: Learn about the prevalence of insomnia, especially in women, and Dr. Harris's tiered approach to managing it effectively.
  • CBT for Insomnia: Uncover the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia, with strategies to manage thoughts for better sleep during stressful times.
  • The Role of Sleep Routines: We discuss how consistent wake times and morning light exposure can drastically improve sleep quality and mental health.
  • Navigating Sleep Apnea and Relaxation Techniques: Understand the common misdiagnosis of sleep apnea as insomnia and the importance of associating the bed with sleep only.
  • The Double-Edged Sword of Sleep Trackers: Join our conversation on the pros and cons of sleep tracking devices and their impact on sleep quality.
  • Creating the Ideal Sleep Environment: Tips on making your bedroom a cave-like sanctuary for optimal sleep, including the right mattresses, pillows, and ambient conditions.
  • Managing Jet Lag and Shift Work: Practical advice for shift workers and frequent travelers on maintaining sleep quality despite challenging schedules.
  • Health Risks of Irregular Sleep Schedules: We delve into the health impacts of night shifts and rotating schedules, offering tips for better sleep and overall well-being.

Dr. Harris shares her wealth of knowledge and personal experiences, providing valuable insights into improving sleep naturally. Whether you're an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or someone struggling with sleep, this episode is packed with actionable advice to help you achieve restful nights and energized days.

Tune in to transform the way you sleep and elevate your health and fitness journey with Dr. Shelby Harris and me, Turo Virta.

Registration for 8-Week Summer Challenge is open and my Podcast listeners are getting 20% OFF when you use code HOT30 at checkout.

Learn more and join HERE OR https://www.personaltrainerturo.com/8WeekChallengeJune2024

Show Notes Transcript

Mastering Sleep for Optimal Health: A Conversation with Dr. Shelby Harris

In this rebroadcast episode I sit down with Dr. Shelby Harris, a clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral sleep medicine. We dive deep into the world of sleep disorders and their impact on fitness and mental health, exploring practical solutions and evidence-based methods to enhance sleep quality naturally.

In This Episode:

  • Insights from a Marathon Runner: Discover how Dr. Harris, a seasoned marathon runner, balances fitness with sleep and health.
  • Combating Insomnia: Learn about the prevalence of insomnia, especially in women, and Dr. Harris's tiered approach to managing it effectively.
  • CBT for Insomnia: Uncover the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia, with strategies to manage thoughts for better sleep during stressful times.
  • The Role of Sleep Routines: We discuss how consistent wake times and morning light exposure can drastically improve sleep quality and mental health.
  • Navigating Sleep Apnea and Relaxation Techniques: Understand the common misdiagnosis of sleep apnea as insomnia and the importance of associating the bed with sleep only.
  • The Double-Edged Sword of Sleep Trackers: Join our conversation on the pros and cons of sleep tracking devices and their impact on sleep quality.
  • Creating the Ideal Sleep Environment: Tips on making your bedroom a cave-like sanctuary for optimal sleep, including the right mattresses, pillows, and ambient conditions.
  • Managing Jet Lag and Shift Work: Practical advice for shift workers and frequent travelers on maintaining sleep quality despite challenging schedules.
  • Health Risks of Irregular Sleep Schedules: We delve into the health impacts of night shifts and rotating schedules, offering tips for better sleep and overall well-being.

Dr. Harris shares her wealth of knowledge and personal experiences, providing valuable insights into improving sleep naturally. Whether you're an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or someone struggling with sleep, this episode is packed with actionable advice to help you achieve restful nights and energized days.

Tune in to transform the way you sleep and elevate your health and fitness journey with Dr. Shelby Harris and me, Turo Virta.

Registration for 8-Week Summer Challenge is open and my Podcast listeners are getting 20% OFF when you use code HOT30 at checkout.

Learn more and join HERE OR https://www.personaltrainerturo.com/8WeekChallengeJune2024

First of all, thank you so much SLP, for your time to come to my podcast, and very, very welcome. Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here. So awesome. So to get started, tell me a little bit into my audience who you are like, I would like to know that, first of all, what you are doing professionally, non professionally. And one thing what is what you are proud of your fitness? Okay, that's a good question. So let me start professionally. So I am a clinical psychologist by training, and I see patients for anxiety and depression all the time. But my main area of specialty that I'm best known for something called behavioral sleep medicine, so for many years, and I'm board certified in it, but for many years, I worked in a sleep center here in New York City. And most people when they think of insomnia, especially they think medication, at least in the United States. That's what a lot of people think, right off the bat. And I actually work using evidence based methods to help people sleep better. So insomnia, sometimes nightmares, all different types of sleep disorders, sleepwalking, sleep talking. And I worked along with EMDs there to help people sleep better whether we needed medication or not. Now I'm in private practice, and I see patients for like I said, anxiety, depression, but I also do a lot of sleep work. And I work with babies through older adults, and I absolutely love getting people sleeping better. It's like a really fun job. And then, personally, I live just outside of New York City, I'm married, and I have two little kids. Well, not so little anymore, six and 12. And they keep me very busy. So I really get the aspect of sleep and sleep law. Especially. And it's also living in New York City. Like it's just a very busy environment, even with pandemic. And then also I am a big runner. So the fitness side, I know that your audience likes this a lot. So I run since about 2008, I started running and I started because I went full on. Within a year I trained myself to run a marathon and then I've run 17 marathons with number is 18 and 19. Coming up next month. So I'm doing the Boston Marathon Well, while I run a lot of strength training, but kind of periodically when I'm not hardcore running, so I understand like the athletic side of it, too. Yeah. Oh, that sounds like that you have you don't have to worry about what you're doing in your free time. Right. I get up really early. And I know I have more, but I have to run in the morning. That's what I know. Yeah, awesome. That's it. So something like that, you know, getting something like doing something also for your fitness, obviously, you have probably priorities like, like your family, your work, what you are very passionate, but still having and that is what is something what is the most common thing with almost everybody who is have some kind of success in their life, they have some part of fitness is always part of their life and taking care of their health. And on top. I think that's an important point. Because when I was practicing, in my early days in my early 20s, mid 20s, I loved what I did, but I was heavier than I am now. And I was very overt or out of shape I hadn't I was I was a big athlete in high school. And then I didn't work out for years. And I realized that I was telling all my patients who had sleep apnea who really were breathing well and snoring. And I was like, You need to really get some movement worked out a little bit, we need to work on maybe some weight loss because it will help with your sleep apnea and you're breathing at night. But I wasn't following what I preached. And it was one of those things I realized, like I need to actually start practicing what I preach, and people will start taking me more seriously and I don't expect people to go run marathons, but I wanted to I wanted to be taken seriously. So that's really the main reason I started doing it. And it's because it became a habit. Yeah, no, but that is actually what I see a lot with fitness coaches, doctors, they might be very good at giving advices but then they still struggle by themselves taking those advices what they're telling to other people so it's not not that if somebody is like not overweight, overweight, it might be that he could be or she could be a great coach even even if he's not able to do those things or not prioritizing those things in their life and and like for you probably like I can imagine that at some point there are priority are your family, your kids, you know, it's it's it's it's that that's that's totally okay. And then later on, you can change that priority and find more time for your own things to exactly and I liked that I was able to speak from experience of just not actually second hating it and hating me talk to patients about what it's like to start so I can I know what that's like so it makes it so it's something that keeps me motivated because I talk to people that and I like to practice what I'm doing so yeah. Then I wanted to go for sleep. I got as many of these days they are struggling with sleep and as you're specialized with, with behavior, sleep medicine and doing some non practical or non like treatments without any, any medication, any medication and that. And so if you don't know what is insomnia like because there are I learned from you from your Instagram posts that the short time, insomnia long time insomnia and when it's when it's time to start to get worried like, obviously nobody Can't expect that you to sleep well every single night. But when it's when that becomes a problem and consistent habit when when you should be supposed to be start to get worried. Yeah, so like you were saying, No one, no one's expected to sleep perfect every night. There are some people that do but those are rare people. And the reality is that insomnia in general is just trouble sleeping, it's either trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or you wake up a little earlier or a lot earlier than you want. But then we when we start thinking about it becoming problematic is it starts to happen at least three times a week. So I don't have a perfect night, every night. I have a bad night here and there in a week. And that's it's about letting it go. And not saying this is going to define my day, this is going to define many days, because then it starts to string together. So if you start to notice it, you're having three days or three nights a week of poor sleep. And then you start noticing that it's at least three nights and you start noticing it's happening for a mouth multiple weeks. So three, four weeks, when we start going on a month, that's when you want to start saying was something going on what's happening, and one month to about three months. It's kind of short term insomnia, it's still something you want to address, but it doesn't mean it's going to be a lifelong issue. Why or even a chronic issue when it hits three months, that's when you really don't need to at least really see a sleep doctor if you can or someone who's a specialist insomnia because now it's really meant that chronic insomnia kind of criteria. And so even after a month, talk to someone if you need to, but if it's three months, definitely talk to someone. Yeah. So when it's when when that when you have passed that three months, I guess I learned also like when what are who are two people who are usually struggling with it's I heard that I learned from you also that women have like they are they have like a lot higher chance to have that insomnia and especially in their like during menopause and and women especially, what we find is that boys and girls have the same rates of sleep problems up until they hit adolescence then hormones change. And once hormones change for women and girls and adolescents, that's when we see the problem. So every month before women might have her period, that's when we start to see some women might have poor sleep, they have insomnia every month at the same time. And then like you were saying perimenopause, and menopause, there's hormone changes, then, and also pregnancy, having kids working all that stuff, and we tend to have more stress and feel anxiety a little bit more. So yeah, women, women for sure, more than men. So of course you are you are doing like this, I'm also I'm trying to do everything, like with non medical treatments. So what are called standard non medical treatments for insomnia, like, what do you what do you would recommend? So I always think of it as like a tiered approach. I say this all the time. So the first thing if you're starting with just a few weeks of beds, like one to three weeks like you start noticing like we're talking about that short term. That's when all the stuff that you see online about sleep hygiene is fantastic. So the keeping consistent bedtime wait time limiting the coffee, limiting the alcohol, that's all good stuff for really short term insomnia. But if it's been going on for a month to three months or more, the gold standard treatment that we think of in the field is something called CBT, for insomnia. And that's my area of specialty. And I wrote a book on that too, for women. So what it is, is it takes the sleep hygiene stuff, but that's only a tiny piece of it. So we change bed times we change wait times for people to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep more we change what they're doing in bed at night. Usually people are laying there tossing and turning trying to fall asleep getting worried or they're on their phones, we change them that we might change their worries about sleep thoughts they have about sleep work on challenging that. Sometimes we build in relaxation, meditation, acceptance treatments, they're things we do. So that's really the gold standard. It's usually it depends on the person in the complexity. But I've had patients in two to 10 sessions usually do much better, so much better. They're falling asleep fast, and they're staying asleep more. And I don't even see people wait list them every other week. So CBT for insomnia, the gold standard, and then you can do it with a book you can do with a professional like myself. There are apps that are out there that are great. And then if that's not working, it doesn't work for everyone. Then we think about medications. And then if medications are you think about other things like acupunct To share other not as evidence based treatments but that can help some people so it's kind of like you're you're working your way down but hopefully CBT for insomnia which doesn't use meds will work for you. Yeah, no that's I love to say those ideas but what are what are their like? Like? If you are you are you have you have you having like now times are busy there is all the time we are coming out from COVID Now there is a war like people are you have we have a life is busier and more stressful than ever. You know, what, what are your thoughts? Like how to manage your thoughts like and, and the tips, what are your best tips to fell asleep? Or? Yeah, I think if you're struggling with falling asleep routinely, you want to think about what first of all, there's also the thing with like timing, like sometimes actually, people go to bed later, with more thoughtful about how we do it, because actually, it makes you more tired that you're not worrying as much when you go to sleep. But maybe you have to think about during the day like what are we doing? Are we giving ourselves even 510 minutes to decompress? Are you checking like you're talking about the war going on? Right? Are we checking the news constantly, that's something I'm seeing so often with my patients, I'm seeing more people having nightmares because of the war. So it's thinking about am I watching the news constantly, at least in the US, we have it on a lot of people have it on nonstop on their TVs in the background you're getting? Are you getting alerts on your phone, so that stuff that keeps you more anxious and kind of on edge all day without even realizing it. So turn that stuff off, really just limit your news consumption to once or twice a day and not close to night. Make sure exercise is a big one, right? It helps with stress relief. So it doesn't have to be vigorous workout session, it's going outside 20 minutes of some bright light sunlight, and just moving your body is helpful for decompressing your brain. And then at night, it's making sure that you're not just going straight and crashing into bed. Are you doing something to help wind down? Are you doing either meditation? Are you relaxed to it, I do a stretching routine every night, what are you doing to kind of quiet your brain down gradually without needing a screen because the screen can keep you out more, that's helping to kind of decompress and put an end to the day, ya know, that I love to so that's what have been so big help for me, like I, I stopped a year ago, about a year ago, I'm not reading what's in use, or I try to limit myself as much as possible, like obviously, something you always get, but not on daily basis not taking like things obviously want to be sure or no like earlier was about COVID restrictions and stuff like that, but but not to try to keep it in a couple of minutes per day. So you know the most important ones and and focusing on things you can you can affect and how to make actually myself feel a lot better. And other authors using is like that limiting those sleep times going going to bed like and really going earlier and closing all phones and everything and not to get the distractions or or or blue light and those feelings like you said, feeling angry, depressed or from so do you get all those feelings even you're not recognizing it from social media? So but what I learned from you was the interesting thing what you said that made like about daylight? And what do you you said about morning? How to how you start your Could you tell me? Could you tell a little bit more about it was that I found it so interesting. Yeah, I think we for years, people have been very focused on the wind down routine, which I do think is super important, right? Like you just can't crash into bed and expect yourself to sleep. Well. But the thing in the sleep field that we always talk about that people are only starting now I think because of Instagram honestly and other people are like putting it out there publicly is the morning time. So we always talk about consistency in the bedtime and the wake time. If you are consistent with your wake time, getting up at the same time seven days a week and try to get some light at that time that helps with falling asleep at bedtime, believe it or not, because it's getting your body's clock to be very set. So the body's internal circadian clock needs light and dark to keep itself set. So when you get up in the morning if you give yourself 20 minutes of bright light when you're normally waking up but you don't have to have a light box if it's dark out just open your shades if even a cloudy day is fine. But if you get 20 minutes of some light or movement, but just getting that light, it helps your body to basically wake up wash away the neuro chemicals that were there at night that were making you sleepy, it's alerting so it keeps you awake a little bit more and it helps you because now you're waking up better at that same time it will help you be hungry enough for sleep at the same time at night. So light and getting up at the same time in my opinion are the two most important things that people really should be doing. Yeah, know that I can totally agree like when you are when you are like we are we are at that age like I'm I'm 40 like I assume you are somewhere there two extra years on Yeah. Okay. Thank you. Bye that, but that also like when you were when you are younger, you know you don't pay attention so much to your sleep at you when you are in 20s. You know, it doesn't matter, you go out you go party for a weekend, you get you believe you're on Saturday night to fleet up to be tired, but you might be okay. older, you get so much more makes the difference. And now like I used to go out a lot, and having some alcohol almost every weekend. But now. Now even I do still enjoy having some alcohol sometimes. But I really try to keep when possible. So sleeping times, those are so huge, like seven days a week, like as close as possible. It's it might be for younger people, they might say that that's a sign of you are becoming old when you go to bed like 10 o'clock. No, but I think you know, the routine is important. What you hit him as an interesting like, as you get older, it gets harder to deal with the sleep loss. I know, I noticed that myself too. And as you get older, too, we tend to go to bed a little earlier and wake up earlier. That's just part of the natural process for many people. But the flip side is that sometimes people and I think I posted about this this week on Instagram, some people become almost too rigid. And they're like, I have to go home, I have to go to bed, I have to do this. And that's fine. But if you start to notice it impacting your relationship, you're never going out to see friends you're not doing that's problematic, too. Right? Once in a while to lose a little sleep. I would argue if it's going to make you happy to see people and social. It's all about the entire person sleep is a big piece of it. But I don't want people to think that it has to be perfection seven days a week, because then you're going to be miserable in your life. Yeah. So ya know, that affects you like everything, it's it's, we aim to be as good as possible. But to be perfect. It's not to be perfect. It's it's a prison, where you are not getting out of it. Like It's same with the nutrition. It's same with your workouts. Everybody we want to be perfect. But but it's it's it's not. You're supposed to be enjoying life also and not aiming to do everything perfectly. So what are your thoughts? What I what I was how, if for somebody who is like waking up at night and can sleep throughout the whole night? What What would you what you would you recommend for those people. So if there's someone who's really multiple times a week waking up a lot, and they can't go back to sleep? I think first I would say definitely look into talking with a sleep doctor looking into maybe CBT for insomnia. And also for people like that, too. A very common culprit, Excuse me, could be sleep apnea, right. So what's what's sleep apnea Sleep apnea is snoring. But it doesn't have to be the kind of really loud snoring that most people think it's very faint for someone and women especially get misdiagnosed. They don't think they have it. They think they're depressed or tired during the day, they might be snoring a little bit that it's not obvious. And it's pauses in your breathing throughout the night. So it's little chokes or gas or positive. And then you don't read for a second. And it actually wakes you up. And it happens multiple times an hour over the over the night. And most people have no idea it's even happening. And that is super common. And it's even more common now I would argue because of weight gain from COVID and the pandemic. So people really should, if you're waking up a lot and you're or you're sleeping, you still don't feel refreshed in the morning, talk to your doctor about it, because that's one thing that can look like insomnia a lot of times, but it's a super common problem that needs to get addressed as well. Now, if it's not apnea, or app is happening, but it's still not great with your sleep, then really look into CBT for insomnia talking to your doctor about if you need to do medications. And really consider like the other big thing I always tell people is don't lay in bed in the middle of night if you wake up. So if you wake up and can't sleep, don't lay there on your phone, don't have their tossing and turning trying to fall asleep because that makes it worse. Instead, don't look at the clock just kind of give yourself 1020 minutes to fall asleep. But if it doesn't happen, go sit somewhere else. Do something like reading some art and easy crossword puzzle. in dim light don't turn on lights on don't eat in the middle of the night. And then if you get sleep, you can go back to bed. But make sure you get up at the same time the next day don't sleep in and don't go to bed too early the next night because that's actually going to make the problem worse. Well that's That's so great. So you say that it's it's because i i personally I feel like sometimes you know especially if you have a busy time you have stress something like you mentioned and then you wake up middle of the night. You look time like it's it's three o'clock. And you know that alarm is there at six o'clock or that you have four hours time then you are trying to force yourself to sleep. Then the next study was it's three o'clock now I have three hours. Or same thing when you are if you are if you have an early flight or something you have to know that you have to get up earlier than before and you kind of few Try to make it or at least I tried to make it push yourself too hard to sleep. But then actually what do you say it's kind of interesting that I do not even trying to push and staying in a bed and getting up and doing something I actually I tried it sometimes and it's actually it's working. Yeah and it's interesting the getting out of bed a lot of people assume it's really meant to get you out so you're sitting somewhere else and then you'll get sleepy. And that's not really the point of it if you get sleepy great, but if you go sit somewhere else it's so that you're teaching your body that the bed is only for sleep and sex so you're not laying in bed getting anxious worried on your phone, your don't do all these other things, your body learns nope, if I'm awake for a long time I'm going to be outside the bed the bed is only for sleep. So the more that you get out of bed if you can't sleep, the more you're going to train your body with the bed is for so if you do practice the getting out of bed thing and you don't get sleepy don't get discouraged don't think it's not working. That's not the point of it's just to teach your body that the bed is only for sleep. And I think the more we're also a big least in the States we're big on like trying to control everything in our lives we want to have control over and the more we try to control your sleep and get worried about and try to force yourself to sleep guess what it gets worse sleep is the one thing that you really can't control to let it happen it's a natural process so the less you think about it the easier it becomes Yeah No That's That's so like just shortly if you get up if you can't stay on sleep like first of all no i That was a huge change for me that leaving my phone away not using the alarm like ghosts it was always when it's on my like what I when I work with the people who have problems with sleep as it's it's a huge thing for weight loss. And then what we usually look how we sleep sleep is not great. Are you having your phone but I need it for alarm is that no you don't need it put leave it away from your bedroom and buy a real alarm or watching TV Yeah, no it's not it's not costing anything and it makes you think like that you don't you know especially those moments when you are awake that you It's so tempting to take your phone and just take it out to night and when you can sleep and it makes it actually just diverse. Yeah Oh 100% A lot of people fight me about the alarm clock thing which is hilarious like it's such a simple thing why do you need your phone to be your alarm clock and you get and people are afraid they're gonna miss calls well guess what you can set your phone across from the Roman Senate so that you have emergency numbers that can go through on your phone so you don't get every you don't get every little alerts you can have it and still get your you can find ways to get around it so your phone is not right there to grab in the middle of the night and a lot of people are getting texts and stuff at the moment which does not help Yeah, no I agree that those those that it's it's you have to wind down and find time for yourself. What about I'm big I'm right now so it's a huge thing about those tracking your sleep like it's it's becoming so popular like I see you are having a what's I'm tracking you're tracking my sleep and every morning like having a big smile but well, it's everything is green, you have slept well. And then when it's not the most optimal way, then you know, you are kind of worried but but what what are your thoughts about sleep trackers, very big love hate relationship with them. So I fit in the for years in the sleep medicine field, we use a version called an actigraph, which was basically like a movement detector. And we would use them more so to track general like what time you're going to bed and falling asleep, what time you're waking up at less so quality of sleep. I think they're really great the trackers for people who might not make sleep a priority in their lives, and bring the attention to it. So if you're someone who goes to bed really late, and you wake up really early, or you're all over the place an inconsistent or you drink a little too much alcohol, or you're working out too late close to bed, right? I think that the watches are great, or the rings, whatever it is you're using, they're great to make you realize, okay, these recommendations that I've been giving them my sleep fields been giving for years actually make an impact. So it's a nice way to see that. And it helps people to say okay, I got to limit these things, because it will help improve my sleep. That being said, the hate part of them is that people are so obsessed with them, that they let them judge how their day is gonna go. So if they think they slept well, but the watch says you had a lot of awakenings in the watch that you didn't get REM sleep and all these things, then that person is going to start saying oh my gosh, I must have slept poorly. And then it clouds your day and then you feel more tired or problematic because the watch will do that. So if you're finding that it's creating the watches are creating even with making some small changes, if they're making you more anxious, if they're making you so fixated on it that you can't even judge how you might have slept without having a watch tell you that's problematic. And when I tell people But with whom? Well, there are people who have insomnia who really just can't sleep and the use of watches that actually worsens their sleep. So we tell people who really have prot like chronic insomnia, don't even bother them because it makes them more anxious about it. You don't need something to tell you, you already know is a problem. So yeah. Yeah, no, no, it's I completely agree. And what I have realized, like, what things would you actually funny that you mentioned all of them, like, it's, it's, I use it to recognize trends and learn, like probably now I'm not that far that I don't, I don't actually need it. It's just funny fact, because I love to tracking all kinds of data. But it's, it's a funny like to learn how everything is impacting, like, if you are having alcohol, how your heartbeat is a lot higher affects your quality. If you have like I'm ice hockey referee and having games late at night, going later to sleep and as usually having harder work out late at night effects to your sleep you are quality quantity is not there, as it's in a normal normal night's or if you have days, that what what you you haven't I haven't been outside. So it's things like didn't have a movement or exercise. It's it affects everything to your sleep falling asleep. And that is it's learning for me, it has been a huge help to learn those trends. If you are, what you are, how you are eating, if you're eating too late at night, how it's affecting to your sleep. And sleep is it's still it's still so underestimate for everything. Like for for a weight loss, like, like people think that I eat healthy, but I can't lose weight. And then how is your sleep, averaging five to six hours is that then you don't have to wonder like, why everything is happening. So so those are those are the axes helping to recognize strengths, but but not like you said that if it makes you makes you very good, it doesn't mean that your day is ruined, if you if you go if you wake up and your voice is telling that it was not optimal, or you didn't get all green lights there or whatever. So it can be still a good day. And it's the learning, like, what I arrived at is a tool to get as much information as possible, and understanding why everything is happening. Because it's what I use for my coaching, like for example, tracking calories, you know, it's more to become aware, what you are eating what you are, what you are doing. And then learning from those things. You don't need to track every every gram of what you are eating, but if you have problem being overweight, learning from your current habits, and then making some adjustments, yeah, and I think you know, but that's the key is that when you get the information, the data it's what do you do with it, the people who are really struggling with the watches and the data, it's just data and then they just worry about the data but they've tried making changes and it still has bad the data is not great for them. So that's when the watches are great if it's not if the data isn't making any change for you. That's where you need to see a specialist it's encouraged like you're saying to like change your workout times change your alcohol and you're seeing it improve perfect and know that they're also not perfect themselves all these trackers right they're estimations of sleep so don't go fixated on it was this much RAM every night and this much deep sleep there are approximations based on various things that are going on in your body but the real gold standard to tell asleep staging RAM deep sleep light sleep is by having an EEG on your head in a sleep study. And no one's doing that routinely. So just keep in mind that it's all approximate. Yeah, yeah, no that's it's then about the sleep conditions what what you are like I'm I'm actually I'm not that I have I got a lot of offers from working doing some cooperation. And I worked with one supplement company and what I most enjoy is working with working solely with one sleep company. And they are they are I got new mattresses new pillows. And how well those sleep conditions like those those things my like, how the way how I feel and and how everything like quality mattress and pillow how they improved my sleep and having to not have any pains or or anything and those were like it was kind of for me like I didn't even realize before knowing better. Like if you have you eaten up to something like mattress or pillow that you'd change every year it could be that some people have like mattresses they should you should change them like every day said seven eight years. But pillows if you are not having a quality one. It can make it for me it makes I recognize when I go to sleep somewhere else hotel or in somewhere else and not having my own pillow at night makes a huge difference. How you how you have do you have any experience with sleep conditions are how they supposed to be. So the ideal is you. I mean, think about it, I always say we were, we were meant to live in caves. That's kind of how we're born. We lived in caves right 1000s of years ago. That's what our body needs. It needs a cave like conditioned to sleep well. So quiet, dark, cool, those are all caves comfortable, which is the thing that a cave really isn't, but cool and comfortable, right. So what you want to do is try to mimic those conditions, including the comfort in your bedroom, and wherever you sleep. And the ideal is to be consistent with where you're sleeping, right. So people have trouble sleeping, sometimes start in their bedroom, then they end up in another bed, they end up on the couch, try to be consistent with the same location every single night when you can. Now that being said, People travel that's part of life. So when you travel, try as best you can to mimic the quiet dark, cool and comfortable, right. So you can get light blue, I mean, huge. I think light blocking shades are like one of the best investments people can make. And if you go somewhere when I travel, now you can buy like Peel and Stick suction cup kind of light blocking shades, they've all I used to travel with black garbage bags, and just put them on the wall on the windows. And it makes a huge difference. My kids didn't wake up early. So you really want to have that. And then the comfortable part. When also I'll travel with like a white noise machine or you can put white noise on a phone, which isn't always the same, but I'll do that too. And then the other thing is comfort. So you're talking about pillows, mattresses, all that sort of, if anybody tries to tell you this one pillow will solve all your sleep problems wrong. Because it's not the truth. Everyone sleeps different. Everyone has different positions and comfort levels of what they like, find what's the best quality so hyper allergenic. Your like allergies, best feel for you what you like, that's the best quality and comfortable for you. That's the key and sleep was someone else, then sometimes use like two different comforters on the bed. It's not pretty. I use two different governors. That way you can each get your own temperature regulation come feel all that sort of stuff. And if you travel, try to try to take your pillow. Take a favorite blanket if you can, I even bring like like I said a white noise machine I'll bring a picture from going away for a while I'll bring the picture that I have on my bed stand so that it's the same environment that I'm kind of mimicking a little no I love those those are things like I was I was just not aware until you know better you try quality like I had probably like a cheapest pillow what you could get and now when you get got first time in your life, like really quality one how how it's affecting and changing kind of everything. And other thing what I would I'd say is actually when I moved to Florida, it is the temperature How cool is that temperature? Like we have? We have so hot here in summer. And and we don't have air conditioner. Now it was it was earlier like thinking like that you don't need it. But now I will do it probably I will redo it soon again that you know it's it makes so huge difference that because once you go out somewhere like very slept a little bit warmer, couple degrees or Fahrenheit warmer than you are you used to sleep, it makes so much worse. You see, you really recognize the difference straightaway. In that yeah, and for least for Fahrenheit, I'm terrible with Celsius, Fahrenheit, somewhere in the 60s to like mid to upper 60s is the ideal. Some people like a little cooler, I keep my house about 6768 degrees. And that works for everyone. So it's really about finding what works for you, but also your family. But coolers better start with more comforters strip them off as the night goes on. Because your body needs to cool off during the night to be able to sleep better for fire but 65 height is 15 5016 tells you so stick it out. So it's somewhere out there where I try to keep it at least a bedroom. Like for living room. That's something you don't I don't want to stay with the 15 degrees or 60 Fahrenheit but the four bedroom that that's having actually colder than you can go under a pillow and it's a lot better. So then a couple more things and we're about those like people who are working at night I get this question very often how to make it improve our art also, like if you have to work at night and or you are traveling a lot. And basically you are having a tip like all the time like it's the same thing. If you are shiftworker What are some natural ways how to improve it or how to make it better? Yeah, so jetlag is a little bit of I mean, there's similar body rhythm disorders, essentially, but that one's a little bit of a different when it comes to recommendations because it's more abrupt back and forth. shift work people are ideally doing for a longer amount of time, but though it's day on day off or whatever it might be. So when it comes to If work your body needs a routine, that's the best way to teach yourself weight. And if you can, if you're working night shifts, tries off and you can to keep it consistent. So some people will work night shifts some days day shift the other afternoon morning. That's the worst thing for your body. So if it's possible, try to keep your shifts stable, it's not always possible for people. If you can, if you have to work different shifts, try to get the shifts at a rotating motion forwards because they have you ever noticed it's easier to stay up a little later than it is to force yourself to go to bed an hour or two earlier than you normally want to. So if you can, we get evening shift, then a week at night shift, then a weekend, daytime, then a week of evening again, so it's moving forward. So you stay up a little later, which is a little easier to do, then kind of all over the place. If it's not, if it's just one shift, that's always the same time a lot of people also which I totally understand, like on a weekend, what they do is they go to bed, and they shift everything on the weekends to spend time with their family. So then they try and sleep at night, but be up during the day, which is so sweet, and I get why you're doing it, but that your body is going to have more trouble adjusting. So instead try to find a medium compromise. So maybe instead of going to bed at 11pm, on your days off, maybe go to bed closer to two or three in the morning. So it's not such a big abrupt Day Night kind of shift, if that makes sense. So the days that you do want to sleep at night, maybe take it a little bit later. So it's closer to daytime so that it's not going to be so hard on the days that you adjust. And then when you actually do sleep, really protect the time cooled quiet cave, no have no one bother you turn your phone off all those things to try and optimize your sleep during those times. Well, no, that's that makes completely sense. So so it's not obviously, it's something what you probably know that it's not the most optimal thing. And what I learned, or I love to read something from sleep and that's it's probably like, I don't know, what is really science saying like, how much damage you are actually there are some studies how much damage you are doing, like probably it's something what people don't want to actually tell what is the honest truth, like how much it's affecting to your, your body and your health. Yeah, the night shift stuff is some of the hardest and like the rotating shifts, what we do find is there are higher rates of mood disorders, anxiety, depression, but also, we find there's higher rates of prostate cancer, breast cancer in those groups, not all types of cancer. But you know, it doesn't mean that you're necessarily gonna have these issues. But some people we do find there's higher rates, if you're someone who really struggles and cannot adjust to it, no matter how hard you try, you just might not be someone who can work those shifts, even though you might really need to or want to you have to be honest with yourself about it, because it might be a struggle, some people just adjust to it a little bit easier. But there are higher rates of those things that happen why fully we don't understand. But I think in the next few years, we'll have more understanding of why those rates are higher. Yeah, yeah. No, that's that's what I would I think that there there will have to be or there is so much new stuff. And as you are on the field, like probably you have already noticed that how much it's affecting goes it's something like like obviously, like you said, some people you want to do it, you can think another way. But there if you have other options, somebody has to do the job anyway. Like if I have had several clients who are like our nurses or doctors who have to work somebody have to be there at night too. But it's not that's not the most optimal way for your health. So, that's something for what I wanted to talk is there just in general to be anti got you I understand you have to go and there was so much pleasure this was so much help, but in the end what is what golden rules you have like this to summarize everything what we discussed like what is what is for health late, what you would say some couple rules what to what do give. Okay, so the first thing is consistency, like I was saying before, so keep the same weight time as you can as often as you can seven days a week and get light in the morning. And then try to be consistent with your bedtime. The other big things are really limit like we everyone knows this, definitely limit the coffee within eight hours or caffeine limit alcohol within three hours. The exercise is really big you want to exercise but don't try to exercise within three hours of bedtime because that can make it harder to sleep. So really try it and then also think about stress reduction during the day, not just right before bed. So take pockets of time during the day. Whether it's meditation, journaling, going for a walk something that helps to just kind of bring down your your mental temperature a little bit to relax. And if that stuff's not enough, that's when You want and it's not working after a few weeks of trying consistently, that's when you want to see about talking to your doctor about other treatments for insomnia. It doesn't have to be medication, but definitely not letting it go and saying, Oh, I tried to limit my coffee, it didn't do anything and just letting it go. So there's we have lots of really good treatments out there. Definitely talk to your doctor, we want to get you sleeping better overall. Yeah, awesome. So thank you so much. It's just a reminder, make sure you follow what is the best place is where to follow you where to find you. You said, your book, everything where to get stuff and how to get contact. If there is somebody who wants to work with you get your health, follow your tips, where to find you. So you can find me a few places. So the first the honestly the best place to find me nowadays is on Instagram. So I have an Instagram account called at sleep duck Shelby, and you find me there. You can also go to my website, which is Dr. Like Dr. Dr. Shelby Harris at Dr. Shelby harris.com. And also you can email me through there if you have questions, but people DM me on Instagram all the time. That's fine with your question. I can't give medical advice though there specifically. But if you have questions about how to see me or anything else, I'm happy to give you answers. And then also, I have a book that came out in 2019 called the Women's Guide to overcoming insomnia, get a good night's sleep without relying on medication and you can get that anywhere books are sold online. It's very widely available. Awesome. I can only recommend this was so helpful. And labs are so many people who will benefit you so thank you so much again, for being in my soul and and hopefully to have you another time here. This was so much fun. Thank you so much. It was my pleasure. Thank you