Speaker 1: (00:00)
You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host, Amanda Jewson, a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity as well as your social life during the early stages of Parenthood. So grab your headphones. It’s time to get comfy!

Speaker 2: (00:35)
Okay.

Speaker 1: (00:35)
Hello everyone. And welcome to the very first, my very first video recording of slumber party, the podcast, uh, I hope this works and if it doesn’t, uh, I hope you’re forgiving. That’s all I’ll say to that. Um, today I’m super excited to have a fellow like mind here. Um, I’m with Abby Des Jardien. Um, and I am saying that correctly. That is the American way of saying the names. So don’t email me, your corrections. Um, Abby is asleep evangelists who believes sleep is an active empowerment, sound familiar. It should, uh, through her challenges, her course, her membership, she teaches women entrepreneurs how to transform their businesses through the power of sleep. Again, this sounds familiar. It doesn’t it, uh, as a recovering workaholic and insomniac, she knows the struggle is real. She helps her clients go from exhausted and burnt out to rested and on the top of their game, Abby, via so much to talk about because we are a, we are like the same, except we’re, we’re helping different people.

Speaker 1: (01:46)
Yeah. But maybe the same people, because once those kids get to bed at the end of the night, sometimes the choice is not made to also go to bed by the parents. They stay up to enjoy the quiet house, which leads to even more exhaustion. This is funny that you say that because, so I always on the first night of training, um, I’ll be texting with a client and the baby goes to bed and then the next morning I’m like, Oh my gosh, how did it go? And they’re like, Oh, what’s so well. And I’m like, did you sleep? They’re like, no, I did not. And I don’t know when I’m ever going to be able to sleep again. And you’re like, okay, that’s fair. Um, so yeah, I hear that a lot that parents can’t sleep because they’re kind of, you know, really nervous of other kid. And then once they trust that their child is going to sleep, then they do like the party all night. Like, Oh my gosh, I don’t have a child on my body. I’m like a new person. I’m a free human. What do I do with all this freedom? And then we get what you’re talking about, where like you should’ve gone to bed.

Speaker 1: (02:54)
Oh, sorry. You just froze. Oh, I froze. Am I back now? Yes. Now you’re good. Yeah. No, I was saying that leg. Um, I, you know, once they trust that their baby is actually asleep and they are sleeping, that they go into party mode where they’re like, I don’t have a child on me. I feel free. This is amazing. Yeah, exactly. And then I’m like, you still need to go to bed though. Go to bed. Yes, please. Why are we putting the child to bed if you are not putting yourself to vent to yes. So tell me that the work that you do with your clients. So, I mean, I help, I help the baby sleep. So the mum is, can sleep. It sounds like people are coming to you. Maybe when they’re ready to switch things up. I would love to hear what you’re doing.

Speaker 1: (03:42)
Yeah. So there are actually several camps that I help. So the first one is kind of at the beginning of the timeline where it’s a female entrepreneur, she’s working however many hours a day to many, always too many ways. And it hasn’t really occurred to her. That sleep is something that she should focus on. So she feels run down and burnt out. And she knows like in her head, that sleep is an important thing in theory, but she either thinks I’m not someone who needs that much sleep or I have too much to do to go to sleep. Or, um, I don’t want to go to sleep. I love my work. I want to stay up and do more. So at that level, we’re just working on educating on why sleep is important and kind of shifting their mindset to believe that they’re capable of good sleep.

Speaker 1: (04:47)
The next step would be actually getting into the meat of how do we fall asleep and how do we get good sleep? Which kind of ties into all of the behaviors from the time that we get up in the morning until the time that we climb into bed at night. And I think a lot of the time when we think about sleep, we just think about bedtime. We’re just going to get in bed. It’s like, that’s it? Nope. If only it were that simple. Right? So it’s really kind of stepping back and looking at what you’re doing throughout your day and designing your day for optimal sleep. So things like getting, getting sunlight in the morning, whether it’s going outside to go on a walk, which is like a two for one, because then you’re moving your body. Also. Um, if it’s the winter in Seattle, I turn on my, I call it my happy light, but it’s, you know, it’s simulated sunlight.

Speaker 1: (05:49)
Um, and so I sit in front of that in the morning to just kind of wake my brain up, even something as simple as turning your kitchen lights when you get up in the morning and I didn’t mention and help you that Abby is from Seattle. So if you know, most of my listeners are Canadian and they’re going to be listening to this and just like identifying so hard because you know, the winter comes and we’re in the dark dreary, uh, for a little while as well. So we feel, yes. Yeah. So, you know, like I said, starting at the beginning, beginning of the day, how much coffee are you drinking? And when are you putting, putting the coffee away and opting for something without that caffeine? For me personally, I figured out that if I drink coffee past nine 30 in the morning, I cannot go to sleep at night.

Speaker 1: (06:37)
So that’s problematic. So I, I just made that change. I mentioned moving your body. Um, screens are a big one. So I understand that in this time of COVID and in Seattle, we’re still very much in COVID time. Um, we are still on a pretty strict lockdown at this point. Um, we are relying on our devices for life, right. To interact with the outside world, which it’s so wonderful that we have that option, but we also need to put boundaries around that. So decide on a time in the evening. What time am I going to just put everything away and turn it off? Yeah. So I have a challenge that’s designed exactly for that. It’s, um, called wired to tired and it’s a bedtime, digital detox challenge. So it’s going through, how do we make a plan to successfully put that away and then not have this like anxiety spiral about not having your device when you climb into bed

Speaker 3: (07:47)
And then okay.

Speaker 1: (07:48)
Just all the way through your evening, what routine you’re doing, just like babies and kids, adults need a bedtime routine too. I feel like once kids get to a certain age, we’re like, well, okay, you know how to do this?

Speaker 3: (08:03)
Yeah. Moving on. Yep. Bedtime is just a thing that happens. And we need to

Speaker 1: (08:08)
Treat ourselves like children in this, in that way, um, by having a consistent routine so that our brain automatically makes the connection between the actions we’re taking and going to sleep. Yeah. And so I feel like so many grownups forget that, you know, when I’m teaching, um, parents out to help their children sleep, we talk so much about behavior, behavior, behavior, behavior for the child behavior for your baby. Because essentially when a child isn’t sleeping, they haven’t necessarily come up with their own behaviors for sleep. So then when we talk about that, it’s so easy for parents to understand that they say, yeah, of course, of course, but then as adults and I would even put myself in this category sometimes I think, I think that we’re all guilty of it. We forget that there are a set of behaviors and routines that allow us to have like, Oh, there’s like a body cue that happens next.

Speaker 1: (09:10)
Just like your child that doesn’t change and sleep. I say this like once a day, at least sleep is so behavioral. We think it is just, it is biological and it should be, um, easy. But how many of you know, and I know a little bit, but I have a lot of clients who were never taught great sleep rituals as children. And they’re not great sleepers today. People think that we can grow out of this, that it’s like, Oh, I can just sleep better. Or I take this thing. And once I take the thing, it’ll just fix my sleep. And it’s not true. You have to have this set of behaviors in order to figure that out. So it’s never too late to sleep, train yourself by the way, see, like, I exactly you can be 45 and learning how to, how to get it together for your own sleep. Absolutely. Yeah. It is a learned skill. And I feel like, you know, the generation of kids that we are raising, we are purposefully

Speaker 3: (10:16)
The teaching them good stuff.

Speaker 1: (10:19)
Yeah. A lot of us are. Yeah. But in when we were kids

Speaker 3: (10:24)
That just wasn’t even a thing

Speaker 1: (10:26)
That anyone talked about, you went to sleep cause you weren’t doing your parents. Right. They said, it’s time for you to go to sleep. And that’s all it was, I don’t care. You need to go to sleep. Correct. So there was never a, yeah, it was never a teaching moment. It was just like, go to sleep. Yeah. Well, how do I do that? Right. Yeah. So yeah, a lot of us now we’re grown up and we’re dealing with the repercussions of never having learned that at the same time as our world is advancing technologically, um, the amount of work that someone’s expected to do because of tech in a given day or given week has increased so much since we were kids and our parents were kids. And so it’s all of these factors that just get so messy in creating these crises. We find ourselves in, um, with our health, our mental health, our physical health, um, all of those things.

Speaker 1: (11:30)
And I also feel that was especially interesting about, um, parents of our vintage and most, you know, and below is that we have grown up into worlds, right? We grew up with the free digital world and postage at all. And the postage adult, like, I mean, phones and screens and TVs are just designed to be addictive and the funnest thing ever. Um, I wrote this thing for a local magazine called the kit here. And one of like, I’m going to, you know, anyone watching is watching me brush my shoulder off right now. I came up with this great line that your phones are like Vegas. You know, when you’ve like been to Vegas and you’re like, it is 3:00 AM. And how is it? 3:00 AM. I feel so good. I want to beat up. I’m living my best life. And so our phones are little, is in our pockets, in our, and it’s like, where that’s crazy.

Speaker 1: (12:32)
We should not have Vegas in our pockets. We need to have less Vegas. And so it it’s like the blue light is stimulating all of your stay awake hormones. And I don’t know that we have been taught, like our children will be taught chill out on Vegas. You have a Vegas in your pocket. There was no parent to kind of tell us that. And here we are. I think a lot of people are truly, and honestly, um, they don’t know how to, to break free. They don’t know how to like back away from that. And it, they come by it honestly, we have, we’re, we’re learning like three days after a study came out. You know what I mean? Like, you know, this would blue light. I read this thing about, um, I think it was a year or two before I became a sleep consultant.

Speaker 1: (13:24)
And it was like blue light effects sleep. And I was like, that’s crazy. And then like, then this whole research paper came out about literal blue light, like honor our phone chargers and on our humidifiers everywhere, there, there is a child locks child, okay. To wake clock that glows blue all night long. And it’s crazy to me that that exists. But again, it’s like, they didn’t get the memo that we just got. It’s like, yeah, we’re learning along with the rest of society. Exactly. And I think, you know, that’s why I created that challenge was because the idea of detaching from those is so overwhelming to some people because of Vegas, because as you’re scrolling Instagram, your brain is doing the same thing as when you gamble.

Speaker 3: (14:24)
And so it’s like you said, yeah,

Speaker 1: (14:27)
They are designed to keep you on there as long as they can the device themselves and whatever program you’re on. Yes. Yes, exactly. And I, the, the other thing I was thinking of while we were talking about, you know, these behaviors is that, you know, we can’t talk about this. Like devicing without talking about this like grind culture that exists now. And I mean, I consider myself a former workaholic. I’m constantly in a checking myself because we have been taught to work really hard. We work really hard and good things happen to you. And you know, you, you pay your dues and you did it. Uh, and, um, what happens is you do that, but your body is like, uh, we didn’t get that memo. Uh, we have capacity. There’s only so much you can do. Uh, and I feel like that’s actually, it’s becoming a better message now.

Speaker 1: (15:31)
Thanks to like lots of really smart people. Like Bernay Brown talking about this and, um, uh, Glennon, Doyle, I mean, this like constant, like workaholism is it used to be my emo and people used to compliment me on my work ethic. And now it’s like something, when someone tells me and this happened recently, like I just moved, I did like three TV spots from my office that wasn’t unpacked yet. And someone’s like, man, you really can do it all. And I was like, Whoa, Oh, Oh, Oh, warning, warning. No one can do it all. And I appreciate that compliment. But if you think that, and that’s what you’re thinking, I’m over functioning. And when you over-function, you’re taken from somewhere, you don’t know what it could be. Exactly. You know, this is why I am so passionate about the work that I do because, um, I think it was kind of an accident.

Speaker 1: (16:32)
Like the universe like told me to become a sleep consultant. So I would be forced to research dressed. And then my business got so busy and I was working two jobs because I didn’t think this side hustle would become a thing and that it did become a thing. So I was working two full time jobs and then my hair started falling out. And I remember being like, no, that can’t be it. I have always worked this hard. So why would it start to happen now? It’s like, well, because your body only has so much, you’re adding and adding and adding and adding, and you may not see, you know, your consequence for years, you could see it 15 years down the road. Maybe it’ll be next month. Maybe it’ll be next week. Maybe it’ll be 10 years from now. You just don’t know. So the only safe way to do it is to make sure that you’re actively choosing to take care of yourself on a consistent basis.

Speaker 1: (17:27)
And I think this is such an important message for mothers because mothers, especially new mothers, you know, if we take like work culture out of it, let’s take, if we replay, if we told moms and if we like put a flashlight on what new mom culture is, it’s essentially grind culture. Well, you had a baby, you stay up all well, you have a baby. You’ll never sleep again. Good luck grinded out until that child is five. And I hope you die. Like, how lucky are you that your husband helps at all? Oh, you have a nanny that helps you at night in the judgy. You know, it’s like, Oh, you have the resources for that. You go because the more rested you are, the better parent you’re going to be. We, and I feel like we always talk about this like natural form of parenting.

Speaker 1: (18:21)
And like what, you know, parents in the past did parents in the past, lived in small communities with their families. Uh, I mean, if you want to even get down to like the nitty gritty, like way, way back in the day we lived in, in communities where you could literally hand the baby off to your auntie who would take the baby and you could sleep, nothing like that exists anymore. So we’re, we tell moms to be a part of this growing culture. And, and that’s not to say I’m very careful when I talk about this, because I do think that there are certain parents who really like thrive and do well and are okay with the lack of sleep. All I’m saying is that you can’t judge someone who isn’t because biologically it’s as important as water or food. Yeah, it is. And I think it’s the, it’s the first thing to go.

Speaker 1: (19:15)
Yeah. Right? Yeah. Like we will drink water throughout the day. Hopefully working on it, we’ll eat food. Most of the time. It may not be the most nourishing food, but we’ll eat, but like sleep the minute you get busy, it’s the first thing that you can justify. Okay. Well, I’m just going to stay up an extra hour tomorrow. I’ll get up an hour early. And before you know, it, that’s a habit. And then you’re sleeping five hours a night and you know, anything less than seven. And you’re the equivalent of a drunk person walking around and functioning in your life. You’ve probably you’ve read this book. I’m sure. But I always read, I’m looking at it right now. I always reference his book and I won’t reference it anymore. I’ll send them to you. But I referenced this book called the promise of sleep by William Dement.

Speaker 1: (20:07)
Have you read this? It’s so good, by the way, what a crazy name for someone who’s asleep researcher like demand. You feel it like I, I contract nightmares and that is his last name and he researches sleep. But anyway, he says the most common brain impairment is a lack of sleep. And I always, it was like, we’re totally okay with our moms walking around, driving cars, going to play dates, pushing strollers, holding babies, walking up and down stairs on so little sleep. It’s not to say that you can’t do it. And I think new moms, we have all these hormones that make it easier. I’m just saying that if you need it, it’s totally okay to do so. So to no shame in needing to step away and asking someone else to step in, I lost you. There was a small break there. Okay. I was just saying there’s, there’s no shame in asking someone to step in and help.

Speaker 1: (21:19)
Never. Um, okay. So I wanted to know like your clients are coming to, they call you up and they’re like, look, I need to sleep. Um, what’s your sort of turnaround? Like if someone was like, okay, I need to sleep five days ago. When, how long does it take an adult to sort of turn things around for themselves in your experience? It’s really dependent. Because again, like I talked about earlier, where are they at on that kind of spectrum? Are they still saying, I know that I need to sleep, but is it really that important or are they like, you know, I am fully invested. I am aware that this is the most important thing and I will do whatever I need to do to build these habits. So for starting at the beginning, I would say before you start to see some real shifts, at least probably a month.

Speaker 1: (22:19)
Okay. If we’re starting at the, I am fully bought into this idea, I just don’t know how to execute. Yeah. Once you start changing even yeah. Little seemingly the small things, it happens very quickly. You’ll start to notice it very quickly. And so with that, it can be a matter of a couple of days before someone says, Oh my gosh, I made this change and I can not believe how I feel today. I love that. You don’t even realize how terrible your like baseline is until you’re not functioning that way anymore. Yes. Yes. I, well, that’s very interesting. Well, that’s actually really prompted what you said. There kind of reminded me of like, when I was working those two jobs and I remember going to my therapist and being like, I’m stressed out and she would be like, what are you doing for self care?

Speaker 1: (23:20)
And I’m like, yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it. I’ll get to it. And it’s like, I was acknowledging. I’m like, yeah, I need self care. I totally need self care. And then I would go back to the next week and she’d be like, how did you do it? I’m like, I haven’t done it yet, but I will. And then it was like the fourth appointment. And she’s like, you can’t come back until you do. And I was like, Oh, okay. And I’m sure you have clients who are like, hi. Yeah. I need sleep just a quick and dirty, real quick. How do I, yeah. Like give me a pill to fix it. Right. And it’s like in LA, there is no shortcut. No, no. You have to put the work in to rebuild those habits, undo the old ones and rebuild them. And then just like any of our other, you know, habits or skills, it’s a lifelong recommitment.

Speaker 1: (24:10)
You don’t just like, learn how to do it. And then it happens easily all the time. Yeah. You know, as you go into more stressful seasons of your life or big changes happen, we tend to kind of fall out of practice and a lot of things. And so it’s being able to recognize that before you get too far, too far into it, and then, you know, doing a course correction so that you can, okay, I’ve started going to bed like 10 minutes later, every night, I really need to shift back and rededicate to this. I love that. And I feel like, um, that’s the thing, right? Like people need to have some sort of internal commitment to do the work because it’s hard. Even like only just, I don’t know how it happened, but like, uh, I would always turn my phone off. But recently I started putting my phone, my Apple watch my everything into my office, my personal phone.

Speaker 1: (25:12)
And it’s made such a difference. I don’t know what it is, but like, I don’t bolt at a bed being like, man, like there’s no exciting Las Vegas on my, on my end tables. So then I just go back to sleep and have better sleep, which I would, I would be like, yeah, I’m fine. I’m totally fine. I don’t need that. But I did. And I had to make a commitment to do it because you’re so, it’s so ingrained in our behavior to do a quick check on email, make sure you’re all good. Okay. Did anyone message me awesome? But um, it, it really is a commitment. Yeah. And I think when we look at it in a larger cultural context, how do we want our kids to live when they’re grownups, do we want them to live in this grind culture where they’re operating from a place of exhaustion and sickness? Or do we want, do we want to make the changes in our lives that then if enough people start doing that, it changes the culture. And maybe by the time they are, are women,

Speaker 4: (26:25)
Then they won’t.

Speaker 1: (26:27)
I have this internal need to sacrifice themselves to prove to the world that they deserve to be here. And I just want to like point out, um, I’m going to drop another book here that I know that you’ve read or else I just going to gift it to you. Is Matthew. Walker’s why we sleep. Oh yes. It’s just like, it’s like standard reading for anyone in sleep. But, um, I love how he talks about how, um, and, and I want to be very clear. You know, a lot of my, my clients will, their child will sleep and they suffer from insomnia because their circadian rhythm is all messed up. Then it becomes an anxiety issue. Then it just compromising compounds. They go see their doctor. Their doctor gives them a sleeping pill. And I don’t know if I was that tired. I would take it personally.

Speaker 1: (27:15)
And then, so there’s no judgment about what I’m about to say, but the Matthew Walker talks about how we’re finding it more and more that these, um, uh, sleeping pills, aren’t actually putting you to sleep. There are a form of sedation. So they sedate you. It’s not the same sleep. So if we were to put you in a and give you a sleep study, for example, and we monitor your waves of sleep and in the deep, the stages of sleep you are, you’re never really getting into restorative amounts of sleep. You’re just sedated. So you never real feel that you, you never restore. You’re never really that rested. So CVTI, which is, I’m sure what you’re doing with your clients, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the best course of action firms on yet. This is like now the standard for every doctor, um, or it should be.

Speaker 1: (28:10)
And if your doctor’s prescribing sleeping pills, you need to be asking them about CVTI. This is not like crazy stuff. You can go on the world health organization. You can look this up. It is the most effective way because sleep is behavioral. It’s not medicinal, very few people. Some people will take melatonin. Very few people have a melatonin deficiency. It’s not common. We should not be buying melatonin at the grocery store. Well, and that’s a big one. I see. A lot of people are like, I just take my melatonin. And it’s like, you need to be really careful if your doctor’s telling you to take it. That’s what he’s saying. Even then it’s still like take mental note of, of how your every day exactly. But if you’re taking melatonin, it’s teaching your brain that it doesn’t need to make it itself. So if you ever try to go off of that, well, one thing you’re going to need more and more and more to accomplish the same.

Speaker 1: (29:07)
Yup. Resilient, but also your brain gets the message that it doesn’t need to make that anymore. Yes. And which is a problem I hear of my clients giving it to their children, which again, there’s no judgment because some doctors are suggesting it, it is, it is a hormone that your body will stop producing if we give too much of, so it always needs to be done under medical supervision. You should not be buying it at the grocery store. You need to bring it in. You need to talk to your doctor or an endocrinologist and have a chat with them about all of that. Um, are you still there? Yes, I am. Are you? Hello? My whole screen just went black. Oh, interesting. I see you. And I hear you just a sec. Let me, let me investigate for one second. Sure. Very weird. Hold on. Okay.

Speaker 1: (30:05)
Oh, and we’re gone. Well, actually, that’s a really good place to end our conversation with Abby today and our fun, um, experiment with my first video podcast. I’m going to have to figure out this lighting, but anyway, uh, if you want to, uh, connect with Abby, you can head to www dot Abby, D E S J a R D I E n.com. She works with grownups to help them get to sleep. So if you liked with Abby had to say, if you’re a former client and you want to get back to sleep, I would head over in chat with Abby and see what she can do to help you. She has a ton of great resources, the challenges that she talked about or both, um, on her website and on her Instagram at Abby desert in. Um, so take a listen to her, uh, head on over to her as well. Thank you so much. And as always, well, everybody