HM136 Fall Asleep Faster with Dr. Yishan Xu

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Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Does it feel like you wake up all night long? Dr. Liz interviews Dr. Yishan Xu, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia specialist (CBTi), about all aspects of sleep! We learn how many times per night the average person wakes up, what sleep apnea sounds like (Dr. Liz’s best imitation), how sleep medication affects sleep and the best way to reduce sleep medication. Learn Dr. Xu’s Top Three Tips to help you sleep better as well as wake up easier!

Dr. Xu is a licensed clinical psychologist and CBTi specialist with a bi-lingual English/Mandarin practice in the San Francisco area of California, USA. She is also the host of the excellent podcast “Deep into Sleep!” Find Dr. Xu at

Wonderful free resource for CBTi principles and help:

Or schedule a free consultation with Dr. Liz for a combined approach of CBT and Hypnosis at

Today’s Sponsor

Today’s sponsor is Hourglass Healing Arts, anew healing arts clinic in South Florida. They offer Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, medical massage, cupping, and homeopathy. Check them out at Hour Glass Healing Arts


A problem shared is a problem halved.In person and Online hypnosis for healing and transformation. Schedule your free consultation at

With over 100,000 downloads and listened to in over 100 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Elizabeth Bonet, discusses the research behind hypnosis, interviews the professionals doing it, and talks to individuals who have had hypnosis to see what happened afterwards. Free hypnoses are also given from time to time. If you’re interested in learning more about the magic of hypnosis, psychotherapy and mindfulness, this is the perfect place to feed your fascination!

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Dr. Liz [0:00]
Hi everyone, Dr. Elizabeth Bonet here and Dr. Liz. If this is your first time listening, then welcome. I hope you like what you hear. And if you do, please share it with a friend or family member. If you would like to get some free hypnosis files, then that’s really easy to do. I offer one to reduce fear and anxiety. Another one to increase emotional stability, and a third for a better pregnancy and birth. So you can get those over at my website, Dr. Liz hypnosis com that’s Dr. Li z hypnosis com. Or you can text the word that ties to 444999 that’s the word hypnotize 2444999 I think it’s like such an easy way to join the newsletter. That’s why I offer it before we go into today’s episode. I do need to say the podcast is not a substitute for mental health treatment, nor should it be if you need to psychotherapy or hypnotherapy, please seek treatment from a trained professional. Now I do do hypnosis, all over the world. That’s done through Skype or WhatsApp. Or sometimes someone has us phone number or a calling card type thing. Whatever it is, we work it out. But if you’d like to see how to work with me, or learn more about me whether you’re local or from afar, you can do that over at my website, as Dr. Liz gnosis. com I offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation. So that’s a great way to get a sense of what it would be like to work with me. And to ask any questions you may have about that is sometimes people decide to fly in and see me and they’ll do a intensive couple of days. And then they’ll vacation here because I am in South Florida which is really nice. Most of the year, Fort Lauderdale there right above Miami. We have beautiful beaches and gorgeous water that’s warm to swim in. So people really enjoy that. All right. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

Hi, listeners, Dr. Liz here. Well, this is an appropriate intro this week, because I was up most of the night with the dog who got diarrhea. So Zoey the dog, and she was in and out. And now we do have a dog door. Thank God, we have a dog door. But I was still up attending to her and was sleeping on the couch because she wanted to be near me. And rather than the bedroom and her running from the bedroom, it’s easier for her to run outside from the couch. So she went to the vet this morning. She’s all good, actually. But I am pretty sleepless. I know this feeling well. I have actually struggled with insomnia since very young, which is why I absolutely love helping people with insomnia. I know a lot, a lot, a lot about it all through self education, basically, which you’ll hear in the interview. And I love talking to people about sleep as well. So I was so happy to have the connection with Dr. Xu to be able to talk to her about sleep. Now, I don’t think it’s clear in the interview. But I do want to tell you that she was a visiting resident for two years at the Stanford Center for sleep sciences in medicine. And what she was doing actually was not just being trained thoroughly in CVT I content behavior therapy for insomnia. She was also developing a mandarin version of it to adapt to the channel, nice population. So she’s doing really important work there. So I wanted to make that clear, because I don’t think that really comes across in the interview. Just so you know, there is a free hypnosis for insomnia on the podcast. It is actually one of my most downloaded episodes, it’s always in the top five. And at one point, I ran a replay on it and both original and the replay are in the top five, pretty much consistently. So that is it’s Episode 40 is the original episode. So if you’re struggling, you’re going to get lots of tips in this interview, but you can also go and listen to Episode 40. And of course, you can always reach out to me too, if you’d like some help with insomnia, or to Dr. Xu. Now, I’m going to give you another resource. Today’s episode is sponsored by our glass healing art. So this clinic just opened in South Florida and is founded by a Board Certified acupuncture physician, Dr. Crystal Cacolici and a licensed massage therapist Thomas Faillace. They offer acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, medical massage, cupping homeopathy, they have a full herbal pharmacy. And all of the herbs are tested for impurities and are sustainable. Now I’ve known both of them for years, and I’ve known Dr. Cacolici for a really long time. And these are both just excellent, honest, ethical practitioners. And that’s so important when you’re looking for a practitioner really is both acupuncture and massage, I consider a really energetic healing art. And so it’s really important to find someone that you vibe with like really you feel good walking in, you feel good when they’re working on you, you don’t feel uncomfortable. And I can tell you these are both really good people. So if you’re in South Florida, please give them a call. If you’re looking for practitioner I will often refer people struggling with insomnia to acupuncture as well as massage is the rare person who if you are really struggling with sleep, you don’t fall asleep during a massage. It feels so good. But definitely acupuncture is helpful too, for insomnia. So I think the combination approach is very effective. You can call them at 954-533-8044.

That’s in Wilton Manors, which is the Fort Lauderdale area. You can also see their website, hourglass healing You can also look them up on Facebook and Instagram. Their Instagram is hourglass underscore healing underscore arts. And I took a look at it because I know Dr. Cacolici, she is an amazing photographer. I’ve seen her stuff for years. And it is just starting. But already she has a really beautiful photos up there. So take a look at it you’ll find some information about healing arts as well as see some really beautiful photographs. And if you’re not in South Florida, you can always call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cacolici . She is definitely up for that and has such a breadth of knowledge. So it’s important to find people you trust when getting information about how to move forward with your health. All right, let’s jump into the episode.

Hi, welcome to the hypnotize me podcast this week. I have Dr. Yishan Xu who is a sleep specialist. And I am so excited to have her on. So I have lots of questions for you, Sean, I believe love talking about sleep. So let’s jump right in with it. I’m glad you’re here.

Dr. Yishan Xu [8:06]
Thank you for having me.

Dr. Liz [8:08]
So tell me how you first got interested in the topic of sleep?

Dr. Yishan Xu [8:13]
Yes, I actually got interest in sleep when I was young. But back then it was really just curiosity, because my dad snore a lot when I was a child. Surprisingly, for many, many years, I thought it was normal. I thought every male adults actually snores. Uh huh. I asked my friends. They’re like, yeah, my dad snores to it. Just I guess. My dad’s snores much louder. So I always have this kind of questions back in my mind how, why a dream? Why? Why he snores sleep is very interesting. Can you stop someone’s snoring? And I awake? Definitely.

Dr. Liz [9:03]
You know, sometimes as a child, like these background noises are just they’re part of your home their background. You’re saying no, no, it can be a week.

Dr. Yishan Xu [9:12]
Yeah, not all the time. But definitely a notice if I’m stressed out or I have a test coming. I have some important things already in my mind. Sleep already kind of difficult for me that day. And he store so loud that I can hear him across different was

definitely kept me awake.

Dr. Liz [9:34]
Yeah. So you had an interest as a child, and then you grew up? Right? And yeah, you decided to study it in graduate school? or How did that happen for you?

Dr. Yishan Xu [9:48]
Yeah, so I did not get a chance to know more about sleep. in graduate school when I studied in clinical psychology. Surprisingly, they don’t teach that in graduate school. But after I got my license, know, after Actually, I got my PhD. Before I got my license, I noticed the Stanford has a sleep center. So I was very surprised. I don’t know. There’s such thing called sleep center that you really just studied sleep and do a lot of treatment to sleep disorder. So that’s the first time I knew about it. But I did not go to study to study it and to Stanford, study it and to I got my license. And then I learned a lot more about sleep there for about two years part time. And that’s that, yeah, that’s definitely correct. A lot. My misunderstandings about sleep for all these years. Yeah.

Dr. Liz [10:49]
And you make a good point. I didn’t learn about sleep in my graduate studies, either. In fact, they told us always to assess sleep, like, you know, ask somebody how is sleeping? How is your eating? There’s a sort of standard questions that we asked him. A new client comes in, they told us nothing about, okay, what do you do when someone says, I’m sleeping off or I can’t fall asleep? Or you know, I’m up all night or any of that? Yeah, you’re right.

Dr. Yishan Xu [11:16]
Yeah, exactly. I found myself stuck in clinical work. A lot of time when people come back, say I cannot sleep well. I sometimes tell them sleep hygiene, just the basic, you know, sleep environment stuff. And then they came back, they still cannot sleep. I did everything you said. And then I got really stuck. I don’t have more I can tell you what, how I can help you with your sleep. Yeah,

Dr. Liz [11:41]
yeah. Interesting. So then you decide to study it on your own basically.

Dr. Yishan Xu [11:45]
Yes, I do have a mentor, Dr. Fiona Barack was my mentor. And she would teach me CBD for insomnia, how to treat insomnia. That actually is the first line treatment of insomnia right now in many countries.

Dr. Liz [12:02]
Yes, it’s an excellent program. I think it’s so cute to that. It’s called CBTIE for all kinds of disorders. Yes, yes. kinds of behavior therapy. It is excellent for anxiety and OCD. And you know, all these different disorders, what they don’t call it like CVTO. Sure. OCD, right, or CB da for anxiety. But somehow this right, insomnia program is called CVTI.

Dr. Yishan Xu [12:27]
Yeah, they really make it sounds different.

Dr. Liz [12:30]
It does, it does. So then you get this training and became essentially a sleep specialist.

Dr. Yishan Xu [12:38]
Yes. So after I learned it, I knew so much about it. And then I started running my own CBTI group, in both Mandarin and English. And I also treat people individually to really help them to recover from their insomnia. And I, I definitely found is very helpful. People after they learn more about sleep, and change some of their sleep habits, how they think about sleep, how they handle their worries associated with sleep, they actually can sleep much better. Mm hmm.

Dr. Liz [13:16]
Yes. When is the let’s say, like a success rate range, because I know there’s a whole range there. After they get treatment for insomnia, not like medications, but CBT type treatment.

Dr. Yishan Xu [13:33]
Yeah, so CBTI itself without medication to treatment, successful rate is about 75%. and above, across all United States. That’s what I heard. That’s amazing. Yeah, it’s quite a good data, quite good, successful rate, and CBTI. This method itself, a rely on our natural body signal of falling asleep. So a lot of people actually in the course of the treatment, they will eventually stop taking sleep medication, or no need to even consider that anymore.

Dr. Liz [14:13]
That was actually one of my questions before I asked the question. When I started to research Cb TI, I realized that I was doing most of the program anyway, like people come to me for hypnosis for insomnia, generally, right? Yes. And so I do have a hypnosis focus there. But I do all this education around sleep and sleep hygiene and taking the stress off of sleep. Right, like looking at the conscious thoughts. So it is an incredible program to the CBTI.

Dr. Yishan Xu [14:50]
Yes, sounds like definitely you’re doing a lot of that. A lot of time we educate people about sleep. We quote research paper papers, help people understand what a normal sleep really look like, to to help them not have misperceptions about sleep anymore. So all that is to help people reduce the anxiety to all sleep.

Dr. Liz [15:17]
That Yeah, thing that I find clients react the most to when I say I pretty much lead with, you know, this whole, like eight hours solid where nobody wakes up is a myth.

Unknown Speaker [15:31]
Right? Exactly. Yeah.

Dr. Liz [15:33]
It’s like people wake up all the time lightly through through the night, actually. And I think the average is, is it like eight to 10 times?

Dr. Yishan Xu [15:43]
Yes, average. Actually, more than that average, the data I saw is 12 times or more per night.

Dr. Liz [15:50]
Okay. 12 times or more. So that’s interesting. A lighter brainwave state, where you’re entering more like alpha in you know, that hit Magog stay where you’re waking up a little bit and then falling back to sleep essentially.

Dr. Yishan Xu [16:04]
Yeah. So when we sleep, we are rotating between different stage light light stage of sleep go into deep stage going back to lightly light sleep. And the first half of our sleep normally, it’s deep sleep and the REM sleep happen during the second half of the sleep, mostly.

Dr. Liz [16:26]
Yes. Wonderful. So then, when somebody knows that, it makes them feel much better, like, oh, there’s nothing wrong with me here. If I cycling through these phases of sleep?

Dr. Yishan Xu [16:40]
Yeah, exactly. I definitely saw people just by knowing all actually, it’s very healthy and normal and totally okay to wake up multiple times per night, after they know that they just immediately feel a sense of relief. And they feel less anxious.

Dr. Liz [17:00]
Yes, definitely. So then another question I have is, do you recommend a sleep study for people?

Dr. Yishan Xu [17:09]
Good question. It really depends. Normally, I would ask them questions, assess them, and then decide whether I want to recommend them to a sleep study. a sleep study can really help them figure out other type of sleep disorders, not just nothing to do really to do with insomnia, it’s helped them figure out whether the their their breathing, normally during sleep, whether there are other kind of live moment. So it can be very helpful to rule out other type of sleep disorders. If some patients, they have both insomnia, and sleep apnea, for example, then they have to treat both separately, a lot of time, we would recommend them to treat sleep apnea first, and then come back to treat insomnia, or else if we just targeted insomnia, their sleep won’t necessarily get better.

Dr. Liz [18:08]
True, true. So sleep apnea. And for the listeners who don’t know, is when someone stops breathing briefly, during sleep. And so you get this effect of where it’s like. I mean, I wish I could play a sound effect here, right? Yeah, it’s almost like they’re holding their breath is what it sounds like if you’re the partner sleeping next to them. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, and then they start breathing again. But it can be actually quite dangerous, depending on the severity of it.

Dr. Yishan Xu [18:42]
Right. And then, of course, I figured out my dad has sleep apnea. That’s why he snored so loudly. So snoring is not a necessary symptom. Some people who snores they may not have sleep apnea, some people do have sleep apnea, but don’t snore. But, like stop breathing suddenly, and try really hard to breathe a night you just described is also very common. So sometime, if they come in the report some kind of symptoms associated, like you know that direction. Or in the mornings, they feel dry mouse had a lot of this kind of symptom or at night, they did find themselves some kind of difficulty breathing. So after assessing, I would say, I would think, wow, I cannot really tell I really want them to do a sleep study, then I would recommend they will find a sleep center and do the sleep study.

Dr. Liz [19:46]
Okay, wonderful. And is that a pretty standard thing to have a sleep study? Like internationally? Or is that mainly a US type of thing?

Dr. Yishan Xu [19:58]
Yeah, definitely a good question. It’s not internationally not yet, unfortunately. So I was trained in you in the US. So I thought, sleep center is such a common thing. There are so many sleep centers. Now, in each city, or in most cities. There is a directory online, you can search wage sleep centuries near yourself. But why went back to China and try to help my dad to be tested, I found it was really hard. I couldn’t really find many sleep centers. Not many hospitals know what sleep study is, or they don’t similarly to me before, they don’t know their sleep specialist. Sleep Disorders can be tested and treated. Even in my hometown. It’s a 6 million population town, and there’s no sleep center there yet.

Dr. Liz [20:53]
Wow. Okay. So if you’re listening to this from another country, may not be a possibility for you. That doesn’t mean that there’s not other things that you can do to help yourself. But it’s something to consider. If you are in a country or a town or city that does have a sleep center, then it’s something to consider. Yes. Okay. So how do I want to get back to a question that crossed my mind earlier? is how can people wean off of sleep medication? Is there a way that’s considered more safe than others? Or can they stop them Cold Turkey? Like? What’s your recommendation around that?

Dr. Yishan Xu [21:35]
I think different sleep psychologists have different recommendations. So what medication does sleeping pills does exactly is to help train our brain and body tell our brain that we need something external, to put ourselves down, to knock ourselves down, basically put us into sleep. So we will develop this kind of dependency to sleeping pills to medication, and actually medication, they really interfere with our sleep quality. After we take the pills, we may be able to fall asleep quicker, but we are not sleeping better. Our deep sleep, our REM sleep, all God’s suppressed when we take medication, and our daily function the day after, may be impacted by the medication, the side effects. So a lot of time when people have this dependency, they just always want go for it. So the way we help people is to help them really listen to the body, understand your body, your sleep mechanism, it’s not broken, it works fine. But you just have to listen to your body understand what your body wants. When your body feels sleepy, when you need to go to bed. What can you do to help yourself feel relaxed, to relax your body, calm your mind. And a lot of time, when we use some strategies to help people behaviorally and cognitively, people will notice Oh, actually, I’m sleeping better. Even occasionally, one night, I don’t take my pills, I can still sleep fine. Slowly, people build up this confidence and have more hope. And they are willing to try to pause or eventually stops the medication. So that’s the gentle way of doing that. I know some clinical psychologist, they don’t they don’t want to be this gentle. Because when you slowly tap down the medication, what happens is you have this difficult symptoms, or increased symptoms of insomnia short term. So make people very anxious and scared along the way. Every time they tapped down the medication, the symptom come back a little bit more that keeps the medication going. Right. So some psychologists pre for, like the first week or two during the treatment, really tell all the patients that you know, pros and cons of medication, recommend them all to just stop sleeping medication early on, and then expect some Return of the same time while they’re trying CBTI. Yeah, that sounds harsh. Right? Like, yeah,

it’s hard.

Dr. Liz [24:46]
Honestly, I don’t I haven’t met that many people really willing to do that either. Because then they feel like they can’t function during that time period. Like if I am awake, what feels like almost they really would you look at it, it’s people generally get a couple hours of sleep in there. But they feel like they’re awake all night, then how am I supposed to go to work the next day? Is the objection I get if I were to suggest something like that, I’m sure.

Dr. Yishan Xu [25:17]
Yeah, it’s quite hard. And also for the Chinese population is even harder, I would say,

Dr. Liz [25:22]
why is that?

Dr. Yishan Xu [25:24]
What I noticed, and many, like I talked to several medical doctors who are Chinese. So we notice for Chinese population, there’s a strong belief that if there’s something going wrong, you go for medication. And because sleep science is not very popular in China, or among Chinese populations are not a lot of education about sleep. So a lot of Chinese who are as like, you know, who have insomnia, they prefer taking medication. And it’s very, very difficult for them to let the medication go, especially the older population. So some doctors telling me they are treating Chinese population who are not willing to do that. So they use both medication and CBTI to reach a better result. So they may not be willing to stop medication.

Dr. Liz [26:22]
Yeah, I can understand that. Absolutely. So what would be your top three tips for calming the body down, like beginning to listen to those signals? At night?

Dr. Yishan Xu [26:36]
Huh? Yeah, good question. I think the first one, it’s very important is to give ourself give our brain a buffer time and night. No one can work. Be excited. Until the moment of sleep. I know a lot of people they work really hard. And the moment they close a computer phone, they spec themselves to go to bed fall asleep immediately. That’s really hard as it I think our brain need a transition period from being awake, to being asleep. So if we can give ourselves half an hour to hour, a more and night, after we doing everything we close everything down, we just do something very relaxing. Before we go to bed. That can be quite helpful, especially if we do that consistently. Mm hmm.

Dr. Liz [27:37]
Yes. For me, it’s reading like I’ve always read right before I go to sleep. But what do you find works well for other people like what kind of ideas to people come up with?

Dr. Yishan Xu [27:48]
All these years, we see a long list of things people can do. It really varies from people to people. Some people like you know, hot bath. Some people actually they like cleaning the kitchen. days I’m household of our are going through their closet. sorting the closes for the next day or the week. Yeah, making lunch for the next day. Or some people like to do some, you know craft work. To to have fun and feel soothing. Yeah.

Dr. Liz [28:26]
I met myself. Oh, yeah. But that would definitely wake me up because then I start thinking about the design and the dress, you know,

Dr. Yishan Xu [28:36]
right. Right, exactly. So for some people, that’s very soothing. For others. That’s definitely a No, no.

Dr. Liz [28:43]
Well, during the daytime, it’s very meditative for me, like I really love it, there is a soothing component that I would find right before bed, that probably wouldn’t work for me. Right, like I found at one point is reading a lot of business books. I can’t do that right before I go and to like it has to be not business related, like fiction, or you know, something like that. Yeah, literature, like easy reading.

Dr. Yishan Xu [29:09]
Yeah, see, this is exactly you are freaking out yourself, you are listening to your own body. This is great example. You know what soothe your body at night before you go to bed.

Dr. Liz [29:23]
So part of it is just having people begin to recognize that and begin to try some of these things.

Dr. Yishan Xu [29:30]
Mm hmm. Yes. And I would say another big tip is trying some kind of meditation. Some of the meditation work can really help us to come down our mind and relax our body the same time.

Dr. Liz [29:48]
Yes, absolutely. I’m a big fan of meditation. And when I work with someone around insomnia, I talk about meditation actually, in the middle of the night, sometimes when someone really is fully awake. And I said, it’s a great time to meditate. And usually a meditation one of the goals is to stay awake, right? Like if you’re in a center or something, a monk will come along and in wacky across the back or something to wake you up if you’re falling asleep, right. But when you’re dealing with insomnia, I say the goal there is to meditate and then drift into sleep. And that’s perfectly fine at that point. Mm hmm.

Dr. Yishan Xu [30:29]
Yes, definitely. There are certain type of relaxation, all do, or skill skills, you can definitely practice either during the daytime or right before you sleep. And a lot of people tell me when they do the muscle rotation, skill to exercise, they will fall asleep halfway through because it’s so relaxing. Yes. And I have found that I have people who I see people for all kinds of things for hypnosis, they will often come back and say, you know, this helps me sleep amazingly well, like they’re working on something different. I had someone who’s picking her heels. Oh,

Dr. Liz [31:12]
and had restless legs. And she’s like, this is amazing. I no longer have restless legs, and I’m able to fall asleep and sleep so much better. Just by listening to this because yeah, it has that progressive muscle relaxation, similar type at the beginning. So that’s a wonderful.

Dr. Yishan Xu [31:32]
Yeah, I definitely I even had people during my online CBTI group. Someone will just fall asleep at the end when I leave the meditation.

Unknown Speaker [31:46]

Dr. Yishan Xu [31:46]
yeah. Even they complained. And now we’re come fall asleep easily. But that happens sometime.

Dr. Liz [31:52]
Yeah. Wonderful. Alright, so I have a couple of other questions that some listeners submitted. Do you mind at all?

Unknown Speaker [32:02]
Oh, yeah, definitely.

Dr. Liz [32:04]
Okay, great. One thing is that some people seem to take a much longer time in the morning to wake up than others. So some people can get up, they get dressed, they’re out of the house in like 10 minutes. And then other people they need like, an hour to wake up, they make their coffee, they take their time they I don’t know, check their social media, something like that. So is this something that personality type of preference? Or can sleep affect this, like how you sleep affect this?

Dr. Yishan Xu [32:40]
Yeah, great question. morning time actually is quite important for sleep. And also sleep can impact how what we do how we feel in the morning, most of us would experience this phenomenon called sleep inertia. That’s when we transit from sleep to wake for state. When we wake up rarely will feel fret refreshed within the first minute, we opening our eyes, most of us will feel a bit drowsy will feel like down Bee get slowly, you know, get our feet back on the ground. It’s very normal, actually. But people definitely spend different lens of time in this stage. I would say a lot of time, if you’re a night owl, then when you wake up in the morning, it takes longer for you to feel fully ready. And also, yeah,

Dr. Liz [33:39]
due to the link to sleep or let’s say a night owl goes to bed at like, I don’t know, a quote unquote reasonable hour, let’s say 930 years.

Dr. Yishan Xu [33:48]
Because they’re a night owl in general. They’ll have a harder time waking up in the morning. Please tell what I heard a lot of time it is. So our circadian rhythm, our natural circadian rhythm definitely have something to do is it? also a lot of night owls are not able to sleep based on their natural circadian window. Right. So yeah, they may work they may are forced to get up much earlier than was naturally their body want to wake up so it’s going to be harder for them.

Dr. Liz [34:19]
Yeah. And is that changeable? Because I heard your interview, you’re on the Pat Flynn podcast, Uh huh. And loved the interview. Let’s take a listen to that. But he had said that it really is a night owl. But he had switched to this routine, where he is waking up at like 5am or something after he had kids to be able to work really well. And he found he could. So is that something that’s changeable in people? Because that was really surprising to me. Most night owls will write that change.

Dr. Yishan Xu [34:54]
Right, right. Actually, it’s quite hard. I was very amazed by him switching. So they’re definitely there’s ways to train it, teach it for him, I think mindset how to change how you think about sleep, how you think about your day really drive him and he switch whole sleep schedule around it. I think if we want switch, we don’t only switch the waking up time, we have to switch the go to bed time. But it’s going to be really hard when our body does not feel sleepy at night. And then we may develop some short term symptoms of insomnia when we try to switch it. Normally clinically, we don’t switch it that harshly. But we can switch night out to a little bit more in the middle. The the like to switch ahead several hours. that’s doable. But if you want switch a night off totally to early bird, it definitely hard is hard. Not only difficult to do, but there are some research right now talking about if you consistently sleep outside of your circadian rhythm window, like survey, circadian misalignment, it may associate with some kind of house consequences. So we don’t know for sure yet. It’s definitely behaviorally it’s doable. But the house consequence of that we don’t know for sure.

Dr. Liz [36:33]
So then, when you think about that, it would actually be better to let’s say, have a work schedule or type of job that fit your circadian rhythm better. As much as you could do that.

Dr. Yishan Xu [36:45]
Right. That would be ideal.

Dr. Liz [36:47]
Okay. And think about like, I have one daughter who’s a night owl, but she has to go to school. She’s an eighth grade. Yeah, I wanted to ask that question, because she is a bear get up in the morning. She’s so difficult. And yeah,

Dr. Yishan Xu [37:05]
it’s so hard for teens for children.

Dr. Liz [37:07]
Yes. And I know teens in particular need more sleep, anyway. Yes. And a lot of school systems are not set up for that. I mean, I think we’re starting to see some changes around that, at least in the US in some of the European countries that I’ve read about. But in general, you know, they’re not they’re not starting school at noon for teens. Right.

Dr. Yishan Xu [37:32]
Right. The I don’t think the ever gonna start at noon. Yeah, it’s also hard because many of us tend to be a little bit delayed phase, during teenager age, even though many people will get back to more like in the normal range, when they get older when they become adults. So teenage time. A lot of teenagers have the late tendency, but you do want to figure out, are they are natural night owl, or there’s some electronic device or some kind of distractions keeps them up at night. So their behavioral night, all

Dr. Liz [38:19]
those behavioral things are really important, like the phones go away. We’ve never had TV in the bedrooms. But you know, the phones, it’s like, no, the phones go in the kitchen. That’s a good hour at night. Yeah. And we negotiate that over the years. It keeps getting later for when they’re teenagers, but right. It’s like, No, you need to be off your phone to give your body time to calm down, basically.

Dr. Yishan Xu [38:46]
Yeah. So regarding night owl like that, the morning routine can be quite important. When they get up every day, doing some kind of routine stuff, no matter it’s short or long, and get some sunlight, natural sunlight into their eyes in the morning is also very important consistently, because our circadian rhythm is regulated by our eyeball. Our eyeball perceives the natural sunlight. And that can set an anchor for our whole day. So, you know, we’ll review this new days circadian rhythm.

Dr. Liz [39:26]
Okay, so even if they yell at you, it’s actually a good idea to open the blinds some and let some sunlight into their room. Yes. Okay. All right. Now, I did have a friend who did a lot of traveling. And he always said that he exposed his armpits to the sunlight when he would get to a new location. And that would help with jet lag. Reset his clock. Have you ever heard that?

Dr. Yishan Xu [39:54]
I haven’t heard about that. I don’t think sunlight really good through there. It does not really go through our scheme directly regulate our whole biological clock. It mostly goes through our eyes. Okay, yeah. But if that works for him, that’s great. I’m wondering whether it’s more like a Suzy, or some other kind of effects? Or maybe there’s something I don’t know yet. This field is quite, quite young, only 50 years of research so far.

Dr. Liz [40:29]
Yeah. So we are coming to the end of our time here. But I did want to let the listeners know that you have launched a whole podcast around sleep, and I absolutely love the name. It’s called into sleep. I was like, Oh my gosh, that is a perfect name. Yeah, actually,

Dr. Yishan Xu [40:50]
Pepsi helped me come up that name.

Dr. Liz [40:54]
Yeah, I guess I was like, that’s a perfect name for a podcast for a product for website. Like all of it. I really love it. And so yes, thank you.

Dr. Yishan Xu [41:04]
Yeah, I want to launch the podcast to cover the gap between the science sleep science field and the public knowledge about sleep. I noticed a lot of people don’t know a lot about sleep. So I want to use this podcast to interview a lot of people, as are people who struggle with sleep disorder before right now. And experts, doctors psychologist to you know, help people understand that there is hope. When we we cannot sleep well, there’s hope there’s a way to help us. Absolutely.

Dr. Liz [41:39]
There is yes. So I so looking forward to it. And I’ve already enjoyed the episodes you aired. And so please let people know how did they find your podcasts? And how did they find you if they’d like to work with you personally?

Dr. Yishan Xu [41:54]
Oh, yes. So my website for the podcast is deep into And people can just listen to the podcast directly from the website, or find the podcast on iTunes or any of the other platforms. If people want to work with me. They’re also linked to my CBTI group, my treatment in the same website, link to my own private

Dr. Liz [42:20]
practice. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for being here today and being on the podcast. And I wish you a wonderful sleep.

Dr. Yishan Xu [42:30]
Yeah, thank you for having me. This is great.

Dr. Liz [42:32]
Oh, one more question. Sorry. Yes. Yes. Did your dad sleep ever improve once you became a sleep expert?

Dr. Yishan Xu [42:39]
Haha, yes, actually, his sleep definitely got better. Because the first thing I went back to China, after I learned sleep for about a year is to get him we had to travel far within China to find a sleep center. So we live in northern China, we traveled to the southern China to first sleep study diamond, and then got him a safe half machine. He used it for not very long for a little bit. He already felt improvement. He does not know that much anymore. Not that loud anymore. And he does not need to get up to use restroom as often.

Dr. Liz [43:16]
Wow. So see pack. People do not have to use it forever. They could use it just for a brief period of time.

Dr. Yishan Xu [43:24]
It’s depends. I think, from my dad’s age and severity, his severe level, he actually needs to use the PAP for much longer and then decide, but he cannot get used to the mask, unfortunately. So he’s adopted himself. But I do know some people if they got diagnosed relatively early or for the severity level, so you may not be able to wear that for the rest of their life.

Dr. Liz [43:51]
Interesting. I didn’t know that. Well again, thank you so much for being here. And I’m glad to hear your dad got improved sleep.

Dr. Yishan Xu [44:01]
Yes, I’m glad to see more.

Unknown Speaker [44:09]

Dr. Yishan Xu [44:10]
thank you.

Dr. Liz [44:46]
I hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, Dr. Liz hypnosis com DRLIZ. hypnosis. com work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website, and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you and helping you reach them. Finally, if you liked today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend that way more and more people learn about the power of hypnosis. Alright everyone, have a wonderful week. Peace.

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