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733: Health Habits to Wind Down for Deep Sleep – Dr. Uche Odiatu & Loren King

Are you exhausted before the day is done? Do you wish you had more sleep? Better health, a better life — even being a better dental professional — is tied to a more restful night. To help you be your best self at home and the office, Kirk Behrendt brings back one of ACT’s favorite health and wellness gurus, Dr. Uche Odiatu, and Loren King, an international speaker, life coach, and dental hygienist, to reveal a few simple hacks and habits to start sleeping better today. To learn the foundation for better sleep, listen to Episode 733 of The Best Practices Show!

Learn More About Dr. Odiatu & Loren:

Learn More About ACT Dental:

More Helpful Links for a Better Practice & a Better Life:

Episode Resources:

Main Takeaways:

  • Sleep is critical to overall health.
  • A $10,000 mattress won't fix your problem.
  • Proper sleep helps ward off chronic diseases.
  • Limit, if not eliminate, your alcohol consumption.
  • Eat light — if anything at all — shortly before bed.
  • Reduce your exposure to blue light before bedtime.
  • Be mindful of EMF exposure. It can disrupt your sleep.
  • Keep your room and body temperature cool for better rest.


“Sleep is foundational. I think a lot of people don't realize how foundational sleep is to overall health. I've never heard anyone say on New Year's Day, ‘I want to sleep better this year.’ It's always, ‘I want to lose weight. I want to make more money. I want to stop smoking.’ No one ever says, ‘I want to sleep better.’ But if you look at some of the new science on sleep and the power to transform everything you do, from how smart you are, how lean you are, how more emotionally balanced you are, sleep is often — because it's free — no one thinks about it.” (4:29—4:57) -Dr. Odiatu

“If you don't go into certain stages of sleep at night, your body is not repairing itself. You're putting yourself at risk for Alzheimer's, heart attacks, and stroke. If you ask nurses when they have the most heart attack and stroke come through the ED, it's between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. because when your body has these choking episodes, it only has two choices: wake up, go through the cycle again, or heart attack or stroke. Those are the only two choices you get all night long, until eventually your body can no longer make that other decision — it's heart attack or stroke. So, I think it's critical. Education is saving lives every time.” (6:40—7:13) -Loren

“It's life and death. I think people don't realize how many people sleep poorly. But you can definitely set yourself up for a good night.” (7:15—7:23) -Dr. Odiatu

“The quick fix never works. But I think we're programmed now, between the 30-second TikTok fix, Dr. Google telling you four things to — people really are missing out. The solutions are simple. However, just looking for a supplement doesn't work. The FDA and Health Canada has shown — and they don't actually regulate supplements as much as people think. Melatonin can have anywhere up to 400% more than what's on the bottle. So, this whole thing about taking more melatonin isn't better. People often think, ‘Why stop at 3mg? Why don't I take 10mg?’ Meanwhile, your body makes it. So, like Lorie says, your body would rather make it than take an exogenous amount. If you take exogenous melatonin and say, ‘I'm going to dump in 20mg,’ guess what? Your body is going to freak out. It's just like saying a bit of water is good for you. ‘I'm going to drink two gallons of water.’ You can die from drinking too much water.” (8:28—9:23) -Dr. Odiatu

“Melatonin is a quick fix. Neuroscience has actually shown that it really only benefits people over 70. Sixty-nine and under, it acts mainly as a placebo. But it's more the nighttime, cyclical amount of melatonin that helps you get to sleep.” (9:23—9:38) -Dr. Odiatu

“If you have an airway problem and you're only getting a percentage of oxygen every night, your brain and your body are only being repaired a portion of the amount. But this is how you've been living your entire life. You don't know what restful sleep is. So, as soon as you actually get it, you feel like a superhuman because your body and your brain are getting oxygen and they're getting repaired. It's getting rid of all the beta amyloid proteins in your brain that can lead to Alzheimer's, dementia, all of those things. If you put those together on an MRI, an Alzheimer's brain and an obstructive sleep apnea brain look similar. So, it's all of these things. It's a chronic issue. And if we don't catch it when you're young, when we’re children, that's how we have adults with full-blown sleep apnea.” (10:27—11:14) -Loren

“Food impacts so many things. Basically, you are what you eat. Hippocrates said all diseases begin in the gut. So, that being said, you can literally eat so much in a night, have a big enough dinner right before bed, and your body will spend all its energy digesting food. And digestion is one of the biggest users of energy in your body. So, if you eat a big meal within two hours of bedtime, instead of recovering and digesting, your body spends all the time processing food. Your body really wants to repair and grow, which growth only happens in stage three. Your brain recovers in REM, rapid eye movement, sleep. But if you've eaten, you actually won't dream as much, which means you won't have as much rapid eye movement sleep. You also won't spend as much time repairing your skin, cartilage, muscles, and making growth hormones. We actually make 80% of our growth hormones during deep sleep. If someone has a big meal, their body spends all the time digesting food.” (12:17—13:14) -Dr. Odiatu

“One of the best ways to have the best, deepest sleep and do the emotional and physical repair is have something very light before bed — if you need something. Otherwise, if you go to bed on an empty stomach, you will actually sleep deeper, look younger, and wake up rejuvenated compared to if you have two slices of pizza, some Ben & Jerry's, a piece of dark chocolate, or chasing that rabbit's hole of diet food all night.” (13:14—13:37) -Dr. Odiatu

“Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist, said the whole world is actually set up for morning larks. A third of us are morning larks. A third of us are night owls. But a third of us are actually mixed. So, technically, night owls are more likely to have high blood pressure and metabolic problems because we're going against the grain. You know, “the early bird gets the worm”. There are more morning flights than night flights. So, that being said, if someone is a night owl, you’d better work out. You’d better enjoy your relationships. You’d better sleep deep. You’d better have a good stress management strategy. Because if you’re a night owl who is out of balance, you are going to have all the chronic diseases which are killing us — that's high blood pressure, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.” (14:36—15:14) -Dr. Odiatu

“One thing to remember, deep sleep is for the body. REM sleep is for the brain. So, if you look at someone's home sleep test and it says that they're getting a lot of deep sleep but they're hardly getting any REM sleep, that person is mentally exhausted throughout the day, probably. Vice versa, if they're getting a lot of REM but they're not getting enough deep, they're physically exhausted throughout the day.” (16:05—16:29) -Loren

“[Neuroscientists, Matthew Walker and Andrew Huberman], said do not charge your phone in the same place that you're sleeping in. Otherwise, it's called having a dirty bedroom. And I'm not talking Stormy Daniels. I'm talking dirty bedroom as in dirty EMF. You really want to charge that phone outside of the bedroom. It messes with your mind. Basically, we're all electrochemical beings. We're full of chemistry. We're full of biology. Dentists know that. When you anesthetize someone, you depolarize the nerve. It doesn't allow the electrical signals to go to your brain. Well, we're electrical beings. You can't electrocute a hockey stick, but we can get electrocuted. So, we've got to be careful. So, charging your phone inside your bedroom, you're sabotaging your sleep quality and sabotaging overall vitality.” (18:01—18:47) -Dr. Odiatu

“When it starts to get dark outside, your body has natural processes that will start releasing hormones that make you sleepy and make you tired. That's why it's important to also have your environment that you're sleeping in prepared for you to go into that state and naturally fall into sleep, versus taking melatonin or something like that. When you have blue light in front of you, that hormone cannot be released. It will not be released. If you absolutely have to look at your phone, check your phone, whatever you're doing with your phone, there is a setting on there where it will turn your screen an orange color. I do it at 8:00 p.m., is when it starts every night, and it doesn't go back to a normal setting until the next morning at 6:00 a.m. Since I go to bed at 9:00, I know that's giving me adequate time for those sleeping hormones to start being released in my brain so that I could naturally be ready to go to bed.” (19:43—20:39) -Loren

“If you ask me, a TV should not be in your bedroom, period. It just shouldn’t. You need to have a sleep hygiene routine: dark sheets, cold room. There are all these things that go into it to help us make sure that you're getting your best sleep possible because it's when your body is restoring itself. So, we have to make sure that's happening.” (20:53—21:15) -Loren

“We're more cavemen and cavewomen than we know. There's a book called Sapiens by Harari. He said our physiology is definitely more like a caveman and cavewoman. So, if you think of the Homo sapien, 400,000 years on the planet, two hours after sundown, the only light we got was the light of a fire. So, orange. Hence, orange glasses. You can actually elicit prehistoric forces at work to wake up feeling like a Homo sapien, not like Homo neanderthal.” (22:08—22:38) -Dr. Odiatu

“I have patients that are 65, 70. People just assume by the time you get to 65, you're up five, six times a night. But we're talking accelerated aging, low testosterone, low growth hormone, sarcopenia, muscle wasting, and then basically not getting up to go to the bathroom. Because many guys will get up — and meanwhile, it's dribble, dribble. There's no production. So, the whole idea being, you’ve got to sleep deeper so the message for your bladder doesn't wake you up. That's the idea. So, [waking up] zero [times at night to use the bathroom] is the best. Michael Phelps does not get up. And then, he pees an Olympic-sized swimming pool. So, it's not the volume or the urgency. It’s the fact that most people don't sleep deep enough to ignore that signal.” (23:10—23:47) -Dr. Odiatu

“If you have a kid that's eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 and they're still wetting the bed, that's not their fault. They have an airway problem, almost nine out of 10 times. So, their brain is not telling their bladder to stop producing urine. No matter what you do — it's not nightmares. It's not that they want to sleep with you. No. Their body isn't doing what it needs to do. It's not going to stop until you fix the airway.” (24:17—24:43) -Loren

“The whole seven hours of sleep thing, that was only based on men. That was not ever tested on women. Women actually need nine hours of sleep, not seven. That's just for men. That study was only done on men, and we've been going by it for decades.” (24:51—25:07) -Loren

“Health Canada came out last spring saying zero alcohol is best for you. And if you are having a drink every day, whether you have to or you think it's good for you, it might be a sign of addiction.” (27:20—27:31) -Dr. Odiatu

“A lot of patients don't know what snoring actually is. Snoring kills millions of people all the time. It does kill people. What it is, the simplest way for me to describe it to you is your soft tissues in the back of your throat are closing around your uvula and it's bouncing back and forth off those tissues. That means less and less air is getting through. The more relaxed you are because of alcohol, the more those tissues relax as well, so it gets louder. That's why someone finally tells you, ‘Hey, you're snoring.’ ‘Yeah, but only when I drink. It's not a big deal.’ No — you're not getting adequate oxygen. Snoring will kill you over time” (28:14—28:56) -Loren

“People talk about the night cap to take the edge off the day. That night cap may take the edge off the day, but it's taking the edge off your life because it makes the back of the throat more relaxed, so more chances of snoring. But also, neuroscience is showing that it also makes you dream less.” (28:59—29:13) -Dr. Odiatu

“People often think, ‘Oh, big deal. I'll have a drink’. But if you value your brain — you're a dentist, you're a hygienist, you're an office manager, you're a consultant — they're saying what happens to your rapid eye movement sleep, your body processes emotion and it processes memory. So, if you're not dreaming as much because of that double scotch before bed, if your back of the throat is loose and you're snoring, which is episodic hypoxia, more chances of inflammation and chronic inflammation. So, cognitive decline. You're actually encouraging cognitive decline. And dentists, we appreciate our brain. We want a good brain. Hygienists need a good brain. They're the preventative experts in the office. So, anyone that's drinking nightly, you're sabotaging your emotional intelligence, episodic hypoxia, looking worse, spending more on surgical intervention to look better. And meanwhile, beauty sleep is free.” (29:50—30:40) -Dr. Odiatu

“People who have trouble sleeping often run body temperatures one degree higher than people who sleep well. So, insomniacs are hotter. Not in a sexy sense, but they're hotter. A cooler body sleeps deeper. The best way to have a cooler body is an ambient temperature. We’re actually doing this in Canada, but I know I'm in the U.S. audience. It’s 65 degrees, which is pretty chilly. So, I wouldn't go from 72 down to 65 in one night. You'll be hanging your chicken breasts by the chandelier. So, I wouldn't necessarily do that. But the cooler, the better. So, aim for 66, 67.” (31:20—31:59) -Dr. Odiatu

“There's a reason why you hear people say, ‘I absolutely cannot fall asleep in a hot room.’ It’s because your body does not want to, and it cannot. It's not the environment that your body needs. That goes right back to sleep hygiene.” (32:19—32:32) -Loren

“If someone has a tough job that challenges them from a stress point of view, if someone is 40 pounds overweight, if they drink, they're not going to sleep as deep. If they drink, they're going to have more episodic hypoxia. Two, if their spouse or partner likes the room warm, if they’ve got a dog on the bed — if you've got a dog on the bed, they've actually shown it also interrupts your sleep. A new mom knows — a newborn baby. When you have a baby, within the first few months of them sleeping with you, no one sleeps deep. So, a lot of people are undergoing accelerated aging, poor emotional regulation, low testosterone, low growth hormone, spending all kinds of money to look better. And basically, there are about two, three, four, five things that we talked about in the last 30 minutes that actually help people be smart, live longer, look good, feel good, be more creative, and live a long time. You'll be a better dental professional if you sleep deeper.” (32:38—33:30) -Dr. Odiatu

“People often overlook sleep as a way to look better, feel better, and be smarter. People often want to send their kids to Harvard. But they say all geniuses are basically kids who sleep deep. So, people need to shift their perception on the value of sleep.” (33:51—34:03) -Dr. Odiatu

“I say bulletproof your body, and you will bulletproof your practice. Most people work on their practice, but they don't work on this vessel, this miraculous machine which needs rest at night.” (37:10—37:19) -Dr. Odiatu


0:00 Introduction.

3:18 Loren’s background.

4:20 Why this is an important topic.

7:44 The quick fix never works.

11:16 Eat light before bedtime.

13:47 The world is set up for morning larks.

15:39 Deep sleep versus REM sleep.

16:54 How EMF affects sleep.

18:48 How blue light and orange light affects sleep.

22:41 The ideal hours to sleep for men and women.

26:28 How alcohol impacts sleep.

30:43 How body temperature and room temperature affect sleep.

33:34 Final thoughts.

36:43 How to get in touch with Dr. Odiatu and Loren.

Dr. Uche Odiatu Bio:

Dr. Uche Odiatu has a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). He is a professional member of the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), a Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength & Conditioning Association) NSCA, and the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (canfitpro). He is the co-author of The Miracle of Health (c) 2009 John Wiley (hardcover) & (c) 2015 Harper Collins, and has lectured in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, and Europe. He is an invited guest on over 400 TV and radio shows, from ABC 20/20, Canada CTV AM, Breakfast TV, to Magic Sunday Drum FM in Texas. This high-energy healthcare professional has done over 450 lectures in seven countries over the last 15 years.

Loren King Bio:

Loren King is an international speaker who brings awareness to topics such as human trafficking, airway health, and dental hygiene performance. She is a published author, registered dental hygienist, and life coach for women. She also happens to be a licensed skydiver who has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane — solo, 34 times – which speaks to her resilience to conquer hard things.