Reset Your Sleep Rhythm (Day 4 Living Ageless)

Reset Your Sleep Rhythm (Day 4 Living Ageless)

Welcome to How To Live Ageless, a special mini-series. In this episode, you’ll learn how your daytime habits impact your nighttime sleep quality. And how sleep impacts everything else! This is wildly important for (many) women who find it hard to get a full night’s rest. Get the full experience by joining us for FREE at

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You’ll hear about:

  • 6 important ways to reset your circadian rhythm
  • How the quality of your sleep at night is a reflection of your daytime activities
  • The connection between sleep time, mortality rates and autoimmune disease risk

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Factor in quarantine, like, you know, deep quarantine, I had to shift my schedule in order to take care of my boys all day long and still work full time. So for a couple of months, like I want to say, maybe it was even six months I would work until 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, go to sleep, wake up at 10:00 or 11:00. So I'd still get my eight hours of sleep just shifted later than usual, and my kids would already be up and watching TV and they would already breakfast, which I would leave out the night before. And then I'd spend the rest of the day with them until about 8:00 p.m. when they went to bed. And then I'd work right from 8:00 until the wee hours of the morning. And that's how I made it work as a single mom in unusual circumstances.

And lots of people work on hours and sleep, odd hours, nurses doing night shifts, for example. You know, sometimes it's what you got to do. But sometimes and this is actually very often, I hear from women that they're going to bed really late on a regular basis because those hours late at night, like, that's our quiet time. That's our me time. Maybe it's the only time that you have for yourself, which I understand. Now of course, that usually means in non quarantine times, like going to bed late.

You still have to wake up early. You know, maybe you're still up at six o'clock or seven o'clock because of your job or because of your kids or whatever it is. So it becomes a combination of late bedtime with too few hours of sleep overall. So how does this relate to living agelessly? Because that's the theme of this week's free event. And if you haven't already done so, by the way, please register at We've got a bunch of goodies for you when you sign up, including an exclusive recipe book, food journal review and a skincare giveaway.

And today we're talking about sleep more than sleep, really your whole circadian rhythm as it relates to ageless living.

Here are some compelling statistics like this blows my mind. Night shift workers experience an overall increase in all-cause mortality. Statistics I've seen around a 10 percent increase. There's also a big increase in risk of cardiovascular disease that comes with night shift working. It's not the work, it's the shift in the circadian rhythm.

Sleeping. And this is just for anybody. Sleeping less than six hours a night increases all-cause mortality by 12 percent. And just as a point of comparison, morbid obesity increases all cause mortality by 18 percent. So sleep is right up there, right? It makes a big, big impact.

Now, since so many women are experiencing autoimmune disease and I talked a little bit about this on day two, I have a couple of other statistics that I want to share as it relates to that. Now again, autoimmunity is when your body starts attacking itself and it is on the rise. I mean, what I have seen in my health coaching practice over the past 13 years, I've really I've really noticed it. It's really happening. More and more women are being diagnosed, more and more women are not being diagnosed, but they they actually are experiencing this, which is hard to get the correct diagnosis.

But anyway, autoimmunity is when your body starts attacking itself. And to me, that is like the opposite of living ageless, right? When you're killing off your own cells all day long. So autoimmune diseases, part genetic, it's part. Bad luck, right? But it's also very much brought on by food and lifestyle factors. So here we go.

Let's say you have trouble falling asleep. Even mild insomnia can increase your risk of autoimmunity by 50 percent. Fifty! Five oh, and simply sleeping out of sync with the sun, like I was doing during quarantine increases autoimmune disease risk by 50 percent again.

Okay, so that was a lot of numbers and a lot of nerdiness. What can we do? What can we do to improve our sleep? I mean, obviously, for so many reasons, we know sleep is important and I find that women, I'm sure for you and certainly myself at times it's like we want to sleep better. We're trying. But as we get older, it becomes more difficult to achieve, right? Even if you're in your bed and you got your pajamas on and you are like, ready, you're so ready. And then it's like, uh, I just can't, can't fall asleep, can't get there, or you fall asleep. You keep waking up.

The best way to think about this is knowing that the quality of your sleep at night reflects what you're doing or not doing all day. So like, yeah, in the moment you can use white noise machines and earplugs and all that good stuff to help you at night, but you want to structure your day times in a way that it improves your nighttime.

And of course, this has everything to do with not only decreasing mortality rates, but just feeling better, looking better, having more energy. That's the ageless part, right? So sleep is so key to get there. You may need. And I'm going to say you probably need because we almost all are struggling with this.

We need to reset our circadian rhythm, which means you want to wake and sleep and live according to the rhythm, according to the flow of nature. Right. Because we're part of nature, our body. We don't think of it that way. We think of it like we are somehow different than nature. But nature's like out there. No, no, no. Like we are, we are human beings. We are. We are absolutely part of the natural world.

So pick one or two of these things that I'm going to talk about now to focus on to help you reconnect with your natural rhythm. And I want to say you don't have to change everything about your day, and you certainly don't need to do all of these things at once. Just start somewhere. It's a practice, you know, and nothing's going to be magic overnight. Any of these tricks are not like a, you know, it's not like taking an Ambien, but over time with regular practice. And the more of these things you can do, the better your sleep will be.

So first, and this again has to do with following cues from nature. We want to wake up approximately when the sun rises and at approximately the same time, every day right to really be resetting your clock. You know your body's on this 24 hour clock.

So let's say we're getting up somewhere around six a.m. seven a.m. What a five a.m., you know, whatever, wherever you are in that range. Fine. The best thing you can do is get yourself outside into direct sunlight right away, if possible, or early in the day. Again, this is part of our experience as being part of the natural world. Having that direct sunlight is going to help reset your circadian rhythm, which, by the way, has everything to do with your hormones, has everything to do with your energy levels. So trust me on this, you want to get some bright sun and I say this as a person who works from home, and it's very easy for me to get up, go about my day. I'm just sort of inside my house. I may not even step outside if I am not careful about it, right? So we want to make sure that we are outside and our body is perceiving the sun and your eyeballs. This matters, okay?

During the day and this this comes as a shock, right? Because during the day, what most of us are doing is we're sitting, we're sitting in the car, we're sitting at work, we're sitting whatever. Our bodies are meant to move all day long. Like, think back, you know, not even that many years ago, but we're walking, we're climbing. We're, you know, we're reaching for things where whatever hunting, gathering right like our body's pretty much always in motion just to survive.

So your body, even today, I know it's a lot easier. We don't have to hunt and gather, but your body is meant to move. And I always think of it like, you know, when you bring little kids, like when I had toddlers and you bring them to like the trampoline park because you just want to tire them out so they'll actually sleep. It's kind of like that for us to ever sitting still all day. That does nothing for our sleep quality at night. So movement during the day is again part of how our bodies are meant to work. That means more walking. That means getting up and stretching when you are otherwise stuck to a chair for hours and hours. And sometimes we are. That means dedicated time for exercise, weights, dance class yoga, swimming. It doesn't really matter, and it doesn't have to be intense. Just move.

And also, low impact or moderate intensity with your workouts comes with less chance of injury. So I'm actually a big fan of that. It's something to pay attention to as we get older because it's the worst like start off really strong and then you get injured and then you're not able to exercise or dance or whatever because of the pain so moderate or even light intensity movement throughout the day is the way to go. And how can you get more of that in? You don't have to go to the gym for hours. You don't even have to go to the gym at all. I mean, you already know the benefits of exercise, but did you ever think about how it impacts your sleep and how it impacts your circadian? In rhythm, right, we move during the day and then hopefully we're not moving at all. We are dead asleep at night. There's nothing to do with burning calories, OK, it's just working with your natural systems.

All right. What else? Your food impacts your sleep. I bet you knew I was going to say that. So obviously you like coffee too much coffee or coffee too late in the day. That's going to screw most people up. So we want to keep the coffee consumption light and only in the morning, but also eating in a way that destabilizes your blood sugar. And newsflash, most people are eating in a way that destabilizes their blood sugar that makes sleep harder.

Sometimes we're waking up at like 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. kind of a panic. And that's because not always, but sometimes it can be because our blood sugar levels have dropped and the body goes, uh oh, wake up, you know, this is an emergency. So learning how to eat for steady blood sugar is very, very helpful.

And then back to the sunlight issue as the day goes on and the sun starts to go down outside. You want your environment to reflect this. You know, we no longer rely on the sun for light. We have light bulbs, but dim them in the evening. Que your body that night time is coming like the light. The perception of light is very important for doing this. That's why we want to get the bright light in the morning and in the evening we want to start bringing it down. This is where also nighttime TV and social media can screw up because the blue light coming off your screen, it tells your pineal gland in your brain that it's daytime and we don't want that. We want our natural melatonin levels to work for us. So dim the lights, but the screens away, or at least on night mode or dim the screen.

Now just a quick note on melatonin. Melatonin very safe to use. It can work really beautifully to help you get to sleep and even stay asleep. You can get slow release melatonin that releases slowly over the night if you're having trouble with waking during the night. However, long term use of melatonin is not great for your body. Every now and then go for it. But if it's something that you're relying on and you're popping lots of melatonin all night long to go to sleep and stay asleep, that's something that is no longer in the category of completely harmless and natural. OK, so I just want to put that out there.

Also, nighttime, just getting back to the screens thing and the, you know, talking about the light going into your eyes, that's one thing. But many times, not the best time for watching, like Game of Thrones or some other types of, you know, high intensity shows or anything that puts your system into a state of fight or flight. I'm talking about, you know, your community Facebook groups where people are fighting over things like you don't need that at night. I would argue you don't need that ever, but certainly not before bed. So you want to let yourself chill out at night, let your system calm down. That's going to set you up for good sleep.

And then finally, you want to go to bed early enough so you can wake up with the sun again. Having gotten your eight hours or even nine hours, like five to six hours is not cutting it. So maybe it's bad at 11 and you're waking at seven. If you have to be up earlier, then you're going to bed earlier.

And these are the practices that you know over time, the more you can stick to them, the better. And the more of them you can do, the better. This is going to reset your internal clock and make sleep easier, more achievable for you and make it work best for you to give you back so much energy and life. So which one of these can you try today? I'm not asking you to do it all, but like, I don't know when you're listening to this, but within the next 24 hours, can you set your alarm and wake earlier? It may mean that that day you get a little bit less sleep, but it will mean that you were probably going to be tired earlier in the evening that night. So it's a good way to help you get to bed earlier by simply setting the alarm and waking up earlier around the same time that the sun's coming up.

Next would be getting that sun exposure in the morning. And then after that, getting movement in your day, lots of movement as much as you can. Low intensity, moderate intensity. Can you eat for blood sugar balance? I can help with that. By the way, don't forget to download your How to Live Ageless recipe book and complete that food diary in the back. We can set up a time to chat about it, then the evening start dimming your lights, get off the screens, keep yourself calm and go to bed early enough that you. A full eight hours, you're going to bed approximately at the time that the sun goes down, which of those might be possible to start trying right away? Try that in the next 24 hours and I'll be back tomorrow for our final day of How to Live Ageless. I'll see you then.

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