Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC

263. Sleepless in Midlife? Uncovering Hidden Root Causes with Kelly Murray

January 03, 2024 Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC Season 14 Episode 3
Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC
263. Sleepless in Midlife? Uncovering Hidden Root Causes with Kelly Murray
Show Notes Transcript

In this third episode of season 14, I have an eye-opening conversation around midlife sleep struggles with sleep coach Kelly Murray. Insomnia was my main perimenopause symptom (and I had no idea it was even a perimenopause symptom) and yet, about 60% of women report sleep challenges during perimenopause and menopause. 

Kelly and I will get into root-causes of poor sleep and how the hormonal changes of this time influence sleep. We’ll discuss the role of blood-sugar and gut health in sleep, how many sleep aids don’t address the root health issues insomnia is pointing to, what other minerals aside from magnesium are helpful, and the importance of stress management on sleep. If you've been struggling with sleep and are tired of trying out all of the recycled basic advice, this episode is for you.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction: Why this episode? What makes sleep coach Kelly Murray different? 
  • 08:32: How my insomnia in perimenopause led me to Kelly
  • 10:16: What is considered a good night's sleep? Signs of bad sleep?
  • 15:43: Common sleep struggles
  • 20:12: Understanding the cortisol-melatonin connection with sleep
  • 25:00: What's happening with these 3am wake-ups?
  • 38:00: Most frequently asked questions on Google 
  • 41:10: HRT can help, but it's part of a larger puzzle
  • 47:33: Kelly's holistic approach to insomnia
  • 55:47: The role of magnesium and potassium 
  • 59:00: Is melatonin the answer? CBD gummies? 
  • 01:03:07: Small snacks before bedtime? 
  • 01:05:42: Three actionable takeways 

Guest:  Kelly Murray is an award-winning certified Pediatric and Adult Sleep Coach. She has been a featured expert and contributor to places like Real Simple, goop, Forbes, New York magazine, she’s also taught at Google. 

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcript & Show Notes: alishapiro.com/sleep-midlife-challenges-kelly-murray

Connect with Insatiable & Ali:

Join our free Insatiable community gathering on the first Tuesday of each month from 2-3:00 pm ET to meet other Insatiable listeners. Bring your burning questions about the show or whatever you are struggling with for some free coaching from Ali. Visit alishapiro.com/gathering to sign-up and learn more.

Call or text our new Insatiable hotline: (412) 475-8006‬.
Have a question you'd like Ali to address on a future episode or a comment on the show? Ali would love to hear from you. Be sure to leave us a way to reach you in the event we'd like to play your message on a future episode.

Please rate and review Insatiable on your favorite podcast platform—it means more to us than you know—and helps others find the show!

 00:10
Ali Shapiro
Welcome to our third episode of season 14, where we will be talking all things a great night's sleep. Doesn't that sound wonderful with my sleep coach, Kelly Murray. Insomnia was my main perimenopause symptom and I had no idea that sleep challenges whether it's falling asleep, staying asleep insomnia. I had no idea that 60% of women report these type of sleep challenges during perimenopause and menopause. So I wanted to bring Kelly on because she helped me so much several years ago and we're going to discuss the root causes of poor sleep and how the hormonal changes of this time influence sleep. We're going to discuss the role of blood sugar and gut health and the power nutrition and food has on sleep. 


 01:03

Ali Shapiro
We're going to discuss how many sleep aids don't address the root sleep issues people are having and what other minerals assigned from magnesium are helpful and the importance of stress management on sleep. Kelly really offers a holistic approach, which is why I hired her and wanted her to talk to all of you today. More about Kelly she is a certified adult sleep coach and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, which means she combines physical and metaphysical know how to help women solve their sleep issues by using functional lab testing, mindset shifts and behavioral strategies. Kelly's spoken at places like Google, LinkedIn, and Deloitte, and she's been featured in numerous media outlets such as Goop well and good, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. One note, you're going to hear Kelly mention blood sugar and gut health a lot for restorative sleep. 


 02:01

Ali Shapiro
We focus on both of these physiological processes in truce with food, which is open for registration now through January 31, 2024, and you save $500 if you enroll by January 19. These processes have always been the foundation of hunger, craving, satisfaction, and great energy, and they become even more important to understand, pay attention to, and make nutrition choices through this lens during midlife, and we're going to talk a little bit more about why that is today related to sleep. And if blood sugar especially is a topic that interests you, I invite you to my next find your flow when it's all in flux salon on Wednesday, January 10. In this free gathering, I'll teach you about blood sugar control so you can cut through all the nutrition, noise, and overwhelm. 


 02:55

Ali Shapiro
I'll provide a nervous system framework that can guide you to what diet, noun not verb, may work best for you. Join us at Backslash flow now on to our show and a much better night's sleep with Kelly Murray. 


 03:13

Ali Shapiro
Hello, everybody, and welcome to insatiable today. When I surveyed my list about midlife perimenopause and menopause problems, the number one complaint, aside from weight gain, was sleep issues. And so I am so happy to have my sleep coach, Kelly Murray, who helped me with my own insomnia a couple of years ago on today. So thank you so much for being here, Kelly. 


 03:40

Kelly Murray
I'm so excited to be here, Ali. Thank you. 


 03:43

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. So before we get started this season, know, thrown for the midlife loop, how. 


 03:49

Kelly Murray
How do you define midlife? 


 03:50

Ali Shapiro
What do you think of it when I say that? 


 03:53

Kelly Murray
Yeah. So, for me, midlife is when someone's approaching their mid to late 40s to about 60. That's how I would define midlife in terms of the age range. And it's just a time, especially for women, where we're seeing a lot of changes in our body. We're beginning to start to stop ovulating, and so we have the hormonal decline, which can lead to a whole host of physical and mental symptoms. 


 04:24

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, I think that's when we start to notice, is when the body starts reacting differently. I feel like that's probably the biggest wake up for people of the midnight time. So tell me there's these body changes, but tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into sleep. 


 04:41

Kelly Murray
So, my journey into sleep started with my son, Brayden. He was my second. And all the things I was doing with my daughter to help her to sleep while just weren't working. She was kind of a unicorn baby where I was able to feed her to sleep, and she just fell asleep. I could transfer her to her crib, she would sleep all night. It was beautiful. So I tried the same thing with my son, rocking, feeding to sleep, and he was up every hour on the hour, needing to be rocked and fed back to sleep. And I was absolutely miserable. I was a zombie, but I just kept up with it because I thought that's what I had to do as a good mom. 


 05:21

Kelly Murray
And luckily, my pediatrician recognized that both of us were severely sleep deprived at his nine month well visit and asked me how my son was sleeping, and I just bursted out in tears. And luckily, he sat me down and educated me. The importance of good quality sleep for my son's development and for my mental health. And he squashed any fears I had about him crying when it came to sleep training, because that's what he was suggesting. Like, you need to sleep train this child. Teach him to fall asleep independently so that he can fall asleep in between sleep cycles on his own. So he explained to me that the sleep deprivation was more detrimental for my son's mental health than the fact that. 


 06:08

He would have to cry a little. 


 06:09

Kelly Murray
Bit to learn these new skills. So I trusted my pediatrician and decided to sleep train him. And I used a very supportive method. And with three days, he was falling asleep and staying asleep. And it was so life changing for everyone. And the program that I used, I got an email from the woman who created it. A few days after we had this miracle night where my son just fell asleep with a smile on his face and slept 12 hours without waking anyone up. Received this email that she offered a certification program and I just jumped at it immediately. I was looking for a career change and always wanted to have my own business and especially wanted to help others. 


 06:51

Kelly Murray
At the time, I was in medical sales and I felt like I was helping others indirectly, but I wanted to work one one with individuals. So jumped at the opportunity, became a pediatric sleep coach, and then fast forward about a year later, my business was booming and I started having sleep issues myself, and they were pretty severe. I was waking up every night around three. It would take me hours to fall asleep. Sometimes I wouldn't fall asleep and again I became a zombie and I felt like this big hypocrite. How could I be telling these families that they need to make sleep a priority when I wasn't sleeping myself? So I decided to heed my own advice and I worked with an adult sleep coach. We worked a lot on behavior change and it definitely helped to move the needle. 


 07:36

Kelly Murray
However, it didn't solve my problem 100%. And then, luckily, one of my fellow pediatric sleep coaches told me about a woman in Belgium who offered a different approach when it came to sleep issues, and she looked at the underlying functional reasons behind insomnia. So I decided to work with her. We did a full functional workup and realized that my hormones were out of whack and my gut health and I was deficient in minerals. And so I started working, addressing those hidden stressors. And after about three months, I was sleeping better than I had ever slept before and very similar to when I decided to become a pediatric sleep coach. I found out she had a certification and jumped at the opportunity to learn from her so that I could also help adults get good quality sleep. 


 08:32

Ali Shapiro
I love that you take such a holistic and integrative approach, and that's why part of. I mean, your process was recommended to me by one of my clients because they were having trouble with insomnia. Which is how know was put in touch with you. And what attracted me was the integrative approach, because just for everyone realizing I was postpartum, when I contacted Kelly, I remember being so desperate. It was a night Eça hadn't slept at all because I had been up with it for 24 hours. But I was having my own sleep issues, and I kind of felt like I was doing everything, quote unquote. Right. Although we'll get into some of the stuff I wasn't paying attention to. But you were really about those hidden physical stressors. 


 09:18

Ali Shapiro
And this is so important because I know for me, it was like this vicious cycle of not getting sleep, and then I would want to drink more coffee, and then I was more irritated. And I remember part of our work was I was so upset about how I wasn't parenting the way that I wanted to parent because my moods were so poor, I was having brain fog, I couldn't work in the same way. And my now growing family depends on my income and all this stuff. And so sleep just affects everything. And I feel like so many solutions out there are only just kind of slightly moving the needle versus really helping us get that deep sleep for help that we need. 


 09:54

Ali Shapiro
So I love that you look at the physical stresses and also focus on some of the emotional stuff, which we'll get into today. So before we start getting into all the things, I want to just establish a baseline, because 60% of people in perimenopause and menopause say they struggle with sleep. So how do you define a good night's sleep? And is that a different benchmark during this phase of life? And what are some signs of bad sleep? 


 10:26

Kelly Murray
Yeah. So everyone always asks me, what is the magic number when it comes to hours of sleep I should get each night? And it's definitely individual. However, I find that most people will feel and operate pretty well if they can get 7 hours of high quality sleep, which means that they're able to fall asleep with ease within about 30 minutes. They don't have extremely fragmented sleep. So a lot of us think that we just should sleep through the night. But I hate to break it that no one sleeps through the night. We all wake up about five times in between sleep cycles. So waking up in the middle of the night is very normal. However, you should be able to fall back to sleep quickly. It shouldn't take you longer than 1015 minutes to fall back to sleep. 


 11:19

Kelly Murray
Also, a lot of people think that their sleep should be really deep and really in the early morning hours, our sleep is really light. And if you have a very busy mind or you're a little stressed about something, you may be a little bit more aware of the fact that you're kind of in that in between state of consciousness and unconsciousness and perceive that as being awake or not being high quality sleep. But the true test is if you're falling asleep easily, pretty much sleeping through the night, you may remember waking up, you may feel like you have some light sleep, that's totally normal, but you should wake up. 


 11:57

Kelly Murray
And you still may feel a little groggy when you wake up, but within like a half hour, you should come to life and feel well rested, and you should have a pretty steady stream of energy throughout the day. Now, it is normal to have a little bit of a dip in energy around 03:00 because that's when our cortisol really starts to tank. But you shouldn't feel exhausted, you shouldn't have a headache because of lack of sleep, you shouldn't have problems concentrating because you didn't sleep well. You should feel pretty good, have good energy, have a positive outlook in life, and just feel good, feel joy. That's to me, the ultimate sign of a good night's sleep is how you feel the next day. And to stop looking at all the metrics. Everyone loves to measure everything, and I think it can be helpful. 


 12:51

Kelly Murray
However, don't place a lot of stock in it. What's most important is how you feel. 


 12:57

Ali Shapiro
I love that. Yeah. And I've been reading on some of the new menopause research where they're finding that fragmented sleep doesn't count as much as the solid continuous. If you're waking up every, say, hour or so because of a hot flash or for whatever reason, that's not really restorative sleep, and you need that kind of continuous sleep. So I'm glad you brought up that fragmented stuff. What about. Are there any signs of bad sleep? I guess maybe the fragmentation. But anything else? 


 13:31

Kelly Murray
Yeah. I would say that you're waking up in the middle of the night and you're having a hard time falling back to sleep. Like, you know that it's been more than 15 minutes since you woke up and you feel really alert and it takes you 30 minutes or longer to fall back to sleep. To me, that's a sign that you're struggling with night wakings that are not normal. And you're right, it could be due to a hot flash. If your body temperature increases, then that lowers melatonin. It's going to impact your ability to connect sleep cycles and the problem with that is then you're missing out on different stages of sleep, which it's really important to complete all the stages as well. So that would be one sign. 


 14:11

Kelly Murray
Another sign is that during the day you just don't feel your best, you have a headache, you're having a hard time focusing, you don't have a lot of energy, your mood is poor, you feel more depressed. Those are all symptoms, sleep deprivation, and also you're getting sick more often. 


 14:37

Ali Shapiro
Oh my God. 


 14:38

Kelly Murray
Low immunity is another sign of sleep deprivation. And most people should strive for at least 7 hours around there. Some people can get by with six, but you definitely need somewhere between seven 8 hours of sleep to feel your best. 


 14:56

Ali Shapiro
I love that. And do you think that shifts based on the season? I feel like I need less in the summer and more in the winter. Yeah. 


 15:04

Kelly Murray
There is research to show that we sleep an hour less in the summer compared to the winter. 


 15:11

And I think that has a lot. 


 15:12

Kelly Murray
To do with darkness. It's darker more longer in the winter. So we naturally have more melatonin in our system because melatonin is produced when there's an absence of light that tells our body that it's nighttime. And then our body will suppress cortisol and produce melatonin, the sleepy hormone. And so it makes more sense that we would sleep more in the winter because it's darker longer. 


 15:37

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. 


 15:38

Oh my God. 


 15:39

Ali Shapiro
I can't wait to get into melatonin later because you taught me so much about that. So when your clients are coming to you, what are their common struggles? 


 15:48

Kelly Murray
Yeah, most of my clients struggle to stay asleep. A lot of my clients, no problem falling asleep. It's those middle of the night wake ups or just waking up too early. Say you're going to bed at ten and then you wake up at 04:00 and you feel like you're shot out of a cannon and you just can't fall back to sleep. So those are the biggest complaints. But once in a while I do have clients who struggle to fall asleep or they have circadian misalignment where they aren't tired until later in the evening and it doesn't work with their work schedule, so they want to shift their schedule a little earlier. 


 16:24

Ali Shapiro
Oh, wow, interesting. Yeah. 


 16:27

Kelly Murray
And that's due to chronotype. So we have genetically predetermined timing of our sleep and awake cycles. So there's five different chronotypes. There's the lions, those are the early risers. We have our bears. Those are people who follow the solar schedule that's the majority, folks. It's like 50%. So they want to wake up with the sun, fall asleep after sunrise or sunsets. The lions, who are night owls, and then dolphins, those are the insomniacs that have a hard time turning off their brains. But a lot of my clients are naturally night owls. And again, it just doesn't work with their work schedule because the nine to five was created because the majority of the population are bears, and that schedule, that's best for them. But it doesn't work a lot, doesn't work well for our night owls. 


 17:27

Kelly Murray
So I do have clients who need me to help them shift their circadian rhythm a little earlier. 


 17:33

Ali Shapiro
Carlos is definitely a night owl. Totally, totally. But you said the lion is that the lion is the early morning, regardless of the season. The bear is kind of like the seasonal person, the night out. 


 17:50

Kelly Murray
The dolphin is an insomniac who can't, because they say dolphins only sleep with 50% of their brain shut off. 


 18:00

Ali Shapiro
Okay. 


 18:01

Kelly Murray
And then is there a fifth really erratic schedule? Dolphins. 


 18:05

Ali Shapiro
Who knew? I love them. 


 18:07

Kelly Murray
Those are my people. Those are my clients. 


 18:11

Ali Shapiro
And what about the fifth type? 


 18:14

Kelly Murray
So went over lions, bears. 


 18:18

Ali Shapiro
Wolves. You just do wolves. 


 18:22

Kelly Murray
Oh, yeah, and wolves. Yeah, those are the night owls. Or maybe there's four types. I'm wrong. Yes, there's four types. 


 18:30

Ali Shapiro
The wolves are the night owls. 


 18:34

Kelly Murray
The same thing. 


 18:37

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. So if we're thinking of perimenopause and menopause, I love that you mentioned hot flashes, because the research shows that about 75% to 85% of women will go through that during menopause. And so you're saying that the heat wakes us up and then it also decreases melatonin. Is that what's kind of part of why they keep us awake? 


 19:00

Kelly Murray
Yes. Number one, it's uncomfortable to have a hot flash. You're going to be sweating and feeling really hot, so that's going to wake you up. But then also, our body temperature needs to fall by a few degrees in order to produce melatonin. It's another cue that our bodies take from the environment to know what time of day it is. So light makes sense, right? Our bodies want to be awake during the day and be productive and sleep at night. But what else happens at night, other than the sun setting, is that it becomes cooler, the temperature drops, and so does your core temperature. So that's another signal to our body that it's nighttime. And so your core temperature needs to maintain a lower temperature in order for your body to synthesize melatonin. 


 19:49

Kelly Murray
So if you have a hot flash, your core temperature raises, and then melatonin decreases and then cortisol increases, because if you're not producing melatonin, you're going to produce cortisol, the alert hormone, instead. 


 20:03

Ali Shapiro
Oh, so they're, like, opposed to each other. 


 20:09

Kelly Murray
That's really both at the same time. 


 20:12

Ali Shapiro
Because in the second half, I want to get into stress management and why that's so important. And some of the biggest takeaways I took away from our work. And that makes sense now because in perimenopause and menopause, we lose the protective stress benefits of progesterone and estrogen. So you have to manage cortisol so much more differently for sleep and everything. But also, I guess now for melatonin, that was one of the light bulbs I had with you when you were like, okay, melatonin supplements, but why aren't we producing enough melatonin? And when you told me it needed to be, like, ideally 60 to 65 degrees for cooler so you could produce more melatonin, that's when I got our extra air conditioner up. 


 20:51

Ali Shapiro
Even though we have central air, it gets so cold in our Son's room that I was just like, okay, I'm not doing this. But then when you told me, no, it'll really help you produce more melatonin. The coolness, it was like, it totally helps. So I was like, all right, get up that extra air unit. We're firing it up like the pain in the ass to do it. And we'll get more beds. 


 21:12

Kelly Murray
We used to have to do the same thing when we lived in this city. We had an old house and we had ac, but it didn't get up to our second floor. 


 21:18

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, second unit. 


 21:20

Kelly Murray
It was worth it. Yeah. 


 21:22

Ali Shapiro
And we'll get into the second half, too. How nutrition is so important in bringing our body temperature, bringing inflammation down so that we can produce more melatonin, because that was another huge aha. That I had of, like, oh, my God. If our poor body temperature is higher because of inflammation, especially from what we're eating, then that's going to be harder to produce melatonin and sleep as well. So you taught me that. So we talked about, you said staying asleep, and I thought it was really interesting. Like, one in seven adults suffer from chronic insomnia, but for women, it nearly doubles. And, like, as many as 61% of even post menopausal women. So at one year from the day after you have your last period, you're postmenopausal, or some people call it menopausal. But people continue to report these insomnia issues. 


 22:15

Ali Shapiro
So those hormonal shifts we talked about a bit like in the beginning, really affect things and then also sleep apnea. Do you work with a lot of people who have sleep apnea or a couple of people, because often the loss of estrogen and progesterone and perimenopause or menopause can cause sleep apnea. And it's apparently more subtle in women than men. So any thoughts on sleep apnea? 


 22:42

Kelly Murray
Yeah. So I do work with individuals who have sleep apnea on the insomnia more to help them with the insomnia that may have developed as a result of sleep apnea and also the physical dysfunction that resulted from poor sleep due to sleep apnea. However, if you have sleep apnea, I always recommend working with a medical sleep specialist, a sleep doctor, who is going to treat the apnea with a device like a CPAP machine. 


 23:14

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. 


 23:15

Kelly Murray
But a lot of times, insomnia and dysfunction and sleep apnea all go hand in hand. 


 23:22

Ali Shapiro
Oh, interesting. Yeah. And then I also think part of the depression, right. I was struggling with my mood so much before working with you because the exhaustion just wears you down. Like the not sleeping wears you down, and then you're worn down, so then you're more tired, and it's kind of this vicious cycle. Right. So I think that's something that's really under talked about in menopause. Is that insomnia depression cycle, do you see that a lot or anxiety cycle? 


 23:53

Kelly Murray
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Especially since when you are starting to go through perimenopause and your progesterone declines, that impacts your GABA production. Gaba is really important for mood and feeling relaxed. And also your serotonin decreases during perimenopause. And serotonin is the feel good hormone, and serotonin is actually the precursor to melatonin. 90% of melatonin is produced from serotonin in the gut. 


 24:28

Ali Shapiro
So that's why you focus on blood sugar. Gut health. 


 24:32

Kelly Murray
Yes. Gut health is so important for sleep because not only is that where serotonin is produced, also it's where you're absorbing nutrients from your foods. And nutrient deficiencies can contribute to poor sleep. And then there's the gut brain connection. If you keep telling your brain that there's danger, then your nervous system is going to be activated. You're going to spend more time in fight or flight. And when you're in fight or flight, your body's producing cortisol and everything that your body needs to do to maintain balance is put on the back burner, like your immunity, your hormone regulation, digestion, and then just leads to more dysfunction and more poor sleep. So it becomes this vicious cycle. 


 25:14

Ali Shapiro
Totally. I remember when we did the dutch test together and you're like, so your hormones came back, like lower than postmenopausal women. And I wasn't even officially in menopause yet, and I was like, I'm so stressed out from not sleeping and this huge change in a pandemic and all that stuff. But that makes so much sense. And so actually, speaking of that, like, cortisol and gut brain and stress, what's happening when we wake up 03:00 in the morning and our thoughts are racing? Like, what is going on there? Back to cortisol? Yeah. 


 25:50

Kelly Murray
There just could be so many different root causes, and it's usually not just one thing. So, number one, you might just have an overactive mind. If you go to bed and you haven't given yourself time during the day to process your thoughts and emotions, then what's going to happen in the middle of the night when it's quiet and you have no other distractions, and you're waking up naturally in between sleep cycles? And maybe your brain is a little more active because it's so busy due to all the information that you're trying to process, then you're going to wake up in between a sleep cycle and your brain activity is going to be really high, and you need a quiet brain in order to fall back to sleep. So that could be one cause. Also, it could be due to blood sugar dysregulation. 


 26:39

Kelly Murray
 So if your blood sugar bottoms out around that time, and I see with a lot of my clients it does, if it goes below 60, then that triggers the fight or flight response, because your body wants to bring your blood sugar back to normal. And so then your body is going to call on your liver to produce glycogen to bring up your blood sugar. But because your body does this when it's in fight or flight, your body also is going to produce cortisol and that's going to wake you up. It could also be due to liver dysfunction. So in traditional chinese medicine, between the hours of one and four, that's considered liver time. Or your liver is working really hard to clear toxins. 


 27:21

Kelly Murray
And so if your liver is sluggish and isn't doing a good job at clearing the toxins, then you're going to have more inflammation in your body at that time. And whenever our bodies are inflamed our body wants to produce cortisol to bring down the inflammation. So then again, q a, wake up. And then lastly, there could be gut pathogens, and gut pathogens are more active at night, so it leads to more inflammation and then more cortisol. 


 27:49

Ali Shapiro
Got it. Yeah. Was that you that had the post about parasites? Because Eça wakes up every full moon. I don't think he has parasites, but he tends to wake up on the full moon. It's like the only night of the month that he wakes up. And I'm like, does he have parasites? Did you have a post of that? Or am I like, yeah, I did. 


 28:08

Kelly Murray
They say that most people have parasites. Like, we can get them from our animals, from eating sushi meats. So parasites are all among us, and your body should be able to fight them naturally if you have good immunity. But in a lot of cultures, like a lot of asian cultures, they routinely do parasite cleanses because they're eating a lot of raw fish, and they know that it's an issue. 


 28:33

Ali Shapiro
Oh, my God. That's so fascinating. 


 28:37

Kelly Murray
Yeah. And also during a full moon, there's more lights, and so that means more. Less melatonin. And that's one reason why during a full moon, if you have parasites, they say that it'll interrupt your sleep because melatonin plays a role in our immune system. So the parasites then become more activated during a full moon, and they're eternal, and so they have a party in the middle of the night. Then again, that inflammation and cortisol. 


 29:10

Ali Shapiro
Oh, my God. It's like the good news and the bad news is everything's connected. Right? That's why I think what you do in addressing the root causes is such a gift, because you really do have to focus kind of on all levels. That was my experience in our work together. We had to work on. I had H. Pylori and a parasite, which I told my sister that our testing came back and I had a parasite. And she's like, because I hate wasting food, so I'll eat expired food. She's like, that surprises me. Not at all. 


 29:47

Kelly Murray
Okay. I didn't think I had parasites. 


 29:50

Ali Shapiro
But then you also got me to think that maybe I wasn't eating right for my body anymore. I know I do nutrition and all that stuff, but I had no idea the degree of how your hormones change, what kind of foods work for you. And so I had to get better blood sugar regulation. I did that gut cleanse with you. But then also. And this will be the last thing of kind of identifying the problem is stress management. And one of the big takeaways I had in our work together was you always talked to me about bringing my cortisol down more during the day because you had me do a diary of my life. I remember, and you're like, you have no downtime. And I didn't connect until our work together. Like that lack of downtime, not taking breaks. 


 30:34

Ali Shapiro
I was starting to go to bed with my cortisol so much higher than when I just started taking walks to bring down my cortisol so that I wasn't starting the night so high with my cortisol so high. But we hear this term stress management a lot. And can you just speak a little bit to how that interacts with insomnia and cortisol? Since you mentioned cortisol a couple of times, being kind of the master blocker of sleep. 


 31:04

Kelly Murray
I like that. The master blocker of sleep. A lot of sleep issues are due to stress. It could be mental and emotional stress. That's usually the culprit. Where the insomnia initially takes place is because you're going through a stressful situation. Maybe you're changing jobs or you became a new mom or you're getting a divorce. Very stressful. And whenever our bodies are stressed, even mental and emotional stress, that triggers fight or flight. And we're spending more time in the sympathetic states, which is where our body's dedicating all the resources to survival. So our blood sugar increases, our respiratory rate, our heart rate, our cortisol, and then everything our body needs to do to maintain balance, as I mentioned before, is put on the back burner. 


 31:57

Kelly Murray
So then you're susceptible to start to experience physical dysfunction, such as mineral deficiencies and gut dysbiosis, parasites, hormonal imbalances, neurotransmitter issues. And that then contributes to the insomnia. So what I find, people who have chronic insomnia usually started because of a stressful life event, but then things normalized, and they still were having issues sleeping. And that's because of the physical dysfunction that the insomnia caused due to the fact that they were in fight or flight chronically. But it doesn't always necessarily have to be a significant traumatic event that throws you into a sleepless pattern. It could also be, to your point, overworking. So if you think about our ancestors, do you think they worked as hard as we do? 


 32:55

Ali Shapiro
No, they didn't. 


 32:57

Kelly Murray
They probably walked around and foraged and maybe did a little hunting and prepared their food and spent time with their families. They weren't working eight to 10 hours straight and not getting any breaks, and then taking care of their children, doing homework, shuttling our kids to activities. I mean, our modern life is really hectic, and to our bodies, that's stress. Why are you working so hard? If your body's working really hard, there must be a saber toothed tiger nearby that you're trying to defend yourself against. So that can then trigger the sympathetic state and then lead to that excessive cortisol production that causes the initial insomnia. But then the insomnia itself is another stressor, and then you have all the physical dysfunction that happens as a result. 


 33:56

Ali Shapiro
I love that. So for people listening, what started your insomnia may not be what's keeping it going. And I think that was definitely the case with, like, I feel like the hormonal disruptions, probably, or an essa becoming a mom started it, but then I started getting so tired, and I think then the physical, the low immunity, then not having the energy to eat dinner and just wanting to grab a handful of cashews, which is not what I need to be eating for my body. But when you lack the energy, it kind of is this downward spiral. Yeah, you bring up a good point. 


 34:29

Kelly Murray
There's the behavioral component, too, that the lack of sleep brings on. You make poor choices when it comes to your food. You don't have enough energy to exercise also. Then you start to develop sleep anxiety, where sleep is a stressful situation, and the last thing you want to do is stress out at night where you're sleep. 


 34:53

Ali Shapiro
All right, so we're going to take a quick break because I outlined the problems now, and then we're going to come back with some solutions. 


 35:01

Ali Shapiro
It's that time of year again. Truce with food. Trust in satisfaction, not restriction. My six month group program is open for registration through January 31, 2024. I only run truce once a year, and I keep it small so that you get the best of both worlds. My individualized group, individualized attention, and the benefits of an intimate, supportive group. So spots do tend to fill up pretty quickly. We begin February 1, 2024. Perhaps you've struggled with food for years and suspect that the solution isn't somewhere out there in some passing fad or yet another restrictive diet. You sense that a deeper change is necessary, and midlife is a great time to address this deeper change. Over the years, I've guided hundreds of satisfied participants through this program. 


 36:01

Ali Shapiro
So you get the benefit of a refined curriculum that not only meets you where you are, but guides you to where you'd like to be. We cover a lot of ground in this comprehensive six month program, from learning what foods are best for you now, not when you were 20 or last time something worked for a short time to discovering the root cause of why you fall off track with your healthy eating. And this includes why falling off track makes sense. Not that it's the problem, but it's the thing to understand and work through. These are results that will last and require no white knuckling. No one's got energy or time for that in midlife, especially if this sounds like it might be a good fit for you. 


 36:43

Ali Shapiro
Join me for a completely free, no strings attached sneak peek in my find your flow when it's all in flux Salon series on Wednesday, December 27, January 10 and January 24 from twelve to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and bring any burning questions from this season so that you can get them answered on this call. Sign up for free@allyshapiro.com hello, and no worries if you're listening to this after the three part series has already started. Once you sign up, you'll receive access to a limited replay of what you missed. I hope to connect with as many of you who listen to this show as possible at this series. Once again, visit alyssapiro.com backslash flow for more details. Now back to the show. 


 37:39

Ali Shapiro
Okay, Kelly, so I'm going to start off, since went in depth, of all the different potential reasons people could have insomnia. Now we're going to do like a little Google lightning round of answers. And I know that you are so contextual, which is why part of why I hired you. Not only the good recommendation, but I hate when people give me one size fits all answers, so I'm not expecting that. But people want to know these answers. 


 38:06

Kelly Murray
All right, I'll do my best. 


 38:08

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, okay. Does menopause insomnia go away? 


 38:13

Kelly Murray
I think it just depends on the situation. If you don't develop sleep anxiety and other physical dysfunctions and imbalances and deficiencies due to the insomnia, then it will likely go away once everything kind of shakes out with menopause. But for people who do develop this dysfunction and anxiety around sleep, then it's likely not going to go away until those things have been addressed. 


 38:45

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, I know, because I was thinking, in Truce with Food, I've had some clients, like once we add carbohydrates to their dinner at night. They were trying to cut out carbs initially, but then, to your point, address the physical issues. It's like no let's add some carbs in for that. It's like, oh, my God, I'm sleeping so much better. It's like, yeah, so the answer depends, like, are you not eating enough carbs or do you have a parasite? And are you addressing the underlying imbalances? So that's important. Someone asked, one of the top searches in Google is my liver waking me up at 03:00 a.m. So you talked a little bit about that, but I want to answer that again. Is it our liver waking us up. 


 39:24

Kelly Murray
At 03:00 a.m., yeah, it definitely could be. Because if you do have a sluggish liver and your body is kicking up toxins and not able to clear the toxins, then that leads to inflammation. And whenever our bodies are inflamed, our bodies then produce cortisol, because cortisol is anti inflammatory. So certainly, yes, I've seen it with a lot of my clients who have poor detox pathways and a sluggish liver that they're waking up around that time. And I even know myself where if I drink a glass of wine, that's the exact time I wake up. Around 03:00 in the morning. 


 40:00

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, totally. The liver. 


 40:06

Kelly Murray
Yeah. 


 40:07

Ali Shapiro
What is the best sleep aid for menopause? 


 40:10

Kelly Murray
So I would say number one, hormones. What's the biggest change during menopause is that your hormones decrease. So getting on hormone replacement therapy, I think, is one of the best solutions during menopause and also maintaining a stabilized blood sugar, because as you enter menopause, you become more insulin resistant. So really focusing on balancing your blood sugar becomes even more important because you don't want to experience those dips overnight. That can lead to a wake up. And in addition, if you're having a lot of spikes during the day, that's a stressor on your body, and then that is just pounding on your adrenals. Your adrenals are what are responsible for producing cortisol. And the more you demand of your adrenals, then the more dysfunctional they become. And then what could happen is your body starts producing suboptimal levels of cortisol. 


 41:10

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, I love that you said it. And HRT is such a big topic. And I love too, that you put it as a supplement. Like, answered it to the supplement question, because I don't think people realize if you're not keeping your blood sugar balanced, if your gut health isn't healthy, if you're not effectively stress management, the hormones can't change everything. You have to still do the stuff you're going to do. And then I found that HRT really helps. And again, sometimes it's chicken or the egg. HRT will help, but you still have to be doing, to your point, the blood sugar stuff, the gut health stuff, the stress management stuff. Don't you agree with that? 


 41:50

Ali Shapiro
You're not going to be able to keep up all of this crazy eating or drinking and then expect HRT or which they're now calling menopause hormone therapy because you're not actually replacing full on all the hormones, but you're like supplementing so that the decrease is slower. Do you agree with that? 


 42:08

Kelly Murray
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's really important to have good gut health during menopause because research shows that the diversity of your microbiome decreases during menopause. And having a diverse microbiome is really important for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin that help with your mental health as well as your sleep. Like I said before, serotonin is a precursor to melatonin. So that's why we see a dip in melatonin in menopause is because the gut microbiome is impacted by menopause. So yeah, taking really good care of your gut is really important. Also, I always mispronounce this word, the estrobolome, which is how your gut microbiome interacts with estrogen. That becomes even more important when you're in menopause because the estrobone produces an enzyme called glucar. Sorry. 


 43:09

Ali Shapiro
That's okay. 


 43:10

Kelly Murray
Betaglucaranidase. And what betaglucaranidase does is it breaks the bond between estrogen and these enzymes that allow your body to rid itself of estrogen, to metabolize it. And so the beta glucaronidase breaks the bond so that some estrogen recirculates. So if your gut microbiome isn't producing enough beta glucaronidase, then that can actually impact your estrogen levels as well. 


 43:43

Ali Shapiro
Well, and you're also making me think if you're not eating well and then you take more estrogen and you can't detox your estrogen. Right. That's where MHT known as HRT could backfire. Right? Because you need to be able to detox estrogen through the liver, all that stuff. Because if you're not detoxing it, then. Do you know what I mean? I never thought about. You just made me connect that as well, like why eating well is just so important overall. 


 44:11

Kelly Murray
But to have healthy detox of your acid, especially making sure that down the right pathways. So eating a lot of cusuprous vegetables becomes really important when you're in menopause because cousuprous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, they contain an enzyme called dim, which aids in the metabolization of estrogen. 


 44:36

Ali Shapiro
I love that. 


 44:37

Kelly Murray
So if you're taking HRT and you're not metabolizing it correctly, then that could increase the risk of breast cancer. It's not really the HRT. It's more the way your body's processing it. And in order for your body to process it correctly, it needs to be cared for. 


 44:54

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. And for everyone listening, we're going to go into HRT in a different episode because that's like it's its whole own. Yeah, but it can be really helpful for. So, and then the last one, I'm going to ask you from the Google lightning round, before we get into more detail of some stuff, is someone asked, what doctors recommend for menopause relief? They don't even recognize menopause, but I'll let you answer that. 


 45:19

Kelly Murray
When it comes to sleep, I find that most doctors will put you on a sleeping aid during menopause and not really address the root cause, unfortunately, and I'm not a doctor basher. I think I have a lot of respect for doctors, but they just take a totally different approach. They're looking for symptom relief. 


 45:35

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. 


 45:37

Kelly Murray
Not fixing the root cause of the issue. 


 45:41

Ali Shapiro
And I think that's so important because we didn't even get into this, but certain medications, and again, I'm with you, doctors are amazing. Medication can be amazing. And there's a lot of medications that can interfere with sleep. Right. And then if you keep taking sleep aids, sleep aids, I don't know, it can interfere with other medications. So I think getting to the root when you can just eliminates a lot of complexity and potential plateauing and effects down the line. 


 46:13

Kelly Murray
Yeah, you're right. And I do have some clients where I actually recommend, hey, you are in such a bad place. You need to go to your doctor and get a sleep aid right away because the work that I do, it's not overnight. You're not going to see results overnight. It's going to take a good month, maybe two, maybe three, maybe six months. It just depends on how long you've been experiencing insomnia and how much dysfunction is present and how quickly you can adopt the protocols and your compliance that some people are just so severely sleep deprived that they don't even have enough energy to take the first step in improving their health, that they need something to break the cycle so that they can at least get some good sleep and start feeling better so that they can put in the work. Yes. 


 47:01

Ali Shapiro
I love that. I love that. It's like, yeah, let's secure, batten down the hatches. Like, let's secure what we need to secure and then we can move from there. You're meeting people where they are, which is. I love that. I always say it's like there's no bad or good tool. It's the right tool at the right time that really makes the difference. So take me through how you work with clients when they come to you. I mean, I know how you work with me, but I'm just curious how you work with clients and what are some of the big misconceptions that show why you work the way that you work? 


 47:33

Kelly Murray
Yeah. So like you said before, I take a mind body approach. Right now, the gold standard for insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. And I have been trained in all the methods. I can't say that I use CBTI because I'm not a licensed therapist, but I know all the strategies. So cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is very important when it comes to addressing sleep issues. And basically that consists of addressing some important areas around sleep behavior. So your sleep hygiene, are you sleeping in a dark, cool room with minimal noise? Your sleep thoughts. So what are those messages you're telling yourself about your sleep? Are you constantly obsessing over the fact that you're not sleeping well? 


 48:25

Kelly Murray
So then sleep again becomes this anxiety ridden event and then you're not going to be able to sleep well because you're going to be in fight or flight and your body is going to be producing cortisol. And then also your brain is going to be active because you're so just hyper vigilance because of the lack of sleep? Also we call stimulus control, where if you develop a poor relationship with your bed, where your subconscious links your bed to a place where you worry and stay awake, then that can perpetuate the insomnia. So making sure that when you start to stress, you're getting out of bed and you're breaking that association. And then last but not least, stress management. So are you managing your mental and emotional stressors during the day? All those pillars are very important to address. 


 49:11

Kelly Murray
So that's what I work first with my clients, is making sure that they have good sleep hygiene. We're working on their thoughts the way they're handling the wake ups and ensuring that they're incorporating stress management, not only right before bed, but throughout the day. And doing that while we're waiting for the lab results to get back to come back. And then once I receive the lab results, then I start building more of the customized protocols that involve dietary changes, different lifestyle changes, as well as supplements. 


 49:47

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. And what are you testing for specifically with the lab results? Because I know you do a hair mineral test analysis, you do a gut thing, you do the dutch test, or have things changed? I'm curious, but just so people understand all the different physiological processes that you're looking at. Yeah. 


 50:07

Kelly Murray
So I have a couple of different packages, but my signature program involves five functional lab tests. So we're conducting a dutch test, which is assessing your hormones, so your sex hormones, as well as your cortisol and melatonin, and looking at how those are being metabolized, which is really important. It also looks at some organic acids as well. Then we're running a GI map. It's a stool test that analyzes the dna of your stool and gives us a report of the different species of bacteria in your stool and the quantities we want to make sure that you're balanced. It also looks at some digestive markers, which are really important, including betaglucaronidase. 


 50:54

Ali Shapiro
A lot of times on the dutch. 


 50:55

Kelly Murray
Test, I'll see that a woman isn't detoxing her estrogen well, and then she'll have high betaglucuronadese, and we know the reason. Also a neurotransmitter test. I think this one's new, since you and I have worked together. I really like the neurotransmitter test because we can get some good neurotransmitter therapy to help you sleep better in the meantime. So we're looking at things like serotonin and gaba and glycine, and then the more excitatory neurotransmitters like dopamine and neuroepinephrine and epinephrine. And I'm also running a hair tissue mineral analysis because hair is the best way to analyze your mineral status because it's showing us exactly what your body is utilizing. So I'm really focusing, balancing magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium, and looking to see if you have any heavy metals, which heavy metals, again, contribute to inflammation and cortisol production. 


 51:47

Kelly Murray
And then last but not least, I run a very thorough blood panel, and what I'm looking at is your thyroid function, also your liver enzymes and blood sugar, and then other markers that can indicate if you have b vitamin deficiencies. 


 52:04

Ali Shapiro
I love that. So everyone realizes, basically, if you're really struggling with sleep, it's just an indication that there's a couple of physiological processes that probably need some love and care. Wouldn't you say that sleep is just kind of the entry point that you're noticing this? It's kind of like with my clients, we're helping them holistically with what foods work best for them in stress management. But the way they understand that is through their battle with food. That's the apparent pain. And wouldn't you say that with sleep, you're really giving people. I mean, I know you would never say this, but you're kind of giving them a clinical, like a physical workup in a way. 


 52:42

Kelly Murray
Wouldn't you say that? Yeah, it's a full functional workup, like looking underneath the hood. How is your body functioning? Where areas for improvements? And you're right, I don't feel like insomnia should be a diagnosis. It's more of a symptom of physical dysfunction as well as poor sleep hygiene and negative sleep mindsets. 


 53:05

Ali Shapiro
Yes. You helped me so much with that. I developed so much anxiety around sleep. And I remember one night I didn't sleep. You're like, don't react to it. It's just like one night. And I'm like, oh, my God. This is how I work with my clients. When they overeat again or binge, it's like, okay, what happened? What can we use that as research? And so I had to use that with my own sleep. You helped me be like, it's okay that it happened. Let's figure out what perhaps we need to add or what you didn't do, or. It's just nothing. It's just some nights you have bad night's sleep. And as I got more and more rested, I mean, I was, like, trying to make up from two years of not sleeping. 


 53:45

Ali Shapiro
But it's like, even the other night I just woke up at 130. I have no idea why, but I functioned the whole day because I've been sleeping so well, better for a couple of years, but it was just like, oh, my God, I don't need to freak out about this and stress myself out, but I needed your help to get there because you do start to, like, I just used to be such a no brainer sleeper. I just didn't have to think about it. And now, frankly, I had to adapt my whole life around it because it was. And again, my life is overall healthier and better for it. But I really had to take it so seriously, not as just like, oh, I hope I sleep tonight. It's like, no, you got to do the things. 


 54:29

Kelly Murray
Yeah, you got to prepare your mind and body. 


 54:31

Ali Shapiro
Yes. 


 54:33

Kelly Murray
When were younger, because we didn't have as many stressors, like, the more stress life, the busier you are, the more parasites. 


 54:42

Ali Shapiro
I'm just kidding. Not as many parasites. 


 54:47

Kelly Murray
The more time you need to take to make sure that you're unwinding and preparing your body for sleep. 


 54:53

Ali Shapiro
Totally. 


 54:54

Kelly Murray
I think a lot of moms, we tend to work after our kids go to bed and we're just not giving ourselves enough time to decompress. That's one thing I really had to change when I had insomnia was I had to stop working at night. And now it's like a non negotiable to me. I just do not work in the evening. I have some clients work with me at night and I feel so bad telling them no. But if I work with them, I am not going to sleep well myself because my brain is going to be too active before I go to bed. 


 55:23

Ali Shapiro
You mentioned magnesium, so I'm always seeing, because I follow some functional medicine people, 80% of people are deficient in magnesium, and that wasn't true for me. But can you talk about this and also about magnesium absorption and also potassium, because you really taught me the importance of potassium and salt for my own sleep because that was my issue more than the magnesium. 


 55:48

Kelly Murray
So two questions. 


 55:49

Ali Shapiro
Magnesium and potassium. Can you rest? Yes. 


 55:52

Kelly Murray
Magnesium seems to be the hot mineral these days and for good reason. It's involved. And they say, sometimes I hear 400 enzyme reactions in our body, sometimes I hear 600. So really important. It helps to calm our mind and our body. It plays a role in blood pressure, cell permeability, and the list goes on and on. And unfortunately, most of us are not meeting. I don't know if we can say necessarily that most of us are deficient, but 75% to 80% aren't meeting the recommended daily requirement of magnesium. And the thing with minerals is that you have to obtain minerals from external sources through food. Your body doesn't generate minerals on its own like it does vitamins. So unfortunately, our food sources don't contain as much magnesium as they used to because our soil is being depleted. 


 56:43

Kelly Murray
And also we're just not eating those magnesium rich foods in the western diet. So that contributes to the fact that we're not meeting those recommendations. And also when you're stressed, your body burns through magnesium nine times faster than it normally does if you're at a relaxed state. And it's really almost diabolical, because the more stressed you are, the more magnesium you need, but you're burning through it much more quickly. And so I do see in the htmes that I run that most of my clients are deficient in magnesium, and it's either because their body is retaining a lot of sodium and potassium. Sodium potassium are solvents and electrolytes, and they help to speed up your metabolism. 


 57:33

Kelly Murray
So my clients that we call fast oxidizers, where they have a really fast metabolism, they're just burning through their magnesium because of the high sodium potassium, whereas my slow oxidizers, they typically have very depleted levels of sodium potassium, and so therefore, their magnesium on the hair test will look like it's really high. And they think that's good. Like, oh, wow, look how high my magnesium is. No, that's not good. That means that your body is not absorbing it, that it's like getting stuck in the intercellular fluids, and you need to support potassium and sodium in order to be able to utilize the magnesium. And then there's other cofactors, like your b vitamins. So a lot of insomniacs are poor methylators, and so they typically just also struggle with B vitamin and folate deficiencies, and that can contribute to poor magnesium absorption as well. 


 58:30

Ali Shapiro
Wow. It's a lot, because you don't hear about, again, you hear about magnesium, but you're giving us the whole, there's a, and of course, there's a lot more to it, because I just want to emphasize again for everyone, like Kelly has been saying, like, blood sugar and gut health are so foundational. And once you get that mean, all these minerals in this stuff can help, but you need to get the solid stuff so that the foundational stuff. So you're getting the b vitamins in that you need. You're getting all of the other things that you need to absorb, all of these minerals and everything. So to your point, if you're not eating the right foods for your body and you're a slow oxidizer, you're like, I need more and more magnesium. It's like, no, you need to absorb it more. 


 59:14

Ali Shapiro
Which getting your body online through all the foundational things will help. So I just think that's important for people to emphasize. And so I don't think of magnesium as a quick fix because it's kind of a supplement. But people probably think, if I take magnesium, oh, I'm not falling asleep. What are some quick fixes. You see people taking melatonin supplements or what do people go to for relief but that aren't necessarily addressing the root cause? 


 59:44

Kelly Murray
Yeah, I do think a lot of people reach for melatonin, and melatonin is one of those controversial supplements. I feel like there are worse things you could be taking to address your sleep issues. So if melatonin works for you, hey, I don't see an issue with it because it has a lot of other benefits. It plays a big role in your immune system. It's anti inflammatory, so if it works, great. But unfortunately, melatonin doesn't work well for most people who have issues staying asleep. I find that it works better for individuals that struggle to fall asleep. So yes, melatonin is definitely one of those supplements that people try first, and most people find that it doesn't address the issue. And then another supplement that I see used commonly would be like ltheanine, which is good for stress reduction. And with some people it helps. 


 01:00:40

Kelly Murray
But really, I think if you address the underlying stressors, that would probably be more beneficial. However, like I said, I think it is important though to find some quick fixes, if you can, to get you sleeping better, because insomnia is a stressor in and of itself and you're just going to be really tired and have a hard time working on your foundational protocols. But yes, ltheanine is another quick fix. Also GABA. A lot of people will take GABA, and some people aren't deficient in GabA. So I do run the neurotransmitter test and I find that a lot of my clients who have high dopamine levels and neuroepinephrine and epinephrine, they struggle with sleep, but they don't have a deficiency in GabA just because they have a lot of these excitatory neurotransmitters in their system. 


 01:01:28

Ali Shapiro
What about CBD gummies? 


 01:01:31

Kelly Murray
Oh, yeah. So people try that too. That's another popular one. And I find that, I hear people say that it helps but it doesn't correct the problem 100%. But then again, people come to me when they've already tried all the things. 


 01:01:46

Ali Shapiro
I get it. 


 01:01:49

Kelly Murray
So I'm not saying that CBD doesn't work. So I'm sure it works for a lot of people. But with my clients, I find that they'll say it helps, but it doesn't fix the problem 100%. And I think that's because you don't know if you have an endocannabinoid deficiencies. Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids to help maintain balance in our system. And yes, you can become deficient because of stress and age. And so if you are and you supplement with CBD, yeah, it's definitely going to have an effect, but we don't know if that's the underlying cause. Yeah. 


 01:02:25

Ali Shapiro
One more question for me and then we'll wrap up here. But you, meaning, like the collective you are always reading, don't eat two to 3 hours before bed. But in our work, you told me to have a snack before bed because I was waking up in the middle of the night and often not being able to fall back asleep. But that really helped because my blood sugar was bottoming out in the middle of the night. So can you just talk about how do you determine if someone should try a snack before bed or if that could help them or if potentially it could hinder. And I know they will ultimately have to see for themselves, but what signals to you that someone may need that? 


 01:03:07

Kelly Murray
Yeah, I would say it's more helpful when people are waking up too early or they're having middle of the night wake ups. And sometimes you may have symptoms of low blood sugar, like being shaky, being thirsty, so having cravings for food, being hungry. So if you have those symptoms, definitely try a snack, but you may not have those symptoms or they may be so subtle that you don't even realize. I always think it's worth trying and not to just try it one night. Try it for a few nights and see if it helps. And the snack needs to be small. 


 01:03:40

Kelly Murray
So we do say don't eat a big meal within that, like, three hour window before you sleep because you don't want your body doing a lot of digesting, because digesting is a sign of your body that it's daytime, so it's going to interfere with your circadian rhythm. But if you have a small snack, 100 to 200 calories, where it's balanced, do you want to make sure that it contains little healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates? That isn't going to result in a ton of digestion, where it's going to throw off your circadian rhythm, but it could be just enough macronutrients in order to stabilize your blood sugar throughout the night. So I think it's like one of those low cost, really easy solutions to try. Yeah. 


 01:04:30

Ali Shapiro
And just for everyone, an idea of what I eat is I eat like, two slices of turkey breast and like half a piece of whatever fruit we have, and then usually like a couple of peanuts. I eat it every night. So that's an example of a small snack that works. And I'm someone who really needs animal protein, so that's why, to keep my blood sugar balanced. 


 01:04:52

Kelly Murray
Yeah, those are definitely good snacks. Or you could try even yogurt with berries. 


 01:04:56

Ali Shapiro
Oh, yeah, I can't do yogurt. Like dairy. I can't do yogurt all that time. It makes me really bloated. And I found in menopause, bloat is just like the littlest thing that makes me so much more bloated. But if people can do dairy, that's a great one, like greek yogurt or something really high in fat. All right, Kelly, so we're going to wrap up here. We covered a lot of ground today. And listen, everyone, if you didn't get to take all the notes, it's okay. If you go to Backslash podcast, we have a really great summary. We're doing things differently this season. There's a great summary, there's a transcript. You can get everything that we talked about in a digestible food puns forever form on my website. So don't worry about that. So again, we covered a lot of the ground. 


 01:05:42

Ali Shapiro
What do you think are the top three actionable takeaways? Listeners who are going through perimenopause or menopause can put into practice immediately. That would help them on the right step for sleep tonight. Yeah. 


 01:05:55

Kelly Murray
So number one, I would say take good care of your gut. Eat fermented foods. They say three servings is just as beneficial as taking probiotics and prebiotics. But if you can't do that, then it's always good to supplement with probiotics and prebiotics. Make sure you're eating whole food diets. Stay away from those processed foods because the bad bacteria thrive on those types of things. Also, take good care of your liver so that you're metabolizing your hormones effectively. I really like using castor oil packs. They're super easy. Queen of Thrones is my favorite brand. Doing some dry brushing, making sure you're sweating every day through exercise or doing an infrared sauna. And then last but not least, balancing your blood sugar because you do become more insulin resistant when you enter perimenopause and menopause. 


 01:06:48

Ali Shapiro
I love that. And also, I'm just going to plug something that you taught me and I had read about, but you really explained the importance to me of getting up at the same time every day within a 30 minutes window. Even if you're freaking tired, you got to do it to just kind of like, reset and work on it. So I want to add that in. And that was pretty important for me, going to bed around the same time every night within 30 minutes and waking up that you taught me. Is there anything that we didn't get into this interview that you'd like to address? 


 01:07:19

Kelly Murray
There are so many things so natural and something that when were younger, we never thought about. Sleep could be really complicated. So one thing you could do is head to my website. Kelly Murray Adult sleep I have a video about the hidden sleep sabotager. So it will get into more of, like, the lesser known root causes of sleep issues. 


 01:07:42

Ali Shapiro
I love that. Well, and I was going to ask what is the best way for listeners to find out more about you and your work? 


 01:07:48

Kelly Murray
Yeah. So you can catch me on instagram. Kelly Murray adult sleep I have a YouTube channel. Kelly Murray adult sleep. And of course, like I mentioned, my website has the free mini training. 


 01:07:58

Ali Shapiro
That's wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Kelly. We have covered so much ground, and I think really opened people up to the possibility that they could have so much better sleep than they expect right now. So thank you. 


 01:08:12

Kelly Murray
Yes, you too, Ali. I hope that everyone was able to take away at least one actionable item that's going to translate into better sleep. 


 01:08:21

Ali Shapiro
Yes, for sure. Take care, everyone. 

Podcasts we love