1) Clinical hypnotherapy retrains the brain for relaxation and sleep by accessing the subconscious mind. Dr. Val describes using positive visualization and suggestions to reprogram thought patterns around sleep. She shared an amazing success story of a patient sleeping only 3-4 hours a night who increased sleep time to 8 hours after just two sessions.
2) Dr. Val shares sleep hygiene tips like sunlight upon waking, a consistent bedtime routine, and reserving the bed for just sleep and sex. She cautioned against using the comfortable mattress as a place to watch TV or work, which confuses the brain’s sleep signals.
3) Sleep apnea represents differently in women. She reveals that women can have sleep apnea with milder symptoms like morning headaches, fatigue and irritability. Only a third of primary care doctors screen for sleep issues, so women should be more proactive in asking for sleep assessments.
Mark Kinsley: Dr. Valerie Cacho started Sleepphoria after seeing an increase in midlife women in her medical practice who are struggling with sleep. You know, those women she serves just so happen to fit the demographic profile of the most active mattress shoppers. Buckle up. The Sleep Summit show begins right now.
Mark Kinsley: And welcome to the sleep summit show. I’m your host, Mark Kinsley, Dr. Val, you are an integrative sleep medicine physician, a women’s sleep expert, and as you say, your guide to better sleep, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Valerie Cacho: My pleasure, Mark. Thanks for having me.
Mark Kinsley: I got to start off with, you know, this, this website that you have, uh, called sleepphoria.
It really is dedicated to helping women find a better night of sleep. And like I said, at the very beginning of the show, uh, the most active mattress shopper. Uh, the demographic profile is that of, of a woman. A lot of people say it’s maybe, you know, 45, 54, maybe up from there. Talk about the women that you see in your practice and what got you started on this journey and that focus.
Valerie Cacho: Wonderful. Well, thank you for teaching me that tidbit about women in midlife shopping for mattresses. And I’m wondering if it’s because it’s based on that statistic where 40 to 60 percent of women around this time do have a hard time sleeping. So I love it because they’re already engaged and they’re interested in.
trying to get better sleep. So some of the common issues that I have, backing up, since I’m a medical sleep doctor, I focus a lot on the medical issues. So snoring, gasping, choking, untreated sleep apnea is really huge in this population, which can be due to just normal aging. As we get older, our muscles of our upper airway start to narrow.
and collapse and that leads to obstructive sleep apnea, but also as women go through these hormone fluctuations. So perimenopause happens before you go through menopause, which is one year without having your period, but you can have the symptoms four to five, even 10 years on either side. So you can be in your late thirties, early forties and start to have difficulty sleeping and not even know that it’s related to your hormone fluctuations.
A lot of times women do come in and they know they have a hot flash because that’s something that’s not subtle. If you wake up, you’re sweating, um, and maybe you’re looking for a mattress that has that cooling top. And maybe you think that’s what you’re going to need. Um, sometimes people just come in because they’re just so exhausted.
They have no energy and their primary care physician just sort of scratching their head. You know, I’ve had my lab work done. My thyroid’s okay. I’m not anemic. And so this is just part of that journey where I got to see the sleep doctor to see if there’s an issue. So that’s something else that, you know, um, that we take a look at.
And then other medical conditions are things like restless legs we see in women. And that’s the medical condition where You have a hard time falling asleep because you have this energy electric shock sensation and moving your legs or wiggling your legs can make it better. It’s associated with things like low iron or, um, family history.
And then probably one of the biggest concerns in midlife women that I see is insomnia. And to unpack that, that means either difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. And the big one is those waking up in the morning somewhere between two to four a. m. staring at the ceiling and then just getting so frustrated that I can’t fall back to sleep and I don’t know what to do and nothing works.
So that’s basically all that I see. But yeah, I see people who have a hard time either falling asleep, staying asleep, or on the opposite ends are so tired. And they’ve tried a lot of the things that their regular doctor has recommended or things that they read and they’re just looking for more reliable information.
Mark Kinsley: pathway out. Okay, take us there. What is the pathway out for most people?
Valerie Cacho: Oh, that’s a good question. And I would say it depends. And so in medicine, the answer, it always depends because it sometimes is a mix of things. Sometimes it’s, okay, you’re getting older. Maybe you gain some weight because as women get older, you know, we have less growth hormone and sometimes the fat can.
be distributed around the tongue and the neck, and that can lead to snoring, sleep apnea. Sometimes you’re in a position in your life where, you know, if you’ve been in your same career for 20, 30 years, and you’re thinking like, is this it? Is this everything, um, for my life? And sometimes we stay up just thinking about what should I do next?
Or. Um, should I just quit my job, or maybe should I start that bakery that I’ve always wanted to start? So, taking a step back, the framework I often like to discuss with some of my patients, especially women, is the holistic approach. It’s that mind, body, and soul. So, uh, disruption through one of them, or all of them, can be disruptive to the sleep.
So mind, is your mind racing? Now that you’re going through perimenopause you suddenly have anxiety or panic attacks that you’ve never had before? And that can actually be explained by changes in hormones. Do you have ruminating thoughts? You just lay there at night. You’re going, going, going all day long.
You’re, you know, you’re over scheduled. And then when you’re putting your head on the pillow, you’re expecting to sleep. Because that’s just how it’s always been, and now you have a hard time winding down. Um, body, do you have any physical issues, right? Obstructive sleep apnea that I mentioned, and I always like sort of hammer that in because 93 percent of women go undiagnosed.
When you see your primary care physician, you tell them you’re tired. They do blood work. They send you to a therapist, they say you’re probably depressed, but it could be untreated sleep apnea. So that’s a huge one that I always, you know, want to talk about. And then the soul part, right? How are your relationships?
Sometimes I actually see women who have insomnia because honestly, they’re lonely. They have, you know, partners or maybe their relationships are just broken. Or maybe they’re estranged from their families and, you know, that’s really what keeps them up at night. So yes, the path is not the straightest, but it’s a journey and I’m happy to be on this journey with these women because, you know, there’s no easy pill, right?
To cure loneliness, right? You know, it’s not as simple as just taking something. Maybe for some people it could be, you know, don’t get me wrong. Pills definitely have their, their place, um, but they’re not a cure all. And it really takes time and space to really sort of peel back the layers to the onion to try to figure out what’s truly impacting the quality of sleep that someone’s having.
Mark Kinsley: Let’s talk about the people that don’t have relationships in their life or the people that are lonely. And they come to a sleep doctor like Dr. Val, what do you, what do you say to him? What do you do at that point?
Valerie Cacho: Yeah, that’s a great question, Mark. And so first and foremost, I guess I would say I’m a medical sleep doctor, but I’m an integrated medical sleep doctor.
So my intake is a little bit pretty thorough where I talk about, you know, all the different medical issues that could happen. Um, I talk about, you know, the medication list, right? Make sure I’m not missing anything before I say, yeah, it’s just because you’re lonely. Um. But part of what being an integrative physician means, it’s meeting the patient where they’re at.
And honestly, some people know this, it’s, you know, I’m living in this house with my husband, but we’re just like two moving ships, we’re in that same space. But you know, if he wasn’t there, like, it wouldn’t really make a difference. And it’s almost really sad when I hear that. Um, so sometimes people know, and sometimes people don’t know, I say for the ones that they don’t know, since I do practice integratively, um, I do a lot of cognitive work, so trying to get them to think about what’s impacting their sleep.
So, sleep happens when your brainwaves slow down, so what are the thoughts that you’re having that keep you up at night? I’m also trained in clinical hypnotherapy, which I love because if you’re not physically aware of what’s happening, I can help you tap into your subconscious mind to help you relax, and I wanna clinical hypnotherapy a little bit more.
Clinical hypnotherapy. Yeah. Have you heard of that before? I’ve never heard of this. I mean, you’ve probably heard of hypnotist, right? Stage hypnotist. You go to Vegas, watch a show, you know, some guys upstairs, uh, stage dancing like a chicken. You know, so really what hypnotherapy is when you take a look at it in terms of the clinical realm, there’s a licensed professional who’s using this type of behavioral therapy for a healing practice.
So dentists use it for people who are really anxious with the drill, right? You can do a quick clinical hypnotherapy to help them relax a little bit. Um, some therapists use it for eating disorders. Um, I knew a lady who was afraid of swimming. She was afraid to be in the water. And so after two sessions, yeah, she was able to swim, which is pretty remarkable.
So the way I use it, or maybe I’ll describe it is when you’re in a trance. So trance is a state where you’re deeply engrossed in something. I guess some people will call it flow state. So imagine you’re driving down the highway in your car. And you’re planning to go to the market and then a song comes up on the radio.
Maybe you’re listening to the oldies or I guess, I don’t know, what are oldies for people in their forties or fifties songs from the eighties or nineties. And the song comes up and it brings you back to the point where you’re in high school or elementary. And then you’re just thinking about that time, that period.
And so that’s sort of like a state of trance. And then lo and behold, you end up at home instead of at the market where you intended to be. Because you were really in this heightened focus state of awareness where you just sort of lost track of your environment. Sometimes that happens when you’re watching a movie.
My kids, this happens really easily in kids. They’re so engrossed in whatever they’re watching, and I’m like in there saying, Hey, hey, are you hungry? Do you need water? And they’re like, Ignoring me. They’re not really ignoring you. Their brain is just so focused on what they’re doing. Nothing else really matters.
And so through clinical hypnotherapy, you get your client, your patient into that heightened focus of awareness state. And then with that, then you add post hypnotic suggestions, which is really positive psychology. You’re a great sleeper. You can sleep anytime you want. The minute you put your head on the pillow, you’re feeling so drowsy.
It’s so comfortable. Your mattress is so cozy. It’s maybe the coziest it’s ever been and you know in this place, in your heart of heart, you can sleep as deeply as you want, as long as you want and you wake up refreshed and you’re ready to start your day. And then we create this perfect day, I like to call it.
They end up in their bed or in a resort or wherever they want to be, whatever’s a perfect day. And I encourage them to listen to it every single night because you can still hear when you’re asleep and that’s the retraining of your brain. So it’s telling your subconscious mind that you certainly can do something.
Because sometimes people come in to me like they identify as bad sleepers. I’m a bad sleeper. I’ve never been a good sleeper since I was a kid. Well, what does that even mean? And sometimes that it comes out to be is that you’re actually just a night owl trying to live a day person’s life. You’re not a bad sleeper.
It’s just that your internal clock doesn’t fit the world around you. So sort of breaking down people’s identities, people’s thoughts in their own sleep and clinical hypnotherapy is great because sometimes if you can’t connect with your cognitive thoughts, then at least we can tell you that you’re a good sleeper unconsciously.
And I’ve had some amazing stories actually, like sometimes I surprised myself. One lady had a history of over 20 years of difficulty sleeping, which resulted for some trauma in her life and on heavy, heavy psych medications really just to sedate her at night. Didn’t want to do that anymore. Saw her for one visit, did the intake.
Yeah, I don’t have any sleep apnea or restless legs or all the, you know, typical medical sleep conditions. And I’m like, well, I do this thing called clinical hypnotherapy. Sometimes it works really well. At the end of the day, if it helps you relax, good. She’s like, sure, let me sign up for it. Two weeks later, we did the visit.
I saw her a month later. She’s like, Doc, I don’t know what you did, but I can sleep eight hours now. I’m still taking my meds, but not as much. And I kid you not, she was only sleeping like three to four hours before. I was actually in shock. Like how well it worked. It doesn’t always work for everybody. And I asked her specifically, well, what do you think was so helpful?
And she’s like, I think you told me basically that I wasn’t broken and that I actually could sleep. So I gave her a little bit of hope. And then she took that and she truly believed it. And she sort of ran with it and it was like, so amazing.
Mark Kinsley: That is absolutely incredible. And congratulations to you and to that wonderful woman who is suffering on helping her get better sleep. And for her to actually get a restful night of sleep. It’s absolutely amazing what happens. My mom, um, recently she, she had a mattress that needed to be replaced and me being.
And the mattress business is a mom, let me get you an Englander mattress. So I had it brought up to her. We set her up and I said, give your body a little bit of time to adjust, you know, because sometimes you’re sleeping on a bad mattress, your, your muscles are fighting for position and you’re going to be supported differently.
You’re going to have different comfort that’s touching your body. And next thing I know, she gave it about three days and she called me. She said, I slept. 11 and a half hours last night, and she was just blown away about how bad her sleep was. And when you tell that story about hypnotherapy and you tell that story about like, I’m a bad sleeper, I think about my mom’s situation and these, these environmental factors or trauma or a life where we’ve spent telling ourselves, I’m not a good sleeper.
You know, it’s like when people say to me, I’m bad with names. I say, is that what you tell yourself? You know, like if you, what you tell yourself has such an impact on your identity and your actions. And I, you know, I’ve seen all these different brain studies that say that you can’t really tell the difference between like a very strong visualization and reality and you know, what we tell ourselves in those words, I think they end up manifesting themselves as true.
So getting people to say. I’m a good sleeper. It’s like, tell yourself that and believe it and trying to believe it. Um, but that’s really hard to do. So I love this idea of clinical hypnotherapy for some massive sleep success. Yeah.
Valerie Cacho: So the American society of clinical hypnotherapy, ash. net. If you can find a person in your area, not everybody does sleep, but you know, they may be able to help you.
So ash. net and I love that. Yeah. I mean, certainly environment can play a huge role, but the thoughts that you have, and I think that’s something that a lot of patients, a lot of women don’t realize is that you can choose better thoughts, the thoughts that you’re having, those ruminating thoughts. I have so much to do.
I’m so overwhelmed. I’m so exhausted and I can’t sleep. That sometimes I guess in the media, they sort of talk about it as sleep anxiety, anxiety in and around sleep, but it doesn’t have to be that way. And I think giving people agency, you can actually choose a different thought. You can create a space within your mind that allows you to relax.
And so another one of my favorite practices to teach patients, it’s the five senses exercise. And um, basically instead of ruminating on a specific thought, I’m not sleeping, it’s dark. It’s going to be another horrible night. I’ve gone through this for the past six months. It’s just going to be awful. I’m going to be so tired the next day.
Can you implant a different thought? And so going into your senses. So start with. The sense of sight. So what are five things that you can see and you can do this in your own environment. What are five things that you can see right now? Well, you just think about it. Your eyes are closed, but I like to add another layer, you know, imagine you’re on this amazing vacation or any place in the past where you’ve had great sleep.
When you were there, what are five things that you can see? So I grew up in Northern California, sort of in the country, and it was super quiet. There’s not a lot of noise pollution or light pollution where my parents live. And I can hear like the frogs and the crickets. And so sometimes if my mind is going, I go, okay, well, what are five things that I can see?
What are four things that I can feel? What are three things that I can hear? Two things that I can smell and then one thing that I can taste and when you anchor your thoughts in your senses It’s really hard for your brain to do too many things at once So instead of thinking about your to do list, just thinking how awful it’s a sleeper You are you’re actually putting yourself in that relaxation mode through your senses And sometimes this works as well.
So they’re just little, I don’t want to call them hacks or I don’t like that word hack. They’re like just big tricks, but they’re actually psychological tools to help improve your parasympathetic response, which is your relaxation response. Because a lot of times we’re just going, going, going, and our sympathetic drive at stress response is just high.
It’s just going too fast. And for a lot of people who can’t sleep, I think of it like, can you park a car going 70 miles an hour? If your brain is just going and going, you’re going so fast, you actually have to, you know. You drive a manual car, right? Downshift. You got to slow down. You got to put the brakes on.
And when your brain slows down, through whatever way you can make it slow down, whether it be thinking about your senses, you know, focusing on your breathing, doing clinical hypnotherapy, there are things that can do the help.
Mark Kinsley: You’ll get there. It’s almost, I just have this strange, maybe, maybe it’s not strange, but it’s almost like this theory of we’re not quite wired for the modern world that we live in, which is constant communication.
Uh, a barrage and bombardment of anything and everything at all moments. Like, I don’t think we’re quite evolved to, like, fit into this type of environment. And so, Our stress response seems to be almost constantly activated for many people.
Valerie Cacho: I call that job security, but jokes aside, yeah, no, I completely, I completely agree.
We’re going all the time and it’s almost so funny as you say that, it’s like, people announce on social media that they’re doing a digital detox and it’s like, you don’t have to announce it, you can just do it, right? Like, it’s okay to pause, but I think it’s almost like I have to give myself that permission, like.
You’re not with that, you know, if you do want to take a pause and you want to take a break, it probably seems like you’re, you know, an extrapolated response, you know, you’re outside the ordinary, but know exactly what you’re saying Mark is, you know, we’re not machines. If you take a look at your computer, if you have windows, you can see that your computer has a sleep mode.
Right? Has shut down, has sleep, right? So, you know, our bodies aren’t meant to keep going and going, and one of the biggest things is that if you don’t get enough sleep, and six hours is the marks, above seven is ideal, but if you sleep less than six hours, it’s really awful for your brain, it’s really awful for your heart, um, from a medical standpoint, and for women, heart disease is the number one killer.
And so, if you’re shortchanging yourself on sleep, are you doing yourself any justice,
Mark Kinsley: right? And there’s so much science out there to corroborate that, back it up and just show like, you know, when you sleep, that’s the time, you know, even dimension now is tied to lack of sleep, you know, with that, that protein that builds up, is it the beta amyloid protein or amyloid beta protein that builds up and the only way to get rid of it is to kind of like flush out your brain.
And the only way to flush out your brain is from, from good quality deep REM rest. For sure. Yeah.
Valerie Cacho: I get that question a lot. How do I get more deep? What question is that? How do I get more deep sleep? My tracker says I’m not getting enough sleep and then they want to biohack their way into it and I’m like, hey, are you prioritizing sleep?
Because that’s number one. Because it’s like, well, what pill can I take? What supplement can I take? And I’m like, well, you know, it’s, it’s called relax. It’s called relax, get off your phone, stop doing work after dinner.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. I mean, when people ask me, you know, of course I’m always an advocate for a good mattress, but I’m like the two things that consistently come up.
Uh, that I’ve heard are get sunlight as soon as you can in the morning. Very first thing in the morning, get sunlight because of all the hormones and the positive amount of cortisol that activates your body. Like you’re, you’re setting up yourself for sleep success later in the night. And then the second thing is have a bedtime routine.
And I put that together intentionally because. You have a time you’re going to bed, and then a routine actually sends the signals to your body and your brain that this is what we’re doing. It’s like when you go to the office, like, you’re going there to work, and all the signals around you say work. So I love sunlight and the bedtime routine, and those, um, you know, sunlight’s its own little prescription, I guess.
Valerie Cacho: Yeah, definitely. Well, sunlight’s so good, because it also helps us absorb vitamin D. And vitamin D is a precursor for hormones, especially melatonin. And yeah, having a bedtime routine is… so, so key. I mean, we do it for our kids. We don’t always do it for us as adults, but we still need that time to wind down.
And your mattress is so key. And I think maybe the nature of how mattresses are so comfortable now, people use them as recliners, right? They want to watch TV. Sometimes if you’re working from home, you want to be on your computer because it’s just so comfortable to hang out in. But I would say that’s probably one of the worst things for my insomnia patients.
Because sometimes they’re just hanging out in bed all day long. Not, maybe not all day, but maybe sometimes I’d say typically 8 to 10 hours, but only sleeping 4 to 5. And then we calculate this thing called sleep efficiency, which is how much time you’re sleeping versus how much time you’re actually lying in bed.
And typically someone who has insomnia has a sleep efficiency of less than 65%, which is not very good. An analogy I have is, right, if you’re going to go to the gym, what are you going to do? Pretty much a hundred percent of the time you’re going to exercise. You go to a restaurant, you eat, but if you’re in your mattress for 50 percent of the time and you’re not sleeping, what’s your brain telling you?
It’s like, well, what do you expect to sleep? Half the time you’re here, you’re just hanging out. So you want, I encourage all the listeners out there. You want your mattress to be a magnet for sleep. A, pick a really good mattress. Make sure it’s super comfortable. Part of what sleep is, is being in a comfortable position, being in a comfortable space.
But also only use your bed for sleep and intercourse. Typically intercourse doesn’t take too long, so it shouldn’t affect your sleep efficiency, depending.
Mark Kinsley: Sleep and sex. That’s it.
Valerie Cacho: Sleep and sex. That’s it. Don’t eat and bed. Don’t, you know, binge on Netflix. I mean, go outside to your couch, right? You know, sometimes people who don’t have a lot of space, I say, just throw a pillow on the floor and put your feet up on the bed and just lie down.
And then when you start to feel sleepy, you know, sometimes people don’t know what that feels like to be sleepy. So I’m like, well, when you start to yawn, when do your eyes start to feel happy, when you feel like your body just slowing down, that’s when you go to bed and that’s the signal.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. And if you miss your sleep window, I’ve read and heard from some, some doctors that it’s almost like a natural REM cycle of 90 minutes.
And so if you start to feel sleepy and you’re not able to go to sleep and you, you fight through it and you stay up watching TV, if it’s like say 9 30 and you start to feel really tired. You really have until like 11 p. m. until you kind of get that next wave of natural tiredness. Is that, is that a real thing?
Valerie Cacho: Yeah. Yeah. We have 90 minute windows. We have four stages of sleep, one, two, three, and around about 90 minutes is when it happens. So yeah. And it’s really interesting because also on the opposite side, sometimes all my patients come in and they have a hard time staying asleep. It’s like, I’m up every 90 minutes, hour and a half, two hours.
I’m like, yep. You’re waking up. And the question is, is this a natural awakening after a normal sleep cycle, or is there an underlying condition that’s causing you to wake up?
Mark Kinsley: Hey, help us, uh, ask some good questions. So, uh, we have many mattress retailers and people in the mattress industry that listen to the show and learning about sleep and becoming better educated is a key part of helping people hopefully get on a path to solving some of the problems they have.
We don’t diagnose, we don’t prescribe, we do try to be sleep products experts, but if somebody comes in, they’re struggling with their sleep and they finally connected the dots that maybe it’s the mattress. What are some other good questions they can ask to help that
Valerie Cacho: person? Ooh, so a person is going in to the mattress store trying to improve their sleep.
What will the client ask or the customer ask? I would say body position. Body position is huge. Um, yeah, there’s a lot I can talk about. Body position. Like where should I start? You know, are you a back sleeper? Are you a side sleeper? Are you a fish out of water? Cause you know, I practice in Hawaii as well.
So we talk about shadow water. Rotisserie chicken. Are you constantly moving around? Um, yeah. Yeah. Because. Sometimes I would say going back because a lot of my patients have untreated undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea and they want to sleep on their back because it’s the most comfortable position for them, but gravity is pulling back their tongue, closing off their airway.
So maybe it’s not the best. Maybe their partner is giving them the elbow, turning, having them turn to their side. And now they’re in a mattress that’s maybe a little bit too firm. So they can only stay on their side for so long before they get some hip and shoulder pain. So maybe there are special pillows that they can use to help them or maybe maybe more medium type.
Mattress. Um, you’re the expert. I don’t want to go too into that, but maybe some other type of mattresses that will diffuse some of that pressure for them. Um, honestly, if someone has a hard time staying asleep and they say, you know, I snore and I don’t want to use the CPAP machine, um, that thing’s awful.
I can never use it. Getting an adjustable bed is so helpful. Because if you are more of a back sleeper, you can’t sleep in your side because that hurts your shoulder and hip. Can you raise your torso? So I probably say this 10 times a day to almost all my patients. Well, one of the best positions to be in is with your torso raised because that keeps your tongue from falling back.
So having, you know, I guess you can use whatever matches for that, but having the adjustable bed can really, really be helpful. Or using a wedge pillow just to prop up your torso can be helpful. I’m wondering if they have any mattresses that allow people to sleep on their stomach. Actually, I was just talking to a patient today that just best position is their stomach, but it causes a lot of like neck discomfort.
So you know, with the, um, massage tables, right? You have that hole cut off and it’s a lot more comfortable because of what that said. When you’re actually on your stomach, it’s the best position for sleep apnea because your tongue is pulled forward, but it’s not the best for your, you know, your spine. So I’m curious if you’ve ever heard of something like that or if that’s an option, probably the best person I can ask.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. Yeah. Well, funny enough, you know, I see a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes and, uh, uh, my new friend, uh, has a patent on a product for that and he’s working to bring that to market and he’s a chiropractor. And he actually would have people that he worked on fall asleep with their face through that hole in the table.
And so that inspired him to develop this specific mattress that has a similar design. And he has a patent on it. He’s working to bring it to market. So there might be a solution there at some
Valerie Cacho: point. Let me know. Yeah, there, I, yeah, that’s a huge market for non CPAP users or people who feel CPAP. Yeah, they can sleep on their
Mark Kinsley: stomach.
And I love what you said about the adjustable base too, because we’re, we’re really big about showing the adjustable base and helping people understand the benefits it has, you know, especially like you said, to people with sleep apnea, um, we have, you know, individual adjustable, you know, split head up adjustable bases.
We have automatically adapting adjustable bases that, that here if decibel and it raises them up to try and keep them asleep while also, you know, relaxing the back of the throat. And, uh, so yeah, that’s a, it’s a huge issue. And I think. The, the statistic I heard was anybody with that you could say had more than a 17 inch neck, um, had a higher likelihood of developing sleep apnea.
So, you know, in the sales process, you hate to kind of like then slice everybody and say, Oh, this, this person probably has the potential for sleep apnea, but it may be a good question. People can ask, um, are you waking up, are you waking up choking or that choking feeling or like, does your spouse or significant other hear you stop breathing?
Are those some things that. could surface those issues.
Valerie Cacho: Yeah, definitely. So the statistic you’re referring to is actually for men. So men who have an X circumference above 17 inches are at increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea. And for a woman, it’s actually a little bit lower. It’s 16 inches. So it’s one piece of the pie that can play a role, but it’s not everything.
I actually saw a lady Who said her doctor wouldn’t order her a sleep study because her neck circumference was less than 16 inches. So she had all the different signs and symptoms. And I was like, what? He’s like missing the mark there. So yeah, it’s one factor, but it’s not all of them. And then for women, one thing to know is that sometimes you can wake up with a headache.
You feel fatigued or you can have irritability and those are actually signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, unfortunately. So you don’t necessarily have to snore to have sleep apnea. So another thing to keep in mind, women are a little bit different. We’re special and beautiful in so many ways, but in terms of our medical conditions, sometimes our symptoms can be a lot more mild and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an underlying medical condition such as
Mark Kinsley: And that’s frustrating and a little bit scary too, because you could have all of these symptoms that manifest themselves and not know the right question to even ask, or not even have a medical professional consider that you would have sleep apnea.
So, uh, you know, it’s almost like, it’s not the same, but a lot of people, it’s very difficult to diagnose Lyme for long periods of
time. Whereas this is a similar situation in terms of like, you wouldn’t even know to ask the question. Right. But you’re just feeling the symptoms.
Valerie Cacho: Yeah, definitely. And some of the statistics show that about a third of primary care physicians or primary care providers actually talk about sleep with their patients.
You know, they have a long, long list of things that they’re going through, right? Like your mammogram, your colonoscopy, your blood sugars, your, you know, your weight. And it’s like sleep is probably at the bottom. Um, and I’m glad that there’s podcasts such as yourself that really educate people on really reliable information of how important sleep is.
So thank you for what you do, Mark.
Mark Kinsley: Well, it’s a pleasure and thank you so much for being here and being on the show. I know you have, uh, this really great website Sleepphoria, S L E E P H O R I A dot com. And, uh, Dr. Val, thank you for everything you’re doing to promote better sleep to women and men and everybody, um, that comes in and, and seeks your services.
I think, you know, I’m really passionate about, you know, if we, Get better sleep. It’s the foundation of health and wellness with mental health and nutrition and fitness being the pillars that benefit on top of that. Um, so thank you for everything you’re doing and congratulations on all your success and the success you’ve had helping people get that better night’s sleep.