Supercharging Sleep, Performance & Longevity with Mollie Eastman

Justin Guilder & Mollie Eastman

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Episode Description

This Lumida Legacy Podcast episode features host Justin Gilder in discussion with sleep expert Mollie Eastman. The conversation explores the essential skills for improving sleep quality and its profound impact on longevity, legacy planning, and overall health. Mollie shares her journey from sleep deprivation to becoming a sleep optimization specialist, emphasizing the role of sleep in estate planning, insurance, and legacy management. The dialogue covers practical strategies for enhancing sleep, the importance of consistent sleep patterns, and the effects of caffeine and light exposure on sleep. Mollie also discusses the implications of good sleep hygiene on physical health, pain perception, metabolic health, and cognitive function, underscoring sleep's role as a foundational element in achieving a long, healthy life and preparing for the future.

Episode Transcript

Justin: [00:00:00] Hi, and welcome to the Lumida Legacy Podcast. I'm your host, Justin Gilder. On this podcast, we'll explore how to achieve and plan for a long, healthy life, as well as how to prepare for the inevitable and unforeseen through estate planning, insurance, and end of life decisions. We'll talk candidly with experts who advise high and ultra high net worth clients, so you can learn how to apply their strategies and tactics to your own longevity and legacy planning.

On this episode of the Lumida Legacy Podcast, I'm thrilled to welcome Mollie Eastman, the sleep expert behind the hugely popular Sleep is a Skill Movement podcast and website. Molly's not just a sleep expert, she's a teacher and a beneficiary of her own system. After battling insomnia, she built a system that blends technology, accountability, and behavioral change to help people unlock the power of a great night's sleep.

She's the host of one of [00:01:00] the top podcasts in the world, and she has shared her expertise with luxury hotels, lifestyle brands. And people all across the world suffering from insomnia, including top poker players who deal with elements that most of us don't have to deal with in casinos that have high elements of dopamine and no clocks and no windows.

She understands how circadian rhythms as well as food and exercise affect sleep. So get ready to learn how to conquer your sleep problems from a sleep master herself, Mollie Eastman.

Hey Mollie, thanks so much for joining me here today. Really excited to be able to talk with you. You are an incredible expert on sleep. I love your podcast. I love your newsletter and your website has tons of resources. Sleep is a skill. It truly is a skill. I know that I taught my children that when we sleep [00:02:00] train them, and I first came up with the first learned of the framework that it is indeed a skill.

I didn't really think about it as an adult skill until I realized I was getting really bad sleep a few years ago, and it became more important in my life. And so I'm really excited to learn and talk with you today. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became such an expert on sleep?

Mollie: One, I love that you, sharing the route that you've taken to, develop this interest in sleep. And I hear this a lot where, and this was part of my story really where I didn't think about sleep that much in my formative years. And it wasn't until it became a problem for me that I actually honed in on it.

Now for the listener, I'm hopefully wherever they might find themselves, we can provide some practical takeaways, so that they maybe don't have to go through the rock bottom that I'll [00:03:00] share about my story, but certainly I love what you're pointing to is like the realization, the blind spot that many of us might Uncover for ourselves of, oh, wow, I didn't even realize I wasn't sleeping particularly well.

I thought this was just how people slept, because we don't really have much to compare it to. We just have our own experience and so many people just don't realize that there's a whole other world available to them of optimizing their sleep. So that's something I'm really excited about. But your question around how in the world did I get.

Get so immersed in this field of sleep and it is a really important question because it was not in the plans, so what things look like, and how my life is really, how I think of it now is really in a three part series around sleep with sleep at its sort of core and which is wild. And so the, what that breaks down to is before I went through this sleep breakdown during and [00:04:00] after, and the before was littered with a lot of just labels and narratives with my sleep. And I really didn't, consider my sleep too much, similar to what you were sharing. I simply thought that many things, it was just the cards I was dealt and I would say things like a lot of labels and narratives of I'm a short sleeper, I'm a night owl, it's in my genes I'll sleep when I'm dead, if I didn't sleep enough, it would just be like, oh, come on, mind over matter, pull yourself up by your bootstraps type sentiments, and, it was just something to survive and it wasn't something to really look too much at because, Of all the things, why that?

And I wasn't connecting as the years went on and my habits became more, pronounced as far as my justification and rationalization, as a serial entrepreneur in Manhattan, burning the candle at both ends and starting and going to bed later and later. And this has always been trending this way since I was a kid to teenage years, college, just how I did things with sleep, late leaning.

And [00:05:00] I didn't correlate these kind of spidering into other aspects of my health and being and these deleterious effects with my health, so that looked like the beginnings of an ulcer, shingles in my 20s, mounting anxiety for the women listening, issues with my period, chronic headaches, migraines, a series of things.

Series of things that were pointing to something that I was doing with my health was not working, but sleep was not really part of what I was mindfully looking at. And so from that place, it wasn't until I went through this rock bottom period of insomnia that completely changed my life. I was traveling internationally.

I grew up with not a lot of money, had never really traveled much, so adding jet lag and crossing multiple time zones on top of my poor habits, on top of lots of stress with my business, that was finally just what kind of shook out was this period of insomnia, what's insomnia, difficulty [00:06:00] falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakenings, and What I ended up experiencing, during that period of time was then this development of what is often referred to as sleep anxiety, where I started having these times where the sun would start setting and my heart starts racing and I start future tripping about the night ahead.

I can't go through another night without sleep. I feel like I'm losing my mind and really dark thoughts around, I don't know if this is life now, if this is if I'm stuck like this or something, I don't know if I could keep going. going on in this direction. And so those were some of the things that would be rattling around in my head during that period of time.

I finally went to the doctors, in Croatia, of all things, and, leave with sleeping pills. And so for anyone listening, if you are struggling with your sleep, please know that's not supposed to be the first line treatment, especially, certainly in the United States, it is defined that you would leave with, or should leave with recommendations around, at least starting with [00:07:00] CBTI, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

Fortunately, that doesn't always go like that. Even in the United States, we are often met with suggestions of, ah, take some melatonin. Oh, how about some sleeping pills, et cetera, antidepressants, other things. So I leave with these medications and now I'm super conflicted. And I remember the moment Holding that prescription and feeling so desperate and knowing I'm still going to take these things, but now I feel guilt ridden and, even more confused around, what next?

What's the plan here? Am I just going to keep taking these things? Do, is this now a life of dependency? What is going on here? And so what came out of that was there's enough of a problem that finally I realized, okay, if I'm going to need to figure, if I'm going to solve this problem, it feels as if I'm going to need to figure this out on my own, go down the rabbit hole and figure out what does it even take to get great sleep, not just for philosophical musings, but because again, I feel like I'm really Losing it and [00:08:00] at my wits end, so I go down the rabbit hole and during that period I spend a lot of time, energy, effort, money, and throughout that process, I do a lot of things that don't work and, so there's that.

I do a lot of things that kind of, and then some things that really move the needle. And I'll certainly be sharing or intend to share some of those things today. And what came out on the other side was completely life changing. So now not only, throughout that process, was I able to restore, that homeostasis of my sleep, which I shared wasn't even that great from before.

So not only just sleeping for sleep's sake. But then getting to this whole other conversation that I didn't even think was available to me of optimizing my sleep, actually sleeping markedly and measurably well, consistently. And that as exemplified on many wearables, both consumer grade, but then also information in lab, et [00:09:00] cetera.

So if that's the case, then I could not stop talking about it now as this new reality starts opening itself up to me. And I start sharing about this with other people that have been struggling with their sleep and then organically these small groups start emerging. And then over time, then what gets created is now sleep is a skill, which I am committed as a beginning place for us to stand in our modern society that sleep has become the skill.

skillset. And so with that, on the other side today, now I now get to experience, sleeping quantifiably well, as I pointed to, but also, getting to work with, now we've worked with, Thousands of individuals in different capacities on supporting their sleep. We have a weekly newsletter that's been going out every Monday for over six or almost at six years, called Sleep Obsessions.

We've got a whole community of people there that are looking to improve and up level their sleep results. We've got the number two sleep podcast. So we've had, Hundreds of people coming on the [00:10:00] podcast to point to different ways and different angles in and improving your sleep beyond just oh, use some lavender, whatever we might read in the top 10 tips to improve your sleep.

And then I have developed a particular niche in high stakes poker. So I work with a lot of high stakes poker players in particular. And I share that, mainly because They serve as a great example for us and, I think we can speak more to it in this conversation of what a perfect demonstration of circadian dysregulation can look like because why they're in, literal environments, casinos designed on purpose to confuse the circadian rhythm So there's an absence of windows, any sense of, sunrise, sunset, no clocks, lots of stimuli, lots of, faux lights, lots of dopamine hits available.

And I make this argument today that many of us are closer than we might realize to that sort of environment than maybe our ancestors were. So we can delve into that. But. I say [00:11:00] all that because for anyone listening, no matter where you might be at with your sleep and the spectrum of, really struggling or, maybe doing fine, and just, maybe curious to tune in to hear, is there something new that maybe I'm missing, wherever you might be at on that spectrum of sleep right now, there, I'm clear that there are things we can do to uplevel your results and tap into, some often unexpected benefits by taking on this area of life mindfully.

Justin: So let's start at the beginning. Why do we sleep? I spend a lot of time sleeping. Maybe not as much as I should. We'll find out later in the conversation. I spend more time today sleeping than I used to. I used to also say the same exact things. I'll sleep when I die. Something I repeatedly stated, especially to my kids when they were little.

But I fixed that. I've changed the way I communicate about sleep. And then I often would say when I was tired, Oh, mind [00:12:00] over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. And so I had the same exact narratives going on and same story. Finally, insomnia put me into a place where I cared about it. Yeah. But at the bottom, at bottom, it's still is interesting to think about like, why do we spend something like.

You know the stats better than I do. A quarter? A third? Yes! Something our life sleeping. 

Mollie: That's a great place to begin. So the why and, how much of our life is this taking up? Is it really worth, having a whole podcast episode about? And I would, granted I'm biased, but absolutely, how about an entire podcast devoted just to this topic?

And so one, yes, we sleep a third of our lives on average 26 years. Our sleep So it behooves us to take a look at it, and for those of us who are really looking to take on, big things, we've got, maybe our New Year's resolutions at the start of every year, or, goals that we're [00:13:00] looking to hit, we'll consider that about four months out of that year, you're going to be asleep.