This article started from a conversation with a patient. She’s having trouble sleeping and has tried to get into a sleep study. Problem is, she can’t get in for 4 months. Nice. So, we had a conversion about ways to sleep better now. One of the quickest ways to improve sleep is to get a new bed. I’ll give you more tips at the end, as well.
So, to add to your sleeping better knowledge I sat down with a local sleep expert from IntelliBed, Kristin Moyle.
I know a lot of people who have trouble sleeping. I thought maybe we could give some more tips today on how to sleep better. We’re going to try to give you lots of ideas and ways to improve your sleep. She has a background in health. I’m going to let her talk a little bit about her story and what she can bring to the table for you today. Take it away, Kristin.
Kristin Moyle: Thanks, Dr. Altman. I have a background in health. My degree was in Health Promotion at BYU. I came to IntelliBED a couple of months ago, because I feel like the gel that’s inside the bed contributes to the fact that it’s a health and wellness product. It has been something in our own home that I’ve slept on since I’ve worked here. I can tell you that it’s helped every morning when I wake up, every night when I go to bed.
Dr. Altman: When you are at home, though–what you were telling me earlier–is that your daughter has some back problems. Can you tell me how IntelliBED helped her?
Kristin Moyle: My daughter is 17. She is a swimmer at Lone Peak High School. She likes to be active and is an athlete. She has back issues that were giving her a lot of pain. It was affecting her swimming, affecting her sleeping, and affecting her in the classroom. There was just a lot of constant pain. We bought her an IntelliBED a few months ago. After the first night, she woke up and said “My back lower back pain is gone.” She still has some issues that need to be addressed with the chiropractor. But as far as her waking up sore in the morning–that has been eliminated due to our IntelliBED. I really believe that that’s helped her night after night. She’s doing much better with her back.
Dr. Altman: One thing that I want to be covered–that I think you can be the expert on–is how the IntelliBED differs from an innerspring mattress or maybe a foam mattress? A lot of people sleep on foam or they sleep on an air mattress of some sort. How is that different? Maybe go through that a little bit.
Kristin Moyle: Okay, that’s a really great question. There are about four main beds that are out there. There’s the innerspring bed, which is your normal mattress that you would get at a department store, for instance. Then there is the foam bed that has the memory foam in it. There is an air mattress. We feel like we’re the other one that’s out there–IntelliBED.
The difference is that the gel was made by a group of engineers here in Utah about 17 years ago. It was meant to replace foam. The memory foam that’s in popular beds, they spray that with chemicals and fire retardants and things like that, in order to make it a memory foam. It’s not intended to be slept on, as far as the chemicals go. There’s a lot of off-gassing that can occur with those types of beds.
(Dr. Altman interruption here, If you want to read up further on off-gassing, this is a good article, It references the flame retardants as specific toxicities. If you remember, we talked about this briefly in my toxicity article, here. National Geographic paid $15,000 for a journalist to get chemicals tested, the flame retardants were very high.)
Dr. Altman: This is one of the reasons that I wanted to bring you in, because the last time that I talked to you in the office, you told me something that spooked me a little bit. I thought people might want to hear about it, because you were telling me that the typical mattress/foam bed will have arsenic in it. What other chemicals? I want to save the topic of arsenic for later. What other chemicals can you pick up?
Kristin Moyle: I’ll tell you right now: Formaldehydes, inparticular that they’re struggling with on a legal basis right now, just the formaldehyde alone and the off-gassing that it can create.
Dr. Altman: Okay. A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually have arsenic showing up in my system, when I do the hair analysis. One of the things that have been a little bit of a problem for me in the past is arsenic exposure. I’m just wondering if this has been one of those ongoing problems I was totally unaware of. This is where I think the knowledge of the toxicity level, for a lot of people, could be a nice benefit.
(One more interruption from me. If you are interested in knowing your heavy metal exposure, ie…things like arsenic, not Metallica, the hair analysis is your best tool. Plus, it’s only $69.)
Kristin Moyle: There are four main things about this gel that really separate it from the rest. One is that it creates great spinal alignment. The way the gel is created, there’s 2 ½ inch thickness. It’s a food grade mineral oil. They use the same type of thing for baby bottles and nipples or pacifiers for children. It’s completely safe. It can actually be ingested but we don’t try to do that with our beds. It’s got this deep column that goes throughout the gel.
Dr. Altman: For those of you that are listening to the podcast, you can look at the pictures and I’m going to show you a picture of what that looks like in the blog post. Just look to the show notes.
Kristin Moyle: Every time you lay on this bed, the columns that are in the gel will buckle at the heaviest parts of your body. When you’re on your side, the columns will buckle at your hips and your shoulders, and remain firm at your waist or your other recesses of your body. If you turn on your back, then you notice your lower back is also supported like that. It stays firm where it’s supposed to and it buckles where it’s supposed to. That keeps that perfect spinal alignment. Chiropractors and massage therapists and physical therapists, they really appreciate that spinal alignment because it’s keeping your posture straight while you’re sleeping. We’re tired all the time during the day trying to have great posture. A third of our life is spent sleeping, so we need to continue that good posture as well, obviously.
Dr. Altman: I see that with patients when they tell me they wake up in the morning sore. Generally, we have to start ,looking at the bed, the quality of the bed, and when they last bought a new bed. That’s what we’re trying to help guide people into, just being better all the time and not just being awesome during the day. This is where I think this could really help people.
Kristin Moyle: It really does complement that.
Dr. Altman: How has your family noticed differences besides your daughter?
Kristin Moyle: My husband and I sleep on one. We’ve noticed that before when we had a different mattress, we were noticing pressure points or hot spots while we were sleeping, when we were waking up, causing more tossing and turning. We were waking up more sore than when we went to bed at times. I’ve got back issues. He’s got neck issues. It really was a health and wellness product for us, because the other reason besides this spinal alignment that it really supports, it also doesn’t have any pressure points.
They actually use it in hospitals for burn victims. They use it in ICU units. It’s been helpful with bed sores, because it allows that circulation and it doesn’t create pressure points or those hot spots that we talked about; if we don’t have those, then we’re not tossing and turning as much at night. By nature, we want to toss and turn if we have pressure points. It will create a more efficient sleep because we’re allowing our bodies to not move around so much while we’re in the REM and non-REM cycles of sleep.
Dr. Altman: I think the whole part with the burn units and the bed sore prevention is a very good testament to the lack of pressure points. One thing you told me in the past is you were able to do heat mapping in the stores for pressure points, of all the beds – inner springs and air mattresses and foam beds.
Kristin Moyle: That’s true.
Dr. Altman: If you’re out there and you’re in Utah, especially, you can always head to their stores. They’ll actually pressure map you while you lie on all these different beds and see what you’re like. I think that’s a cool feature because nobody else does that.
Kristin Moyle: That’s true. It really is. If you were to go to the store, it’s called pressure mapping, and it’s a mat that has a couple of hundred coils in it that can detect heat or those pressure points. The IntelliBed shows that there are none of those.
Dr. Altman: That’s cool. If people start sleeping better, what kind of health benefits can you look towards to improve in people’s lives?
Kristin Moyle: There are a few other things about the gel that we haven’t talked about yet. One of them–that answers the question hopefully, that you just asked–one of them is that it’s completely non-toxic. We go out of our way to make sure that we haven’t sprayed chemicals into our foam. It is very clean. People that have allergies don’t complain about our beds at all.
We mentioned before, sleeping takes up a third of our life. We want to make sure that we’re not breathing in any chemicals or off-gassing that may be detrimental to our health. The other thing is that it’s a very durable product. It affects years of your life because it won’t break down like other materials. It has a 30-year warranty on it.
Dr. Altman: It doesn’t breakdown pretty quick?
Kristin Moyle: The memory foam, the sprays that are in the foam, is what contributes to that breakdown. The gel itself, we’ve had a special testing on the bed. It’s called rollator test. That’s in the mattress industry. It’s just a metal ball that they put on these mattresses, and they roll it back and forth. It tests the durability of the mattresses. They found that our gel softened less than 5% in the time period that they had done that rollator test. It was leading in comparison to the other beds that they used.
Dr. Altman: What’s a typical breakdown for a foam bed?
Kristin Moyle: I know that for me personally, our bed that we had before an intelliBED was a memory foam bed. We slept on it for about 7 years. For 5 of those years, I really liked the bed. I thought it was comfortable. I wasn’t aware of chemicals and things that I am now that I’m working for IntelliBED. It was a comfortable bed. Then it slowly started to breakdown and by that 6th and 7th year, I just didn’t feel the support that I needed anymore. It was uncomfortable. The mattress wasn’t as durable as it had been when I first bought it. That was after about 7 years. That was my personal experience with the different type of bed.
Dr. Altman: One thing that I wanted to bring up here was a study done from the University of Pittsburgh in the school of medicine. They reported for a bodily system’s negativity affected by inadequate sleep. Bad things basically happening to your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, disturbances in your appetite, in metabolism, weight control – that gets people’s attention, a lot of people struggling with that – immune function, disease resistance, sensitivity to pain–that helps me a lot–reaction times, mood. Brain function also has been reported to be affected by poor sleep.
Dr. Altman: How would you define wellness?
Kristin Moyle: That’s really good. I think wellness is more of a holistic type of a thing. When you are healthy spiritually, healthy emotionally, healthy physically, healthy socially – those are very important parts of the whole you, the whole person. When you can balance those parts of your life and feel like you’ve got control of those different aspects of your life, I think that is a big part of what wellness really is.
Dr. Altman: I agree. You and I are similar ages: what would you do if you could go back 10 years ago into the younger Kristin? What advice would you give yourself–or maybe even your daughter? You and I have kids the same age. What would you say to the 10-year younger Kristin?
Kristin Moyle: The first thing I would say is buy an IntelliBED. Sleep on a healthy mattress, right? I would definitely be more aware of my sleep, not that I have suffered from horrible sleep issues. That is something that, looking back–now that I have the wisdom that I do–that I would pay more attention to. I think, oftentimes, we don’t pay attention to our sleep surface. I think that is something that I can carry on to my children now, just like I did with my daughter. I have three other children, and I can continue to promote and encourage healthy sleep. That’s one. Then just back to that wellness, just taking care of different aspects of health and keeping things in balance and having that holistic approach to life.
Dr. Altman: That’s good. We’re trying to get more people involved in being healthier at a younger age, because I did a whole series on people over 30, things they need to be paying attention to. Generally, when you’re under 30, you don’t pay as much attention to that. We’re trying to reach even younger people. Generally, under 30, you’ll feel invincible.
On the sleep side, one last thing, what would you say other things people can do to sleep better? Mattresses play a part of that but obviously if you sleep with the lights on or something like that, that’s not going to work so well. What other things do you see in the sleep industry that can help people? Let’s say they can’t go buy an IntelliBED this weekend. A lot of people are shopping for mattresses. If you actually mention our podcast or our blog or that you heard Kristin’s interview, you can actually get a discount from them. Besides that aspect, what else would you say is something else people can do to sleep better and make a change?
Kristin Moyle: Good question. I think, oftentimes, we have media in front of us all the time. We’ve got out laptops and our phones and different devices, TV, that we have before we go to sleep. If we can turn off our devices about an hour before we go to bed, that triggers our body to start getting ready for that sleep pattern. Replace it with reading a book or some sort of relaxing type of an activity. Those things that emit light from the different devices mimic sunlight to us. Our bodies need to be able to relax and prepare for sleep about an hour before. That’s advice that we can all take and do our best with. I know it’s harder with modern technology but it’s definitely sound advice.
Kristin Moyle: You know what else too, Dr. Altman? They’ve shown that sleep affects people that have depression as well. When we have lack of sleep, it is something that we need to be concerned about. Sleep is an actual epidemic. Poor sleep is an epidemic right now. There are hundreds and hundreds of people that are Googling ‘sleep’. That’s just one search engine. They’re Googling ‘how to sleep better’ and trying to self-diagnose and self-treat their sleep issues. Oftentimes it’s connected to these poor health issues that they’re dealing with, like depression, heart disease, and all these different things that are typical health problems that we hear about all the time in our culture. They have really linked that with poor sleep.
Dr. Altman: One of my earliest stories was that I used to sleep poorly until I started getting adjusted. One of the easiest by-products that we see in chiropractic is people generally, almost always, sleep better when they start getting adjusted.
Kristin Moyle: I believe that.
Dr. Altman: The other thing that I see is the heavy doses of stress in people’s lives affects their adrenal glands. As their adrenal glands start to go bad, the adrenals control the sleep-wake cycles. People oftentimes can’t fall asleep, can’t stay a sleep. Those are related to their stress in their lives and the malfunction of the adrenal glands. Also, people can be eating junk food at night. That can trigger digestive issues, especially people who are eating carbohydrates at night. That can totally mess up their sleep patterns.
Since you brought up the thing with TV screens or computer screens or things like that, what is your favorite book? If you’re going to lie in bed at night, you’re like “Oh man, I need to read this book because this was an awesome book.” We can give people something to do. Instead of being on their computers.
Kristin Moyle: That’s right. It’s like asking me what my favorite is. There’s so many that I could say. But I think, I’ll tell you right now, one that I’m reading and I just love. It’s How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Dr. Altman: Going old school.
Kristin Moyle: I’m going old school. The reason why is because I want my children to read it. I’ve got teenagers and younger. I think that going into the world, it’s important for them to know how to get along with people. It’s all part of wellness, right? Part of being healthy is social health and how we feel about ourselves, and being able to articulate who we are and what we represent. That’s just a book that I’ve been reading recently. Of course, the bible is always a favorite as well.
Dr. Altman: That’s great. We always need more of that. I just like people to have options out there because a lot of people sadly watch the news and then go to bed. That’s probably the single worst habit you could ever have when it comes to trying to sleep, watch something horrible on TV right before you go to bed. I’m trying to change people’s habits like reading something better. Thank you very much, Kristin.
Kristin Moyle: You’re welcome.
Dr. Altman: I have no more questions for you, unless you have something else.
Kristin Moyle: No, just keep sleeping healthy.
Intellibed gas generously given you guys a 10% discount if you mention my name, when you go in there, or order online.
Most people have trouble sleeping from time to time, and sometimes the bathroom calls to you in the middle of the night. I participated in another sleep class this week and I thought you might like some of the useful tips I learned.
#1 Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Why? They have done longevity studies and those were the ideal amounts of sleep. So sleeping too much can be detrimental as well.
#2 Bad sleep…Big bellies! It is possible. When you don’t sleep well a hormone from your adrenal glands called cortisol will spike abnormally high. If it does it can increase your hunger, and also increase mid-section fat storage.
#3 One other tidbit for those of you who don’t enjoy being sick. Sleeping recharges the immune system. I can speak personally on this. Some of you may remember emails from last year on my sore throat. When I feel any type of illness it is always because of having too many irons in the fire (stress) and not sleeping mulitple nights in a row.
#4 Spinal Rehydration. During the night your spine fills back up with fluid after the day of compression from standing up. So, good spine health relates to adequate sleep and good sleep posture.
#5 “Warm hands and feet induce sleep quickly”-Mayo sleep clinic
#6 Get up at the same time everyday. This is probably the most important aspect of regular sleep. If you are not sleeping well this would be a great place to start. You should not need an alarm clock. If you need an alarm clock and you are not working shifts, you have sleep problems, lifestyle problems, or adrenal gland problems. Once again I’ve been on that path and I know when I wake up easily I need to slow life down.
#7 Go to bed at the same time.
#8 The room should be quiet and dark. Darker the better.
#9 No caffeine within 6 hours of going to bed.
No Alcohol before bed
No Exercise before bed.
No Long naps…(anything over 20 minutes)
#10 Don’t face the alarm clock out if you tend to wake in the middle of the night. You will stress about the time and fret about not sleeping. Don’t watch the clock at all. Just lay back down and start counting backwards from 100-1.
BONUS, my nemesis.
Adrenal fatigue, this is a very big topic, but I wanted to give you a highlight. If you can’t go to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night, those are possible clues to adrenal problems.
If you can’t get out of bed in the morning, you almost certainly have adrenal problems. We can hook you up with a test you can do at home. Just email or leave a comment.