Ep#113 Why Good Sleep Is Your Superpower – Morgan Adams, Holistic Sleep Coach For Women
Today’s guest topic is such a critical health issue; one that doesn’t get its due but really fundamental when it comes to every single aspect of our well being and that’s – Sleep! When we’re sleep-deprived, we simply can’t function well. Sleep deprivation is associated with higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety and increases our risk for chronic disease. But like anything else when it comes to making lifestyle changes, taking the steps to prioritize sleep and create new supportive habits can be super challenging. If this resonates, you’re going to love my conversation with Morgan Adams, she’s an accredited women’s sleep coach with two advanced certifications in sleep science coaching. Following her own journey with sleep challenges, years of overreliance on physician prescribed sleeping pills, Morgan made it her mission to support women to create new routines and strategies for better sleep and improve their overall health. Our interview is filled with so many great tips and strategies. But Morgan is not only a wealth of information, she’s also a two-time breast cancer survivor and strong advocate for prevention and integrating holistic strategies for cancer treatment.
To learn more visit her website at www.morganadamswellness.com there you can learn about her personalized private sleep coaching program. You can also download her free resourced: Better Bedroom Checklist, a simple guide to help transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.
https://ouraring.com (Sleep Tracker)
Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Monitor Get $25 off your first monitor by using code MORGANA!
Dr. Matthew Walker , “Why We Sleep”
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The Glucose Revolution Jessie Inchauspe (Glucose Goddess)
The Circadian Code, By Satchin Panda
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.
Christine Okezie (23s):
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for listening. Today’s guest topic is such a critical health issue. One that doesn’t get its due, but really fundamental when it comes to every single aspect of our health and that’s sleep. When we’re sleep deprived, we simply can’t function well. Sleep deprivation is associated with higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety, irritability, as well as poor coping mechanisms, memory learning performance, you name it. Sleep deprivation is also linked with increased risk of illness. And if chronic can lead to major health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, but like anything else, when it comes to making lifestyle changes, taking the steps to prioritize, sleep and create those new supportive habits can be super challenging.
Christine Okezie (1m 16s):
Now, if this resonates with you, you’re going to love my conversation with Morgan Adams. She’s an accredited women’s sleep coach with two advanced certifications in sleep science coaching, following her own journey with sleep challenges, years of over-reliance on physician prescribed sleeping pills, Morgan made it her mission to support women just like her to create new routines and strategies for better sleep and improve their overall health. Not only is Morgan a wealth of information though. She’s also a two time breast cancer survivor and a strong advocate for prevention and integrating holistic strategies for cancer and other health issues. To learn more about her, visit her website, Morgan Adams, wellness.com.
Christine Okezie (2m 2s):
And there you can learn about her personalized, private sleep coaching program. You can also download a free resource, better bedroom checklist, a simple guide to help you transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. I can’t wait for you to listen in on this important conversation. And if you do like it, I’d be grateful. If you have the chance to visit apple podcast, hit the subscribe button and leave a rating and review. It helps me keep the podcast growing. Thanks so much for listening everyone and enjoy the episode. Hey Morgan. Great to meet you and welcome to the podcast.
Morgan Adams (2m 35s):
Thank you, Christine I’m excited to be here today.
Christine Okezie (2m 37s):
Awesome. This is so cool. I am so excited to talk about this. Very, very, very important and juicy topic gets overlooked way too much. And I’m sure you’ll
Morgan Adams (2m 45s):
Agree with that, right? Yes. Yes, of course. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (2m 48s):
So what was the catalyst or catalyst honestly for becoming a Sleep Coach?
Morgan Adams (2m 54s):
Yeah, well, it kind of goes back to probably 15 years or so ago. I was in my mid thirties and I had a personal crisis that we won’t go into here, but basically what happened was it propelled me into a very intense bout of insomnia. And the only really solution that I had for it at the time was to take Ambien because that’s what the doctor gave me. And I was dependent on Ambien for about eight years and the downsides of it for me. And just, this is my experience is that I was very, very groggy, like every morning up until close to lunchtime.
Morgan Adams (3m 36s):
And I would finally kind of wake up and I did have several, several episodes during that timeframe where I did binge eat at night, which is not good. I mean, we can talk about late night eating, disrupting your sleep later, but that was definitely not a good scenario. And so I’m about eight years into that. I had a kind of an aha moment. I started dating a guy who is now my husband and he, he just makes sort of a casual comment to me one night. He’s like, you know, there’s pills you take before you go to bed, kind of make you act like a zombie. It’s kind of freaky to me. And I was like, oh, okay. So that really just got me think, cause I was so used to it.
Morgan Adams (4m 18s):
I just kind of was like, it’s just kind of just shine the light on a problem. And I decided to just stop taking them. And what I did was I titrated myself down, like just kind of cut the pills and stuff, but you know, in retrospect I really wish I had consulted with a doctor with a prescriber. And that’s, you know, when I’m working with my own clients, I, we, we are more careful about getting off the meds because I think you need a couple eyes watching over you while you do that. Cause it sure it can be tricky, but I lucked out and I was able to get off the meds just fine. And I slept pretty well for, you know, several years after I wasn’t like the greatest sleeper, but I did get rid of the insomnia and then March of 2020 happened and a lot of other people started, I know a lot of other people started to have problems with their sleep as well.
Morgan Adams (5m 15s):
And I was very concerned that these emergency sleeping issues might propel me back into an episode of insomnia. Okay. So I started to do a lot of reading. I invested in an aura ring to track my sleep and I just kind of authentically organically started sharing some things that I was learning about. Sleep on social media, come to find out. A lot of people in my circle were struggling too and found the tips really helpful. Yeah. And I guess almost a year went by after that, I guess this would be two summers ago. I was having, I just had a revelation.
Morgan Adams (5m 56s):
I’ve always been very interested in health and to some degree I wanted to translate my passion for health into a career, but I really did not know what I wanted to do. At one point after I had breast cancer, I thought about being a cancer coach. And then that was like, that’s still too heavy for me. And you know, I really don’t want to coach on weight loss. That’s not interesting to me. And that was like, boom, I’m going to be a sleep coach. I’m going to help. And that’s specifically women, you know, but I can help men too, but really just my, my heart goes out to the women who are struggling with their sleep. And I decided just then and there I’m going to be a sleep coach. So then I started all of my coursework and spent a year studying and learning and getting certifications.
Morgan Adams (6m 40s):
And then last summer, summer of 2021, I launched my sleep coaching practice. So it was quite an interesting journey to get, to get to this point. But it’s been quite an interesting ride.
Christine Okezie (6m 53s):
Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s, it’s, it’s so incredible how our own experiences, particularly in the health arena, you know, in my experience becomes such doorways to, you know, wanting people to know this stuff, stuff that helps ourselves. I always used to walk around as I was early in my career too. I would be like, people need to know this. People need to know this, you know? And so I love it. It’s it, it was very organic if you will. But you did mention by sidebar, you had a cancer, you had another health challenge. So that obviously shaped your approach to self care and health in a big, big way as well.
Christine Okezie (7m 37s):
So tell us about that. Yeah.
Morgan Adams (7m 40s):
So I had actually two cancer stories. The first one was 2018. I was diagnosed with stage one and invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast. So stage one, breast cancer, very small tumor. They recommended radiation or mastectomy or lumpectomy. And I just, you know, I have to just say that I come from a strong, personal bias with traditional cancer treatments because both of my parents had cancer, lost, lost their lives to cancer. And before they lost their lives, went through some intense, you know, chemos and the traditional treatment.
Morgan Adams (8m 26s):
So in my, in my eyes, because of my personal bias, I equated, you know, getting the traditional cancer treatments with like being very sick, losing weight, you know, just feeling awful. So my, I was having a, a real struggle trying to figure out what to do. Cause I knew I had to do something. And I just through a friend heard about a, a cancer treatment center doing integrative work in Cancun, Mexico called hope for cancer. And I researched it talk to a person who had gone there for her breast cancer. And it was just like, I knew intuitively that place was for me. I just felt a sense of peace relief.
Morgan Adams (9m 9s):
You know, like this is where I can go to get help. So I took off work Intune for three weeks. Wow. My husband joined me and it, you know, it was a gorgeous setting for healing. And basically I spent six days a week doing these integrative treatments. So I mean, a few of them would be like vitamin C IVs, coffee enemas, a hyperbaric hyperbaric, hyperbaric oxygen chamber type grocer, Mia, vibrational. I mean all these really unique types of modalities that are not really standard of care in the U S and I had a great experience there.
Morgan Adams (9m 51s):
I came home and then three months later, I went back for my follow-up visit to see if my home treatments and all the things that I’d done at the center worked. And my blood work came back. Great. I mean, I felt wonderful. I mean, quite frankly, I felt wonderful and healthy and strong throughout the whole process. I never felt sick at all, except for a couple of times in that, that very hot sauna, but sort of a blip on the radar. But what happened was the tumor didn’t shrink. And I was very disappointed because I really thought that tumor would shrink. So I watched the tumor where I live had just kept getting ultrasounds and they were just not budging.
Morgan Adams (10m 35s):
So in late 2019, I got a lumpectomy. And then after that lumpectomy, they told me, oh, guess what? There’s DCIS, which is a non-invasive cancer right up against the tumor we removed. We’d like to go back in and remove that two months later, I went in for a second lumpectomy. Right? They got it all out. Everything was fine in the story, except for there’s a, there was a plot twist. Okay. Last summer I had scheduled an appointment to have my breast implants removed. I’d had breast implants for 18 years and breast implants are not designed to stay in your body that long.
Morgan Adams (11m 18s):
I knew I wanted the, the breast implants out. So part of the process for that explant surgery is to have a mammogram and I reluctantly agree to have that mammogram. And I say reluctantly only because the mammogram missed my first cancer. Okay. So the mammogram, you know, I was like, I was not wanting to do it just because I felt like it was just, you know, it was like, what’s the point? Like you’re not going to find anything like, I’m totally, I’m totally good. Cause I made all these changes. Well, I go in there and they were very, very clear. They could see a bunch of DCIS on the opposite breast that had the lumpectomy.
Morgan Adams (12m 4s):
And I was like, there were some expletives I used on that table in front of the radiologist and I was profusely apologized, but I just could not believe that it was back, like all the work I’d done. So I decided that I was going to have, instead of another lumpectomy, I felt like I could get a lumpectomy. But the problem with that is I could be playing this game of whack-a-mole every few years wondering which breast another lump would show up in. So I decided to like make the most radical decision. I got a double mastectomy and did not opt for reconstruction. I wanted, you know, I did not want to lose my breasts, you know, because that’s, you know, I was used to having some and, but the, but the decision for me really was sort of rooted in the fact that I was originally intending to get the implants out there, to put the implants back in seemed kind of like not a rational decision, you know what I mean?
Morgan Adams (13m 6s):
And I explored fat transfer, but I didn’t have enough fat. So they’d have to go back multiple times and harvest fat. And I was just like, this is just way too complicated. I’m just going to just live as a flat person. So I had my double mastectomy, November of 21 and had been doing great since I healed really quickly, I’ve gained my strength back. I’m feeling fantastic. So, you know, I guess the whole, the whole point of that story was, you know, I really do understand health challenges on a profound level, which really fuels me to help other women with their health health overall.
Christine Okezie (13m 46s):
Yes. Thank you so much for sharing that, you know, it’s, what’s striking to me is that your story is, is, is an example of, there is no straight line, you know, when it comes to everybody’s health experience, everybody’s journey, you know, with, with, with health issues. But no matter what, you know, the idea is that you remained open, you remain curious, it didn’t break you, you know, it, you, you remain steadfast and I can, you know, and you felt all, you know, the ups and downs of it.
Christine Okezie (14m 29s):
But what’s interesting to me is you were very much engaged in your own health journey. And that I think regardless of whatever the outcome is, cause that’s really not up to us in some respects, you know, every step along the way you felt empowered from what I can see is you were very conscious and very clear.
Morgan Adams (14m 50s):
And one other point to that is that I’ve really pushed hard on the first diagnosis to have more tests. Essentially, my, my husband is a medium he’s, he’s able to communicate with people who have departed. And the first part, the story, the part of the story that I didn’t share was that my husband received a message from my mother in 2018 that I needed to have my left left breast examined. Wow. And yeah, so when I, when I went to my doctor and tried to push for a test, it was just like, everything looks fine.
Morgan Adams (15m 30s):
I’m like keep looking. I was very persistent that they just needed to keep testing. And they were, they were shocked themselves, define the cancer because they were like, everything looked normal, like nothing showed up in your mammogram and it looked just fine. And so one of my, one of my messages to women is to strongly advocate for yourself. And that could look like pushing for more tests. You know, no matter what you have, if you have, you know, a lot of practitioners will give a woman, a thyroid panel and the woman still feels bad. And you know, they, they didn’t look at all the markers. They, she needed a new test, you know? So it’s just like we as women and men too, but like, we just can’t settle for just, you’re fine.
Morgan Adams (16m 16s):
Even though, you know, something is wrong, it’s like you have to listen to your intuition
Christine Okezie (16m 21s):
A hundred percent, a hundred percent. And what a difference it makes to, you know, because even when our expectations might not be, you know, met with certain outcomes, we can at least feel that we wouldn’t have done it any differently. Right. You know what I mean? Like, you know, it’s not someone shooting us into it. We’re not trying to meet some external, you know, expectation, you know, or standard it’s authentically, you know, something that you knew in the moment, you know, it was right for you. And I, so there’s no regrets. I don’t hear any threats, you know,
Morgan Adams (16m 59s):
Anything about this whole experience I grew from it. I’m stronger for it. And I have more empathy for people who are struggling with their own health. So yeah.
Christine Okezie (17m 7s):
Yes, yes. Oh my gosh. Thank you. I appreciate that. That’s beautiful. So, you know, when it comes to you, then, you know, tying this back into foundational things for our health, we go back to sleep, right. And I’m sure through your own experience, and then all the research that you’ve done on this, why are you so passionate about sleep? Like, why is it, why is it this? Why isn’t it eat more greens?
Morgan Adams (17m 34s):
Well, I really believe that sleep is our superpower. And when you look at the, the pyramid of health or the pillars of health, rather you’ve got these three things, you’ve got sleep, nutrition and movement, and historically nutrition and movement have really gotten the limelight. There’s a lot more Google searches for those topics. I like to say sleep has had a bad PR agent, But I think the tide is turning because I really do feel. And I, and I I’m sure I’m bot there’s some bias here, but I really do feel like sleep is getting more press lately.
Morgan Adams (18m 16s):
I think especially after 2020, there have been several reports on sleep post COVID. And I really do think it is the most important of the three pillars. Because if you think about it this way, you could not eat for like several weeks. You could never work out. Although I wouldn’t advise that, but the longest anyone has ever gone without sleep on record is 11 days, 11 days. And in fact, sleep is so critical to just living that studies that are looking at sleep deprivation will only allow subjects to be sleep deprived for two nights, for two days or two nights.
Morgan Adams (19m 1s):
So that just goes to show you like it’s not ethical. You know, it’s an unethical thing to deprive people asleep. Yes. So in my messaging on podcast and just in my social media content, I really like to focus more on the benefits of sleep because there’s so much fear-mongering I think out there I’m talking about the negative consequences of sleep, sleep deprivation, and yes, there are some negative consequences, but I just feel like it’s more motivating for people to, to change their habits. If they’re given some positive reasons why they should look into maybe changing their sleep health or their sleep habits.
Morgan Adams (19m 46s):
Christine Okezie (19m 47s):
What are the sort of the top, you know, five reasons that, you know, you kind of shine the light on.
Morgan Adams (19m 53s):
So there are a few definite ones. One is it’s boosting your immune system. We do know that you’re more likely to catch a cold. If you haven’t had enough sleep, absolutely sleep also supports our brain function. We actually have something called the glymphatic system. I’m sure most people know what the lymphatic system is, but the glymphatic system with a G is something that they discovered like less than 10 years ago. Very recently it’s essentially a lymphatic system in our brain. So when you are in the deeper stages of sleep, you’re, there are toxins that get flushed out of your brain during that time. So it’s like a sort of just like a cleansing system of your brain while you sleep, which is pretty amazing.
Morgan Adams (20m 35s):
That’s wonderful. Sleep also helps with your mental wellbeing and your ability to manage stress, especially that are, that REM sleep that REM sleep, that you with emotional regulation. So people who are always like short tempered, you know, hotheaded that could be potentially because they’re not getting enough REM sleep. Wow. And then I guess the last thing I would say about benefits of sleep is that it keeps your hormones in check.
Christine Okezie (21m 5s):
I think one
Morgan Adams (21m 6s):
Big, big time. So yeah, there’s so many, I mean, they’re, they’re countless, but those are just a few of the ones that I like to talk about. And you just feel better when you’ve had a great night of sleep. You feel like you can conquer the world when you had a really great night of sleep.
Christine Okezie (21m 23s):
That’s so true. It’s so true. It really is. I think we can all relate. You know, if there’s one thing for me, you know, I can, like you said, you know, some days you might not eat, eat the best you might, you know, other days you might miss a workout or two, right. But, oh my God, if you have a bad, night’s sleep it cascades. And it informs everything. So I, you know, it just shows you really is, like you said, it’s one of the three pillars, but actually it really is fundamental on the percent. I couldn’t agree more. So, you know, as a health coach, as someone who works at, you know, on an integrative level, we’re always talking about root cause. And so, you know, to your point, your story was, you know, you were taken Ambien and you know, no, no shame and relying on different modalities as they work, but there’s some downsides to not addressing what’s really going on when it comes to insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
Christine Okezie (22m 16s):
Right. So what are some of the root causes that you help people understand when it comes to sleep?
Morgan Adams (22m 24s):
Well, I feel like with my client population, a lot of the root cause for their insomnia really boils down to anxiety. And that’s a, that’s a big one. And a lot of people who are high drivers type a personalities, they really are, have not allowed themselves the space and the time to decompress and to relax and to turn their brains off during the day. So I feel like that is a really key reason for a lot of the people insomnia that I see. But I mean, there are several other causes of insomnia.
Morgan Adams (23m 6s):
There can be, you know, hormone imbalances, there can be gut health issues. There can be a lot of things. There could be, you know, just really improper sleep habits. Their sleep health is, they’re just, you know, they’re doing some, and I don’t want to say wrong as in judgemental, but they’re just doing the wrong things, you know? Yeah. That are not supportive. Or I should say they’re doing things that are not supporting their sleep and they may not even be aware of it. Okay. Okay. So, you know, the, the root causes are many, but just from my experience and coaching, the clients that I’m coaching, I definitely am finding that anxiety and the inability to manage stress.
Morgan Adams (23m 53s):
We’re living in a very, very stressful time. That seems to be really a linchpin of the insomnia that I’m saying.
Christine Okezie (24m 2s):
Okay, thank you. Yeah. So our mental health, you know, our psychological, well-being our emotional well-being. We tend to those, and then we don’t have these downstream symptoms, you know, like, you know, insomnia and inability to sleep. So it’s really important. So what about sleep aids then? You know, cause I’m sure you start working with the client and perhaps by the time they get to you, you know, and an investing in working with a sleep coach, which is awesome. Right. They’ve probably done so many things like, you know, by the time they reach out to you, they’ve tried melatonin, they’ve tried Ambien. How do you help people kind of understand that they’re more options on the menu.
Christine Okezie (24m 42s):
Morgan Adams (24m 43s):
Yeah. Well, I think a lot of it has to do with, you know, educating people about the sleep meds. And when you go to a doctor and complain about your sleep, the doctor, I mean, it’s really not the doctor’s fault, but they really, in the typical medical system these days, they’ve got about 10 minutes, 15 minutes to address your complaint. And in medical school, doctors are actually given about two hours of sleep science training.
Christine Okezie (25m 15s):
I think that’s less than nutrition.
Morgan Adams (25m 18s):
If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy because we spend like a third of our lives sleeping and you get us two hours of your whole education on something. You do a third of your life. It makes no sense, but they, so it’s, again, it’s not their fault. It’s the system, which I hope will change, but I can totally see how easy it is for the doctor to pull out his or her script pad and just say, here’s this medication. But the reality is is that these medications that are indicated for insomnia are actually not indicated for longterm use. They’re, they’re indicated for short-term use a few weeks Yet.
Morgan Adams (26m 1s):
They’re often given out as in what happened. In my case, it’s sort of like refill as needed. This is not a refill as needed type of medication. And so if your doctor does give a prescription for a sleep medication, they really should be giving you like a timeframe with which you will be going off that medication. You know, there should be a plan in place. Wow. I mean, they do have their place. They do have their place as far as like, if you are in a crisis, you know, you’re going through a divorce, there was a death in the family. Maybe you’re traveling, you know, and that’s fine, but like, to, you know, be reliant on them, long-term they do, you know, have there, you know, negative effects over long-term.
Morgan Adams (26m 48s):
And again, I don’t like to be the fearmonger. I will point to a certain sleep scientist named Dr. Matthew Walker, who is probably the most well-known sleep scientist in the in the country. He wrote a book called, “Why We Sleep”. And he goes in depth about, you know, the, the longer-term consequences of sleep medications. And really what I mean, just kind of give them the broad brush strokes is that when you are taking a sleep medication, you are not actually getting restorative sleep. You’re more in a sedate of a sedative state, and sedation is not sleep.
Morgan Adams (27m 32s):
And when you look at studies of people who are taking sleep medications versus placebo, you will see that there is a slight decreasing the amount of time. It takes people just to fall asleep, you know, slight, but there’s more of a subjective report that, oh, I slept better when that, when you asked the patient. But when you look at their sleep data from, you know, their brainwaves, there’s really, there’s really no difference.
Christine Okezie (28m 2s):
Morgan Adams (28m 3s):
So, and I will share one quote from Matthew Walker about Ambien. Yeah. This is the only scare. This is the scariest thing I’ll say on the whole podcast. So I’ll get it out of the way now. So this is a quote, he said, ambient induced sleep caused a 50% weakening or in wiring of the brain cell connections originally formed in learning in doing so ambient laced to sleep became a memory eraser.
Christine Okezie (28m 28s):
Oh my gosh.
Morgan Adams (28m 29s):
So I mean, yikes. I can definitely say that during the time when I was taking Ambien, I was not as sharp. I was not as I was more forgetful for sure. So yeah, that’s sort of my, my skill with, with the whole sleep magic medication. And if people want to, if people do want to like dig deeper, that’s a great book to really get more information.
Christine Okezie (28m 55s):
Morgan Adams (28m 56s):
The downsides of it.
Christine Okezie (28m 58s):
Well, the whole point of you said the glymphatic system is inoperable, you know, when you’re under sedation and not sleeping. So just that alone is, is so profound. Yeah. Okay. Melatonin, where does that fall in?
Morgan Adams (29m 17s):
Yeah. Melatonin is a pretty safe supplement. It’s gotten a lot of press lately. Basically. Melatonin is sort of like taking a dose of fun, set. It kind of tricks your body and to feeling like it’s nighttime. So it doesn’t really put you to sleep as much as it really kind of tells your body it’s time to sleep.
Christine Okezie (29m 37s):
Morgan Adams (29m 38s):
So they did a study in 2013 that looked at like 1600 folks. And this was kind of interesting. They found that people who took melatonin supplements fell asleep seven minutes faster and increase their overall sleep time by eight minutes, which honestly is not that impressive. I mean, that’s not like anything to write home about, but a lot of people do, you know, a lot of people do take it because they feel like it helps and it could, could be a placebo effect to some extent, really the research is more supportive of using melatonin for circadian rhythm disruptions or jet lag. If someone does want to start with melatonin though, I would definitely suggest starting at a low dose, like 0.5 milligrams to one milligram.
Morgan Adams (30m 27s):
I’m what I’m seeing when I’m looking around, you know, shopping on line or looking for clients is that most of the melatonin supplements start at like three milligrams. How interesting, which could be a little bit high for some people you could have some side effects in the morning. They’re not too bad, but I mean, everyone’s different. It’s very bio-individual. And they did a study where they looked at a bunch of melatonins, they kind of pulled random ones off the shelves and they found that 70% of those melatonin supplements are varied. Y Y like had wide variation from their label, claims ranging from like 83%, less than the amount listed to like 478% more
Christine Okezie (31m 13s):
Morgan Adams (31m 14s):
Quality. So if you aren’t going to choose melatonin as a sleep aid, I would suggest a starting the very small micro dose, that 0.5 to one milligrams and look for something called the USP label. I’m forgetting what that stands for, but it basically ensures that what is advertised on the bottle is actually what’s in the pill. Yeah. Okay. So going through maybe an online dispensary, instead of just going to, you know, your regular, like grocery store and picking a random one off the shelf.
Christine Okezie (31m 52s):
Thank you. That’s really, really good advice because we have a lot of questions about that. Yeah.
Morgan Adams (31m 56s):
But I mean, I actually, you know, I don’t, I have dabbled with melatonin. It didn’t really move the needle for me, but melatonin is one of those things I said that it does, does get a lot of bad press. In fact, there was like some kind of study recently that was talking about how children have been overdosing on it in the past couple years. Essentially. I think the issue is parents weren’t, weren’t locking it up and some of those melatonins are gummies. So they’re very attractive to kids and that’s not anything against melatonin. That’s more of a control issue at home, but melatonin is in different areas of medicine considered a very potent antioxidant, often using high doses for cancer.
Christine Okezie (32m 45s):
Morgan Adams (32m 45s):
And so there’s, there’s certain uses for high dose melatonin. That is very, very groundbreaking. And I think we’ll start hearing more about it at some point soon, but, you know, as far as sleep is concerned, low doses, probably pretty safe for most people. It’s kind of, you know, your mileage may vary as far as like how much you still get out of it, but it’s, you know, I’d say it’s fairly benign. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (33m 16s):
Okay. All right. That’s good. That’s really helpful. Okay. So now it’s a challenge, you know, for, as you mentioned, anxiety, there’s hormone imbalance, and just those two potential root causes come at a perfect storm during menopause and perimenopause. And you know, this is oftentimes when clients that I work with, you know, it’s really kind of that perfect storm, right? So hormone imbalance is causing them to have insomnia, insomnia. They never been a great sleeper to begin with. You know, then, you know, it’s sort of this, it’s the cycle, you know, it’s like, they know sleep is important, but they’re waking up, you know, with all these menopausal, you know, hot flashes and, and all of this disruption, where do you start with your
Morgan Adams (34m 0s):
Yeah, well, I mean, there are a lot of reasons for hot flashes and menopause. Sometimes certain medications like SSRI or aspirin or acetaminophen can trigger them. Also caffeine and alcohol can trigger them. I mean, I know personally, like I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, I would probably wake up hot at some point during the night, the shifting hormone levels in the body, you know, can it contribute to those wake-ups? So there’s really like not one quick fix to it, but I’ll just kind of share some things that could potentially work for different people.
Morgan Adams (34m 40s):
Some are easier than others. But one thing that I would say is start with a cooler bedroom. We actually do need to lower our body temperature by a couple of degrees to get good sleep. So, you know, I would say 65 degrees is a good temperature for your bedroom. Great. There’s a product that I’ve been using for over a year that I just absolutely love. And this is a little bit more of an investment, but it’s, it’s a cooling mattress pad by company called silly sleep. It is bam a game changer. I mean, even, even my husband loves it and he’s obviously not in menopause, but I mean, it’s a fantastic product, a little, you know, an investment of shows as far as sleep where I would consider like bamboo fabric tends to be more cooling as well as bamboo sheets, something that you can do for like, you know, long-term all day long is, and this is not talked about a lot.
Morgan Adams (35m 41s):
So I feel like it’s kind of important is I’m eating for the whole day to balance your blood sugar. Right. So very key. So I mean, a few guidelines for that would be when you eat breakfast is not to have what they call a naked carb. Like a NICU carb would be a pancake or a bull. Yeah. A bagel or a bullet, God forbid, frosted flakes,
Christine Okezie (36m 7s):
Morgan Adams (36m 7s):
So when you’re going to have breakfast, you’ll have a protein and healthy fat and maybe a little carb and then continue with that sort of balanced plate approach throughout the whole day. Because what happens is quite often when our blood sugar is not balanced all day long, that continues into the night. And those 3:00 AM wake ups are triggered by a sort of a cortisol and adrenaline response, which wakes us up. So that is not fun. And then yesterday I heard on a really awesome podcast for women over 50, they were talking about a study showing that when you have increased lean body mass lean body mass, essentially having muscle, having more muscle produces, hot flashes and night sweats.
Christine Okezie (36m 58s):
Morgan Adams (36m 59s):
So the, you know, the, that would mean basically strength training would help you with reducing those hot flashes. And, you know, if you’ve, if you’re trying all those things, like you’re doing all those hacks and, you know, your mileage may vary with some and not others. Sure. You know, definitely talk to somebody about HRT. I’m not an expert in HRT, but I know people in my circles who are, and you know, the reality is, is we shouldn’t suffer. We shouldn’t, you know, we can try things. And if they, if we’ve kind of gone up the ladder of interventions and nothing seems to work, you know, there’s no shame in getting, you know, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Christine Okezie (37m 45s):
Couldn’t agree more. Yeah, no, I think this is great. And I love that the options on the menu are deal with our immediate sort of sleep environment and our, you know, and also just in our general self care, you know, when it comes to looking at our overall health, and I’m so glad you talked about blood sugar, to me, blood sugar rules, you know, when it comes to any downstream symptom that, you know, you mentioned binge-eating, you mentioned, you know, fatiigue or even just even our mental health, you know, blood sugar is, is imperative. You know, getting off that blood sugar, roller coaster. And I, and I love the fact you brought up also because a lot of women or men, women, they wake up and they’re like, oh, you know, I wake up because I had to go to the bathroom.
Christine Okezie (38m 29s):
So I try not to go. And I remember reading studies that say, it’s actually that they’re there. That can be the case, but statistically, it’s really not. You know, in the majority, your bladder is not the issue you’re already awake and then you’re awake and you’re like, oh, my body needs to go use the bathroom. Yes,
Morgan Adams (38m 47s):
That’s exactly it. And, you know, continuing on that theme of blood sugar balance, there is an incredible book that came out probably three or four months ago called “The Glucose Revolution.” And in it, and in that book, this woman, she has her handle is #glucosegoddess on Instagram. Cool. She has an amazing account where she does these continuous glucose monitor experiments where she’ll show you her experiment using one food, and then she she’ll tweak the food. So maybe she’ll add fat to it. And you can see the glucose curve kind of like level off instead of spike. And so I’ve, I’ve really started helping a lot of my clients with these like very, very simple hacks to manage their blood sugar.
Morgan Adams (39m 33s):
I mean, something as simple as taking a 20 minute walk after a meal makes a huge difference. I actually have done these experiments with glucose monitors, these demons that just go on your arm. And I, I see the difference. Like I I’m, like I ate a whole pizza. What would happen? You know, I’ll do anything for science
Christine Okezie (39m 58s):
For the team.
Morgan Adams (40m 0s):
Exactly. And so I, you know, I did an experiment where I ate the whole pizza and I did nothing. And then two weeks later I had the same pizza at the same time. And I, you know, walked for 20 minutes briskly and you could see the glucose spike reduced. It’s flattened out a bit, you know, so things like having a salad before a meal or what they call a green starter. So having your salad or your green followed by your protein, followed by your carb, reduced glucose spikes by like 70% for a meal. Now you can’t always do that at a meal. Like if you’re at a restaurant it’s kind of hard to deconstruct, but if you’re, but if you’re at home and you’re serving yourself, you know, a vegetable and a starch and a protein, you can actually control the order in which you eat those foods.
Christine Okezie (40m 48s):
Morgan Adams (40m 48s):
Sure. Not a problem. So definitely I definitely recommend that book.
Christine Okezie (40m 53s):
That’s great. No, I’ll definitely include that. And, and the other link you put in the show notes as well. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Okay. So again, going back to, you know, the coaching work that you do, these are really, you know, very, very useful pieces of information and suggestions. What do you find as a coach to be the biggest obstacles to actually trying any of these or sticking out, you know, long enough with them?
Morgan Adams (41m 20s):
Oh, wow. So I guess, you know, ops, I think the biggest obstacle that I’m finding with, with my female clients is the alcohol use.
Christine Okezie (41m 32s):
Morgan Adams (41m 32s):
It’s hard. And I mean, I’ve been, you know, I’ve struggled on and off over the years with my intake, quite frankly, you know, I’m on a very nice stretch of no alcohol right now and I’m gonna ride it out. But I do find that it is very, very difficult for females who are having wine almost nightly to give that up, you know, and really, I mean, it’s as harsh as it sounds. If you’re, if you’re not willing to make some changes with that alcohol, it’s going to be hard to move the needle with your sleep, you know? So, so, you know, sort of the hacks like that I used when I was drinking wine that did help somewhat.
Morgan Adams (42m 20s):
If so, you know, I realized not everyone is going to want to give up alcohol, but if you do want to have alcohol, here’s what I suggest is they say sort of like the typical sleep hygiene protocol is like stop drinking two to three hours before bed, but I’m, I’m going to go a step farther and say, stop drinking alcohol four to five hours before you go to bed. Okay, good. So that way you can really clear most of the alcohol out of your system. And then there’s a wine that is called Dry Farm Wine. And it is basically a residual sugar wine and a low alcohol wine. So I’ve done some experiments using that wine.
Morgan Adams (43m 1s):
It has, I’ve had better sleep scores versus versus conventional wine, which would be like wine that you have in a restaurant now with some, some pesticides and some things. So the Dry Farms, they take out all that stuff and they screen, they’re doing a lot of screening. So, so, you know, if you don’t have access to that brand, cause some, actually some states won’t allow it to be shipped to them. I found out from another woman I was being interviewed by, but if you go to like your local health foods, you can look for the best choice. It’d be like an organic wine,
Christine Okezie (43m 38s):
Organic. Okay. So just cleaner. And then if you can find something that’s lower in sugar, lower down
Morgan Adams (43m 44s):
So cleaner. And then just think if you’re going to use a guideline sink more of like happy hour versus nightcap, you know, so think for, I mean, I know it sounds kind of strange, but like four o’clock have a drink at four. If you’re going to bed at 10, that alcohol is pretty much washed out. So it’s probably not going to impact your sleep as much as it would if you were having, you know, dinner out with people and you had dinner from like seven to eight, you were drinking and then you’d go to bed at 10. You’ll probably wake up with a hot flash. If you’re at a certain age, it’s just, it’s just to me, it’s not worth, it’s not worth it anymore. Once we get to a certain age, our bodies just cannot process alcohol the way they used to.
Christine Okezie (44m 27s):
I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. Yeah. Okay. Thank you. That’s really okay. Meditation and breath work.
Morgan Adams (44m 35s):
Oh yeah. I’m a big fan of both. In fact, I like to talk to my clients about meditation and breath, breath work. Not only just for like, when you think of meditation breath work, you sometimes think about doing that at night. Like just meditating at night, but I like to talk about mindfulness snacks. So that’s essentially doing like something related to meditation or breath work in the morning sometime during the day, like lunchtime and then in the evening. So taking those like maybe 10 minute breaks, you know, three times a day, because like, what I was sharing earlier is that women who are, you know, very, very busy type a producers, that’s like kind of, most of the women that I see their brains are so busy at night, so busy during the day.
Morgan Adams (45m 29s):
And they don’t, they can’t settle at night, which is the cause of so many of their problems that anxiety that rumination. So I’m a, I’m a big proponent of using meditation and breath work throughout the day to mitigate that stress, to, to raise your HRV, to get your parasympathetic parasite, that parasympathetic nervous system in balance and shine. And the, the wonderful thing about meditation is that it’s free.
Christine Okezie (45m 58s):
I mean, those downsides, there’s
Morgan Adams (45m 59s):
No doubt. There’s no bad side effects. Nope. There’s so many apps you can use that are free. I personally like insight timer. They seem to have the most apps. I mean the most meditations and then breath work, your breath is free, But there is a, an app that I, I like to use. It’s called breath work. So it’s breath. And then Wurk so it’s like breath worth what breath work without the O in it. And they have a free version. And what I like about it is it shows you the science behind each breath work like each, each exercise. And it tells you exactly how to do it. You can see the sort of like little circle kind of expand and contract with your breath.
Morgan Adams (46m 43s):
So it keeps you on pace. Right. So I really, I really love that app. I’m a big fan of both.
Christine Okezie (46m 50s):
Excellent. Yeah. And I like when I’m getting in a lot of your, you know, recommendations, is that, again, it’s not a quick fix, not a magic bullet. It’s about sort of a recalibration of how you move and groove throughout your day, right? How you eat, how you breathe, how the breaks that you take, you know, being really mindful about, you know, what are you nourishing your body or fueling your body with again? And this is really, what’s really key is, you know, so many people and you and I are both on the same page, you know, weight loss, not very exciting because weight loss is a downstream symptom. You know, so a lot of people come through the door or the main health concern of weight loss. But when, you know, nobody is, I always say this and people get a little freaked out.
Christine Okezie (47m 34s):
I, so, you know, you can’t really do anything to change your weight. What you can change a hundred percent of all the things that are potentially driving you to have excess weight on one. Right. And that’s where you put your intention and your focus. So it’s the same thing with your sleep, you know, is we got to look at the nutrition. We got to look at, you know, the, the, the, the way that you’re taking care of yourself throughout the entire day. So that’s huge. That’s huge. It’s an investment. I mean, like, you know, it’s an investment, so, okay. So I’m going to ask you, you know, what is the biggest takeaway that you want our listeners to have from this conversation?
Morgan Adams (48m 9s):
Well, I w the takeaway would be that there are so many free things you can do to help your sleep. And one thing that I, we really didn’t get into this territory, but it’s, it’s an amazing sleep tip that not everyone knows about at least not yet. Okay. I think you’re going to start hearing more about this and, and in the future, but it is the value of getting morning sunlight. Yeah. So, and when I say morning, sunlight, I’m talking about getting sun within like the first hour of waking up. Right. Right. What if you’re looking at the sun without sunglasses, you must make sure you’re not wearing your sunglasses because your light, your eyes need to hit the light, right?
Morgan Adams (48m 53s):
The sunlight triggers something in your super charismatic nucleus and your hypothalamus to trigger a bunch of responses that sort of level out your circadian rhythm and encourage the cascade of different hormones throughout the day. So if you, it’s, it’s really your, your circadian pacemaker, when you’re, you’re, you’re kicking off that circadian pacemaker, when you’re getting that morning sunlight, and our would recommend it for about 15 minutes, at least. Awesome. And you can even sort of, kind of amp that up with a walk in your neighborhood. Yeah. But if, if you don’t want to get up, if you don’t want to walk or whatever, you could just sit on your porch.
Morgan Adams (49m 33s):
But I mean, if, if folks listening out there, just try it for a week, it really it’s a game changer. And again, it’s a free hack sunlight.
Christine Okezie (49m 43s):
That’s profound. Well, again, you’re talking about all these things that, you know, you know, traditional medicine and ancient cultures for, you know, forever and ever have long known. And we’ve gotten so far away from just that basic, you know, self care. So thank you for highlighting. I love the science. This is so cool. As you said, this is what I guess why you’re so excited. There’s just so much more research happening actively on sleep.
Morgan Adams (50m 8s):
Yeah. And the whole circadian rhythm, you know, field is just, you’re going to see a lot more in the next couple of years about this circadian medicine. There’s a book called the circadian code by Dr. Satchin Panda amazing book. So I, I would recommend that too, for anyone who wants to kind of amp up their health and sleep at the same time.
Christine Okezie (50m 34s):
Oh, Morgan, this has been so, so enriching. Amazing. Thank you so much. Where can our listeners find you get to work with you? Learn more about you?
Morgan Adams (50m 43s):
My website is MorganAdamswellness.com is my website, and I’m on Instagram, quite a bit, doing stories and reels and try to do some fun stuff too. It’s MorganAdams.Wellness on Instagram.
Christine Okezie (50m 56s):
Awesome. This has been amazing. Okay. Thank you. And best of luck with everything that you do, I’m so excited to see all the things that you’re doing in the future. All right.