[Transcript] – The Best Sleep Podcast Ever: Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping Better, Hacking Sleep, Sleep Cycles, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea & More With Dr. Daniel Gartenberg

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/daniel-gartenberg-sleepspace-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:07] Podcast Sponsors

[00:06:42] Who is Dr. Daniel Gartenberg?

[00:09:13] Alcohol and Sleep

[00:13:07] Delayed sleep phase syndrome in teenagers

[00:20:26] Why do people sleep?

[00:22:33] Brain cooling bio-hacks

[00:31:19] Podcast Sponsors

[00:34:55] Learning and memory bio-hacks

[00:42:47] Polysomnography data versus Wearables

[00:46:34] The impact of wearable devices in bedroom

[00:55:25] Tips for people waking up in the middle of the night

[00:59:09] Why people have insomnia and how can cognitive behavioral therapy help

[01:05:37] Remedies for sleep apnea

[01:18:16] The best side to sleep on

[01:22:44] Recommendations for pharmaceutical or supplemental solutions

[01:26:33] Final tips for sleep improvement

[01:35:59] Upcoming Event

[01:38:06] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Daniel:  If you have insomnia, they say you should never nap. Now, to address this, there's a place for the drugs in certain situations but I've never seen a study where a drug company will compare their drug to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. And, the reason for that, I'm pretty sure that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia based on the literature would blow it out of the water because with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which is the recommended treatment, you're really addressing the issue at its core with thoughts, behaviors, and feelings around your sleep. We have a module based on these premises within our software.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show

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By the way, ketones are also great for fasting. They're also great for keeping your appetite satiated for an incredible period of time when you're sitting on an airplane and you want to skip the airplane food that smells so good and that tastes so bad or at least it's so bad for you. You get what I'm saying. This drink is truly cutting-edge, this ketone ester, and HVMN is called Ketone IQ

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Alright, folks. So, I have recently been chatting with a guy who's super smart about sleep who has a PhD in cognitive psychology, and is a sleep scientist. I've also been experimenting with this app that he made called Sleep Space. So, his name is Dr. Dan Gartenberg. And, this Sleep Space app is kind of blowing my mind, and I'll fill you in more on how it works and what it's measuring, all that good stuff. 

But first, let me tell you about Dan. He is the CEO of Sleep Space. He's also a professor at Penn State University in the Department of Biobehavioral Health. And, he has been developing these kind of sleep improvement technologies for the past 15 years. He's working for artificial intelligence groups in the Navy and in the Air Force. He's got more than $3.5 million in Grant awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Aging as a principal investigator. And, all this investigation is basically based on solving one of arguably humankind's most important health care problems that affects billions of people around the world, and that would be sleep, more specifically poor sleep health.

So, some of his focus based on this Sleep Space app is developing a connected almost like a smart bedroom where you can use sound and light and vibration along with different wearables. And, you can use this to diagnose and treat sleep disorders, or even if you don't have a sleep disorder just basically sleep better. So, he's working on everything from solutions for insomnia to sleep apnea to reduce risk for Alzheimer's disease and heart disease based on your sleep patterns. And, all of it's based around digital health technology, the same stuff I've been experimenting with his app, Sleep Space. 

During the podcast, Dan will be able to fill you in a little bit more on his research on a ton of questions that I have for him about sleep that we've never talked about on this podcast. And, we'll discuss this Sleep Space system as well and how it can be used, but there are probably going to be a lot of resources, a lot of links for today's show if you want to take a deeper dive or if you have a bunch of follow-up questions from me or for Dan or your own sleep feedback to add.

So, I'm going to put all of the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/SleepSpacepodcast. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/SleepSpacepodcast. And, I guess first of all, hello, Dan.

Daniel:  Hello. Thank you so much. It's an absolute pleasure to be here.

Ben:  Yeah. I know we've been trying to make this happen for a while and we've shared lots of texts back and forth. So, here we finally are. And, you know what, before we even dive into sleep, and I want to hear how you got interested in all this in the first place because I think you have an interesting story, I got to tell you, paradoxically, I didn't sleep so well last night and I actually wanted to ask you about it. I thought, “I should ask Dan about this.” 

So, the one thing I did last night that was probably a little bit different was I took my wife out on a date and it wasn't super late, and wasn't like we were out till midnight or anything like that. I think I was actually in bed by 9:30, 9:45, but I haven't really been drinking alcohol much lately. I actually have been primarily drinking as so my listeners know more ketones at night or ketone alcohol alternatives. And, those actually if anything seem to help support sleep and satiate the appetite at night, but I had an old-fashioned and not only that, shocker, everybody's going to paint me as a teetotaler, whatever that word is. Now, I also shared half a glass of wine with my wife during my actual entrée. So, I technically had some whiskey, a half a glass of wine last night, and I didn't sleep so great. I woke up at midnight almost like wide awake, slept another four, four and a half hour or so. What's your take on alcohol and sleep, man?

Daniel:  Well, I mean, it's so clear that alcohol just destroys your sleep architecture. And, usually, it's more than just one glass. And, I went out with my father-in-law and my wife last night and I had one glass. I'm a makers on the rocks kind of guy.

Ben:  You're a whisky too.

Daniel:  I'm a whiskey man as well.

Ben:  Okay. Bourbon.

Daniel:  Usually one is okay, I would say. I think when you push it much more, that's when you start getting a big problem. And, for me, especially if it's a heavy meal combined with the alcohol, I think that that can push awakenings later on in the night. But, some sleep scientists are really staunch like no alcohol. I think, periodically, every once in a while, it's okay for us to imbibe, relax a little bit, we just have to make sure you moderate it. And then, also I say people, even the best biohackers in the world like yourself, sometimes have an off night. So, also don't be too hard on yourself for one off night.

Ben:  Yeah. It sounds to me like you're one of those guys who's kind of on board with maybe a healthy drink with dinner isn't going to totally crush your sleep. But, if you're trying to fully optimize everything or struggling with sleep, even that might not do any favors.

Daniel:  Exactly.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, got it. Okay. And, by the way, I think sometimes the form of alcohol, I don't know your thoughts on this, I think that can affect it too because I can have a glass of organic wine and that's never affected my sleep at all. I think if anything, that slight increase in inhibitory neurotransmitters isn't so huge that you wake up with some kind of a cortisol awakening response later on in the night can help. But, for some reason, some 0of the harder alcohols, I think whiskey amongst them sadly, seem to at least for me more deleteriously impact sleep compared to a glass of wine. So, do you think the delivery mechanism matters?

Daniel:  For sure. And, mezcal is probably arguably one of the best for this because it doesn't have a lot of artificial sugar. But, bourbon will have a decent amount of sugar in it and whiskey. So, tequilas but especially mezcal, I think, if you want to drink is probably your best option besides the ketone beverages and whatnot.

Ben:  Yeah, plus the added syrups and juices from some like an old-fashioned.

Daniel:  A lot of sugar.

Ben:  That kind of adds up too. Yeah, that's a good point. So, how'd you get interested in all this?

Daniel:  Yeah, it has been a long journey. It began with some personal issues as a teenager, actually. I think it's pretty common for a lot of teenagers to suffer from this thing called delayed sleep phase syndrome, which can be largely behavioral. It can also be a chemical imbalance for some people, but essentially, if you wake up really early for school and for whatever reason, they make high school kids wake up at like–I remember waiting at the bus stop at 6:00 in the morning when it was still dark out. I would go out late on the weekends. I'm a teenager, I was partying or whatever at the time. And, that dysregularity in my going to bed really late on the weekends and waking up really early on the weekdays basically hindered my circadian rhythm and threw off my rhythms. So, I had a really hard time falling asleep. And, coming from a family in the medical backgrounds, I heard all my life how broken our medical system was.

And, in college, I ended up taking a neuroscience course by a famous professor, Giulio Tononi and his wife Chiara Cirelli, all about the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis and how sleep literally is the foundation of our consciousness. And, I just saw the connection that sleep has with every single health outcome, and maybe by making sleep more regenerative, we can finally shift this illness model in western medicine to a more wellness model. 

And so, I've just been passionately trying to figure out ways to enhance every single night of sleep non-invasively. And, whether that's with sound, light, export temperature, lots of things, I'm just obsessed with this idea, “What if we can get more out of our sleep so that seven and a half hours is as regenerative as possible?”

Ben:  Delayed sleep phase syndrome in teenagers thing is interesting because kind of like I guess maybe the flavor or the variety of the alcohol that you choose may or may not affect your sleep in certain ways. Do you think that delayed sleep phase syndrome is something that would be more of an issue in a teenager who's carrying on a modern lifestyle of partying and exposure to high amounts of light or screens or video games at night, et cetera? The reason I asked that is because there's also farm kids or honestly even my own kids, they're up bright and bushy-tailed at 5:00 a.m. now. And, this is something that they started doing about two years ago. Up until that point, I simply told them, “Hey, wake up when you're rested and you're ready to wake and start school when you're ready” because they have the luxury being homeschooled. And, for the longest time, they would get up around 7:00 a.m. or so. And, this was up until they're around 13 and their typical bedtime was 9:00, 9:30.

Now, we're actually talking about this when we were in our date last night about how mom and I are pretty happy about their sleep habits. They voluntarily are in bed reading a book wearing blue light-blocking glasses often with some kind of Hapbee wearable or little biohacking kids, their SleepMe Chilipad systems underneath their bodies and they're embedded about 8:45. They're typically asleep by 9:00, 9:15, but they're up and they use one of these sunrise alarm clocks that gradually makes the sun go up, but they're up at about 5:00 a.m. And, I don't seem to think they struggle a lot with circadian rhythmicity issues nor delayed sleep phase syndrome, but they are up, I would say, on average, a lot earlier than most teenagers I know.

Daniel:  Yeah. And, I mean, I think our society just as a whole has really lost touch with the circadian rhythm and the natural process of sunlight in the morning and darkness at night. And, COVID has made it even worse. It basically forced us all to be indoor creatures which flattened out the rhythm even more. So, as you point out, a lot of this is behavioral. If you have a really regular sleep schedule, you're not going to have this issue. And, regularity is really one of the most important things to building a strong circadian rhythm. 

Also not having chronic stress, for example, where cortisol is just overloading the system at all times, if a kid is chronically stressed versus they're a happy camper, which it seems like your kids are from the little that I've seen, I think that things like that can also play a role. So, we're not in touch with our rhythms, it doesn't have to be this way for teenagers, of course, but I'll also mention that there's a natural process where teenagers sort of disentangle from their parents' circadian rhythm. It's thought to be an evolutionary biology thing where the teenager is supposed to sort of break away. And, that's why there's this proclivity for a teenager to become more of a night owl. The schools really have it all flipped. Wendy Troxel gives a great Ted talk about this. Most school systems have it so the teenagers start their day the earliest and the younger kids start it later. They should really flip it around. It's a simple public health thing that they could do.

Ben:  Okay, got it. It is interesting that you say that about the ancestral mechanism of teenagers wanting to have a different sleep schedule than their parents. Why would that be?

Daniel:  It's time for you to be a trailblazer, go your own way. Break away from your parents. You're meant to leave the community of 50, so you don't procreate with your cousin or whatever. So, I think there's an evolutionary biology reason to where the teenagers kind of becomes dysregulated with their parent's circadian rhythm.

Ben:  That's interesting. I've never really heard somebody express it like that before. But, I guess it kind of sort of makes sense with the delayed sleep phase syndrome in teenagers, is that something that's a known phenomenon, or is that a phrase that you coined?

Daniel:  No, that's a known thing. And sometimes, it's behavioral, which was my instance and when they used to bill out for actigraphy and sleep labs, they would be able to identify these irregular patterns. So, it can be external and it can also be internal where some people just don't have the right chemicals for a 24-hour clock. Most humans have a 24-hour circadian rhythm. For whatever reason, some people might have a chemical imbalance that creates this system where they just can't get into a normal cycle, a regular cycle. That's not the case with me. I was just a victim to the external factors of school and society.

Ben:  Okay, got it.

I know this is kind of a big question, but I think you have some interesting thoughts about it because I've seen you write and speak about this a little bit before. Why is it that people actually sleep?

Daniel:  Yes. So, not only people but every single animal sleeps. Even the fruit fly, they've done the classic studies of the fruit flies sleep and there's a bunch of reasons. I'm going to give you the six main reasons right now.

So, number one is energy conservation. So, you want to be able to have the energy to hunt your food during the day and you get that energy by sleeping during the night. Another one is cooling of the brain. So, there's this brain temperature and neurochemistry thing going on, which is basically essential to our survival where if you don't sleep you will die. And, there are some people that aren't able to sleep and they basically die because of this brain temperature thing within a couple weeks of when they're born.

Ben:  Okay. Would that be actual damage to the brain cells from the brain not getting a chance to, I guess, like a car get parked in the garage overnight?

Daniel:  Yes. I mean, yes. Essentially, that's a good metaphor for it for sure.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  Then, the other one is learning in memory and that's where I got into this as a cognitive psychologist. And, this theory that Professor Tononi brought forth which is the synaptic homeostasis where basically you downregulate all the synapses during the day and then you integrate and bring into your long-term memory and personality during REM sleep when you're dreaming. And so, it's essentially a process for learning and memory.

The fourth is emotional processing. And then, the new ones that I'm really fascinated by and we're studying in our lab at Penn State are restoration and resilience and brain metabolic clearance.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  So, I think you've spoken about it before, this galvanic cleansing that happens during deep sleep in particular.

Ben:  Glymphatic drainage I think it's called.

Daniel:  Exactly. And so, that's what we're studying in our lab at Penn State.

Ben:  Okay, got it.

So, a few questions based on all those reasons people sleep. And, I think that's interesting for people to know that it's not just say learning and memory consolidation or glymphatic drainage. Can we then make a case for stepping back and possibly kind of hacking or improving some of those different scenarios? I could throw a few examples at you. 

Brain cooling. I've seen devices out there now that you can wear. I think one is called Ebb, I believe, and it's literally a forehead-cooling device designed to shift blood flow away from the frontal cortex. And, to my understanding, it's not necessarily for the sake of cooling the brain allowing the cells to kind of lower their metabolic activity. And, maybe it is, but my understanding is it's intended to shift blood flow away from the frontal cortex to diminish things like ruminating thoughts that might keep you awake at night to either improve sleep latency or allow you to get back to sleep if you wake up in the wee hours. Do you think there's something to this idea of actively and mindfully cooling the head or cooling the forehead during sleep?

Daniel:  Yes, for sure. And, I've looked extensively at this research. My technology hasn't tackled it, but I've really looked at how it can be tackled. So, Nafziger is actually the Ebb guy at the University of Michigan and he's done some of the pioneering work in this space. He initially identified that people who have insomnia who use fNIRS to show that their brain was basically producing more metabolically. Basically, their brains were heating up. And then, he invented the Ebb device, which was the thing that cools your head. I don't know if this, but I think Chilipad bought Ebb and then they sort of discontinued it.

Ben:  Well, that doesn't surprise me, by the way, because in my own use of Ebb because I got a trial unit, it's too much on the head, especially for me as a side sleeper than waking up a few hours after you've fallen asleep with all these wires coming out of your head and the heavy thing on the front of your head. For me, it never worked. I wish there actually was a way because I could kind of sort of feel the benefits, but there was too much else going on and it was too clunky. I wish there was a way, and maybe there is and you could share if there is a way to cool the head without it having to be a bulky device on the head.

Daniel:  So, I'll give you two hacks right here. So, there's a CEO of this company, Moona that I've been talking with that makes a pillow. I think it's currently not available.

Ben:  What's it called? Woona?

Daniel:  Moona, M-O-O-N-A.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  And then, there's a simple hack and there's actually a lot of peer-reviewed evidence for this. The temperature thing in the bedroom is a little more complicated than I think a lot of people realize.

Ben:  Really.

Daniel:  Because there's your ambient temperature, which as you eloquently put 60 to 68, I think is what you usually recommend. Yes, it should be cool.

Ben:  The temperature of the room.

Daniel:  Right. The temperature of the room.

Ben:  Right.

Daniel:  But then, there's the temperature in the bed, which is usually quite warm. We're talking 92 degrees.

Ben:  Yeah, especially if your wife or your spouse is a furnace like mine is.

Daniel:  Right. And, the sleep partner, my wife, usually it's the opposite actually. Usually, the man has more metabolism going on in a higher body temperature. But, navigating this with the sleep partner is a whole another story. One of my other hacks is multiple blankets to sort of address the different temperature needs, but there's also the second main hack and it's a little bit counterintuitive, which is different limbs and your head play a different role in this as well. So, you have your core system, which is your chest and your head, and then your distal arms and feet basically. 

And, if you actually warm your feet and there's a lot of scientific research on this like wearing socks, for example, I think the pioneering person on this was a worse justice that showed basically taking a warm bath and then putting on socks significantly reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and your sleep quality essentially because that actually lowers the body temperature counterintuitively. If your limbs are exposed to warmth and you're just in a warm bath, your internal body temperature decreases. And, decreasing your internal body temperature is what helps you fall asleep.

Ben:  Why do you think the body's temperature decreases if the extremities are warm? I know they have that Stanford cooling glove experiment where they showed that by cooling, I think the arterial-venous stenosis–I'm going to blank on the phrase, but you cool these small capillaries or micro vessels in the hands in the case of that experiment and it seemed to actually cool the rest of the body. And so, when I heard about the results of that experiment, I kind of came to the conclusion that, well, it almost seems paradoxical than that if you cool the hands the body cools, but if you warm the feet the body cools. Does that make sense?

Daniel:  Yeah. And, that's why it's even more complicated than–I mean, I've done a pretty extensive lit review and I've just learned that I didn't know about the hands thing as you just described. My basic understanding of it is it's how we sort of let go or disseminate temperature. So, there's this distal, proximal temperature relationship. Proximal is your main body like your thighs, stomach, forehead. So, this is your core body and then there's distal. I always thought it was feet and hands, but maybe I'm wrong if you're saying that there's some other study. 

So basically, just imagine the temperature is flowing from your hands to your core or your core to your hands. And, there's this increased distal proximal temperature is associated with better sleep initiation. So, the relationship between your, I think it's hands and feet being warm versus your body, core, head being cold.

Ben:  Yeah. And, it may have to do with the unique nature of these. Arteriovenous anastomosis, I think, is what they're called that their cooling in an experiment like that at Stanford it could be that they're not in the feet and only in the hands, and thus perhaps it is the proximal-distal relationship you've just described being more important for the feet than for the hands but I actually don't know. All I know is that I have tried what you've recommended and worn the socks, a smart wool sock during sleep particularly when I'm traveling. And, those darn hotels where even when the engineer comes up, they won't decrease the air conditioning any lower than 66. And, like you mentioned, I actually like to sleep cold, sometimes I'm like 63, 64. But, I'll put on those socks and that does seem to help.

And then, related to something else that you mentioned, the warm bath also I think can help. That's obviously a little more clunky and time-consuming than the socks. But, with the partner, I don't like the separate blankets idea because we like to snuggle. And, when she's in her own blanket and I'm in my own blanket, that just doesn't work. What I do find is that if you simply have a good breathable top sheet, you can both be under the top sheet, and then, for example, she can have the blanket on and I can just have the sheet on but we're close enough to where if we didn't want to snuggle for a little while and then I roll over later on in the night, I can just be under the top sheet and she's under the blanket. 

Although, I'm curious if you've seen this, the Chilipad company, I don't know if they're still making this, but they had a blanket for a while, a gravity blanket actually, which as you know has some research behind it for increasing the feelings of safety and activating the parasympathetic nervous system before sleep or during sleep but it circulated cold water through the blanket. Have you seen that?

Daniel:  I'm not familiar with that. I'm going to have to check that one out.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I don't know if they still make it, but that's interesting regarding the brain cooling. And, I'm going to keep my eyes on that. You said it was a Mooni pillow?

Daniel:  Moona, yeah. And, this is a really simple hack, is just getting one of those cold pillows and having a backup for when your pillow gets warm and either flipping it over or getting the other one in your backup pillow arsenal.

Alright, folks, it's time for Bubs. That's right, Glen and Sean, the co-founder at a company called Bubs were both coaches at SEALFIT in Encinitas owned by Navy SEAL Commander, Mark Divine. They put on this fantastic event called KOKORO, which was like a Navy SEAL-style hell week for civilians. These guys as coaches got to know each other. Tragically what happened was that Glen who was a best friend of hundreds wound up laying down his life-saving Americans in Benghazi, Libya. He was always about self-improvement about helping other people. And so, what Sean wound up doing was founding this company Bubs Natural as a tribute to Glen. As a matter of fact, Bubs donates 10% of all its profits to charity in Glen's honor. 

What does Bubs make? Well, Bubs has some of the best collagen you'll ever have. Collagen is like the glue that holds your body together. It's truly unflavored, but it's extremely soluble. So, you can put in anything and it's better than a lot of the collagens out there because they use the purest form of collagen, sustainably sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows in southern Brazil and Uruguay. They also have an MCT oil that pairs very well with the collagen. It's actually the only MCT oil in the world that's Whole30-approved, meaning it is super clean. They make apple cider vinegar gummies, which are actually pretty amazing for just quelling your appetite at night, healthy digestion, blood sugar management. And then, they have their Fountain of Youth collagen where they take their really good collagen, they blend it with vitamin C and Biotin, and maqui berry, which is a Chilean berry, very high in antioxidants. Put all that together, you got Bubs Naturals. It's supporting a very good cause, Glen, who was a larger-than-life personality glowed with enthusiasm, he loved to feel great and do good and that's what they created Bubs to allow you to do. So, BubsNaturals.com, B-U-B-S-Naturals.com. Use code BENG to save 20% on Bubs Naturals.

I've been so impressed by a recent energy drink company that is now taking the world by storm, it's called Update, that I've actually invested in this company. I want to come straight out and tell you that I recently wrote a check because I've been drinking this stuff for a few months now and I'm so impressed that the clean energy without a crash, without a jitters–and, I think the reason is Update uses a molecule that none of the other energy drink companies I'm aware of have touched or hold a patent to or able to use. And, it's called paraxanthine. Paraxanthine, I've done a podcast on it. You got to go listen. It's a revolutionary new energy source that's isolated and refined from caffeine. 

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You mentioned that learning and memory consolidation in addition to the brain cooling and the energy conservation is a third reason why we sleep. I know that this is probably one reason and maybe the emotional processing would fall into this category as well why people will recommend that you sleep on something that before you make a decision you sleep on it or sometimes people you'll hear about them programming their brain with a certain question and then sleeping so that they can better arrive on the answer in the morning. Is there anything that you actively do or recommend based on the idea that we do engage in memory and learning consolidation during sleep that we could do before sleep to take advantage of that mechanism?

Daniel:  No, yeah, 100%. And, I think it was Thomas Edison who famously would take naps to help himself ideate throughout the day.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.

Daniel:  And, I think your privy to this too. A reasonable circadian rhythm sometimes is to slightly sleep deprive yourself not really sleep deprivation but maybe a little 20 minutes less than you need and then do a 20-minute nap in the afternoon to get the ideation going.

Ben:  Yeah. I do that and I don't want to totally derail you, but I want to mention that I'll actually often short myself much more than that. Many nights, I'll sleep six to seven hours and for productivity's sake, I'll be up at sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m., but then I slip down into the room beside my office and typically do anywhere from a 20 sometimes as long as if it's been a super short night of sleep, a 60-minute siesta. And, I've seen some evidence that that might be able to, even though it's shorter than a typical 90-minute sleep cycle, come close to simulating a 90-minute sleep cycle thus dictating that you could theoretically, and I do this and it seems to work well for me, sleep six and a half hours in a night. Do a 30-minute really good nap that simulates something close to a 90-minute sleep cycle and attain a similar feeling as you would have gotten having slept eight hours even though you've actually only technically used seven hours and bought yourself a free hour.

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I mean, a couple things with the naps that all the listeners should probably be aware of, if you ever have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, what you described is not ideal. This is something, I think, for the optimizer. You don't have any issues with falling asleep, staying asleep. And, that's one of the nuances of sleep science, I guess. I think what you're doing could be effective.

Ben:  Okay, this would be very anecdotal. You're referring to sleep deprivation therapy as a way to deal with insomnia?

Daniel:  Well, usually if you have insomnia, yeah, they recommend to consolidate the time in bed to, if anything, reduce how much time you're spending in bed and to never nap essentially.

Ben:  Essentially to exhaust yourself to increase sleep drive.

Daniel:  Yeah. That's one of the main treatments for insomnia. And, we can get into that a little bit more too.

Ben:  Okay, okay. So, before I derailed you, you're explaining learning and memory consolidation on how to kind of take advantage of that in its fullest.

Daniel:  So, this is one of those things that just makes me so passionate about this field, which is this idea of targeted memory reactivation. And, there's recently been a meta-analysis of a bunch of these studies. The classic study is that imagine you're doing some kind of cognitive assessment, you're focusing on your 10-year vision for yourself, you're trying to actualize some component of yourself. While you're doing that, you're smelling roses. And so, we're building this association between smell. I'm trying to use sound in my technology because I think it's more adaptable, but you're making some association between a stimulus and a cognitive state. And then, we replay that stimulus when you're in different stages of sleep. 

At first, I thought it would be best to do REM, but the recent evidence is suggesting to do it in lighter stages of sleep. And then, that association primes those neurons and you actually do better on that cognitive assessment the next day. So, essentially, inception is a simple word for it, but I think programming our neural circuitry is more important than ever given all of the stimuli and news and gadget, Instagram, things that we can get throughout the day.

Ben:  So, if I understand correctly what you're saying is to use a sensory stimuli. You give the example of smell. I would imagine perhaps it could work with something like vibration or sound while you're engaged in a cognitive task that you want to be able to build upon during a night of sleep. You then take that same sensory stimuli and figure out a way to during a night of sleep be exposed to that same stimuli during a certain portion of the sleep stage. And, I think did you say it was REM?

Daniel:  At first, I thought it would be REM but I've been reading some new papers showing that it's more light sleep actually.

Ben:  Okay. So, theoretically, would this mean you could use some type of technology or artificial intelligence-driven technology to using some type of sensor or wearable detect when you're in your lighter sleep stages, and then perhaps there's something like an essential oil diffuser or wearable vibrating device or sound device or all three perhaps next to your bed that would then release that same sensory stimuli that you were exposed to when you were engaged in the cognitive or learning task early in the day that you want to build upon during sleep. Am I on the right track here?

Daniel:  Exactly, yes. And, I have a couple patents around that. And so, I'd love to collaborate with anyone who's trying to do something similar as me on this. And, it currently exists in my software. So, you can focus on a specific we play relaxing rain. I'm actually working with this guy, Sage Rader, who has this thing NeuroAcrobatics where we're making it more immersive basically. And so, you can focus on that during the day. And, the hard part about this is playing a sound replaying the sound so that your brain processes it but it doesn't wake you up.

Ben:  Wow. But, you have that technology already. You have the capability within the Sleep Space app to pull it off?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, we currently can do it within the Sleep Space app. I'm trying to validate it in a clinical trial right now, but we're one of the only pieces of software that actually a lot of the other pieces of technology can't do this because you're Oura Ring, your Whoop, your Fitbit, they're actually measuring the sleep after the sleep has occurred because you can predict your stages better if you have the full night of data whereas we built a real-time algorithm. So, we have an Apple Watch algorithm where every 30 seconds it'll detect your sleep stage or I have this little mechanism, the Sleep Space Smart Bed or you can just use any phone sensor as well if you want to.

Ben:  I believe it ties to the Oura Ring also, doesn't it?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, we'll integrate with the Oura Ring. We'll pull Oura, we'll pull Whoop, but I can't get the real-time data from. I think I could. It would be a lot of dev spend to do it. Eventually, I will, but I can't get the real-time data from them. I can only get the real-time data from the phone or the Apple Watch essentially.

Ben:  Okay. Still that idea is fascinating. And, you said you called it inception is the term.

Daniel:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay. I like that.

Daniel:  The scientific term is targeted memory reactivation.

Ben:  Targeted memory reactivation. By the way, speaking of wearables, do you think that there's one wearable that you would recommend as being more accurate, or what are your general thoughts on the accuracy of sleep wearables versus say measuring via polysomnography or some type of more professional sleep lab equipment?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, this is a lot of what the $3.5 million of funding got me, which is a really accurate algorithm that was built off of polysomnography. So, we brought people into a lab, hooked them up to the electrodes, the polysomnography, and then measured Oura, Apple Watch, some Spectrum Pro, which is a more clinical device.

So, I have a really good handle on how accurate or inaccurate some of these things are. And, we've recently pulled thousands of nights of polysomnography data from some open data sources, and also essentially, what's essential is to collect 24/7 data so that the classifier is unbiased. And, this gets a little bit data-nerdy over here. If I was just to predict that you were asleep every single 30 seconds that you're in bed, I'm going to be 90% accurate because you're most likely to spend time in bed asleep basically. So, we're collecting data over 24-hour period in order to ensure that the classifier is more precise.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  And, what our current algorithm, first, we publish a paper showing it was comparable to Oura in the journal Sleep. And, I just got to revise and resubmit in our new algorithm and I'll just read you the AUC values. This is something similar to accuracy. I pulled this up for the podcast. So, this is using heart rate and motion data compared to polysomnography. And, our current score is 0.77 for light sleep, 0.90 for deep sleep, 0.85 for REM, and then 0.95 for wake. That's out of a hundred.

Ben:  And, is that good compared to say a Whoop or an Oura or some of these other wearables?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I would say that's very good. That's, I think, better than Whoop and the other. It's pretty comparable but maybe a little bit better than those other wearables. And, [00:45:05] _____ has done a lot of great research comparing the wearables like Fitbit as well.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  Usually, the way that I think about it is they're 80% accurate, generally, for certain populations. It can be way off because most of the algorithms were built from healthy individuals. And, I think you might be privy to if you're in super good shape at least with Oura's old algorithm. For example, you're sort of an outlier in the population, it dramatically overly stated how much deep sleep you were getting.

Ben:  Yeah. I know several athletes and fitness enthusiasts who've been almost concerned about the balance between light sleep and deep sleep because what is it light sleep supposed to be around 40 to 50% and REM something like 20, 25, and deep 15 to 20 or something along those lines.

Daniel:  Yeah. It is around those lines. I like to think about it in an amount more because then it's like you're factoring in how much you're sleeping and stuff like this. It's really hard to get more than 2.5 hours of deep sleep almost impossible, almost you're pushing on the limits of physiology there.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  So, I'm super happy with two hours deep, two hours REM. You're rocking it.

Ben:  Yeah, which we should mean for eight hours in bed. In addition, you'd have an additional sleep latency aside around 50% of light sleep.

Daniel:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.

But, one thing I don't understand based on something you just described on that paper that you were citing your data from, you mentioned it's based on movement and heart rate. Now, you sent me this little smart bed thing that you've developed, it goes next to my mattress, I place my phone in there and it has a handy little charger connection to so my phone can stay charged. I put it in Airplane mode and then I start the Sleep Space app and it's tracking sleep. I was under the impression that it was just pulling the data from a wearable I was currently using like the Oura, but is it actually somehow measuring heart rate and movement by being beside my bed?

Daniel:  Yes. So, it's measuring movement, not heart rate. I think I can probably get it to measure heart rate at some point.

Ben:  You just have to wear a heart rate monitor, wouldn't you?

Daniel:  Well, I think there might be a way of me like a stethoscope looking through the mattress. I should probably, Ben. 

Ben:  Interesting.

Daniel:  So, mainly right now, it's just using motion data and I'm also measuring breathing to some degree because it's recording the sound. No data is saved on our server of sound in the room for privacy issues.

Ben:  Those sensitive conversations I have with my lover at night you aren't listening to those.

Daniel:  Yeah. I'm not listening, yeah. Maybe. No, I'm just kidding.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  You can actually listen to it on the device is just saved locally if you're interested in your snoring and stuff like this. And, we can actually help get you diagnosed for sleep apnea. That's a whole another story with this collaboration we have with the company Wesper.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  So, yeah. The reason I invented that thing was both to track non-invasively because I'm similar to you where I'll do a big tracking night and then not wear anything for a while. I don't know if you can see me but I'm wearing a circul+. It's just a ring, a Oura ring, an Apple Watch, and a Biostrap right now. Sometimes I do a big tracking night, but other times there's something ritualistic about taking off your clothes and being naked while you sleep.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. The whole camping approach. If I go camping or sometimes when I'm traveling, I do go a little bit more device free. You're pretty weighed down though, man. That's a lot. You're probably burning several extra calories per minute with all those wearables you have on. Saving money on a weight vest or overpriced technology-based weight vest, I suppose.

Daniel:  I'm wearing thousands of dollars [00:48:59] _____ right now basically. But, if I want to go really crazy, I'll wear a headset too.

Ben:  Speaking of all that tech though, do you ever get concerned about the EMF impact for sleep? And, talk to me a little bit about that in the context of wearables, many of which can, of course, be placed in Airplane mode but also in the context of the room itself. You'll get many building biologists and many folks these days talking about how your bedroom is the one place where you should go out of your way the most to lower EMF signals to not have a Wi-Fi router near the bedroom or have it unplugged at night to sometimes use dirty electricity filters. Some people will go so far as to faraday shield their walls. 

I, in full admittance, do have a faraday canopy, a push button faraday canopy that shielded healing built for me that I push a button when I get into bed and brings a canopy down around the bed of silver fabric. And, I can't make a phone call or send a text message while I'm in bed, but it does feel like I'm in a little bit more protected space. And, the only issue I have with it is it sometimes it gets a little hot, so I've installed a small oscillating fan above the bed to keep the air circulating. But, how big of a deal is EMF, whether in the context of wearables or any other context?

Daniel:  I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out. And so, I bought an EMF detector to see the EMF in my room because I wanted to make sure that my devices weren't emitting EMF, for example, the Sleep Space smart bed. And, by the way, the other reason we invented that is so we can play the sounds precisely on your side of the bed. I just want to bring that point out because we want to deliver the sounds precisely but we don't want your partner necessarily to hear it. And, we made it so it can work completely offline, which is really important to a lot of people. One of the reasons why I sort of love the biohacker is I think they have a lot of good intuitions about what's going on. I'm still sort of on the fence of the EMF stuff. I mean, I've explored it pretty deeply, but as a scientist, I need to see a randomized clinical trial showing when people are exposed to EMF. And, it seems like something you would be able to manipulate pretty easily.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  I've looked pretty deeply on this. If anyone wants to, in the shownotes or whatever, send us a message about if this paper actually exists. I've never seen that research done. That being said, I think certain people are definitely maybe more sensitive to this. And, there's definitely an intuition that's correct with the phone being bad.

Ben:  Yeah. And, possible that's not the EMF that could possibly just be due to the blue light and also the fact that you're doing business and socializing while in bed, which should be a place reserved for sleep or sex.

Daniel:  That's kind of where I currently live in the analysis of this more so, which is the stimulus control analysis of it, which is more these phones are dopamine creation machines that rev us up and stress us out.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  And, I think even the association of the phone can have a negative impact, let alone the blue light and whatnot. So, that's why I'm trying to put the phone to bed in offline mode, which is sort of my [00:52:18] _____. The phone is an amazing sensor as well, so I've been navigating how do we use the phone in a healthy way. That's been a lot of the tension that I've been trying to resolve in my work.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And, a few follow-ups on that. One would be it would be interesting actually to see that study done and also see that study done on people who have been diagnosed with or possibly even suspect they have electrohypersensitivity because I do think there are outliers who are very sensitive to these type of things. And, as an aside, rabbit hole, we don't need to go down, I often in lab testing find those people also tend to have elevated levels of things like mercury, aluminum, lead, et cetera, hinting to me that it may actually be due to the body acting as a sort of giant antenna. But, I know that there's no studies around that but I have seen a correlation between high metal load and electrohypersensitivity in certain people, which to me makes intuitive sense but it's just a theory.

But then, based on this idea of the phone being able to be in airplane mode while your Sleep Space app is running, measuring things like sounds in the room and also generating certain sounds that lull you to sleep. And, just so people know, it's the way Dan's designed the app is it'll play sound for certain amount of time in your initial sleep stages and then you can play ambient noise the entire night using a variety of different sleep sounds that he has in the app. And then, you can also program it to detect your lighter sleep stages and play waking sounds or gradually wake you. 

And so, it's kind of slick from that standpoint, but then there's also, I bug down about this initially because I thought you had to have the phone online to play them but there are also things like meditations, breathwork, and even something called yoga nidra in there. This is something I also wanted to ask you, Dan, because I mentioned that I had a poor night of sleep last night, I still feel pretty fantastic today, but before I got out of bed this morning around 3:30, I played a yoga nidra recession. Sorry I didn't use your app, I happen to have an hour-long yoga nidra session saved away on my phone so I played that. And, I've found that when I when I do that, I believe there's another name for yoga nidra a more fancy modern title for it, non-sleep deep rest protocol I think is what you call it. I've found that even though I'm not asleep, I'm in this half sleep half wake state and it seems to remarkably simulate sleep or combat the detriment of sleep deprivation with the yoga nidra session. Is there anything to yoga nidra do you think?

Daniel:  It's definitely one of the most proven ways to get into this sort of theta brain-like state. You're probably getting little micro sleeps during this time and is for sure regenerative. Still I think most sleep scientists would say you can't really replace a full sleep cycle because you're not getting delta-wave sleep when you're doing that.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  That's pretty clear. So, you can't fully replace your sleep by doing that, but it is still going to have some regenerative capabilities there.

Ben:  Okay, got you.

I want to jump back into some of the reasons that people sleep in a few hacks there but actually, this is relevant. A lot of guys, especially increasingly as they age, do wake up in the wee hours literally and figuratively I suppose in this case to pee and then get back into bed and sometimes struggle to go back to sleep. Now, I've installed red light bulbs in my bedroom. So, if I do have to flip the lights on to go find the bathroom, it's not disrupting melatonin too much and I'll often take some kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter, I don't know if you know, I own a supplements company called Kion. And, we have something called Kion Sleep. So, I'll take a dose of that or sometimes a little inositol or ashwagandha or something and I find that to be helpful in getting back to sleep. But, for midnight or wakings in the early mornings, do you have any tips for people who want to get back to sleep after that's occurred?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I mean, I think one thing is also not to freak out just because you woke up in the middle of the night to pee. It's sort of normal to wake up periodically throughout the night. We only think of it as problematic if a lot of times like more than twice and also if you're up for more than five minutes. And, this is something where sometimes when you think about it too much like, “Oh, this is so horrible,” it actually makes it worse because sleep is all about letting go and not dwelling on what's currently going on. So, also, I guess just is it really that big of a problem first and foremost. 

Now, if you are up for more than 30 minutes say that could be problematic. And, there's a couple things that you can do. You want to stay hydrated definitely to get more deep sleep, but you could try to push the drinking a little bit earlier in the day, That's one of the main recommendations for this problem.

If you want to also try to consolidate your sleep more because you're waking up a lot in the middle of the night, what's often recommended is counterintuitively to push your bedtime a little later, which will basically build up your homeostatic sleep drive, which is one of the main processes of sleep which is related to the buildup of adenosine, which coffee suppresses that. So, you're basically making yourself more tired so you're less likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

Ben:  Interesting. So, that's kind of back to the same kind of theory of sleep deprivation therapy for insomnia.

Daniel:  Yeah. And, I just want to be clear that sometimes sleep deprivation therapy gets a bad rep because sometimes, and there's no medical device or anything I just want to stipulate that. But, there's sleep deprivation therapy but there's a less Draconian version, which is sleep restriction therapy where you're not being so severe with it basically. They usually do that for older populations. And, I just always have in the back of my mind that this is a tool where if I'm having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep to make sure I go to bed tired and to possibly push back the bedtime a little bit if I'm ever teetering on issues falling asleep, staying asleep.

Ben:  Yeah, it actually is a good point if I'm hunting or I've got a very busy day and I have one of those nights where I fall asleep and it's like my head hits the pillow and my sleep latency is one to two minutes. It's actually pretty seldom that I wake up to pee. So, that's actually a good point just making sure you're not over napping, over-resting, or possibly even oversleeping and instead going to sleep when your body actually needs to go to sleep. That kind of makes intuitive sense.

Related to insomnia, addition to sleep restriction therapy, are there any research-proven methods for that that you really like?

Daniel:  The reason why I've been studying it is again because of this deep sleep thing and the glymphatic drainage that's going on and its relation to Alzheimer's disease and related dementia because people with insomnia are more likely to get less deep sleep so they're more likely to get Alzheimer's disease. And, that's how I got these grants with the National Institute of Aging. And, the main theory for why people have insomnia is something called the 3P model. And so, this is a good framework for thinking about it. And so, the Ps are basically predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors that make you have insomnia.

Ben:  Say that one more time, predisposing?

Daniel:  Predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating. So, the predisposing factors are sometimes you just sort of have a biology that's more likely to be hyper-aroused. I think my wife might be one of these people.

Ben:  Yeah, I'll raise my hand.

Daniel:  Yeah. So, sometimes you're born with just sort of a worrisome thinking style or it's in your DNA somehow. So, there's a little bit trait to have maybe a more negative thinking style or maybe you can't afford to not live by the train tracks and the train is waking you up every night. That would be another example of a predisposing factor sort of things you can't really control whether it's your biology or just the circumstances of your life. So, that pushes you into more likelihood of having insomnia say it kind of builds up on each other. 

And then, you have a precipitating factor, which almost everyone can relate to and it's your dog dies, you're dealing with the death in the family, you have some work stress. And, that night, you have a particularly hard time falling asleep, which is pretty common almost all Americans have periodic insomnia. And so, that would be a precipitating factor and that can push you over the edge to having a night of insomnia, for example. 

And then, what happens is you start building behaviors around that instance of insomnia. And, these are the perpetuating factors. An example of that might be spending too much time in bed because you think, “Oh, my god in order for me to get the recommended sleep of seven to nine hours a night, I need to spend 10 hours a night in bed because I'm up so much of that time.”

Ben:  Right, or take some kind of a mega nap in the afternoon.

Daniel:  Exactly. That would be another example of that. So, you're not able to sleep and then you're making it worse by taking a nap. I love naps. I'm with you for the optimizer biohacker as a lever, but if you have insomnia, for example, that's why they say you should never nap.

Now, to address this, the recommended treatment isn't a drug. There's a place for the drugs in certain situations. And again, this is not medical advice, but I've never seen a study where a drug company will compare their drug to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. And, the reason for that, I'm pretty sure that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia based on the literature would blow it out of the water essentially because with kind of behavioral therapy for insomnia, which is the recommended treatment, you're really addressing the issue at its core with thoughts, behaviors and feelings around your sleep. And, we actually have a cognitive behavioral therapy or we have a module based on these premises within our software.

Ben:  Yeah. I saw that. I didn't check it out yet, but in brief, how does CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy actually work?

Daniel:  So, it's usually four modules. One is the sleep compression thing that we've been talking about. Another one is stimulus control, which is doing things to associate your bed with sleeping. The main thing that you've probably heard, “Save your bed for sleep and sex only” is comes from stimulus control. I'm trying to do super stimulus control using sounds to make that relationship even stronger. And, that's part of what we're validating in our studies. And then, the other one is your standard sleep hygiene, which is sort of — we actually use that as a placebo in our study. Then, cognitive training, so address active thoughts that form around sleep. The fact that, “I just can't sleep, there's nothing I can do, I have a brain chemical imbalance.” Addressing a thought like that with a therapist. And then, the final thing, there's actually five, I guess, is training relaxation. So, it's ridiculous that not every human being in school is trained how to reduce their heart rate. So, we'll actually do yoga nidra, progressive muscle relaxation, body scans.

Ben:  Long exhales would be another that comes to mind for me like a 4, 8 or a 4, 7, 8 type of breathwork pattern.

Daniel:  Yeah. We did a 4, 4, 4, the box breathing, we added that based on reading your book, but I'll try to add the 4, 8, 4.

Ben:  I think it's more effective honestly. And, being a Christian, I actually like to pray when I do it. So, I'll do breath as prayer sessions where, for example, four count in, “Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” eight count out, “Have mercy on me a sinner” or something that or breathe in, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” breath out, “I will not fear.” So, I'll just pull different Bible verses, which for me also tends to help with ruminating thoughts because rather than your thought patterns going towards what neurotransmitter deficit or imbalance you might have that's keeping you awake at night while you're doing your breathwork instead your thoughts are focused on almost a mantra. And, I know some yoga nidra sessions will use mantras as well. But, the mantra kind of keeps your mind from focusing on other ruminating thoughts if that makes sense.

Daniel:  Totally. And yeah, we recommend praying in the app as well as one of the things that you can do. And, my wife does something similar with a more Jewish faith. But yeah, that's definitely a good practice.

Ben:  Okay, got you.

And, obviously, something you mentioned is a huge contributor to sometimes insomnia or other sleep issues, and that would be sleep apnea or snoring. I know the audio in the app will detect snoring and even help with the diagnosis or something like that. But, what are your thoughts on sleep apnea and remedies for that especially folks may not wearing a CPAP or having a CPAP on during a night of sleep?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I've been delving deep into this research because it's sort of where I'm pivoting to some degree. And, as you mentioned, there's actually a new term for when insomnia co-occurs with sleep apnea called COMISA, which is actually pretty common.

Ben:  I would have said “insapnea.”

Daniel:  You're more creative with the conventions, I guess. COMISA is hard to even remember. But, yeah, actually there's a study that I was reading showing that if you have COMISA and you treat someone with insomnia, it actually reduces their hypotenuse which is when you stop breathing throughout the night. So, that's just saying these things feed into each other. If you're waking up a lot throughout the night from not being able to breathe, it could also make you have insomnia. 

I don't know if you've ever seen INSPIRE as an alternative treatment, it's actually an implant that they put in you and it stimulates your muscles and your throat to open. A lot of times when they do that, then they'll find that the people have insomnia and then they'll need to treat that. But, I've been delving deep in this and you bring up a really good point that around 50% of people who are prescribed CPAP, which is the recommended treatment, don't use it after a year. And, this is really bad because if you are untreated for sleep apnea, you have a 5.2-fold increase in cardiovascular disease and a three-fold increase in all-cause mortality.

There's this famous study from Wisconsin showing that it essentially reduces your life expectancy by five years. It's a simple way to put it. And, the crazier thing is that as the baby boomers age out and obesity remains pervasive, it's estimated that in 2030, around 50% of people are going to have sleep apnea. So, it's really a huge problem. So, when I'm trying to address this, I'm sort of identifying there's probably a lot of different phenotypes for the disease. And, I think this is the case for a lot of diseases, and medicine usually just lumps everyone together. But, what I'm going to try to do is phenotype the type of sleep apnea, sleep disorder breathing person that you are. 

And, this is where I see the medical system being so broken where if you go to your pulmonologist, which is the person that usually prescribes the CPAP, there's a lot of great pulmonologists I work with, one of our advisors Randall Evans is a great pulmonologist, but a lot of times they're peddling their gear. So, the pulmonologists will pedal the CPAP, the dentist will pedal the MAD device, the myofunctional personal pedal, their thing. There's randomized clinical trials showing that all of these things work for different situations. Definitely for some, you really want a CPAP. The future of medicine that I want to see is the pulmonologist being like, “You know what, we've identified using this AI and I'm trying to build something like this that you really need to go to your dentist and get this mandibular advancement device fitted to for your sleep apnea.” And, the dentist vice versa saying, “I really can't help you, you're someone that really needs a CPAP” or maybe it's just losing 30 pounds. That's really what you're going to need to have to do.

So, there's a bunch of solutions for sleep apnea, but everyone is giving their own specific solution and they're not looking at the person as a whole, which is really a problem with western medicine.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. My take on this, and again, I'm just kind of playing with a lot of these things, guinea pigging things. And, I'm not a sleep physician or anything like that, but in my own experience just in tracking pulse oximetry data even though I don't have sleep apnea, I've noted with some of these strategies I found an increase in it, in not sleep apnea but in my tissue oxygenation, my pulse oxygenation during the night which can be done with something like an Oura ring or a cheapo from Amazon 12 to 24-hour pulse oxygenation device you can wear on your fingertip. So, you can kind of analyze whether or not some of these strategies are working for you, but my take on sleep apnea is, A, if you have a child and you avoid them developing it, pay attention to books like “Jaws” or James Nestor book, “Breath” and do things like teach them how to engage in nasal breathing both during rest and exercise. Put them on a diet or encourage them to consume a diet that doesn't have a lot of ultra-processed soft foods in it and it instead has a lot of foods that require a great deal of mastication to allow for proper jaw development. And, the same could be said for a diet somewhat similar to the Weston A Price diet that seems to result in better facial tooth and jaw symmetry with a lot of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, a lot of fermented dairy compounds, organ meats, bone broths, et cetera. I think that for general bone health and even the bone health in the face and the teeth and the jaws, but that's very important.

I think that addressing some of those issues with children is key. And then, I also think that looking at biomechanics because that's where a lot of my formal training comes from forward head posture especially increasingly common amongst people who are using their smartphone a lot and looking down or if poor desktop ergonomics with their monitor can result in the head positioning causing a little bit more mouth breathing and a different tongue posture that might also cause some type of sleep apnea issue. So, I think that doing corrective exercises from a biomechanics standpoint and kind of an ergonomics analysis of your workplace and also your posture during the day, particularly when looking at your phone and not having your head slumped over in a forward posture is helpful.

I've recently come across some indication that there is a link between rib biomechanics and the fascial tissue surrounding the ribs and the serratus muscles and that positioning of the head, the neck, the airway, and the jaw. So, I think that if you have a foam roller keeping up by the bedside and doing some foam rolling or trigger therapy or deep tissue therapy on either side of the rib cage can be helpful. 

And then, of course, there's this concept you alluded to to the dentist piece and I do think that's important if you have access to a dentist like I work with Dr. Eniko Loud, Dan, down in Phoenix. And, she does the full cone scans of the mouth and the different x-rays and the microbiome analysis and a whole workup and then actually does have a specific mouthpiece she'll design. And, I think some form of dental work or dental analysis at least, for me, it's been super helpful. I know it's a change almost immediately about one to two points consistently in pulse oxygenation using that mouthpiece at night that was custom designed by a dentist. 

And then, the other thing is this concept of mouth taping, which I'm sure you're familiar with. So many people are doing it now. And, I don't think there's a lot of really great double-blinded clinical research behind it, but I use this stuff called hostage tape. There's another one called SomniFix, the Hostage Tape I like because it can be used if you have a hairy lips or hair on your face. The SomniFix works fine for most people, but combining something like mouth tape with one of those if you want to enhance the nasal breathing patterns even better, some type of nasal dilator like the turbine and wearing that out while you sleep. All those seem to help out as well. So, paying attention to head, neck, posture, the jaw health and jaw alignment, the rib biomechanics, the desk place and the phone use ergonomics and then mouth taping and/or the use of the nasal turbine at night. I think all of those can be very helpful.

Daniel:  Totally agree with so much that you're saying. I've tried the Hostage Tape before and James Nestor's book– 

Ben:  Definitely sticks.

Daniel:  Yeah, and learning how to breathe. We have a team of myofunctional therapists through Sleep Space. And, I think this is going to be the future of a lot of this is training people how to breathe. This actually besides sleep. Breath is really the foundation even before sleep.

I totally agree with everything you said. The one thing that I would also add is the nose. So, addressing blockages in the nose. For example, this was actually a sleep hack that personally helped me a lot recently is I started snoring and I had never snored before. And, it turned out that I went to an ENT and I was having some allergies to dust mites.

Ben:  Oh, wow.

Daniel:  And, there was a lot of dust mites in a bed in New York City. It's just you can't get around that. So, we just totally outfitted our bed with a thing to address the dust mites, and then my snoring stops. So, addressing the nose is another thing.

Ben:  That makes me think of three things actually. One would be mold. And, I think that mold can often be disguised as allergy symptoms when in fact someone has mold exposure because that can build up in the sinuses and almost create a biofilm in the nasal passages. So, possibly reading a book. I think the best new book on mold is called “Mold Medic” by the way. It's pretty comprehensive, super short, most anybody can get through that and see all the different tests that can help with mold and also what you can do with your home if you're concerned about mold exposure. 

Secondarily, if you do have mold, one simple little hack I've found because I travel a lot and I use this when I'm in Airbnbs or hotels or I suspect there might be mold is I have this nasal spray made by a former podcast guest of mine, Dr. John Lieurance and it's a glyphosate-based essential oil nasal spray and you do a few huffs of that throughout the day in each nostril. And, sometimes you get some nasty stringy stuff coming out. And apparently, it helps to break down some of the biofilm in which mold resides as well. So, using something like a nasal spray. 

And then finally actually that same guy, Dr. John Liuerance as well as several other practitioners can do intranasal balloon adjustments. This is a chiropractic adjustment for all the maxillary bones in the sinus. And, some people have that done, a lot of UFC fighters people have been hit in the face do it, but a lot of people have nasal breathing issues do it and it literally opens up the air passages, sometimes tons of just goo and mucus and even sometimes in the case of my wife who had really poor nasal breathing and that fixed it for her like blood was coming out of the nose and then it just kind of resets everything because a lot of those sinuses and those small muscles and bones are movable but they actually go in with a balloon. You want to make sure that you do this right. Don't have your kids stick a balloon up your nose and blow it up. But, it seems to work and fly under the radar for nasal issues. I think it's actually called intracranial balloon adjustment or something like that, but I'll link to the podcast in the shownotes if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/SleepSpacepodcast. I'll link to a podcast I did about that particular protocol. You haven't heard of that one by any chance, have you, Dan?

Daniel:  No. And, thank you so much for this information. I'm actually dealing with this mold situation with my landlords right now. And, dealing with it in New York, it's ridiculous, they won't fix it.

Ben:  That book would be fantastic to check out.

Daniel:  I'm going to definitely check out the book in that nasal thing because we're 100% getting exposed to mold in our home. It's not good.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.

Well, earlier in the podcast, you talk about energy conservations being one reason we sleep, brain cooling, we talked about that; learning and memory consolidation, we talked about that; emotional resilience that just generally makes sense for anybody who's been grumpy and hangry on a poor night of sleep. There are two more, glymphatic drainage is one, but what was the sixth?

Daniel:  Basically brain metabolic clearance. I guess that's glymphatic drainage basically.

Ben:  Okay, okay.

Daniel:  And then, restoration and resilience. I'm referring to more human growth hormone and stuff.

Ben:  Okay, I see. I see. That makes sense.

So, the question I have about the drainage or the detoxification component, I'd seen a few years ago, I think I even mentioned this in my book, how even the idea of side sleeping and I believe even side sleeping on one's right side may enhance the glymphatic drainage deficiency. Have you come across anything or do you have any thoughts on sleep position for that or sleep position in general?

Daniel:  I mean, I thought the right side was better mainly from a gastrointestinal intestinal perspective. I mean, basically what's happening is in slow wave sleep, your cerebral blood fluid increases significantly, which results in a big reduction in the glial cell size which allows the waste to get cleared through this glymphatic drainage system. So, the mechanism there is deep sleep. So, if the right side increases deep sleep, then I would probably say yes.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  But, my understanding of the causal mechanism is, is there a way to prime more regenerative deep sleep? And, a lot of scientists and entrepreneurs including myself have been trying to tackle that.

Ben:  A few of my friends who are super into sleep. Two examples would be Dr. Peter Martone and Dr. Jo Mercola are big advocates of training you to sleep on your back. They just say it's better when they get better sleep cycles.

Do you know of any data or research that indicates anyone's sleeping position is best or is it just a matter of personal preference and comfort?

Daniel:  So, I think it's the type of sleeper. So, obviously, if you're a CPAP person, if you're someone that has untreated sleep apnea, you're not supposed to sleep on your back because if you have obstructive sleep apnea, it's more likely to block the airways. Then, if you are someone like my wife who has certain hip pain and back injuries, sleeping on your back is great for back pain, for example. That's what many of chiropractor and whatnot would recommend. If you have acid reflux, which I periodically get, I think the right side is better. Is it right or left side? I think it's the right side.

Ben:  Okay.

Daniel:  So, yeah, I've tried to train myself to sleeping on the right side before to address that issue. This is the future of science that I want to create. I feel everyone should be able to run these experiments on themselves to answer this question for themselves.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  It's sort of a personalized science thing. And, if you can answer it for yourself, that's sort of the most important thing. It's like what the quantified self-movement was about back in the day. And so, that's the future that I envision is we're all continuously running this experiment on ourselves. Actually, it turns out I'm a left-side speaker. You're all wrong. And, if that's right for you, then all the power to you. You should be able to evaluate that with these wearables. And, the wearables oftentimes don't really help you figure that out.

Ben:  Yeah. It's kind of back to even though research has proven the moderate to high-intensity exercise session is best time in the afternoon, really the best exercise session is the one that occurs at a time when you're going to actually do it. I think the same would go for sleep. If sleeping on your right side enhances glymphatic drainage, but you don't sleep well on your right side, well I would say however you sleep best. 

You know what, I'm 99% sure it's the right side because I recall writing about that in “Boundless” and feeling a little bit low about it because my wife sleeps on the left side of the bed it's just the way we sleep. And, I love to snuggle with her during the night and I thought, “Gosh, now when I snuggle with my wife laying on my left side, I'm not going to get proper amounts of glymphatic drainage,” but it's worth it. It's well worth the spooning. Yeah.

Daniel:  Sorry, I'm just looking it up right now. Sleeping on the right side aggravates the heartburn, so it's actually the left side that's better–

Ben:  Aggravates the heartburn but that's not necessarily synonymous with the glymphatic drainage, which would be a different mechanism altogether. I'm not in front of Google right now, but you could always look it up, I suppose. Some of these things I'll forget, the alternate nostril breathing. I now have it down. We breathe into the left nostril, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. And, when you breathe in through the right nostril, it activates the sympathetic nervous system. I'm 99% sure the right side is for glymphatic drainage, but I could be wrong. I'm sure either you or someone will hunt it down. We'll put it in the shownotes once we find. I'm sure somebody knows and is like screaming through their through their headphones right now at us.

Moving on, a couple of other things I just wanted to briefly address in the time that we have left. This question I didn't want to talk about too much in the earlier parts of my podcast because so many people simply rely upon popping a pill or worse yet sledgehammering themselves to sleep with some kind of diazepam type of approach. When it comes to pharmacological or supplemental remedies or interventions for sleep, are there any that you think have particularly good research behind them or that you would recommend or use yourself?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I'm with you where I'm trying to basically not use trazodones. And, there's always a time and place for that. Talk to your doctor. And, even the idea of having that option there is sometimes helpful for people that when they have a really serious problem, for example. But, I'm always trying to be all-natural. If I'm going to use something, cycle it out and in so I don't become dependent on it. 

And then, there's also things that just aren't going to have any negative impact such as magnesium or GABA, which I think can be beneficial to some degree. I think there's some evidence that there's some weak effects for those things and so it could be a reasonable supplement. Even things, for some people and I used to do this more with marijuana, for example, CBD and CBN, in particular, is something that I might recommend to somebody that's particularly wound up and anxious just because they don't have the psychoactive component as a THC, for example. So, it's not going to negatively impact REM. So, that's the main thing with the THC aspect is there's a pretty strong evidence that you're going to hinder your REM sleep with THC. But, since CBN, CBD are not psychoactive, popping a pretty large dosage of that, a 25 milligram or whatever, will bring in your relaxation without the negative effects.

Ben:  Yeah. I've found similar. THC not only do you get horrific deep sleep cycles, but you get zero dreams, whatsoever, which makes me think that there's probably very little either emotional resilience or learning and memory consolidation taking place. So, I'm not a big fan of that especially as you've noted, Dan, the alternatives for the endocannabinoid system, CBD and CBN, I think are safer, they're better for sleep. 

And, in fact, I do use supplemental interventions for sleep. I take magnesium like you mentioned and then I take CBD and that Kion Sleep that I mentioned, which is just a few inhibitory neurotransmitters and l-theanine. And, if I am traveling, I'll include melatonin if I've traveled across multiple time zones or come back across multiple time zones. That stack works well for me, but I mean, there's, oh gosh, Dr. Andrew Huberman, he has a stack that he recommends and you'll have other people who will utilize more like a natural herbal approach like St John's Wort or ashwagandha or reishi or some type of adaptogenic approach. I think it does come down a little bit to what works well for you, but I think we could establish at least I would say, and correct me if I'm wrong, Dan, that many of these sledgehammers like the pharmaceutical interventions or marijuana and alcohol despite fooling you into thinking that you might be getting a night of rest or really not doing you many favors in the sleep department.

Daniel:  Yeah, exactly. So, they induce a hypnotic state that you're not consciously aware. So, you perceive that you're sleeping but the quality of your sleep, your brain is more awake.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Okay.

So, I wanted to give you a chance to share any final little-known tips or hacks or tactics you personally would recommend or found helpful for enhancing sleep. The inception idea was fascinating. Are there any others that would kind of fall into that category whether it's some sort of dream therapy or consciousness manipulation or anything like that that you'd mess around with?

Daniel:  Yeah. So, I'll bring in my mad scientist toolbox right here. So, the other thing we test in our lab is deep sleep stimulation. And, this is where I actually got my start doing transcranial direct current stimulation when I was working for the Naval Research labs and Air Force research labs. So, this work started where you could basically zap the brain with electricity in order to induce different brain states. And later, it became known that you can play sounds that entrain this delta brain wave. It's basically a whooshing sound at 1.2 Hertz. And so, 1.2 Hertz is the oscillation of your slow wave brain waves. And, we showed in a lab and in a peer-reviewed paper that when we play these tones at just the right time and intensity during sleep, we could increase the delta wave sleep, the slow wave sleep.

Ben:  Oh, wow.

Daniel:  Then, we instantiated it in the Sleep Space app. I haven't validated it in Sleep Space yet. That's what I'm trying to do now.

Ben:  Can you do it in Sleep Space?

Daniel:  We do it in Sleep Space but it hasn't been validated.

Ben:  How do you do it?

Daniel:  So, if you're wearing an Apple Watch, we'll estimate your sleep stage and then play the delta frequency when you're more likely to be in a deep sleep. And then, we'll also estimate it with if you place your phone on your bed or use the smart bed mechanism.

Ben:  So, if I'm using the smart bed, I can do that. And, do I need to press any specific setting on the Sleep Space app?

Daniel:  You just have to turn on the deep sleep stimulation in the settings.

Ben:  Oh, easy. Okay. I'm writing it down right now. I'll mess around with that. Okay. So, that's cool. Anything else?

Daniel:  Yeah. And so, playing sounds very precise on your side of the bed, I think, is an important thing, and then associating those sounds with sleeping because if you do have a sleep partner like my wife, I think she has more sensitive hearing, she likes to sound a little lower than I do, for example. So, having sounds to associate with sleeping is something that I'm a firm believer in. 

And, I think you're privy to this. We have this whole ritual with our lights turning red in the wind-down. I know you do it when you wake up, but we actually have our whole light environment turn red during that wind-down period. And, honestly, a big thing is knowing where you are in your circadian rhythm and having that metacognition of, okay, if I'm in a grant writing deadline or something, I'll actually push a third wind as a night owl. And know that I need to be that for a week because sometimes we just have work habits and things that we have to get done. But, having the metacognition of like, I'm going to do this for a little while and then I'm going to get my sleep back and get into a more relaxed state of consciousness is really important. And, knowing when you're having struggles with falling asleep and staying asleep and doing that protocol when you're having those issues. 

It's sort of like I imagine a ladder where first, you're trying to make sure you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Actually, before that, you're trying to rule out any underlying sleep issues like restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea. Then, you're trying to improve your sleep efficiency. And then, after all of those things are completed at the top of the ladder is making your sleep quality as good as it could be and optimizing your consciousness.

Ben:  When you say optimizing your consciousness, what do you mean?

Daniel:  Basically trying to incept your yourself.

Ben:  Okay, okay. Like what we discussed, that would be an example of optimizing consciousness.

Daniel:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay, okay, got it. By the way, I should throw in there I thought of it when you were talking about the red-light manipulation, there is a website I recently found a couple of weeks ago BlueLightDiet.com and they have a blog post there called the Circadian Control Panel that walks you step by step for your iPhone on how to put a quick shortcut button. And so, I've got four shortcuts on my phone now on the home screen. One is wake, one is red, one is blue for super alertness, and then one is sleep that automatically just turns off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, shifts it to Red. It's super convenient and it's just a simple shortcut. So, I'll link to that in the shownotes if people want to do that to their phones because I found it to be just super convenient. One button when I'm ready to go to bed, I push the sleep button, and boom, everything's out. But then, I can push the red button if it's 7:00 p.m. and I'm still tooling around on my phone and doing things. So, that doesn't disable any of the network, all it does is turn the screen red. Then, later on, I can press the Sleep button and that goes screen even more red and dim, and then turns all the networking capabilities off.

Daniel:  I love that. And, I mean what happens to, I think, a lot of people is they go to use their phone and then they end up looking at Instagram, for example. So, to have that one button, and I have a similar–I want to check out what you just mentioned. But, having a shortcut where you just do one button into the sleep thing makes it so you're not–I'm eventually going to make it so with an NFC tag. You can activate it without even opening your phone. I think that'll be the next level of some of this stuff.

Ben:  Yeah, that would be super cool. Alright, very last thing because I told my kids I'd ask you, both of them sleep with their dogs. Any comments on pet sleeping or whether that totally throws the sleep wearable recognition fully out of whack? I imagine it does, but you okay with pet sleeping or not? I told them I was interviewing you they said to ask.

Daniel:  So generally, most doctors would say no pet sleeping and try to find a way to get the pet to sleep sort of by you and not in your bed. Dogs are definitely better than cats since cats are nocturnal after all so they're going to be swatting you in the face while you're sleeping and whatnot and running around at night because it's when they're supposed to be active and hunting. I appreciate that having the comfort of a warm body next to you can relax you and possibly help with your sleep quality by bringing you into a more relaxed state. So, I think there is something to that, but the animal can also definitely cause problems. So, I'm not strongly against sleeping with the dog, and if it works for you, then all the power to you. But generally, they can also disturb your sleep sometimes as well.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense. My theory is similar to when I used to co-sleep with infants and I would actually sleep better is similar to the research the HeartMath Institute has done on how the heart rate variability or heart's electrical signal of the horse jockey and the horse will align when the jockey enters the stable and they'll both be kind of in the same brainwave state based on that that if a pet is resting in bed with you, there's a chance that if that pet is resting, their own rested heart signal may actually somehow be something that you pick up via the electromagnetic signal emanated by the heart which actually has an electromagnetic field. And, that therefore by being in the room with another rested mammal, it might actually somehow affect your brainwave patterns to sleep better. That's a theory of mine, but I guess it depends on how active your dog is in the evening because that could obviously backfire on you.

Daniel:  Yeah. I mean, I think there is definitely some stuff going on subconsciously with frequencies that we as scientists just don't understand yet. And, it wouldn't surprise me if that–I think we do resonate with each other's frequencies in some ways that it's just hard to study.

Ben:  Yeah.

Daniel:  But, I mean, there is research showing exactly what you just said where our bodies can sink up to one another.

Ben:  Yeah, it's super interesting. What you need to do is market it like a false or a fake dog pillow that has a certain electromagnetic signal emanates so people can snuggle with Fido in a fully rested state without Fido's dream [01:34:55] _____. Yeah.

Well, Dan, I mean, we covered a lot. We didn't even tap into half the features on the Sleep Space app, but hopefully, people are at least a little bit interested in checking it out as well as all of your work and your research. 

So, everything I mentioned from the little trick for the iPhone to papers that Dan has sent me to resources, the Sleep Space app I think I do have a link for that over there as well. Dan also has a sleep bed system or a smart bed system that I've started to experiment with and after this podcast, which I was kind of waiting for to ask all my little selfish questions and potentially even experiment more with it, I will definitely be using even more of especially some of those deep sleep stage stimulators and other elements. So, Dan, this has been absolutely fascinating, probably one of the more comprehensive sleep podcasts I've done. So, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Daniel:  My pleasure. It was awesome. Thanks for having me.

Ben:  Awesome, awesome. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Dan Gartenberg of Sleep Space signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com/SleepSpacepodcast. Have a fantastic week.

I am coming to London June 16th through the 18th and I'm going to be a part of the Health Optimisation Summit over there. If you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Calendar, you can check out that event. Fantastic. Kind of like biohacking meets wellness meets massive health technology expo. But, while I'm there, I'm going to be in London with my whole family and we're actually going to head to Italy afterwards and cycle through Italy. But, I decided to put on a very special private, intimate VIP event with me while I am in London. It's at this crazy place called HUM2N, HUM2N, like human except of the 2.

So, HUM2N Labs, they are a creme de la creme biohacking facility. I mean, the best hyperbaric chambers, amazing selection of IVs, super nutrient cocktails, cryotherapy, red light therapy. We're basically going to party and biohack and do a Q&A with me and the fine proprietor of that facility, Dr. E, who's a wealth of knowledge in and of himself at that event. It's Monday, June 19th, so it's going to be private networking, live Q&A, great food, great cocktail/mocktails, experiential biohacks, a variety of healthy gourmet foods is just going to be really amazing. You're going to get a swag bag too. Your swag bag includes super nutrient IV, cryotherapy, red light therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen. That's worth 750 pounds alone. Then you got the H2MN supplements. They're going to give you their brain sharpener and their super blend protein. You get a travel voucher to take you to and from the event, meaning using a company called UONO. They will bring you to and from the event if you have trouble finding it or don't want to drive.

So, there's a lot more that go into those swag bag too. But, right now, I have to tell you, this thing is going to fill up fast. It's in London, June 19th, and you get there by going to BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon. And, that will allow you to claim your spot at this fantastic event. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/HUM2NLondon.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.



I’ve recently been experimenting with a new sleep app called “SleepSpace” (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%).
The app was created by my podcast guest on today’s show… Dr. Dan Gartenberg.
Dr. Gartenberg is a sleep scientist with a PhD in cognitive psychology. He is currently CEO of SleepSpace. and an adjunct professor at Penn State University in the Department of Biobehavioral Health. After developing sleep improvement technology for 15 years, and working for artificial intelligence groups in the Navy and Air Force, Dr. Gartenberg received more than $3.5 million in grant awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Aging as the Principal Investigator. The goal of this important work is to solve one of our age’s most important healthcare problems affecting billions of people around the world – poor sleep health.

Dr. Gartenberg’s focus is developing the connected smart bedroom where natural remedies like sound, light, and vibration are used along with various wearables and ‘nearables’ to diagnose and treat sleep disorders and improve the sleep quality of every human being. His current focus is on a solution for treating insomnia and sleep apnea that can reduce conversion to Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. The digital health technology created by Dr. Gartenberg and his team is currently not for medical use, but general health and sleep improvement. It provides direct interventions on a nightly basis, includes the best meditations to stop a racing mind, and connects you with coaches who specialized in all aspects of sleep. These coaches and Dr. Snooze AI provides you with tailored solutions for making your sleep deeper.

Daniel is an inventor with 5 patents, recently having created the SleepSpace Smart Bed and Phone Charger that turns your smartphone into a smart bed. He has 10s of peer reviewed publications, and a viral TED TALK with over 5 million views. Dr. Gartenberg and his technology have been featured on the Today Show, Gizmodo, NY TimesThe Washington PostQuartzNPRPop SugarCNN BusinessReutersGet The GlossMarie Claire, Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science, DC Inno, APA Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Sleep Review MagazineEntrepeneur.com, Business Insider, Lonely Planet, and App Picker.

The SleepSpace app:
  • Tracks sleep with any smartphone (iOS or Android)
  • Improves sleep with sound, light, & vibration
  • Integrates with major wearables (Oura, Whoop, Apple Watch, Biostrap, Garmin, Eight Sleep, and more)
  • SleepSpace Smart Bed for next-level improvement . We invented a new way to charge your phone that also tracks your sleep and plays deep sleep stimulation sounds more precisely to finally do more than just track sleep, but to enhance sleep.
  • Smart alarm clock to awaken in a lighter sleep
  • New! Circadian optimizer gives your energy peaks
  • Includes meditations like Yoga Nidra, Breathwork, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualizations, and more
You can also create the perfect sleep sanctuary using SleepSpace’s smart bedroom technology.  This includes a patented smart sound mask, tones for deeper sleep, and vibrations to naturally slow the heart. Integrate with smart light bulbs that mimic the sun when your alarm clock sounds in the morning. The sleep enhancing tools strengthen your circadian health, which is proven to improve sleep quality.
It has customized sleep programs based on proven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques and backed by more than $3.5 million in grant awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You can choose a program tailored to fix your unique sleep challenges and fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night long.
Using a patented sleep technology, it gathers your heart rate, HRV, oxygenation levels, sound in the bedroom, and micro-motions to find your sleep stages and improve your sleep quality. It can measure and record your snoring and identify when it is an irregular snore. Through collaborations with other leading companies, you can also use SleepSpace to help you get diagnosed for sleep apnea from the comfort of your home, or get connected with a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in your state.
They use these new types of health data to build your circadian chart and weekly analysis, providing you feedback for how to maximize quality of your day and night.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Delayed sleep phase syndrome in teenagers…09:13

  • SleepSpace (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
  • Alcohol destroys sleep architecture
    • moderate use is ok
  • Ketone drink
  • Ben’s experience with organic wine
  • How Dr. Daniel got interested in sleep problems?
  • Giulio Tononi
  • Personal issues as a teenager
    • Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome – can be behavioral or chemical imbalance
    • irregular sleeping habits
  • Took a neuroscience course at college
    • sleep is the foundation of our consciousness
  • Trying to enhance sleep non-invasively
  • The cause of delayed sleep phase syndrome in teenagers
  • Society as a whole lost touch with the circadian rhythm
    • COVID made it worse
  • Regular sleep schedule is essential
  • Chronic stress causes high levels of cortisol
    • plays a role in sleep problems
  • Teenagers break away from parent’s circadian rhythm
    • it’s time to go your own way
    • evolutionary biology
  • Wendy Troxel
  • Some people have chemical imbalance
    • can’t get into regular sleeping cycle
  • External factors are more prevalent in sleep problems

-Why do people sleep?…20:48

  • Every animal sleeps
  • 6 main reasons for sleep:
    1. Energy conservation
      • you need energy to hunt for food during the day
    2. Cooling of brain
      • if you don’t sleep, you die
      • brain cells are damaged
    3. Learning and memory
      • Synaptic Homeostasis of Giulio Tononi
      • you down regulate all the synapsis during the day
      • integration to long-term memory occurs during REM sleep
    4. Emotional processing
    5. Restoration and Resilience
    6. Brain Metabolic Clearance

-Brain cooling bio-hacks…22:33

  • Brain cooling devices
    • Ebb (currently unavailable)
    • lowers metabolic activity of brain cells 
    • Ben’s experience with the device
  • Eric Nofzinger developed the Ebb
  • Moona
  • Adequate room temperature for sleep
  • Warming feet (taking a warm bath, wearing socks) reduces the time to fall asleep
  • Decreasing internal body temperature helps you fall asleep
  • Why does body temperature decrease when the feet get warm?
  • Ben’s experience with socks and sleep
  • SleepMe’s cooling blanket (use code BEN to save 25%)

-Learning and memory bio-hacks…36:02

  • Sleeping over before making decisions
  • 20-minute sleep deprivations and naps
  • Naps are not recommended for people with insomnia
  • The idea of targeted memory activation
    • building an association between a stimulus and cognitive state
    • replaying stimulus in different stages of sleep
  • Programing of neuro-circuitry is more important
  • Dr. Daniel has several patents and would love to collaborate
  • Working with Sage Rader of Neuroacrobatics
  • The main problem was replaying the sound that doesn’t wake you up
  • SleepSpace (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
  • Evaluation of SleepSpace app
  • Sleep tracking and wearable devices
  • Other apps measure the sleep after the sleep has occurred
  • Targeted Memory Reactivation
  • Polysomnography data collected over 24 period
  • AUC values using heart rate and motion data 
    • 0.77 for light sleep
    • 0.90 for deep sleep
    • 0.85 for REM
    • 0.95 for wake
  • Ideal is 2 hours of deep sleep, 2 hours of REM, plus light sleep

-The impact of wearable devices in bedroom…48:39

  • SleepSpace Smart bed device with app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
    • measures movement, not heart rate
    • developing the ability to measure heart rate
    • measures breathing to some degree
  • Helps in diagnosing sleep apnea, in collaboration with Wesper
  • The goal is to track non-invasively
  • EMF impact on sleep in the context of wearables 
  • Bedroom should be a protected space from wi-fi signals, dirty electricity
  • Shielded Healing Shielded Fabrics for Canopies and Curtains
  • Dr. Daniel’s devices don’t emit EMF
    • works completely offline
    • only on one side of the bed
  • No research on EMF impact on people
  • Phones are dopamine creation machines
  • Breathwork, meditation, and Yoga Nidra sessions in the SleepSpace app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)

-Tips for people waking up in the middle of the night…58:45

  • Kion Sleep
  • Red lightbulbs in the bedroom
  • Waking up occasionally is not a problem
  • If you’re up more than 30 minutes, it's problematic
  • Stay hydrated to get more deep sleep but push drinking a little bit earlier in the day
  • Push bedtime a little later, go to bed more tired
  • Sleep restriction therapy rather than sleep deprivation therapy for insomnia
  • People with insomnia get less deep sleep and more likely to get and Alzheimer’s disease

-Why people have insomnia and how can cognitive behavioral therapy help…1:03:04

  • Main theory for why people have insomnia is the 3P model          
    1. Predisposing factors
      • hyper-aroused biology
      • worrisome thinking style
      • circumstances of life
    2. Precipitating factors
      • dealing with death
      • work stress
    3. Perpetuating factors
      • building behaviors around insomnia
  • Recommended treatment isn’t a drug
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia is much better
    • addressing issues at its core
    • included in the SleepSpace app
  • How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy work?
    • Sleep compression
    • Stimulus control
    • Sleep hygiene
    • Cognitive training to address active thoughts that form around sleep
    • Training relaxation
    • Breathing and prayer for ruminating thoughts

-Remedies for sleep apnea…1:09:59

-The best side to sleep on…1:21:17

-Recommendation for pharmaceutical or supplemental solutions…1:22:45

1:26:31 Final tips for sleep improvement…1:26:31

  • Tested deep sleep stimulation in the lab
  • Playing of 1.2 Hz sound wave increases delta wave sleep
    • incorporated in SleepSpace app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)
  • Red light environment
    • know where you are in circadian rhythm
  • Blue Light Diet health hack for smartphones
  • Sleeping with pets
    • generally, no pet sleeping
    • comfort that pets bring can lead to a relaxed state
    • pets can also disturb your sleep

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Health Optimisation Summit: June 17th – 18th, 2023

Join me at The Health Optimisation Summit in London! This is your chance to be part of a community of 2,500 like-minded people and learn from world-leading health speakers. You'll be able to fast-track your health journey, discover cutting-edge secrets and hacks, explore the latest tech and gadgets, and find the cleanest and healthiest supplements and nutrient-dense foods. Don't miss out on this incredible experience! Use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off regular and VIP tickets. Learn more here.

  • HUM2N Event: June 19th, 2023

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the field and take your biohacking journey to the next level. You’ll get the chance to be involved with a private network of biohackers, a live discussion with myself and Dr. E, a live Q&A, an experiential biohacking experience, tasty food, and a chance to win some mind-blowing prizes! Learn more here.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Dan Gartenberg:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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BON CHARGE: Holistic wellness brand with a wide range of products that naturally address the issues of our modern way of life. They can help you sleep better, perform better, recover faster, balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and so much more.  Go to boncharge.com/GREENFIELD and use coupon code GREENFIELD to save 15%.

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dan Gartenberg or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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One thought on “[Transcript] – The Best Sleep Podcast Ever: Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping Better, Hacking Sleep, Sleep Cycles, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea & More With Dr. Daniel Gartenberg

  1. Brian J Klaus says:


    Did you post the iphone shortcuts referenced in the podcast?


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