Episode #30: Improving Your Sleep Hygiene

Today’s podcast is about something we all do every day. We’re talking about sleep, and what you can actively do to improve your own sleep hygiene.  Today, Russ and Mika are addressing something that everyone does, and we all spend a third of our lives doing it. This week’s podcast is all about sleep....

Today, Russ and Mika are addressing something that everyone does, and we all spend a third of our lives doing it.

This week’s podcast is all about sleep. In particular, this conversation chronicles their own unique journey with sleep.

In the past, the two of them were very bad sleepers, but over the years they have made significant changes to the way that they approach sleep, and on today’s episode you will hear all about those changes.

You’ll also hear about some of their sleep routines, as well as their favorite sleep related-items, and tips for getting your best sleep.


In this episode, you will learn:

• What it means to have good “sleep hygiene”.
• The types of things that can have a negative impact on our sleep.
• The practical things that we have done to improve our sleep hygiene.
• Why you need to create the ideal environment for sleep.


Mentioned in this episode:

Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
mindbodygreen Podcast with John Mackey
The Whole Foods Cookbook by John Mackey
Toro – Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Tim Ferriss Show
Revising Prose (5th Edition) by Richard Lanham
Lil Duval – Smile (Living My Best Life) ft. Snoop Dog, Ball Greezy
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
Episode #26: Why You Should Go on a Staycation
Episode 328: Understanding the “Core Four”
Inside Out
RCA Digital Alarm Clock
Allswell Mattress
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson
Boll & Branch Sheets
Snowe Sheets – Percale Sheet Set
Little Design Company
Pottery Barn Fitz Dresser
Whole Body 365 Lavender Essential Oil
Radha Beauty Lavender Oil
• Calm
Insight Timer
Beats by Dre Headphones
Design Your Self” by Karim Rashid
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!



Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: And I’m Mika Perry and you’re listening to Good To Be Home.

Russ Perry: Good To Be Home is a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety, and how we balance our business and life.

Mika Perry: From our family to yours, thanks for joining us and welcome to our home.

Russ Perry: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home, I’m your cohost Russ Sleepy Time Perry.

Mika Perry: I’m your other cohost Mika Addicted to Lavender Essential Oil Perry.

Russ Perry: You are addicted. We are here today to talk about something that everyone does, in fact, you spend a third of your life doing it. We are all experts at it no matter if you feel this way or not, and this is the topic of sleep.

Mika Perry: It’s interesting to think about how we are all, this is one thing we all do.

Russ Perry: You will literally die if you don’t sleep. Your body will shut down because that’s how your body repairs itself. But not to spoil the episode too much, we’re going to talk about sleep, we’re going to talk about our journey with sleep both from being very bad sleepers to what I feel like today we have accomplished a lot. It’s like weird to be proud of being a good sleeper but I think that it can really mess you up if you don’t have it dialed in. I mean it’s a domino effect that affects your relationships, your businesses, yourself, your health. We want to share our journey on that but let’s not snooze on our regular feature that we have, what we’re reading, listening, eating and loving. Which as always if you want to get the full list and links and all sorts of other things you can go to our website, goodtobehomepodcast.com, put in your email and we’ll send you to our top secret page that documents it all. So, Mika, take it away.

Mika Perry: That was a really good transition, snooze.

Russ Perry: I’m pretty smooth.

Mika Perry: I like it, okay. For reading, Y’all know I don’t read a lot.

Russ Perry: It’s been a downhill. I wouldn’t like to go to the best episodes. It’s like I’m reading, I am-

Mika Perry: Going to order a book.

Russ Perry: … ordering books, I’m reading to others in school.

Mika Perry: It’s been so busy and I just generally am not a huge reader, although, I love the content of books. I think that’s one reason why I’m such a huge fan of podcasts is because I can listen to it while I multitask. But I will say that I’ve been reading my DMs on my Instagram, I communicate a lot that way and reach out to listeners here, followers there, just a cool community and recent topics we’ve talked about on DMs are my ice roller I use on my face, Berry prep, the controversy there.

Russ Perry: Yes, Berry gate.

Mika Perry: Berry Gate. I prep berries in advance on Sundays as part of my meal prep and put those into jars and that honestly was the most engaged post I’ve ever posted.

Russ Perry: What was the issue? What was the controversy?

Mika Perry: That people were like, “You can do that? Are you supposed to wash berries in advance? Can you store them?” But as I’ve talked about it now for a while, I started getting comments that people are trying this and their berries do last longer.

Russ Perry: Wait, that was the issue that the berries go bad quicker?

Mika Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative), or a lot of people never tried and they’re like, “But you’re not supposed to.” I was like, “Well, says who? Try it.” It’s like an urban legend or urban myth or whatever or maybe it had been told before but I’m here to break barriers.

Russ Perry: Barriers.

Mika Perry: Oh my gosh.

Russ Perry: Good pun hun.

Mika Perry: I just got that. Okay, unintended, but that was great if I do say so myself. All right, listening, I just listened to an interview on one of my favorite podcasts, mindbodygreen with the interview with the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey. The first podcast I’ve ever listened to in my podcast listening career was mindbodygreen in an interview with John Mackey. So he came back onto the podcast to talk about the merger with Amazon and the new Whole Foods cookbook. This is just a CEO I really admire. I think he’s had a long successful career and then very interesting to listen to. Eating stuffed peppers. Do you like them?

Russ Perry: Love them.

Mika Perry: They’re easy. You stuff them with rice and meat and seasonings and I ate them last week all for lunch, and we did one dinner with them and they’re just super easy and good.

Russ Perry: I know this is an audio show, but basically you have a pepper, you make like a stuffing of rice and what else? Turkey?

Mika Perry: I did ground, sometimes I do turkey, this time I did ground beef.

Russ Perry: Yeah, and then there are little containers that you bake in the oven. I just had an idea, what if you just cut the top out and use enough of frosting, pipe that thing, like piped it in and cooked it inside of it and then it was like a surprise-filled pepper.

Mika Perry: Yeah, maybe. Sure.

Russ Perry: Do it.

Mika Perry: Okay, and then finally loving a restaurant called Toro. This is a restaurant at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess which is nearby to us, a great place if you’re ever in town. They have a restaurant, it’s Latin, a little bit Asian, right?

Russ Perry: Yeah.

Mika Perry: But mostly, no, mostly Latin.

Russ Perry: Like Pacific Asian.

Mika Perry: Yeah, it’s so good. I normally don’t like fusion but they do it so well, and the thing is that this one is this restaurant is on the 18th hole of the Phoenix Open golf course where we have one of the biggest golf courses ever every year around February. It’s a pretty cool location and great food, great service.

Russ Perry: To add on that, one thing that is a throwback to our Staycation Episode that we did, which you can find at goodtobehomepodcast.com, is going to restaurants at hotels. I don’t know if we mentioned this, but we go to date nights often at hotel restaurants and they’re always empty like it’s the best. They’re never busy, their service is really good, they always assume you’re from out of town so they’re really over the top with making a good impression. But it wasn’t until a couple years ago that we realized that and what I did was I went on Yelp and I was like, “Wait, half of these are at the hotels. Oh, yeah, travelers are probably looking at Yelp and rating it.” But it’s been nice because you don’t think of it, at least I never did, maybe other people do. We would always go like to the trendy new concept restaurants but they’re just some real classics that you can find and then they’re real beautiful. Like Mika said, this one’s right on a golf course.

Mika Perry: I like that restaurants at hotels source like bigger name chefs sometimes because they have the resources to do that. I like that too.

Russ Perry: Nice. All right, well, what am I reading? My good friend Tim Ferriss recommended this book to me through his podcast, it is called Revising Prose, the 5th Edition, by Richard Lanham. Now, ladies and gentlemen, this is like a textbook. On the cover is a CD ROM, picture of a CD ROM which I’m not clear on why that matters. I did get this book because Tim and his guests were talking about the practice of getting better at writing and really a lot of it comes down to the editing part. This is all about editing your writing, not necessarily about the actual writing process, and I’ve already found I’m using it. The one chapter I read, I’ve only gone a chapter in because it’s pretty dense, is using less words. We always want to use more words when we write because it sounds more important, it sounds more official, but if you just say the man was attractive versus the visuals of the man was pleasing to my eyes, like you don’t need to say all that stuff. I wrote a little bit last night and I was editing away. Thank you. Mr. Lanham.

Mika Perry: Do you think this has helped your emails and your Instagram post writing as well?

Russ Perry: So there’s a bit of controversy about my emails which actually you have gotten involved in, and my emails are very short and very direct and have been interpreted as rude before.

Mika Perry: No, I don’t mean like your emails like day to day emails, I mean like your newsletter ones because those I was going to say you’re actually on the other spectrum where I’ve said that my goodness this is so long breaths.

Russ Perry: Oh, false. Have you been reading the more recent from the desk digests?

Mika Perry: I don’t get those.

Russ Perry: Oh, you don’t?

Mika Perry: No, I know I get a different one but it’s fine, I’m your wife, I don’t-

Russ Perry: The answer is yes, I’ve actually now I’m writing shorter posts more direct, very simple thoughts. I want to say because I’m on this great new writer now that I’m learning how to write but a lot of it is I won’t get it done otherwise. Because I enjoy writing but when I write the long stuff, I’ll do it once a month. I’m now on my third week of writing consistently and it’s because I’m writing less.

Mika Perry: That’s awesome.

Russ Perry: I got to get you signed up to my newsletter, find out what’s going on in my life. All right, what am I listening to? Well, Mika, I know you’re in my one of our favorite comics is Lil Duval. Remember him?

Mika Perry: No.

Russ Perry: From Scary Movie 5.

Mika Perry: Definitely no.

Russ Perry: He’s been featured in so many music videos with TI, Yo Gotti, E-40.

Mika Perry: Oh.

Russ Perry: No?

Mika Perry: Unfortunately.

Russ Perry: Oh, well, his new hit single Smile is it’s the song that usually is released in the early summer where you’re like remember Fresh Prince like summertime. It’s like that happy vibes, it features Snoop Dogg and of course Ball Greezy’s in it too. But, anyway, this song is fantastic, it puts a smile on your face. It is explicit, though, so I put it on for the kids and I was like, “Whoa, hang on, I didn’t realize this.” Make sure you listen to the edited version, the song is called Living Your Best Life and it’s all, it’s about, it’s him living his best life and I saw an interview about it and he was like, “I just approached everyday living my best life and I wanted to make a song about it.” I was like, “I’m so envious of this guy.”

Mika Perry: I love that, good for him.

Russ Perry: What am I eating? I am eating well my super boring green smoothie. One of our more recent episodes was about Core Four. If you don’t know, I have a green smoothie every morning, it’s a fun gamification system from Warrior that I practice called Core Four. In it is a green smoothie. This is water, vegan protein, chocolate, typically, a little bit of MCT oil, maybe some seeds like a poppy seed or a … not a poppy seed, a chia seed, excuse me, your face was like what? Chia seed or what is the other seed, flaxseed, and then I have ice and some greens. Either a handful of spinach or the amazing greens powder. No fruit, no milk, no almond milk, nothing.

Mika Perry: I feel like it would taste a lot better if you just switched up the almond milk.

Russ Perry: But I don’t want the almond milk.

Mika Perry: Why?

Russ Perry: I don’t know, I don’t think almond milk’s natural. I saw this funny comic the other day and it was like a picture of God and he’s like what? They’re milking almonds? I gave them so many animals to milk, what’s going on?

Mika Perry: Matics told us that joke the other day.

Russ Perry: Yeah, that was from Matics, yeah.

Mika Perry: Yeah.

Russ Perry: I was like that was really funny. It was a meme actually, technically it was a meme from a 13-year-old. What am I loving? I am loving this instant Polaroid camera Reese has. She got it from her aunt, my sister, Grace Perry. Shout out to Grace Perry, proprietor of Graces downtown, and it’s a Fuji max. I’m not clear in the name, it’s Fujifilm in stacks mini nine, but basically it’s a green cool plastic camera and the pictures are couple inches by a couple inches. Mika and I are over the moon with how awesome these photos are. Reese will run around taking pictures of us, her friends, her sisters at the park, and they’re the most adorable photos. The lighting is always so cool and we just have this collection of them around our house. And I think it’s the best, it’s just like a cool way to document things from a different perspective.

Mika Perry: I think they turn out almost like the old Instagram filters when everyone was using them or like cool hipster models in Brooklyn.

Russ Perry: Yeah, exactly.

Mika Perry: You know what I mean, or an ad for a fashion line in a magazine.

Russ Perry: Wearing mom jeans and a crop top and a beret.

Mika Perry: And dad sneakers.

Russ Perry: And dad sneakers.

Mika Perry: Dad shoes.

Russ Perry: Like Doc Martens. Yeah, no, they’re great and I just bought a bunch of film for it and so that we have it for the holidays and just birthdays, whatever, and get just here you go Reese, have fun. It’s super durable too, so you’re not worried about them dropping a digital camera and breaking it. By the way, if you want a link to all these things, go to our website, goodtobehomepodcast.com.

Mika Perry: Okay, so let’s talk about sleep. This has been a requested topic and again it’s one that we all have experience, both positive and negative with. We wanted to sit down and give you an idea of what our sleeper routine is, some of our favorite tips and even items that we utilize in our sleep routines. Some struggles that we’ve had with sleep, more so on my side, Russ will explain what a great sleeper he just naturally is and give you a little conversation and insight into our life and hopefully, you’ll find some things that you can take away as well.

Russ Perry: All right, so Mika, let’s do this though, let’s describe ourselves as what kind of sleepers we are and the path we’ve been on because you’re not destined to be one kind of sleeper. It literally is, I know it sounds super weird to think about but it’s like a practice thing. You got to think about it and make sure you’re setting yourself up for success with this.

Mika Perry: Well, have you heard of the term sleep hygiene?

Russ Perry: No, that sounds cool.

Mika Perry: Uh-huh (affirmative), so instead of sleep habits or sleep routines, I have heard many times it referred to as proper sleep hygiene. In order to care for it, just like you would with your teeth, your skin, your body, your hair, your hands, washing your hands, you have to think of it as hygiene.

Russ Perry: Right, because like your teeth you’re going to eat food regardless and your teeth are going to do their job regardless, so you can either take care of your teeth or not, like teeth hygiene. The same thing with sleep, you’re going to sleep regardless. You’re either going to do it good or bad.

Mika Perry: Exactly, so it’s not like a proactive step like a habit that you create and maintain in your life, you just are going to do it so do it like hygienically. It’s not a weird concept but it totally clicks in my head for me.

Russ Perry: Well, it’s creating the right conditions for yourself to have a better outcome of the activity. I go back to teeth because that’s immediately what I think of that word being used. If I want my mouth to perform better, whether I’m talking to someone and I don’t want it to smell bad or look bad or eating and I don’t want to get cavities, I need to practice good hygiene to make that happen.

Mika Perry: Yeah. Anyway, so sleep habits, routines, hygiene, new term here, yeah, it’s all important to living a good life. Russ, do you want to tell us-

Russ Perry: Let me start.

Mika Perry: … what kind of sleeper are you?

Russ Perry: Yeah. Well, today I am one of the world’s best sleepers and there are very specific things that will disrupt this in my sleep hygiene, but I believe that I have always been a good sleeper because I am just going at a high level. Like I’m exerting a lot of energy mentally, physically, I’ve been involved in sports, I work out almost every day. I’m just when it’s time to sleep. It is like a legitimate just function of the body. It’s okay, time to sleep, time to sleep. This has been from when I was a kid, I vividly remember getting not teased by my family, but they would always joke that we would be at a family event and all of a sudden I’d be like literally in the middle of the floor sleeping at a party or her birthday party. In a car immediately I’d go asleep, like even driving sometimes and it’s still today it’s dangerous sometimes if I’m driving middle of the afternoon, I could be tired and be dozing off.
When it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep for me but I know 100% the thing that has in the past always messed this up and still to this day and although in a different way is my diet. Like what I eat and what I drink will always affect my sleep. Back in the day, as many of you know my history of alcohol, I used to drink a fair amount and that eliminated any possibility of good sleep for me. Today, it will be sugar, desserts, processed foods, 100% of the time I will not sleep well that next night. I’m very sensitive to it with what I’m putting inside my body but overall I feel like I got a good handle on it.

Mika Perry: Yeah, I would agree. Even last night I was already in bed and then you came upstairs and hopped in and then I was like, “Hey, how’s it gone?” I roll over and then like a second later you’re snoring. You set your alarm and then turned over and you were like …

Russ Perry: I did ask you to turn off the light, though, that was nice. Thank you for doing that for me.

Mika Perry: You’re welcome.

Russ Perry: While you were on your phone and I had been off my phone for a while, should we get into it?

Mika Perry: Okay, so all right, Russ is a great sleeper. Me, on the other hand, I’ve had a long history with sleep 36 years now and it’s evolved over time. Things that have affected me negatively in sleep in the past have been alcohol where it would metabolize in the middle of the night and it would always wake me up like around 2:00 a.m. So I drink wine at night, relax to shut my brain off and I would always wake up. I’m not as-

Russ Perry: Let me just jump in here on that really quick. A lot of people I think have had in the past the habit of, “Oh, I’m going to have a few drinks like a nightcap to go to sleep.” Mika, went over really quick, but let us be very clear here on goodtobehomepodcast.com, that is biochemically messing you up for a good sleep. Because, yes, it can help calm your mind and allow your mental processes to slow down so that maybe your mind’s not racing and it’s easier to go to sleep. But what you’re doing is you have all of that alcohol, all that sugar in your body and your body is now processing it no different than an engine that’s running. As Mika shared, we both had this, we’d wake up at 2:30 or 3:00 or even we’ll get through the whole night and then you wake up the next morning and you feel exhausted.
It’s like well you had no actual rest. That is like a thing if you’re looking to find an immediate change in your habits like that one is a big one that we both have clear before and after experience with.

Mika Perry: Another thing that I’ve had in the past is anxiety and I actually had it pretty badly at one point years ago that I took a sleeping pill, not Ambien, I took Lunesta. I didn’t have a hard time falling asleep, necessarily, but I would wake up and then my mind would not stop. It would just be like going 5000 miles an hour.

Russ Perry: Wait, with a sleeping pill?

Mika Perry: No, that’s why I went on a sleeping pill.

Russ Perry: Oh, okay, got it.

Mika Perry: Yeah. I would take it but it gave me really bad dreams, really vivid, crazy, crazy dreams. I stopped taking that, I wouldn’t recommend sleeping pills. I think it’s generally from a bigger perspective how I view health anyways is that you shouldn’t take pills to cover up the symptoms, you should look at what the root cause of that is. For that was anxiety. Also, for my anxiety, I was having wine at night to calm that mind down so it was like a double punch of just not being a great combo and not good sleep hygiene. I no longer drink, I drink like a million other drinks at night. I have like magnesium powder in hot water, I have sleepy time tea, I drink a detox tea, and I have water, I have lemon water ready for the morning the next day, I have tea ready for the next day. All these other good things that don’t disrupt my sleep and that has definitely helped.

Russ, you mentioned my electronic use. I would say that is the last frontier of my poor sleep hygiene or poor sleep habits is that I do tend to bring my phone into the room and I do keep it next to my bed overnight. I charge it next to my bed and I also use it as my alarm clock whereas you use a regular little alarm clock, not your phone. You leave your phone downstairs and you don’t go on your phone at night in bed. For me, I feel that that is my quiet time and it’s when I can catch up on the world around me because I’ve been just working on our world all day. And for our family, for what we do, for me, and then nighttime is when I can catch up with the outer world in some ways. That’s a bad habit that I think in 2019 I may stick it onto my resolutions or goals for the year is habits to improve upon.

Russ Perry: Well, let me just share my theory on this because I bet there’s a lot of moms, dads that agree, kids go to bed-

Mika Perry: Well, let me say that, like if I post something or I see like activity online, it’s insane what’s happening at like 11:30, there’s a lot of moms-

Russ Perry: High level of engagement.

Mika Perry: High level of engagement with moms.

Russ Perry: Right, so I’m coming around to be more sympathetic of this because I completely agree. You are the book ends of the day for the kiddos, you’re there in the morning, you’re there at night, you have things in the middle. So when they go to bed and then you have that time, I 100% know that it is a moment of let’s decompress, let’s think about something else, let’s create, let’s do some things that I need to do for whatever, your projects, your businesses. But if you remember the scientific documentary, Inside Out by Pixar, there was a scene where they’re in the dream world and there is a stage and they’re trying to get the girl to wake up. They’re trying to get her to get going and in the scene there’s a projector, an old school projector and it’s actually a play and they’re acting it out and this is the dream.
The reason this is actually scientifically similar is that your visual cortex during the day is receiving light inputs from your eyes all the time, and it’s hitting that and then you’re processing it. So when you’re on your phone, you’re enhancing that, it’s not just the regular light, it’s like projected light from a phone, from a computer, from an iPad. My theory now we had some MDs who listen to this and maybe they can help chime in on that real science that isn’t based off of Pixar movies. Is the projection like in the Pixar movie, what a dream is, is when you close your eyes your brain is like, “Hello, I need, I want stimulus,” and so your brain starts up and starts projecting its own imagery onto your visual cortex and that’s how you experience dreams.
If you’re loading yourself up and you don’t give yourself a break before bedtime, this is why I believe you have a hard time with deep quality sleep is because your brain is on overload until your eyes closed and you go to bed and then it’s like it’s starving, it’s like I need more. And then it just fills it with apocalyptic plane whatever your dream is. That’s science theory right there.

Mika Perry: Russ science theory. Well, though unproven, I’m sure there are a lot of supporting research with that. I don’t think you just pulled it out of thin air, and I do tend to somehow agree with you on that because you mentioned poor sleep quality. For me, the last thing for me in achieving top level sleep is the dreams I have at night. While not crazy vivid, I feel like I almost live two lives during the day and then I close my eyes and go to sleep and then live another life of just really like not even scary nightmares but just life. I live another life and then I wake up and here’s regular life. So I don’t like dreams. You Russ love dreams-

Russ Perry: Oh yeah.

Mika Perry: … and you have awesome dreams like-

Russ Perry: Like epic sci-fi, save the world dreams, it’s sort of like a fun time.

Mika Perry: I have a lot of crazy end of world, I have a lot of flying. I’m always on an airplane, I’m crashing, I’m flying it, I’m late to flights all the time in my dreams and I don’t know what that means. If you guys know what dream philosophy stuff is, let me know. I’ve looked into it, but anyways so I don’t like dreams, I don’t like dreaming. If I could just shut off that dream switch at night, I’d be so much happier.

Russ Perry: I dream of drinking a lot to be honest. I’ll dream of getting drunk.

Mika Perry: And you’re like no.

Russ Perry: I do, yeah, so in case you guys don’t know I’ve been sober over five years but yeah I’ll wake up and it’s always like a mistake and then I’m like, “What, oh, my streak, it’s down the drain from that accidental Martini that was in a soda glass. Like what’s going on?”

Mika Perry: I think we live out our fears and anxieties in our sleep, that’s how our subconscious processes it out and it’s a little bit exhausting in the morning.

Russ Perry: I’m just going to say and we can move on, I want to talk about things we’ve done to improve sleep quality here in a minute, but just final note on this for you, I love you and I want you to have good sleep. Hypothetically, you reading about other people’s life on Instagram before you go to bed is influencing your stressful dreams having this other life.

Mika Perry: I go on CNN, which is probably worse.

Russ Perry: Which is worse, it’s like crazier people’s lives.

Mika Perry: Which is worse. You know what, I read a lot of articles about planes and like the missing Malaysia flight I was reading the other day I was like, “What’s going on with that investigation?”

Russ Perry: Well, case closed on this one. There we go. All right, Mika, so let’s talk about sleep hygiene and the practical things that we’ve done, just a handful of things each to get ahead of it over the last year or so. I’ll go first. Well, the one thing that Mika mentioned and I have stood by this, I’ve blogged about this is no phone by my bed and I’m not going to continue to harp on it for you. But for me it’s also the gap that I have from when I’m checking my email, doing work, I keep it downstairs and I keep my phone charged. Then up by my bed I have an old school style RCA battery powered alarm clock I got on Amazon. I like it because it forces me to create that gap of stressful thinking work mindset, what am I doing? By the time I brush my teeth and changing my boxers for sleep and get ready for bed, even if I only did that and I didn’t add any extra time that at least is like 30 to 45 minutes that I’m off of my electronics.
Now if I’m not up too late what I’ll then do is I’ll read fiction. I love reading non-business books before bed, philosophy, I’ve studied stoicism, I’m reading about the meaning of life right now. I just enjoy biographies also which I guess is nonfiction. But I try to digest content that is not going to stir up ideas and thoughts and like get my brain going again. Those are two things. The other thing that we’ve recently done is we got a new mattress and, oh my goodness, like this was probably one of the best things we’ve done recently to improve my sleep hygiene or sleep quality. It’s a newer, firmer mattress by-

Mika Perry: Oswal.

Russ Perry: … Oswal and there’s a lot of these companies out there. We can’t say we’ve tried a lot of them, we’ve tried Oswal and they’ve been fantastic. It’s a firmer mattress and I enjoy that too because sleeping with someone else I feel like you’re bouncing around less, you’re not getting engulfed in a mattress pillow top and things like that. That’s about it, I don’t have a ton, I’m a pretty simple sleeper. It’s like get in your boxers, brush your teeth, read some books, go to bed.

Mika Perry: It’s so easy for you. What time is your ideal sleep time versus what time are you finding typically that you’re going to bed these days?

Russ Perry: And I’ll add in how much sleep do I want to get versus do I normally get? My ideal sleep window is about six to seven and a half hours. If I can get in that time window then I feel great. I can always do less, hard to do more. Like if I want to do more, I just can’t, I’ll wake up regardless. I’m looking at being off of my stuff by about 9:00, 9:30 and then my sleep routine, if you even want to call it that, is getting me into bed ideally before 10:30. That’s like when I want to be in bed and upstairs and unplugged and all of that. Not to get too deep into it, I try to subscribe to the concept of sleep cycles so this is 90 minutes of sleep is typically what your body will go through while you’re sleeping between a light brainwave state where you’re having like light sleep and a deep brainwave state when you’re having deep sleep.
The theory with this is that if you wake up in the light state at the 90-minute interval mark, so it’s easier to wake up. If you wake up halfway in that you’re actually in a deeper sleep state and that’s when you wake up groggy. I’ll actually I used to use an app and now I just count it out in my head. I’ll count out in 90-minute increments from when I am going to sleep and factoring in 10 minutes or so to fall asleep and then I’ll set my alarm clock accordingly. So sometimes you might actually get less than your quantity amount of sleep like you may get because if you think about it’s an hour and a half increments, you may get four and a half hours of sleep because you have an early morning meeting. You were up late, but the theory is, is that you’ll wake up more clear-headed than if you went into the next sleep cycle 30 more minutes getting five hours of sleep and woken up in that deeper state.

Mika Perry: Totally, because you can have the same steps in your sleep hygiene routine and eat the same thing and then wake up at two different times and one day you will be groggy, the next day it’s like 5:00 a.m. and you’re sharp and you’re like, “I’m refreshed, I’m ready to go.” It definitely has to do with the sleep cycle.

Russ Perry: Yeah, so then just while we’re on that and then I’ll hand it off to you, the other couple things that I’ve committed to is if I can’t sleep or if I wake up relatively early, say like 3:30, 4:30, and my mind is awake, I just go, I just get up and I start the day. I don’t try to force myself to sleep if clearly I’m not tired or there’s something on my mind. This could be that, yeah, like last week I woke up around 3:30 and I was like, “Am I really awake right now?” I lied in bed for maybe 15, 20 minutes and I was still wide awake and it’s like, “Yep, okay, time to go.” I started my day at like 3:45 in the morning. That’s now the thing in terms of sleep quality and hygiene is listen to your body because you may just have had a day where your schedule’s off, whatever, get going.
It’s better to start creating and doing things other than lying there thinking and your body will catch up for it the next day. In fact, you’re normally going to sleep way better the next day if you’ve gotten a far lower volume the night before.

Mika Perry: It’s an amazing feeling sometimes when you’re up like way too early like 3:30, 4:00, and then it’s 8:00 a.m. and you feel like it should be 4:00 p.m. with how much you’ve done. But I was reading that book that you stole from me, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F, last night. Look, I was reading instead of being on my phone, but it mentioned how you can get anxiety by thinking about how anxious you are and then you become more anxious. You can think about like, “Oh, no, I’m not getting sleep.” Then your sleep is ruined because you’re thinking about how much you’re missing out on sleep and then you’re missing out on more sleep because you can’t stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about it and just let it go. Don’t give an F about it that day, get up, get your day started.

Russ Perry: Isn’t that book funny?

Mika Perry: It is funny, I really like it.

Russ Perry: It’s so inappropriate, guys, just heads up. Heads up, Dr. Gabriel.

Mika Perry: Yeah, inappropriate in a cursing way.

Russ Perry: It’s like a cursing sailor wrote a very great philosophy book.

Mika Perry: Exactly.

Russ Perry: All right, Mika, let’s hear some of your items. I guarantee there is lavender involved.

Mika Perry: Oh, yeah. So before I get into my personal routine, let’s talk about actually the environment that I have created for us in our home. We moved into this house about a year ago and it was really important for us, you and I decided that we would make the bedroom our sanctuary. We have lived in small rentals and apartments prior to this and so our last place that we were at for about three years we had our desk and computer right next to our bed. It was a small room, we didn’t have a home office, we needed one so we put it in our room and it was just not a relaxing place. We had an old IKEA bed frame, our mattress was horrible. Somehow we survived.

Russ Perry: It was piece together for sure.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and it was crazy because this is during the time of your crazy growth and start a design pickle and I was doing my professional organizing business, we had a baby, we had another kid. We’ve definitely improved upon our environment, our sleep environment so we’re actually recording in our bedroom right now.

Russ Perry: Kind of breaking our rules of no electronics, having podcast through this.

Mika Perry: True, but it’s in our master suites pretty big now so that it’s on another side, but we do not have a TV in here, that was intentional. We have a, so let me give you a setup of our bed, so we have a four poster black iron canopy bed type of thing. We don’t have canopies hanging but it’s a four poster bed just because I like that look, and it’s a king size bed. Our mattress is Oswal. We don’t have like a feather top plush thing which I like but you thought it was swallowing you whole and also you and I sleep hot like, our temperatures are pretty hot when we sleep and we like to be cold, so I took that off. Our sheets right now are like tinsel, like microfiber non-wrinkle one. But last night I was on my phone in bed after I read that book because I was researching sheets. If you guys listening have any recommendations for sheet sets that you like, we love our mattress so I totally recommend Oswal.
But sheets I haven’t really decided quite yet but my research is leading me to either Boll & Branch which their NPR advertisement says that like three past presidents sleep on Boll & Branch sheets. Or a direct to consumer company out of New York called Snowe, S-N-O-W-E, that has a very highly rated Percale set and Percale is cotton. I hope I’m saying that right but it is a little bit crisper and cooler which I think might be good for you and I. If you’re listening and you’ve tried either of those please email us at hello@goodtobe homepodcast.com and let me know which one I should get. Or if you have any other suggestions, please tell me, DM me, email me there. I’m on the market right now for new sheet sets. That being said, ours right now is pretty good.

Russ Perry: Wait, hang on, presidents don’t sleep very much.

Mika Perry: I know.

Russ Perry: So is that a good thing to say for-

Mika Perry: Yeah, I think so, because here’s why, because they only get a small window so when they choose to sleep, they sleep on these.

Russ Perry: Right, because it’s so [crosstalk]-

Mika Perry: Yeah, and actually I think of Obama often when I think about my sleep because I tend to not get enough sleep and I always remember that Obama only sleeps four hours a night and I was like, “You know what, if he gets only four hours of sleep and can run a country, so I can take on my day.”

Russ Perry: That’s a good point.

Mika Perry: Anyway, maybe he’s like exhausted now. He did get really gray.

Russ Perry: I think term limits are more so these people don’t die than anything.

Mika Perry: For sure, okay. Back to our bed, on top we have decorative pillows that Russ despises. I think it’s a general consensus that husbands versus wives there’s a thing there with throw pillows. But I don’t have a ton, I just have three huge euro shams, big square ones and they’re covered with Emerald velvet. Then we have a long king size bolster with a velvet crocodile cream print on it. They’re both by a little design company, they’re a company out of Tulsa. Then at the foot of our bed, this is something I really wanted forever was a love seat kind of couch situation. My idea in creating this room was making it like a hotel, and so we have a small set tea from anthropology. It’s a light gray velvet couch with iron feet that match our iron canopy.

Russ Perry: I’m learning so much about our bedroom.

Mika Perry: Yeah, you’re looking at it right now.

Russ Perry: I’m like, “Wow, we do have all these things.” If I was to describe it I was like, “Well, we got a bed, some pillows, and my RCA alarm clock.”

Mika Perry: Our bedroom is carpeted but we have another rug on top that is like a traditional looking green thing to tie in with the Emerald and then to the left and right of our bed we each have a dresser. It’s from Pottery Barn, I think it was called the fritz dresser. Then on top of it, we have some, you know, you have your alarm clock, I have my charger, I have some frames and decor and then I have sconces built in onto the wall instead of lamps. Then in our bedroom, we have overhead lights controlled by a system called Control For that controls everything in our home from shades to music to lights to security to their nest temperatures. We all have this big system to create like an environment around us. We have a fireplace that’s actually right behind me right now, we have a fireplace installed in our bedroom. We turned that on the other day.

We don’t get to use it very often here in Arizona being so hot but in the winter fall time when it is cool, we open up the windows to let the cold in and then turn on the fireplace. It’s just very like calming and soothing. We have a setting that turns on spa music and turns down the light with our Control For. Again, just trying to create like a really serene environment. You mentioned lavender, I have a diffuser.

Russ Perry: I knew it.

Mika Perry: So I always diffuse lavender. I tried to turn it on, I did last night while I was giving the girls a bath. I ran around all the bedrooms and turned on all the lavender. I use two different kinds just Whole Foods lavender and Radha Beauty Lavender from Amazon. I know there’s lots of essential oil companies out there but for my diffuser, which is I need a bigger bottle and that’s what I use. For days that I’m super anxious and this happened more before, I don’t do this as often now, but I have used and if you struggle with anxiety or a restless mind, I highly suggest a sleep meditation, calm headspace. There’s also one that’s free called Insight Timer and they have really nice sleep meditations that you can listen to with your headphones.
I prefer Beats headphones, that’s what we’re wearing right now and they’re actually really comfortable and soft. You can even wear them in bed and not feel like you have electronics on you. It’s really nice. That’s one I recommend.

Russ Perry: I want to share a tangent here but this is I think what encompasses our philosophy around this is to share a story from my college days. I was a poor college student, Arizona State University studying design and I would always go to Barnes & Noble nearby and go to the design section and architecture section. These are the very small published books, the books that are like $80, way too expensive for me to buy. But one book that I bought was from a very famous industrial designer called Karim Rashid, his name’s Karim Rashid and he is an industrial designer, very modern, very pro like minimalism. His book is called Design Your Self and it’s three words, Design Your Self, and this book was my first introduction to really looking at your spaces as a reflection. Not only of yourself but of how you want to live, and the way you want to live. I highly recommend this book, it was published in 2006 but it’s still relevant today and I have given copies to friends. It’s a cool book, it’s a very out there book because it’s-

Mika Perry: You gave it to me when we were dating.

Russ Perry: Oh, yeah.

Mika Perry: I would say a month into dating.

Russ Perry: It just was one of those books that just helped me think so much differently about it, and in it he talks about the spaces you are in the most you need to think about and design because that’s your life. He actually goes on a tangent about cars, like if you’re in your car a lot, get a nice car, get the best car you can buy because that’s where you’re spending your life. So don’t cheap out on a car because you’re going to go, you want to save for a two-week vacation if you’re in your car three hours a day. You’re going to spend way more time there than on your vacation, so get a really nice car. The same, I feel like the same thing should go for your bedroom and your home and where your sleep. Do the best you can because you’re going to be in there a lot and that is what will affect your waking hours with the experience you have sleeping in your bedroom.

Mika Perry: There’s lots of ways to make your environments more luxurious, it doesn’t necessarily have to equate to a price tag. Even in your car, no matter what car you have, things like I do, like I always make sure it’s clean on the inside. You do too and I diffuse lavender inside my car with a car diffuser so it’s creating an environment or creating an ideal environment in the places you spend a lot of time in.

Russ Perry: Yeah, so in the bedroom as much as I tease Mika about lavender overload, scents, candles, lighting, simplicity or no electronics, those are all things you can do for under $10.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and no clutter on top of our nightstands and also I do want to point out matching PJs, so you sleep in your boxers but ladies, for me, I’ve made a step up type of change in my sleep habits that I got rid of all the old t-shirts and old flannel pants or whatever, they were all mismatched.

Russ Perry: [inaudible] used sweats.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and I upgraded to matching PJ set. I’m still doing that, I’m adding some sets to my collection, you could say, but I wanted to feel good when I went to bed. Like putting on a good workout outfit or putting on a nice outfit or a pair of shoes or a nice bag or just improving your aesthetics, it has an effect on your mood. So I try to create that in going asleep. I didn’t mention Russ when I go to sleep in times and that sort of thing, I am pretty similar to you, I need about six to seven hours. If I get eight or more, I’m not good and I tend to try to go to bed by like 10:30 as well. Sometimes I’ll go to bed earlier, it’ll be 8:30 after the kids go to bed and I’m exhausted that day that’ll happen. But overall I tend to average around six or seven hours.

The difference between you and I is that I can sleep a lot less and be better, I think you really need the sleep. I actually have to force myself to get six to seven hours because really I could stay up all night, I’d be okay. I’m not, as much as we talked about it here in creating the right sleep environment, I like being up and I like doing things at night. I’m a night owl and we won’t get too into it but cortisol, I think we’ll mention this in a future episode when we talk about the natural path and the test we’ve done and like the things we’ve done into our for health, but we’ve both tested our cortisol and mine’s off. I have very low cortisol, you have high cortisol, and I think that’s what gets you so amped up throughout the entire day that you’re like crashing at night which is ideal actually. That’s how you want to be, that’s what cortisol is there for so that you’re high energy during the day and you’re restful at night.

I’m just low all the time, so I don’t have those ups and downs in the days as much as you do. Like my energy level is the same at night, late at night as it is in the morning. Does that make sense to you?

Russ Perry: Totally.

Mika Perry: All that. Anyway, so that has an effect. Last thing I want to mention is kids sleep. I think that’s a whole nother topic, so rather than breezing through it here, I want to dedicate special time to that, especially, for parents listening, especially, if you have babies. That’s a whole nother world.

Russ Perry: Let’s at least give a tip or two on how we’ve managed our own sleep with kids’ schedules. Because let’s be honest, that is one of the biggest disruptors of our own sleep is children.

Mika Perry: I would say put your kids to bed early so that you have some time for yourself at night.

Russ Perry: Yes.

Mika Perry: It always blows my mind when I go to Target after our kids have gone to bed and you’re home and I go and there’s kids out there shopping. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, go to bed.”

Russ Perry: You’re immediately, I’m speaking for myself, like crazy judgmental. Those are the worst parents ever. It’s 8:15, why are those children in Target?

Mika Perry: Well, but you see them crying in there and tired and it’s like, “Well, they should be going to bed.” But, you know what, I’m not here to judge parents. Maybe they work late and that’s the only time that they get with their kids. Do you know what I mean?

Russ Perry: I’m here to judge parents.

Mika Perry: But I was at Target by myself and there with their crying kids, so maybe you can try putting them to bed and then go to Target with your … If you have someone else at home, and then you can be there by yourself.

Russ Perry: Which I know for you is like a magical experience to be at Target alone at night.

Mika Perry: I see other moms too there, and it’s like, “I know, I know.”

Russ Perry: Everyone skipping and high fiving.

Mika Perry: Yeah, it’s a montage of a movie like yeah. Anyway, so put your kids to bed early. I will say sleep schedules, routines for kids is huge. One book I suggest if you do have a baby and you’re just getting started on this whole thing of putting your kid to bed and getting rest for yourself, I highly recommend a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and it’s by Marc Weissbluth, and that was pivotal for me for Reese to sleep train her and therefore afterward Paige. Because of that, our sleep is so much better. It is challenging and I’m not going to lie, our kids come into our room like wake us up in the middle of the night. Actually, last night Paige came in twice. Another tip is to just accept that that’s going to happen and don’t fight it.
The more frustrated you get at that, the less you’re going to be able to fall asleep again and they’ll just stress you out and stress equals bad sleep. If they’re waking you up, put them back to bed, try just go with it and know that this is a season of life and someday they will be out of your house and you’ll miss them.

Russ Perry: Right, and for the the business owner listening to this, I will make sure I have some flexibility in my mornings because as much as I want to have the crusher morning routine, as we’ve talked about, if I’m getting woken up a few times at night or the kids are disruptive, it’s just you’re not going to have the space or the time that you expect in the morning. So I just always make sure I don’t have super early morning scheduled, I just have flexibility so that if everything does work out to plan, I’m able to sleep, get up, get going on my day. The kids sleep great, then I have a really great gap in my morning to do something else. If things don’t go as planned, then I’m not really rolling into my day anxious and frustrated because I don’t have a space to catch up for it.
So today was a perfect example, I woke up a little bit later but knew that I had an hour after dropping Reese off at school to go to the gym because I wasn’t able to go to it early in the morning and that was by design. I like to plan that out on Mondays, so that I have a little bit of wiggle room of when I’m going to get everything done.

Mika Perry: I think flexibility and acceptance are two words to keep in mind when it comes to sleep and kids and how it affects your schedule.

Russ Perry: Well, we’ll wrap this up. You’ve never cursed, ever, and the only time ever that I can remember you cussing was in San Francisco, we were on a business trip, I was on a business trip and you came with Reese, she was a baby.

Mika Perry: She was three months old.

Russ Perry: She was three months old.

Mika Perry: It was right before I bought that book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Russ Perry: And she was not sleeping and I’m going to tell it, and I remember you getting up and you were like, “Mother F-er.” Because she wasn’t sleeping and cried and you took charge and you figured out sleep habits after that, but I still remember it and we laugh now. It was like we know-

Mika Perry: I was standing there rocking her like holding her back and forth doing that like mom bounce and I’m just like calling her, I was like, “Motherfucker.”

Russ Perry: I think that was the last time you ever you cursed. I don’t remember any other time since. All right, so to put this episode to rest.

Mika Perry: Good one.

Russ Perry: We hope that a few things we’ve mentioned today can help improve your sleep hygiene but we always want to hear about what other people are doing. We just have our narrow experience, and so the email again is hello@goodtobehomepodcast. You can email us, also message us on Instagram or follow us and share what you’re doing, or if any of these tips you implement post about it and we’ll share it with everyone else.

Mika Perry: Yeah, so find us at @RussPerry and @MikaPerry, those are our handles. Thank you so much for sharing this and all of our episodes with your friends and family. The podcast growing and getting a larger reach helps us to grow too, so we really appreciate it.

Russ Perry: All right, we’ll talk to you next week everyone, take care.

Mika Perry: Sweet dreams.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.

Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time.