Good morning super power-seekers! Today is another fantastic day full of opportunity, possibilities, and connectivity to a greater extent than humanity could have ever dreamed!
I’ve been very fortunate over the last year of the pandemic to be able to participate in several virtual events. While it was not ideal that the events were all digital, I appreciate we didn’t stop having them.
The latest and possibly last virtual event was the 2021 Bedding Conference, also known as BedCon, hosted by Furniture Today!
BedCon happens every year, typically in Florida, but this year we got to experience it virtually.
To say one thing about the positives of a virtual event, more of our team got to experience the industry discussion and accolades! And congratulations to Mattress Mack on his lifetime achievement. I have personally seen him speak and the story he shared about “Why me?” changed my own perspective, and I will never forget that moment.
And before I go further, I personally want to thank Jeff Rose of Nationwide Marketing Group for my ticket. Jeff is the Director of Merchandising of Furniture & Bedding at Nationwide. He posted 100 free tickets on the Nationwide Marketing Group Facebook page, and I leaped at the opportunity and got signed up! Thanks, Jeff!
The reason I’m here today is to break down the guest speaker whom some of you may know: Dr. Oz! For those who don’t know, Dr. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, Columbia University professor, and host of The Dr. Oz Show—a daily TV show focusing on medical issues and personal health. And he talks a lot about sleep and even endorses some sleep products.
Dude! This is going to be a wild ride. Buckle up, people! I plan out my sleep every week to prepare myself for moments like these.
Quite literally, I was shouting and clapping! My coworkers are used to this and all but they still gave me weird looks. Eyebrow-raised glances that seem to say, “Why are you like this?” and, “How do you have the energy to be this excited?”
Well! I won’t tell you, I’ll let Dr. Oz do the talking!
Special thanks to BedCon 2021 and Furniture Today for allowing us to use the audio of Dr. Oz’s interview. If you listen to the audio article, I embellish a little more uniquely than you may be reading. I highly recommend doing both in case you happen to just read this.
We’ll get started here with his take on sleep’s overall function.
“I mean there’s obviously something really important happening during sleep or evolution, and its pressure would have removed sleep from our lexicon. We wouldn’t need to sleep.
But we do sleep because we know a lot of fun things happen. Some of them are just purely processing what happened that day and it’s laying down those memories.
We also know that our brain cells literally shrink a little bit to allow more fluid to wash them, which is how we get rid of some of the toxins in our sleep, which is why not sleeping is linked to some serious problems, like emotional issues, but we know there’s a whole slew of other health behaviors that benefit from good sleep.”
Well said, Dr. Oz!
He’s right. Sleep is not an evolutionary setback, it’s a catalyst! Sleep is so important, we found a way to keep our species safe while doing it back when letting your guard down could mean you fall prey to animals, insects, and accidents.
Whether you think we evolved from apes or we are designed by God, both scenarios play out exactly the same when it comes to sleep. It’s the way our body maintains its processes and gives our brains time to do some extremely science-fiction functions!
Let’s keep going!
Now, I focus a lot on how if we maximize our sleep, we gain performance. Thinking faster. Making critical decisions quicker. Superpowers baby! Listen to what Dr. Oz says about lack of sleep and sleep interruptions in his surgical field.
“Because often when you’re on call at night, you have sleep deprivation. That reduces your ability to react quickly, to think clearly, that’s why now there are lots of rules that limit how much sleep deprivation you can create in the minds of residents because you want to be able to function at a high level taking care of patients.”
Sleep rules exist for professionals whose jobs can affect the life and well-being of the people in their care. We as parents, spouses, siblings, and friends are facing decisions as important as surgeons every day in our lives! Do not value your own daily life less than that of a surgeon.
Jobs like surgeons and doctors are regulated to protect the interests of patients but we all need to live by them because we need to care for ourselves and our families the same way. You have people counting on you in your family and also at work. Your people don’t undervalue your performance.
Keep going, Dr. Oz! Lay it on us!
“When you don’t sleep well, you are more likely to make poor decisions, you may take risks you wouldn’t otherwise take, it increases irritability, you have higher levels of anxiety and depression in part because you’re not processing what’s going on around you. And that’s just short-term sleep problems. That’s not just sleeping last night. Long term you start to get into some really deep organic stuff.”
Hey bossman and bosswoman. Mr. or Mrs. Team Leader. CEO or small business owner leadership, I’m talking to you. Does it sound attractive to have an employee with terrible sleep habits?
Are they shipping out the orders correctly or having reactive moments with other employees? Would you be happy if they came into work on a regular basis with symptoms like Dr. Oz just described? Are you setting a good example for your team with your own sleep habits to show them the power of being well-rested?
In our post-2020 world, there is a lot of latent stress out there, and you can be one of the leaders to relieve it. It starts with better sleep habits and better sleep to give us a fighting chance!
And the reverse of what Dr. Oz describes is the role model employee! Somebody who is making smart decisions for the brand you worked a decade to build. Not taking unnecessary risks with your team’s well being. Less anxiety and depressions in day to day interactions. Sleep isn’t a fix-it pill, but it gives us a chance to learn new behavior and for our brains to process our environment.
I don’t know about you, but in my retail world, orders need to be checked constantly. My customers have many needs I need to keep track of and they are counting on me to not make mistakes.
Do you prefer your delivery team to take unnecessary risks when moving sofas and large furniture into people’s houses?
You can be the catalyst here and start with your own sleep habits to elevate your team’s performance when they see you with superpowers. Trust me, they’ll see it.
Say you are a high producer at your job and with better sleep you get 6.5% more actions completed, that’s a big number. High producers getting gains like that are visible. Around the watercooler, people say the phrases like, “I don’t know how he or she manages to get it all done.”
Yo, lead your people!
And the scariest part of that last segment was Dr. Oz was only pointing out the short-term results of sleep loss. This productivity disruption could be a few days a week or for weeks at a time.
Take weeks of bad days at a workplace, and suddenly nobody is looking forward to sitting next to that guy. Suddenly we look at our roles as burdens instead of blessings. Lead your people and water your proverbial lawn!
Alright, we’re moving onto the next segment. Dr. Oz was just getting warmed up. This next quote is much longer but you need to pay close attention. Get ready because here it comes!
“There are lots of factors you can address by sleeping better. This is why it’s important to develop smart relaxation strategies, ways of just taking pressure off and finding a zen moment. Things like caffeine late in the day can be problematic. It is for me because I lack an enzyme to digest caffeine but people who don’t have my issue can still have problems with caffeine late in the day.
Alcohol late at night messes with your sleep pattern. Not being on a schedule so you can go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning becomes an issue. And then you need accommodations for your bedroom. You need to have a mattress…you also want to have adjustable frames, turns out that’s dramatically able to improve the ability for you to avoid snoring.
That keeps your spouse or loved one asleep next to you. But it can help with a host of other problems like reflux where acid would flow up to your mouth and cause heartburn that can wake you up. You also want to have bedding and a room that’s cool. So temperature repelling materials.
You want to keep the room at 68 degrees or cooler. Whoever arguing for it to be colder is the person who should win the argument if you’re having a fight over room temperature…and you want to be under blankets and cuddled. And if you’re having trouble dropping your core temperature, two hacks are to wear socks or you can take a warm bath. And then focus on the environment; make sure it’s quiet or you have a sound machine on.
Making sure you have very loose clothing or no clothing. Make sure that the sheets themselves agree with your body temperature. These are all factors that make a difference. You also need to feel cuddled or cocooned in your bed which is why weighted blankets have data supporting their benefit to get to sleep.
But when you’re looking at this material, you’re talking about 20-25 minutes of increased sleep a night if you can deal with some of the sleep hygiene issues. Deal with some of the bedding issues and the materials you’re sleeping on.
That’s a lot of sleep! Sleeping pills don’t give us that structured sleep of that length oftentimes. There are lots you can do and if you ignore sleep, your body pays the price without you realizing it.”
Sleep maximization! From A to Z, everything he just said is sleep maximization!
By maximizing your sleep, you stand to gain 20-25 minutes a night. With numbers like that you can increase your sleep cycle count by 5 -7.5% a year at 25 minutes.
Would you rather get 7.5% interest on your savings account or is the .0000085% you currently get?
Oz even said the pills don’t give as much a night as you can gain with your own sleep habits. Do you know who hopes you don’t figure that out? My arch nemesis and Sleep Stealing Syndicate leader, the Sleeping Bandit!
He loves when people take shortcuts and buys big pharma pills to get more sleep. It’s easier. It seems convenient. But our own habits can do better!
I’m not saying give up your prescription if you have one. I’m saying that you have to try other things as well. You have to try to maximize your sleep!
You need to address things like a bedtime routine, caffeine, and alcohol consumption before bed, a mattress and adjustable frame, air temperature, air quality, your bed linens and nighttime garments, white noise, light pollution, air circulation, and more! If you haven’t gone through this list first, then you may be able to help yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t unload that much maximization on one person at any one time. I even just did the same. Did my sentence of sleep maximization points seem long and vague? Can you grasp one action point where you can make a change to your habit or tweak your routine to get significant improvement?
Dr. Oz rattled that list off at the speed of snore. You get a few points in and the person you are trying to help is gone. They’re either sleeping or checked out.
As professionals, it’s up to us to study all of these things, practice sleep maximization, and listen to our customers so we can try to help them maximize their sleep in a personalized way. Sleep is very subjective and people learn in different ways. You need to know your customer better than they know themselves and figure out what to communicate and how.
Do this right and you truly become a superhero saving your customer’s sleep cycles!
Don’t let the Sleeping Bandit steal your sleep currency! Don’t let the Caffeine Chameleon sap sleep cycles! You and your customers deserve all the sleep currency to make your deposit—and with big deposits, you can achieve big dreams!
We’re about halfway through and already I know that Dr. Oz has read the material. This guy knows his stuff. He has overlapped other sleep sources like Shawn Stephenson’s “Sleep Smarter” and Matthew Walker’s Master Class “The Science of Sleep” multiple times. We’re all looking at the same data here which brings us to the No. 1 issue I see when I am talking to sleep with most people and Dr. Oz nails it. Next he says:
“I think people take for granted, in fact, they’re even nihilistic, about their current sleep. They don’t think they can improve it. They say things like, “I always wake up at three in the morning,” or “I never fall asleep when I first lay down in bed.”
Whatever the problem is, you think that’s your norm. The loneliest thing we do is sleep. We’ve all been there, in bed staring at the ceiling wondering when dawn is coming because something’s bothering us and we just can’t get to bed.
It’s those restless nights that poets speak of. I think all of us have an opportunity to point out that nihilism is inaccurate. We actually have many solutions. And one step we can offer is to actually measure your sleep.
There are all kinds of apps out there. Sleep Scores has a great one that I’m involved in but there are other apps as well that help people measure their sleep. Give themselves a grade. Like they get a bank account and they get a statement once a month. You can measure your sleep every night pretty effortlessly. These are free apps. And by looking at what improves your sleep and what hurts your sleep, you can become a detective at solving your own problems.”
Dr. Oz, you won’t become a detective! You will awaken your superpowers and become a superhero!
We are not helpless. We can control what we can control. If somebody tells me they can’t get better sleep, I take it as a personal challenge to break down the walls of this mindset.
Dr. Oz, you, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar! I am in 100% agreement with you. I sleep how I sleep because “I am who I am” is a giant pile of pillow pupper poop.
Measure your sleep with sleep trackers or do it like I do and write down your bedtime and wake-up time each week on Sunday. Repeating this habit will show you the nature of your sleep so you can start to make effective changes to your habits.
I truly think this point by Dr. Oz is one of the most important observations about people and their sleep habits. Often, when I talk to people about how they sleep, they do not think they have control over their circumstances. And I’m not surprised either.
You can’t just maximize your sleep one night and feel the effects. One-percent-a-day better sleep is a gradual growth that eventually yields amazing results. So maybe they tried and failed because the habits weren’t paying off soon enough. It’s not easy!
But gaining control back from your bad habits that affect the quality of your sleep is not impossible. You must believe in yourself and start to build a foundation on which to grow. And the easiest way to do that is to write down your sleep schedule.
Dr. Oz mentions the trackers treat your sleep like you’re making a deposit in a bank account. I have made the same analogy myself in episode five of the “Adventures of Mattman.”
Sleep cycles are the currency in which you pay your body for peak performance. The more sleep cycles you schedule yourself the larger the annual deposit and the more potential for peak performance. That’s how you unlock your superpowers!
One of my favorite quotes is this next one where the interviewer, Sheila O’mara the Managing Editor of Furniture Today, asks what caused our work culture’s shift of perspective on sleep from “How much can you do with as little sleep as possible?” to “The power of a good night’s rest.”
Here’s his reply:
“I think as a culture we’ve just moved away from working hard to working smart. And nobody thought you were working smart when you were up all night long. But they saw that as a way of you showing grit. Showing that you’ve got the passion. That you would sacrifice everything to win.
But I gotta say, I have a lot of people who work for me and I want to win more than anybody else. I’m very competitive. But I know I will win more if my employees are rested and creative. I’m making a television show. I’m doing heart surgery. I want them to make wise decisions quickly, rapidly, and with fewer errors. And there’s this famous Turkish saying… ‘It takes a fool to throw a penny down a well and 99 wise men to get it back up again.’
The mistakes we make because we’re not well-rested end up costing everybody down the road. Sometimes it manifests in harm to the patients, which is horrible. Sometimes you just make a bad show. But in any case, that’s not the goal. So carving out an extra hour or two to get some sleep or more importantly showing you a few tactics to get there empowers everybody in the process and life is a lot more fun.”
You said it, brother! Life is a lot more fun when your coworkers are synergizing with you. Work feels more like play. Life is a lot more fun when your employees are more autonomous, creative, and productive!
We’re all making huge strides, leaps forward when we get the sleep we need and want to perform as our best possible selves. When your mistakes come at the cost of your customer’s convenience and time, those are mistakes you can prevent by slowing down for five minutes to speed up.
When our mistakes cost the time and convenience of our co-workers, everybody is working harder when we could be getting more done. A percentage of these errors are preventable.
Last but not least, let’s hear about Dr. Oz’s personal sleep schedule and routine.
“If no one wakes me up, I’ll sleep seven and a half hours comfortably. If I’m in the middle of taping a bunch of shows, maybe I’ll drip to seven. But I don’t go below that.
I’m not a deep sleeper and I work at it. Believe me, it does not come naturally. I’ve got to get in bed by around 10:30, quarter to eleven or I just won’t be asleep by 11 and I get up at six every single morning.
I either go to the hospital or I go to the studio but I’m up at six. So if you do the math, if I’m not in bed by 10:30, quarter to eleven, I’m not going to sleep my seven hours. So my battle is how do I stop checking emails, text messages, or watching my favorite show late at night.
And I’ve got to say one thing I realized is good news doesn’t come in late. If somebody emails you at ten at night, it’s not good news. Which means it’s going to keep you up worrying about that email. Or that news broadcast.
I don’t want my brain racing at night. So I try to turn off electronics by around 10 p.m. I brush my teeth, I put my moisturizer on, which I never used to do by the way. I’m in television. I’m forced to do that. And then I sort of figure out what I’m going to dream about essentially by getting comfortable with whatever I’m going to be reading before I fall asleep. Or talking to my wife, dealing with the kids, something that is actually going to relax me.
And then I’m out. And by the way, I get up at six in the morning because I know that’s my rhythm. If I get up at six, roughly 16 or 17 hours later, I’m going to be really tired. So I don’t want to have to guess when I’m going to go to bed. I know it’s based on when I get up, when I first see bright sunlight or when I work out. That all drives when I sleep.”
DR. OZ! My man! Are you sure we haven’t met at the superhero headquarters? Some of the dudes wear masks for real and I don’t always recognize them.
If you have listened to my shows, some of this may sound familiar. Waking up at 6 a.m., getting sunlight, setting your circadian rhythm so your circadian rhythm doesn’t set you!
A bedtime routine with no phones and screens for 30 minutes. Doing things that are stress-relieving instead of stress-inducing to be able to fall asleep quickly and let your brain do the science fiction functions!
And would you know it, I have the same sleep schedule as Dr. Oz! I am one hour earlier in that I try to be asleep by 9:30 p.m. to wake up around 5 a.m.
A sleep superhero doesn’t sleep in. I get those first pre-dawn hours for developing my creativity, making plans, reading books, and smashing monsters for loot!
Thanks to “Sleep Smarter” and “The Science of Sleep,” I know I get the most benefit from my sleep cycles if they occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. So I’m focused on that window for myself.
But listen to Dr. Oz walk you through how he adapts his seven and a half hours sleep schedule to his life and makes it work for him. By cutting out the noise of digital devices, he can read and spend time with his family. Do a little of that every night and years from now you will have fond memories of that time. That’s what he does with the 20 minutes a day he gets from maximizing his sleep and not counting past a handful of sheep.
I can tell that Dr. Oz is used to using superpowers in his daily life. I hope that we can all learn from his experiences and perspectives to help our communities unlock their own superpowers to achieve greatness in their own lives!