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How sleep can alter your life #008

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In this episode we talk with Mike Killen about sleep.

On the face of it, you might think that there’s not all that much to talk about, after all you do it automatically, and what is there to discuss anyway?

Turns out that there’s quite a lot to discuss about sleep. Not just how the lack of it can alter your physical and mental health, but that there are perhaps ‘better’ ways to sleep if you are struggling with a lack of it.

Mike’s been on a journey of his own with his sleep. He was not getting enough and this was leading to problems. So he went looking for some answers and went down a rabbit hole, uncovering unexpected information, some of which might not be what you’re expecting to hear.

We all seem to be obsessed with the amount of sleep that we get, but Mike makes the point that the way that wake up and fall asleep might be of equal importance.

He also talks about things that we can do to enable us to have a more productive sleep routine. Putting down the technology, sticking to a fixed routine so that your body is more likely to understand when it’s time to go to sleep.

We also talk about those things beyond your control that get in the way of sleep; the noisy neighbour, the crying child, and what you can do to minimise their impact.

We’re sleeping for roughly a third of our lives… perhaps this is something that we should take seriously. Stop looking at it as an inconvenience and start giving it the respect it deserves.

Interviewed by Nathan Wrigley.

We hope you enjoy the show, please do subscribe on iTunes or Spotify. We’re always looking for feedback, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do reach out.

And remember… Together we can #PressForward 

Featured on this podcast:

Mike Killen

Mike Killen

Mike’s passion is marketing and particularly building funnels for clients. His aim is to get sales training into…

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Mike Killen: 00:00 I’ve become very interested in how we sleep and why we sleep and I’ve noticed a market increase in energy, the quality of my thoughts, frankly, the quality of my life despite not having as much sleep.

Nathan Wrigley: 00:27 Welcome to episode eight of the PressForward podcast. Thanks for joining us again and if this is your first time with us, I hope that you find it useful. You can get this podcast each and every week by subscribing to us on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. Just use the buttons on the episode pages over at wpandup.org forward slash podcasts today we’re going to be hearing from Mike Killen and his experiences with his sleep routine, but before that I wanted to take a moment to explain what this podcast is all about. The PressForward podcast is created by WPandUP,. They are a charity working in the WordPress space to support the WordPress community. Their help is freely [email protected] where you can call them on +44 20 33 22 10 80 this support is available for all sorts of reasons. It might be to do with mental health, physical health.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:37 Perhaps your business is going through a tough time or you’d like to update your skills, whatever the reason might be, please reach out. It’s so easy to just keep pushing problems down, hoping that they’ll go away ignoring things until they cannot be ignored any longer. Of course, it might not be you. You might know of someone who you feel could benefit from some supports, whoever it is, whatever it is. We’re here when you have a need. As of the recording of this podcast, we’ve provided 792 hours of mentorship and amazing 3,302 hours have been donated by the many people who are now volunteering for WPandUP,, so we’re very serious about supporting the WordPress community, but we’re just getting started and we’d welcome your health. Did you know that May, 2019 is mental health awareness month. A chance to shine a light on the issue of mental health, uh, WPandUP.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:42 We’re trying to gain a better understanding of where our resources should be targeted and if you feel able to help us, we’d love you to complete our survey. It’s a WPandUP,.org forward slash go and it’s very easy to fill in. If you’d like to support WPandUP financially, then please visit wpandup.org forward slash Gif. If you would like to get involved with WPandUP,, then please visit WPandUP, forward slash contact or look for the social links in the footer of the website. Sponsorship is also an option and sponsoring WPandUP, is a great thing to do. You’ll be supporting the important work that we’re undertaking and you can be featured on the podcast like this. The PressForward podcast is brought to you today by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers an awesome managed web hosting platform that’s built for speed, security and scalability while being environmentally friendly. Enjoy a better web hosting experience for your WordPress website, backed by 24 seven expert support and we thank Green Geeks for helping us put on the PressForward podcast.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:07 So today we talked to Mike Killen. Mike’s been working with WordPress for years. He’s also been working on his sleep for years to today. He tells us what he’s learned and how his knowledge has improved his sleep routine and how this has improved the rest of his life. It’s a really interesting area and not something that I dealt with too much. He’s not a medical professional and so what works for him might not work for you, but as always just talking about this subject increases awareness and that of itself is a good thing. Mike is very open and touches on a few areas of his life that were impacted by his relationship with sleep. So this is a trigger warning that we will be talking about depression, addiction and medication. If you are impacted by the subject, you can skip this section, which is roughly 35 minutes in length. We all know that sleep is an essential part of our existence. We need it like we need food or water and we all have some understanding that if we don’t get enough problems start to build up. Obviously feeling tired is one of them but there’s more to it than that. Mike has been making sleep and important part of his routine for quite a while and he agreed to talk about what ways he manages his sleep to ensure that he’s getting enough to sustain him.

Mike Killen: 05:41 I think when you reached out to me it was awful. I had posted in my group about why we’re not taught how to sleep and the reason I’ve been thinking about it is because I had been going over some of my old content. I’d also been kind of reflecting on some of the stuff that had kind of happened a long time ago and like a lot of people at one point or another I suffered from quite severe depression. Mine was actually brought on by coming off a drug called Roacutane, which was designed for acne. And they actually tell pregnant women and people with heart conditions, you can’t take it because it’s seriously messes up with your kidneys and your hormones and everything. And I think around the time I was also cheffing so I’m going to be pretty honest and open on this as well.

Mike Killen: 06:23 I was actually doing quite a lot of cocaine at the time as well. Yeah. As you do. And coming off both of those things, bizarrely coming off, two very, very powerful drugs per plummeted means quite deep depression. One of the things that we went over, not only I was lucky enough and fortunate to take antidepressants, was actually looking at our sleep patterns. And I was very lucky with my, they were a therapist, they want a counsellor, they were a therapist. And the way that it was broken down was he believes that almost 99% of mental health problems and physical health problems can, if not be cured, suddenly alleviated by understanding what we do to sleep and how to sleep better. And from that I’ve, I’ve kind of become very interested in how we sleep and why we sleep and I’ve noticed a market increase in energy.

Mike Killen: 07:15 The quality of my thoughts, frankly the quality of my life despite not having as much sleep, like I don’t really get eight hours. And the way that it was kind of broken down to me was there’s four areas, there’s the quality of your sleep, like is it uninterrupted, are you comfortable, is a deep sleep, the quantity of your sleep as in like how long you’re kind of in a rest state for when you go to sleep and when you wake up. And bizarrely out of all four of those, most experts agree that when you wake up is actually the most important by a long, long, long margin consistently waking up at the same time in fact kind of has a knock on effect for everything else. And that was just really interesting to me, particularly with books like the miracle morning and stuff. You know,

Nathan Wrigley: 08:05 this idea that getting into a wakeup time routine could be important was something completely new to me. I’ve always worked on the assumption that the amount of time that I sleep is of paramount importance, but at the time that I wake up is completely immaterial. Clearly Mike has looked into this subject of sleep in his own life. So perhaps this is a part of our life that we assume just takes care of itself. But Mike appears to be saying that we can educate ourselves and learn to be better sleepers.

Mike Killen: 08:42 Yeah. Getting up at the same time as what kind of has the biggest knock on effect. So it’s a fascinating topic. I think the reason I asked my group, why aren’t we taught how to sleep? And I was surprised that response. A lot of people like, that’s a really good question. Why aren’t we taught that we spend roughly a third of our day and therefore a third of our lives doing it? So surely it would be something that would be worthwhile knowing how to do well and how to do better, but we take it for granted. Hopefully we’ll touch on a little bit of that. Yeah, I’ve done like courses and gone to seminars and read content on why we sleep and how to sleep and when you wake up basically has the biggest impact as to the quality of your sleep, which sounds really counter intuitive.

Mike Killen: 09:25 It comes right down to, well, if your up, let’s say you decide six o’clock is when you’re going to get up every single time, no matter how tired you are, no matter how exhausted you are, no matter what time you went to bed, no matter whether you think you’re a six or a five or an eight hour person, when you wake up at six o’clock you will naturally begin to fall into that circadian rhythm, whichever one talks about, and you’ll naturally start to go to sleep at a pretty regular time as well. And there’s, there’s tons of other things to start talking about, but yeah, when you go to sleep, sorry, when you wake up, has been shown to have the biggest knock on effect, particularly for mental and physical health.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:00 It’s occurred to me that I have no idea how I actually fall asleep. I know that I need somewhere to rest my head after that I stopped doing things, but that’s where my understanding of falling asleep ends. I think that a lot of us find it quite inconvenient and often try to put it off for as long as possible. We’re working on the assumption that this is dead time, time when you’re unproductive, when you could be doing something more useful, but despite that each night at some point my eyes close, actually I’m not sure if I close them or they close by themselves. Anyway, it’s quite an elusive process when you think about it and you’ve been doing this every day since you were born

Mike Killen: 10:52 because the fastest way to learn how to sleep better and the fastest way to get to sleep is to pretend that you’re asleep. You genuinely sit there. They teach this in particularly in the military and in high stress situations where you need to enter quite a deep sleep period within like a short space of time and they kind of teach you to pretend that you’re asleep and bizarrely the act of pretending that you’re asleep means you are more likely to fall into a a better sleep state faster. But there’s, there’s tons of other things. It’s interesting you mentioned how sleep is an inconvenience because I believe a big part of our problem with sleep, particularly in western culture particularly where we have a lot of technology at and we’re taught to be productive and effective all the time and is that sleep from a very early age is often used as a kind of punishment because we don’t, we don’t want to do it as a kid were taught, oh, you need to go to sleep now, and it’s the last thing we want to do.

Mike Killen: 11:46 And a lot of parents really struggle with getting their children to stay asleep. They’d get up, they wake, they wail, they cry, they want to come downstairs. The act of sleep is one of the first things that we kind of rebel and defy, partly because it happens pretty much every night and it becomes very difficult to break. That kind of mental cycle of sleep is seen as either a punishment or something that is an inconvenience or something that we shouldn’t really enjoy doing. And if we kind of flip that, we have a very perverse relationship with sleep where we either feel guilty or we see better be guilty pleasure to say, oh, I’m going to go and I’m going to spend as long as I can in bed and I’m going to get nine hours or 10 hours on just going to stay in bed for the whole day.

Mike Killen: 12:28 And we feel very guilty about that. But it literally, so without water, your body will last about three days. Without sleep, your body will last about five. You literally die quicker from lack of sleep than you do of lack of food or any other kind of sustenance. You’re more likely to die of sleep. And so the necessary parts of like the process that you go through. There’s a really interesting podcast by the guys who do Freakonomics, the Freakonomics book, and they have a podcast called Freakonomics and they talk about why we need sleep and turns out we do know why we need it. It’s to do with we basically perhaps spinal fluid wash over our brains and it kind of removes a lot of the calcium buildup and it’s been linked to things like dementia and Alzheimer’s and stuff like that, so we’re very aware of why we need sleep. The problem is our relationship with, well, I know I’ve got to spend roughly a hours in, in a dark room with my eyes shut. That’s, that’s the inconvenience is the time away from what we would consider productive or doing creative things.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:31 Mike mentioned that sleep is right up there with food and water as an essential component of life that if not properly stated, we’ll have some undesirable results. Some macabre. Part of me wanted to know what would happen if I forced myself to stay awake for days on end.

Mike Killen: 13:54 We’ve done it in the UK. We tried to do an equivalent of big brother where people had to stay away for a week and they had to get it shut down. You can go and Google this because I think it was called something like shattered. It was a typical channel four or channel five program and they did, they try to stay awake for as long as possible. Uh, your body enters is quite a severe state of delirium. So not sleeping for 24 hours is the equivalent of having a couple of pints when driving. It’s that severe has that much of an effect on your body. You’re way more lethargic, you slow your words, you don’t think clearly. You tend to hallucinate within something like 48 hours, your body begins to shut down because it’s just trying to find all these nutrients and things and similar to running a marathon where you hit the wall, your body’s in a state of shock because this is not a good thing to do. So people have tried it and it gets shut down very, very quickly. Your body needs sleep more than it needs apart from oxygen. And I guess and, and to some extent, but if you’re on a desert island and you only have access to food or sleep, you will die quicker if you don’t get sleep regularly.

Nathan Wrigley: 15:02 I don’t know anyone who has tried this kind of sleep deprivation, but I’m sure that we’ve all had periods in our lives when we’ve consistently slept less than we know is healthy for our own body. Perhaps an hour or two less than we would like for days, weeks or months on end. I wondered if this cumulative lack of sleep might have a similar impact upon how we feel when we are awake.

Mike Killen: 15:31 I always remember Neil Strauss in that book, the game where he tried to survive, he had heard about a group of people that could survive on a technically one hour’s sleep. Was it four hours sleep or something, something ludicrous per day, but you break it up. Uh, and again they ended up being like hospitalized because it can’t be done earlier. When I talked about those four segments, the quantity, the quality when you go to sleep and when you wake up on average, if you wake up at a consistent time, the rest of it kind of takes care of itself. It’s a very, very funny process because your body begins to fall into a kind of a natural rhythm. The quality of your sleep is also way more important than the quantity. And this is another thing that I think we have a bit of a perverse relationship with.

Mike Killen: 16:16 We value and bank holidays and holidays and stuff like that where we can spend a longer time in bed, but the quality of six hours of good, proper rest. I want to talk a little bit about like how you kind of kicked start that off at the start is way better than having 10 hours of kind of fitful sleep. So it’s not even a case of the effects are ongoing. If you were to lose sleep. They are and they do and they have seen in particularly in cases of people with depression and mental health problems. That means that they don’t sleep well, which means they get more air, which means they don’t sleep well and so on and so forth. The process of having a strict time that you get up is actually the thing that will have the biggest knock on effect to the rest of your day or potentially your year or life going forward.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:03 I asked a bunch of my friends what they thought the correct recommended amount of sleep that’s an adult should get, would be ultimately, they all said it was about eight hours. I have no recollection as to where that number comes from. Maybe I was taught it in school. Maybe we all just pass this number around because it’s a neat third of the day. I wondered though if this number did in fact represent some happy medium of the number of hours that we should spend each day asleep.

Mike Killen: 17:40 I think it’s probably a case of happy medium. So one of the seminars that I did was, it was a woman who’s had a program called Bush babies. Basically the theory was a lot of toddlers and babies and Western society and children really struggled with sleep and it’s because we bombard them with things that they should find soothing when they go to sleep. They have a mobile, they have a nightlight, they have a little bedtime routine. Their parents put them down at a certain time. It goes, and it’s very stressful for the parents because there’s actually an enormous amount of stimulus towards the kid for going to sleep moving forward. What they started doing is they started taking these babies and parents were saying, there’s no way my kids sleep. My kid just doesn’t sleep. It’s just something we argue about. It takes 45 minutes to get to get them to sleep.

Mike Killen: 18:24 Uh, Jordan Peterson actually talks about this in his book, 12 rules for life. It works out to something. If you argue with someone for 45 minutes a day, it roughly works out to be in a month of half of 40 hour work weeks. You’re not going to have a good relationship with that person if you have that kind of like stress, if you have a month and a half of arguing, so there’s a lot of stress placed on sleep. Parents for one reason or another, they know that their kids need to get to sleep because obviously they feel like they’re bad parents or their kids go and get, don’t get to sleep. If they don’t sleep, then they’re really cranky that which means the parents are then cranky. It kind of all culminates around. It becomes very stressful and all they did is they removed these people in these families who said that, who were adamant that the kids couldn’t sleep and put them in the middle of the bundu.

Mike Killen: 19:05 Basically, there are places like Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, very remote places with no light, no technology, nothing and wouldn’t you know it? Within about a day, kids were finding that they would fall asleep much easier. Not even if the parents were tired. If the parents knew that because they were older, they could kind of move into 10 11 o’clock and silos, but kids kind of naturally just fell into a natural sleep cycle. The quality of the sleep was more important that as we mentioned, like Margaret Thatcher and some people say that they can do five and four and 10 or whatever. I reckon most people, if they first of all removed all the stimulus from their pre from before going to sleep and had no phones, didn’t look at their phones, didn’t check their emails, didn’t watch TV, falling asleep, it didn’t listen to any content, had a perfectly pitch black room, had silence, had about 15 to 20 minutes worth of wind down time where again, you’re not consuming content, you’re not looking at screens before you go to bed, but there’s an enormous amount that we place on the stimulus before and again, partly because we want to put it off, which maybe is a hangover from when we’re kids, but removing those stimulus beforehand and again.

Mike Killen: 20:10 Yeah, actually reading a book, I don’t have any thing on why kindles wouldn’t, wouldn’t be good, but there’s an enormous amount about that. Also, you know about blue light, just for those who don’t know, when our retinas see blue light, we typically associate that with morning. So our body begins to produce a chemical which says it’s now time to wake up. They’re all red light filters and red lights shifts. But if you’re really serious about this, you don’t have to read a kindle that there are like perfectly good books out there for you to read. And again, they typically tend to recommend fiction compared to nonfiction. Nonfiction tends to stimulate the brain, whereas fiction is very good at parenting, kind of putting it to sleep. She has a huge amount. You can do that to remove that stimulus. And then if you make sure that you wake up at the same time every single day, you will naturally begin to find, actually I’m, I’m good on six hours, I’m fine on six hours. Or um, I or I do need eight hours. And you will naturally begin to see that, um, you’re kind of fall into that and we’ll talk a little bit about exercise as well maybe, but I think a lot of it is about removing all the stuff that is supposed to help us sleep better.

Nathan Wrigley: 21:18 Mike talked about things that can really disrupt the advent of sleep each night. You know how this goes, laptop, phone music, he spoke about a silent, darkened room. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the phone. Mine room is never completely dark. Does he really do this?

Mike Killen: 21:45 So my sleep habit used to be put on the TV or the laptop, watch it until I fell asleep and then kind of drowsy when I wake back up, hit the power button, move the laptop under the bed or turn the TV off or whatever, and then sleep for as long as I could. And if the alarm came on, snooze it for as long as possible before I literally had to get up right. That that used to be that the habit that used to be the pattern. When we moved here, we made a very conscious effort where we were like, we’re not going to have anything electronic in the bedroom. It’s literally a bed and our clothes, that’s it. Every, all of our phones and all of our gear needs to be charged outside if we use them as an alarm clock. Luckily our house is not a five wing mansion, we’re probably going to hear it through the next room, so that’s absolutely fine.

Mike Killen: 22:27 So that’s our alarm. So the first choice was actually making sure that we didn’t have even the temptation to use any of that stuff. It’s all, it’s all outside. We then also made the choice of saying, well, I’m going to get up at six I get up at six it’s, it’s on clockwork now to the point where I don’t need an alarm. Whenever time I go to bed, even no matter where we are in the world, I don’t know how it works. Your eyes or whatever kind of days and times and nighttimes and daylight shifting or whatever. It’s, it’s, I’m up at six every single night. The habit now is everything goes off roughly around 15 minutes past nine what quarter past nine we found what’s interesting is if I have to work and sometimes you know, we have projects come up and stuff we will do, we’ll, we’ll just shift that routine.

Mike Killen: 23:13 I don’t drop out the routine. I don’t think we’ll, I finished at 11 o’clock therefore I’ll go straight to bed. We still follow the routine. Even if we come in late, and again, maybe that’s down to things like muscle memory or whatever doing your teeth again. It’s a big part. It’s a signal to your body and then, yeah, we don’t watch TV. We’ll, I’ll read, I’ll read for as long as I can. Usually about 15, 20 minutes and I kind of naturally feel that I want to, I want to go to sleep. It’s less a case of where, when we’re going to do it, cause there’s some nights where we’re just, both of us absolutely knackered. Just completely shattered one night where I will be pumped and willing to work longer into the night and find sometimes live. We’ll be feeling that way. It’s more important that when we start to think, okay, we probably need to go to bed soon.

Mike Killen: 23:57 Let’s give ourselves 15 minutes where we don’t have any TV on, we don’t have any music on. We’re sending signals to our body to say we’re going to start chilling out. And like I said, if, if we shift that and we do work later, we still go through pretty much the same process in an ideal world. So one thing I do like in the morning is I like to put the heating on the auto timer. We have like one of these alive apps and that’ll make the room warmer as I wake up. That’s my one. Like this is an easier thing for me to wake up to. And this kind of brings us onto this very bizarre chicken and egg scenario where you will have better sleep depending on how you wake up. And it’s very difficult I think for people to accept this. We wake up and we think I, that was a good night’s sleep or I didn’t have a good night’s sleep.

Mike Killen: 24:41 And again, one of the things that a lot of the the sleep experts talk about is if you tell yourself that you had a good night’s sleep, you will begin to believe that you had a good night’s sleep. It’s, it’s kind of as simple as that. So regardless of the stimulus outside or the light or whatever, you’re going to find naturally what helps with you and yes, some people do like to have those blackout blinds. It really helps them. Personally, I’m like, it doesn’t really bother me either way, but the quality of sleep is often determined by how you decide the sleep was or how you feel about it when you wake up and if you tell yourself you had a good night’s sleep, you will have had a better night’s sleep in the past. It’s, it’s a very bizarre relationship.

Nathan Wrigley: 25:23 One of the only interactions that I have in the wider world relating to sleep come to me in the form of advertising. I frequently see commercials for different kinds of mattress or bed. They talk about the way that their product supports your body and the way that it positions your neck. I wonder if Mike’s journey into his sleep at taught him anything about what we need to sleep on.

Mike Killen: 25:51 A lot of it’s inconclusive in that particular area. Mattress companies would love there to be conclusive evidence to suggest that their mattress obviously improves the quality of sleep. Typically a cooler room is better like lower than body temperature, but that tends to happen anyway because the day kind of as the nighttime, as it cools down and stuff, they said that that typically tends to happen again. They showed with these two families that they took out to the bush babies trials. They had really nice mattresses, so we’ve got the cymbal sleep, which I’m well happy with. I really liked that. I think it’s pretty firm. It’s, but it’s soft enough for live so it works well for us and they said all the pillows and the comforters and the blankets and the do bass and stuff, and out in the Bush babies, they pretty much just had straw on the ground and a sleeping bag and the first couple of nights that adults did find that uncomfortable, but again, what they found was without stimulus and waking up at the same time every day, the quality of the mattress and the sleep surface mattered less.

Mike Killen: 26:53 This is on I, I don’t really understand how it works. I’m sure someone out there who’s maybe even listening will be able to work it out, but the quality of your sleep, again seems to be affected more by how you go to sleep and how you wake up compared to the environment that you’re in. Having said that, I completely agree. If you’re going to spend it, I’m going to spend six hours anywhere a day. I want to get a decent version of the thing, so I’ll happily spend, you know, and they are, mattresses are expensive. Again, Freakonomics is actually got a really good podcast on why they’re so expensive and that they actually, they actually don’t need to be.

Nathan Wrigley: 27:29 Technology has begun to get involved with just about all aspects of our lives. There’s apps to help us remember the things that we need to do, apps that help us to be mindful. There’s also a whole range of products that you can buy and many of them purport to assist us with sleep. I’m thinking about speakers that play a soothing music or lights that fade in over time to bring us out of sleep gently. Does Mike use any of these products

Mike Killen: 28:03 in the winter? I certainly do. With the, with the lights coming on, we set, we’ve, again, we’ve got like the smart bulbs and stuff. So we set the bulbs to come on to give light at the same time so that that does help. So earlier I mentioned that, uh, I don’t have to mention specifically, but I used to be a chef. That was my thing. That was typically when I was actually doing a lot of drugs. And the rule of thumb is nature has been doing this a lot longer than you have. Nature has been doing this a lot longer than the entire human species has, and this is with food. So if you take a steak, if you take a vegetable and you do the least amount possible to it, it will taste better the less you do and the less you frankly mess around with the ingredients, the better the outcome typically, and I believe it’s kind of the same with sleep.

Mike Killen: 28:49 Our bodies are really good at doing the thing that they’ve been doing for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s, it’s a big part of our process is a huge part of our biology. I would argue that the reason a lot of people struggle with sleep is probably an underlying psychological reason compared to actually be activities off sleep. I think a lot of people get stressed about sleep. They have a bad relationship with sleep as kids. They certainly have a bad relationship with sleep as we work because we’re kind of, we’re fed a lot of stuff about how sleep it should be used as a guilty pleasure, but it’s also an inconvenience when we begin to accept that it’s vital and it is. If you sleep better, you will perform better during the day. It’s as simple as that. What even to the point of that kind of marginal gains that had done with a lot of Olympic teams, they will take specific pillows and mattresses to the hotels when they go away because they know yet long term this stuff makes a huge difference individually. A couple of pillows aren’t gonna have to kind of break world records, but over a long period of time, high level, high performing athletes, we’ll use a specific sleep pattern or specific wakeup pattern because they know that these things affect us long term. And I think our relationship with sleep is more important than the activity to get us to sleep. That makes sense.

Nathan Wrigley: 30:06 So we know that there’s a serious benefit in getting your sleep regimen working perfectly for you and your situation. But life does not always allow us to have what you want. Perhaps you’ve got a neighbour who plays loud music, which frequently wakes you up. Maybe your partner snores. Then there’s the kids who wake up multiple times each night and require you to get up and tend to them. This makes sticking to the routine difficult. So what do we do?

Mike Killen: 30:39 It’s interesting just to kind of briefly touching on the kid’s thing again, it’s kind of indicative where we’re like, okay, well whatever, I’m being woken up by stuff we then think will I need to find out ways of still doing my work? No, that’s the wrong question. The question is I need to find ways of getting good sleep. We value doing and being busy and being productive in inverted commas. Way more than still being healthy. Hopefully podcasts and shows on charities like this that are kind of going to show that in my opinion, if you are having trouble sleeping and yeah, I’m assuming having kids is a pretty big kind of disruption to a pretty stable sleep and prioritize sleep first. Like don’t think, well, I need to still go to work and stuff. No, no, no, no. That’s, that’s still gonna be there. Like that’s still going to be there in the future and finding a way to prioritize sleep in my opinion, would be far more productive, but impute in terms of people who want to get started.

Mike Killen: 31:34 The first thing is to find a time that you’re going to commit to waking up every single day. The way that I did it is my phone is in another room. I have a massive glass of water by that, so when the alarm goes off at six o’clock I walked straight to the phone. I drink as much water as possible. Hydration is a big part of it. You spend eight hours or six hours, four hours or whatever, sweating. You don’t have any fluid going into your body. See a massively dehydrated when you wake up. That groggy feeling that people have when they wake up is dehydration. You will fill that same feeling if you’re awake and dehydrated, so drink as soon as you get up. I experimented with five o’clock I expended with four o’clock five 36 37 all these kinds of different times and I found that by sticking to a time at six o’clock I was able to find that six o’clock was a good time for me quicker, if that makes sense.

Mike Killen: 32:25 Rather than saying if for five 30 but then snooze and going back to bed and seeing when might I naturally kind of woke up. It was kind of all over the place. I was like, no, I’m going to wake up at five o’clock every single day. I just couldn’t maintain that, so I was like, let’s try five 30 and then for some reason I went backwards, I’ll try four o’clock and that didn’t work, and then I said, well, let’s do six o’clock and eventually six o’clock waking up at six o’clock and forcing myself to stay awake, not allowing myself to go back to sleep. That had a massive knock on effect. If first of all meant that I was more likely to go to the gym, which I do in the morning now, which also meant that I felt more tired as pretty much it’s pretty specific and consistent time.

Mike Killen: 33:04 So that was the first big thing. And the second thing is stop reading content on your phone and consuming content. Everybody knows this. This is the number one thing that everybody knows you should stop doing. Everybody knows you should stop smoking. Why do people still smoke? It’s purely down to addiction and habit, but the same with consuming content our phones and keeping our phones with us. Don’t do it. Charge elsewhere. Literally remove at charge outside your room. There’s nothing that requires your important so badly that your phone needs to be right next to you because it is slowly killing you through breaking up your sleep patterns and breaking up your habits. Thinking a little bit broader, I didn’t get into sleep and learning about sleep because I wanted to sleep better. I did it because I really, really didn’t want to feel depressed or whatever for much longer.

Mike Killen: 33:54 And when I started speaking to people and reading a bit more about it and go into a few courses, the evidence points towards sleep helping everything else. Let’s say you’re a pro athlete. You got to pro athletes and they follow the exact same diet. They follow the exact same training program. The athlete that has better sleep will not only improve in muscle mass and muscle density and fibers and repair faster, but over time they will become a stronger and better athlete even if everything is the same. The sleep part of our day and our life affects everything else. If you’re really struggling with mental health or anxiety or just a fatigue and exhaustion and overwhelm and confusion, take a look at your sleep schedule first. Take a look at what it is that you’re doing that resets the day and time.

Nathan Wrigley: 35:08 I remember that WP and UP is here to help you visit wpandup.org or call +44 20 33 22 10 80, the PressForward podcast is brought to you today by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers a specially engineered platform that gives WordPress users web hosting that is designed to be the fastest, most secure and scalable hosting available in multiple data centers. Their WordPress hosting makes deploying and managing WordPress websites easy with automatic one click install managed updates, realtime security protection, SSD raid 10 storage arrays, power cacher and expert 24 seven support to make for the best web hosting experience. We thank Green Geeks for their support of the PressForward podcast. That’s it for this week. Please let us know if you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If you’re finding it useful or helpful, you can reach out to [email protected] forward slash contact. Remember that there’s a serious point to all this though, and that is that WP and UP is here to provide help and support that help is available for you or people you know and can be easily accessed th thewpandup.org website. Please spread the word about this new podcast. Tell your friends and subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. Together we can hashtag PressForward

Nathan Wrigley