Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears
Tanessa Shears is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business podcast.
She is a lady who has a similar story of so many people across the world, who are struggling through the day, topping their energies up with caffeine and stimulants.
She says “It was 2:33am in the morning and I was sitting in the nursery with my new-born, feeling my brain turn to mush.
I was a brand new mom by day/night and weight loss coach for entrepreneurs by day as well.
I showed up in my business because I LOVED coaching and it gave me slices of my day in which I felt “normal”, but I couldn’t deny the brain fog and lack of clarity from the disrupted sleep schedule.
I’d forget simple words & spend minutes staring at my computer screen, completely forgetting what I was doing.
My energy would tank in the afternoon and my creativity was down the drain.
How The Dots Joined Up For Tanessa
One day while I was staring at the screen, I wondered to myself…. How many of my clients (who are entrepreneurs as well!) waste so much time during a day because their brains are foggy and they are constantly distracted?
I may be experiencing sleep deprivation on an exaggerated level right now, but I bet my clients are experiencing this low level DAILY…so I began to investigate.
I’ve learned through this experiment that turned into a wildly successful consulting business that without your health and your brain working properly, business isn’t fun. an 30 days.
So why is the world is running on fumes, when there are simple strategies to make them sparkle and function at their best everyday?
And what would be the number one thing that we can all do today to get the energy flying again?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Tanessa Shears
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears
We delve into the techniques and tricks that bring about amazing sleep that can really charge you to unexpected levels.
Why it is so important to understand your chronotypes so that you get the full quota of sleep that your body needs.
Tanessa opens up to the journey that she went through to find her place in the business world and why she wouldnt change a thing.
We share the three big tips that can bring the amazing burst of energy that you deserve.
How To Connect With Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears
Return To The Top Of Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Full Transcription Of Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming God. Let’s join your host, David Ralph from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:40]
Yes, hello there, my sexy listeners how you doing? I’m glad you’re with us today on another episode of Join Up Dots. If you’ve been listening to Join Up Dots for many, many years, you will hear that the conversations have changed. And certainly over the last maybe couple of years, we very much focused in on the fact of it’s all like earning money and having your own business. But if you’re feeling crap at the same time, it’s there’s no point and a lot of people will create a business that takes away from their health and their kind of energy levels until they’re just like a jelly fish, munching do eat I was on the sofa and I can’t do anything. Well, today’s lady who’s on the show, she’s got a similar story of so many people across the world who are exactly that struggling foobar day topping their energies up with caffeine and stimulants and just feeling a bit. Now she says it was 2:33am in the morning and I was sitting in the nursery with my newborn feeding my brain turn to mush. I was a brand new Mumbai date, night and weight loss coach for entrepreneurs by day as well. I showed up in my business because I loved coaching. And it gave me slices of my day in which I felt normal. But I couldn’t deny the brain fog and lack of clarity from the disrupted sleep schedule. I forget simple words and spend minutes staring at my computer screen, completely forgetting what I was doing. And my energy would tank in the afternoon. And my creativity was down the drain. Now one day while I was staring at the screen, I wondered to myself, how many of my clients who are entrepreneurs as well waste so much time during a day because their brains are foggy, and they’re constantly distracted. I might be experiencing sleep deprivation on an exaggerated level right now. But I bet my clients are experiencing this low level daily. So I began to investigate. And I learned through this experiment that turned into a wildly successful consulting business, that without your help, and your brain working properly, business isn’t fun. So why is the world running on fumes when there are simple strategies to make you sparkle and function at your best every day? And what would be the number one thing that we can all do today to get the energy flying again, what else find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only she’s truly lovely. It’s to Tanessa Shears, good morning Tanessa.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [3:09]
Thank you so much for having me on. I’m so excited to talk about all this stuff. How are you doing this morning?
David Ralph [3:14]
I feel very energised. I feel quite Sparky is just after lunch. I feel really good. And what I savour is I used to record loads and loads of podcasts, which I do. And by the time I’d get to about sort of half past two in the afternoon, I’d be thinking, oh, I want my cancelling the next next view. My energy’s was really, really low. But now I’m buzzing and it’s all down to people like you showing us away. So let’s jump straight into it. Okay, how good do you feel now compared to your worst? If I scaled you from zero being absolutely can’t function couldn’t even put your socks on to 10? The lighter sexy host of Join Up Dots. Where would you score yourself?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [4:00]
You know what, I’m going to give myself a nine because there’s always room for improvement. And at the time of recording this, I’m 29 weeks pregnant. So I’m dealing with a bit of a brain fog as it is just from being pregnant in general. However, once I really got into feeling like oh my gosh, wait, this is how a brain feels that doesn’t feel foggy all the time. It’s like impossible to go back. So I’m always looking at, you know, what am I doing the night before? How can I change my food during the day? What is my stress, like all of these things? So it contributes to me having a very clear brain because like I said, once you feel what it feels like to have a brain that’s performing at like 90% of peak capacity. It’s impossible to go back to the 50 to 60% Most of us experience as normal.
David Ralph [4:47]
So let’s uh let’s score you again and and round of applause on pregnancy well done. You’ve obviously got energy to spare somewhere down the line. So what about the pregnancy? Before if you scored this pregnancy with the one before? Is it night and day different?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [5:06]
They’re very similar. But you know what I was not prepared for what it is currently like to be pregnant and have a toddler at the same time. You can’t just like at the you know, but in my first pregnancy, I was like, Yep, I need this break time, I’m just going to have a nap. I can, I’m going to just sleep a little later because I need it. But your schedule is not your own when you have little kids. And so I’m always having to balance like, okay, what can I give myself in this window of time I have now so that I can have the energy I need to be a mom and be pregnant and run my business and all of the other things that we juggle.
David Ralph [5:38]
I have raised five kids, and my kids have all grown up. My youngest one is now 17. Just about to start driving. So we’ve we’ve moved on from the little ones. But we just had my grandson, my my youngest grandson for two days. It killed us. It absolutely killed us. And we couldn’t get anything done. And we were saying, we used to run a house with like three little ones running around all the time. And we got everything done. We’ve only got one here. What’s gone wrong. What did go wrong? Did I lose focus? Or was he just out of practice? Or was it because it was somebody else’s kid? I wasn’t so into it, or what what do you reckon went wrong?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [6:16]
Oh, it could be a bit of everything. But you know what I think like when you’re in the trenches, and it’s the day in day out experience, because I’m running my business right now, from my 5am to 830 in the morning while she’s sleeping, and then again during the naps, and I get a bit of help during the day. But I think when you’re like in the trenches, you know all of the secrets of like, okay, I know what’s going to take the her attention for like, a good half an hour so that I can get this done. Like right now she has this like little toy kitchen that she’s obsessed with. And I know that if I just tell her to go and cook some food for me in the kitchen, that’s half an hour of time that I get back. And I think maybe, maybe it’s just those little secrets that you’re missing out on with this time.
David Ralph [6:54]
Okay, I’m gonna try that on the wife. First of all, I’m just gonna say to go into the kitchen and cook me some food. I think that’s what I’m gonna do by the end of the day. And then the divorce lawyer will be my next call after that. Right. So what is the first thing that we can do then because it is I am night and day different to where I was four years ago, I was in a terrible state energy was absolutely tanked terrible burnout. But now I’m absolutely sparkling. And the two things that I say to people is, I can never get too much sleep, even you know, where I used to sit up watching TV and stuff in the evening. Now, I might go to bed at eight o’clock. If there’s nothing on I go get some extra sleep. And I take breaks. And really it’s those kind of two things. So what would be your number one thing that you would recommend to people who come to your coaching going, Oh, I can’t focus?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [7:50]
Yeah, 100% it is the sleep where I like to start because it is at the foundation of getting our brains up to peak performance. Right. And the interesting thing was, the way I got on to sleep and opened my eyes is how I really like to open other people’s eyes to sleep. Because when I was pregnant that first time, I was like I am going to be such a fit
David Ralph [8:10]
so ironic, isn’t it that you opened your eyes to sleep? An ironic way of operating, isn’t it?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [8:17]
It is it is but you know what it is? I just think we take for granted how important sleep is right? Like I was one of those people that was always like, No, I go to bed at 11 I wake up at seven, I get eight hours. It’s great. And I you know I used to bypass when anybody talked about sleep on Instagram or skip through like it just didn’t interest me because I thought I was doing a good job. But during this pregnancy, I got myself that Fitbit and I was like, I’m going to be the pregnant lady that takes all of the steps. But nobody told me at the time that like the pelvic pain that comes Yeah, I wasn’t taking more than 2000 steps a day. But it was the first time that I got to see like inside my brain what was happening at night. Because these Fitbits they give you basically a map of what happened during the night and your sleep. And what I was realising was, oh, wait a second. When I go to bed at 11 and wake up at seven. I’m actually awake during part of the night and that’s what most people don’t realise is the time it takes you to fall asleep tossing and turning waking up to go pee time that you’re tossing and turning in the morning right before your brain fully wakes up when your alarm clock goes off. All of that awake time takes away from the time you tell yourself you’re sleeping and in a lot of my work with my clients, the average entrepreneur is awake like an hour to an hour 15 A night and that’s just on average. So if you think that you’re going to bed and you’re getting seven to eight hours sleep and you subtract off that average hour 15 Your brain is now sleep deprived and we wake up feeling groggy, but we think it’s normal because it’s happening to so many people but when I really started questioning like maybe I’ve never been getting the amount of sleep I needed and that was when my whole journey started into like what I can biohacking my sleep so that I could feel really clear.
David Ralph [9:54]
I think it’s the environment environment environment to actually because you know anyhow old days, I used to just go to bed, jump into bed, and I didn’t set the room for the sleep. And now I’m very much more focused on things like not watching telly an hour beforehand. Anything with blue light, not operating, keeping the room a nice sort of cold temperature, all these kind of things that make sleep easier. And limiting water or drink before you go to bed. So you don’t have to get up for their little wee wee in the night and all that kind of stuff, you know. And I generally I go to sleep, and I wake up when I wake up, I don’t think I even dwelling anything, do you think I do would if I got a Fitbit, would I be surprised at how much I’m awake during the night,
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [10:43]
you know what it may be sometimes that you’re surprised by the amount of wait time but the other component that a lot of these tracking devices will give you is they’ll give you a peek into the quality of your sleep. It’s kind of like how your online banking lets you see what’s going on with your money. This lets you see what’s going on with your brain. So women, we don’t wake up in the morning and get a printout that was like, not only did you get enough sleep, you got enough dream sleep, but you were a little low on the deep sleep last night. And that’s what I find. So sometimes I’ll see with clients is that they won’t be spending enough time dreaming. And I mean, all of these phases that our brains pass through in the night, they actually affect our mood, our behaviour, our focus our clarity the next day. And if we’re not getting enough of it, sometimes that’s why we could be feeling that brain fog. So even if we aren’t getting enough sleep, let’s just say, if you’re not getting enough dream sleep and you feel groggy the next day, or maybe you’re having a crash in the mid afternoon, we can start implementing like targeted things to help you get more of that quality sleep. So you feel better the next
David Ralph [11:41]
day. Now I’m a man, I’m a man to NASA and your lady and we know a thing or two about fertility. Now, I always say to the wife, a little bit of sexy time before bed, I say, you know, it’s really good. And she always says, No, it’s good for you. It’s good for you. But um, no, but he’s a good thing in it to have a little bit of sexy time before before you go to sleep.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [12:07]
So that’s an interesting question, that’s going to be depending on whether you want to take advantage of the oxytocin that comes with that connecting before bed, and it kind of just helps you fall asleep. Or if you want to take advantage of your male hormone patterning because for men, testosterone is highest first thing in the morning. So it really depends whether you’re wanting to favour drive or you’re wanting to favour that kind of cosy fall asleep feeling at the end of the night. But it also really comes into play when you talk about our genetic predisposition to how our bodies fall asleep at different times, like all of us have different genes that dictate how our body clock runs. So for example, me, I’m asleep by 9pm, and up by five 530. Most days, that’s just my genetic makeup. It’s called My chronotype. But if your partner was someone who naturally wants to go to bed at midnight and wake up at eight, then you kind of have to play that like Game of like, okay, well, where are we both feeling like we’re optimised for this at this time.
David Ralph [13:02]
So basically, out of all the things I want to take advantage of, or I only want to take advantage of the wife. I hadn’t really focused on, on on myself in this regard. But it’s a key point, isn’t it? Because in my house, my kids and my family will stay up till three o’clock in the morning, four o’clock in the morning. They just sort of they’re just always wandering around watching TV during the night. But my son at the moment, it’s 20 past two in the afternoon, he’s still fast asleep. And so I say to them, your body clocks ALL OVER THE SHOP, you’ve got to get it organised. But they don’t see it that way. Is that right as well? Should we be regimental with the times and the wakings up and not deviate? So this is the
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [13:47]
most fascinating part about this. And by the way, if anybody’s listening and it’s really like this is interesting in itself, I want to dive into this. There’s a really good book called The Power of when, by Dr. Michael Bruce that goes into this whole concept of Crono types. But we actually go through major Kronos shift in our life meaning at, you know, as we our little children were what are called Lions were early birds, like think about kids that like to wake up between five and 7am. Right? We go through another shift when we become teenagers, and we become late night owl. So our actual genetic chronotype shifts. So your teenage kids right now that are sleeping really late and waking up really late. That’s actually their genetics at play. And what a lot of research is finding is that the the way our school systems are set up, and the times are set up more for an adult chronotype because we go through our last change. Before we reach you know, older ages, we go through at about 20 to 25 where we settle into what’s called our adult chronotype. And for me, I settled into an early bird again, some people settle into a late night owl, but we go through shifts and teenagers specifically are more likely genetically to be late night owls and wake up later in the morning. And we’re always saying you know, maybe it’s your schedule, we got to clean this up, but it’s actually a genetic thing. So if we can Find a way to somehow support them through their work and their school in their chronotype, they’ll actually find that it’s a lot easier to use their brain and feel a lot less foggy.
David Ralph [15:08]
So so this is all interesting stuff. So my kids spin, aren’t lazy Wotsits, they have a design for that. Because when I was a kid, my parents wouldn’t allow me to stay in bed. After nine o’clock in the morning, they used to get me up. And I used to think, well, I’ve got nothing to do, why are you getting me up? But I used to get me up because you know, you’re missing the best part of the day. So I should have said to them now, actually, as a teenager, the best part of the day is later on for me.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [15:37]
Absolutely, yeah, that’s just how our brains naturally work as teenagers are primed to actually be at their peak mental focus, actually around 4pm In the afternoon, kind of when that whole chronotype sets in. And like I said, it’s usually around between 20 to 25, where you’ll notice that it’ll either stay like that for the rest of your life, or it’ll shift into an either earlier schedule, or like a really early schedule, something like what we all know as like an early bird, for example,
David Ralph [16:03]
well, let’s change the direction of the conversation. Let’s hear these words. And we’ll be backwards. Vanessa,
Jim Carrey [16:08]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [16:34]
What I love about you to nessa is I can hear that you love this, you’re fascinated with it, you’re really into knowing more and more knowledge so that you can bring it to your clients. Was this something that surprised you? Because I know so many people out there are struggling to finger business ideas were actually sleep. We all experience it. You know, everybody could do what you’ve done? Has it surprised you your passion for it?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [17:02]
Absolutely. How I got into this whole field surprised me. I mean, I was the girl who would show up late for PE classes so I could skip the run part and all the sweaty that happened at the beginning because I was like, I don’t want to be sweaty. This is disgusting. I was like not interested in any of this. But you know what’s interesting, I got into it by complete accident. I had a supervisor I used to be a swimming instructor. So I used to teach little kids swimming lessons for like four hour stretches multiple times a week, and I would freeze in the swimming pool for that long, there was no wetsuit that could help me. And I would stay in the swimming pool and the the supervisors came up to me they said to NASA, how about this? If you don’t want to spend so much time teaching little kids swimming lessons? Would you like to teach the seniors Aqua fit class and I was like anything, anything just to do something different. So during this process of becoming certified to teach aqua fitness at the time, I was like, Wait a second, look how this all ties together. This is fascinating. Look how the body works. I love exercise. And I literally walked in to the administration office of the university that I was going to at the time and I was like, I don’t want to be a newscaster anymore. I want to be a kinesiologist switch me up. And so literally over the span of a couple months, I switched my entire major and focus in university to pursue a degree in biomedical physiology. And then beyond they’re just starting up a personal training business. But I mean, anyone that’s been in business knows that your first idea is never your last idea. So I started as a personal trainer got really busy really fast. And then just my own curiosity I wanted to learn. So the natural next thing when you do fitness is like okay, well what’s happening with my food. And as I learned, and I taught clients and I saw results, and I got more education, it builds on itself, you know, and then sleep came in next actually it was it was not until I was pregnant that time and like it like you said I was like up breastfeeding in the middle of the night being like this really affects my health and my brain. How can I help my clients get out of this and I’m sure they’re experiencing on a on a low level. So it was it was a fascinating progression in which I expected none of it but it was all born out of what is the next thing I’m curious in that’ll help my clients where they are.
David Ralph [19:13]
The thing that kept on coming back to me as you spoke there was teaching little kids to swim you basically stood there for four hours in urine in here and that’s that’s the trouble with the little kids in the swimming pools. Did your skin must have been amazing.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [19:29]
You know what’s so funny? So I was a swimming teacher for seven years. The first two years I was so sick I had every cold infection bacteria that because you know pools are not it’s not even the pee that we’re worried about. A lot of times in these pools, it’s all the kids throwing up and pooping it all the fun stuff that you just sit in all day long. So I was sick for about two years straight right through my 19th birthday. I remember I had on my 19th birthday. That’s when you become legal here in Canada and you can go for your first drink. I actually had pink I am Mondo at the same time that I had picked up from the kids in the pool. And so I was on so many antibiotics that I couldn’t even go out on my birthday to celebrate. But point being there after that point, I have like been sick, maybe I could count on one hands in the next almost almost like 15 years, I think my immune system was exposed to every germ in Vancouver at that time, and I had conquered it.
David Ralph [20:23]
It’s interesting, you talk about this, because there’s a lot of times in life that we feel rubbish, we feel ill I remember there was a film back in the 80s, with Tom Hanks, called Joe Versus the Volcano. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. But he basically was in a crappy job, no relationship, he felt terrible. And so he decided to take this guy’s offer up and throw himself in a volcano, because he’s got nothing else to live for. And once he started getting a bit of fresh air in him and a bit of adventure, he got healthier and healthier and healthier. And there’s so many times that we, we don’t realise that we’re sleep deprived, we don’t realise that we’re sick, we just kind of put up with it. I never realised a few years back, but I was incredibly stressed. Because I’ve got so used to being terribly stressed. It was just our was I didn’t realise we can just turn a blind eye to it. We turnesa
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [21:16]
Yeah, that’s a fascinating thing is like after, after I anybody really goes through this process. But especially like for the clients that I work with, they’ll get to this point where you know, they’ll they’ll clean up all their sleep hygiene, like you said, the bedroom, they’ll clean up their nighttime routine, they’ll clean up their sleep habits, and the times they go to sleep, they’ll clean up their food a little bit the work on their stress. And then what will happen is they’ll have like a big launch and their business come up, or, you know, their kid will go through some kind of sleep regression. And there’ll be up half the night. And they’ll come to me and they’ll be like, wait a second, are you telling me I felt like this all the time before? How come? Nobody told me I was walking around feeling like this. And there was another option. Like sometimes that contrast is so stark that until we put in the steps to feel better, and then have a day that kind of throws us back into our old habits. We don’t really realise how good our body’s supposed to feel. And I find that that’s like one of my favourite moments. In everything I do is that moment of like, this is why I did it. I can’t believe I used to feel like that.
David Ralph [22:16]
When you did feel really bad. Are you surprised that you could function? What What was the quality of the work you was producing? Was it still as high?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [22:26]
I mean, yeah, it was good. But you know, I found like, there was a lot of times where I’d go to sit down to record a video, or I go to write an email to my list. Or I would just try to be creative in general. And I would just feel like no creativity, I would feel easily distracted. So like, for example, I was maybe I had a Word document open, but I was also clicking on Amazon and Facebook, and then there’s Instagram on my phone. And then I’d lose 20 minutes here. And my thinking just felt really clunky. And my ideas just weren’t as good as they are now like, I found that a lot of my ideas were like, oh, yeah, well, I mean, this is generally something people talk about in the health and fitness industry. So I’m going to talk about it. But now I find that my brain, it’s almost like really sharp. And I love the idea of like, I see unique spins, to put on things that are going to grab people or make it interesting, or the first time somebody ever looked at it that way before. And that ability, I think to communicate so much clearer. And in a way that was like really engaging was what really helped me start to snowball my business so fast is because people were looking at these ideas that I was creating, and presenting. And then when unique takes on like things people had heard before. And being like that is so interesting. So for example, that there’s a way that I talk about how dream sleep affects who you show up as as an entrepreneur in your business. And I don’t think people that ever looked at dream sleep like that beyond before beyond just like, oh, yeah, I go to sleep, I dream and I wake up. So I think that that is what has really created such a fun experience, not only just for my clients, but for me as well as I grow the business.
David Ralph [23:59]
Well, I think that’s absolutely true. Because when you are you know, I always say this on the podcast, but nobody has a eureka moment sitting in front of a laptop. It never happens. It’s always when you’re walking through nature, or you’re on vacation, or you’re just drifting off to sleep or you’re in the bath. It’s all those moments that you disconnect is where it all comes together. And we’re surrounded by stories of people dreaming classical works of music and, and inventions. And it’s always when you are not only focused on the task, you’ve got to distract yourself somehow and make your brain slightly into sleep mode. Daydreaming I suppose daydreaming is what we’re talking about.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [24:43]
Yeah. Okay, can I be sure something so cool that I literally just, it was it was an Aha I had last week. I’m reading a book right now by Cal Newport called Digital minimalism. And partly is because I really wanted a different insight into how I interact with technology and In this book, he talked about this idea of solitude. And so you know how you said, you come up with your best ideas when you’re like just before sleep, mine are in the shower, like I keep a notepad, or like my phone handy. I feel like I’m a volcano of ideas in the shower. And I never I mean, like, I always recognise that this was when but it was until Cal Newport put it this clearly he said, solitude is that time we give our brain in the absence of input of other people’s thoughts and ideas. So like, think about when you’re listening to a podcast, watching the news, talking to your partner, and anytime during the day that your brain is being filled with other people’s thoughts and opinions and information. We don’t give ourselves as much time to process our own thoughts. And it’s during those moments when the input is from the outside is silence that we get that solitude that allows us to come up with creative thinking. And I was like, that’s what it is. It’s those moments when we turn off input from the outside world that our brain gets to start creating its own ideas. So I loved the idea of pairing that with an optimised brain that is well slept like, does that not sound magic? I love it.
David Ralph [26:10]
Well, it does. And you know, I’m a huge advocate for disconnecting. I don’t I’m not on social media, I don’t watch the news. I don’t do anything. Really, I’m very much. I’m like the Amish. When I think about it, I think they I bet the Amish sleep really, really well, don’t you? I bet they’ve got it nailed.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [26:32]
Oh, yeah, because they’re also not staring into blue light screens, like the majority of the world is right before bed tonight, he actually did a in that book, he did a whole section on talking about the Amish, his interaction with technology or lack thereof. And yeah, for sure, when you’re just not constantly plugged into information and blue light and technology, it really just allows you space to kind of explore what you want to do for fun how you want to think and build the relationships that you want to build without just being connected to the ones online.
David Ralph [27:02]
So really, I hadn’t thought about this till just now. But the actual benefits of getting great sleep actually are required all the way through the day, you basically got to set up your entire day is not really good enough to just do you know, an hour beforehand, turn the TV off, you’ve got to make your brain start slowing down, you’ve got to reduce the amount of input to allow yourself to switch off and, and have the good rest that you need.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [27:32]
Yeah, absolutely. And you know what good sleep starts. The second you wake up. The fascinating thing is, we have this this thing inside of all of us called a circadian rhythm. It’s a fancy word for the fact that your body operates on a 24 hour clock, your body temperature goes up and down at certain times, your heart rate goes up and down at certain times your hormones go up and down at certain times, we follow this clock. And here’s something really neat that happens. When we wake up in the morning. And our eyes look out at the daylight, it actually sets a timer in our body to start going that indicates when we will get tired at night. So if you want to have a really good sleep, one of the best things you could do is expose your eyes to natural daylight, within an hour of waking. And if that’s not possible, depending on where you are, what season it is, there’s always light boxes for stuff like that. But I always start thinking about how I can best prepare my brains for sleep starting first thing in the morning. And then like you said, it’s building in those little pockets of relaxation and rest throughout the day. Because what I find the number one thing with my clients is they’ll go through a busy work day, or a busy day in their business and they’ll get home, they’ll have the dinner, walk the dog, put the kids to bed, do all of their last minute stuff. And they’ll be so exhausted that they’ll collapse onto the couch and watch Netflix, with their phone in their hand zone out stay up way past their bedtime because they feel like oh my god, I just need some time to just relax and unwind. And I find that the number one reason that that happens, and we’re staying up later and later watching TV is just because we don’t have any time during our day to relax and recover. So we feel like we need to cram it into the evening with these low quality activities that don’t even give us the experience of relaxation and feeling refreshed that we want in the first place. So I not only look at like during your day are you building in time to just rejuvenate yourself and then are you doing activities in the evening that make you feel the way you want your downtime to feel refreshed and rejuvenated and if that is Netflix, great, but a lot of us are watching Netflix also talking to our partner on our phone, just kind of wasting time trying to escape how tired we feel instead of just going to bed and then being more intentional about that time during the day.
David Ralph [29:45]
Yeah, my wife insists that she’s resting by having a few glasses of wine watching TV till the city o’clock in the morning. And you know, she will argue until I am 120 years old that that is the way that she rests and relaxes. And you can’t you can’t take that away from people. So when your clients come along and you say to them, Look, I think what you’re doing is you’re burning the candle at both ends, what we need to do is take some of this away. Did I argue, did they just accept because it’s, it’s almost like when I was a kid and I was bad, they used to send me to bed when it was still daylight, and you could hear kids playing outside and I was still you know, in bed. You don’t want to do that with an adult, do you?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [30:32]
Well, and you know what the interesting thing is, is what you’re experiencing with your wife, I find my hardest client is my husband. Because everything I say he shall question. And I always get the most pushback. So exploring his thinking about it is the best way to do it. But you know, what I have found really helps overcome the well, I enjoy this because I have clients that love wine in the evening as well. I’ve got clients that love watching late night TV. So one of the things that I love to share with them is why don’t you just do an experiment, and you give yourself seven days or two weeks, where you try to do it in a way that is for your brain and for your brain health. And net, at the end of that week, you get to decide what you want to keep, do you want to keep all of it, some of it or none of it. But then you have something to contrast to. Because I often find that, like when we’re waking up and feeling so good during the day, some of the habits that we have at night, we just don’t need by default or want to do by default anymore. So I always tell them like, what if it’s just two weeks? Or what if it’s just a week, and it’s not permanent? What did you just try it to see how you feel. And then you can decide with all the information because I often find that we’re making decisions with only half of the information right now. So I find that that’s kind of a neat way into it. And just exploring, you know, which of these habits make you feel the way you want to feel? And if you don’t feel like that right now, let’s try to figure out what will help you feel that way.
David Ralph [31:59]
It’s funny that you say that about your hardest client is your husband, because without doubt, my heart is my wife. And she won’t listen to a word I say. And my kids will say, we’re not one of your podcast guests. We don’t need to listen to you. And you know, they just won’t have it in any shape or form. Even though I say to them. How I felt bad compared to now is so different is untrue. Why don’t you just try a little bit of what I’m doing. You know, you don’t realise how bad you feel until you feel good. You know, why don’t we do it a bit early, can’t get them to do anything.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [32:37]
Yeah, that’s when I’ll sneak in like a subtle podcast recommendation, I’ll be like, Oh, I uploaded a podcast I thought you might be interested to on your Spotify today. I find that that works. Because for some reason, I find that if it comes from outside of me, it’s like I heard this great podcast idea today, I’m going to try to go to sleep on time. So I have found that that works. Sometimes not in all cases, I always tell him like, you know, I always say this out of love for you. Because when we’re sitting in our rocking chairs, when we’re nine years old, together, I want you to remember me and I want to have fun, I want to be able to travel and do all of those things. But I think ultimately it does come down to to recognising that, you know, he’s his own person, and he has his things and I can encourage. But at the end of the day, I mean, he is who he is. And I love him for who he is.
David Ralph [33:23]
Because one of the things that I’ve become really fascinated with is is the Chinese philosophy. There’s a Dao ism and an effortless action. And the more I’ve read about what the Chinese have been doing for 2000 4000 years, I think to myself, they’ve nailed it. And when you look at them, they’re all 120 years old, being able to touch their toes and getting up the first thing in the morning and living to their 180. And then I come across to America, and people can’t even see their toes, let alone bend over and touch them. You know, you think to yourself that there’s got to be the answers already out there. Yeah. And
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [34:02]
I think part of that comes to is like you said, it’s it’s a cultural norm for the people around you to get up in the morning and get moving and to eat a certain way. I think naturally, it’s easier to just adapt to what the culture does. And I think this the cultures, the lifestyles, the way of eating the way of managing stress, if they’re different, I think that naturally, I mean, unless you are intentionally seeking out other alternatives, that that’s going to be your influence and what you learn from right.
David Ralph [34:26]
What do you learn from with yourself because you can’t feel once once you get to a point of feeling really good. Can you get to the point of feeling superhuman, or do you just kind of accept where you are, are you still biohacking yourself and going oh, my God, I thought I felt great two weeks ago, but now I feel unbelievable.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [34:45]
Yeah, constantly. It’s almost like one of those things where I’m constantly having to coach myself on the fact that I’m never ever going to be able to learn or try all of the things that are out there and available to me like I was just listening to a podcast this week. on how to optimise sleep quality through food, and like picking up little pieces that I didn’t know before and building it into my programmes and testing on myself, like, this week, one of the things I’m testing and I’m always running a test, I ran a test three weeks ago that was like, Okay, I’m going to extend the time that I don’t do tech before sleep to 90 minutes from 60 minutes, and watch exactly how that affects my sleep throughout the night and how it affects my my body stresses, stress response and everything like that. And the one I’m testing this week, specifically as I was like, Okay, I’m going to remove, condensed, like starchy carbohydrates from dinner and watch what happens to my sleep. And I’m constantly doing stuff like that. And a lot of it is just because I’m listening to other experts, their their opinions, what they’re learning what they’re researching, and applying it to myself, I’m always my first guinea pig, and I want to see what works and what doesn’t on me, my sister and my husband are always second and third in line for being tested. And then of course, you always have those clients that are just like, What do you have that’s new? What did you find out this week, like I just found an app, I found out about an app and a podcast I was listening to yesterday, and the whole app is designed to create a jetlag programme for you. So when you travel, you put in like your timezone where you’re going, what your flight times are, and it creates a plan that tailors your light exposure, food, caffeine and exercise so that when you land in your destination, you don’t have any jetlag. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I have so many clients that could use this. I have like lists of things that I want to share. It’s literally non stop, I don’t think I will ever reach the end of this rabbit hole.
David Ralph [36:33]
How long do you when you when you fiddle with yourself to use a phrase. But when you find out, like how long do you allow it to to operate? Before you change again, because if you’re doing it all the time, maybe one takes three weeks to build a benefit. And another one takes two weeks an hour. Do you know that you’ve done enough fiddling?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [36:55]
I usually give it two weeks is kind of what I said if I find I start noticing things really fast, like a week, and then I’ll be like, Okay, well, that was really obvious, some things take a little bit longer. So what I do is, I wear two different wearable trackers all the time, I’ve got a Fitbit, and I’ve got an aura ring specifically. And what I do is I mean, I’m a spreadsheet nerd, I extract I do this for my clients do, they I extract all the data off of these devices. And I put it in a colour coded spreadsheet that graphs a lot of this stuff so that we can see when changes are happening. Like I just watched the trend in the numbers either if I’m looking to get more deep sleep, for example, and the minutes of deep sleep are successively higher for that two week period, I will deem that a success. And we will keep that habit. But if in two weeks from now, then like nothing has changed. And I don’t want to keep spending the energy to do this change, then I’ll toss it out the window. But in general, I always have a spreadsheet going where I’m working down like okay, this is the change we made this week, here’s what we’re watching for. And we’ll watch for it and make changes accordingly to what the data is telling us. And that’s really how, like anybody listening to this can make health so personalised instead of just like following what we hear in a podcast or see online, like, if you’re not using any of this type of wearable tech, just subjectively ask yourself for a couple of weeks in a row. I’m starting to do this. Do I actually feel better? Yes or no? And if you feel better, you keep it right.
David Ralph [38:13]
Yeah, no, absolutely. I’m looking at your website. And one of the things that has jumped out to me is the white noise machine. And I’ve developed tinnitus. It’s not as bad as it was a few weeks ago, but it’s still quite pronounced in my ears. And I keep on thinking about these white noise machines, because apparently is sort of zeroes it out. But ultimately, when I’m asleep, I don’t hear it anyway, you know, so the key to all this is get into sleep as quickly as possible, or is it? Is it about getting asleep really quick? Is that the key to it? Or do we need to actually have a a runway into sleep to get the good stuff?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [38:50]
Oh, that’s almost like two separate questions. I love that though. So I always think of the hour to 90 minutes before sleep as kind of like a slide what most people do is we expose our brains to blue light from our screens, whether it be phone or TV, which basically turns off the hormone, melatonin that helps us sleep. So that’s problem number one, then we’re also in taking things that are producing like dopamine hits, like we’re scrolling Instagram and getting those you know, real brain rewards from looking at all these posts or watching an interesting TV show. And our brains are all fired up. So our brains think it’s the middle of the day because we’ve been looking at a device and our brains are fully active. Or maybe we just finished working. And I always find that the a lot of the a lot of the ways we look at sleep is like we slam into sleep and we just lay there and we’re like, oh my gosh, this is so hard to fall asleep. I like to think of it as a slide instead, where we gradually turn down the brainwave frequencies we experience so for example, I will start my evening routine by just you know, putting my daughter to bed. These are things that are disconnected from Tech. The lights are lower, I might switch to yellow light instead of blue. And it’s just that kind of gradual like Okay, now I am pulling back from all the information, I’m with my family. Then there’s phase two, where I am like, okay, taking my makeup off, I’m getting my pyjamas on, maybe I’ll have a shower. And then there’s phase three, that’s either going to be some sort of like breathing or reading or meditation, something, I’m just turning down the dial on my brain. Now, the second part that you asked there was about, like, how long should you want to fall asleep right away. So that whole concept is called your sleep latency, how long it takes you to fall asleep. If you’re falling asleep, when your head hits the pillow, that means your brain is exhausted, and you are likely not getting enough sleep. So the healthy amount of time, we want our brain to take between five to 15 minutes to fully shut down and fall asleep. If it’s taking longer than 15 minutes, it’s likely your brain is too active, or there’s not enough of that hormone melatonin being produced to allow you to fall asleep and stay asleep. So we’re looking at that little window of five to 15 minutes, maximum 20 minutes ideally in which it takes our brain to fall asleep to tell us like Yep, that was a good wind down, I’m well rested, this is exactly where my body needs to be.
David Ralph [41:07]
And the thing I suppose is, if you are exhausted, you can’t get to sleep anyway, you know that that thing about you going to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. He rarely happens does it really if you’re exhausted, you’re tossing and turning. You know what I
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [41:23]
find? It depends on a lot of people, there’s there’s many different things that go into our ability to fall asleep very quickly. So there is that that group of people that is just so tired that they fall asleep right away. But sometimes that exhaustion can really be manifesting as other things like a really good example is if you eat your last meal, or food within two to three. And I always like to say three to four with a lot of my clients, three to four hours of bed, what is happening is your blood sugar is going up with the food that you’re eating. Now, specifically, if you’re eating carbohydrates with dinner, because the neat thing is if your blood sugar goes up, your heart rate has to go up, and your body temperature has to go up to digest that food. Now on top of that, if your blood sugar stays elevated too long into sleep, you naturally get more cortisol, that’s our stress hormone production. So now your body is actually working instead of sleeping. So you’re not getting that restorative feeling when you wake up. But on top of that, because your blood sugar is higher and your cortisol is higher. This is when we lay there, also staring at the ceiling. So there’s so many factors that go into why we can’t fall asleep, or why we have repeated wake ups in the middle of the night that go a lot deeper than just how tired we are on the surface.
David Ralph [42:33]
Now before we bring this show to an end, and we could go off in many different directions. What would be the three big hacks but aren’t going to take too much aren’t going to cost a lot of money. But people can do to feel a big difference in their in their energy levels, what would be the three things that you would say?
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [42:51]
Yeah, first one, if we’re going to talk about sleep specifically is going to be to go to bed and wake up within a 60 minute window. So like 10th, if your sleep time is 1030, sleeping between 10 and 11. And waking up within a same one hour window. As often as you can’t now we all have social lives, there are definitely going to be things that will come up or nights you’ll stay up late. But the more often you can do this, you’re working with your genetics and with your hormones. So this is called It’s a fancy thing. It’s called circadian rhythm and treatment, the better you can sync with your body, the better you’re going to feel. So that is thing number one. And the first thing I love to recommend. Second thing is open up your sleep opportunity window. So you know how we talked about at the beginning, I thought I was getting eight hours, but I didn’t account for the time it took to fall asleep, wake up in the morning tossing turning. If you want to be getting more sleep, you need to be allowing yourself even more time to account for the wake up time. So if you want your seven and a half hours, you need to be giving yourself more than seven and a half hours in bed. So just trying to bump that by 15 to 30 minutes, every single night. And then the last thing I would say is with the blue light specifically, it’s not even just the blue light that affects our brain’s ability to wind down and produce that hormone melatonin but more so has to do with the quality of the light because light is the biggest thing that sets our brain off for the day in the morning and helps us wind down at night. So everyone knows about the blue light, right? But I always like to talk about using light smartly in the evenings. And there’s a couple of ways that I I say to do that, number one. We want our indoor lights to mimic outdoor sunset as much as possible in the evening. So think about this. The sun goes from being overhead during the day to low on the horizon. We want to mimic that with our lights. What that means is turning off overhead bright potlights and turning on table lamps. So that’s number one. Number two is the brightness of the light. It’s really bright during the day. It’s dim during the evening. So if you have lights that are on dimmers or lower light bulbs, this is a great time to turn them off especially after the sunsets in the evening and the last thing we can do to kind of manipulate that light to really help with sleep is look at the temperature. So temperature of the light, meaning how warm or how cool the light is. So during the day, we get bright white and blue light from the sky. In the evening, it goes to red, and oranges. So if you have the opportunity to get one of those smart bulbs that change to orange, or red, or even really warm yellows in the evening, all of these things will cue your brain to have better quality sleep at night. So basically, make sure you are getting long enough sleep follow as a consistent rhythm as you can give in your social life in your activities. And then be smart with how you use your light. In addition to just not looking at screens, those three things alone are free, they are easy to implement, they don’t take a lot of time. And those three things will set you off on such a good start if you implement them.
David Ralph [45:49]
And of course, if you only want one way, join the Amish
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [45:52]
or go camping all the time.
David Ralph [45:55]
Yeah, that that that would work, that would work as well. So we normally meander between different parts of your backstory, but it was so much to uncover with your sleep expertise, but you’re still led us to the partner shoulder we always head to which we called a sermon on the mic when we get you to go back and have a one to one with your younger self. And this time we’re gonna play the music. And when it fades, we’re going to find out what the young turnesa really thinks. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [46:31]
we go with the best bit of the show the Sermon on the mind the sermon on
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [46:47]
Alright, to NASA, here’s what I would tell you, if I’m sitting in a room with you, and it is, let’s say 10 years ago, right before you’re about to start your first business, one of the things that you’re doing right now is you are looking out into the world for the answers to change how you feel about yourself, whether you’re feeling successful, or you’re feeling happy, you’re looking out into the world for how to start a business, somebody else can give me all the answers I want. But you’re going to get some amazing business coaching in about eight years, and someone is going to say to you something that you will never be able to unsee they’re going to say to you, when you don’t think that your thinking is the problem. You never think you’re thinking as a solution. And what you’re going to realise from this is that in that moment, all the anxieties, all the things that you’ve been struggling with your whole, a lot of your life are created by the way you think about things. And once you realise that, you’re going to learn that oh my gosh, if my thinking is what’s causing the problem, my thinking can come up with a solution. And what that’s going to change for you is that you’re no longer needing to look outside of yourself, for someone to tell you how to do it, how to grow this business, how to find your husband, how to, you know, become apparent, there’s nowhere in the world that is going to know those answers better than your brain and you are going to come up with some of the most amazing ideas. So recognising that if your thinking is what is causing the feeling you don’t like it is just as easy. And the best part about that is the way you think about the world is completely within your control. And it’s going to give you so much power to really take off in your life. So hold on to that now and stop looking outside for people to change the way you think. And you view the world and just start looking inside for that because you are the solution to all of those things. And that’s what I tell myself.
David Ralph [48:37]
Brilliant. And you’ve you’ve told us as well. So great advice for everyone. So what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you turnesa,
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [48:46]
I have my own podcast called Becoming limitless. And specifically, every episode dives into one particular biohack that will change the way your brain works. So like if you’re like, oh my gosh, I love the idea of how to use light. I’ve got a whole episode on that. So that podcast is jam packed with ideas and things that you can try and see if they work if you want to run the experiments on yourself. There is endless amounts of experiments. So the podcast becoming limitless. But beyond that, if you’re wanting like a quick summary of like, give me your best cheapest hacks that I can start right away. I have a what I call my entrepreneurs playbook. It’s called 12 ways to biohack your energy. I’ve taken the 12 hacks that have worked the best for myself and my clients over all the years summarised it and it’s at turnesa shears.com/energy
David Ralph [49:34]
and we’ll have all the links on the show notes at Join Up Dots to make it as easy as possible to nessa thank you so much for joining us today and connecting those dots and of course sharing your expertise with sleep problems. Please come back again when you got more dots to join up of course because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our pasts is the best way to build our futures to NASA. Thank you so much.
Sleep Expert Tanessa Shears [49:58]
Thanks for having me.
David Ralph [50:02]
So do you want better sleep? Do you want to feel Sparky and focused and just feeling great because it really is. It’s a game changer. And it’s one of those things which is in our own hands, you know, we can decide when to go to bed, we can decide how we set the room up, we can decide on everything to get the best quality sleep. And it’s not just that it makes so much difference throughout the day. It has been an absolute game changer for me and I testament to what Tessa was saying, Somebody that ran himself down, and now I’ve literally got sparks flying off me. And that’s a lot to do with separating yourself from tablets and phones and disconnecting allowing your brain to operate under its own steam. Go over to NASA shares.com and find out more, and I’m sure she’ll change your life too. Until next time, thank you as always for being here on Join Up Dots. Nothing else to say other than stay sexy, and I’ll see you again soon. Cheers. See ya. Bye bye.
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