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The Sleep Episode: Vegan Insights for Better Zzz's

In the latest episode of the Real Men Eat Plants podcast, Bryan gathered an inspiring crew—Shane Martin, Glen Merzer, Geoff Palmer, and Paul Chatlin—to dive deep into the topic of sleep, shedding light on its complexity through the lens of plant-based living. With Shane returning to share news of becoming a grandparent and launching his vegan bread baking book, "Baking Vegan Bread at Home," the conversation quickly branched into how our daily habits, especially our diet, profoundly impact our sleep quality.

This episode stands out as a testament to the interconnectedness of our lifestyle choices and our well-being, emphasizing the significant role a plant-based diet plays in enhancing sleep. Geoff Palmer, with his extensive knowledge, unpacked the science behind sleep, discussing how stress hormones like cortisol affect our sleep cycle and how adopting a plant-based diet can naturally help mitigate these effects. He highlighted the importance of magnesium and ashwagandha in reducing stress levels, alongside the benefits of consuming high-fiber foods that promote the production of serotonin, a key hormone for good sleep.

The conversation also touched on personal routines and adjustments made by the guests to improve their sleep, showcasing the diversity in approaches and the common goal of achieving better health through plant-based living. Shane's journey of writing his book amidst sleepless nights sparked a broader discussion on the need for balance and the physical and mental repercussions of neglecting sleep.

Paul Chatlin shared insights from his dialogue with sleep expert Doug Lyle, illuminating the normalcy of varying sleep patterns and the significance of not stressing over perfection in our sleep routines.

This episode beautifully encapsulates the essence of Real Men Eat Plants' mission: to challenge stereotypes and promote a healthy, plant-based lifestyle that goes beyond diet to include all aspects of well-being, including the vital, often overlooked, component of sleep.

Listeners are encouraged to embrace the tips shared, from diet adjustments to mindfulness practices, as tools to enhance their sleep and, by extension, their overall health. This episode is a must-listen for anyone on a plant-based journey looking to deepen their understanding of the holistic benefits of their lifestyle choices, particularly in the realm of rest and recovery.

Ready to join the plant-powered revolution? The RMEP crew’s got your back, showing you that eating your greens is not just good for your health but for the animals and the environment. Dive into the plant-based world with us, and let’s make every meal an opportunity for better sleep, better health, and a better planet. Join the movement at Real People Eat Plants.


>Podcast Episode’s Transcript

Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.

Bryan (00:01.042)

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the Real Men Eat Plants podcast. I have an amazing crew of people here to chat with us today.

and we are gonna unpack lots of cool things around the topic of sleep. So before we dive into that fun subject, I wanted to welcome back Shane, who's been off in the trenches, knee deep in flour and bread making materials, cause he's got a brand new book. So welcome back, Shane, tell us all about it.

Shane (00:24.169)


Shane (00:31.99)

Well, things are good, but gotta tell you the latest news though that we've been slammed with. So we're super excited. We found out a couple weeks ago, my wife and I are gonna be grandparents. So yeah, so yeah.

Bryan (00:45.83)

Wow, congratulations Shane.

Glen Merzer (00:46.422)

Whoa! Well, did you find out which child is involved?

Bryan (00:52.594)

Ha ha.

Shane (00:53.61)

Not yet. We're supposed to find out in another week or so. So, no. So my oldest daughter is 22. She finished college at Mississippi State this past summer. This past summer, her husband graduated year before her, is an officer in the Air Force, is in pilot training, and they got engaged.

Glen Merzer (00:54.658)


Glen Merzer (00:58.549)


Shane (01:21.09)

The second week of November, got married two weeks later, and then a week later moved to San Antonio for his next phase of training. And we went out with our other girls spring break, last week, week four, week four last, and they hit the ground running. And so we walked in and the little room, the room at their house that my wife and I were staying in, she, we walked in and she had a little flight suit onesie laying on the corner of the bed with the pregnancy test.

So we're super excited. I don't feel like I should be in this phase of my life yet, but it was like, so, but I, but anyway, so we're super stoked. So yeah, so that's been the newest big life change with everything going on. So we're super excited about it. Thank, yes, yeah, that just sounds weird. I don't, so anyway, but yeah, so the book came out March 12th.

Bryan (01:54.983)


Bryan (02:06.194)

Congratulations, Grandpa. Ha ha ha.

Geoff Palmer (02:09.579)


Shane (02:18.338)

It's called Baking Vegan Bread at Home, and subtitle is Beautiful Everyday in Artisan Plant-Based Breads. So, and as Glen, you and Brian know more than anybody, it was hell sometimes. I mean, it was, I'm not, I like to tell people I am time management challenged and organizationally challenged. So it's probably fitting we're talking about sleep because...

literally at one point trying to finish this and meet some deadlines. I think over, well, it was when you came in, Brian, it was the week before you came in. Yeah, I had three days of work and literally slept four and a half hours in three days and was not, that was terrible. I mean, I was like, I can never do that to my body again. It was just, I was sick most of the time Brian was here.

Bryan (02:53.022)

I know, it was the week I was there that you were a zombie. Hehehehe.

Shane (03:12.45)

Brian had all these big plans, we're gonna record these episodes, and I'm just kinda like, I don't think it's gonna happen. But anyway, yeah, so it's out, and I don't know if I posted a video, my wife took of me opening it, and I literally just bawled when I saw it and could hold it. And then, and then the excitement lasted for about two minutes because then I realized, oh, I gotta meet other deadlines on the second book. So, but anyway, so.

But yeah, so it's out, the reviews have been really good. And it's just kind of, I know what Glenn feels like now just to hold something you've worked on. It just, I don't know, it just, and I don't know, it's the closest thing that I can relate to giving birth, I've heard. So I mean, but no, it's, yeah, so. I said that.

Glen Merzer (03:58.189)

Ha ha.

Bryan (04:03.418)

I've seen the pictures on your blog and a few other places I think you've been posting it and the breads all look absolutely amazing in there. So you've done some amazing photography on that and I look forward to trying some of those recipes. So anyone that's like your standout favorite, I know Glenn has his picked out.

Shane (04:09.396)


Shane (04:19.026)

Yeah, not... Yes. Oh, you do, Glenn? Oh, the rosemary olive bread? There is a rosemary olive bread. I would say by far, the number one is the island coconut, the island coconut pineapple bread is the hands down like,

Glen Merzer (04:25.93)

Well, is that in there?

Glen Merzer (04:32.118)

There you go.

Shane (04:48.538)

We, um, I remember the day we were baking it and my wife, um, when we were kind of in this stretch, she's a graphic designer, self-employed graphic designer. And she took like time off one day and literally was in the kitchen for 10 hours baking and just baking these loaves one right after another. And as she would bake them, I would run them upstairs to a little room across from the attic and I was shooting trying to make these deadlines, but

Bryan (05:13.534)


Shane (05:15.082)

But when this one came out, as it was baking and came out of the oven, I mean, it just, our girls came home from school and they, I mean, like it was one of those things that just hit you. It's like a pina colada in a bread almost. And, but it was, I mean, just macadamia nuts, coconut. I mean, it was so good. And I would say that one and the lemon loaf are two of our, but the island coconut pineapple bread is just, I mean, it is, I think it's phenomenal. It's our favorite. So.

Bryan (05:26.59)


Bryan (05:44.242)

So if your mouth is watering and drooling right now, go and check it out. Where can they get the book?

Shane (05:44.619)

Now we'll set.

Shane (05:50.07)

So they can get the book on Amazon. Like I said, it's called Baking Vegan Bread at Home. It's available at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble, Thrifty Books, Harvard Book Store, Shop at Harvard. I mean, it's anywhere they sell books, you can find it now. So now I do need to make a disclaimer and I tell people for the sake of transparency, this book was a little bit of a backwards project in the sense that, you know, when people get a book deal,

they have the idea of the book they wanna do and the literary agent shops for you and you get to do your book. So this book was already planned, budgeted, funded, and they needed an author. And they found me on Pinterest and somehow or another, my name popped up when they were searching for bread and they said, oh, you're a bread guy then. I went, I like bread. I'm like, I...

Bryan (06:47.784)


Glen Merzer (06:47.819)


Shane (06:49.43)

I just learned in the music business, if anyone ever asks you if you can do something when you're trying to make it, just say yes, and then go like hell trying to learn it. And so, yeah, so I told them, yes, I love bread, and ended up getting the deal, but they wanted it to be specifically, they were not looking for a, they wanted to take breads that were not vegan.

Geoff Palmer (06:56.683)

But yeah.

Shane (07:18.95)

make them vegan. So their goal was not healthy breads. They just wanted a vegan alternative in their market. And so one of the things, I didn't say yes right away to the deal. I talked to my wife, I talked to some other bloggers that are whole food plant based, actually emailed with some stalwarts in the...

Whole Food arena and actually one of, one that follows me is a New York Times best-selling author and big plant-based advocate. I was like, I'm kind of torn because if I do this as the creator of this, I kind of have to step outside the lines because as we know within the whole food plant-based world, there are just some things, it's limited and it's not a lot, but there are some things we cannot do.

vegan versions of without utilizing the vegan butters and stuff like that. And so I really struggled with that. And basically the support that came back was like, look, man, any inroad you can make into the industry to get your foot out there and just champion the cause, you know, yes, health is our number one concern, but we're not one dimensional. And if this helps you get your foot in the door of a major publisher to come back, if they like the book and say,

Bryan (08:39.89)


Shane (08:45.182)

Now I want to do the book I want to do. So we didn't, so it's not a Shane and simple book. And I've tried to be as clear as I could with everyone with that. So if you look at the book, there are oils that are used. I did try to sneak in some oil-free recipes. And so there are a few, but anyway, so they can very easily be modified to be oil-free

Bryan (08:47.463)


Shane (09:14.774)

And we're actually gonna start a live on the Facebook subscribers of where we're gonna make, we're gonna go through the book gradually and make oil-free whole versions of everything, showing people how to substitute. But, so I did wanna make that disclaimer, but yeah, so it's been going great. The breads turned out great. People are posting, even the people buying the book on Amazon are posting pictures. And you know how it is when you...

you cook something from a cookbook and it never looks like the picture, you know, and so So people have been posting so there's all this. Oh, I hope it turns out. Okay. So anyway So so far so good. So that's where we are. So but yes, I learned coconut pineapple bread

Geoff Palmer (09:45.323)

Thank you.

Bryan (09:45.522)

That's right.

Bryan (09:59.314)

Well, we are all super proud of you, Shane. Congratulations, first book out the door. But I did want to take a minute for some of our newer listeners tuning in. We've got the crew of regulars kind of here on the show today. So I wanted each of them to just say hi and introduce themselves for some of you that may not know them yet. But Jeff, did you want to say hi?

Shane (10:04.052)

Yeah, thank you.

Geoff Palmer (10:20.955)

I'm Jeff Palmer. I'm the CEO and founder of Clean Machine. I created the first completely vegan bodybuilding competition in the world, the World Vegan Bodybuilding Championship. Writing a book too, so I'm right behind you Shane. Hopefully we'll get it out by the end of the year and on health and nutrition and as well. So just celebrating the beginning of my 40th year as a vegan this month.

Shane (10:35.756)


Shane (10:48.654)


Bryan (10:51.283)

Woohoo! Well thank you again, Jeff, for being on the show and helping promote what we're trying to drive forward here. Glenn, how are you today?

Glen Merzer (11:00.774)

Yes, I've been a vegan only for about 33 or 34 years. So when I get to 40 years vegan, I will then enter the vegan national bodybuilding championship. I just need a little time to catch up with Jeff. For now, I'm doing pushups. I did 25 yesterday. So that's good. And I have.

Bryan (11:15.335)


Bryan (11:26.971)


Glen Merzer (11:30.282)

I'm gonna try to get to 30 just by reducing my weight. I think if I could get a little lighter, be a little easier to do pushups. I have a podcast called The Glenn Merzer Show. So nobody else could use that title. And I write books advocating the vegan diet.

Bryan (11:34.439)


Geoff Palmer (11:52.039)

Lots of them.

Bryan (11:52.37)

So check out Glenn Merzer on his YouTube channel because he's got some little comedy skits that are out there now too. And so he's got some great jokes as you can tell, but is also very, very knowledgeable in our space. So thanks Glenn for being here. And last but not least, Mr. Paul Chatlin, welcome to the show, Paul.

paul chatlin (12:13.404)

Oh, good to see everybody. I'm glad I'm here. I am Paul Chatlin. I'm the founder of the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group, the only current national support group on the planet.

Bryan (12:19.115)

Someone is at the front door.

paul chatlin (12:25.931)

I've been Whole Food Plant-Based, no oil for 12 years. I guess we have to throw out that. I'm also the co-founder of the Sage Circle Alliance, which look at it like a Alliance Association or a union of Whole Food Plant-Based and vegan entrepreneurs, business people, that will be hitting the market on May 1st.

My last little push is hey Shane if you're gonna be doing these live shows on Facebook I want to know if I could get you on to PB&SG 2024 25 and have you do it for our members All right, I'll

Shane (13:05.522)

Absolutely, man. You have an open invitation, Paul, and since you showed me your guns, I'm scared to tell you no, so. No. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.

Bryan (13:11.358)

Ha ha ha!

paul chatlin (13:13.163)

Hey, I, you know, but I went to Jeff. I went to Jeff and said, Hey, Jeff, I want to get to that next level. And he sent me something which I'm working on and the man knows his stuff because. Oh yeah. I, I'm not shy. I I'll ask anybody like, Hey, Glenn, teach me how to write a book. Hey Brian, I know nothing about it. I don't mind asking because I'm pretty busy these days.

Shane (13:25.898)

Really? Oh.

Shane (13:37.858)

Me neither. I just didn't wanna-

Glen Merzer (13:39.282)

But that was very vague, Paul. Jeff sent you something? What did Jeff send?

Shane (13:43.062)


paul chatlin (13:44.215)

Yeah, not telling you.

Shane (13:46.184)

Legal? Hahaha!

Glen Merzer (13:46.806)

Well, Jeff, would you send it to me?

Geoff Palmer (13:48.962)

I'm sorry.

paul chatlin (13:50.071)

Advice that advice Yeah, just advice that's code for something but it's we'll just say it's advised

Glen Merzer (13:51.823)

Ah, oh advice.

Bryan (13:55.29)

So as you can...

Bryan (14:00.262)

So as you can tell, we've got some good rapport here on the show and it's great to see all you guys again. Thank you very much for being here. Paul and I help host on the PBNSG network a real men eat plant support group. So if you'd like to talk to me or Paul or some of these other guys, they all hang out with us once a month in the evening for that support group. And one of the topics that we had last time we met was just around sleep.

and some conditions around sleep, how do we get sleep, what's the best way to do it, all that stuff. So I just thought it's a very relevant topic for everybody. We all have to do it and get our sleep and stuff and I do think that it has changed after people go plant-based. But I just thought we would unpack that as best we can. I don't think any of us are sleep experts by any mean, but we all do it every day and so I thought we'd just pour in some tips and tricks that

Shane (14:56.864)


Bryan (15:00.416)

vegan and a 33-year-old vegan might have up their sleeve or some other ones related to bread or exercise and stuff so I want to just you go last then Glenn let's all let's all

Glen Merzer (15:10.123)

I have the secret to sleep. So I'll let you guys comment first. And then when you're done commenting, I will give you the secret to sleep.

Bryan (15:21.746)

Perfect. That sounds great. But I want to unpack like the science of it as best that we know on here that we can. We all know that diet and gut health and that kind of stuff is really connected to sleep. So I wanted to just maybe explore what we think about that. And especially how, in my opinion, a vegan diet helps enhance sleep through the higher intake of certain nutrients,

B6 and I'm sure Jeff has got a few more words up his sleeve to elaborate with us on you know the vegan diet that's true that's true but we do know that the vegan diet also leads to improve digestion we have a lighter meal it's easier to digest so I just think there's a ton of scientific articles that sort

Glen Merzer (16:01.506)

Jeff doesn't have sleeves, Brian.

Geoff Palmer (16:04.031)


Bryan (16:21.76)

So I don't go around the horn a little bit here and just talk about The science of it from what you know and gather what you've seen. So Jeff you want to lead us off?

Geoff Palmer (16:31.347)

Yeah, and I think the two most important things are cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone. It's released when we stress. Unfortunately, we stress all day at work. We stress on the drive to and from work. We stress when we get home about what to eat, what to do. We can have arguments at the home front too, which lead to more stress. Stress is a cortisol is released in order to

accelerate our metabolism and accelerate our brain function. Now this has a very good purpose for it. It helps us think clearly very rapidly but it excites our brain. It's a brain excitatory. Now when you're constantly sending cortisol into your bloodstream all day long from all these stressors you can get loaded with cortisol so you have what you call busy brain. Your brain just won't shut down or turn off when you're trying to sleep.

that's elevated cortisol levels. So there are a couple of good ways to bring cortisol levels down so that you can get restful sleep. As you said, magnesium is one of them. But ashwagandha is probably one of the most effective. Now, some people say, well, I don't like to take supplements. Well, what is a supplement? A supplement is just something that you take to supplement your diet. It means you don't make a whole meal out of it, right?

Bryan (17:58.401)


Geoff Palmer (17:58.891)

So there are a lot of herbs that have beneficial effects and ashwagandha is one of those. It is the most dominantly used herb in all Ayurveda because it complements a lot of other herbs. It makes other herbs more effective, but it reduces cortisol fairly dramatically, 24-25%. And that's what you really need to do. You don't need to obliterate cortisol. Cortisol has a function in the body and it's a good healthy function. It's too much of it to the problem.

So you just wanna bring that cortisol level down. Ashwagandha is one of the best of it. One of the other good things is to eat carbohydrates, which can release serotonin in the brain. Serotonin gives us that calm, relaxed mode. Bananas, dates, these are actually good sources to stimulate the release of serotonin in our gut. Now, a healthy microbiome is important for that. So eating a good amount of fiber throughout the day, which is generally why...

a lot of vegans don't have as much problem as omnivores with sleep, is because we're eating a lot more fiber. Fiber feeds the actual bacteria that convert tryptophan into serotonin. It takes an amino acid, chews it up, spits out the metabolite 5-HTP, which then our body can use to make serotonin levels. We know that consuming a high fiber whole food plant-based diet,

elevates levels of serotonin in the brain. That's established. Basically, vegans can be happier than omnivores, and that's just a biological thing. So there's good side effects to that too as well. But one of the best things you can do, here's a simple trick to do that. You can actually reduce cortisol up to 15% just by deep, relaxed breathing. Only just a couple of minutes of.

Bryan (19:27.194)


Geoff Palmer (19:50.751)

just real big, gentle, easy, up and down, very deep breathing. It's also called lung vacuuming because we don't exhale all of the air out of our lungs, so we get a bunch of stale air sitting in our lungs at that time. So clearing that out will actually release and help us relax and bring down some of the stress. That can lower cortisol levels pretty quickly or up five or 10 minute meditation even right before bed.

But the best thing for reducing cortisol is exercise. There's nothing probably better than, or more effective other than a drug at helping our bodies reduce cortisol levels than exercise. And this can really help people do it. Now, exercise can be stimulative too as well. So be careful of that. If you're using...

Bryan (20:26.15)

That's right.

Geoff Palmer (20:47.775)

cardio exercise that can actually increase your brain's function, whereas you use resistance training. It doesn't have to be weights. Resistance can be bands or machines or even body weight, but resistance training where you're putting stress but not high rapid motions, that reduces cortisol more effectively than cardio exercise.

Shane (21:12.462)


Glen Merzer (21:13.114)

Jeff, if you do go to the gym and do some resistance training at 11 a.m., will that help you sleep at 11 p.m.?

Bryan (21:13.431)


Bryan (21:21.362)


Geoff Palmer (21:23.523)

It has residual effects for 24 to 48 hours. Yes.

Bryan (21:29.366)

And I even noticed that myself on the days that I do go for a run in the morning, I fall asleep like a baby, you know, uh, every night with the days I don't and that stress is there from the work day or whatnot. Um, yeah, I have to read my book or something for five, 10 minutes and then I'll fall asleep. Either way, I'm asleep in 15 minutes or less, I think every night. But, um, yeah, I mean, I'd be curious if anybody else wants to pour in any little scientific pieces, um, to that, or maybe talked about.

their evening routines and how they kind of get to sleep.

paul chatlin (22:04.407)

Allow me just a couple minutes on this because I recently had a conversation with Doug Lyle, sleep expert on it, because my sleep pattern I believe was atrocious. So I get up very, very early, five o'clock most mornings. I do all the things you mentioned, you know, I eat plant-based. I work out either running, biking, or lifting. I try to do two of

every day, whatever they may be. Come about nine o'clock, nine thirty, I'm tired. When I go to bed, I will fall asleep and about two, two and a half hours later, I will wake up. I have no problem, I'll stand up, maybe go to the bathroom, maybe just walk around for a moment, or maybe just lay in bed and then I go right back to bed. And I may wake up again at two o'clock or three o'clock and repeat that.

But it was concerning me enough, I called Doug Lyle about this and he said, are you a dreamer? I am a vivid dreamer. So every time I go to bed, there's a dream that's attached to two to three hours of sleep. And he said that you are just at the end of your REM sleep and it's normal for you to wake up.

And he said, let me ask you, if you add up the time that you're actually sleeping, what is it? I said, well, probably seven to nine hours every day. He says, you're okay. So at that moment, from then on, I wasn't stressing about getting not what I call quality sleep, because in five in the morning, I'm ready to go every day. It's my best time. So I just wanted to kind of share with people. This is my thoughts, not being a medical person on the concerns I had about lack of sleep.

Shane (23:33.743)

Thanks for watching!

Bryan (23:54.714)

Yeah, no, I think that's awesome. I mean, it's important to point out. I know I definitely slept a lot more when I was younger. I sleep a lot less now, but is it, you know, everybody's different on that front for sure, right? So Shane, what is your thoughts on sleep? I know the cookbook's behind you now. Are you sleeping like a baby? Ha ha ha.

Shane (24:16.082)

I am probably not the guy, and I apologize because camera's up here, computer down here. So I'm, I have always, kind of going off Geoff's point, when we lived in Charlotte and I was super addicted to like CrossFit and working out early in the morning, and that was probably the best shape I had ever been in my life. I did recall.

paul chatlin (24:18.239)

Thank you.

Bryan (24:21.831)


Shane (24:41.962)

I woke up much earlier and just when I went plant-based, that was, I realized my sleep changed right off the bat, but especially when you had workout to that, I mean, I was ready to go to bed at 9.15 and sleep hard, but I'm by nature a creative. And so my brain is just constantly, and there are times like, if,

I feel like sometimes you have to give up something in your life. Like we all need sleep. We know that. So I'm definitely not advocating for, Oh, you can work on two or three hours sleep. That that's definitely not what I'm saying. But you know, for me, it's like, I realize if something hits me in the brain at one in the morning, I, I'm not able to go, I'll just put that off until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, because as a creative, it probably ain't going to be there at 10 o'clock, you know, so now I'm not saying that happens all the time, but, but

Um, I do have to, I have to be cautious because I do realize I'm getting older, but at the same time, I sometimes work better at night when things are quieter, everybody's out of the way. And, and I've just always been more of a night owl. Um, now that being said, I don't, I don't try to live that way. Like I said, when we were joking earlier, Brian, so.

about sleeping three or four hours in four days. I mean, that's just stupid and dangerous, but I have to be cautious about, because we get up early, I take the girls to school, my wife picks them up in the afternoon, and I'm up and running when I get back from dropping them off at 7.30, and so I'm up, and so I don't wanna go crash, take a nap, and sleep till noon, and my day's gone. So.

So I do have to monitor it. It's not something that is just natural. It's not a natural flow of my life, like the cooking and stuff like that is.

Bryan (26:41.319)


paul chatlin (26:44.523)

Hey, Shane, one thing that helped me, by the way, just a quick tidbit is that I have a notebook right next to my bed. So I'm like you, like my brain's going all the time on ideas and I don't want to forget them. So by having that little notebook, as soon as I wake up, if I still have that memory of that idea, I write it down. So at least I'm not because if I'm thinking about something, I can't sleep because I'm ready to act. So I write it down, at least I don't forget it. You know.

Shane (26:52.394)


Shane (27:04.896)


Shane (27:10.428)

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah, no, and I've tried to be more like that. That's where I say I feel like I'm organizationally administratively challenged. But I mean, little things like that, yes. I mean, some people hear that and go, well, that's simple, why wouldn't you do that? But I don't think that way. I think, oh, got something I gotta get up and go. But hearing Paul say, hey, this is, knowing that there is a fellow struggler in this area, but yeah.

Bryan (27:20.766)


paul chatlin (27:36.405)

Oh yeah.

Bryan (27:36.87)


I guess it's if it's written down, you at least got the peace of mind. You won't forget about it and then you can get back to sleep. I like that. I like that concept. I do agree with you. I guess I'm more of a night owl myself to a degree. And I like knowing that if I just stay up late, I can stay up as late as I need to get it done and then I can go to sleep like I did that last night. I said, like, I know I have to get this one thing done. And so I said, no, I'm going to go to bed and get up early. So I did. I got up super early today.

Shane (27:44.482)


Shane (27:47.979)


Bryan (28:09.932)

and I got that thing done, but then I did run out of time. I needed like an extra 20 more minutes to finish before the kids and everything else started happening. So I kind of wish I had just done it the night before, but I don't know, I needed to get to sleep and have a fresh brain to tackle that problem. So it's interesting. I'm curious, like, what are some of your routines? Do you guys have established bedtime routines kind of thing? Is there certain things that you do?

Shane (28:36.514)

even gonna chime in on this one I mean

Bryan (28:39.143)

Glenn, you go first.

Glen Merzer (28:41.171)

I was going to give you the solution to sleep.

Bryan (28:43.83)

Oh, that's true. Give us the solution.

Glen Merzer (28:46.498)

Yeah, but first let me say that I also, because I'm a writer, I keep a notebook by my bed because I can't sleep if I get an idea and I'm scared I'm gonna forget it. I get this great idea, I have to write it down. So I write it down in my notebook, then I can relax and go to sleep. And then first thing in the morning, my morning routine, I open up that notebook and I read some of the worst ideas in human history.

Bryan (29:14.598)


Glen Merzer (29:16.342)

Those ideas are not usually worth reading. Okay, the secret to sleep. You ready? Will you all join me in this? Here's what you have to do. This is when you're trying to go to sleep and it's taken a little too long. Maybe something's on your mind, whatever. First thing, okay, I want you all to face forward. Shane, face forward. Okay, now look at the ceiling without moving your head.

Geoff Palmer (29:16.455)

I'm sorry.

Bryan (29:25.606)

Hit us with it.

Shane (29:40.308)


Glen Merzer (29:45.934)

Just look up, right. Okay, now do you feel that strain in your eyes?

Bryan (29:52.122)


Shane (29:52.44)


Glen Merzer (29:52.978)

Okay, now keep looking at the ceiling, but close your eyes.

So you feel that strain in your eyes with your eyelids closed. Now you go to sleep just thinking about that strain. It's like a mantra. You just think about that strain in your eyes. Oh, I just feel that strain. I feel that strain. And then you fall asleep. I should patent this. This is worth a billion dollars.

Shane (30:05.651)


Bryan (30:22.635)

I will have to give that a try.


Glen Merzer (30:28.11)

We'll put you to sleep.

Shane (30:28.806)

Yeah, it works, but it works much better than my method. I used to have a method of counting extinct animals, but I always ran out before I fell asleep. So that don't work, so. Ha ha ha.

Glen Merzer (30:34.954)

Yeah, that's not good. No. There were some animals that actually went extinct because they used that method.

Bryan (30:39.742)

That is a...

Glen Merzer (30:46.347)

But this eye trick, I find, works very well. Jeff, do you have a theory about why this works?

Bryan (30:51.25)

Very nice.

Geoff Palmer (30:55.147)

Similar to the way, remember your eyes is your direct link to your brain. So it is the most directly connected to the brain. So largest nerve center is directly connected to the brain. It gives the most information to the brain through our sensories. So when you stress any muscle groups and then relax it, it causes an immediate feedback loop to the brain. And what you've done is just chosen organ,

really sitting pretty much right on top of the brain to do that with. Similar to the way the exercises work. Remember, you have to feel that strain. It's the strain and then relaxation that sends that signal to the brain to go ahead and relax too. That's this message. Very amazing that you figured out something that is so close to the brain to do that with because it'll be instantaneous.

Glen Merzer (31:27.31)

There you go.

Glen Merzer (31:46.754)

There you go.

Geoff Palmer (31:51.455)

Whereas exercise isn't always achievable for somebody if they're sitting in bed. Although you can do a similar way as you can do for the body, just sitting in bed and just contract and squeeze, and then just relax. And that will do also the same thing. But I like your eye things, it's just not so much effort.

Bryan (31:57.662)


paul chatlin (32:12.959)

Hey, I got a question. I mean, did, I don't have, like, I personally do not have a problem falling asleep. I mean, not, not a problem. Do you guys have a problem falling asleep?

Glen Merzer (32:24.568)

I struggled when I was younger with insomnia.

paul chatlin (32:30.134)

Okay. No, I was just curious.

Geoff Palmer (32:31.171)

Paul, to your point, you have a very active brain. You're a very bright guy. I get that. I can relate to you. But one of the techniques that I do, I saw a guy do a presentation on what's called a mind mirror. And it shows all four of the alpha, theta, beta, gamma states, or delta states, of the brain activity. And you can hook it up to yourself to do biofeedback.

So you can relax and you can see on the screen your body going into different states of brain wave movements. So you start seeing what that feels like and what the brain is actually showing you. So you get this eye biofeedback coordination and you can retrain your brain to get into a theta state, which is that relaxed state. Meditation is mostly theta. It gets you into that relaxed state.

Shane (33:11.266)


Geoff Palmer (33:24.395)

So what your body is doing when you come out of REM, which is the deeper state, is jumping right back up the full beta and skipping theta, which would be still relaxed and allow you to go right back to sleep. You're jumping straight back all the way up to beta. You can retrain your brain to stay in that theta while you're sleeping. So when you come out of REM, you'll go into theta, not all the way up to full waking beta and come back down. That will help you stay asleep and stay relaxed and sleep through the night.

As your friend said, it's not important as long as you're getting quality sleep and for a, you know, six to eight hours, you're good, but it doesn't feel as restful if you're coming to a full waking state. So that is one way you can train it. One way that I have found to do that is when my brain wakes up, especially if I've had a like a little stressful dream, like something chasing me or something like that, an anti-vegan running after me.

Bryan (34:23.282)


Shane (34:24.617)


Geoff Palmer (34:26.363)

So once I do that, I just say, let it go. It's not important. You can deal with it tomorrow. And then I'm like, oh, okay, great. It's like just that letting go that, hey, you're okay. Be the parent to your child's self and just say, it's okay. You're comfortable. You're lying in bed. Nothing's gonna harm you. Let it go. You can take care of it tomorrow. And I just repeat that until I relax and fall asleep.

And it works every time for me. That's one of the ways that I use as a biofeedback method to get me back into that theta state, which can put you right back into sleep.

Bryan (35:04.658)

That is awesome. Some great tips from all of you. Really. I know I.

I usually try to switch gears out of work mode or whatever I was doing. And I just, you know, read my science fiction book kind of a thing. And that just helps me relax. Or if I don't have that, I usually do the breathing exercises or, or I just try, I just try to close my eyes and focus on my body and do kind of like a mental body scan kind of thing. Like how does my head feel out of my eyes? How's my nose, my throat, my chest, and just work from head to toe and just sort of do that kind of.

mental scan and like you said, I guess that in summary, I'm probably saying like everything's okay, you're doing good and you know, yeah, that muscle sore because I worked out too hard or whatever it was and then it does click, click in. So I do wanna touch.

Glen Merzer (35:56.098)

Brian, I have a big philosophical question for my guru Jeff. Jeff?

Why do we need sleep? Is it that every organ in our body needs sleep or is it particularly the brain or the heart? Why do we have to do this every day?

Geoff Palmer (36:16.927)

So there's a good study on people who meditate, especially meditate for long periods of times during the day. They found that they were fully healthy, fully functional and fully functional brains on two hours or sometimes even less of sleep per day. So what we learned from that is if you stay relaxed all day, your body doesn't need to do as much healing and repairing.

It's the stress, it's the stress that's the killer. And if we can get more and more relaxation, there's a potential where we may not need much sleep at all if we were in a more idyllic state. I think sleep is compensating for, okay, the second part of this is creative thought. So they've seen artists and people who spend a lot of time doing creative thought.

generally need less sleep, because what is dreaming? Dreaming is the release from the boundaries of reality thinking, stimulus response, reaction, and allows just creative thinking, which is relaxing, which is enjoyable, which is something you want to do, not something you have to do. So when you get the brain back into a creative state, more often throughout the day,

paul chatlin (37:18.135)

I'm sorry.

Geoff Palmer (37:42.611)

You're gonna find it much easier to sleep. You're gonna find that sleep not as requirement, but sleep gives so many people who are linear thinkers, who are working on language and math and business and money and all those things, that is cause a lot of concentration and it's not very creative. The more creative you can be or more relaxed is in case of meditators.

the less sleep we're probably actually going to require and the more beneficial that sleep can be too as well.

Glen Merzer (38:17.762)

So if we didn't sleep at all, what would happen to our brain cells or our heart or other organs, how would they malfunction?

Bryan (38:18.531)

All right.

Shane (38:28.01)

You die.

Geoff Palmer (38:28.079)

Yeah, tremendously. Yes, yes, you can actually die from lack of sleep.

paul chatlin (38:32.931)

He died.

Bryan (38:33.078)

I mean, my understanding is that you definitely need the sleep to transfer the short-term memories into the long-term. I mean, that's our process to reboot certain parts of our brain.

Shane (38:42.626)

Which would that make, that would make sense because, not to chime in, because I'm definitely not, again, not an expert of it, but having, thinking about Glenn's conversation or his question, my psychology professor in college brought up this very question, like, why do we need sleep? And everybody was going, so we can rest. And he goes, well, that's a part of it, but nobody could get to the question. And basically what he started talking about was, that's why you like brain fog is a direct, is like a,

a symptom of lack of sleep. And he was talking about the memories and stuff, but he went into just how it's the, the body has time to shut down and repair itself from the day. And it's not just physical, it's mental, it's emotional. And it's, I mean, it's, and I love the idea. Like we, I feel like we get very shallow on the, as a creative, I feel like you talk about dreams or that escape from reality, Jeff. I mean,

It's very, to me it's evident that humans need imagination and without sleep it's not triggering that imagination. And then it's kind of like, if you've ever seen the movie Rudy, it's one of my favorite movies about the guy and they're sitting in the lunchroom at the mill where they work and it's like his 22nd birthday and his buddy lights a candle, sticks it in the cupcake and he...

And, you know, everybody's told him, you're never going to get into Notre Dame. You're never going to get into Notre Dame. And, you know, he sticks the match in the cupcake and he says, we know what my old man says, having dreams is what makes life tolerable. And, you know, it's our dreams can be, I mean, it's like, if you had told me 10 years ago, I'd be blogging and paying my bills doing it. I mean, I would have laughed at you, but it's, I mean, I feel like we shouldn't ignore.

Definitely the physical aspect, but for me, that whole, I'm a dreamer, you know, that's me. I love to dream and think. And so my wife is the type A, where she kind of lets me know, hey, we've got to, I can dream a little too much sometimes, you know, and so, but I think that sleeping is what fosters those things. Again, it's not just the physical, but it's that mental as well.

paul chatlin (41:09.859)

You know, for me too, on the sleep side, I believe in staying very active all day. But I can't beat father time, you know, I'm getting older. And at the end of a day, sometimes, I walk my age and I can feel it. But man, I wake up the next morning because of sleep and I feel like I do it again. I am never sore first thing in the morning or during the day.

And to me that that's my motivation by for being plant based right there. I mean, aside from the heart disease issues, that's a major one, but I never realized that when you eat clean, you feel pretty clean and you could keep, could be an active, you know, your production isn't like it was. I don't hit a golf ball as far as I did. You know, I can, there's a lot of things I can't do. I'm not as strong as I was, but as far as being able to repeat and be active every day and not be sore, that's, that's what sleep is.

Shane (41:43.733)


Bryan (42:03.694)

Yeah, I think, I think the vegan diet helps us clean out those chemicals in our brain or just reset our body in general. I know we're, we're close to trying to wrap up the episode here, but I did, I, I do think there's some synergy. I can see a sleep recipe book in combination with Glenn's and Jeff's scientific thing here in the development. So you guys, but, um, I, I guess in those

Shane (42:05.468)


Shane (42:23.196)

That's too much research for me. Y'all research it and yeah. I'll create it.

Geoff Palmer (42:26.068)

Thanks for watching!

Geoff Palmer (42:30.466)

Report back.

Glen Merzer (42:32.339)

I could call it the sleep secret as long as nobody watches this podcast.

Bryan (42:37.719)

There we go, exactly.

paul chatlin (42:38.688)

Hey, Glenn, I'm curious why the eyes as opposed to why didn't you think about the ears? Like, could you move your ears?

Glen Merzer (42:44.514)

Well, I don't know how to look at the ceiling with my ears. So that's why. Yeah.

Shane (42:47.682)

Ha ha

paul chatlin (42:48.355)

That's the secret right there.

Geoff Palmer (42:50.059)

Ha ha.

Bryan (42:51.67)

So I did, I did, I really appreciate all the tips that we got here. I'm just curious if you had any other, um, quick ideas on supplements or natural sleep aids that might help during those really stressful moments in life when, when something's happening, whether it's cancer or death in the family or just super insanity at work or whatever. Like, you know, we all go through these cycles with life of ups and downs and seasonality. And there are going to be times where we are, we just, our cortisol are overload.

it as Jeff said right so what tips and tricks do you have in those stressful moments in life?

Geoff Palmer (43:28.651)

Supplementation wise, I think one of the best supplements I've ever tried for sleep when I've had very, very stressful like going through a divorce or something like that where it's just constant stress and there's no two ways around it. You're having emotional stress and it's not going away anytime soon. So I use GABA. GABA is gamma aminobutyric acid. It's a supplement. It's amino acid.

but it's what our brain uses, a neurotransmitter. So we have several neurotransmitters that are excitatory, which is adrenaline and cortisol. So caffeine, stress, these things can excite our brains, but our body uses a different neurotransmitter to close down those neuro pathways to say, all right, chill out, no more stimulation for right now. Our body uses GABA. So...

Some people with poor diets or just higher than normal super physiological amounts of stress in their lives can really benefit from using GABA at night with magnesium. I've found that totally natural, both have health promoting benefits to it and can help compensate. Obviously, reducing the amount of caffeine, reducing the amount of stress in your life can help. We talked about those techniques.

But if those are still not there because the stress load is just higher than normal, these supplements can help too.

Glen Merzer (44:59.714)

I have another question for Jeff. In my 30s, when I was struggling with insomnia, I decided to try serotonin. And twice, I took serotonin tablets. And each time, I had the worst, scariest nightmares of my life, and I gave up on it. Any idea why that happened?

Shane (44:59.886)


Geoff Palmer (45:26.367)

So the body has pathways. And so our body will take a tryptophan, the amino acid, and convert it to 5-HTP and then convert it to serotonin. It really likes to do that because it can modulate and regulate how much at each conversion phase it needs for the specific amount, for the specific tissues, for the certain age group, for each gender.

is very specific. That's why it has these regulatory steps so it can cut off any step and say, wait a minute, that's too much, that's not good. For you, you skipped all the way to serotonin and you put that into your system and your body says, well, wait a minute, that's way much more than I would have given you. It's not self-regulated. So I don't like skipping downstream. Like with Omega-3, you should consume the precursor ALA, which is found in plants, not.

DHA, which is all the way down the sixth bottom row, and put too much DHA in the bloodstream, which the body then can actually increase LDL cholesterol. Which is why I suggest people do not take algae or animal or fish oil based DHA, because it can overload the bloodstream with DHA that the body doesn't want. It skips the whole regulatory process of the enzyme stages. So, do's the precursors. Our body likes

Shane (46:46.734)


Geoff Palmer (46:52.179)

the precursor beta-carotene instead of the final end product, vitamin A. Vitamin A is toxic to the liver. And so you see this over and over again. Don't skip the system. Give your body the precursor like 5-HTB or tryptophan and let your body do the regulation to give you the right amount for your age, for your gender, for whatever condition.

Shane (47:15.258)


Bryan (47:17.454)

Any other quick thoughts?

Shane (47:17.546)

Yeah, that's, well, I just was gonna say, like, I'm definitely, again, not gonna, and I've just been blown away with Jeff. Like he's like a walking encyclopedia. That's great. I mean, just, it's good to hear that. I, you know, I tend to focus like just real quick, I think too, and the fact that this is the real mini plants podcast. I think one thing just from my 15 years of being involved in ministry is what I saw even with men, there's this idea that.

I think what prohibits sleep and hurts emotional well-being and physical, one is the diet. I mean, hands down. But I think there's this idea too that men, I think there has to be some point when you're talking about dealing with suffering and struggles and everything, men tend to want to carry that weight internally because I can't break down. I've got to shoulder this. And it reminds me of a, one of my favorite authors is Pat Conroy. And he

One of my favorite quotes is he said, American men are allotted just as many tears as American women, but because we are forbidden to shed them, we die long before women do, with our hearts exploding or our blood pressure rising or our livers eaten away by alcohol because that lake of grief inside us has no outlet. And one of the things I always encourage men is if you're dealing with something, I mean, it is okay to lean into it and punch a pillow or...

have a scream moment or leaning into that grief and that struggling because you take that, I heard somebody say long ago, you take that with you to bed. And so it weighs here or it weighs here and refusing to not deal with it and lean into it and holding it, it does far more damage in whether it's neurological or emotional or whatever. And so I always encourage people, it doesn't make you weak.

to let people know you're struggling and to deal with the suffering. And I mean, it actually takes a stronger man to say, hey, I'm weak in this area and I'm hurting and just kind of letting it go. And I'm going to, as an emotional guy, I can vomit it out pretty good, you know, but I think I would just encourage men to like lean into that and don't pretend it doesn't exist because it does affect everything.

Bryan (49:38.182)

Yep. Well, I really appreciate all of you jumping in here and

helping us unpack this awesome topic from many different layers on that front. So let's just give a quick shout out how people can find out more information on your respective websites and stuff. So let's just go around the horn and blast that out there and we'll wrap up today's episode of the show. So Paul, you want to lead us off because I think that's a great segue from what Shane was just talking about with what you do.

paul chatlin (50:15.058)

Yeah, so you could reach out to pbns Right now our membership is a whopping $10 a month. And again, in the next 30 days, give or take, we'll be introducing the Sage Circle Alliance. So we're here to support you.

Bryan (50:30.978)

Awesome. Thanks Paul for being here. Glenn.

paul chatlin (50:32.867)

Not my pleasure.

Glen Merzer (50:35.162)

The Glenn Merzer show on YouTube and I have a website Glenn Merzer dot com and You could sign up there for my own your health newsletter

Bryan (50:47.05)

Awesome. Thank you. And Jeff.

Geoff Palmer (50:50.503)

Yes, you can follow me at Jeff Palmer. It's spelled right on the screen for you there, G-E-O-F-F Palmer. On Facebook, you can also follow me on LinkedIn. I do regular posts on both of those channels. Or you can follow anything Clean Machine at Clean Machine Fit on Facebook and IG. Clean Machine Online for our website, and Clean Machine Online for our YouTube channel.

which is where all of my weekly podcasts every Thursday at 4 p.m., right after this one, I do the latest reviews of all the research. I give you the links and the studies so that you can read them yourself and make them very simple and digestible that every person can read it. So don't worry if you're not a hardcore science geek like myself, I make them digestible for everybody.

Bryan (51:45.87)

I love it. Thanks again, Jeff, for being here and dumping in your wisdom. Shane.

Shane (51:52.282)

Yeah, is the best place to find me with the recipes and my musings. And then Facebook, shan is the handle and then Instagram, shan And so, and if you email, I answer eventually every email, takes a little while. I'm a one man show, but I will eventually get back to you. So.

Bryan (52:10.526)


Shane (52:14.894)

And the book is available at Amazon, Baking Vegan Bread at Home, available at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble. Anywhere you buy books, you should be able to find it. If not...

Glen Merzer (52:22.978)

Hold it up again.

Bryan (52:25.042)

Yeah, hold up that book one more time. Can I get a signed autograph copy on your website yet, or what's going on there?

Shane (52:31.603)

I don't have it hooked up. I'm and that's again, I'm not selling it through my website just because it's not a Shane and simple book, but if you, I tell people order it, send it to me. I'll sign it and send it back to you. So thank you.

Bryan (52:38.071)


Bryan (52:45.439)

There you go. Well, congrats again, Shane, on your cookbook. It's excited to see that come out, and we really appreciate you jumping in to say hi with us.

Shane (52:54.898)

Yeah, and guys, this was great. I love this. This was awesome. This is probably one of my favorite podcasts.

paul chatlin (53:00.623)

Yeah, it was great. It was great.

Bryan (53:01.094)

That's awesome.

So, you know, that's really it for this episode of the real many plants podcast come back Check out more episodes soon If you know some guests that should be on the show Please introduce them to us if you have some ideas for some shows that you want us to unpack a particular topic Just leave a comment And in whichever platform you're watching this on and we'll do our best to try and address that from our perspective and help you I just want to say like sleep is the foundation

Shane (53:03.49)


Bryan (53:32.672)

of our mental and physical health for performance in almost every endeavor we have. I don't think any one of us is perfect about sleep. The occasional night out or not getting enough sunlight one day here and there is not a big deal. Don't obsess about it. However, if any of these tips and tricks help you drift off a little bit better or don't do anything for a longer term, you won't suffer.

Bryan (54:02.452)

take time to master your sleep and I'm confident you'll be happy you did. So thanks again, everybody. Appreciate you jumping in here and look forward to seeing you soon.

paul chatlin (54:12.079)

Thank you.

Shane (54:13.7)

Thank you.

Geoff Palmer (54:14.699)

Thank you.



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