236: How Sleep Impacts Your Skin (Tips + Strategies) PT 3 w/ Michelle Nilan, MS, CNS

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Poor sleep quality can affect the skin in a number of ways. Sleep is a time for our bodies to repair, and poor sleep does not allow that to happen efficiently. Today, my guest and I will discuss exactly how sleep and skin health are linked, as well as ways to improve your sleep quality.

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My guest today is my colleague, Michelle Nilan, CNS. Michelle is a clinical nutritionist, yoga teacher, and ACSM-certified personal trainer. She is the associate clinical nutritionist in my private practice and has been working with me since June 2020!

She has a master's in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and a bachelor's in philosophy from Humboldt State University.

Through her work with me, Michelle has developed an extensive understanding of the complex relationship between the skin, gut, and overall health, and values being able to turn this into practical, actionable guidance to help others become well. She is additionally well-versed in metabolic conditions, insulin resistance and diabetes, and nutrition for high-risk pregnancies.

Michelle also has a history of her own skin struggles with severe cystic acne, fungal acne, and tinea versicolor, as well as with managing thyroid, hormone, and autoimmunity issues, and knows all too well what it feels like to have significant life-impacting symptoms completely dismissed and be told by doctors that she’d “just have to live with it.”

She is grateful for the opportunity to help others avoid the years of suffering she had to endure while trying to find and address the root causes on her own. Due to her work in philosophy, as well as her personal history of childhood trauma, she has a deep appreciation for the invisible mental and emotional suffering of skin and health issues that aren't obvious from the outside, and allows this to guide her approach of seeing a whole person rather than merely a collection of symptoms or a problem to fix.

When she’s not working with clients, Michelle enjoys staying updated with the latest nutrition research, lifting weights, reading, going to museums, spending time in nature, drinking coffee while people-watching, and playing with her cat Daoshi.

Join us for the final part of a 3-part interview all about sleep and the skin. In this series, we've been discussing circadian rhythm, sleep hygiene, why sleep is important, and so much more! Today, we'll focus on how sleep affects skin health.

Has improving your sleeping habits helped your skin? Let me know in the comments!

CHECK OUT PART 1 of this conversation HERE

GO HERE FOR PART 2 of this conversation

In this episode:

  • What role does sleep play in skin health?
  • Nighttime itchiness
  • How does stress affect sleep quality?
  • What is mouth-taping?
  • Why are appropriate mattresses and pillows important for sleep?
  • Magnesium for relaxation and calm


“Sleep was actually found to be more important than nutrient intake for wound healing speed.” [46:55]

“Your skin cannot properly repair damage and inflammation if your sleep is poor.” [47:21]


Book an Assessment Call with Michelle to become a client in my clinical practice

Sleepy Milk Recipe (To Help You Fall and Stay Asleep)

Healthy Skin Show ep. 049: Why Are My Skin Rashes Making Me So Tired?

Healthy Skin Show ep. 212: If You Struggle To Keep Momentum For Your Skin, Here's Why w/ Michelle Nilan, CNS

Healthy Skin Show ep. 230: {RESEARCH} Mindfulness Stress Reduction Benefits For Chronic Skin Problems Like Eczema + Psoriasis w/ Jessica Maloh

Healthy Skin Show ep. 85: Picking The Best Magnesium For Your Skin Rash Protocol

236: How Sleep Impacts Your Skin (Tips + Strategies) PT 3 w/ Michelle Nilan, MS, CNS FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer: So let's talk a little bit about what role does sleep play in skin health? Because I had mentioned it before in saying that we had a circadian rhythm in our skin, and that my experience working with clients who have chronic skin issues and especially TSW is that the more dysfunctional your sleep patterns are, the worst your skin barrier tends to be. So let's talk a little bit about what's the connection between sleep and the health of your skin.

Michelle: Oh man. Sleep plays a huge role in skin health. So first off, skin makes new collagen while you sleep. Your skin is healing itself while you sleep, and sleeping is a vital part of this. Again, because of the circadian rhythm which all of your cells, organs, and tissues follow. And the better your sleep quality, so it's not just how long you're sleeping. It's how good your actual sleep is. The more efficient and more productive all of those healing processes are. And sleep was actually found to be more important than nutrient intake for wound healing speed.

Jennifer: Wow. Really?

Michelle: Yes. Sleep made a bigger difference in how fast wounds healed than improving in the study, improving the subject's nutrient intake of vitamins, and minerals, and protein. Yes, sleep made it heal faster. Your skin cannot properly repair damage and inflammation if your sleep is poor. It can't use the nutrients you're giving it. It's like I said earlier about trying to go grow a plant in the dark. You can give it all the water that you want. But if there's no sunlight, you're not going to have an optimal plant.

Michelle: And probably something that plays a role in this is that your skin blood flow increases during your sleep. And that blood flow with proper oxygenation getting to your blood so breathing comes into play here too, that increases the skin repair and rebuilding. So the poor oxygen circulation from poor sleep can make your skin look more blotchy and pigmented.

Michelle: So even if your skin isn't getting worse, it can look like it is visually. And Jen, you already mentioned that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with that diminished skin barrier function. So poor sleep equals more water loss, which equals more dryness. So it's not about what supplements you're taking or not taking. It's not about your diet. It's not even about the weather that you're feeling so dry. It could just be your sleep is chronically bad.

Michelle: And then lack of sleep also will actually lower the pH of your skin, which can make dry skin worse as well. And sleep with its role in hormones, that also affects the skin. So cortisol and growth hormones, so poor sleep will raise your cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone. Triggers more inflammation. And that'll break down your skin proteins, increase your skin sensitivity, increase allergic contact dermatitis reactions, and increase acne breakouts. So overall, you're going to be more reactive if you're not sleeping well.

Michelle: So sleep is not just not feeling tired in the day. It's how well everything in your body functions, how well it heals. And the growth hormone, so that's secreted specifically during deep sleep. So if you're getting eight hours of shallow sleep, of poor quality sleep, the growth hormones-

Jennifer: Or two hours.

Michelle: Or two hours.

Jennifer: Or two hours of horrible sleep where you're tossing and turning, or you just say the heck with it, I'm going downstairs. And I'm going to watch TV, or do something else, or stare at the computer.

Michelle: Yeah.

Jennifer: Yep.

Michelle: So when that growth hormone is decreased, it can lead to and exacerbate thin skin, and prevent the repair of damaged cells. So that's just not going to be happening appropriately. So also if you're a listener of the show, you may have heard Jen talk about cytokines and inflammatory little creatures that can make things like eczema and psoriasis worse. And sleep deprivation itself, just the deprivation of that sleep and the poor sleep increases those inflammatory cytokines that are associated with eczema and psoriasis, which can contribute to worse skin, flaring skin. However, on the bright side, after 48 hours of sleep rebound, of getting good sleep, those inflammatory cytokines can get restored back to their normal level.

Jennifer: Wow, that's pretty neat.

Michelle: So if you fix your sleep, you're not condemned to any issues that you're having from the poor sleep after a couple of days. And what's interesting is I notice after I get bad sleep, it takes me about three night to feel human again. So this study kind of tells me maybe a little bit of what's going on there.

Michelle: So you don't want to increase this inflammation, because that means that you have increased itching, and then you have worse sleep. And then when you have worse sleep, you increase the inflammation, increase the itching, worse sleep. It can be a really vicious cycle. So that list that I went through of all the ways you can help your sleep hygiene, pick a small thing. Pick something easy.

Michelle: If not drinking caffeine past 2:00 PM is the easiest thing, or telling your significant other, “Hey, we're not talking about our finances this evening. We're going to save it for the morning.” Whatever the easiest thing for you is, stepping outside, whatever it is, just do that. Start somewhere.

Jennifer: And you know what Michelle, let's actually talk a little bit real quick about nighttime itchiness, because that's obviously a big concern for a lot of people listening.

Michelle: Yeah. And this is actually really interesting, because I talked about that inflammation, itchiness, sleep vicious cycle. And typically, what I hear from most clients is that they're being woken up by the itchiness. They wake up because they're so itchy. And that's actually not always the case. Same thing can happen with waking up needing to pee. It's not always that need that wakes you up. Sometimes you wake up, and your brain needs to find a reason. So if you're already itchy, that's the reason. If you kind of have to pee, it could be, “That must be the reason.” Usually it's something else is waking you up or disturbing your sleep quality. And your brain is seeking that rationale. So automatically, it's an unconscious process.

Jennifer: There's also the stress. Sometimes you wake up. I know this happens to me. I'll wake up and I feel just anxious. I'm worried about things. And that can be really difficult. I know that we've already talked on The Healthy Skin Show a few episodes back about catastrophizing. And I think at night, when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and you're just faced with this immense wave of anxiety, it may also be too you end up itching as a coping mechanism. Because there's really interesting things that can happen in terms of unfortunately itching to deal with things, itching as a habit almost created in the body. And then you start going, “Oh my gosh, I'm just going to keep scratching.” And you almost end up catastrophizing and making things. And by the way, I know I'm saying, “You do this, you do that.” But I just want every listener to know that I am not in any way, shape, or form saying that you are at fault or you are to blame for this. It's a vicious cycle. This is a hellish situation to be in, and you're doing your best to figure it. I just want to acknowledge every single person that it is horrible. It is absolutely horrible to be living in this state where you just cannot get sleep, and the itchiness has become your reality.

Michelle: Yeah. And it's a totally normal thing to, nobody wants to have free floating anxiety. If there is something that actually is stressful to you or makes you panic, your brain's going to attach to that.

Michelle: I've even had the experience where I wake up in the night and I'm anxious. And I'm not actually anxious about anything. And all of a sudden, I start thinking about how I really need to clean my bathroom and how it's such a disaster. It's like, 1:30 AM is not the time to worry about this.

Jennifer: Or like oh my gosh, I forgot to put this one thing in this document. That was me the other night. I was like, “It's 4:00 AM, I forgot to do that. I should get out of bed now. So it happens to all of us.”

Michelle: And the thing is too, so sometimes if itchiness is what's waking you up, it can get really severe. And if itchiness is waking you up or preventing you from falling asleep, sleep quality is so important. Getting to sleep is so important for your quality of life and being able to function. There is no shame in using an antihistamine to fall asleep or stay asleep if you need to do that.

Michelle: Understand it is just covering the symptoms while you work on the other stuff. Just like I had to use the melatonin while I worked on all the other pieces, and eventually you can take it away. So there's no shame in something like that. And there's also for an in the moment itch attack, let's say you wake up and you need to pee. You're not really that itchy. And then all of a sudden, you're walking back to bed and you get attacked by itch. And you're like, “I'm not going to be able to get back to sleep.”

Michelle: There's a homeopathic product called histaminum hydrochloricum which is specifically for an itch attack. So an antihistamine would be more of a preventative. Histaminum is not a preventative, but it can be really helpful in the moment.

Jennifer: Yeah. And it's helpful for a lot of our client, not everybody. But a lot find it to be helpful. And just keep in mind that because it is a homeopathic remedy, a lot of times it does have lactose in it. So just make sure to look at the ingredients to make sure that obviously you're comfortable with them. If you have a dairy allergy or something like that going on, it might not be a good fit for you.

Jennifer: And then obviously too, if you're doing an antihistamine regularly and it's not something that was prescribed to you, just make sure to talk to your doctor to make sure that there's no contraindication, especially if you're on any other medications, or is there an issue for you taking this on maybe a more longer term basis? Just always check in with your doctor about out that, even if it's an over the counter medication. Because sometimes there can be things you might not realize, and you don't want to end up ending up in a pickle so to speak.

Michelle: Yes, definitely. So there are so many different tools and supplements to help with your sleep. Because for me, just doing the sleep hygiene stuff, that's what I had done for years. Sleep hygiene I'm going to be honest was not my sleep problem.

Jennifer: Interesting. Okay. So sleep hygiene wasn't the problem. What was?

Michelle: Honestly, I think that it's just chronic stress for me. That I have a lot of cortisol dysregulation for probably lifelong various reasons. I have a history of PTSD, and I'm just a very tense, anxious person often. And I'm also very prone to nightmares. So I had this idea that I'm having these cortisol spikes in the night. So for me, addressing stress and using appropriate supplements to help bring that down because it was very intense for me, that has made a world of difference. As well as just using a lot of tools, doing everything I can to make sure my oxygen is good, that I'm breathing properly. That there's as much as I can, no light, no sound. The temperature's good. And having a very regular routine. If I get thrown off my sleep routine, it makes it very hard to feel human the next day. So stress is a big deal. Stress can be the thing that makes or breaks your sleep like it was for me.

Michelle: So some of the tools, the non-supplement tools, there are a lot of non-supplement things you can do. So you don't always have to take more pills, or take more of this, or more of that. So practice good sleep hygiene, which we discussed earlier. All those different lifestyle factors. And the thing is too to remember getting good quality sleep is like cleaning a messy house. It's not one and done. You don't have good sleep hygiene one night, and that's good. Your sleep's good forever.

Jennifer: That's a good point, Michelle. That's a good point to make.

Michelle: It requires maintenance. And sometimes depending on what your current habit are, what your lifestyle is, maintenance takes a conscious effort until that becomes your new habit. So beyond the good sleep hygiene, these are my four favorite sleep tools. A sleep mask, earplugs, mouth tape, and nose strips. I do not look cute when I sleep. But man, am I happy about not looking that cute in the morning when I feel real cute because I feel so good. So sleep mask and earplugs, those are obvious what they're for. We discussed that earlier.

Michelle: And the mouth tape and nose strips, that is specifically for making sure that you're breathing well. So mouth tape is exactly what it sounds like. You are taping your mouth shut in the night. There are fancy, expensive honestly products specifically sold as mouth tape. I literally use paper tape. If I were to forcefully open my mouth, it would come off. Honestly sometimes, it comes off when I don't so forcefully open my mouth. But I just tape it, and you can do horizontally, diagonally, vertically. Really any way you prefer, it doesn't matter. Sometimes people more comfortable vertically because then the sides of their mouth can potentially open. And I would suggest put some lip balm on before you tape your mouth shut. If you have dry lips, it can prevent it from sticking.

Michelle: And the nose strips or nasal strips, just like the ones that you tape over the bridge of your nose that open up your nostrils, those two work in conjunction. So it's not just that you're preventing yourself from breathing through your mouth. It's you're allowing yourself to really breathe properly through your nose.

Michelle: And this can be a big for people who struggle with allergies, but I really want to point out I don't have any allergies. I don't have postnasal drip. I don't have any sinus issues at all. And mouth tape and nose strips was the weird thing that I was like this is absurd that I'm doing this, but I need to sleep. After one night, I have not stopped doing it since. It has been a game changer for me.

Jennifer: That was your thing.

Michelle: Yes.

Jennifer: That was your thing. That's awesome. Yeah. I will say for me, it's been like I said, the bedding. So making sure that I have sheets that can breathe. We used to do cotton sheets really thin, like cotton sheets. Which everyone here could definitely try. Polyester is not breathable. We shifted this past year, the last six months to bamboo because I had read online and heard from other individuals that it was even cooler and better regulating in the winter and the summer. And I just found for me, that really works in its extremely soft material. And then having bed clothes that were appropriate, like getting rid of the really heavy, dense blankets and comforters that just don't breathe as I get too hot.

Jennifer: And I will also say too, I probably don't do all the things. I'm still working on the pillow for neck support. Pillows are really important. Obviously we got a very firm mattress, which was crucial for my own personal back issues. So I highly recommend people don't think about the mattress as being comfortable. Can you sleep on this, and will it maintain appropriate spinal alignment?

Jennifer: You have to think about if your back is rounding for hours and hours on end, it's really unhealthy for your discs, especially as we age. And you can end up with herniations much easier and all sorts of stuff. So please, please, please no matter your age, stop with the soft mattresses. It's not good for your back.

Michelle: Yes. And as far as the soft mattresses too, I also want to mention if your mattress is too soft and you're so crumpled in when you're sleeping, your lungs are compressed. You can't breathe appropriately. You can't take deep, restful breaths when you're sleeping. So on multiple levels, that can be problematic.

Jennifer: Yeah. Yeah. And I'll also add too, I've been experimenting too with bed clothes. Because bed clothes obviously are a factor. And I found that, I tested out things were on sale. And I found this shop that made, they sell silk night tops. Gosh. I don't know. You guys know what I'm talking about, a tank top that's made of silk. And it was on sale. So I was like, “It's 50% off. I'm going to try this.” And honestly it did make a big difference in temperature regulation. I couldn't believe it. I know that you've shared too with me that silk pillowcases can be really good for your hair.

Michelle: And for your skin also.

Jennifer: Yes. But silk bed clothes may actually be helpful. Is it cheap? No, but look around. There's a lot of sales throughout the year, and you might be able to experiment with it. But that's also been a big game changer. I need to get blackout curtains. I know they also sell films online where you can paste things to the windows. So kind of black out the windows, because my husband tends to have issues. And I know yeah, there's the meditation apps. You can do that. You can do the white noise machine or the app. Some people have weighted blankets, which I've considered doing, but then I have cats and I'm afraid they're just going to destroy it.

Michelle: Yeah. And weighted blankets. They also have weighted sleep masks. Those can be helpful if you are an anxious person. I haven't personally tried them. But I know for a lot of people, they are helpful to get kind of a sense of security.

Jennifer: Yeah. And there's also the cooling, I think it's called OOLER. There's different brands of cooling mattress pads that you can buy, and then obviously the blue light blocking glasses. I'm probably the worst in terms of that because I don't do those. I found that for some reason, every pair that I bought had some weird chemically odor. And I just don't want that odor near my face. So I just deal with it and I do other things. Right? So it is what it is.

Jennifer: So do what you can do. I think that's the point. Pick out the lifestyle changes that you can make. And you don't have to do all of them at once. You could do two things and start there and over the course of a month be like, “Okay, how did this impact my sleep?” And then try two other things. In terms of supplements, what are a few of your suggestions?

Michelle: Yes. And there are a few supplements as well. So my sleep was so miserable. I needed the good sleep hygiene, the sleep tools, and a couple of supplements. So I went a thousand percent. I was like, “I'm going to throw everything at this.” So prescription and over the counter sleep medications I want to say are a false sense of security. Because closing your eyes and being unconscious for seven to eight hours is not the same as getting good quality sleep. They don't lead to restorative sleep. You're just unconscious for eight hours. Your body is not doing its work. Especially if you have other things happening beyond, there's a reason that you can't fall or stay asleep, or both. So if you're not addressing that, the sleep quality's not happening. So I really want to reinforce that.

Michelle: So we talked about the liquid melatonin already. And there's also magnesium. It can be very relaxing. So especially if you struggle with falling asleep, a lot of times if that's due to high stress, taking relaxing evening things. Can also be part of your relaxing bedtime routine, combine all these different habits so that it doesn't have to be one thing at a time. Make it a comprehensive, enjoyable thing. Magnesium citrate if you have constipation. Otherwise, magnesium threonate is the form of magnesium that most readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets to your brain, so that can help lead to the most restorative sleep if you're looking for a specific type of magnesium. But any type is fine. Threonate also happens to be the most expensive. So don't kill yourself over the type, any magnesium.

Jennifer: Yeah. And if you have diarrhea, you can also do magnesium glycinate. I just want to add that in. That would be the better form for that. Not magnesium malate for everybody listening. That will wake you up. That's a better form to take during the day, not before bedtime.

Michelle: Yeah. And magnesium oxide, not if you have diarrhea. And threonate won't affect the bowels. So that also would be fine if you don't need any constipation help. Glycine can be really relaxing. It's also great for your liver. It's one of the essential components of your liver functioning well. And this one, so in addition to melatonin, I took a supplement called, or I still take. This one I am still taking called phosphatidylserine. And this also has been a game-changer for me. So this one is specifically to help me stay asleep, because what it does is it helps reduce the chances of that nighttime cortisol spike. It helps to regulate the cortisol levels.

Michelle: So if you wake up during the night and you're anxious, if you get nightmares or if you've tested it and know you have high nighttime cortisol, phosphatidylserine can be great. Just keep in mind there are kinds that are made from soy and kinds that are made from sunflower. So if you have a sensitivity to either one of those, make sure to specifically look for the other type.

Michelle: And then there's calming pre-bed herbs. Sleepytime Tea. There's a tea called sleepy time tea. It has a combination of all of these. Chamomile, hops, lemon balm, passionflower and lavender. Make sure to check for any allergies and any cross re-activities, for example. If you have a ragweed allergy, chamomile is not the tea for you. So the chamomile is in the ragweed and daisy family. So make sure that that's not your choice, or that could give you other problems.

Michelle: And there's also valerian, which is really commonly used. But what most people don't know is that takes about two weeks to start working. So that's not going to be instant impact. So if you do choose to try out valerian, whether it's a capsule, or a tea, or boiling the root, the bark like I used to do. Give it two weeks before you decide whether it's for you or not. And then L-theanine, which is also a component of green tea. It's sold also in supplemental forms. Also can be relaxing and non-stimulating.

Jennifer: Yeah. The other thing I do want to add to this because I like that you brought up that valerian takes two weeks to start working. Something like glycine, or magnesium, or melatonin, and some of these herbs aside from valerian. They're pretty fast-acting. It's not where you have to do magnesium for two weeks and see if maybe it's improving your ability to fall asleep. I mean the one thing to consider too is is the dosage right for you?

Jennifer: So for some individuals, and I used to be in that camp. And I'll sometimes still get this periodically. And that's how I know too that I have an increased need for magnesium is if you get that restless leg sensation, especially around bedtime, where you feel like your legs just have all this energy, that to me is a red flag. Not only as a nutritionist, but also as just a human being realizing that stress is such a big factor, that we need more magnesium.

Jennifer: So you might have to play around with your magnesium dosage depending on what's happening in your life. Is it a more stressful period in time? Our bodies sometimes use more magnesium when it's under stress than at other times when it's not. So maybe for you in a non-stressful time, maybe 200 milligrams is just perfect. But then you start noticing the restless leg creep in, and that's where you might want to be like, “Maybe I should try 300 milligrams.” And it's okay to play. It's okay to play around. You just don't want to go so super high. That's always the thing to be careful with when you're doing this on your own, mega doses and whatnot. That's something where you really do need to work with a practitioner. And if you're unsure about herbs and things like that, you definitely want you connect with your doctor, or your naturopath, or your nutritionist, or dietician, or whoever is helping support you to help you figure out what the right thing is. And we're not suggesting also by sharing these supplements that you do all of them. You don't have to do all of them.

Michelle: And probably should not do all of them.

Jennifer: Right. Right. Don't do all of them. Pick your things. So for me, my things are a little bit of melatonin and magnesium. That's a part of my ritual. I have good intentions to take phosphatidylserine, because I know from doing the DUTCH test and that insomnia cortisol marker that they have you do that I do get that spike in the middle of the night, but I would admit I haven't been so great about adding that in. So maybe now I need to hold myself accountable and start doing it since I've now shared that.

Jennifer: But I'll also share too, this was a tip. And I'll put the link in the show notes as well. I'm not going to claim that it's my recipe. It's not. This was a recipe that was shared with me by an Ayurvedic practitioner who I worked with a number of years ago. And I just called it, I think she just said it was a sleepy time milk or something. So anyway, she wanted me to use milk. That makes me nauseous. So what we devised was heating up these really wonderful, warming, soothing, calming herbs in the little pan. And then adding in some sort of vegan milk alternative, and then adding in some ghee, which I can talk. And that was actually really soothing and really wonderful. So I'll share that recipe. That's definitely been helpful for clients as well. So you could always do that, and it tastes really good too.

Michelle: Yes. I think not enough can be said about being relaxed when it's time for bed, and bringing that stress down. Like I said, for me, that was the key. Because I had great sleep hygiene and still had to be on medications to sleep. So there was something else. And for me, that something else definitely was stress.

Jennifer: Yeah. And we talk a lot about this too, for everybody listening. Especially with Michelle. Michelle coaches a lot of our clients in the practice about sleep quality, and their sleep habits, and everything. That's a big deal, but it's also a big deal. It's part of our skin rash rebuild program that we offer with clients. We have worksheets and all sorts of things to help people figure out what tools do you need to use?

Jennifer: So just know that you don't have to do all the things. Don't feel overwhelmed. We're giving you a smattering of options to choose from. And pick like I said, maybe two things, maybe three things. Do what you can and go from there. And know that Rome wasn't built in the day. You're not a bad person. I think that's the biggest thing is to not beat yourself up. If your lifestyle because of work or your family does not allow you this perfect routine, do what you can and consider all the different options out there to help you start getting better sleep. Because it's so important.

Michelle: Yes. And for me, between stopping medications and feeling like I have good sleep quality, it took eight months, almost a year. So it has been a long process. And like I said, it took somewhere between six and eight months for me to say I don't think I need the melatonin anymore. But I'm still doing all of the other things. The phosphatidylserine, I definitely still take. And then I cover all of my face holes and then open my nose basically when I sleep

Jennifer: Well I'm so glad Michelle that you were able to share this. We had been talking about this so much and I said, “Michelle, you got to come on the show. And let's just hash it out. Let's share a bunch of different tips for people, so they can have starting points and choices of things,” that for somebody, maybe mouth taping might not be the right fit for them. But doing like a weighted blanket, or getting a cooling mattress pad, or changing the type of sheets. And just taking small little actions and playing around. Be playful with it. I know that's a weird way to look at it, but be playful. Be experimental. Don't become upset if something doesn't … if the experiment doesn't work, then you go okay. Well that didn't work for me. Or maybe it wasn't the right fit, or it wasn't the right amount. Have that open mind and that open heart to just keep trying things for yourself. Right? That's what being a good advocate is. And sleep is a third of our day. So please, please, please take it seriously. We certainly do. We're doing our best over here. Obviously, Michelle and I have very different approaches, and it's okay what works for us.

Michelle: Everyone is different. And we've given you so many options. And that just means we have so many things to try if something doesn't work. I certainly don't do every single one of these things. And every single one of them don't work for me. But I've been able to find a combination that does. So that's the reason I've tried to really just give everything you can try, because there will be things that don't work for you. But there are so many things. There also will be things that do, even if the first step is getting cotton sheets, that's a thing. That'll help.

Jennifer: Or just lowering the temperature of your house at night. That might be a game changer for somebody, or cracking the window just enough that you have a little bit of air circulating. Or as you shared, maybe just putting on a fan not blowing directly on you, but so that air is circulating in the room. It helps lower the temperature, keeps the air moving, and you actually just sleep better. So try these different things.

Jennifer: Michelle, I just want to thank you so much for sharing all of this. It's been so great to have you back. I know we always have a lot more to discuss, and we'll certainly have other episodes coming out. And Michelle, as you guys know, she works in my practice with me. We see clients virtually. And yeah, she's awesome. So thank you Michelle so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Michelle: Thank you, Jen. I'm so grateful to be here. Always happy to share whatever information I can that helps. Sleep is one of my favorite topics. And I was really excited to talk about it.

Click HERE for Part 1 of this conversation!

Click HERE for Part 2 of this conversation!

“Sleep was actually found to be more important than nutrient intake for wound healing speed.”