Episode 36 – The Importance of Sleep with Kali Patrick

Kali Patrick

Episode Summary

In this episode, we spoke with Kali Patrick about the importance of sleep, the basics of sleep hygiene, and some approaches to remedying sleep problems.

Learn more about Kali here:


Social Media



Listen Through Website

Listen on YouTube

Show Transcript

David Enevoldsen: All right, hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I am your host, David Enevoldsen. And here on Emotional Embuffination, we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life. And at the same time, we are trying to discover and optimize new levels of success and happiness. This podcast is just one of a number of different resources I have available. If you want to learn more about any of that, please check out the Emotional Embuffination website, which is embuff.com. That's E-M-B-U-F-F.com. While you're on the website, make sure that you sign up for our newsletter, which has quick weekly Emotional Embuffination tips as well as other information relevant to Emotional Embuffination. Okay, on today's show, we are going to be talking to Kali Patrick about pretty much all things related to sleep. Kali Patrick is an adult sleep coach and the number one bestselling author of Mastering Your Sleep Puzzle, Your 12 Week Guide to Sleeping Better. Prior to becoming a sleep coach, Kali spent more than two decades working and managing teams within high tech organizations. Her nationally recognized board certification and health and wellness coaching, coupled with her training in yoga, meditation and yoga therapy, is complemented by her personal experiences with both insomnia and burnout. Kali now helps stressed out business people learn to sleep better so they can focus wherever they work, be present and engaged with family at home, and have energy left over to pursue personal passions. Kali especially has success with people who struggle with sleep due to stress and overactive minds.

David Enevoldsen: Contrarian to most sleep experts, Kali believes that everyone has the ability to sleep naturally without any of the products, pills, potions and gadgets marketed by the $65 billion sleep aid industry. Kali has addressed audiences at Harvard University, presented at Hubspot's inbound conference, and delivered webinars for large organizations including GSK, GlaxoSmithKline, and WEST, Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology. She offers corporate webinars, event videos, and coaching sessions for organizations worldwide. As a writer, Kali has been featured in entrepreneur, Thrive Global, the World Sleep Society's Healthier Sleep magazine, and she's been quoted in The Boston Globe as a sleep and wellness expert. Kali has appeared as a guest on local TV, most recently on Getting Healthy Without Rules.

David Enevoldsen: All right, Kali, thank you very much for agreeing to talk to me today. I'm kind of excited to talk to you. And if I can just explain why very briefly. Emotional Embuffination for me is is all about learning to be resilient, learning to manage emotions effectively, all of that stuff. And in my mind, sleep, which is kind of where your expertise comes in, is a huge part of that. And in fact, just going back a couple of years, I think it was around 2015, I totally reworked the way that I was dealing with sleep. And before that I'd been in law school. And I remember I just had basically a lifelong habit of pretty much glorifying sleep deprivation. And I remember during law school, I literally would sleep about three hours a night, 3 to 4 hours a night all the time.

David Enevoldsen: And I was almost proud of it. And and that went back into my childhood. I remember even as a kid, I just really wanted to not sleep for some reason. I don't even know where that all came from, but I remember having these little competitions with myself when I was little to see how late I could stay up and how early I could get up. And I had this like goal of being able to just not sleep for some reason. And that carried on up through law school. And a big part of the consequence was that, was I felt awful. And then around 2015, I like learned about sleep and its importance and really had a hard time to rewire myself. But I finally did, and it was a massive, massive change in how I was feeling and how efficient I was throughout the day. So I'm excited to talk to you because sleep is your expertise, and I want to dive into this in just a second here, but I feel like this has been this missing piece of the Emotional Embuffination equation, and I don't have the expertise to really talk about sleep in any real depth. So I'm excited to have you here. So thank you for for agreeing to talk to me to begin with.

Kali Patrick: Thank you for having me David.

David Enevoldsen: Thanks. To begin with, maybe you could tell me a little bit about your background and how you how you got into what you're doing now.

Kali Patrick: Sure. Well, like many other health and wellbeing professionals, I started with my own issues. And, you know, my my sleep story is a little bit different than yours as a, as a kid had some traumatic experiences. So, you know, it didn't really affect my sleep a lot at that point in time. But I think as soon as I ended up in college, you know, in undergrad, I started having more stress of of performance, right? Really making good grades, keeping scholarships and doing that in a field that I really, that really didn't resonate with me as much as I would have liked. So, you know, we see, I see in clients a lot of times how their work or their school stress does impact their sleep negatively. And that's what happened with me. And basically that existed, that sort of stress based sleep difficulty insomnia lasted about 20 years for me. I think it was around, let's say, early 2000. I finally decided this is this is not acceptable and started to have a conversation with my doctor about it. I did the whole sleep study where they have you in the hospital or in the, you know, the clinic hooked up with the fancy wires in your head and you're in a freezing cold, cold room at least back then.

Kali Patrick: Now think it's a little bit nicer. And they have take home devices now. But you know, some people, you know, stay up and watch you sleep and they measure all sorts of things about what's happening with you. And I thought to myself, there's no way I'm going to sleep in this environment. And so that's going to be great, because then they're going to figure out what what's going on with me. And, woke up the next day and they said, well, you slept fine. Here's a prescription. And you know, it's funny because at the time, I didn't even it didn't even really, like now I would say, why would I have a prescription if there's nothing wrong with me? But at the time I'm thinking, oh, great, they're going to give me some pills and it's going to help me sleep. So.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: So I filled the prescription and, uh, and I would wake up in the morning feeling really groggy, and I didn't remember my dreams, and that that sort of bothered me because I had vivid dreams at the time, and I liked remembering my dreams, because then it at least felt as though restless sleep had a purpose, right? Maybe there was something unprocessed or something I could learn from my dreams. So I didn't like how I felt waking up. And I didn't take those the pills for very long. But I did what I think many people do is they turn to, you know, the supplements and the more natural, holistic, you know, the valerian's, the melatonin's, those, those sorts of things that feel perhaps less scary or maybe we think the side effects aren't going to be as as impactful, but those didn't work for any long period of time.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: And so I was still in this place where I feel like I had, you know, quote unquote, done all the things, right. I went to bed at a reasonable time. I woke up at the same time. At that point, we weren't on the screens the way we are today. And so I wasn't doing much of that. And it was I arrived at this point where I thought, well, okay, there's nothing I can do, right? This is just how I am, and I'm going to have to deal with it. And I think a lot of people who have struggled with sleep end up in that place where, well, I've never I've just never been a good sleeper or they run out of things to do because they've done everything that has been suggested. And it wasn't until I finally burned out at my at my former career in 2010 that I started on a different path to managing my stress.

Kali Patrick: I don't even think managing my stress, but eliminating stress as much as possible by better aligning my life with what I wanted to do. And as I started learning new things, new techniques in the area of, you know, in lots of different modalities from yoga and, and breathing techniques and meditation. And I mentioned this to you earlier that I do that in a little bit more, a little different way than what most people might think of as, as those practices. Um, and I started doing that for myself, and I discovered that I started sleeping better. And so I really wanted to share that with other, you know, stressed out, busy professionals who just don't know what else to do. And, you know, there are a lot of different components to that, which is why you might have seen my book. It's called Mastering Your Sleep Puzzle, because there's a lot of little pieces that need to fit together in a certain way to improve an individual's sleep. And everybody's a little bit different. So I found my path through that, and I'm a mostly good sleeper now. Um, and now I help other people do that as well.

David Enevoldsen: I love that. That answer there. Well, there's a bunch of things that resonate there for me. I've had that kind of theme within the Emotional Embuffination framework for a while. In fact, for a while I was using this analogy because I would see people that would say, I've tried everything to fix and not even just sleep, but with any kind of problem, like I'm feeling depression or something, and people would say, I've tried everything. And then you kind of talk to them and you find out they've changed like 1 or 2 things. And so I had this analogy of like imagining you find a broken down car. It's just completely stripped of everything. It's rusty, it's beat up, it's not running at all. And then you go in and you say, well, I've fixed the seatbelt and I replaced the alternator. I don't understand why it's not working. And I think, like, you've got to go through and fix everything, like there's a lot of different little elements that can go into this. And at some threshold point, once you replace the engine and you fix the starter and then all the different things that go into the car, it's going to start running. So it feels like the same thing with the sleep, you know, maybe you fix.

Kali Patrick: And there's a and there's a challenge to that too, right? Which is okay if there's five different things wrong, you can't fix them all at once.

David Enevoldsen: Right. Exactly. Exactly.

Kali Patrick: So you have to be aware that there are multiple contributors. But a lot of times, too, the mistake I see people make is that okay, I've. Now I see everything that's wrong. So now I'm going to go from this position where I'm doing absolutely nothing to now, you know, going to bed at 9:00 every night and I'm going to do two hours of meditation and I'm going to do, you know, that's just not that's not how we we make behavior changes.

David Enevoldsen: Yup.

David Enevoldsen: Totally agree. Um, no. That's great. Can you tell me a little bit about so let's just talk maybe about the effects of not having effective sleep or sleep deprivation or problems in quality of sleep, anything like that are there. I guess maybe we can start just physiologically, are there like medical issues that tie in?

Kali Patrick: Oh so many. It's funny because chapter three of my book I really went into a lot of the different areas and how sleep deprivation impacts us. And also, you know, on the flip side, how sleeping well can benefit us. And so I did sort of make these categories of, okay, we have our physical health. We have are our energy health, which is sort of a yogic way of looking at how our breathing is and how how we are resonating with what's happening to us with life. So I think, you know, maybe a little bit more of the emotional aspects there, and certainly our mental health and our cognitive abilities when we're at work or at home, how we process things. And so, you know, I joke that a new study comes out every day that links healthy sleep to something positive and links sleep deprivation to some sort of medical issue. Right? So, you know, physically, I like to talk about certain ones. Um, first of all, decreasing your risk of pretty much everything, you know, all the all the big conditions that are out there right now, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, obesity, diabetes, even some cancers because of how sleep works to keep our immune system healthy. So it's sleep is a preventative for a lot of these things. And and even if we are diagnosed with something, one of these conditions, when we sleep well, we're less likely to be seriously impacted by them.

Kali Patrick: Right? We're almost in some studies we're less likely to die from them from, you know, when we have healthy sleep. So, so, so important for, you know, all the big killers in the United States today in terms of inflammation and chronic chronic conditions. Um, one of them that I, I like to mention specifically around the immune system, because we did just come through a pandemic and we're still, you know, we're still dealing with all these different sort of viruses and things coming out. But you mentioned sleeping a few hours, right? Four hours, three hours when people sleep between, you know, around 4 to 6 hours. We call it short sleep for most adults, recommended hours, of course, I'm sure everyone has heard is 7 to 9 hours. And I know a few people who get toward the nine, right toward the nine side, so most people are barely getting seven. But when we're getting short sleep, which is somewhere between 4 and 6 or even fewer, um, we are reducing our immune system potential by 70%. Seven zero. And that's one night. That's one night. So what what's crazy to me about that is how many people do sleep for only a few hours a night on a consecutive basis.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: Right. So that's that's really adding up. Um, and that's actually mentioned in Matthew Walker's TED, talk about sweeping your superpower. If people haven't watched that, you should really check it out. But he mentions that in in several studies that, you know, for immune system, even for certain cancers. Um, you know, this is why, you know, some people have labeled shift work as a, as a carcinogen, right? Possible carcinogen. So people who work night shifts and irregular hours and all that sort of thing, it's dangerous.

David Enevoldsen: Interesting.

Kali Patrick: So,

David Enevoldsen: Just because of the shift in the sleep patterns.

Kali Patrick: Right, right.

David Enevoldsen: Huh. Does it do you find in all these different studies and the stuff you've seen on that, is there an impact on emotional states? I mean, aside from just the physiological health and.

Kali Patrick: Oh, for sure, for sure. So so in some cases, actually in a lot of cases, they're not sure, you know, when we're talking about anxiety in particular or depression in some cases, they're not sure whether the sleep deprivation comes first as the cause and then the anxiety and the depression is the result, or if it's the reverse, right. Because the sleep issues and these conditions are so tightly connected and so interlinked. So, you know, I'm sure, of course, that that your audience and people who even if you're not diagnosed with some sort of clinical anxiety disorder or depressive disorder. You know, when you don't sleep well, the stuff that happens in your life.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: Right. The little stressors, the traffic, the, you know, the bad weather, the oh, you know, something in my house broke that now I have to deal with. Right? And call customer service, whatever it is. Right? Those little things feel so much bigger when we're not well rested.

David Enevoldsen: 100 percent.

Kali Patrick: And, you know, there's there's reasons for that, you know, in terms of how the brain works and the amygdala and, you know, the primitive part of the brain and the prefrontal cortex and how we just sort of deal with things. But but basically we go we go back to that sort of primitive brain state where it's like, okay, everything is just big and it's an emergency and it's on fire. And, and that that can be really difficult. And so then we end up in a more heightened stress state, which we often then carry with us to bed, and then we're not sleeping again. And so it's a it's a very interesting

David Enevoldsen: It snowballs.

Kali Patrick: It's an interconnected cycle. And I think what, what a lot of people, they realize that and they feel frustrated by that. But I try to get them to look at it as, hey, it's it's a good thing that these are connected because if you tweak your sleep a little bit.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: You're automatically going to be tweaking your mental health, right? Whether you suffer from anxiety or depression, you will probably be handling that better if you sleep better. And then if you do some work on, you know, obviously going to a therapist or doing what you need to do to be managing the anxiety and depression, your sleep can also improve. And so we can look at it as a negative feedback loop, or we can look at it as a positive feedback loop and say, hey, there's potential there.

David Enevoldsen: Yup. You just said a bunch of stuff that resonates with me. And in my book, Emotional Embuffination, I actually have a chapter where I entitled it Set Yourself Up. And one of the major themes there is that I think what people tend to do very often in their lives is they'll run around in just this perpetual chaos, and a lot of times that chaos is stuff that we can kind of eliminate by just putting some basic systems in play. Actually specifically mentioned sleep as one of those. Like if you're getting a regimented sleep schedule, you got good sleep hygiene, all that stuff, I don't go into a lot of detail on the sleep part. But my theme there is that if you're kind of in this perpetual chaos involving things that you could easily control by just changing your routines, then when something does really, legitimately chaotic happen in your life, you have nothing left to really deal with it. And so it becomes this catastrophe. You're on this like heightened, you know, red alert all the time, and there's just nothing left to deal with the real emergencies. On the other hand, if you're developing these good habits to sleep effectively, eat right, etcetera, then when the emergencies do come around, or the chaos or the unexpected stuff happens, you've got reserves there emotionally, you know, energetically, etcetera, to kind of deal with it. So it sounds very similar to what you were just describing there.

David Enevoldsen: Maybe on the flip side of this, I mean, are there we talked a little bit about the negatives. I mean, can you think of some are there positives aside from just having more energy or, you know, being more able to deal with the problems of getting enough sleep?

Kali Patrick: Right. Well, I mean, the positives are the inverse of the negatives.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: So we have, you know, if heart disease or, you know, Alzheimer's runs in your family, I work with a lot of middle-aged clients who are seeing their parents age and maybe some cognitive decline there. The sleep we get in midlife is really important for our future mental cognitive abilities, right? They're starting to connect sleep deprivation with things like Alzheimer's and dementia. Right? And so what we can do now could could really impact us later. I mean, it's a little bit of delayed gratification for some people, but but if you're seeing a parent or a loved one go through that, then obviously, you know, you're you might be thinking about yourself and you know what's, what's what's my what's my trajectory going to look like.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: Um, I also I do tend to work also with people who have some type of chronic illness or a chronic condition, right? Pain, things that prevent them from maybe getting comfortable in their bed and, and conditions that can flare up and go away, right. Or or lessen in intensity. So any time we're sleeping well, right, we're letting the body heal as much as it can. And even if we're dealing with a with an ongoing health concern, right, our experience of that is going to be better than if we were not sleeping.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: So so it it can reduce the intensity of flare ups. It can reduce flare ups. General safety. I think a lot of people don't realize and more people are working from home now, which is great. But anytime we're behind the wheel of a car, when we're sleep deprived, it's like we're driving drunk. There's there's studies that show this. I'm sure that's hopefully old news to folks, but but maybe not. Right. We wouldn't think about, you know, pounding, pounding a couple of drinks and then getting behind the wheel. But we wake up tired. We drive to work. You know,

David Enevoldsen: Some people do. I've worked on a lot of DUI, so I know there's a few out there.

Kali Patrick: Right.

David Enevoldsen: But to your point.

Kali Patrick: Yeah. Right. So so there still are people on the roads and, and you know, safety that that really matters. And then just from, from a professional perspective, I work with a lot of folks who just like, hey, I would love to just feel like I can go into that early morning meeting and, and be awake and attentive and participatory and contribute.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: If they're up until 230 in the morning or they're up and they're tossing and turning all night, and then you get up on a nine, even a 9:00, you know, meeting in the morning or 8:00, and you just don't feel like you're all there. And, and so and people are passionate these days about their work. Right? A lot of people are starting their own businesses, a lot of people really realigning their work with their core values and what they want to be doing. So they're excited about it. They want to put their full heart and soul into it. And, you know, when we don't feel well, when we have no energy, it's just very hard to be doing that. And so we're not only depriving ourselves, but we're also potentially depriving others of the great stuff that that we want to be doing and putting out there.

David Enevoldsen: For sure. Historically, at least historically, within my life, I've noticed there's almost a, I mentioned this at the beginning in terms of my history. There's almost like a badge of honor behind sleep deprivation. And it feels to me like we've I don't know if this has changed or changing, or I feel like I still hear things along these lines a lot of times, where, just from a cultural perspective, it's almost like, wonderful if you've only gotten three hours of sleep. And I was up working so hard that I just got those three hours of sleep, and that just shows you how what a hard worker I am or something like that. Do you feel like that we still have that issue or that you feel like that's ever existed?

Kali Patrick: I think we I do think we still have that issue. I mean, there's certainly a lot more people talking about it. And I think the more people who talk about it and share why that's not the case. I think if I'm if I'm not mistaken, Bill Gates recently came out with a, um, somebody quoted Bill gates in an article that said he used to believe that, and now he's completely rethought that. And, you know, maybe some of that comes some of that wisdom comes with age. Um, but, you know, we certainly see that in, in some professional circles. But I do think having the conversation around it is starting to make people second guess whether that's really true, whether it is a smart thing and a thing to be proud of, right, that we're depriving ourselves of sleep. I mean, sleep deprivation is torture, right? It's a torture technique that is outlawed. Yet we're essentially doing that to ourselves. So I don't know I don't know why we consider that to be smart and at what point along the way that that happened. And on the flip side, one of the things that I've been talking about quite a bit is the the other side of it, where we're actually shaming ourselves and other people for really good behaviors, for really healthy behaviors. Right? I just spoke to a woman who said, oh, I went out after work and I, you know, had dinner with my, you know, my friends. And we did this and, you know, by 9:00, I was just I was ready to go home and hop into my pajamas. And, you know, I'm such a party pooper. It's like, well, why? You did everything you wanted to do. You're tired. You're making the right decision to go home. Why is why do you have to self-deprecate that way? Right? When we, in my book, I talk about the 9 p.m. sort of that window of saying, well, I'm old and I'm lame because I'm in my pajamas. It's like, actually, no, that's the right time for someone to be in their pajamas, ready to go to bed. And so we really have to do some reframing around how we're treating ourselves and was like, wow, that's hey, it's great. I'm in my pajamas at 9:00. I'm going to get a great night's sleep. I'm going to wake up tomorrow, be able to do all the things I want to do. Like who says that and why don't we? It's kind of strange. We see that a lot around the New year. I think that's when I started to see it last year, right when people were like, didn't they stay up for for the New Year celebration? So, so, you know, I'm so lame and I didn't party and I didn't, you know, didn't stay up past midnight. But those people are probably going to have a much better first day of the year, So.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: What is, what is this about? I'm, I don't understand, but I think it needs to be changed. Right? I think it's a discrepancy when we're saying, hey, I want to sleep better. And if I'm doing a healthy sleep habit, I'm old and lame because we don't aspire to be old and lame, usually, right?

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: Let's aspire to make smart choices about our health and our well-being and then celebrate that and I think that that's really important.

David Enevoldsen: That's funny. I've heard a lot of memes. You're right. That 9:00 9:00 pm, that's always what I hear is like memes. People are joking about how old I am because now I eat, you know, healthy foods and I go to bed by 9:00 pm and I'm old. It's funny. Which I guess, just to your point, really does reflect that, that social paradigm we have about sleep and how you shouldn't be sleeping, I guess, or you shouldn't have good sleep habits. What do you think the cause of all that is? Or do you have any sense of where that's culturally come from? Like why we want to not sleep or why we think it's bad to get healthy sleep?

Kali Patrick: I really have no idea. It predates me, I think.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: But I mean, I think there is something to this idea at least, you know, when I worked in corporate environments where if you're not constantly busy, you're not constantly doing something, you're not constantly in, in motion. I mean, that goes back to my childhood, too. If I was sitting on a sofa reading a book, it was like, hey, why are you being lazy? Get up and do something right?

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: And and so it's we always a lot of people feel like we have to be doing in order to be valued in order to feel productive. And there's actually, you know, from the yogic perspective, which I also bring into my coaching, there is a what we call a busy form of depression, which is that person who just needs to keep filling their calendar with thing after thing and constantly be moving and never stopping because once that person sits still, then stuff comes up.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: Right? Emotions come up and then we have to process that. And and what's interesting I find in some clients is that when they don't take that time to do that during the day, that's when if they happen to wake up in the middle of the night, two in the morning, three in the morning, and then the mind starts going right, the mind chatter starts going or the body gets restless. That's all that sort of energy in in the mind and in the body that hasn't been dealt with in the day time. So I've had clients who have literally set aside a half an hour in the daytime to process what's going on, to just absorb, okay, what's happened to me today and how am I taking care of myself, and what am I doing about that? And and then, you know, we do some other things and the number of occurrences that they're waking up between 2 and 4 a.m. with the mind sort of going in circles about this issue or that issue, or just tossing and turning those, those diminish. But we don't give ourselves that space during the day and that stuff doesn't go away.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: It waits till it's tended to and then it it gives you it gives you the signals that it needs to be tended to. And eventually those get louder and louder and sleep gets worse and then we burn out, etcetera.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. It's funny you're describing that. And it just made me remember when I was at kind of at my lowest point in my life. This was like before I was just before I was getting a divorce. Totally. Before I'd rewired my sleep habits. I was I think this was about the period in law school or right after law school, I can't remember. And I just I was a train wreck on so many different levels sleep, you know, mindset, etcetera. And I remember repeatedly saying and thinking that like, nighttime was always the worst time of the day, because when I'd lay down, I'd just sit there and think about how unhappy I was. And it was like that sudden moment of just laying there and being stuck with my thoughts. I hated it and it just felt awful, which I'm sure didn't contribute anything positive to my sleep habits. But I remember I would sit there and stew, and I remember sometimes I'd like cry myself to sleep, and it just felt like a horrible time because that was the moment I was I was stuck with my thoughts, you know.

Kali Patrick: Right. Because you stopped. You, when you stopped to go to sleep. Then these things don't go away. They need to be they need to be processed. And addressed and so especially when people have the chattery minds and, you know, if that happens long enough, if you if you lay in bed long enough and you're dealing with that sort of intensity, you start to dread going to sleep. And so you start to delay the time that you go to bed, because you know that as soon as you go to bed, then this is going to create that problem.

David Enevoldsen: Precisely.

Kali Patrick: Put those emotions in your face right up front and center because there's no distraction anymore. And then then you end up sleeping less.

David Enevoldsen: Which makes it all even worse.

Kali Patrick: Right.

David Enevoldsen: Precisely. Oh, yup. That that really hits home. It brings back some memories and not positive ones. But maybe we can talk, can we talk a little bit about actual sleep hygiene? So what do you have kind of tips recommendations. And I'm sure there's probably a million of them. But do you have some just I guess some sample things that people can do to clean up sleep hygiene.

Kali Patrick: Right. So so one of the first things I always sort of joke with people because as a sleep coach, most people do ask me that question.

David Enevoldsen: Okay.

Kali Patrick: Give me a tip. Give me a trick. How can I what can I give me a hack? What can I do?

David Enevoldsen: Maybe I'm going in reverse. Maybe we should be going deeper first. Is that.

Kali Patrick: Well, the first thing I'll say is that when you find yourself asking that question, that's the wrong question to be asking, because there's not going to be whether it's sleep hygiene or anything else, there's not going to be, you know, one tip that's going to magically change your life. Again, it's so many little things, right?

David Enevoldsen: Which goes back to what we were saying earlier, right?

Kali Patrick: Yeah. But I will say that I think that the most impactful thing that I can impart there is to start to think about, so let's take that example of someone who goes to bed. Let's say they fall asleep. Fine. They wake up at three in the morning.

David Enevoldsen: okay.

Kali Patrick: And now their mind is chattering, and then they're calculating the hours that they have left if they fall asleep right now and. Right? Or thinking, okay, tomorrow is going to suck if I don't get to sleep right now. And so all that busyness of what happens in the mind. So what do we often do when that, that that continues to happen, right? One of the first things I hear people do is turning to the natural substances. Right? Which is what I did certainly after I tried the medication. Right, so let's take something before bed so that we're going to be preventative, preventative and not wake up. I see many people doing incredible cocktails of over the counter of supplements of even, you know, medically prescribed things and, you know, these, these medications. And again, I'll say I'm not a doctor. So I'll caveat this, but know what the medications are, know what the side effects are. Because in some cases a side effect of a medication for insomnia is insomnia, right?

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: How how you take melatonin, see many people taking melatonin every night, or they wake up in the middle of the night and they take it in the middle of the night. That's not what melatonin is for, and it's not how it works. It's intended to be used in certain specific and short-term situations. Like jet lag.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: Right. But this is an ongoing thing now where I see people taking it every night or I can't sleep, and then they become acclimated to it and then it doesn't do anything, right? And the way I would start to shift people's perspectives here is to think about the fact that what we're trying to do in most cases, whether that's, you know, taking something or, you know, even when we lay awake in bed and think, okay, I have to get to sleep now, is we're trying to control something that is largely beyond our control. Sleep is something we surrender to. It's something we relax and let go into. So anytime you are doing something where you're trying to make something happen. You are actually going to be creating more of a problem. And that's one of those big sort of, you know, let's get to root causes. Let's look at some ways of shifting how we're thinking about things. Because once you realize that, okay, I need to stop trying to control this. And figure out how to allow this to remove barriers rather than to put more things in place. So, you know, when we talk about sleep hygiene, we talk about bedtime routines. I see people with bedtime routines 15 steps long. Because they're trying to fix the problem. The sleep routines are adding stress. Right? So it's back to that analogy of fixing the car. Yes, there might be 15 things you need to do, but they all need to be in the hour before bed. And what's the most important thing? Fixing the seatbelt might not be the most important thing to get the car operational. You know, let's fix something a little more critical first.

David Enevoldsen: Right, right.

Kali Patrick: And then see, is it even worth fixing the seatbelt? Hopefully it is, right? But you understand my point. It's not, it's not the thing to be necessarily focused on that's going to give you the biggest impact for your efforts.

David Enevoldsen: Find the needle mover.

Kali Patrick: Less is way, way more than doing so much. So sure, you know, anytime we see basic sleep hygiene advice online, right? Don't be online before bed. Make sure you eat healthy meals. Make sure you get light and exercise. Et cetera. Et cetera. Of course these are these are foundational practices, but they're often not the only things that are needed to help people, especially if they have a chronic issue where they feel like they've been struggling for years and years and years. And I'll say one more thing about those those touch points right during the day, the meal times, the sorry, the wake times, the meal times, the get the walk in, get the light in, these are important beyond what they are. So light is important during the day part of setting your circadian rhythm. But when you eat lunch for example, at the same time every day and I mean like an actual lunch break, right? Not shoveling it in at your desk or in the car, that's a rhythm that you're setting with your body. Your body expects, okay, at 12:00 I'm going to have food or whatever time, right at 3:00, I'm going to have a walk. At 10:00, I'm going to be asleep. And so the benefits of those rhythm setters are beyond what they actually are, because collectively they get us in that that routine and that rhythm, which is not meant to be rigid, necessarily. I mean there's certainly times where we're going to break that intentionally or need to break that intentionally. But what's the typical rhythm? Because the more you have a typical rhythm to go back to, the more your system remembers that, and you know, you can handle random things that happen every now and then. But what's what's the typical arrangement, what's what's the norm versus the exception? And in many cases, I think people's poor sleep is the norm. The good night sleep is the exception. So let's flip that. And we do that by setting some rhythms and staying as close to that as we can without being overly regimented and strict.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. Again, several things there that really hit me. One, you're talking about making something happen, like where you're trying to make sleep happen, and that sounds a lot like what I've talked about, just negative emotions in a general sense with that sounds very, very similar, where I think a lot of times we start to experience a negative emotion and we start to think, I shouldn't be feeling that negative emotion. And then all of a sudden you feel upset about the fact that you're feeling upset, which makes you doubly upset. And I've found that if you kind of just lean into a negative emotion and sort of accept it and you just say, okay, I'm going to feel unhappy now about whether I'm angry or sad or whatever it is. Somehow that in and of itself seems to deprive the negative emotion of a lot of its power over you. At least that's been my experience, and it sounds very similar to what you're describing with the sleep there. You know, if you're instead of saying, I have to go to sleep now, this is going to be the second I go to sleep, and I've got to get my 7 to 8 or whatever hours in of sleep before work. And, you know, I don't do it now it's all going to be a disaster like here.

Kali Patrick: And you can hear the pressure in that language. Right?

David Enevoldsen: Precisely.

Kali Patrick: It's very constrictive way of speaking to yourself. And I'd like to remind adults too, just especially adults who have children or who have raised children, when your child was unable to sleep when they were young and they came into your room, you don't speak to them the way you speak to yourself.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: I almost guarantee it. Right? You're very compassionate with your child. Okay, let's you know, what are we? Let's read a story. Let's, you know, get back into bed, feel safe, feel cozy. Right? But we're not beating up the kid for waking up. But we do that to ourselves all the time.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: And yes, that doesn't, it's it's not helpful. It often does take some retraining to get ourselves out of that. But I do encourage people, especially if they wake up in the middle of the night, and that is a common occurrence for them. I work with a lot of women who are dealing with the change of life and sort of waking up hot and and sweating or, you know, different things like that, and it's like, oh, here we go again, right? Or, you know, I've had people curse and yell at themselves in their head that, hey I'm awake again. Notice what you say to yourself the moment you're not sleeping, when and where and how you want to be sleeping.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: That can be huge. Just notice you don't even need to change it yet. But just notice how many times you say the same thing and whether it what kind of quality it has to it.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. I mean, again, I love all this stuff. I have a chapter in my book about self-talk, and I actually have a podcast episode I did at some point on the theme of self-talk. And I think we have a tendency to say to ourselves things, things that we wouldn't say to somebody else. You know, I'll say like for example, oh my God, I ate that donut. I'm such a fat pig. But you say that to your wife like you're an abuser. Like you're a jerk. You know, I can't say you're such a fat pig. Why did you eat that donut? I'm sure there's some guys that do, but. Or people that do. That, that sounds awful from that perspective. But we allow it with ourselves, you know? It's okay if I say it to me. You know, same thing with the sleep. I think that self-talk is absolutely critically important. You also mentioned you were talking about the melatonin and the sleep aids and the kind of stuff that you consume. When I was in my my sleep rewiring period, I got into melatonin for a bit and I did that same thing. I was taking it every night. After a while, and I remember noticing like initially it was helpful. And then it it's like I adapted to it and it stopped having any effect, at least any positive effect. It was still causing me things like melatonin headaches in the morning when I was waking up, and just some negative stuff. So I almost never use it now, but when I do it's kind of like I'm just trying to force myself into sleep in a pinch or something, but maybe it's counter to what you were describing a few minutes ago, but.

Kali Patrick: Like I said, it depends on the situation, right? Jet lag is a good example of like, okay, here's a temporary situation where my sleep schedule is messed up and and I need a little help and it's temporary.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: And when you're not using it every night, then it works better because you're not using it every night. You're not habituated to it, but it essentially, you know, that that particular supplement is always interesting to me, because melatonin signals to your brain that the time to sleep is soon. Not now.

David Enevoldsen: Interesting.

Kali Patrick: There's a there's a lag to it. Right? So so the people who wake up in the middle of the night and take it right, then it's like, okay. But then I wake up groggy, well, you've taken it late. And so you're and you're actually throwing your cycle off. And then on top of that, we're on the screens late at night. And we know that the blue light suppresses the brain's secretion of melatonin. So we're taking an artificial substance no matter how natural it's marketed to be. And we're refusing to get off our screens or do something that's a behavior change. And there's there's all kinds of reasons for that. Right? We need to be motivated to make the change. Obviously, that's fulfilling some need that's not getting filled elsewhere. If we're on the screen late because we're on social media or we're, you know, whatever it is that we're doing, playing games or, you know, whatever that is, whatever that looks like. But it's almost it's the irony strikes me, right, that we're we're supplementing something that if we just put down the iPad, right, maybe our brains would work better and we wouldn't need this thing. So,

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. Um, I want to jump into that one more thought before we leave the substance issues. I remember reading and tell me if this sounds correct to you, and this is consistent with my experience as well, that I remember reading some study a while back that indicated that because there's a lot of people that will take like wine or something, they'll drink before bed to get themselves to go to sleep because they find it relaxes them or something like that. The study I was reading was saying that if I'm remembering correctly, that if you were to take alcohol before you go to sleep, it actually alters kind of the underlying sleep states that you're in. So even if it gets you to sleep, the quality of sleep is very different. So you wake up feeling way less rested than you would had you not used the alcohol. Does that sound correct?

Kali Patrick: Yes, yes, it's essentially a sedative so it can relax you to help you fall asleep initially, but then your body is processing the alcohol through the night. And that's a very active process.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: It's similar to you know, it's obviously more complicated. But if you were having a meal right before bed, right. It's difficult to sleep, to fall asleep and stay asleep when your body is digesting the food, because that's just a chemically active process. Your body can be still, but inside there's all this activity happening.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: So so we're we have to pay attention to the body, to the mind, and inside and out.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: For all those all those stars have to align.

David Enevoldsen: Which goes back to your point about if you're going to take a medication, look at the side effects or any substance, I guess, look at the side effects, because you could be having something for insomnia that creates insomnia.

Kali Patrick: Right, and if people are, I mean, again, I'm not a doctor, but if people are taking medication for other conditions too, you know, look that up or sometimes the timing can be changed, right? If it's something you're taking before bed that's interfering with your sleep, you can talk to your doctor and maybe take it at a different time of day. Or maybe there's a different medicine that does the same, has the same properties, right? Has the same effect, but it doesn't have the same impact on your sleep. So I like to empower my clients to always have conversations with their doctor if they are experiencing a sleep disturbance. And even if one is on a medication for years, sometimes they change the formula and you're not, you know, you're not become aware of it and suddenly now you're sensitive to it or, you know, or your body changes as you age and now you're sensitive to it. So just because you've been on something forever doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, like, why why would I have a problem now? You know, we change products change, and, you know, so we need to pay attention to that.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. You mentioned a minute ago you were talking about maybe there's there's something else going on and people kind of staying up late. But before we started recording we were talking about revenge bedtime procrastination, which I'd never heard that phrase before today. Um, can we can we talk about that briefly? Like, first off, what is revenge bedtime procrastination.

Kali Patrick: Right, right. It's it's a catchy name that's been given to this, this practice of delaying bedtime for me time.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: So let's say you've been working hard all day. You've got a busy family, you've got a lot of people that you're responsible for or you know that you're taking care of. And then finally, you know, the house is quiet, it's 10:00 and, you know, you should go to bed. But you're like, wow, the house is quiet.

David Enevoldsen: Exactly.

Kali Patrick: I get to do my thing for me. And the next thing you know, it's midnight, right? So you've had you've sacrificed two hours of sleep for two hours of me time.

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: And so and and that side of sleep, the initial bedtime, first, you know, falling asleep and going into sleep. That's where people tend to get more non-REM sleep.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: And then when if they wake up too early, that's where they're sort of maybe not getting enough REM sleep. You need both sides to wake feeling refreshed consistently. So, you know, some people are early wakers. They wake up at 4:00 in the morning, they can't get back to sleep. Okay, well, they're not refreshed because they're missing some some significant REM in those early morning hours. That's why we remember our dreams. We tend to remember dreams more toward the early morning, right? But on the flip side, if you're delaying bedtime, you know you're not just losing two hours of sleep for me time. You're losing two hours of non-REM sleep, which again, you need both sides to wake up doing your best.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah.

Kali Patrick: You know, obviously the solution there is you need to find some me time during the day. And that goes back to our early prerecorded conversation about boundaries, right? And what choices that we make during the day. Are we going to spend 5 minutes or 15 minutes playing on, on, on social media, or are we going to do something that's going to set us up for healthy sleep tonight, like take a walk or even sit down for 15 minutes and just stop and digest the experience of your day so far.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. So I've got a lot more questions on my list here, but I'm also watching the clock. I feel like I could talk for a very long time. Um, let me maybe let me funnel this, this down to some other stuff here. So you you are a sleep coach. Is that the correct title?

Kali Patrick: I'm a sleep and wellbeing coach.

David Enevoldsen: Sleep and wellbeing coach.

Kali Patrick: So we look at all the things that impact sleep. So I look at things from a holistic perspective. Right? So we're not just looking at the sleep time per se, but we're looking at what's happening in the daytime. We're looking at physical, mental, emotional health. We're looking at, you know, are there any medical issues that need to be addressed with a doctor, etcetera. And so, so yes, I go into the whole realm of wellbeing, which also includes stress resilience.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah. Perfect. So basically somebody is going to come to you and say like they're not feeling on point or their sleep isn't right and they've tried everything, all the little sleep hygiene tricks. And um, and then you help them kind of figure out how to put those pieces together.

Kali Patrick: Yes. I mean, usually someone will come to me and say, you know, I'm having trouble falling asleep, or I wake up in the middle of the night multiple times. Um, you know, I do consultations with people where we, you know, I make sure that there's there's nothing that they need to be talking with their doctor about. Sleep apnea is a huge thing. If people are snoring, we want to make sure that they're not suffering from a sleep disorder, which is a medical condition. Something like restless leg syndrome is another one, um, versus disordered sleeping, which is okay, I've gotten myself way out of whack by how I live my life, and I need some help figuring out what's the best thing to do. How do I get myself back on track? How do I improve my sleep, and how do I do it in a way that doesn't have to change every little thing about my life?

David Enevoldsen: Right.

Kali Patrick: Because we all have our stuff. So how do we work within that? How do we negotiate that and make the small changes that are going to have, again, the biggest impact? And it's all very, um, the coaching process is a little different than something like cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which is another very common non-pharmacological treatment for that. But that's a very strict regimen, right? That's you're going to follow the protocol and that's how you're going to live. And as we as we often know with, you know, diets, right? When you try to follow something to the letter that doesn't last.

David Enevoldsen: Correct.

Kali Patrick: Right. So I think the therapy is awesome because it does not, you know, doesn't rely so much on the medications as we often see. But it's very restrictive. And I do actually coach a lot of people who come who have completed that program and said I couldn't do it, right? Or it didn't last because it's just not a sustainable way. So what what we do in coaching is we look at, okay, here's what I'm dealing with in my life here, I think are the main issues. Let's make some little changes. Let's learn how to continue to maintain them until they become habits one at a time. And then inevitably, life throws you some kind of curve ball. And how do we take that and how do we adapt? And so I teach people essentially how to coach themselves through those challenges, whether they impact sleep or stress, which impacts sleep. And and that's how, you know, my job is to put myself out of work, essentially. If I've done my if I've done my job well as a coach, then people have the tools that they can take going forward and and have healthy sleep forever. You know, I try to talk about it as future proofing their sleep.

David Enevoldsen: That's perfect. And that seems to go back to what we were talking about earlier, about the the kind of holistic approach, not holistic. Maybe that's the wrong word, but when you like the car example where you're trying to fix everything all at once and you just kind of slingshot backwards, kind of like the diet or any of these other things where it's just unsustainable. So I like the idea of like, pick the needle movers, figure out what's going on, make those habit, and then kind of keep inching your way towards where you want to be. So,

Kali Patrick: And you know, the car parts will wear out again.

David Enevoldsen: Right. Right, right.

Kali Patrick: So, you know, it's a process. It's something that that doesn't end. So how can we make the most of that process and do the best we can and set ourselves up for, for dealing with those changes?

David Enevoldsen: If somebody does reach out to you and they want to use you to kind of work through some issues, do you are you available to people everywhere or do you work by zoom or video conferencing?

Kali Patrick: I coach through a telehealth platform that uses zoom as a background, and so I've coached people all over the world.

David Enevoldsen: Perfect.

Kali Patrick: In New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the US of course, and the clarity call is on my website. If people want to set up a 30 minute consultation, see if coaching is a good approach. I don't sell my coaching. You know, I don't, coaching works when both people want to be engaged and in the relationship and work on it. So, you know, there's nothing that anyone has to buy. And the coaching program that I did, as you probably know, I put that into my my book for those self-helpers. So Mastering Your Sleep Puzzle does attempt to encapsulate the 12 week program that I do with one-on-one clients. Of course, it's a linear, generic process. When people come to coaching for one on one, it's obviously very specific and individual and a little bit more iterative, but but they can get the gist of what the coaching would be like through the book. And some motivated folks could probably make some significant changes and headway using the book.

David Enevoldsen: Okay, and I'll add some links to everywhere I'm posting the podcast. But if somebody wants to get the book, learn more about you, reach out to you. Where do they go or what do they do?

Kali Patrick: Sure. So my website is kalipatrick.com or kalisleepcoach.com. And they can check out the book at sleeppuzzlebook.com. And there's a downloadable chapter of the book on the website. And I also have my online course which is called The Sleep Academy, which is an abbreviated, it's a little six week program that talks a lot about the rhythms, and particularly that course addresses the stress, anxiety, mental emotional health loop that we often get into that we talked about a little bit earlier when I first created the course. The name of it was Learn to Tame Your Anxious Mind. And I was like, that's way too long. I need to change the name. But but that's the that's the heart and soul of that course is really about, you know, the stress and the anxiety and how that sabotages us and how we can use it to our advantage. That loop.

David Enevoldsen: I like it. All right. As I said, I've got a lot more stuff I would love to talk through here, but paying attention to the clock.

Kali Patrick: Well maybe we need to do a part two someday.

David Enevoldsen: Yeah, we might have to, because I feel like there's so many more questions I want to ask you. Let me let me give you my closer question here, which I ask everybody that comes on. That is if you could offer just one piece of advice to people about kind of optimizing emotional health or strength or well-being, what would that one piece of advice be?

Kali Patrick: Yeah. I think I'm going to change my planned answer here. So we talked a little bit about the waking at 3 a.m. and the mind being busy and going through, trying to process some of the things that are that are happening. I often ask people, can you relate to that? Can you relate to waking up at that time and having those thoughts and those feelings? And, you know, ten out of ten people say, absolutely yes. When we think about three in the afternoon, if I asked you, what have you done today to set yourself up for sleep tonight by 3 p.m., people just look at me with a puzzled face, right? What is, why would I be thinking about my sleep in the middle of the day and think that's that's really the heart of what I've been saying, right? Which is, you know, the daytime doesn't exist independently of the nighttime, right? We're not two different people, one in the day and one in the night. We're the same integrated person. And so you have to really look at some of the nighttime struggles as daytime root causes. And maybe the fix is not at two in the morning. Maybe it's not in the bedtime routine, but it's oftentimes in how we're dealing with life. And sometimes the changes that we know we need to make that we're not making, or the feelings that we need to process, that we're not making space for. And so I think, you know, as opposed to looking at tips and tricks and looking at night time, let's look at okay, let's look at life and what what do we know? We really need to make some changes to or to make some space for.

David Enevoldsen: I love that message that is that's perfect. And that seems to cross all sorts of different things, even just beyond sleep. I think we have a tendency to say like, I'm feeling depressed. Let me just take some pills and make it go away instead of getting to the root cause of where those feelings are coming from. Feeling constant anxiety. I'm not getting enough sleep. Like digging a little deeper to kind of pay attention to where where this stuff's coming from on the sidelines or, you know, more, more deeply. That's a great answer, I love it. Um, okay, I guess we can leave it there for today, and maybe we'll have to schedule out a part two here, because I like this a lot. Kali, thank you very much for talking with me today. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate your insights. I think this is incredibly important stuff. I love the the message and the mission. So thanks for being on the show and I will, I guess I'll let you go there.

Kali Patrick: Yeah. Thanks. No, you made it super easy. And clearly, yeah, an hour flew by.

David Enevoldsen: Yes. All right. Thank you.

Kali Patrick: All right. Take care.

David Enevoldsen: All right. That's going to bring us to the end of today's show. I hope that you've found this useful. I hope that you have, at a bare minimum, found some little nugget here that you can use to make your life just a little bit better. Remember, Emotional Embuffination is all about working continually on these things. It's much like going to the gym. You don't just go to the gym once and say, I'm done. You know, any more than you go and read a simple book on self-help or some something that's going to make your life better one time and say, I don't ever have to work on this again. You make it part of your routine. You go to the gym a couple times a week, three times a week, five times a week. Whatever it is, you make it part of your routine. You do it on a regular basis. Same thing with Emotional Embuffination. You keep working on it. Don't forget to go to the Emotional Embuffination website. Sign up for the newsletter. That's embuff.com. Remember, at the end of the day, what I want is for you to be emotionally strong enough to go from saying things like, "The struggle is real," to saying, "What struggle?" Thank you all for listening. I hope you've enjoyed this. Have a great week and I will see you in the next show.