Fresh Leaf Forever

Why is Sleep Crucial ? Social Wellness & Sustenance

December 14, 2023 Vai Kumar interviews experts on Sleep Season 3 Episode 14
Why is Sleep Crucial ? Social Wellness & Sustenance
Fresh Leaf Forever
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Fresh Leaf Forever
Why is Sleep Crucial ? Social Wellness & Sustenance
Dec 14, 2023 Season 3 Episode 14
Vai Kumar interviews experts on Sleep

What if the secret to improving your well-being, both physically and mentally, lies in your sleeping pattern?
In this episode,  we decode the mysteries of sleep and its profound impact on our lives.

Alongside 12 experts who've been on the show, we deep dive on the connection good sleep has, to our ability to peak, & for our future sustenance goals.

Focus Areas:
-Teen transformation/early school start times, disruption to their sleep patterns
-Hidden dangers affecting our sleep quality & disrupting our circadian rhythms
-Tech use, WiFi, cellular radiation jeopardizing your sleep & overall health
-.Business world, & a performance-driven society's impact on mental health
- Ayurvedic experts, doctors, book authors address the critical role of sleep in achieving balance and wellness
- Sleep, Mental health
- incorporating yoga, breathing, and meditation for better sleep habits.
-Secrets to athletic prowess- not overtraining but also prioritizing rest and recovery
- negative impact of above,Stanford study on athletes.

A good night's sleep can be a game-changer to a sustainable, vibrant future ! Watch on YouTube.

Clips from episodes below :
1.The Power of Sleep: How It Affects Adolescent Well-being , Achievement [Lisa Lewis]
2. Impact of blue light  & adopting a healthier use of tech [Gigi Mortimer]
3.Teen Mental Health , impact on a sustainable future [Vanessa Elias]
4.Healing your body by listening to your gut [Jini Patel Thompson]
5. Ways to prevent health problems : Menstrual issues, Hormonal health [Emily Reed]
6.Staying heart healthy & warding off diseases [Dr.Akil Taher]
7. Staying in tune with body, mind using Ayurvedic principles [Kate O'Donnell]
8.Creating a thriving workplace; achieving peak performance [Dr.Jarrod Spencer]
9. Endurance, Athletic Sustenance [Maria Angelova]
10.Creating Happy Athletes [Kirsten Jones]
11.Harnessing tools to help athletes peak, injury prevention & mental health [Paige Roberts]
12.Doing basics correctly, living healthy [Nidhi

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if the secret to improving your well-being, both physically and mentally, lies in your sleeping pattern?
In this episode,  we decode the mysteries of sleep and its profound impact on our lives.

Alongside 12 experts who've been on the show, we deep dive on the connection good sleep has, to our ability to peak, & for our future sustenance goals.

Focus Areas:
-Teen transformation/early school start times, disruption to their sleep patterns
-Hidden dangers affecting our sleep quality & disrupting our circadian rhythms
-Tech use, WiFi, cellular radiation jeopardizing your sleep & overall health
-.Business world, & a performance-driven society's impact on mental health
- Ayurvedic experts, doctors, book authors address the critical role of sleep in achieving balance and wellness
- Sleep, Mental health
- incorporating yoga, breathing, and meditation for better sleep habits.
-Secrets to athletic prowess- not overtraining but also prioritizing rest and recovery
- negative impact of above,Stanford study on athletes.

A good night's sleep can be a game-changer to a sustainable, vibrant future ! Watch on YouTube.

Clips from episodes below :
1.The Power of Sleep: How It Affects Adolescent Well-being , Achievement [Lisa Lewis]
2. Impact of blue light  & adopting a healthier use of tech [Gigi Mortimer]
3.Teen Mental Health , impact on a sustainable future [Vanessa Elias]
4.Healing your body by listening to your gut [Jini Patel Thompson]
5. Ways to prevent health problems : Menstrual issues, Hormonal health [Emily Reed]
6.Staying heart healthy & warding off diseases [Dr.Akil Taher]
7. Staying in tune with body, mind using Ayurvedic principles [Kate O'Donnell]
8.Creating a thriving workplace; achieving peak performance [Dr.Jarrod Spencer]
9. Endurance, Athletic Sustenance [Maria Angelova]
10.Creating Happy Athletes [Kirsten Jones]
11.Harnessing tools to help athletes peak, injury prevention & mental health [Paige Roberts]
12.Doing basics correctly, living healthy [Nidhi

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

Jini Patel Thompson:

Welcome to Fresh Leaf Forever, a podcast that gives you fascinating insights week after week. Here's your host, Vaikumar.

Vai Kumar:

Hey folks, welcome to another episode on Podcast Fresh Leaf Forever. This episode is very different from what you have normally experienced. I just figured, with several experts having been on the show, we could just compile an episode on why sleep is so vital for social wellness and sustenance, based on whatever they have said in all the different seasons of this show. So here's their take on why sleep is important, and I'm sure you'll enjoy and benefit from this. Why is sleep important for any individual? More so the adolescent phase, lisa.

Lisa Lewis:

Yes, and I think that is such a good point. What a critical phase adolescence is. What the amount of change that our kids are going through during those teen years is so immense. I mean, we see it on the outside. They transform from children into adults.

Lisa Lewis:

You look at an 18 year old and they often look like adults.

Lisa Lewis:

They're not yet, though, of course, and that's because, in fact, they are still undergoing so much development that we can't see the stuff going on under the hood, the brain development, all the transformations taking place.

Lisa Lewis:

So, again, back to that point we look at them and they look like mini adults, but they're really not, and they don't yet have adult sleep needs. They still have adolescent sleep needs, which are more so. So, for instance, as an adult, we should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep every single night. Those are the official recommendations for our teens. So, up until age 18, they should be getting eight to 10 hours every single night, and so I think it starts with that of just helping people understand, really, the amount of sleep that our teens should be getting for optimal functioning. So, in terms of my book, what I tried to do was provide all this information to parents and present it in a way that was easy to understand and sort of provide the context for it, so it was sort of truly, it was the book that I wish that I had had back in 2015, when-.

Vai Kumar:

Oh, absolutely. Every parent right. We all wrestle with this issue.

Lisa Lewis:

Absolutely, and there's so much that I think it helps once you understand some of the basics of sleep, starting with how much sleep our teens should be getting, also including really key aspects like the fact that our teens are actually on a different sleep schedule than we are as adults, because at puberty their sleep schedule starts to shift later.

Lisa Lewis:

It's their circadian rhythm shifts, and what that means is that they are no longer feeling sleepy as early as they used to, nor are they feeling rested and ready to wake up as early as they used to. So as parents, you know, if you've had a six-year-old who bounds out of bed at 6.30, you know they can be just ready to go right at dawn, but your teen is not going to do the same thing, and that is biologically based. So you've got a couple of these major truths when it comes to teen sleep that, a they need eight to 10 hours of sleep. B they're on this later sleep schedule. And then, c the final piece of this equation often is the school start times, when they're so early. That makes it virtually impossible for teens who aren't feeling sleepy until later at night to be able to get enough sleep, because if they have to wake too early in the morning, chances are very, very good that they are not then able to get those eight to 10 hours of sleep.

Vai Kumar:

Okay. So what then happens when the alarm clock goes off? Like there's always this inclination to hit the snooze button right, even for us adults, you know, like some of us are. Like you know, only very few of us, I should say, are able to jump out right out of bed feeling like, okay, I'm ready for the morning, but most of us tend to go for that snooze button. I would say.

Lisa Lewis:

Well and that's I'm glad you brought that up, because that is one of the things that I do touch on in the book is when you look at ways that you can help avoid sort of cutting into your sleep more than you need to.

Lisa Lewis:

And, unfortunately, using a snooze button actually is cutting into your sleep more than you need to, because that extra amount of sleep that you get after you hit the snooze button is negligible in terms of the overall whole, and it's not as high quality as it would have been if you hadn't hit the snooze button at all and hit just set your alarm clock for a later time. So there's that piece of it. That said, though, waking too early really is an issue, and that's why, when it comes to our teens who are in middle school and high school, when their schools are starting too early, that is a major piece of the problem. It is not the only thing affecting their sleep, but it is a major one, and it is fairly straightforward to address. Their early wake times are tied to their early school bells, and so if you can adjust the school bells, you can allow them to be able to sleep later in the morning.

Vai Kumar:

When it comes to a healthy approach to technology, though, how best can we make people realize the need to protect themselves and, based on research findings, what are some of the harmful effects that you can highlight here, gigi? Whatever caused you to create this product?

Gigi Mortimer:

Well, it really goes back to sleep, which is the cornerstone to our health, and if you don't sleep right, you wake up the next day. You don't want to eat the healthy foods, you don't want to go get something like a hamburger or pizza or something. You also aren't on your peak performance and it also so it can affect your weight, it can affect your cognitive function when you don't sleep well. Your sleep is also when your body recovers. It's when your muscles recover, it's when your brain processes everything it learned during the day. So if we don't have sleep, we can get very sick, and it just depends on sort of where how effective you are.

Gigi Mortimer:

There was an interesting study about a basketball player who tweeted at night and then late, late, late at night, so he probably didn't get a good night's sleep and he didn't do as well in the basketball game the next day. And so it can. Really, our sleep affects our performance, and I think our society is so performance driven. You know we all try and eat well, we exercise, we take vitamins, but we're spending eight to 11 hours a day staring at screens. So what are we doing to be mindful about our screen time? And your circadian rhythm also affects your metabolism, and so I just think the sleep is really the most important part of it for our health screens have been too much of a part of our entire life.

Vanessa Elias:

So no phones, no devices in the bedroom- Absolutely not. Yes, as they're upper years, junior and senior in high school, they need some practice, right, so they can have it on the other side of their bed, either side of their room, away from their bed, but when they're younger, screen should be down. We have a tray in our kitchen and it's got a charging station. That's where all the devices go. And no phones at dinner. And also no phones as you're driving around town, like you're just doing daily long road trips. That's a different thing, but no devices.

Vanessa Elias:

The car is such a great time for connection and communication with your kids, teens especially, because we often think teens aren't interested, they don't want to be with us. It's not true. That is, our teens need us more than ever. There's so much there. So knowing that your kids really want and need connection, that you as parents are the most important thing to your children, even if they don't make you feel like it or if you don't even feel like it. So you having connection and communication as a goal is really important, and the ways to help you do that are to get the sleep you need for yourself. Put your phone on the other side of the room if you have it in your bedroom, right To get those recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, and our kids also. That's another reason mental health is struggling because our kids are sleep deprived. They have their devices in their room and they're up at all nights. You can't function if you're not sleeping well, so that's a huge issue.

Jini Patel Thompson:

You kind of start with the sleeping environment first, because when your body sleeps is when it repairs right. So here's another environmental toxin Wifi and cell phone radiation. Well, thank you for bringing that up.

Vai Kumar:

I was going to ask you yeah.

Jini Patel Thompson:

Yeah, yeah, hugely impact on health and the immune system. I've been blogging about wifi and cell phone radiation for over a decade. I have my own radiation meters. I right here, I'm at my ranch, I'm like in the Canadian wilderness so I have Starlink satellite but I have hardwired it into an ethernet cable and that's what I use for my computer here.

Jini Patel Thompson:

There's a lot of things you can do to reduce your radiation exposure, but your bedroom is where you absolutely have to get your radiation and your electromagnetic, like all your electrical stuff. Like unplug everything, don't have a, you know, get your cell phone out of your bedroom and turn it, not just turn it onto airplane, because most people don't know this. Like, if you have an iPhone and you put it in airplane, your wifi is still running On your computer. Apple has programmed everything so your Bluetooth is automatically turned on If you're wearing Bluetooth headphones.

Jini Patel Thompson:

I was astounded how much radiation those emit. I was absolutely gobsmacked, some of them more than a cell phone. So you either get yourself a radiation meter or you follow the guidelines for getting all these things down. So again, like I have an entire chapter where I take people through and you start with your bedroom, because if you can get you know that six or eight or whatever hours you're sleeping per night where your cells can heal and repair themselves, then you can have you know you're far further ahead in the healing game than someone who you know is never gonna get a good night's sleep because you know all the systems of your body can never just drop down into deep rest and healing.

Vai Kumar:

Eating when really the body can do its job Well. When you're out and about and moving, probably it's easier for the body to process it, rather than when you're going resting late in the evening and at night.

Emily Reed:

Right, and that's me right, exactly. And then you know sleep is never as good If you've eaten and then people just go to bed or they go to bed an hour later. You know you want a minimum of two hours really, but you're better off I mean really having dinner between five and seven. You know that last meal and obviously it just you've got to kind of think about how do I want to feel? Okay, do I want a good night's sleep? And even though it's like I know it's nice to eat with partners or something like that, or you know family and things, but sometimes you could eat a little bit earlier yourself. You can still sit at the table with them and if they don't want to eat earlier and be with them whilst they're having their food.

Emily Reed:

Ayurveda, again, it's looking to make certain choices, and again I come back to this thing of is this taking me towards a place of balance or away from it? And you know, in Ayurveda we talk about three causes of disease, okay, and one of them is this disregard for nature, nature's rhythms, but there's also a disregard for the body's rhythms, right? So not honoring when you need to go to the toilet, for example, not honoring when you need to go and sleep. You know, not honoring hunger, not honoring thirst, simple things like not honoring a yawn, keeping your mouth closed, but really trying to hide it because we feel it's not appropriate to yawn. You can always cover your mouth, but they're expressions. It's the body's trying to do something.

Vai Kumar:

And I just want to focus on the role of sleep. When it comes to being healthy, people don't seem to realize the gift of good health. And what is the role of sleep, and how best can we emphasize in this forum about the need for?

Dr.Akil Taher:

sleep. Okay, let me tell you the American Sleep Association has come out that you should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. The sleep is four stages. What you have is the rapid eye movement sleep, rem sleep, or the non-rapid eye movement sleep, nrem sleep. Now, all your dreams and all are done in the REM sleep and your NREM sleep, non-rem sleep. Non-rem sleep is more important than your REM sleep. In a non-REM sleep, you are completely relaxed, you almost your muscles are paralyzed, you're out. This is in four stages. So first you get your non-REM sleep, then you get your REM sleep, then you go on again. So it goes on. There are four or five stages so that you get this four stages that I'm talking about in a group that are four or five, like this, so that you get restorative sleep.

Dr.Akil Taher:

Now, if these things are not say you get nightmares and you get up in your REM sleep then this is not restorative, it makes you more tired. So the idea is that the moment your eyes open, the first thing you should ask how am I feeling? If you're not feeling up to date, that means there's something wrong in your sleep. If your diet is okay, your exercise, you've done everything. Something wrong with your sleep. So then comes a time either you meditate before going to sleep or you stop seeing TV before you go to sleep. Stop lights, try to listen, whatever it is there to make you go to sleep in a nice way, like my wife, if you see a movie that is very, very frightening that she will not go to sleep. So all these are factors. Everybody can't follow everything, but sleep should be restorative at least seven to nine hours. Now if you ask me and say, akhil, do you get seven to nine hours? No, I don't, I'm working on it. I get about six hours max.

Vai Kumar:

Back in a moment with our guest on Fresh Leaf Forever.

Dr.Akil Taher:

Like I said, I am not perfect, but I am trying to get there. So that is my advice on sleep.

Vai Kumar:

And we all are sometimes found wanting in certain aspects, and one of those, I think, definitely is swimming against the tide of nature and getting out of sync with our body and mind. Right, like we sleep and wake up at odd times, we don't necessarily honor circadian rhythms. Some people tend to eat late because of their work schedule and whatnot. So what is your advice there? And again, how does the integration with yoga, breathing and meditation all of that come in?

Kate O'Donnell:

I think you hit on it there Vai- sleeping; the sleep times. I think that our waking and sleeping times are big anchor to everything else that happens in the day and when we feel most energetic and when we feel most tired.

Kate O'Donnell:

I think getting in sync, definitely moving our sleep time closer to sunset, a few hours after sunset maybe, and moving our waking time also closer to sunrise, then those things make such a huge difference. Our bodies respond to the light a lot, so we get more energy when the sun is up rather than staying up in the night and working or engaging. It's fine to do these things sometimes, of course, but it's when that's the daily rhythm that it can start to affect our health. So I do think that sleeping and eating at regular and appropriate times is really important and makes a big difference.

Kate O'Donnell:

Traditionally, the best time for your yoga and your meditation is, as part of the morning, dhina charya, because it does set up your mind space for the rest of the day. The idea is that we are the most clear in the morning. When we get up in that morning, nothing else happened yet, and so when we purify the body and mind with some yoga practices, some breathing and meditation, it's like we get our prana moving in a nice way, just sense organs are alert, yet calm, and it's like we take that into our day and then all of our activities throughout that day we come to them in this place, where we're alert but calm and making kind of. What I noticed is that when we do a little purification of the mind before the day, we make better choices throughout the day. So it doesn't have to be a big two hour practice. I think even for someone to get up 10 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes of quiet breathing or alternate nostril breath, some guided meditation just the 10 minutes can change one's entire life.

Vai Kumar:

And organ detoxification. Everything happens according to the clock. So I guess you're advise there to sleep based on sunrise, sunset like, sleep few hours after sunset and then wake up any time after or just around sunrise or maybe even earlier. All that can help. And I guess the Agni and Am or Ama, the sticky substance that you have been talking about, the toxic buildup, and Agni being the digestive fire all that also has relevance to the sun, right to the clock, right right, yeah, so your Agni is that word.

Kate O'Donnell:

That means fire, and our sun is at its zenith, you know, at the middle of the day. So that's when the fire element is the strongest in our environment. Therefore, it's also the strongest within the body. So the digestive fire is strongest at midday, which is between 10 am and 2 pm, and that's the best time for eating food. That's when we're going to digest our food the best and build the best tissue.

Kate O'Donnell:

And so eat the bulk of the meals at that time is preferable Right exactly, and so you'll always hear this routine in Ayurveda to eat a big lunch and a light dinner, and that will support the body's detoxification process in the night and the nutritive process that happens during the day.

Vai Kumar:

And thus eating late and sleeping late also contribute more to the sticky substance which is the buildup of the toxins or the toxic release.

Kate O'Donnell:

Yes, yeah. So you know. The thing is, when we eat at night, we'll generally go to bed, you know, within a few hours after eating, and so when we go into the bed and sleep, the body's digestive process becomes very slow, the body's and then there's this confusion in the body. Well, we're supposed to detoxify at night, but now we're full of food, so I guess we'll have to just digest this food instead, and then that detoxification process is being compromised by the eating of food late. So, you know, we can get the food done by like 7 pm. That's pretty good because, again, this detoxification cycle kicks in around 10 pm and goes until 2 am, and that's when the organs are detoxifying. So that's where we can stop eating around 7, when we've got that three hours for the food to kind of pass through the early stages of digestion, and then those organs are free to detox while we're sleeping. It's a big shift to eat in the day less at night, but it's totally worthwhile Okay.

Vai Kumar:

Your signature message clearer mind, better performance, right. So what strength psychology methods do you typically give organizations or its employees to become better?

Dr.Jarrod Spencer:

Sure, when it comes to strength, psychology, techniques to have a clear mind, it really all comes down to one main thing, and that really, quite frankly, is sleep. Sleep is the number one factor in performance, and the better we're sleeping, the mind usually heals itself. When we're sleeping, it clears itself out. The problem is, you know, most people are sleeping about six hours a day. They're logging about six hours of screen time, maybe more, and so in the last 10 years we've seen this huge shift from like a lot of people around the world are just getting more screen time than they are hours of sleep and they're on their phone, social media, and therein lies this massive self-inaddiction problem that's driving the sleep epidemic, which is really impacting mental health. So when we talk about how to have a clear mind, that a performance, the very first place I start with companies, corporations, with athletes is let's take a deep dive on sleep.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, I mean it's interesting. You said insomnia earlier and then you also talked about the need for better sleep Makes me again want to ask this and say this as well Is it a matter of you and me taking to say, a forum like LinkedIn or somewhere and bringing this up for it to you know? Change for the better? Because the work culture overall seems to be completely immersed, especially in intergeographic companies. You know, companies that operate globally. You know people operating in different time zones. They are not eating right, they are not sleeping well, and so what? How do we think about this cultural shift? Because when it's dinner time somewhere, people are forced to be on calls forced, as in you know, the demands of work make make them, you know, be on calls still, and they're not eating on time and they are definitely not sleeping on time. So how do we bring about this culture change?

Dr.Jarrod Spencer:

Vai you're asking a question that I don't have the answer to. I mean, the truth is like this is really really complicated and really hard, and you're absolutely right. As we become, like you know, more united around the world and time zones are different and our circadian rhythm or natural rhythm that each person's body has with the environment that's around them, that's that's shifting, and so what we know is that a lot of what's happening isn't really healthy for us, it's not really good for our overall health and well-being, and so how do we create boundaries around technology when we all live in a world of immediacy? We want it now, and if you don't want to provide it, that's fine, we'll just get somebody else, and so that's. That is an unanswerable question at this point in time. My mind's not smart enough to answer that or solve that, but I do think that we have to find a way to make it a little bit better for each individual so that we can have greater mental health.

Vai Kumar:

Exactly, you know, because it is certainly playing into someone's mental health, and we live in this era of great resignation that we are seeing in companies, and so I guess the need for the hour is that empathetic, you know, leaders what is it, you know? How do they build confidence and trust in employees and how can we foster mental, mental health? Because I think somewhere there needs to be some forum that can, you know, just bring this message out loud and clear, correct, you know? Is it just?

Vai Kumar:

for sure you and me writing on LinkedIn, you creating . Or is it you and me sitting on this podcast? Or, in conjunction to that, you know bringing it up in other forums? Or is it a matter of you know leaders being more empathetic? What is it?

Dr.Jarrod Spencer:

Yeah, great question. And I think the truth is, when it comes to business, follow the money, and a lot of times company leaders will give lip service to the importance of mental health, for example, in their organization. But if you really stop and think about it like, how many webinars are they hosting for their employees to watch? What type of speakers are they bringing in? What books are they having them read? What? What resources are they providing? And the harsh reality is the answer a lot of times is that yeah, it's a check the box item, but we're not really going below the surface, we're not really going deep on this topic. That's when the cultural shift is beginning, but oftentimes there's not the funding behind it to make it meet the need of the people today.

Vai Kumar:

About the role of nutrition and other aspects relating to rest and recovery, and I guess that is called SLEEP right, oh, sleep.

Maria Angelova:

Yes, I mean, sleep is critical and I would tell you from somebody who used to be a night owl and not sleep and I'm actually one of those people who can function with not much sleep, but it is not good for you. Your body restores when you sleep and the quality of your sleep and when you go to bed it is super, super key, especially if you're exercise. You know athletes, some of them exercise for hours and hours in a day.

Maria Angelova:

You have to rest, you have to get quality sleep, you have to have the right sleeping environment. Also, remember that the quality of sleep if you go to bed at 2 am is not the same as when you go to bed at 10 pm, and especially for a lot of young athletes, that's a thing right, because once again they can get away with it. So it is super important to give a chance to your body and your organs to recoup and rejuvenate and rest so that you can be at your peak performance and you can both hand in hand with that. You, once again, when you're younger, you can get away with more things. Is it good for you? No, because it wears and tears your body more.

Vai Kumar:

But not at the professional level or not at the highest competing level, even collegiate us like, so demanding that you really cannot get away with it.

Maria Angelova:

Because, really, nutrition is playing such a key factor once again of sustaining your performance and recovery from performance, and that's when I say you have to have the right support system.

Kirsten Jones:

They don't see consequences right. And kids metabolisms are fast, they're still growing, they heal much faster. So what we are seeing is a lot more overuse injuries. So nutrition has become that much more important Hydration, and a lot of us are dehydrated to the point that then you can't even tell if you're hungry or tired or what.

Kirsten Jones:

So there's Lisa Lewis's great book on sleep, the sleep deprived teen. She talked about the Stanford study and I mentioned it in my book as well when they had the Stanford men's basketball team. Just try to sleep eight hours at night. They did a free throw experiment with them. So shooting with lack of sleep, how many do you make Shooting with having slept just eight to nine hours? Everybody's percentages increased by 10%. Like that's huge right, just even thinking about making the shots and then actually practicing the shots, but then adding sleep to that. Sleep is a superpower and I think it's very underrated. And unfortunately, with cell phones being in everybody's hand 24, seven, and the kids are sleeping on them or with them and waking up and scrolling and going to bed scrolling.

Kirsten Jones:

Sleep is going by the wayside, and when you are exhausted you don't make good decisions Like nobody does. And if you're not, if you're putting you know all the crap in your body of fast food and junk food and sugar all the time, it's just the compounding effect in a negative way around performance. So I'm actually doing that exercise with my oldest. He's just graduated college but he's got another year to deploy at a grad school and he wasn't feeling well. I said, well, let's strip everything away, get off of sugar, get off of the caffeine, get off of things that aren't helping your brain, and give me eight to 10 hours of sleep at night and let's talk in a week.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, it's very important for us to role model, like you talk about in the book again, as to what habits we demonstrate. That's what is going to sit with them, gel with them, more than just preaching. So you practice what you preach and that really helps them.

Kirsten Jones:

They're listening to almost nothing of what we say, or it feels that way, yeah, whatever. They're, of course, taking little notes and they'll regurgitate it back to you later. So they are listening, even when sometimes you get the eye roll and they're walking out when you're still talking to them. They're paying attention, but even more they're watching us. Are you getting good sleep? Are you reading?

Paige Roberts:

The thing about overtraining syndrome, and we know a lot, with females, of course too. We used to call it the female triad, but now it's like males as well that we're completely zapping their hormones because they're training too much and the body just doesn't have enough time to recover. So, yeah, there's actually over here at University of Washington they're doing a lot on looking at females' hormones and some of what the training cycles are, because it's too much, so when they're growing, they're going to need more rest, and so, unfortunately, with, again, the sports culture, we have this like pushing as hard as you can. We want to be better than the other team, and I would just love it if some of these leagues, like one of the coaches, just takes a stand and be like I'm not going to do it. Like the other ones, let's see who ends up on top and adds in more of this.

Vai Kumar:

I would really applaud that coach, if you can tell me one Good luck.

Paige Roberts:

Yeah, no, but it's so scary, right, so it's so scary to do something different. But yeah, so there's that piece. Also, we know and this is a big realization that's came with some of these integrative medical doctors that are going out of the box of understanding here too. With the sleep thing, you know there's all this kind of like weird I don't know misinformation out there about like, oh all you need is five hours. Well, I've always been fine with five hours of sleep, I'm totally fine.

Paige Roberts:

It's like, no, we know, at five hours of sleep or less you already have no inflammation. If you only have inflammation in your body, there's no possible way that you can really gain. You can't make gains. You know your brain is inflamed, your nervous system is inflamed. When our brain's inflamed, we can't focus, we have a hard time sleeping, and that's mental illness symptoms come forward with brain inflammation, all this stuff with COVID. Dr Daniel Aiman has seen that the limbic brain, so our emotional brain in the middle, is hot, it's inflamed, and so this is scary stuff. We don't want any brain inflammation. That's what creates the inability to flush that tau protein and the toxins, and so that's the buildup of any of these neurocognitive or CTE or any of these diseases. So I'm looking at athletes that are heading soccer balls and playing contact sports. My gosh, if you're not getting five hours of sleep or more, you know we're already looking at your potential of developing one of these neurocognitive diseases. So terrifying.

Paige Roberts:

So, yeah, so eight hours of sleep, then at eight, we know that's what we need to recharge our dopamine and serotonin. Our brain can't function without enough dopamine and serotonin. So of course we're going to have again these mental illness symptoms. So we need at least eight. Then if you look at a developing, growing athlete, and yes, you're going till you're 25 and that's when you start to decline and not build up as fast. So, again, all the way through college, right? So we need like 10 hours of sleep is what these kids need, but they're not getting it. And you're right, they're not getting it. I had a swim client, 11 year old, and every time we get on she's going. I'm just tired a lot. My practice doesn't get out till nine o'clock and I have to be up for school at 630. And I'm just like, but again, I have no control over when her practice is held. I have no control, you know. And so it's like this resistance to yeah, an 11 year old practice till nine o'clock at night. Whoa, that's a lot.

Vai Kumar:

So, yeah, that's where the quality over quantity emphasis comes in right. I think for them to just focus and get their best for an hour is probably better than them just lingering there for like three hours. What is the importance of sleep in helping an individual rejuvenate and feel good? Because that seems like a much ignored aspect and I want you to throw light on that aspect please.

Nidhi Pandya:

So the night is as important, if not more, than the day. We all our life is about designing a day. I say, if you put half as much effort in designing your night, planning for your night, you won't have to do much in the day. Like the day will be a breeze, because the three pillars in Ayurveda, the tri-opasthamba, three pillars of well-being, are ahar, food, nidra, sleep, brahmacharyas. You, how much you, how appropriately you use your senses.

Nidhi Pandya:

Nidra, or sleep, is huge from all aspects. Your body is going through free repair, like your cells say, hey, you know, there's such a loving, we're fine. So feels so grateful to the body, because it's such a loving service your body offers and says, hey, you know Vai go to sleep, it's time for you to rest, I'll do the work and you know all of these great juices come out to rest, repair, see what's needed, what's not needed, to throw, gunk out, to process emotions. I mean, what a gift sleep is. Right, it's like a mother's sleep is like a mother says I just be there for you, you don't know anything, I'm here for you.

Nidhi Pandya:

And when we don't give sleep, that do you importance, right? What a big opportunity is taken, what a big disrespect it is to your body. So I'd say, if you know sometimes, if you choose between sleep and exercise, like this morning, why I had to choose between sleep and exercise and I love on a Monday morning to wake up, meditate, exercise and I said I'll have to give up either my exercise or my meditation. And I give up my exercise because I realize that my body needed that extra sleep. So sleep is mo re important than exercise. I would say not the kapha type of sleep, that lazy sleep where you know you've gotten enough, but build more and sleep more. But you know intuitively what sleep you need. Earlier, sleep earlier, wake up earlier is my recommendation, but not to be ignored. Of course. There's a whole podcast we can do on good sleep. Oh yes, many, many aspects of it, but all I can say is give it more importance than you give your day.

Vai Kumar:

To listeners. Thanks so much for tuning in week after week. Follow me on Instagram @vaipkumar for constant updates. I will see you back again with yet another guest and yet another interesting topic. Until then, it's me Vai saying so long.

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