I have the honor of talking to Dr. Michael Breus today! Dr. Breus is the author of The Power of When, and his latest book is called Energize. He is a double board-certified Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Sleep Specialist. He is one of only 168 psychologists in the world to have taken and passed the Sleep Medicine Boards without going to Medical School.
After completing his undergraduate studies in psychology, Dr. Breus did all of his pre-meds in one year. Then he went to the University of Georgia to do a P.h.D. in Clinical Psychology. He wanted to do a sports internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center after getting his P.h.D., but he could not get into the program. They were offering graduate students a sleep track, so he decided to do that initially and then get into the sports internship program through the back door. However, things did not end up working out quite how they thought they would!
Most people do not think much about sleep until they experience sleep problems. In this episode, Dr. Breus shares his background and explains how he pivoted into becoming a sleep specialist. He talks about the impact of chronotypes and genetics. He discusses how movement and other lifestyle strategies can influence our chronotype and talks about melatonin and other hormones, including cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, leptin, and touches on biohacking and intermittent fasting. He cautions us about orthosomnia and discusses how napping can influence sleep scores. He also talks about some of his favorite items for sleep modalities.
I hope you enjoy this thought-provoking podcast as much as I did!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- Dr. Breus tells his story and explains how he became The Sleep Doctor.
- How he managed to take and pass the Sleep Medicine Boards without going to Medical School.
- When he began doing chronotype research and personalizing it as part of his brand and work.
- Looking at the four chronotypes and what Dr. Breus refers to as chrono-longevity.
- Dr. Breus talks about melatonin and shares his thoughts on melatonin supplementation.
- Dr. Breus explains his concept of body habitus.
- Intermittent fasting is the best way to supply the body with clean energy.
- Dr. Breus discusses the five different types of energy and describes his movement program.
- Dr. Breus unpacks sleep tracking, the physiology of sleep, the sleep stages, and REM sleep versus deep sleep.
- What is orthosomnia?
- How does the quality of our sleep affect our hormonal balance?
- Dr. Breus is a fan of naps. (Unless you have insomnia.)
- Why is a good pillow vital for a good night’s sleep?
- Some devices provide a solution for snoring.
“You change somebody’s sleep- you change their life!”
– Dr. Breus
Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a double board-certified Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Sleep Specialist. He is one of only 168 psychologists in the world to have taken and passed the Sleep Medicine Boards without going to Medical School.
Dr. Breus is the author of four books, with the newest book, (2021) Energize! Go from dragging Ass to kicking it in 30 days, adds the concepts of movement (not exercise) and Intermittent-Fasting to his already famous Sleep Chronotypes. And it was recently named one of the top books of 2021 by The Today Show. His 3rd book (2017) The Power of When is a ground breaking bio-hacking book proving that there is a perfect time to do everything based on your biological chronotype (early bird or night owl). Dr. Breus gives the reader the exact time to have sex, run a mile, eat a cheeseburger, buy, sell, ask your boss for a raise, and much more based on over 200 research studies.
He is an expert resource for most major publications doing more than 400 interviews per year (Oprah, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, NY Times, Wall Street Journal etc.-list available). Dr. Breus has been in private practice for 23 years and recently relocated to and was named the Top Sleep Doctor of Los Angles, By Readers Digest.
Connect with Dr. Michael Breus
Connect with Cynthia Thurlow
Cynthia: Welcome to Everyday Wellness Podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent are to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.
Today, I’d distinct honor of connecting with Dr. Michael Breus. He provided great insights into his background and how that evolved into becoming a sleep specialist. We dove deep into the impact of chronotypes and genetics, as well as how movement can influence our chronotype, as well as other types of lifestyle strategies. We spoke a great length about melatonin, as well as other hormones including cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, leptin, and others. We touched on biohacking as it relates to sleep quality, as well as the value of intermittent fasting, and eating less often. He cautioned us about orthosomnia, as well as the net impact of napping on our sleep scores. And lastly, we talked about some of his favorite items that he incorporates into his own sleep modalities and left me with a lot of things to think about. I hope you will enjoy this podcast as much as I did recording it and you definitely want to check out Dr. Breus’ book The Power of When, which is probably my favorite of his, but also his new book, Energize!.
I would love for you to share with listeners a bit about your background, because it sounds you started your graduate education in one area and then pivoted into sleep physiology. So, since everyone that listens to my podcast knows how passionate I am about sleep quality, it’s completely serendipitous that I have you here today.
Michael: [chuckles] Well, let me tell you how I ended up becoming the sleep doctor. I went to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where I did my undergraduate studies, where I studied psychology. After that, I went to Bryn Mawr, which is just outside of Philadelphia, where I did all of my pre-meds in one year. That was a terrible, terrible year, just letting you know.
Michael: There is nothing fun about. Four pre-meds with lab all at the same time, realized I did not want to go to medical school at that point in time and said, “I’m going to go get a PhD in Clinical Psychology,” because that was where my head was at. I wanted to be a sports psychologist. I wanted to teach athletes how to throw faster or throw harder, run faster, all the fun, cool stuff. To be very honest with you, I was the nerdiest boy in school. I had the big glasses with the crazy hair, like, there wasn’t a girl that would talk to me to save my life. I figured if I was hung out with the athletes, I could maybe meet some people that way. I was always interested and I was kind of a little bit of a sports guy growing up. The best program, so, I got to the University of Georgia to get my PhD. Did work there great sports psychology program. I worked my way through school in the electrophysiology department. I had a job throughout graduate school, and I knew how to take apart very complicated machines that could measure any signals from your body, and put them back together. Again, I’m that nerdy, weird wonky guy that likes to take it apart, put it back together.
I went to get into this internship and it was at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. I’m from Sandy Springs, Georgia. Going to Jackson, Mississippi sounded like it could be a lot of fun for me, but I couldn’t get into the program. This was a program that was meant for the Harvard’s, and the Yale’s, and the Princeton’s of the world. University of Georgia top 20-program was not Harvard, but they had a sleep track that they were offering graduate students to go. I said, “Okay, here’s my opportunity. I’m going to sell myself as a sleep guy and then I’m going to transfer as soon as I get there.” Because the machines that they use in the sleep lab are identical to the machines that I’ve been working with for the last four years in graduate school. I’m like, “No problem.” Just because you’re not going to let me in through the front door, it does not mean I’m not going to be in your program. It just means you haven’t realized yet that I’m going to be in your program. I get accepted, I get there, raise my hand the first day. They’re like, “Dr. Breus, what’s going on?” I said, “Hey, I want to transfer over to this board site.” They said, “We had a feeling you might want to do that. So, here’s the deal. You have to do the sleep for six months, and then you can transfer to wherever you want to go.” I said, “No problem. How tough could this be, I sleep every night.” This looks interesting.
By the third day, I absolutely fell in love with clinical sleep medicine and I knew I would never change what I do. I help people like this. It’s un-be-lievable. In traditional clinical psychology, you got to understand it can take months, even years before you see any form of treatment gains with your patients. I literally see people change their lives in 48 hours. It’s unbelievable. It is magical, I guess is a great word for it, because I have this opportunity with this knowledge base to be able to identify and assess on somebody and say, “Hey, I think you have undiagnosed sleep apnea or I think you’ve got insomnia or narcolepsy. Let’s see if we can fix that.” Guess what? There are treatments, there are sometimes cures, and all of a sudden, you change somebody’s sleep, you change their life. That was really impactful for me. I thought it was super cool, I thought it was a lot of fun, and I kept going from there. I did do one thing that was crazy. After I finished the program, I went back and defended my dissertation and I got my first job. My first job was working for a group of pulmonologist, who own one sleep laboratory. I became the clinical director of their sleep laboratory and then we were expanding the sleep laboratory out into multiple sleep labs.
When I sat there for my first job, he said, “Michael, we’d like you, we’re going to give you full benefits package, the whole deal but at the end of the first year, you need to take and pass the sleep medicine boards.” I raised my hand and I said, “Dr. DeMarini, that’s a medical board. I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology.” I said, “I can’t take the medical board.” He said, “Actually, there’s a one-year window left open. You can take it, and if you fail, you’re fired. Would you like the job?” I was like, “Okay.” They were offering a great salary. I never in a million years thought that I was going to– They were asking me to take a medical board without going to medical school. I came home to my girlfriend, who is now my wife and I said, “You’re not going to believe this, I got this great job, and it’s going to be awesome and blah, blah, blah.” It was at the point where I could actually afford health insurance. Remember back in the day when you were just at that point–
I didn’t really tell her about the medical board part at first. Then later on in the week, I said, “Oh, yeah, and by the way, it’s only good for a year, because they want me to take the medical boards.” She was like, “You’re not a doctor.” I’m like, “I know, I’m not a doctor.” [laughs] She’s like, “They want you to take the medical, medical boards.” I said, “Yeah.” About a week goes by and she said, “Are you going to do it?” I was like, “What do you mean?” She’s like, “Are you going to take the medical boards?” I was like, “Are you crazy?” She said, “I think you can do it.” That was all it took. That was it. I took a list. I had a reference list of 15 books, all textbooks. So, I taught myself neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, I taught myself pediatrics, general medicine, and I am one of 168 people in the world, who have ever taken and passed the medical boards without going to medical school.
Cynthia: That’s an incredible story. It really speaks to having some degree of moxie that you thought to yourself, “Okay, I can do this. I’m going to teach myself, I’m going to condense so many years medical education into one year, I’m going to take these boards, I’m going to execute this.” Well, many of the listeners know that my whole background as a Nurse Practitioner was in cardiology. You can imagine 16 years in cardiology, we had our own sleep lab, because almost everyone had sleep apnea or they had periods of apnea throughout the night and most of them didn’t sleep well for a variety of reasons. I think most people don’t think much about sleep. They just think, “I go to bed, I put my head on the pillow, and then I wake up in the morning.” At least, that’s how my teenagers think.
Cynthia: I can say, as a middle-aged person, I have a healthy amount of respect for sleep. From my perspective, I think until people start having sleep problems, they don’t even think about it. On so many levels, I don’t think the past two years have helped a lot of people with their sleep quality, maybe it has. Maybe people are sleeping in more, trying to make a greater effort to get more high-quality sleep. But it is a hugely problematic topic, not just gender specific, but certainly, I lean towards working with women predominantly, middle-aged women really struggle with sleep, which can be contributed to by so many factors. You made this amazing pivot. You obviously passed your boards, you were loving what you’re doing. Tell me when you started doing the chronotype research or when did you start looking into personalizing this as part of your brand in your work?
Michael: Well, so, first of all, thank you for noticing. People seem to use sleep as the shock absorber of their life. You know what I mean? Like, “I’m having a stressful day. I’m just going to stay up later, and work harder, and that’s supposed to be a good idea.” “I’m having an easy day, I’m going to now go out and party, because I didn’t have much to do,” as opposed to “Oh, maybe I should be taking care of myself,” those kinds of things. People use sleep as that kind of shock absorber of their lives. Another thing that you mentioned that was really interesting that I want to just double tap on quickly is, we’re in a weird time right now. The last two years or so, COVID has really changed people’s outlook on sleep. Here’s the unfortunate thing. It’s gotten worse, not better. It’s really unfortunate, because people could have taken so much advantage and actually improved their sleep dramatically over the last two years if they had just listened to a couple of things that I said. But the good news is, we’re here now, and people can actually still learn quite a bit, and adapt quite a bit.
Your question to me was chronotypes. When did I start looking at them and why did I start looking at them? It happened just before, well, actually about three and a half, four years before COVID hit. I had a patient, who came in and to be very honest with you, I couldn’t fix her. She really had a significant issue. She couldn’t fall asleep early, she was sleeping in, and it was pretty terrible. I tried everything. I tried medication, I tried cognitive behavioral therapy, I tried everything. Nothing. It was a big doughnut hole. I brought her in and I’m like, “We’re going to just keep going at this and figuring this.” I’m a dog with a bone, you know? It’s like, “I’m just going to go at it, and go at it, and go at it until I freaking figured it out.” She finally turned to me during one of our discussions and she said, “If I could just sleep on a different time zone, I think my life would be perfect.” I was like, “Explain that to me.” She said, “Well, if I could just go to bed at one, get up at maybe 8:30-9 o’clock, go to work by 10:30, work until 7, and that my day would be perfect.” I said, “So, why don’t you do that?” She said, “Well, I’ve got a husband, I’ve got kids, I’ve got a boss, I’ve got everybody else’s schedule. It’s not my schedule.” I said, “Well, could you ask your boss to run an experiment just to see what would happen?” She said, “I’m getting fired at the end of the week, Michael? I’m pretty sure.”
I called up her boss. I said, “Can I call him?” She said, “Sure.” Called the boss and I said, “Hey, here’s the story. I think there’s something weird going on. I wanted to come in later.” He said, “I don’t care what time she comes in. She’s fired on Friday. Like, no joke, no pressure, Michael, but this is what’s going to happen.” I said, “Great. Well, let’s run the experiment.” Ran the experiment and I call him on Friday, you can’t make this stuff up. I said, “Hey, it’s Dr. Breus.” He said, “I have three more people I want you to talk to.” He didn’t say one, he didn’t say this was–. “I got three more employees, I want you to talk to right now, Michael.” I was like, “Okay, I’m on to something here.” She turned out to be an extreme night owl or what I call a wolf. Her whole body doesn’t stop moving until midnight 1 o’clock. Of course, it was incredibly difficult for her to get up at 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning to deal with the kids, and the house duties, and then get to work, and all those other responsibilities that she had. For me, I was like, “Hold on, I wonder how many of my other patients could have had this as an issue.”
We started going back and looking, and we discovered that there’s actually, this is genetic. People don’t realize it, but it’s called your chronotype. Now, people may not have heard about chronotype as the word, but they probably heard of the concept. If anybody’s ever been called an early bird or a night owl, those are chronotypes. In my third book, The Power of When, which I’m so happy that you read. It’s really a lot of fun, because people can go to this thing called chronoquiz.com. That’ll be in the show notes for people if they want it. They can figure out what their chronotype is. Believe it or not, this unlocks all kinds of really, really cool stuff. I can teach you the best time of day to have sex, eat a cheeseburger, ask your boss for a raise, sleep, drink coffee, intermittent fast, you name it, it’s in there. So, we really dove in and we have over 220 studies in the book. Once you learn your chronotype, it gets really cool, really quick.
Cynthia: Well, it’s really fascinating to me, because throughout my adult lifetime, I’ve been that person, and I kept saying, “Did I pick medicine or did medicine pick me?” Because I can get up really early in the morning, but you get me at 9 o’clock at night, I want to go to bed. So, as I was rereading your book, I was thinking reflecting on my teenagers, who are wolves, and– [crosstalk]
Michael: They are. All teenagers are wolves.
Michael: All of them.
Cynthia: Reflecting on my husband, who’s a bear, I was like, “I am a lion.” I was reading it with great joy last night, because my kids are like, “That is so me, that is so right,” and same thing with my husband.
Cynthia: My poor husband tries to live more aligned to my lion existence. He tries to get in bed at the same time. He struggles.
Michael: Bad idea.
Cynthia: Oh, he struggles. He’s the poor guy. I have to give him credit. I’m like, “I cannot stay up. It’s so hard for me to stay up late at night.” But what I love is that, you talk about this genetic susceptibility. You mentioned one genetic susceptibility, is it that the PR3 in particular?
Michael: PR3 gene. That’s correct.
Cynthia: Yep. When you’re looking at this, it’s nature not just nurture. We’re more aligned, but do you feel if all teenagers, and young people, younger people are more like wolves, is there a transitional point? When their frontal lobe is fully developed is that when they start transitioning to where they’re genetically designed to thrive, I guess?
Michael: I call it chrono-longevity. You actually go through almost all the chronotypes throughout your lifetime. If you think about it. You’ve got kids. When they were itty-bitty babies, you probably worked out perfectly with them, because they were lions. They went to bed early, they got up early, so did you. That worked out perfect probably for your schedule. Once they hit that two to three age range into the six or seven that kind of toddler, then they’re bears. They go to bed at a certain time, they wake up at a certain time, very consistent, you know where their energy is during the daytime. Then you get to the teenage years, where they turn into wolves. This is very difficult time. Anybody out there who’s listening, if you have teenagers, I’m so sorry. It never gets much better, but I will tell you, in the long run– I now have kids who have moved out of my house, it’s all worthwhile in the long run. I swear to you. It doesn’t feel it at first, but I swear to you, it’s all good in the long run.
Yeah, they turn into wolves for sure. Then they hit about 18, 19, 20, and they seem to lock into one chronotype. That seems to last for them for about somewhere between 30 and 35 years, believe it or not. Then once you start to hit in that 50, 55 age range, so, I’ve just turned 54 last week. I’m right in there. You start to see your melatonin production get earlier and earlier. You move from let’s say, being a wolf to being a bear or from being a bear to being a lion, those kinds of things can happen actually quite easily as we get older and older. You can experience almost all of the chronotypes. Now, the one chronotype that we haven’t talked about is the dolphin. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to back up for a second and I’m going to give people all four of the chronotypes, just so that they know what we’re talking about. In early bird, we’ve transformed them into lions. Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want to be the king or the queen of the jungle? Everybody is a lion if you get up early, early, early. Now, to be clear, those people have a tendency to get up, yeah, somewhere between 4:45 and 5:30 naturally. There’s no alarm clock needed for these folks. They’re up and atom and ready to go. They have a tendency to be like my COOs. They’re very organized, they like to make a list every day and go from step one, to step two, to step three. Is this sounding familiar to you, perhaps?
Cynthia: It does. My husband talks about my list. If you saw right next to my microphone is a whole list of things I need to do. [laughs]
Michael: See, what I mean. Lions are great, but it’s not always the best to be a lion. By the way, people have lion envy. They wish they were lions. Here’s the problem and you already mentioned it. Dinner and a movie is out for a lion. They’ve been up since 4:30 in the fricking morning. There’s no way they’re going to a movie at 10 o’clock at night or what have you know. There’s a social kind of con, if you will, but there’s a productivity kind of pro there. People in the middle, we call them bears. They used to be called hummingbirds. I’m not sure why they were ever called hummingbirds just to be clear. I’ve looked and tried to find the vernacular on that one and I’ve just never come across it. But bears represent 55 0% of all people. Quite frankly, it’s the best to be a bear. The nine to five schedule works perfect for a bear. They get up around 7:30, they go to bed around 10:30. Bears have a tendency to be a little bit more on the extroverted side, they’re more friendly, they have a tendency to get a lot of the work done. Lions have a tendency to be more management, bears have a tendency to people, who in the mix, like to get it done, like to accomplish those goals, that kind of thing.
The night owl that’s me, by the way. We call them wolves, now. By the way, I chose animals that actually represent the chronotype themselves. Lions actually, their first kill is before dawn. Bears are very solar sleepers. They get up when the sun is up, they go down when the sun is down. Wolves, many people know they’re very nocturnal creatures. They’re out in hunting at night. Wolves or night owls, we have a tendency to be very creative. Believe it or not, sometimes introverted. I’m not much of an introvert myself, but these are my actors, my artists, my authors. If you ever talk to anybody that’s creative and you say, “Hey, when did you get that idea?” Nobody ever says 2 o’clock in the afternoon. They always say, “Oh, 2 o’clock in the morning, I was up, and thinking about this, and I got inspired,” and all of a sudden that’s what happens. That’s very common for that group of people.
Now, the final group is the one that I added to the mix. All three of those have been around since the 70s. I want to be very clear the research on that it was done by a great group of scientists. That was awesome. I added a fourth chronotype what I call a dolphin. Now people, “Why did you choose dolphin, Michael?” Well, dolphin sleep uni-hemispherically. Half of their brain is asleep, while the other half is awake and looking for predators. I thought, “That’s like an insomniac.” They’re never quite asleep. Also, dolphins are the coolest mammals in the sea. Who doesn’t want to be a dolphin, right? When I wrote the book, it’s primarily for my dolphin clients. These are people who are a lot like my lions, but they got a bunch of anxiety onboard. They’re high functioning, but they’re vibrating at such a high intensity that it’s their work is never done. They’re the people who are like, “I can always do better, I can keep going, I can keep going.” They’re the people who are tapping their foot like this all day long, right? They have a tendency to have insomnia, they have a tendency to crave a longer sleep bout, but actually have a short one. They might sleep for only for sleep cycles, but they really want five or six they ever can. So, once you figure out which one of those four that you are and by the way, go to chronoquiz.com, once again, we’ll put that in the show notes. You can figure it out. It’s free, it doesn’t cost you a dime, and you will learn a whole host of cool stuff.
Cynthia: It’s so amazing, because I think being the parent of two teenagers, and being a lion and struggling, I’ve actually said to my husband–
Michael: Dude, it’s tough.
Cynthia: When they start driving, we’re going to have to pull straws. I may have to take a nap, because there’s no way I’ll be able to stay up as late. It’s my teenagers, they’re 14 and 16, very athletic, smart, but they think it’s funny that mom will fall asleep if everyone turns the lights off if we’re watching a movie, because I will. It’s just a given, I will fall asleep. You mentioned that melatonin starts to drop off in middle age, are you a fan out of curiosity? Because this is a rabbit hole I’m down right now is, the antioxidant potential of melatonin is phenomenal. Are you a fan of supplementation, do you think that’s a bad idea? What are your thoughts on melatonin supplementation?
Michael: Yeah, so, I’m glad we get a chance to talk about this. First of all, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about melatonin. I’m just going to rattle off the data as I know it. Number one, 95% of melatonin is currently sold in an overdosage format. The correct dose for an adult is somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5 milligrams. Good luck trying to find it in anything other than threes, fives and 10s. Because it’s out there in the overdosage format for sure. That’s number one. Number two, it’s a hormone. A lot of people don’t know that. It’s not an herb. It’s not, I guess, it falls under the category of supplement, but it is a hormone. You don’t just walk down to the local CVS and buy testosterone or estrogen. There’s a reason for that. Somehow or another melatonin scooched under in back in 1980 into this area that the FDA is not regulating. The third thing is, a study was done about a year and a half ago. They pulled 15 bottles of melatonin off the shelf. They looked inside each one of them, not a single one, not one had what they said on the label inside the pill. Not one. Massive overdosages, massive underdosages almost never exactly or even close to where they need to be.
This is a very big buyer beware situation. That’s number one. Number two, there’re two types of melatonin. Most people don’t know that. There’s melatonin that’s produced by your pineal gland and there’s melatonin that’s produced in your gut. The gut is the antioxidant melatonin, which is great. Melatonin is a wonderful antioxidant. If you have a lot of oxidative stress, this is one of those things that can certainly be helpful. But to be clear, the melatonin that’s produced in your head is the one that makes you fall asleep. [laughs] Number one, why are you taking melatonin? Do you have a melatonin deficiency? Aha. If you’ve got a deficiency, make sense to take it? How do you know if you have a deficiency? I actually wrote an article on “How to get your melatonin tested?” Believe it or not, we can put that into the show notes as well if people have an interest in it. But there’s actually saliva tests that are available. You take saliva in the morning and the evening, then the next day morning and the evening, it gives you a melatonin and cortisol curve. If you’re deficient in melatonin, then it makes sense to supplement with melatonin. But if you don’t have a melatonin deficiency, all you’re doing is you’re shoving pills in your body that–
Well, they will have some antioxidant effect or probably not going to have the effect that you’re looking for. A couple of other things to remember. Melatonin is by prescription only in Europe. Most people don’t know that. At high dosages, it’s a contraceptive. Yes, you heard me say that correctly. Look it up. At high dosages, it’s a contraceptive. I cannot think of anything worse for a young female developing body than to have a contraceptive introduced when it’s unnecessary. I think that the pediatricians that are out there, who are telling moms, just give your kids melatonin are in-co-rrect 100% of the time. In fact, I’ve even seen menstrual cycles get affected by melatonin in the past. You really have to think through this idea of giving children melatonin. Also, to be clear, when children aren’t sleeping well and you give them a pill, now, they think they need a pill to sleep. I think that’s a bigger problem than even giving them the melatonin which by the way, 99.9% of them have plenty of melatonin onboard. There is one group of people, who are actually really good melatonin users and should be using melatonin. These are children on the autism spectrum.
There is significant data to now show that 3 to 4 milligrams at night for these kids can be very, very effective. You need to check with your doctor and you need to make sure that that melatonin doesn’t have an interactive effect on any other medication that that child might be taking, because this is a circadian pacemaker folks. When you put it onboard, it’s going to speed up or slow down what’s going on in your metabolism. This is not just pop a pill and hope that it works. This will change everything else that’s going on inside your system. To be fair, the only time I like melatonin is for jet lag. In that instance, I use it all the time. My favorite melatonin out there and I have no financial backing by these people, it’s called herbatonin, H-E-R-B-A-T-O-N-I-N. It’s the only natural melatonin I’ve actually ever seen. It’s made from seagrass. I know that it’s 100% organic and it’s actually at the right dose. So, if you’re looking for melatonin for jet lag or maybe you’re aged 55, and you realize you have a melatonin deficiency, maybe you have a child who’s on the spectrum, that’s the route I would take.
Cynthia: That’s really, really interesting. I think the caution about buyer-beware, this is why I’m a fan of pharmaceutical grade supplements that if you’re choosing, if you’re working with a healthcare professional, and they’re making recommendations, getting something that’s high quality, fascinating about the contraceptives- [crosstalk]
Michael: Isn’t that interesting?
Cynthia: -melatonin. So, what type of like are we talking about a dose of 10 milligrams can actually have that effect or is it super physiologic? I’m just curious. This is a curiosity question.
Michael: The bottom line is, we don’t know 100% of the time. In Europe, it’s being used in the 50, 75 and 100 milligram-dosage for contraceptive. At least, the last time I looked it up and to be fair, that was quite a while ago. We’d have to go back in there and look at it. It’s not known as the best contraceptive out there, but it does have those capabilities to it. It’s definitely something that once again, I can’t understand why any pediatrician in the universe would think this was a good idea. Now, look, for young boys, their sperm is reproduced every 24 hours, I get it. Women are born with all their eggs. That’s it. So, in my universe, we try to keep that as pristine as humanly possible.
Cynthia: I love that and certainly, very important. Now, in your new book, you talk about not only the chronotypes, but you also talk about body habitus. I found this fascinating, and I was actually sitting getting highlights, and taking the quiz while I was telling my hairdresser, I was like, “You got to buy this book and check this out.” So, let’s unpack that, because it’s really interesting taking your sleep tribe, your chronotype, and then aligning it with your body habitus, the shape that you are genetically designed to be.
Michael: Yeah, exactly, exactly. It was really interesting. I’m going to back up and I’m going to tell the story of how I got into looking at body habitus. In my fourth book, my coauthor, her name is Stacy Griffith. For folks, who may or may not know Stacy, she is the founding trainer of this company called SoulCycle. It’s the indoor bicycle things that people do. She was training me and I was helping her with her sleep, because I do that for people all the time. We were talking about our clients and she said, “Some of my clients, they tell me, they’re exhausted.’ I’m like, “Well, are they sleeping well?” She’s like, “I don’t really ask them a lot of sleep-related questions.” I said, “Some of my clients tell me that they’re physically exhausted. They’re not sleepy exhausted, they’re busy exhausted.” She said, “Well, are they working out?” I was like, “I don’t really ask this. It’s not what I do.” We were like, “Aha, we need to combine forces and we need to start thinking about how can movement and sleep, how do those two things coexist or coalesce in an appropriate way?”
I turned to Stacey and I said, “Well, how do you determine which exercises that you give people?” Because if I was going to prescribe exercises, how do you do it? She said, “Well, I look at their bodies and then I determine it based on their bodies.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, look, if I got somebody who’s on the big side, I don’t tell them to get on the treadmill.” Because they hate the treadmill. They feel defeated on the treadmill, they’re never going to go back to the treadmill. She said, “I have them done resistance exercise like weightlifting,” because they’re better at that and then we slowly bring them over, but we keep them motivated. They stay exercising and it works much better. I said, “Are you talking about body type?” She was like, “What do you mean?” I said, “Remember back in high school biology, where they had the endomorph, mesomorph, and the ectomorph?” She’s like, “That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” I’m like, “Okay, now we got something interesting here.” We decided to combine the four chronotypes with the three body types to see what would happen. The good news is, I’ve had a million and a half people take the quiz. We sent out a survey that said, “Hey, anybody wants to take body type quiz?” We started to learn some things. This is where it got really interesting.
One of the first things we discovered was that, there are very few lion endomorphs. To review everybody, an ectomorph is you’re long and lean, a mesomorph is more of a V shaped, your shoulders are a little bit bigger than your waist, and endomorphs are a little bit more of a pear shaped. You have a tendency to hang weight on the spare tire around your belly or on your hips and buttocks area. Well, we learned that there are very few lions, early morning people, who have that body habitus. Most of them are ectomorphs. They are long and lean. The other half are mesomorphs are more muscular. Well, that’s interesting in and of itself. We start to understand and see these different relationships evolve. Then we started getting into intermittent fasting. Now, I know that this is an area of expertise for you, for sure. To be very honest with you, we were not interested in taking on this huge area of nutrition. We knew that sleep and movement seem to have an effect on one another. I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not somebody who has– To be fair, there’re so many cultural differences, there’re so many food choice differences. What we said was, we want to look at the process of eating in a way, shape, and form that can give people clean energy. Intermittent Fasting is really the best source for doing that. If you know anything about this thing called autophagy, where our cells turn over based on fasting, it turns out to be incredibly healthy, really good for you.
I happen to be friends with Valter Longo over at USC, who’s done a lot of this seminal work. I said, “Let’s use intermittent fasting as that basis but we’re going to do it a little bit differently.” Here’s what we ended up doing. I’ve been an intermittent faster for over six years before I even started writing the book and what I discovered when I first started intermittent fasting was, I can’t eat in the morning. I’m a wolf. When I wake up, there’s no universe, where I can swallow. I’ve literally thrown up trying to eat early in the morning. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I can eat probably around 11:30, 12 o’clock is when I kind of have my– I started to say, “Well, why don’t I just–?” I’m a night owl, anyway. I’m a wolf. “Why don’t I just shift my schedule and see what happens?” It became even more effective when I did that. Aha, now, I’m on to something. What we’ve done in the book now was we’re teaching you how to use your chronotype to tell you when to intermittent fast.
The second thing had to do with body type we were looking at, “Okay, how long?” There’re not any great guidelines out there for people to say like, “How long should you–? As a start point, where should you start?” What we decided to do is we started to look at what are body habitus really looking at. Its metabolism. Long and lean have a fast metabolism, mesomorphs have a medium metabolism, endomorphs have a slower metabolism. Then I said, “Okay, so, here’s what we’re going to do.” For intermittent fasting start point, how long should you be? If you’re an ectomorph, remember, long and lean person probably doesn’t want to lose any weight, you’re going to feed for 12 hours, fast for 12 hours. Mesomorphs, more of the athletic body type, you’re going to feed for 10 hours, fast for 14 hours. Notice what I did. I just jumped it two hours one way, two hours the other. If you’re an endomorph, same thing. You’re going to, let’s see, feed for eight hours and fast for 16 hours. This gives everybody a starting point. Lots of people are like, “Michael, I don’t know where to start, am I supposed to do an 8:16, a 12:12 or 4–? I don’t know. This helps people based on something that’s genetic. Remember, your body type isn’t something that you change. This is something that you’re born with. Also, you’re born with your chronotype. Lots of people say, “Oh, I want to be a lion or whatever.” That’s not going to work. Trust me, it’ll change over time but these are the ways you do things.
Now, we’ve got these ideas around intermittent fasting. We know when to fast, and we know how long to fast for, we also know when to go to bed, and when to wake up based on our chronotypes. The last area was what Stacy was so involved in which was movement. Now, I want to be super-duper clear. Oh, I want to jump back to intermittent fasting for one half of a second. If anybody out there who’s listening has an eating disorder, intermittent fasting is not for you. I want to be very, very clear about this. You have a relationship with your doctor or healthcare provider, that’s about how you are supposed to eat. Do not adopt something new. That is a specific relationship that you have with them. You’re walking down that path, I want you to stay on that path, okay? You can do all the things in the book without doing the intermittent fasting, but I want to be very, very clear for anybody out there who has an eating disorder, intermittent fasting is not for you.
Moving on to movement, we decided, “Okay, how are we going to do this?” I started talking to Stacy and I was like, “How do you keep people motivated?” She says, “Well, honestly, I don’t exercise them. I move them.” I’m like, “Okay.” Now, I’m all of a sudden, as soon as she said it that way I was like, “I’m starting to understand.” Because remember sitting is the new smoking these days. We got to get up and we got to move. She came to me and she said, “Let’s write a book about movement, about sleep, and intermittent fasting.” We were, “Let’s go.” We started writing the book and really started to try to understand like, “What is energy?” That turned out to be a much more difficult problem than we had imagined, because sleep is easy to measure, stages, cycles and people have been measuring this in medicine for 30 years. Who the hell measures energy? Nobody. We were like, “Okay, how are we going to do this?” We came up with a scale, we use the actually Gunnar Borg’s perceived exertion scales.” Ratings of perceived exertion, this is a scale that’s been used in physiology for many, many years. Exercise physiology, in particular, it’s how much resistance or how much effort are you putting into something, so how much energy do you have to give something?
We had people start to look at their energy five times a day. Right after you wake up, right before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, and then before bed. Just give us a rating because here’s the thing. Nobody ever shows up at my office and says, “Michael, I got too much energy.” Nobody has ever said that to me. Most people say, “Michael, I don’t have energy at this time of day.” People don’t seem to notice exactly and there’re trends. We have them monitor themselves for a week to see during these five times where was the lowest energy. Then we decided we had to define what type of energy was it. We came up with five different types of energy. There’s physical energy, moving energy, that’s easy, there’s resting or sleeping energy, there’s fuel or food energy, there’s emotional energy, which is one of my favorite ones to talk about, and then the fifth one which we did not put in the book is spiritual energy. Quite honestly, you could write a book about spiritual energy. That’s not my area of expertise. I put that one to the side. We take a look at these four energy types and we help people identify, “Okay, what time of day, am I low? What type of energy am I low on?” Then we give you different things to be as solutions to set problems.
The best one is moving. You’ve been monitoring yourself five times a day. Now, we have you switch that over and we say, we just want you to move, not exercise, by the way, but to move five times a day. The first movement is stretch. Right after you wake up, I actually do this one while brushing my teeth usually. Because your body’s been lying there for six, seven, eight hours. [unintelligible [00:36:21] one of these, get it going, loosen it all up, then you’re much better. Right before lunch, we do a shake. You ever notice when a dog gets up? What does it do? Ooo! It does that crazy thing, it does. I just did it now, I feel different. That is energetically changing your energetic profile. What do we do? We shake our arms, hands, our feet just for a couple of minutes, you’d be shocked. Because number one, it takes you away from your Zoom environment, number two, you’re thinking about something else, and number three, you’re pushing the blood distally, which actually causes a mild alertness factor, and again changes your energetic profile. The third one you’re going to do is called a bounce. That’s exactly what it sounds like. Jumping jacks, skipping rope, just skipping down your neighborhood. I know it looks ridiculous. It’s a lot of fun. I do it. My neighbors think I’m insane, but it changes me energetically like that and I’m just having a good time.
The fourth one is called a build. This is where you use a major muscle group. You might do some pushups, might do squats or some sit-ups. To be clear, this is not an exercise program. This is a movement program. That’s exactly how Stacy designed it. The final one is a balance. Maybe a tree pose or something like that before the end of the day to help center you and bring you where you need to be. That’s the whole program for Energize!. You take the chrono quiz, and you take the body quiz, and then all of a sudden, it tells you when and for how long to intermittent fast, it tells you when and how long to sleep, and then it tells you when and how long to move. If you follow this literally within 30 days, almost every single person we’ve had doing this thing, they love it. Look, you don’t have to be perfect, okay? It’s not everybody’s out there running a marathon or doing those kinds of things. It’s really about finding your groove, if you will and then just keep going to go.
Cynthia: I think one of the things that I appreciate and like about the kind of methodology is that, it’s sustainable and it’s not someone saying, “I have to get up at 5:30 in the morning, and I have to go to CrossFit, I’m exhausted and–.”
Michael: No, not at all.
Cynthia: It makes it these little chunks. That’s one thing when I’m working with people, and they’ve been a couch potato, and I just want them to walk. I use the word “movement,” because someone actually told me once, the word “exercise” gives them hives, just five minutes, walk five minutes after a meal.
Michael: That’s it. [crosstalk]
Cynthia: They’re like, “I can do that. I can do that.” I can’t do an hour, I can’t do an hour of anything, but I can do five minutes. It’s a really good starting point and certainly one that is hugely impactful. I wanted to back up and talk a little bit more about sleep, because as I stated before, this is certainly, obviously, it’s a huge focus of your work. But it’s also something that I think is innately important and on so many levels, during the past years, during the pandemic, I think people in many ways are starting to think more thoughtfully. Maybe they wear an Oura ring or they’ve got another device that measures their sleep quality. Admittedly, I have mine on proudly and [crosstalk] it keeps me honest with myself about my sleep quality. When we’re talking about just the actual physiology of sleep, and the stages, and REM sleep versus deep sleep, and the benefits, I would love to unpack that, because I talk a lot on social media about how I measure these things, and it really gives me a good sense of, “Am I on track? Am I doing enough stress management? Am I not doing enough?” I think it would be hugely helpful to hear a little bit about the details from someone other than me. I always say, I try my very best but this is not my area of expertise, but certainly it is yours.
Michael: It is mine for sure. Number one, full disclosure. I’m on Oura’s advisory, and so, I know a lot about their science, and I’ll be very honest with you. Their science is pristine. They’ve got the probably one of the best research devices that I’ve seen. They did a head-to-head study against all the trackers and they came out on top with Fitbit. For folks out there, from an accuracy standpoint, the Oura and the Fitbit are good at when you fall asleep when you wake up and total sleep time. Oura went one step further and they actually did versus full nighttime polysomnography, which is actually a full sleep study for folks out there, and they came up 85% as accurate as full nighttime sleep study, which turns out to be better than almost anybody else out there. Believe it or not, there’s night to night variability. If you went into a sleep study one night and when it’s the same sleep study the next night, it would be 15% different anyway. I really think that we’re at a place now, where we can say that we can somewhat accurately assess what are we doing during our sleep. That’s number one.
Number two, who cares? Let’s be honest. When we start to look at how are we tracking and what are we looking at, I want to give people some very specific guidelines. Number one, never look at one data point. Just don’t do it, because if you only get 14 minutes of deep sleep every single night, I don’t care. Because here’s the thing. There’s no way you only get 14 minutes of deep sleep every night. It is being consistently inaccurate. I want to know when there’s a delta, when you go from 14 minutes to 407 minutes to 396 minutes, those of the nights that something interesting is going on. But calling me up and saying, “Dr. Breus, I only get 3% deep sleep every night based on what I see on my whatever tracker,” it’s immaterial. You really want to look at the differences here. So, that’s number one. Number two, there’s something called the orthosomnia out there, believe it or not. This is where people get too involved in their tracking data. Oh, my gosh, I’m not going to get the requisite amount of sleep and then they have anxiety, which raises their blood pressure. Lo and behold, they don’t fall asleep. To be clear, it’s like your weight. You might want to look at it every once in a while, maybe two or three times a week just to be able to know where you are on course, but you really do not have to look at your tracking every single night.
Also, to be clear, if you have insomnia, don’t buy a sleep tracker. Just don’t do it. All you’re going to do is make yourself crazy. You’re going to quantify how little sleep you’re getting, and that’s going to cause anxiety, that’s going to make you have less sleep. If you have insomnia or if you even think you have insomnia, stop tracking your sleep. But what you should do is talk to a sleep specialist. Now, one of the things I tell folks like that all the time is, “Hey, I bought a tracker and I think I’ve got insomnia. What do I do now?” Easy. If you go to sleep centers with an S dot ORG, you type in your zip code, you will find an accredited sleep center within 25 miles of that zip code. Go there, you can find an educated, board-certified, sleep specialist who can help you just like I can be able to give you what all those options are. I want people to know and understand that there are options out there for you for sure.
Cynthia: I think it’s really helpful and I love that you introduced me to a new term that said the orthosomnia much like orthorexia, which-
Cynthia: -I see quite a bit of. I do think there are personalities where data is anxiety provoking as opposed to like– I’m a nerd. I love data. I like numbers and to me it just validates how I feel in the morning anyway. For me, I think about it and then I forget about it. But if you are someone that’s more anxiety provoking, I agree. Having a lot of these biohacking devices may contribute to more anxiety, which is definitely not the direction you want to send you in. Now, one thing that I definitely want to touch on, because this was one of the common questions I received when I share with my community that we were connecting was we already talked about melatonin, but when we talk about hormones like cortisol, and neurotransmitters, and leptin, so, let’s talk a little bit about how hormones are balanced or unbalanced depending on the quality of our sleep. Because I do think this is relevant to my population of people, because a lot of middle-aged women or women north of 35 heading into perimenopause, menopause, all of a sudden, maybe they’ve never thought about their sleep before, but all of a sudden, they get very vested in the quality of the sleep they’re thinking about.
Michael: Absolutely. In my second book, which was called the Sleep Doctor’s Diet: lose weight through better sleep, we really double tap down on this relationship of sleep deprivation and weight gain or weight loss. Because that’s really the very first thing that a lot of women see is like, “Oh, my gosh, I put on a few pounds all the sudden as I’m getting older. What’s going on? I’m exhausted.” Women are exhausted. Number one, let’s talk about how does sleep deprivation affect the weight and metabolic process? Number one, a couple of things to think about. Sleep deprivation is personal. I go to bed roughly at midnight every single night. I wake up around 5:45 to 6:15 just depending on what happened the night before. I get maybe six hours of sleep. By the way, I’m the sleep doctor. So, I want to be very clear here. Eight hours is a myth. Not everybody needs eight hours. However, my wife does. Guess what? If she slept the same amount I did, she would be sleep deprived, but I wouldn’t be. I want to be very clear.
Sleep deprivation is a personal definition by you. When you wake up and you want to hit the snooze button. you’re sleep deprived. If you fall asleep in under five minutes, you’re sleep deprived. There’re some very easy ways to know if you’re sleep deprived. We’ve established that’s personal. What does it actually do? Here’s where it gets really interesting. Four different things and it’s really pretty terrible. Number one, as soon as you become sleep deprived, your metabolism slows down. Why? Well, your brain is wondering what to do with the resources that’s left in it. It doesn’t know why you’re still awake and it’s saying, “I better conserve my resources. So, I’m going to slow my metabolism down.” So, that’s not good. Second thing, it does is it increases your appetite. Why does it do that? To get you to go eat, because you’re up and it doesn’t know why you’re awake. Now, we have high appetite with low metabolism. That’s already pretty much a recipe for disaster, but it gets much worse. When you talk about it from a hormonal standpoint, which is where you are going with this, we know that sleep deprivation does a bunch of different things to two specific hormones. One is called ghrelin and the other is called leptin.
With ghrelin, we actually see a 20% increase. I call ghrelin, the “Go Hormone,” because it starts with G and go starts with G, and that’s the only way I can remember it. But what it does is, this increases hunger. Now, you heard me just a second ago say appetite. Those are two very different things in your body. We now have increased appetite and increased hunger. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full or what we call the satiety hormone. You have 15% less leptin. You’ve got more hunger, more appetite, you’ve got less feelings of full and a slower metabolism. Honestly, everybody knows how the story is ending. But it gets even worse, because when you have that much cortisol floating around in your head, because you’re up and sleep deprived, because your brain doesn’t know what’s going on, so the fight or flight mechanism has hit, your brain doesn’t like that. It wants to calm down. It wants something called serotonin to come on board and lower. You know what the easiest way to get serotonin is? Eat a Snickers, eat a muffin, eat a bagel, high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Guess what our brain does? It craves high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods in order to quell our cortisol by producing serotonin. When you are sleep deprived, [laughs] you have high appetite, you have high hunger, you have low feeling of satiety, you have low metabolism, you have high cravings for high fat food. I don’t see how you don’t gain weight when you’re sleep deprived.
Cynthia: Yeah, no, I think one of the statistics that when I did my first TED talk that I really hung on to fervently was for the average woman. If you’re getting less than six hours a night of sleep based on the research, you are less likely to have a well-controlled blood sugar, your insulin levels are going to be out, you’re not going to crave, to your point, you’re not going to crave broccoli, you’re going to crave chips, and ice cream, and things like that. What are your thoughts on naps? Are you pro nap, anti-nap?
Michael: Hmm. I’m a big fan of naps unless you have insomnia. I actually just started working with a product called NAPJITSU. It’s awesome. For folks out there, who take powernaps during the day, I used to talk about this thing that I call the “nap-a-latte,” where you would take a cup of dripped black coffee, throw in three ice cubes, drink it, and then take a 25-minute nap. When you woke up, the adenosine that had been in your head making you feel tired had gone away. The caffeine fits perfectly into that receptor site and you’re good to go. NAPJITSU did one better. What they did was they give you a pack and it’s got 110 milligrams of sustained release caffeine, but it’s got 600 milligrams of nootropics. I know it’s really cool. You’ve got ashwagandha, L-theanine, L-tyrosine. All of a sudden, instead of waking up with energy, wake up with energy and focus. I’ll send you some. You’ll dig it. It’s really a lot of fun. I’m a fan of naps unless you have insomnia. If you have insomnia, naps are going to lower your sleep drive and make it just more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. If you’re having difficulty maintaining either falling asleep or staying asleep, do yourself a favor and I would steer clear of naps.
One thing I will tell you that we haven’t talked about, but I think it is important for people to think about your pillow. I know that’s going to sound ridiculous coming from a sleep doctor, but I got to tell you something. Sleep is a performance activity. If you’re a runner and you try to run a race barefoot, I got news for you. Your time is not going to be too good. But if you’ve got your running shoes on, your Dri-Fit wear, and your tunes going, you can probably run pretty quick. Sleep is exactly the same way. If you’ve got good equipment, you will sleep better. If you have crappy equipment, you will sleep worse. I tell people all the time, you need to investigate how old is your pillow. If your pillows more than about 18 to 24 months, believe it or not, it’s probably time to go. My favorite pillow right now that I’m using is by a company called Purple. If you are familiar with Purple mattress, they also make a really great line of pillows. I actually have both here in my home. I like purple pillow quite a bit, but any pillow that’s new is probably going to be very helpful for people. I think that’s an area that people need to be thinking about.
Then to be honest with you, there’s one other area, snoring. If you’re lying next to a snoring bed partner or let’s say that you’re female, and you hit the perimenopausal stage, and all sudden, somebody tells you that you might start snoring now, this is all part of it. I know that’s not the fun part. I’m here to tell you, there are some solutions for snoring as well. Two solutions that I use for my patients. One is called SinuSonic. This is to help relieve congestion in your nasal cavity area. This is an acoustic vibratory mechanism. It’s really cool. There’re no drugs. All you do is you breathe in and out of this device and it sends a hum, it’s like a humming signal in, and when it penetrates the sinuses, it actually helps them decongest and your sinuses open up. It’s crazy cool. When you pop your ears after the thing, it does one of those. If you hum at the same time, you’ll know that everything drains out really quickly. Same happens with this. I highly recommend that. I tell people all the time you want to decongest for better rest.
Then the other thing is Mute. This is really cool device. I just started using this with my patients as well. This is an internal nasal dilator. Yes, I’m asking you to shove something up your nose, but you won’t feel it after 30 seconds. I guarantee it. But like any time that I drink alcohol, my wife’s like, “Go put your nose thingy, because I don’t want to hear you snore.” Because we know, of course, all that tissue vasodilates, and becomes floppy, and then you start to snore. So, having that Mute, it’s called Mute, like hit the mute button. I think they’re 10 or 15 bucks at Walgreens type of thing. Those are some of the fun things I’ve been playing with these days.
Cynthia: That’s so awesome and my husband, he unknowingly is going to get some new things, because he thinks that he needs to hang on to the pillow that’s like five years old. [laughs]
Michael: [crosstalk] know that, please. That’s just gross.
Cynthia: Yep. The snoring when he drinks alcohol, yeah, he’s definitely going to be getting all these little neat gizmos.
Michael: You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to send you a couple of them, so, you can try them out.
Cynthia: Oh, thank you, thank you. Well, thank you twice, because his snoring wakes me up.
Michael: There you go.
Cynthia: Yes, absolutely. What are you working on now? Are you working on a new project, doing anything new?
Michael: I’ve been working on a lot of different things. I’ve spent a decent amount of time looking at cannabis and sleep. I live here in California, where it’s both recreationally and medicinally legal, so I have lots of patients, who come to me with lots of questions about, “What should I try, what shouldn’t I try?” That’s been on my radar lately. People are interested, I’ve written extensively on my blog all about cannabis and sleep. That’s been an area of interest for me. Then the other big area has been morning routine. I’ve been focusing a lot on morning routines and so I’ve been teaching people more about meditation in the morning, breath work in the morning, nutrition in the morning, and consistency in the morning, and those types of things. It’s been a lot of fun. Here’s the thing. Sleep is an evergreen topic. There’s never a time where people aren’t interested in what I have to say about sleep. So, I’m very fortunate.
Cynthia: No, absolutely. And I look forward to supporting whatever your next venture is.
Cynthia: What is the easiest way to connect with you on social media, get connected with your blog, find your books?
Michael: Absolutely. My books are all on Amazon. They’re super easy to find. If you just type in “The Sleep Doctor,” they’ll all pop up. Also, that is my website, thesleepdoctor.com. You should never forget that. I have the same handle on all the social properties. I’m The Sleep Doctor on Facebook, on Twitter, on all of those. We put out different tips and tricks depending upon which platform we’re on. Just because you follow me on Twitter, it doesn’t mean you get the same stuff on Facebook. Definitely check it all out. Take the chrono quiz. I think that’s the thing that most people will find fun, and interesting, and learn something new about themselves. Go to chronoquiz.com.
Cynthia: Awesome. Thank you again for your time, today.
Michael: Thank you.
Cynthia: If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe, and tell a friend.