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The Doctor's Farmacy

The Real Reasons We Have Trouble Sleeping with Dr. Todd LePine

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

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Functional Medicine is all about looking at the way our systems function together, rather than focusing on one part of the body at a time. The steps you take to support whole-body health work in the same way. Diet, exercise, stress reduction—they simultaneously affect more than just one aspect of your health—and new research has revealed that choices around these things can have major impacts on our sleep, and how that cycles back to support overall optimal health.

In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Todd LePine to discuss why so many of us experience issues related to our sleep and what we can do about it.

Dr. LePine graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, specializing in Integrative Functional Medicine. He is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. Prior to joining The UltraWellness Center, he worked as a physician at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, for 10 years. Dr. LePine’s focus at The UltraWellness Center is to help his patients achieve optimal health and vitality by restoring the natural balance to both the mind and the body. His areas of interest include optimal aging, bio-detoxification, functional gastrointestinal health, systemic inflammation, autoimmune disorders and the neurobiology of mood and cognitive disorders. Dr. LePine teaches around the world, and has given lectures to doctors and patients at American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), Age Management Medicine Group (AMMG), the University of Miami Integrative Medicine Conference, The Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA, and is on the faculty for American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. LePine is the head of the Scientific Advisory Board for Designs for Health and a consultant for Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory. He enjoys skiing, kayaking, hiking, camping and golfing in the beautiful Berkshires, and is a fitness enthusiast.

This episode is sponsored by my Sleep Master Class. In this modern world we place too much value on staying busy and deprioritizing sleep, which is why I have created my first ever Master Class. It guides you through the most important steps to getting better sleep, starting today. To learn more about the Sleep Master Class, head over to drhyman.com/sleep. Sign-up today to watch the first three lessons for free.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman and Dr. LePine discuss:

  • The value in asking if you are waking up refreshed
  • How artificial light at night disrupts hormones and sleep
  • The importance of getting exposure to natural light in the morning
  • How side effects from medication, caffeine, alcohol, eating late at night, and environmental toxins can all affect sleep
  • Sleep hygiene routines
  • The link between temperature and sleep
  • Consequences of chronic sleep deprivation
  • Sleep and the immune system
  • EMFs (or electric and magnetic fields) and their effects on our physiology
  • Additional treatments for sleep issues

For more information visit drhyman.com/uwc

Products mentioned in this episode:

TrueDark

Purity Coffee

Oura Ring

Chili

10-Day Reset

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dr. Todd LePine

Dr. LePine graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, specializing in Integrative Functional Medicine, and has advanced clinical training through the Institute for Functional Medicine. He has been practicing Functional Medicine for over 15 years focusing on Optimal Aging, Bio-Detoxification, Gastrointestinal Health, Systemic Inflammation, Autoimmune disorders and the Neurobiology of mood and cognitive disorders.

Show Notes

  1. “Your Brain and Immunity: The Fascinating Connection You Need to Nurture”
  2. “Magical Magnesium”
  3. “5 Strategies for Better Sleep”
  4. “Why is my teenager so tired?: A personal story”
  5. “8 Simple Hacks for a Better Night's Sleep”
  6. “Sleep Heals”
  7. “Is Coffee Good or Bad for You?”
  8. “Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – Nighttime Snacking”
  9. “Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – What can I do to stay asleep and sleep more deeply?”
  10. “Is There An Antidote to Stress?”

Transcript

Dr. Todd LePine:
Guess what? Your brain takes out the garbage at night. So if you’re not getting good, deep, restorative sleep, you can’t clean the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman and that’s pharmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y. Welcome to this special episode called House Call and it’s about sleep today. We are going to get deep into sleep, but we’re not going to put you asleep, I hope. I’m here with my good friend, colleague and partner at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, Dr. Todd Lepine, who I’ve known for decades. We worked together at Canyon Ranch over 25 years ago. He’s been involved with functional medicine longer than I have, which is a long time and I really respect him. He teaches all over the world, is one of the leading thought leaders in the space of functional medicine and welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Thank you, Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
All right, so this house call today is about sleep, which is a big problem. I think we have an epidemic of sleep problems, right?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yes, we do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So tell us how prevalent is this and what’s going on with our sleep?

Dr. Todd LePine:
It is. So you bring up a really good thing. So most people, when I ask, and one of the big questions I ask them is, “How do you feel? Where’s your energy level on the scale of 1 to 10 and do you wake up refreshed?” A lot of people are not waking up refreshed. So I think what’s happened is we’re living-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m refreshed after my coffee.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah, exactly. I’m actually going to talk about coffee and how actually coffee works on interrupting that thing that triggers sleep, which I’ll get to later.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wait, wait. Are you going to take away my coffee time?

Dr. Todd LePine:
No, no I will not. I love my coffee. I had two cups this morning. It’s a legal drug that got me through medical school, my medical training. But anyway, I think what we have in the modern society is a disruption of our sleep wake cycle. So when you look, I always look-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But it’s prevalent, like 70% of Americans have sleep issues, right?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Absolutely. Yeah. So we have into our bodies, our natural sleep wake cycle, and that natural sleep wake cycle is part of how we are as animals. So when you look at most animals, what happens at nighttime? The sun goes down, what do they do? They go to sleep. They’re not on their iPads. They’re not on their iPhones. They’re not on their computer. They’re not on their television.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They don’t have a light bulb.

Dr. Todd LePine:
And they’re not right in the refrigerator. All right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
All of my cats running around at night looking for mice.

Dr. Todd LePine:
If they’re nocturnal, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Todd LePine:
So I think that, in my opinion, where my experiences, artificial light at night time, I think, is a big … is this sort of the elephant in the room. For people that had sleep problems, one of the easy things that you can do that can help to fix that is to have a blue blocking lights, glasses at night.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I actually have them.

Dr. Todd LePine:
I do too. Absolutely. So when you look at the-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You look goofy, but you sleep good.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Right. Exactly. It’s actually in the medical literature and these LED lights have a very high blue spectrum and blue light is the type of thing that sort of wakes your body up and it suppresses melatonin. So melatonin, which we can measure, we can measure that easily in patience, is the hormone of darkness. So one of the times when I’m seeing patients, not only do I measure their sex hormones, their adrenal hormones, but I also measure their sleep hormone, which is their melatonin-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like at night, maybe?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah, at night. So it can check it in the morning and you can also check metabolites of melatonin. Your melatonin levels tell you whether or not you’re getting enough darkness. So you can take melatonin and as you get older, our bodies produce less melatonin. But the thing that you can do to boost your own melatonin is not expose yourself to light at night.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So candles, back to candles?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Back to candles, yeah, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The blue blocker glasses?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Candles actually work quite well. Yeah, they do. But the LEDs on screens and all lights now … there are no more incandescent light bulbs.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So what about the sort of night sort of setting on the computer or iPad, is that’s [crosstalk 00:04:05] garbage?

Dr. Todd LePine:
It doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s not as good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What if you wear the glasses when you use the screens?

Dr. Todd LePine:
You’ll know they work because when you wear the real ones that really cut out 99.9% of the blue light, you can say-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I did the other night. I was tired, but I put my glasses on and my blue blocker glasses I got from True Dark and you can go to truedark.com. You put the glasses on and I watched my movie on my computer in bed and I was like, it kind of messed with my sleep a little bit. But it was fine. I had a great deep sleep. I’m like, “Wow, this is really amazing.”

Dr. Todd LePine:
Whatever you’re going to do with computer or whatever, it’s not going to look normal, but you will sleep a lot better. I do that myself. This is where it really hit me about the effect of light is I was in New York City one weekend and I was giving a lecture. It was a Friday night and I was lecturing the next day and I’m walking down just what do you do in New York? You walk down Broadway. So I’m walking down Broadway, it was about 10 o’clock at night. I did it for about a couple hours, it was like 11, 12 o’clock and [crosstalk 00:05:11] the lights on Broadway, [crosstalk 00:05:14] I could not sleep that night. That’s where it really hit me. I was like, “Oh my God, this is … ” this was obviously real, real bright LED lights, but it was phenomenal. I just could not fall asleep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Dr. Todd LePine:
I could not stay asleep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s incredible.

Dr. Todd LePine:
That sort of got me down that path of really understanding-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Light. So light is a big problem. Light pollution.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Light pollution. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There was a book I read years ago called Lights Out, which describes the advent of chronic disease and obesity with a light bulb.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And how that affects our sleep wake cycles, how it affects our circadian rhythms, how it affects our hormones, how it affects our metabolism, which is something we don’t really don’t think about.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Especially in nutritional medicine, we never learned about light.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
but now there’s [inaudible 00:05:56].

Dr. Todd LePine:
One of the best things that you can do, and I try to do this as often as I can, is early in the morning, is exposing yourself to light. So darkness tells you to go to sleep. Light tells your body to wake up and exposing your eyes without actually even without glasses to the sun. I’m merely a sun worshiper now. Sun gazing is very, very powerful for-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’re blind, but you sleep fine. [Crosstalk 00:06:24].

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah. You’re blind, but just fine. Exactly, but exposure to light shortly after you get up is one of the things that helps to synchronize, to set your circadian-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Every morning my wife and I, we get up and we take the cats for walk around the yard. Yes, our cats go for a walk. They’re well-trained Burmese cats and we literally walk around and get the sunlight and spend 20 minutes out there just walking around the yard. It’s just so nice to get that sunlight in the morning.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. You want to do it relatively early, within 20, 30 minutes of getting up and exposing yourself sunlight is very, very helpful for synchronizing your body clocks.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that’s one reason that people are having so many sleep issues. What are other reasons people have sleep issues, other than the light pollution?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Sometimes it can be medications, medication side effects. Some of the people are taking the these stimulants. They’ll say, “I’m tired.” “So here.” Your doctor gives you a Ritalin or Adderall and then that is a stimulant and it’s sort of keeping you up. Excess amounts or overuse of caffeine or having caffeine too late in the day, some people are very caffeine sensitive and they can’t have any kind of tea or coffee. Most people, in general, I’m going to say that if you have one or two cups of green tea coffee and it’s early in the day, it’s not going to affect your sleep. The half life of coffee is about six hours. So in six hours, half of it’s out and then in another six hours, a quarter of it-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Definitely nothing after noon, right?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. Nothing after noon. Most people, it’s not going to affect them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Alcohol is a big sleep-

Dr. Todd LePine:
Oh, alcohol is a big one. In fact, I was telling you about a case. So I had a patient who was eating late at night and that’s another one-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s another one, right?

Dr. Todd LePine:
That actually I think also affects sleep also because when you’re sleeping, you don’t want to be digesting. You really want to be in a fasting state.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
One, it’s going to interrupt your sleep and two is going to make you fat.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It makes you gain weight because you’re basically storing it instead of metabolizing it.

Dr. Todd LePine:
The Sumo diet, that’s how Sumos get fat. They eat and go to sleep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s right. That was actually a chapter in my book, one of my first books, Ultra Metabolism. It was called The Sumo Wrestler Diet.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Because the Sumos have a recipe for knowing how to put weight on, right? You eat and go to sleep. So it was a simple patient came into me and they were eating late at night. It was like anywhere between eight to 10 o’clock at night and they were having a couple of glasses of wine, which, that sounds okay. Well, it was a combination of eating late at night and those two glasses of wine or alcoholic drinks and very commonly, especially as you get older, maybe after 45, 50, you’ll get what’s called rebound insomnia. So the alcohol sort of relaxes you, whatever, but when it wears off, the brain wakes up. I started to experience this myself when I started turning 45, 50 and so I’m very aware of it. So any patient-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you drink wine in the morning.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. You drink wine in the morning, happy hours at noon.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So no coffee or wine after lunch.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah, right. So one of the things that you do with patients is get them aware of their circadian rhythm or their sleep wake cycle, the importance of light in the morning, darkness at night, and then also get them off for maybe two months of … you got to get them off of all alcohol and all caffeine and sort of see where-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
See where their baseline is.

Dr. Todd LePine:
See where their baseline is and then it’s for them to decide how much and how often and when to have those things, which, a good cup of coffee is pleasurable, a glass of wine is pleasurable, but too much, too late, is not a good thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Hyman. Thanks for tuning into The Doctor’s Farmacy. I hope you’re loving this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things to do and introducing you to all the experts that I know and I love and that I’ve learned so much from. I want to tell you about something else I’m doing, which is called Mark’s Picks. It’s my weekly newsletter and in it, I share my favorite stuff from foods to supplements to gadgets to tools to enhance your health. It’s all the cool stuff that I use and that my team uses to optimize and enhance our health. I’d love you to sign up for the weekly newsletter. I’ll only send it to you once a week on Fridays. Nothing else, I promise.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
All you have to do is go to drhyman.com/picks to sign up. That’s drhyman.com/picks, P-I-C-K-S, and sign up for the newsletter and I’ll share with you my favorite stuff that I use to enhance my health and get healthier and better and live younger, longer. Now back to this week’s episode. There are other things that are sort of off the chart a little bit that people don’t think about, but I had severe mercury poisoning and that really interrupted my sleep. So insomnia can be related to heavy metals and toxins, for example. It can be related to thyroid problems. If I have a low grade, low thyroid function, that can be a sleep disruptor. Hormonal issues, obviously menopause is another one.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Oh, menopause is a huge-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Even like blood sugar issues, people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic, they can get hypoglycemia in the middle of the night that wakes them up and they’ve got night sweats and hot flashes. So there’s a lot of reasons people have sleep issues that are biological that you can fix and even nutritional factors, low magnesium and other factors can be really a big issue.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly, yeah. It was interesting you said it, because there are some people who will have a very big cortisol response at nighttime. So cortisol is the adrenal hormone, sort of your get up and go hormone. We’re supposed to have cortisol rising as we wake up. There’s a test that we do called the cortisol awakening response. So how much does your cortisol rise as you get up? Well, there are some people that will have problems with cortisol secretion at nighttime when it should be really, really low. That’s another thing that I think is the important thing that interrupts people’s sleep, is excess amount of cortisol stress hormone at nighttime.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, that’s why my wife yells at me for reading a COVID-19 news at night before bed. She’s like, “So you’re not going to sleep good. I’m like, “Yeah, you’re right.” But you’re right. You don’t want to be watching scary things and stimulating things that can get your adrenaline up before you go to bed. I think often we live a sleep disruptive lifestyle, right? So we eat late, we drink, we have lots of lights. We engage in stimulating activities before bed-

Dr. Todd LePine:
24/7 news.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We email before bed. We don’t do things to wind down, just having a simple sleep hygiene routine. I’m really religious about this, but at least an hour, maybe even two hours before, you turn everything off you maybe I take a hot bath with Epsom salt. I put lavender drops in there because lavender actually reduces cortisol levels, so the lavender essential oils. I’ve made my room completely black. I have a blackout shade. I even have eye shades, ear plugs if you need them, if you live in a noisy area.

Dr. Todd LePine:
I use them when I travel, all the time.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Blue blocker glasses, so there’s a lot of ways to structure your environment so that it’s really good. Make sure the temperature’s right.

Dr. Todd LePine:
There’s another clinical case. I had this older gentleman who … he was … had a whole bunch of different kinds of problems and had probably a little bit of early Parkinson’s, mild sort of slowing down. He’s in his late seventies and he, on his own, was found out that when he turned the thermostat down from 70 degrees to 64 degrees, he slept so much better. Again, that’s the other thing is what happens to animals at nighttime? They’re actually out in nature. And guess what? We’re animals too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s true.

Dr. Todd LePine:
We’re actually designed to be out in nature. That lowering of the temperature also, I think, is very, very good for inducing sleep. I actually think, this is my own sort of theory, is that when you take the warm bath and then you go to bed in a colder environment, that shift of the temperature differential, I just get very relaxed when I do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s true. The best sleep I had in years was I was doing back country skiing with my daughter last year in Utah in the middle of winter. You’re climbing up, sort of exercising and get up to the … hot … while you’re sleeping in an unheated hot, in a sleeping bag and it’s like 30 degrees. It’s freezing, but you got your hat on. I slept like a baby. my wife and I have, this is a common debate. She actually had a comedy skit about this, which is-

Dr. Todd LePine:
I know. I’ve seen that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… How to go to bed in a winter coat with a hat on and so we figured out this solution, which is this really cool thing called the chiliPAD. It’s something you can buy, which you put … it’s filled with water. It’s like a water that goes through it and it cools it. It’s sort of like an air conditioned water. I can have like 64 on my bed and she can be like 75 on the other side and it’s the best. I use that and I sleep great because in New York, when I had an apartment, the radiator was on. I couldn’t control the temperature in the winter. You open the window, it too cold, and it’s too hot.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I had this thing and it was like best invention ever. They have ones with different sides, you can switch it for the guys or the girls. So it’s really important to get the temperature right. So there’s all these really simple hacks and there’s, in the show notes for this podcast, there’s going to be articles that have a lot of these things in them. So I think it’s really important for people to kind of think about how do they optimize their sleep because why is sleep so important and what are the consequences of chronic sleep deprivation?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Sleep deprivation is obviously that, one of the things is that if you have sleep deprivation, you get angry and irritable. You’re very irritable. It actually affects the amygdala part of the brain, the primitive part of the brain that’s a sort of fighting kind of a thing. So when you see people who are chronically-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because America is sleep-deprived, is that the issue here?

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Is that why we’re so hostile?

Dr. Todd LePine:
The POTUS might be sleep-deprived.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, we know he is.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Yeah, he could very well be. So when you don’t get good restorative sleep, and they say that seven to eight hours is ideal. There are some people who need more, there a little bit people who will need less, but most of the time, I ask my patients, “When you wake up, do you feel like your batteries are charged or do you feel refreshed?” That’s really, I think, the key thing and also looking at patients, how quickly can they fall asleep. It’s not how much time you’re in bed. It’s like, can you fall asleep relatively easily, because I had a patient the other day, he was like, “It takes me two hours to fall asleep.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh my God.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Why is that? Then you’ve got to go down the laundry list of what are you doing at night that may be impairing that. Then you just need to have that good sleep hygiene. It’s key.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so important and I think we know chronic sleep deprivation affects your mood, causes depression. It affects your risk of, for example, dementia. Your brain can’t clean itself [crosstalk 00:17:06] sleep.

Dr. Todd LePine:
You just brought the next thing and the danger of that is that what we found out is that our brains are about 2% of our entire body weight, but they consume 20% of our energy in the body. So they’re highly metabolically active, which means that they also produce a lot of metabolic waste.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exhaust, basically.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exhaust and the garbage. And guess what? Your brain takes out the garbage at night. So if you’re not getting good, deep, restorative sleep, you can’t clean the brain. There’s a whole system in the body in the brain called the glymphatic system, which is the lymphatics of the brain that allow you to take those metabolic toxic waste products out of the brain. What happens is they sort of open up at night as you’re sleeping and if you are not getting good sleep, you’re basically not taking the garbage out of your brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Just like not flushing the toilet in your brain.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You know what, for what.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So yeah, this is really important. So you get increased risk of brain inflammation, increased risk of dementia, increased risk of depression. Your cognitive performance goes way down, which is striking. I remember this study I saw of sharpshooters, like basically, snipers. Their accuracy was like 99% when they were awake with eight hours sleep and then seven hours, maybe it was like 97% and then six hours, it was like 80%, five hours, it was like 50%. It was like a coin toss whether they’re going to hit the target or not.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. Then also the sleep deprivation is worse than alcohol. You’re actually more mentally impaired with sleep deprivation than you are being drunk.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I get that, for sure. I think we have to understand that sleep is not a nuisance or a waste of time. It’s something to be cultivated and optimized and it’s critical to your health, to your immune function. We’re now in this age of COVID-19 and sleep is one of the best things you can do to make your immune system more resilient. So making sure you get enough sleep and understanding how to create the structure for you to sleep well. For those people who are not getting better on the sleep front, we’ve been trying all these cool techniques and things we talked about, whether it’s the blue blocker glasses or getting their sleep hygiene right, or maybe using a chiliPAD and their temperature, right, all of this stuff. If you’re not getting better, there may be other reasons for it. that’s where in functional medicine we dig deep. We find heavy metals and thyroid issues, gut issues and nutritional factors that may play a role in sleep disruption, so …

Dr. Todd LePine:
And the other thing, and this is something that’s probably not on the radar of most doctors and even also integrative doctors is EMFs. So if anybody’s gone camping, when you’re camping out in the wilderness, guess what? You are not around electrical magnetic fields.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s what happened to you, Todd., so it didn’t have any EMFs around.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly. Actually, going camping for a week will help to reset your circadian clock. I also believe that when you’re camping, you’re earthing, you’re grounding and you’re actually on the ground, literally. You also are not surrounded by EMFs. I do know that EMFs affect our bodies in many, many ways. I-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it’s not all hype [inaudible 00:20:13].

Dr. Todd LePine:
Oh, it’s not hype at all. When we measure an EKG, we’re measuring electrical signals of our heart. We’re measuring an EEG, we’re measuring electrical signals of our brain. So our bodies are bioelectric beings and we interface and interact with energy signals, whether it’s light, sound or EMF vibrations and without question, they can affect our physiology. There’s been evidence that EMF exposure can predispose towards more auto-immunity. I do know that when you sleep and you ground yourself, you will sleep better. My theory is, I think it’s related to the fact that when you’re in a building, you’re around a lot of EMFs.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
My wife got wind of this. In New York City, she got one of those-

Dr. Todd LePine:
Trifield, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:20:58] detectors. It has this score on it and you can see the green light is okay, yellow, caution, red is severe danger. In our apartment in New York, it was severe danger all the time. Then when we brought it close to our phone or other things or to the wifi, it would kind of explode. She decided she wanted to protect us and she basically created a Faraday cage around our bed, essentially got a special kind of cloth that blocks electromagnetic frequencies, a special grounding sheet. She hung it over our bed. If you go in there, you can’t make a cell phone call, you can’t get on wifi. It’s literally blocked everything out, which is really amazing. So we started using that in New York because in New York there’s so much, you’re go into anybody’s router and you’ll see, there’s hundreds of wifi opportunities.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Without question, it’s not like you can draw a blood sample, get a urine sample to check EMFs. It’s one of those things where you need this special device. This is not voodoo stuff. This is not wacko, crazy stuff. This is real stuff. Our bodies are affected by electromagnetic-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Some people have more sensitivities.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Just like everything, people are more gluten sensitive, people get more EMF sensitive. I have a wide variety of how people respond. But if you’re struggling, these are the kinds of things to think about.

Dr. Todd LePine:
What do psychiatrists do nowadays to treat refractory depression? They use pulse magnetic fields to the brain. That’s an energy signal, right? They don’t even know how it works. They just do it. It’s like they used to be do ECT where they would [crosstalk 00:22:30] paralyze you and then-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
This is more than more modern version.

Dr. Todd LePine:
It’s a more modern version. Exactly. But it really shows you that our bodies have an interaction in some kind of complex, energetic fashion with our body.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so important. I think we see so many people who struggle with sleep. They don’t prioritize sleep, they don’t understand how to get their bodies to sleep. They don’t understand what their bodies require and all the things we talked about from dietary things, whether it’s getting off of sugar and starch. I have somebody who will do what we call the 10-day reset, which is like-

Dr. Todd LePine:
A lot of patients love it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What’s amazing is they report, “I’m sleeping better.” You get off alcohol, you get off caffeine, you get off sugar, you clean up your diet and all of a sudden, your hormones start being regulated properly. Your brain chemistry and your neurotransmitters start getting regulated and back in balance and you start to sleep better and you feel better and you have more energy. It’s like, “Wow, who knew that all these things were connected?”

Dr. Todd LePine:
Then the other thing, this is a very important thing is, and this ties in with the coffee because you and I enjoy a good cup of coffee. The interesting thing about how coffee works is that coffee blocks adenosine receptors, and you were talking earlier about ATP. So the fuel of our body is ATP, adenosine triphosphate. So there’s three phosphate groups attached to this molecule and as we go throughout the day, ATP gets degraded into ADP, which is to phosphate molecules and then to adenosine monophosphate and then to just plain old adenosine. As our bodies, the more you exercise, guess what? The better you sleep. The reason for that is our body has a buildup of adenosine. So as our bodies go throughout the day, we’re active, physically active-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s good to get more adenosine.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Right. Adenosine we’ll slowly build up and then in certain parts of the brain, that triggers the sleep mechanism.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Coffee messes that up.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Guess what? If you look at the structural molecule, the caffeine fits into the adenosine receptor. So that’s why it prevents us from feeling tired.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I just got this new espresso machine. Is anybody in the market for a new espresso machine? How about decaf? Is that okay?

Dr. Todd LePine:
There’s actually some interesting thing … with coffee intake, epidemiologically, a couple of cups of coffee actually have preventive effects for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So it’s not all bad-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Not all bad-

Dr. Todd LePine:
And the one thing-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s just the dose and the timing.

Dr. Todd LePine:
It’s the dose and the timing, like anything. The other thing that’s really, I think, important with coffee is to make sure it’s organic because that’s one of those highly sprayed things like strawberries, you don’t want to eat unless they’re organic. Coffee is one of those things. You just don’t touch it unless it’s organic.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Very important. There’s some great companies out there that do this. Purity coffee is a great one. I encourage people to check that out. I think we are a society of sleep-deprived people. We think sort of lack of sleep as a badge of honor. I certainly learned that in medical school. We don’t learn how to prioritize sleep, how to practice sleep hygiene, how to identify the things as a practitioner of how to help people sleep. We give them medications and sometimes medications can be helpful, but they really do create a vicious cycle and a problem.

Dr. Todd LePine:
You’re totally [inaudible 00:25:40] In fact, there was an article recently that came out with the chronic use of these benzodiazepines having an increase your risk for Alzheimer’s. So the sleep medications, things you know like Triazolam and Ambien and those types of things, when you use them chronically, there’s actually been an association with increased neurodegenerative conditions or even some of the anticholinergics which are also used for … so you want to use them very carefully and judiciously. There are some patients that you know may have some esoteric sleep disorders, things that we don’t quite understand and may need chronic use of the things. But by and large, those things are to be used for a brief period of time and then you … there’s a lot of other things that you should have in your toolbox to be able to-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we do that at the UltraWellness Center. We use melatonin, we use magnesium. We’ll use things like GABA-

Dr. Todd LePine:
Glycine.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Theanine, glcyine. We’ll use herbs like valerian, passionflower, hops, and we often see real improvement with these just simple treatments. I had a patient who was really struggling with sleep and I gave him one of the formulas we use here at the UltraWellness Center and it had melatonin in it, and a bunch of herbs, Valerian and this and that and he said, “I’m sleeping great.” And sometimes it’s really simple.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think we need to really focus and double down on our sleep. I think people are struggling with sleep out there. There is a way through. There is a way out. There’s a lot of great ideas in our show notes that come with this podcast. I encourage you to, if you were interested, and struggling, we’d love to see you at the UltraWellness Center. We’re doing virtual consults now so we can see anybody, from anywhere in the world. Dr LePine, myself, Dr. Liz Boham, George Papanicolaou. It’s an incredible team. We have nutritionists, health coaches, we have really great team, physician’s assistant. So we really can help you navigate a lot of this and figure out what’s underneath. So if you’re not getting better with the typical stuff, it’s time to sort of look towards a functional medicine doctor to get help. We’d love to see you here at the UltraWellness Center. So any last thoughts, Todd?

Dr. Todd LePine:
I’ll just end with a quote by Shakespeare, “To sleep – perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub … ” and that’s what we need to be doing is we need to be getting good sleep. Also, one of the questions I ask my patients is, “Do you dream?” So you’re not dreaming, you’re not getting good sleep. I see that you have your Oura Ring on, so-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you’ve got a nice color. Look at that.

Dr. Todd LePine:
I got mine. The Delta sleep, which is where your body really restores itself. That’s a deep restorative sleep, which you can measure-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We should compare notes here. [crosstalk 00:28:08].

Dr. Todd LePine:
… very competitive. I got three hours, I only got two hours.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s interesting. It’s so nice to get more deep and more REM. It’s like I can notice how I feel differently, and the temperature makes a big difference [crosstalk 00:28:18] When I drink alcohol, my heart rate doesn’t drop down and it’s really interesting.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Some of these tools that we’re talking about that give you a little bit of feedback as far as how your body’s responding, can be very motivating.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so great, so there’s lots of great tools. We’ll put the resources for things like the chiliPAD and the Oura Ring, and the True Dark light block glasses. All that’s going to be in the show notes. We’d love you to take advantage of the things that are going to help you and get better. So if you love this podcast, we’d love for you to share this with your friends and family. Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and we’ll see you next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Todd LePine:
Thanks, Mark.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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