Claus, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Likewise, Stephan, looking forward to having this interview with you today.
I attended a workshop that you gave at Upgrade Labs. Dave Asprey was present. He was a guest on a previous episode. I’m a big fan of Dave and Bulletproof. He had you come and speak at the Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica talking about sleep. That’s exactly what I want to have us talk about today in this episode. How to hack our sleep so that we get much better quality sleep, get enough sleep, don’t have too many wake-ups in the middle of the night, don’t have low-quality sleep where we’re not getting enough deep sleep, and all that good stuff that makes us more bulletproof and have longevity.
If you could share where you were at in terms of your sleep prior to implementing the various sleep hacks that you know about and then after? I’m presuming that your sleep used to be worse than it is now that you have all these great tools, I’m guessing.
Certainly, a good point as sleep for me, as a young teenager, was always important. So, this means we’re going back for almost 30 years. In 30 years, I have recognized that I have to optimize my sleep room environment, the way I’m sleeping, and how long I sleep. I could not function when I had a shortage of sleeping hours.
When I was traveling, I didn’t feel the sleeping environment gave me some benefits. I was around 20 years old at this time. Since then, I do all my sleep-related hacks and I pay pretty much attention to the environment where I’m staying. This means I moved from various countries during this timeframe starting off in Frankfurt, Germany where I lived the beginning of my life, including five years in Switzerland. For a short time, I traveled around New Zealand and my roots guided me to Canada for 18 years.
In the last three years, I reside here in Los Angeles, California. During this journey of my life, I always focused on the importance of my own personal sleep and I took all the knowledge—what I learned in my younger years—and I created my perfect sleeping environment in where I live.
Actually, I don’t recall the last time when I have not slept perfectly at home. Obviously, I’m still traveling today for various reasons and anytime I’m in a new environment and things are not working out, then I look a little bit closer on where I sleep and what is around me. And the correlation is pretty clear to me.
We know sleep is important. A lot of people talk about why we sleep and why sleep is important. Dave Asprey, Dr. Mercola, JJ Virgin, you can name all the influencers here in the United States and other parts of the world who know the importance of sleep. I like to go there for a little bit, but at the end of the day, we have to find a way to implement some of the basic things and we have to make those decisions to do so.Sleep is the third pillar of your longevity and health. Click To Tweet
Right, and it takes some investment in cash as well as some behavior changes to make this stuff happen. If you start at home, that’s where you’re going to get the greatest leverage because you spend most of your nights there. But if you travel a lot for business like you and I do, then you’re going to need a whole other set of travel sleep hacks to add to your arsenal as well. Why don’t we start with the home and then we’ll move to the travel environment and hotels, Airbnbs, and all that as a next step after?
Absolutely. Again, when we talk about sleep and why sleep is important, we do understand sleep is the third pillar of our longevity and our health. Besides nutrition and the aspect of fitness, the third part is definitely sleeping. I think many people do not take sleep seriously.
It’s really important to figure this out. When you look at the statistics, how much time I spent sleeping, the number or the importance is actually quite clear. When we’re looking at a 24-hour day, you technically sleep a third of the day, this means eight hours. When we’re looking over the time frame of 75 years average lifespan, we spend 25 years in bed.
The bed can be an environment. It can be the twin-size that is two square meters or a king-size that is four square meters. At the end of the day, it’s a very small area where we spend a huge amount of time. The point is shocking and an awakening call.
In this case, we have to focus on our bedroom environment. To optimize our bedroom, there’s a handful of stuff that you can do. This depends a little bit if you own the property or you’re renting it, or if you see it as a short-term or long-term, but generally speaking, your bedroom is the most important room in your home. I see this over and over again especially when people do own homes, they’re spending a huge amount of money and effort in downstairs levels, like kitchen, living room entrance, the backyard, the garden, the front entrance. Anytime you walk upstairs where normally bedrooms are located, the effort actually goes away quite substantially.
What goes into high-end biohacker’s bedroom? If we were to go into your bedroom, or Dave Asprey’s, or Ben Greenfield’s, or JJ Virgin’s, what would the setup look like? What will be the equipment in there? How much would all this cost?
Generally speaking, in those kinds of bedrooms, what we pay attention is the exposure of noise level. Noise levels are definitely an indicator for you, especially when you’re on the vacationing site and you are a lighter sleeper, any noise level in the nights can awaken you very quickly. When everything becomes very silent around you during nighttime, car traffic is down going tremendously, airplane travels go down, and other noise levels will be reduced. Anything that still creates a sound during the nighttime can wake you up very quickly.
We always recommend locating your bedroom in the part of the house facing a backyard, like your own garden, or anything that is further away from any potential noise disturbance from the streets like ambulances, police departments, and other emergency crews called in the night time. This definitely would give you a nice wake-up call. We would want to make sure the bedrooms are facing the back of the house.
Of course, when you own a property, there are certain kinds of building materials and windows you could use to definitely lower the exposure of outside levels. Buying a double glass window, using sound material in the ceiling and walls. But this is already done pretty early when you’re building a home, so there’s not much that you can do afterward. We have to live with how this property or this home was built. But again, at least, locate the bedroom to the farthest room away from any potential disturbance during the nighttime.
Internally, of course, you try to want to avoid any alarm clock with ticking noise or any other equipment that creates a sound. Even the little tiny sound in your own environment can wake you up in the night time very easily. I definitely remember the old-fashioned alarm clocks where we had the tick-tick noise. That thing was pretty annoying. Now people, of course, have digital watches and other kinds of alarm clocks. They’re very silent but then they’re creating another problem on top of it, and I will come to this a little bit later.
Anyway, try to make sure there’s nothing in your bedroom that does not belong there. The bedroom should also be no office environment, or a playground, or a TV room, or something else. The bedroom is just strictly designed for the purpose of sleeping.
When people like to read a book, of course, you might want to have your last half an hour of the day to read some pages, but I’m still a big fan of reading environments in my living room as well. I really want to make this a clear transition between the bedroom and the rest of the house. In the moment, I’m walking through this door into my bedroom. There are only two more things that happen, just the sleep time and your time with your partner to have intimacy. That’s pretty much it. The rest, there’s nothing else that should happen in the bedroom.
No watching TV? No on your laptop? No smartphone usage? None of that?
None of this stuff. It’s not even the danger from EMF-related issues and also the blue light exposure. It’s already not the right approach to get a good night’s sleep when you’re still in working mode. Somehow, you have to physically and mentally disconnect yourself from the daytime. Working happens normally during the daytime. Actually, working is normally supposed to be within the circadian rhythm of our body. The circadian rhythm of our body depends on the sunrise and sunset. This is the way how we function the best and where we perform the best.
When the sun goes up, it’s time to get ready to go to work and when the sun goes down, it’s time to get ready to stop working. Remember, this is already extended hours. Right now, we have a sunrise around seven o’clock in the morning and the sun is almost up till nine o’clock so this would be a pretty damn long working day. We’re talking about twelve hours. A normal working day in the United States or in other parts of the world is anywhere between seven to eight hours. You’re already adding to it but this is the general idea.
I like this idea to have this clear transition between the rest of the house and your bedroom to make really sure this is my sleep sanctuary and this is the room where I don’t want any of those equipments around me anymore. It’s now time to sleep and you need your eight hours of sleep.
Some people disagree with me about the length of sleep. Even Dave likes to sleep a little bit less than eight hours. He’s more like a person who thinks he gets enough sleep with 4–6 hours. I disagree with him on it and other people as well. Then again, we for sure know from the medical point of view, shortening your sleep can have long-term negative side effects on your general health and your aging process. I think it’s very important to get eight hours of sleep.
Let’s continue a little bit more regarding the bedroom. We talked about the noise level. Let’s talk a little bit more about light exposure. Blackout curtains are essential for your bedroom. You can have very inexpensive solutions with a metal wire running from the left to the right side of the wall, little tiny clips, blackout fabric to attach to those wires, and then really blackout your light exposure from outside. Even by bright night time from the light of the moon or the stars can wake you up and doesn’t let you sleep in the same way when you go to sleep totally blackout.
It’s very important to have no light or whatsoever. Even the tiniest light from any device. What I mean is installed in your bedroom, I’m talking about the little things on the ceiling, detecting gas leaks, even a little tiny light like this can interfere with your sleep efficiency and sleep quality, especially when you’re a little bit on the sensitive side.Shortening your sleep can have long-term negative side effects on your general health and aging process. Click To Tweet
My dear friend, Luke Storey, he travels a lot, too, and anytime he’s in a hotel environment, he has to tape any little LED lighting from any devices. Otherwise, he could not sleep at all through the night.
Yeah. Luke, by the way, is a good friend of mine, too, and he’s been on this podcast three different times.
Awesome. His story is always one of me. He’s the most sensitive person I do know about this subject. Make sure you can get rid of all these devices. Of course, that starts with the stuff that you can actually move. Again, back to the TV, to the satellite receiver, to the DVR player, to your laptop, to your phone, and to a PC in your bedroom. Those are all the things which should not be in the room. Disconnect from your working environment and social media life. This interferes already with the light exposure and it can not let you sleep. We have to really understand how this works.
When your body hit the circadian rhythm and tells you it’s nighttime, then all of a sudden, you have a light exposure at nighttime, there will be a signal to your brain to the pineal glands with high amounts of cortisol levels. When you have any light exposure at nighttime, it increases your cortisol levels and lowers your melatonin levels. Your melatonin is your sleeping hormone.
And you said it’s the pineal gland?
The pineal gland, yes. There are alternatives. We could take any supplements, but this also creates another problem. Our body is so smart, when you take supplements for something, the body maybe says, “Oh, I don’t have to do anything for this anymore. Let me wait for the next little tiny pill to swallow and the pill can do the work for me to creating this product called melatonin and I can have a rest.” Unfortunately, your pineal gland will create even less melatonin. This is really crucial. Our own body’s melatonin is much better than any melatonin that we can take in any kind of supplement.
What you’re saying is that, if you start taking melatonin supplements, then your pineal gland will get lazy and get used to you taking the supplements. Then when you stop, it will not make up the difference nearly as well. The melatonin that your body makes is much better and more effective than the melatonin that you would take as a supplement?
Correct. Again, this function totally blocks a handicapped with light exposure. Now we covered the sounds, the lights, the disconnects from work and social media lives. Let’s get going out to air.
Before you go to air, let me just clarify a couple of things. One, can I wear an eye mask instead of blocking out all the light with the blackout curtains?
Yes, this would be a travel tip for me. In hotels, we normally find very good blackout curtains. The eye mask maybe creates other problems. Some people are sensitive to have a rubber band around their head or when you have very long eyelashes, then the eye mask can disturb you. But if you don’t see an issue with it, it fits absolutely.
Even if you get light exposure on your skin, but you’re wearing the eye mask, you should be fine or is it best not to even have your skin exposed to the light?
Actually, that’s a good point. There is some correlation, the skin takes in light exposure to a certain amount as well. But again, before I would have a full blast amount of light, I would wear the eye mask when you don’t have any option to blackout your curtains. But ultimately, I would say a blackout curtain should be the final solution.
Okay. Is it important that the blackout curtains be organic?
Yeah. We should create an organic environment. Is fabric off-gassing? Yes, the fabric can off-gas. It depends where this is made and how this is made. But anything that is maybe 100% cotton or other material that is a little bit thicker like felt or something, should be in the tolerance of the exposure of off-gassing. I don’t see a huge amount of concerns about fabric in off-gassing.
My concern is in other building materials were more important like carpets, flooring, paint and stuff like that. I would definitely try to find something organic that can blackout lights, maybe you want to pay attention to some of the blackout curtains. It’s maybe wider and other plastic materials, those are definitely more off-gassing and there, you definitely should not make the compromise to buy something non-organic.
Got it. Okay, now, the noise level situation, earplugs are those good?
Absolutely. This would be a hack for traveling. Take your earplugs, put them in your ears, but again, they can fall out of your ear very easily, even if you squish them in quite deep. I have this problem in airplanes where I try to sleep with an eye mask and earplugs, but then after half an hour or an hour, I always lose one of those damn things.
If you want to become a little bit more advanced, then buy something that goes around your head. It’s like when you go to the construction sites and you see those guys on the big equipment or when you go to the airport and the guys who are getting the airplane ready to take off on the field, they’re wearing the heavy-duty noise-protecting pieces. This would be something possible, too.
But then again, this may give you a huge discomfort with the pressure on your ears on the left and the right side and this may be in the way during sleeping as well. Again, many of you are very light sleepers and you live in an open environment—many people do—then you may not have a lot of options to use something like that.
And if you’re wearing noise-canceling headphones, that’s also an electronic device, right?
Yeah, then we open up the other issues regarding the electric fields and magnetic fields. When they are transmitting noises through a Wi-Fi signal, then we’re dealing with the issue of radio frequencies. I think this would be the less recommended choice on my part.
Yeah, because of the EMF exposure. By the way, listeners, we have a whole episode covering EMF exposure and how to mitigate that with Brian Hoyer. That’s a great episode you should check out. If you go to my show notes, I’ll include links, in this episode show notes too, all the different resources that we talk about, the various related episodes like the three episodes that I had Luke Storey on, an episode where I had Brian Hoyer on, all that will be at getyourselfoptimized.com/209 and that works for any episode.
What if you wanted to listen to binaural beats, meditation music, or something that gets you into a trance state before you fall asleep? Do you have to do it in a different room? Do you have to wake up to get it out of the room at the very end?
Yeah, I would say you can do something like this in your bedroom, but I want you to understand the location where you sleep. I don’t want you to wander around the house. Actually, at SAMINA, we do have a sound cushion as well. It’s a little tiny wooden box where there’s the adaptable charger that you can charge the battery so there’s no direct contact to any electromagnetic fields through an outlet. This little wooden box contains a chip with different sounds and noises for different cycles of sleep, anywhere between four and eight hours. For some people who are suffering under a burnout syndrome or really are extremely stressed out, we do recommend this device and we had a very good success rate already.
There are also some less inexpensive choices. SAMINA is always a little bit more on the pricey side. Our products are made in Austria, Europe under the guidelines of the founder and owner of SAMINA, who is a scientist, a professor, a medical doctor, and a psychologist, and he does not make any shortcuts. He only uses authentic materials and always the best solutions.
At the end of the day, anytime you buy something less expensive in life, you don’t get enjoyment from it because the stuff breaks down much faster. It’s much sooner than you’d hoped for and replacements cost pollution in our world and it will drain your pockets. It’s a slightly different approach.
However, you can definitely have your iPhone on airplane mode and have your headset and listen to music. Maybe you fall in this transcendental state and, hopefully, you can still press the button to put your phone off. At the moment your phone is on airplane mode, you still can actually use your alarm clock. Some people tell me they need alarm clocks, but at the same time, you can listen to your sound and music. When for any reason you don’t press the button while you’re already falling asleep and the sound level is not bothering you, then you can sleep with the noises in your background. This definitely will work. Those are the main component.Preventive health care starts with investing in your own health and sleep. Click To Tweet
Let’s come for another very important component. This is all the off-gassing in your bedroom. Off-gassing starts for me already with the wall paint, carpeting, and furnishings in the bedroom. You definitely have not too much impact on the rental, what paint they’re using and what flooring. It’s always nice to try to find something with a real hardwood floor and maybe a water-based paint, but when this was not the case, then you have to acknowledge this and you have to live with it.
There is definitely one piece where you have a huge impact and this is your mattress. This is where we’re coming from at SAMINA, we’re focusing on the mattress and the sleeping surface. We call it actually a Sleep System. The mattress is something that you have absolutely under control. You can decide to sleep on it or you can decide against it. The whole idea of the work that we do here with SAMINA—we have a SAMINA team here in Los Angeles. With the biohackers and influencers, we want to educate you guys how important it is to purchase the right mattress and how much we should take this view more seriously.
Anytime I talk to people, they totally understand what they’re eating, what they’re drinking, especially in the biohacking world. There’s a huge amount of awareness but anytime I’m asking them, “Do you know on what you sleep?” The answer is just a flat no. Just no. People do not know. They do know what they’re taking in their mouth and know what they drink, they’re very knowledgeable about these products but they don’t know anything about the sleeping surface where you spend a third of the day, a third of your life. This is something that is just shocking. It’s a disconnection between the way how we think and how I think people should think.
You only can optimize and perform 100% the next day when you get something out of your mattress. To get something out of your mattress when you sleep, you do need some products under you who actually can give you some benefits. When you’re looking in the conventional bedding industry, something that is somehow made in one of those huge factories with a lot of chimneys, liquids, and pressure machines, there is not a single piece of nature existing to me. It’s all filled with petroleum-based items, synthetic foams, and somehow, in the end, fire retardants. Those products did not come from the mother nature, they are just petroleum-based or chemical-based and they just have no benefits for any human.
Guys like Luke, he’s walking barefoot a lot and doing grounding, what we actually accomplished in our sleep system as well, you understand you can walk barefoot on a piece of sand, or grass, or in the desert and you really have a grounding effect. But when we would walk barefoot on a street like a cement floor, asphalt, or any building, we are not grounded. When there is any electro wiring under the sidewalk in urban environments and you are barefoot all of a sudden, you’re actually attracting even more electro fields, magnetic fields, or even radio frequencies to your body.
When you spend so much time in bed, then this becomes a very important aspect as well. You really should know what is in your mattress. Before people buy a mattress—this can be any brand—you should really ask people, “Can you disclose the contents to me?” And you will be surprised by what the answers are. People using and creating new words and fantasy words, they’re most likely trademark. They call it liquids, blue foam, blue gel, and cooling gel.
Yeah, those names. Those names never exist in nature either. Those are man-made words and again, they’re getting a trademark on it right away so other companies cannot use it. Then you want to ask a little bit deeper about the real contents, they most likely will not disclose to you the real content.
At the end of the day, all this stuff is petroleum-based. It’s a synthetic foam. The problem, I think started with the online mattress sales in stores. People got pretty much annoyed to walk to a retailer for buying a mattress—what I understand to some extent as well—so the online market was growing very quickly a couple of years ago.
In the meantime, this is a billion-dollar industry where you have a shot and you can go online and order this damn thing. Those mattresses come in tiny boxes and then when you open up the box, this thing is inflating in your bedroom into a king-size bed. What is approximately six times longer, the length is always the same, but six times wider than the box? Then you really think this is organic? I don’t think so. Anything that inflates like this, it’s petroleum-based from the beginning. Again, you would not eat it and you would not drink it but we sleep on it.
I actually bought one of those and as crazy how the other thing expands. We didn’t love sleeping on it so we had the 30-day return policy. We had it taken out. Also, it smelled weird. It smelled like it was off-gassing something.
Even the smell maybe disappears at some point, we do have relationships with medical doctors throughout Canada and the United States where they clearly see the evidence in people’s strands and tissue from the off-gassing of those products. This doesn’t mean that I don’t see it and I don’t smell it, I’m safe. No, you’re not safe. Again, I do recommend when people buy a mattress to clearly understand the contents of this product.
Mattresses should be made out of a handful of material only. There should be organic-certified cotton fabric around it. There should be a huge amount of merino wool, this could be natural rubber, but we prefer the Talalay rubber out of Indonesia that is the rubber component. What seems in our standards the best choice and maybe some wooden slats for spinal support. Especially with SAMINA, their mattresses, these wooden slats are more imitating, the holding system for existing mattresses like a futon or other stuff. Of course, you should have for sure a metal-free bed frame including no iron bed frames and minimizing the exposure of any screws and other metal hardware on your bed frames regarding EMF exposure again.
Those are the main components. Again, it’s organic-certified cotton, merino wool, natural rubber and a handful of wooden parts. Then when you believe grounding could be an important feature for you, we do recommend of course grounding sheets and crowning pads. They contain silver. Silver is a much better conductor of EMFs and radio frequencies than the human body.
Technically speaking, when the human body is in bed, it’s highly conductive. But when something is under you, what is even a better conductor, you’re actually really able to reduce those exposurse in the night time substantially to a very low body voltage.
This is what we do at SAMINA as well. We do home consultation in the Los Angeles area and other areas throughout the US. When our travel schedule allows us, we measure body voltage in people’s bedrooms. There are some general guidelines acknowledged by Dr. Mercola and Dr. Klinghardt. Those are the leading persons in this country in looking after this and they’re both big SAMINA sleepers and SAMINA fans.
That’s awesome. Again, organic cotton, Indonesian rubber, what’s the name of that rubber?
It’s called the processes of Talalay rubber, the original source is Indonesia. It’s most likely a Dutch company that creates these foams, we find the best sourcing area there so whoever manufactures foam mattresses, of course, they should consider buying the sources. When people creating foam mattresses—there’s a handful brands in this country—they’re buying from those sources where they’re very reliable and they’re the best in the market compared to other countries in the world.
Yeah. Why merino wool and not any kind of wool?
Merino wool is very good and merino wool has benefits. We call it needle wool, so the wool has more resistance against body weight. The wool topper stays fluffier during long-term use. Merino wool is so crucially important for the temperature control of the human body. When you’re not able to cool down your temperature at the beginning of sleep, you will have trouble sleeping through the night.
This is one of the reasons everybody who’s using a petroleum-based mattress, their first complaint is it’s too hot and constantly turning, tossing, and sweating. This is a side effect that you have already on the first night when something is not organic. Those three symptoms and those symptoms have a huge impact on your sleep efficiency. When you are using an aura ring or any other sleep device, you will definitely see a huge amount of body movement and the sleep efficiency drops down substantially including awakening times are extended compared to a normal sleep cycle.
While those three symptoms are very bothersome to sleep, as constantly turning and tossing takes a toll out of you. Think about it. A female is anywhere between 100 and 160 pounds on average. A male person is anywhere between 160 and 220 pounds. To move these body weights around in the middle of the night when you’re in a stage of deep sleep or sleep period, it’s a pretty exhausting environment. We do turn and toss roughly anywhere between 60 and 75 times in the night time; that is a normal body movement. But we do know people when they measure their sleep, some of them turn 200, 300, 400 times and this definitely takes a toll out of you and you’re totally exhausted the next morning.
Then the other issue I have very much concern and one of the reasons Dave Asprey likes SAMINA so much is that he had exposure to mold. It’s very easy to incur mold in your bed especially, again, synthetic-based mattresses, nothing can breathe, nothing gets exposed to the outside airflow in your bedroom environment.Your bedroom is the most important room in your home. Click To Tweet
The human body sleep in those beds. You’re already losing a glass of water per night under normal conditions, but in those environments, some people tell me they’re sweating so much, they have to change the sheets in the morning or pajamas when they use them while they’re soaking wet.
This normally happens when you are dealing with a cold or severe fever. This is the self-healing power of a human body but this should not happen during normal sleep. This encourages moisture to travel inside of the mattress, this issue may also create mold. When you get sick from mold, this is extremely painful recovery and it takes a long time and costs a huge amount of money.
Of course, we also have to worry about the dust mites. Dust mites love moist environments where they can live and hide. Dust mites like to drink liquid, your human body sweats. They like to eat it, your dead skin cells. Each human loses about two to three grams of dead skin cells. That is normal. This is less than a teaspoon of sugar so it’s not much, but enough to give dust mites encouragement and they do the same what humans do is when you eat and drink, you poop. Dr. Klinghardt, I will never forget, mentioned this in one of his seminars where I was present. His findings are showing up to anywhere between four to seven pounds of dust mite poop in one year in the conventional-based mattress.
Oh, my goodness. Do you have to beat it out of the mattress or vacuum it out?
Yeah. These mattresses are so heavy, you can’t actually move them around. They’ll be anywhere between 200 and 300 pounds, those foam mattresses are very hard to move. Not much what you can do. You cannot really bring it outside. Of course, sunlight would kill and clean stuff like this but this is also so deep in the mattress, it’s almost impossible.
At the end of the day, you’re stuck with it and there’s not much what you can do. You can use a vacuum cleaner and touch the surface, but you’re not fixing the whole issue. The issue is still deep inside of your mattresses. While we are talking about the mattress step of anywhere between 9 and 12 inches, very often, those mattresses are just heavy. You need a whole moving team to move them from the beginning, so you’re stuck with it.
With SAMINA, we don’t have to worry about it and other organic brands when they contain only merino wool and natural rubber. Those systems are much more breathable and they’re also much easier to move around, especially in our case. Our system is divided in the middle, to the left and the right sides and then you roll each piece together like little yoga mats. This makes it extremely easy to bring.
For example, the wool top to the morning sun would be a proper way to clean and keep this product authentic for the long term of use of 20 years. Bring this out once in a while and then the sunshine and fresh air will do the trick. Sunshine and fresh air are the best cleaning solution in the world and it’s free. Instead of going to a dry cleaner or putting it in your washing machine. You destroy merino wool and then when you use washing soap that is not organic, you’re putting chemicals and bleaching in your washing machine as well.
What about a mattress cover to cover the mattress?
Mattress covers like conventional ones are synthetic-based. This means the human body sweats even more. So, you’re not giving yourself a favor there either. You should use organic-fabric cover, which is organic-based. At SAMINA, we do over a 100% certified organic mattress cover to make sure if there’s anybody liquid, it can be absorbed and protect the mattress to penetrate. But again, this is the only item I know. The rest of the commercial world is synthetic-based and they call it the dust-mite protector, but they don’t consider the huge amount of sweating again.
There are various cooling beds now on the market and the idea is for sure good for people who don’t want to exchange the petroleum-based mattress right now to invest in a healthier mattress. They could buy a cooling pad that will definitely lower the body temperature during sleep, maybe controls even the body temperature during sleep. But then, you maybe have EMF exposure again, so for sure, the electric fields and magnetic fields go up.
Most likely, you will add more petrochemicals in your bed, but you have already a lot in your bed anyway so it doesn’t matter. At least you’re fixing the temperature issue and you maybe start sleeping better through the night. This is a very short-term way to fix things. We, at SAMINA and in Europe are looking always the long-term way how to fix things and never the short term.
What you have to consider now these days with having this horrible weather conditions right now, with extremely hot weather, wildfires, and water flooding. There is obviously global warming. One aspect of global warming is the huge amount of trash we’re creating and we do all know about the danger of plastic in oceans and stuff.
The mattress industry is definitely a huge polluter of trash year by year. Those mattresses have a very short lifespan from the beginning and people cannot take it much longer so they’re changing those mattresses every two or three years. Where does this stuff go? It goes to landfills where the stuff cannot really degrade at all. Or they put it in an environment where they try to burn down the stuff. Then they’re creating more pollution and blow this up in the air. This goes up in the air and goes outside the environment and this creates all these problems with the environment.
We should be thinking also in regards to your own health, which is so important from the mattress and mattress purchase will have a positive impact on the exposure of exposing old mattresses. You will slow down this process substantially especially with us at SAMINA, our mattress lasts for 20 years. There is no need to buy another mattress. If for any reason, something is worn out, all the organic materials have a certain lifespan but it depends a little bit on your environment where you are. You don’t have to replace the whole mattress, you’re only replacing part of the mattress.
When you’re buying a car, your car has a flat tire, you most likely buy one tire or the two tires on the front or in the back on the wheel or when your oil temp rocks down or the air conditioning compressor. You only pay the product that is broken, you don’t buy another car when something breaks down. This is how you should see a potential mattress purchase.
Yeah, if only iPhones were that way, huh?
Yeah, it will be nice. In sleep, again, the mattress is so important.
We talked about the impact of petrochemicals, but let’s talk a little bit about the box-spring mattresses is the new world out there with box-spring mattresses. I did not mind this idea a hundred years ago, this is when box-spring mattresses gave their startups. They most likely came out of England or Sweden or some of the northern countries. But this time, a hundred years ago, we hardly had any electricity, electricity was just born in the Industrial Age and then we had only electromagnetic fields. But then, when the military came up with the radar to guide airplanes from A to B, we all of a sudden have exposure to radio frequencies. Then the metal spring industry, the metal beds are creating huge issues.
We do know by fact—Luke will be confirming this—you can actually measure the metal spring bed air traffic control and you can listen to it. We have a very simple device and the truss under metal spring mattresses close to the airport environment, you can listen to air traffic control. Those metal springs acting like antennas. They’re metal-based and they go in the little cycle. You actually can see this on the long-distance, U-Haul trucks. They have skinny antennas on the left side or right side, those drivers and they’re talking to each other through radio frequencies. They have those little copper coils around it to have a better signal when they’re in the desert. This has a huge impact. The impact is nothing else to put your head in the microwave and turn your microwave on, but no one will do.Your bedroom is your sleep sanctuary. Click To Tweet
If this happens in the night time at the moment, the human body is on top of a metal spring mattress. You will reinforce these frequencies and have huge issues under the medical point of view. What Dr. Mercola, Dr. Klinghardt, and other health petitioner knowledge, you will definitely increase again cortisol levels and will lower your melatonin levels.
Now, we have already two issues, the light, and the EMF. But on top of it, under dark field microscopy, you will definitely see the efficiency of your red blood cell’s oxidation. This is an old traditional test called dark-field microscopy, which was done already quite a while ago. Normally, we do have roughly three billion red blood cells floating side by side and you can recognize oxidation in those blood cells They’re flowing through your body in the entire night and they prevent your body to get human inflammation.
A medical doctor will confirm this to you. I’m not a medical doctor, I did not study medicine, but I listen to some of the medical doctors to their advice and what they say. The deficiency of oxygenation can lead to human inflammation, that is the start of chronic diseases.
So essentially, the EMF exposure through those metal springs that are like these tiny antennas will effectively glue our red blood cells together?
Yes, and this is the biggest issue for me. This also happens when you have all these electric devices in your bed like your cell phone turned on, your Wi-Fi router under the bed or any Bluetooth devices transmitting a frequency that travels magically from A to B.
Now the world comes up with 5G. This means there will be way more cell phone towers in residential neighborhoods and people have even more exposure for driverless cars. This will actually increase the risk of this issue at all and this definitely is a problem. You can fix this problem, of course, during the daytime. Walk barefoot on a piece of grass or in the desert on the ground or on the beach, but this is something that is very difficult in areas that have winter and we are working, so that’s not much time to do it.
We have a grounding pad that we do offer at SAMINA. We do this magically during the nighttime, lift a metal under you and direct contact to your outlet and most of the houses in this country are still probably grounded. There are, of course, small concerns about the dirty electricity and maybe some millivoltage on your ground in your outlet.
You definitely can fix this issue very quickly as well in a moment you actually turn off the breaker to the bedroom by hand or you can buy your kill switch that will disable the power to the outlet where the grounding pad is attached to the block. You can disable this outlet, the electricity, and then you have definitely no issue with the electricity or any potential millivoltage on the ground. Of course, our grounding pad has no direct contact with the human body.
There are two principles the market. The one who works with direct contact and we, at SAMINA decided to create a product that does not need a direct contact of the human body. This seems a very safe and very effective way to ground yourself. Then you can make up for it but we do not recommend any metal spring mattresses other than a metal bed frame.
Just last week, we had a home consultation and someone was lying in the full mattress. I measured the EMF on it, actually I measured the body voltage, and we had about 1020 millivolt on this human and the guideline in Germany and in the German-speaking countries below 100 millivolts. It went above 10 times. That is a problem but in a moment this person touched the bed frame with her feet or by hand, we had 2500 millivolts. We actually had 25 times more exposure. This definitely will put the impact on your sleep efficiency, your sleep quality, and on the oxygenation of your red blood cells.
Wow, that’s mind-expanding stuff here, all this stuff you’re sharing. Now, there’s something else I wanted to make sure our listeners know about your beds, and beds in general, that is a pretty ninja sleep hack, and that is to have them at an incline. Could you talk a bit more about that?
Yeah. This is something where again, Dave Asprey, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Tom Moorcroft and Dr. Klinghardt see a huge advantage and everybody should take this advantage even with having not a proper bed frame, you can incline your bed, any bed, up to three to five degrees with wooden blocks or stones, brick stones right under the headboard and create this angle. What happens is your lymphatic system works twice as good as sleeping horizontally. This has something to do with gravity.
At the moment, the human body from standing position goes down to this horizontal position. Our heart pressure needs almost the entire time to make this tiny adjustment to push less against gravity while when we’re standing. We have a high amount of gravity when we lie down. The gravity goes of course substantially away, but again, our heart needs a huge time frame to slow down this process. This means you will fill up your entire brain with too much blood.
While there is a magic door between the breasts of the body that is the brain barrier, this brain barrier door gets to open up during the horizontal sleep flat. Then again, you fill up your entire brain with too much blood and your brain cannot expand. This will not allow the brain to flush out, the toxin would be collected during the daytime and this creates a huge amount of problem.
The second problem is when we do not eat organic food all the time—this is very difficult while traveling in foreign countries or traveling periods—we have that time and always access to organic food-based dinners. Anytime you eat non-organic food, we do know we have a higher risk of heavy metals in food intake. Those metals can end up in your bloodstream and they are reaching your brain when you sleep horizontally. Those heavy particles can get stuck in your brain and then when you get up in the morning, this door is getting shut down again to regulate the blood pressure between the rest of the body and your brain. Then those heavy metals can cause chronic diseases.
If the incline feature anywhere between three and five degrees, we’re making sure your body, your lymph draining system and your lymph system from your brain can flush out all this toxin twice as fast in doing horizontal sleep.
The biggest hack for me is actually lowering your heartbeat by 3000 heartbeats, what seems average in one night. When we’re considering heart diseases are the cause of death, number one in the United States, this can be a good feature for many people to live longer and maybe really age 200.
Dave Asprey wants to sleep till 150 so this was his choice to sleep inclined as well so maybe this will help you substantially. Then you can make the math, depends how old are you and how many years an average have in front of you, 3000 heartbeats seems a lot of saving for our heart and when our heart works less hard, our heart can maybe live much longer.
Also when we’re looking in the more traditional sleep issues like sleep apnea, snoring, and acid reflux, this seems to be a very good idea to try those angles and maybe you can sleep. Again I’m not a medical doctor, of course. Sleep apnea masks are very often recommended by the sleep doctors and they’re sometimes a very important tool, but again, you can try this on your own. It depends on how strong your sleep apnea is or your snoring issues. With the incline feature, we do see some good responses from customers with recurring issues and your spouse most likely will tell you, “Hey, honey, you’re snoring less or you’re snoring more,” so it’s always a good self-finding.
I think I sleep now inclined for three years. SAMINA developed this actually quite earlier but took us a little time to come up with a much smarter bed frame solution. What we do in our in-house—this is also one of the big features here with SAMINA—we’re both creating bed frames in-house. We have German master cabinet makers so we are very much proud of handcrafted furniture with some of the woods in our own forest. My business partner has 300 acres in Canada of various woods, but we also buy wood from lumber, a lot of walnuts and other species. This wood gets some final destination, otherwise, wood can rotten in the forest or they’re doing some stupid stuff out of it, but we give the tree a final destination.
This is your bed frame and those bed frames have a very sleek solution to change the legs on the outside without touching them actually mattress, to create those angles and you still have the flexibility for them. For any reason you dislike it, you can go back to horizontal sleep. But again, most of those sales we have are inclined and the response rate is 98% of my clients prefer it. They never change it. I had two percent of my clients went back more through the traditional way, but this is a very low percentage. I think this is one of the biggest biohacks that you can do.
This technology actually is quite old. Our ancestors slept on the hill, of course, on skin. This means they’re also being grounded and there was nothing much to ground while there were no radio frequencies, but they already slept on the hill, they slept on skins, and wool, and hay and they did it already many years ago.
In our modern world, we can pay attention when we go to the zoo or by watching any movies animals. Our animals like to sleep inclined so it looks like they’re seeing some benefits from it and also our animals, they are grounded, they have no shoes. So, two important things, it’s done by nature and we totally forgot about this in our bedrooms.
This is where the SAMINA brand stands for. We bring the outdoors to the inside. This is very important now in our modern lifestyle. We are now in the middle of creating a box for an outside solution almost like a tiny home, but then we do a tiny home, a box for your inside to really create a perfect sleeping room.
We’re already at this point where we’re building the first prototype and we do some testing on it so we want to create this box to really create this perfect sleeping environment. This will be much more than only the proper mattresses. This will have something to do with the light exposure, the noise level, the airflow, and all the materials around you. This will be a very exciting post project. Of course, the inclined option.
Regarding now of inclined, before I forget, we just opened up a clinic in Liechtenstein, a very small country. Not everybody knows where Liechtenstein is. It’s somewhere in the Austrian border, Switzerland, and Germany. A very small country.
They opened up a clinic for people with burnout syndrome and depression. You can go there and spend time anywhere from two weeks to three months when needed. This clinic is totally furnished with SAMINA Sleep Systems with the incline feature, with the grounding feature.
While it looks like those doctors and staff did have a suspicion, the lack of sleep and bad sleep has a totally negative impact on your burnout syndrome and on the way how you feel about your own life and how you might start to get depressions. It’s a pretty cool project too.
That’s amazing. The sleeping inclined also can help with migraines, right?
Yeah. People suffer consistently from migraines and they will likely take a pill for it. We do know how the pharmaceutical industry loves when you start swallowing pills. You get addicted to it. You’re creating other side issues and side effects. Then you may need another pill, so you start in this way and they’re making money.
Again, migraine and headache can be addressed very quickly. This can be, for now, a very inexpensive solution with doing this yourself with brick stones or wooden blocks, but of course, when you invest in the SAMINA Sleep System, you have a very nice, elegant solution.
You can find all these pictures of those bed frames actually on our home page, which is called saminasleep.com for the US, Canadian market, and other English-speaking countries. You’ll find a lot of information there, videos, how this all works, and what we do. This is definitely a very educational homepage. This helps you a lot to make this decision on your own.
This is what we’re here for, the entire SAMINA team including me and my spouse, Denise. We like to educate everybody. We don’t like to sell mattresses magically over email. We do have telephone calls available so please feel free to call us at any convenient time. We most likely make time for you right away or we put the schedule for you and we offer everybody who calls in our consultation for free to give you all the matching sleep hacks and specific talk to you, what you want to accomplish with better sleep and what are your real sleep-related issues. That’s the only way for us to understand how we can help you. I promise to help you, I really want to make sure I can help you and this is important to have this personal relationship to each potential customer.
That’s wonderful and very generous of you to give so much of your time to folks who buy the SAMINA Sleep Systems. Now, do you have a few more minutes where we could talk about some travel sleep hacks?
Yeah, absolutely. Traveling is a pain in the butt, of course. I travel a lot, too. I travel by airplane or by car. I travel a huge amount by car for trade shows so I have plenty of space. Me and my partner, Denise, we bring our grounding beds with us, our duvets, and our pillows.
This is definitely a very good hack already to fix the bad mattresses in Airbnbs and hotels. At least, I protect myself from the additional danger of electromagnetic fields. I do have a proper solution regarding the temperature of my bed and my proper pillow orthopedically. It’s just a must.
Even on an airplane, you can squeeze this pillow in your luggage or you’re using this pillow inside of the airplane during the time of the flight and use it there already. This definitely is very important. I bring my own water with me. It’s important to have proper water sources and not drinking the wrong water by plastic bottled water. There’s always water with me.
There is one German water called beer. When I have the pleasure, I’d always bring a little bit of German beer with me, too, to be very authentic in German. This helps me of course to sleep by having a little beer. A good German beer definitely makes you sleep, too.
It’s important to me. Another advice, bring your eye masks, and of course, your earplugs. This is pretty much what you can do. Some people decide to sleep on the mattress in the hotel on the floor. It’s better than the mattress, I agree, but then, think about it, the floor is very dirty, too. People wear street shoes and you’re very low on the ground. The lower you’re in the ground, there’s more pollution from dust mites and dust in general. I’m not a big fan of floor sleeping at all for a long-term purpose, even a week in the hotel room on the floor will not be nice. Again, street shoes, off-gassing of the carpet, and all the dust mites there, and you look lower, you go to the floor, the more you can breathe in this stuff.
That’s a great point that it should apply to your home environment, too, that you need the minimum height above the floor especially if you got a carpet, right?
Absolutely, it’s anywhere about sitting height. A typical chair is about 17–20 inches above the floor, that should be the height. I see also beds, they’re ending up at 30 inches. That is a bit crazy. You cannot even reach the floor when you get up in the morning and this creates orthopedically already a problem.
The biggest finding right now, actually—I wanted to point this out to all the biohackers—while most of them I understand, they’re also very tall, especially when we’re looking under our male biohackers, it looks like the kids are getting taller and taller. I’m six-foot, I’m not as tall, I know a lot of people taller than me and most of the North American beds are too short.
Here at SAMINA, we do over the long beds, the same amount of spending, but the guidelines for the proper length of a bed is 10 inches above body height so this would be proper. Again, I want to point this out while this is something that a conventional bedding industry does not address either, it’s also very important. When you see the video of a SAMINA bed, you will recognize the four-layer system and those double layer of wooden slats, how they orthopedically support your spine and this is why the length of the bed is so important.
When you have certain body weight and certain body length, you’re going to make sure your spine is not sleeping in a ditch. Anytime you have a ditch, you actually will wake up your partner while your partner will roll over to you and you both sleep in a ditch. This will totally compromise your skeleton. This will pinch the vertebral disc together. There is a little tiny nerve running through our 27 main discs and those discs when they get squeezed together, they send a signal to the brain, which will trigger the body movement and this definitely interferes with your sleep cycle.
Wow, that’s all good stuff. I wish we could do another hour-long episode with you, but here we go, we got a few more travel sleep hacks, we got to fit in. You got the pillow, the water, eye masks, earplugs, what else? Do we unplug all the devices?
Yeah. Of course. In an environment like this, you still have control over the breakers in the panel box, hopefully. Turn off the breaker to the bedroom, put your own phone on airplane mode. Maybe you have a chance instead of watching TV, especially, when you spend in the indoor environment for business meetings all day or trade shows, get a half an hour, you fit in the cross somewhere hopefully and get you natural grounding there. Unplug the Wi-Fi router. Again, turn off the TV. Unplug everything that is plugged in the bedroom. Very often, the Airbnbs do have a television in the bedroom so unplug all this stuff. Unplug the fridge. This makes me crazy in the hotels, the little tiny travel fridges in the hotels. The compressor makes a huge amount of noise and has an electromagnetic field. Of course, this interferes with my own sleep cycle.
The biggest thing that I hate in hotels is you cannot open the window. It’s always good to have Airbnb or find a hotel where you can open the window. This definitely has a positive impact on the pollution, of the paint, and the furniture. Very often, hotels are furnished, with pieces of furniture from China and other foreign countries where we’re talking about 500, 1000 rooms. All the stuff is particle board so a hotel room cannot open the windows, they’ll definitely have a higher off-gassing of this formaldehyde product and this has a negative impact on your sleep. It’s nice to find a room where you have access to opening a window. Maybe you can travel when you drive over the air filter. That would be recommended.
But then again, you don’t really want to pick up your whole bed. Technically speaking, you can bring you SAMINA bed, too. This is also a nice feature of SAMINA. Our mattress comes in 2 boxes, 41 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches tall. This is a king-sized mattress. This is very tiny. You could actually bring it with you and throw it on the top of the bed or on the floor even if you’re a little bit too low for my thinking, but it’s still better than sleep on the poisoned mattresses for a short time.
This is one important feature. People travel around a lot. We are moving where life is turning us. We never know where we’re living next year. I have no idea. I live in Los Angeles in Pasadena for the last three years, so I had no clue. I started off somewhere else and now I’m here. How long I’m here? I don’t know. But when I have to move, I can pick up my bed including my bed frame with this 100% metal-free and no screws needed. I can pack this up in less than 20 minutes and I can put it in my presidential car, have the bed frame between the seats, my mattress in the back, and I move any back very quickly. It’s pretty cool.
That is awesome. Also, for folks who would like to watch TV to unwind after a busy day doing their business meetings and so forth at the hotel room, what would you say would be the recommended time to stop watching TV before bed?
Everybody is a little bit different when you are burnout already and you’re sensitive and you have a lack of sleep. At least, a good hour, maybe even two hours. Very often, hotels like this have a sauna or gym. I do not like the gym idea in the late evening, but you increased cortisol levels that are not recommended and the lighting is horrible, but then maybe alternative would be a walk outside, just get the basic walk, get your 10,000 steps in the morn. Otherwise, when there is a facility like a spa or a sauna, then I would definitely take advantage to do this the last hour before bedtime.
When none of these exists, you definitely should turn off those devices a good half an hour before bedtime to get your body ready. It depends where you are traveling too, try to come in the alignment of the natural circadian rhythm. The first day when you travel east, of course, it’s so hard and the other way when you come west again, it’s hard, too. So, you have to bite the bullet. You only catch up an hour per day, so it depends how long you’re traveling, how many days you’re gone. You do the math for how long you really need to adjust to it. When you have a short trip to the East Coast for one or two days, there’s not much that you can do from the beginning, but try to go to bed still with the sunset, and wake up after sunrise in the morning, this helps you at least a little bit. Even your night is definitely too short or at some point, maybe can be a little bit longer, but this would be recommended.
Yeah. I’ll throw in one additional travel hack that isn’t exactly necessarily related to sleep, but is probably related to just relaxing, zoning out, listening to music, binaural beats, watching movies, or whatever, and that is to bring air-gapped earbuds. I learned that from Jason Bawden-Smith that if you get air-gapped earbuds or headphones, then the wiring doesn’t go all the way through and then you aren’t getting the EMF exposure. It’s not treated as an antenna, essentially, right to your ears.
Cool. That’s good.
Yeah. This is all good, good stuff.
There are all kinds of stuff. Thank you for having me. Thank you to your audience who listened to me. I also want to make sure it’s not a sales pitch, but as we said, you have to spend some money. I think spending money on your mattresses is a way more important purchase than buying another car every four years where people do on average and the car still was thriving, but you feel like buying another car.
When people flip cars all the time, you’re losing the value of the SAMINA bed most likely, so I would skip a car purchase and get the proper bed. You will benefit from it substantially. Hacking your sleep is important. It’s also investing in your own health and it’s making sure your existing health stays healthy and you’re not actually getting sick from the beginning.
This is where we see the biggest impact right now. The younger people have to have more knowledge about my generation and be doing preventive health care. Preventive health care starts with investing in your own health, investing in your own sleep. Sleep should be accomplished naturally as much as possible.
I’m not really a fancy high-tech item, I’m just pro-nature, but as everybody knows, in our world of listener, I hear nature is way more powerful than human society. This is one of the reasons there is no pet trademark or patent on plants. This did not work. The plants came from Earth and you cannot put a patent on a plant. This is prohibited. There, you can already see how powerful our world is.
I really want to point this out one more time. The environment aspect of touching a mattress should be very important to everybody as well and also support a company that has a positive mission like we do. I still cannot understand why online mattresses make billions of dollars. Those billions of dollars go back to hedge funds and people who’ve been started well off in the tech industry or made them money, some very quickly and make them richer, they’re already rich enough. We do know by fact, those products have no positive impact either on the human sleeping on it or any positive side effects on our world and our environment. I cannot understand people supporting those kinds of businesses.
Agreed. All right. We got a wrap up here. Where should we send our listeners to learn more about the SAMINA Sleep System?
All right. Thank you so much, Claus. Thank you, listeners. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Get Yourself Optimized. This is your host, Stephan Spencer signing off.
- Claus Pummer
- Sleep System
- Dave Asprey – previous episode
- Luke Storey – previous episode (EP 8)
- Luke Storey – previous episode (EP 126)
- Luke Storey – previous episode (EP 128)
- Brian Hoyer – previous episode
- Jason Bawden-Smith – previous episode
- Upgrade Labs
- Dr. Mercola
- JJ Virgin
- Ben Greenfield
- Luke Storey
- Dr. Klinghardt
- circadian rhythm
- pineal gland
- dust mites
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Optimize my sleep environment. Make sure that where I sleep is capable of giving me peace, comfort, and privacy.
My bedroom location should be at the back of the house where it is far from any potential outside noise.
Invest in a high-quality mattress that is made out of natural, non-chemical contents. Look for those wrapped with certified organic cotton.
Avoid watching TV or using my phone or tablet before sleeping. Claus advises that these gadgets shouldn’t be in my bedroom so that I can limit my blue light exposure.
Refrain from taking sleep vitamins or supplements if possible. My body’s sleep pattern can be hacked without medication.
Sleep in the dark. When traveling, don’t forget to bring an eye mask and earplugs for better sleep.
Check out Brian Hoyer’s episode about EMFs. The everyday electronics I have in my home can have long-term harmful effects on my body.
Change the sheets often to keep the bed clean and free of dust mites. Deep clean mattresses and pillows regularly to prolong usage.
Eat organic, non-processed food for better digestion and blood flow that can lead to better sleep.
Check out SAMINA’s website to view top-notch sleep devices and acquire more studies and resources on how to optimize sleep.
About Claus Pummer
Claus Pummer is the President of Natural by Design. His research to find the best mattress led him to SAMINA and he eventually became a certified sleep advisor by the Austrian Institute for Sleep Psychology. His work as a sleep coach has been featured in magazines, healthy lifestyle podcasts, on-line blogs and health & wellness sites.