Many people think it’s a waste of productive time to sit and meditate for a few minutes each day, or take the time to get a good night sleep. I understand. I used to feel the same way.
But what if what you think is actually not true? What if science actually proves that take a few minutes each day to choose to train your brain can actually make you more productive, less stressed, and more healthy.
Wouldn’t that be worth investing a few minutes each day? Of course it would… and the scientific studies back it up.
In this special #jammingwithjason #podcast episode I talk with Ariel Garten about just that. This episode is full of some practical tips from someone whose life mission is to help people understand how their brain and mind work – both the nuts and bolts and neurons, and how that plays out in the messy and beautiful human experience. She inspires people to understand you can accomplish anything you want by understanding what actually goes on in your own mind.
You can see why I was so excited and geeked out in this episode, and when you listen to this entire episode and share with your friends and family you can accomplish anything you want.
Ariel Garten is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet. She is a Neuroscientists, mom, former psychotherapist, former fashion designer, and the co-founder and visionary or an amazing and highly successful tech startup Muse.
Ariel is also the co-host of the Untangle Podcast.
Muse tracks your brain during meditation to give you real-time feedback on your meditations, guiding you into the “zone” and solve the problem most of us have when starting a meditation practice. Muse lets you know when you are doing it right, and it’s a product I personally use.
Learn more at: https://choosemuse.com/
Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason234/
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Jason Mefford: Alright, well, I have to tell you, I have been literally kicking out about this interview so it’s today I have Ariel garden with me.
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Jason Mefford: And she’s been described as probably one of the most interesting people that you will meet, and when we talk, you will see why because she’s not only a neuroscientist.
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Jason Mefford: she’s a mom a former psycho therapist former fashion designer so i’m a little interested about that one too.
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Jason Mefford: and, more importantly, maybe the Co founder and visionary of the amazing and highly successful tech startup muse which, if you haven’t heard about muse you’re going to hear about it today because it’s actually a product that I use.
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Jason Mefford: and help you with meditation and sleep and so with that let’s get in today’s going to be a little geeky maybe for some of you, but it’s also you know about the importance.
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Jason Mefford: Of meditation and sleep practice and why those things are actually so important and why we all need them so much, especially in the life that we’re living today so with that let’s roll the episode.
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Jason Mefford: Alright, Ariel.
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Ariel Garten: Hello.
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Ariel Garten: How are you today and magnificent how are you.
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Jason Mefford: it’s you know, every day we should be magnificent right we get to choose every day what we’re going to be so why not be magnificent.
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Ariel Garten: yeah and actually I was pretty grumpy this morning I woke up just kind of am pregnant so like you know you don’t always get to choose how you feel when you wake up when you’re pregnant.
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Ariel Garten: And I was pretty grumpy my husband got grumpy at me about something sorry, let me just kill this.
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Ariel Garten: start setting I was pretty grumpy my husband got crappy at me about something in consequential in the kitchen and, as I was walking my kid to school I realized, I have the choice to remain grumpy which actually felt kind of good at that moment I.
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Ariel Garten: actually had there was a there was a solace to being in that grumpiness and the sort of like cold winter day.
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Ariel Garten: Or, I could just choose to feel differently, because, why would I hold on to that grumpiness.
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Ariel Garten: And I took a few deep breaths I let the feeling of the day rush through me I let the grumpiness pass out because, like Why would I hold on to that, even though I thought I may be needed to or thought it felt good and if.
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Ariel Garten: I feel magnificent.
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Jason Mefford: I know well in here, here we are we’re we’re only like a minute into this too right and we’ve already got a big takeaway for people because it’s funny I woke up this one, I mean usually.
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Jason Mefford: You know i’m not i’m not pregnant, I still don’t get to choose.
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Jason Mefford: Li wake up shocker right.
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Jason Mefford: But yeah I mean today I woke up pounding headache feeling nauseous you know same kind of thing, where, again, but we get to choose.
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Jason Mefford: How we want to feel right which is, which is an amazing thing that you just brought out there, you could choose to continue to feel grumpy.
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Jason Mefford: I could choose to continue to feel crummy but I choose to be magnificent and feel great, and that makes all the difference, I feel totally different now and you feel totally different now.
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Jason Mefford: as well, so.
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Ariel Garten: And it’s not always easy to make that choice you know you can’t tell somebody who’s feeling crappy to just snap out of it that truly doesn’t work and only makes people grumpier.
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Ariel Garten: But there are tools and techniques that you can learn that allow you to shift your own state that allow you to recognize where you’re at the light and give yourself what you need in that moment.
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Ariel Garten: And then allow yourself to make another choice to look at the range of possibility and say I could stay here for I could do something to move myself elsewhere and it’s a skill that i’ve been honing and now teaching.
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Jason Mefford: Well, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you as well, because it’s, you know as you talked about there’s these I kind of call them tools of the trade and what’s funny is you know I I grew up as a my dad was a contractor so i’m very familiar with power tools.
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Jason Mefford: Right and using tools to get stuff done, but now the tools that most of us need are more mental.
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Jason Mefford: I haven’t come up with a good word for it but mental mental in nature right.
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Jason Mefford: But there’s there also are some physical tools that can help us with those mental things which Muses one of those tools that I use right.
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Jason Mefford: And and i’m just curious to start off with because, again, I mean you’ve got a varied background and and i’m always curious to learn.
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Jason Mefford: Because I i’m an entrepreneur, and a lot of entrepreneurs as well, and how this this creation ends up coming of you know so take us take us through just quickly kind of you’ve done a lot of things, how did you get to this point and high of what you’re what you’re doing today.
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Ariel Garten: Sure, so I was always fascinated with the brain and how it works.
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Ariel Garten: At the same point, you know you’ve seaside a lot of things my background I come from a mom who’s an artist a dad who’s an entrepreneur, and so I grew up really.
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Ariel Garten: kind of with the sense that anything was possible, you know my mom would make these big large scale oil and canvas images and from nothing, she would make this beautiful colorful world from this blank canvas.
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Ariel Garten: And so, and my dad is an entrepreneur, I learned that you know you can actually make your own path, and you can do something, you find valuable rather than just you know working for tied or pretend.
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Ariel Garten: Like you know, rather than you know, giving all of your hours over to something corporate that you may not believe in.
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Ariel Garten: And so I was always making things I was always creating and I was always kind of exploring the world.
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Ariel Garten: And I had a very quiet inner critic so that voice inside your head that says you shouldn’t be doing this, you know you’re not going to be good at it somehow I got super lucky, and she was pretty quiet she’s she’s gets louder and quieter at times and, again, there are techniques to really.
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Ariel Garten: deal with your inner critic and keep him or her at bay.
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Ariel Garten: and
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Ariel Garten: sort of fast forward to the museum the meditation part I began working the research lab with Dr Steve man, he is one of the inventors of the wearable computer.
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Ariel Garten: And he had an early brain computer interface system, so this was a single EG electrodes that you would put next to your head the back of your head.
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Ariel Garten: And as you would focus or relax it would shift your brainwaves and we could take that change in brainwave activity associated with focus your relaxation.
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Ariel Garten: And then make that signal audible so as you focused the sound could get louder as you’re relaxed the sound could get quieter.
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Ariel Garten: And I stood back and said oh my God, this is like unbelievable The world needs to know about this, how can we possibly.
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Ariel Garten: bring it to the world in a way that’s going to be meaningful and useful, so I got together with my two good friends, Chris amy who is just like.
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Ariel Garten: The most amazing spiritual scientific artistic engineer you’ll ever meet he was chris’s master student and was making wearable technology with Steve sorry he was steve’s master student and had been making wearable technologies with him.
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Ariel Garten: And my friend Trevor Coleman who is really great at business and just understanding what made things sticky and great he was actually a party planning guy and he could make the best parties you’d ever imagined.
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Jason Mefford: Because he.
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Ariel Garten: understood the ingredients to the human experience.
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Ariel Garten: And also had a head for business, and so the three of us set about to take this technology and bring it to the world and we were like what is the best way that we can make use of this.
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Ariel Garten: We have this thing that gives you feedback that lets you know when you’re focused lets you know when you’re relaxed it’s able to give you insight into your mental state what can we do with it.
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Ariel Garten: And we recognize that probably the best use of this technology was to help people meditate.
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Ariel Garten: Because meditation this is now 2012 2010 2009 like pretty early on, it was before the meditation curve has was growing.
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Ariel Garten: But I was a psychotherapist at the time, and I would teach my patients to meditate and.
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Ariel Garten: They would come back and it would be really unclear if they were actually able to do it, and I would try to meditate and frankly I would suck at it, because my brain would bounce all over the place.
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Ariel Garten: But with my background I knew the power of it.
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Ariel Garten: I knew the thousands, at that point hundreds now thousands of research articles that have demonstrated the power of meditation to change your brain to improve your attention to decrease your stress to improve your productivity relationship God scores and on and on and on.
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Ariel Garten: And so we recognize that, if we could build something that could get more people meditating we’d actually be doing something good for the world and that’s how muse was born.
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Jason Mefford: well.
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Jason Mefford: it’s funny because you know as i’ve as i’ve been going down my past, you know practicing in bringing more mindful activities men meditation being one.
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Jason Mefford: You know, and in understanding kind of the neurobiology behind it right of really.
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Jason Mefford: It seems like when you’re meditating you’re you’re you’re you’re really slowing down your brainwaves right from beta theta alpha you know kind of a phase.
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Jason Mefford: And it’s something that we don’t really have feedback on is we’re just sitting here right, you know you’re sitting here, trying to be quiet and it’s like.
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Jason Mefford: Am I really doing it or not right, and so I I kind of felt the same way that you did of am I doing it right, you know, and I know a lot of people say there’s no wrong way to do it just do it.
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Jason Mefford: right but there there’s there’s that part of me that was thinking well but am I doing it right and that’s when somebody actually you know mentioned muse and said hold it.
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Jason Mefford: there’s this thing that you can actually try, you know if you want to, if you want to find out get this tool, because it actually measures your brain right.
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Jason Mefford: And I think what what’s interesting because you know not only the bring the the technology to it to give people feedback, but in talking about the founders that you have you’ve you’ve made it a way of gamification as well, to make it fun for people right.
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Ariel Garten: that’s the whole idea to create something that is sticky and engaging because there are multiple problems in meditation So the first problem is like.
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Ariel Garten: What am I even doing you sit there to try to meditate your brain is bouncing all over the place and you’re like what am I supposed to do and there’s no little coach or guru inside of your head.
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Ariel Garten: letting you know when you’re in focused attention when your mind is wandering and really showing you what to do.
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Ariel Garten: So Muses able to give you real time feedback to let you know when you’re focused when you’re in the meditation zone.
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Ariel Garten: And when your mind is wandering Qu to your wandering thoughts which is in the queue for you to bring your attention back to your breath into your focused attention.
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Ariel Garten: And we really are able to reinforce you so first of all, shows you what to do, second shows if you’re doing it right.
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Ariel Garten: And then, it makes it sticky so we have a behavioral architecture that encourages you to come back and keep meditating because you’re able to see your progress.
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Ariel Garten: And over time it moves from the extrinsic reward of a motivational architecture to the intrinsic reward of like hey now that i’ve meditated for three weeks I feel much better, you know.
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Ariel Garten: Now that it’s five weeks in.
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Ariel Garten: I don’t feel as good on days when I don’t meditate I want to do this every day and it’s no longer about the tool it’s about you and your practice and the value it brings to your life.
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Jason Mefford: yeah so for people that aren’t familiar with it because I use I I know there’s a lot of different settings and different things, you can listen to I typically just do the.
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Jason Mefford: I like the rain forest the little you know sound sound of the water and so.
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Jason Mefford: So for somebody that hasn’t used it if you’re curious about it, this is kind of what my experience has been right is it’s like you said there’s.
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Jason Mefford: there’s audible you put in your your headphones you listen and as your brainwaves are are higher your your attention is going everywhere, the the sound of the rain is a little bit louder.
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Jason Mefford: And as you quiet down things get quiet or right the rain gets a little quieter so you’re getting that immediate feedback on.
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Jason Mefford: Where is my brain going right and it’s like oh gee I forgot to put in the laundry I forgot to do this or oh nope nevermind come back let’s just count let’s think right.
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Jason Mefford: And you can you can literally hear that i’m i’m getting quieter and then what I loved about it too is kind of from that extrinsic gamification the little birds right is.
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Jason Mefford: Is if you’ve been in a quiet state for long enough you’ll you’ll hear a faint little chirp of a bird right and you collect birds.
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Jason Mefford: Right, so I used to joke with my wife that you know i’d come in and I didn’t do my little meditation at night and she’s like Oh, you were counting your birds again huh.
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Jason Mefford: yeah i’m bagging birds i’m going on.
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Jason Mefford: me for birds right.
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Jason Mefford: But but it’s it’s it’s a nice way like you said, for those of us, especially that are kind of analytical to see because we’re always worried, am I doing it right, am I doing it right and now there’s a way to actually know if you’re kind of doing it right.
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Ariel Garten: yeah and you know doing it right, you can get into a little bit of.
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Ariel Garten: danger there but there actually is a right and wrong way to practice different forms of meditation and there are many, many different forms, so here we’re specifically teaching you in the meditation you’ve described the mind meditation focused attention meditation.
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Ariel Garten: and focused attention meditation how you do it is you put your attention on your breath.
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Ariel Garten: When your mind wanders away from your breath you notice that your mind is wandered you let go the wandering thought and then you non judgmental you return your attention back to your breath that’s how you do that particular practice.
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Ariel Garten: news has a range of other practices that it teaches you to their breathing practices there’s a heart meditation where you can listen to the beating of your heart, like the beating the drum so there’s a.
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Ariel Garten: PP G sensor that translate your translates your heart rate activities, you can listen literally listened to it, rising and falling and tune your ability to understand or internal state.
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Ariel Garten: Your stillness meditations and then there’s over 500 different guided meditations and different forms, some of them are mindfulness meditation Zen meditation yoga need draw and more and more and more.
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Ariel Garten: Many of them also focused on what you need in your life at that moment, so you know i’m feeling grumpy we literally have a meditation called banish the cranky.
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Ariel Garten: you’re frustrated standing in line because it’s coded and you can’t get into a store, we have a two minute meditation for funding calm, while standing in line.
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Ariel Garten: Thank you here in college and need to do on an exam we have meditations for that literally across the board.
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Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting because yeah there’s there’s so much of a of a breath there and i’ve got.
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Jason Mefford: i’ve got a lot more of those different things to try, but let’s let’s talk, maybe a little bit about you know the the hi.
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Jason Mefford: This is so important for people right because, again, you know as as an entrepreneur, you could have just chosen, something that just you know, make a gazillion dollars right and a lot of entrepreneurs do that they’re just chasing the money.
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Jason Mefford: But you chose to go for something that you felt would also you know, improve the life of humans on this planet, so you know, maybe let’s talk a little bit about that you know.
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Jason Mefford: What is it that this is is doing, because, like you said you’re not just selling a gadget you’re you’re selling a way of helping people’s lives, be better, so how can it be better and why, why do we need that.
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Ariel Garten: Sure, and I have to say it was critically important to me that if I was going to put my time and energy on something and employ people and spend their time and energy.
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Ariel Garten: That this had to be doing something good for the world and I always say if it’s not doing good for the world let’s just stop what we’re doing right now and throw it all in the garbage like.
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Ariel Garten: You know, there are lots of ways to make money and make a salary let’s align ourselves with something that’s actually meaningful.
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Ariel Garten: it’s that’s that’s the 100% driving purpose and we’ve been lucky enough that it actually seems to be that it seems to really be making.
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Ariel Garten: significant positive impact in people’s lives there’s hundreds of thousands of people that now use muse regularly.
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Ariel Garten: As well as lots like thousands of clinicians doctors Mayo clinic ran a study with news with breast cancer patients demonstrating that it improves the outcomes in the cancer care process.
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Ariel Garten: they’re doing other studies and fibromyalgia we have systems for pain so we’ve we’ve really, really, really been fortunate to be able to actually make an improvement in people’s lives.
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Ariel Garten: getting more specifically into meditation and why it works that’s super cool.
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Ariel Garten: So meditation seems to be this thing where you’re like, how can this one thing do so many things, how can it have so much benefit.
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Ariel Garten: You know, it seems like snake was but it’s actually not so when you’re doing a focused attention meditation your mind is wandering off into a thought.
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Ariel Garten: You then notice that your mind has wandered choose to let that thought go and choose to bring your attention back to your breath, it is on believably simple at its core.
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Ariel Garten: Yet this very simple activity can lead to some really profound transformation.
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Ariel Garten: So, most of us just go through our lives on autopilot we go through our lives with a whole bunch of thoughts in our head and we assume that, because our thoughts in our head we’re supposed to be thinking them.
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Ariel Garten: And now we’re thinking about the garbage and taking it out when we’re actually supposed to be there with our wife on a date, and you know.
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Ariel Garten: And we’re thinking about the stressful time at work that we have and repeating that information in our brain over and over and over again.
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Ariel Garten: Because our brains are literally wired to look for the dangerous and stressful things and repeat them to us so that we can be safe from them, and you know way back in the day when we lived in.
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Ariel Garten: Dangerous environments and we didn’t have safe homes, yes, we needed to be very highly attuned to danger.
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Ariel Garten: However, those primitive systems aka the amygdala the part of your brain that was scanning for danger.
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Ariel Garten: is still tuned to always scan for danger, but now it responds when you get an email from your boss that says, can I talk to you, your amygdala immediately goes into danger zone.
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Ariel Garten: When you’re going into an interview with staying in your pants or make delicious can’t stop thinking about that stain in your pants.
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Ariel Garten: When you’re stuck in traffic and there’s nothing you can do about it, your amygdala can’t stop telling you about that traffic, because it needs you to be aware of that danger over and over and over and over and over again.
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Ariel Garten: So with meditation what we’re able to do is to actually retrain our brains.
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Ariel Garten: To be able to say, like yes brain you served me that piece of information, but you know what that’s not actually important right now, and I can let that go.
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Ariel Garten: And I can bring my attention back to something that is important to me whether it’s the person i’m having a conversation with the work i’m trying to do.
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Ariel Garten: The positive thoughts I choose to have instead you know, whatever it is that actually is relevant to you at that moment, rather than just.
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Ariel Garten: The random stuff that your brain is choosing to serve up because it thinks that that’s what’s best.
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Ariel Garten: So, in your meditation practice you’re actually changing your brain, you are thickening you’re in strengthening your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of your brain that’s able to make.
00:19:26.850 –> 00:19:36.030
Ariel Garten: These kinds of wise decisions about what’s really important to you and you’re down regulating your amygdala the part of your brain the primitive part that’s always scanning for danger.
00:19:36.600 –> 00:19:44.700
Ariel Garten: And when you start to shift that relationship when you’re actually able to gain control over the contents of your own mind you’re able to.
00:19:45.420 –> 00:19:54.210
Ariel Garten: First of all, make much better decisions in your life, be much more present for the people who are there and reduce your psychological and physiological stress.
00:19:54.690 –> 00:20:00.630
Ariel Garten: Because stress doesn’t necessarily start in the body, it starts in the brain with a thought which then triggers your body.
00:20:00.930 –> 00:20:08.460
Ariel Garten: To have a physiological reaction of you know your heart increasing its heart be your blood vessels tightening up the tension in your body.
00:20:08.700 –> 00:20:15.000
Ariel Garten: which then triggers your mind to have more thoughts about the thing that has created the sensation in your body which then feeds forward.
00:20:15.390 –> 00:20:25.890
Ariel Garten: So when you’re able to break that cycle at the level of thought take deep breaths to calm the body you’ve created a situation where you’re not only psychologically healthier but also physiologically healthier.
00:20:27.450 –> 00:20:36.630
Jason Mefford: yeah, which is something that you know, again, I mean almost everybody I talked to feels stressed out, and so, as you just described well it’s.
00:20:37.080 –> 00:20:45.750
Jason Mefford: no surprise that you’re stressed out if your amygdala has been going crazy anya all day right and if you’re having.
00:20:46.170 –> 00:20:56.730
Jason Mefford: All of these stressful thoughts and I think it’s like three to one ratio, if I remember right kind of from you know negative it’s picking up on negative thoughts versus positive because.
00:20:57.120 –> 00:21:07.560
Jason Mefford: it’s still that old you know multi million year old brain that’s trying to say hey there’s a lion or tiger or a bear oh my that’s coming after you.
00:21:08.100 –> 00:21:14.580
Jason Mefford: But it’s not really it’s my boss sent me an email it’s not like there’s a lion trying to eat you right in front of your face.
00:21:15.330 –> 00:21:37.890
Jason Mefford: But our brain doesn’t know any different unless we train it and I think I think that’s the beautiful thing and like you said that we can actually choose right we started off talking about choice we can choose to think differently, which also translates into us feeling better as well.
00:21:39.090 –> 00:21:50.880
Ariel Garten: Yes, and feeling better in the long term, so you know as you do this activity, a little bit day by day, as you get better at identifying your thoughts and this is part of the.
00:21:51.990 –> 00:21:57.270
Ariel Garten: This is part of the depth of meditation as well as you sit with those thoughts and you’re not just visiting around your life.
00:21:57.510 –> 00:22:07.170
Ariel Garten: You have the ability to actually hear what they’re saying to actually say like hey Is that true he is that meaningful you actually get to know the contents of your own mind.
00:22:07.620 –> 00:22:25.410
Ariel Garten: Then from there you get to make a better choice about it and bit by bit, day by day practice by practice you get better and better being able to gain control over your own life psychologically mentally physiologically and relationship was.
00:22:27.060 –> 00:22:36.540
Jason Mefford: Well, and so one of the things I hear from so many people, though, too, and I even find myself thinking this sometimes right is I don’t have time to do that.
00:22:37.230 –> 00:22:43.380
Jason Mefford: In and I think part of the reason behind that right is there’s you know, especially in the Western world.
00:22:43.890 –> 00:23:02.820
Jason Mefford: there’s a lot of emphasis placed on productivity and you’ve got to be productive and you’ve got to be doing something all of the time right and so for many of us that have been indoctrinated that way it’s hard to just stop and do something that seems like i’m doing nothing.
00:23:02.850 –> 00:23:10.710
Jason Mefford: Right how how am I, being productive when i’m not doing anything and i’m just sitting there right.
00:23:11.700 –> 00:23:17.250
Jason Mefford: So, so how to you know for people that are saying look I don’t have time for it.
00:23:17.790 –> 00:23:32.700
Jason Mefford: it’s just a waste of time i’m not doing anything, how do you usually respond to them because, again, I hear that all the time i’ve got my own opinion, but I want to know kind of what your your take on that is because i’m sure you hear that all the time, too.
00:23:33.240 –> 00:23:40.680
Ariel Garten: yep so The good news is meditation gives you back time there are lots of studies that demonstrate that meditation actually improves your productivity.
00:23:41.280 –> 00:23:53.010
Ariel Garten: So part of what you’re noticing every time your mind wanders those are micro distractions and those are procrastination so if you’re sitting there doing your work and your mind wanders off to Facebook, the coffee before you know it you’re at the coffee pot.
00:23:53.340 –> 00:23:59.520
Ariel Garten: You have just wasted so much time in a meditation practice, you would notice the nearby and wonder to Facebook, or the coffee pot.
00:24:00.060 –> 00:24:06.450
Ariel Garten: You would then say thanks for that information not relevant to me at this moment, let that go get back to the task at hand.
00:24:06.840 –> 00:24:13.500
Ariel Garten: meditation dramatically gives you more time in your day and more freedom to make better choices.
00:24:14.190 –> 00:24:24.900
Ariel Garten: And meditation doesn’t need to take long so in the breast cancer study at the Mayo clinic they gave the women, the task of meditating for three minutes per day with muse.
00:24:25.650 –> 00:24:28.110
Ariel Garten: Literally they just said, going use this for three minutes per day.
00:24:28.680 –> 00:24:35.370
Ariel Garten: And many of the Women continue to use it for longer or for longer periods, most people use it beyond the end of the study period because they love doing it.
00:24:35.910 –> 00:24:45.360
Ariel Garten: But really all you need to do is start for a very short period of time now for some people, when you sit down for those three or five or seven minutes.
00:24:45.750 –> 00:24:53.340
Ariel Garten: you’re like oh my God this feels like torture, because my body so used to doing things I just want to get up and run away and that’s cool.
00:24:53.970 –> 00:25:03.900
Ariel Garten: What your job is at that moment is to just sit with the sensation and re pattern your brain, because our brains and bodies are often.
00:25:04.260 –> 00:25:11.280
Ariel Garten: wired for automatic city you think about a cookie you see the cookie jar and just like your hand is out there, and you didn’t even realize what you did.
00:25:11.640 –> 00:25:23.250
Ariel Garten: And that’s actually because dopa mean that reward system governs both the reward of the cookie and also dopa mean governs your movement system so as you’re having that reward of the cookie or bodies preparing itself.
00:25:23.670 –> 00:25:40.320
Ariel Garten: You know, from a neurotransmitter perspective to move your body towards it and it’s just an automatic loop when you’re able to intervene and say hey I feel this insane urge to get up now, I feel as insane urge to like go move towards the cookie or to just fix it or to just run away.
00:25:41.490 –> 00:25:47.550
Ariel Garten: When you sit there in that moment with that feeling and say actually I might feel that way but i’m not about to.
00:25:47.820 –> 00:25:58.020
Ariel Garten: You begin to re pattern your body you’re literally rewiring your brain and we rewiring those automatic circuits to bring it into your own control.
00:25:58.650 –> 00:26:04.860
Ariel Garten: And so those have a sensation of add or fidget enos you know at first it’s the weirdest thing in the world to just sit still.
00:26:05.340 –> 00:26:18.240
Ariel Garten: But once you do it and you train your body to say hey we don’t need to run from this hey we don’t need to just play out this mindless automatic behavior in this, you know pattern that’s built that actually isn’t helpful or useful for you.
00:26:18.780 –> 00:26:26.640
Ariel Garten: You make tremendous change in your life because you’re able to gain this top down control over your own automatic behavior yeah.
00:26:27.420 –> 00:26:36.870
Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s you know it’s not a waste of time right for all those reasons that you just talked about is even spending the three minutes a day.
00:26:37.380 –> 00:26:47.370
Jason Mefford: You know, and again for people that are listening our brain is just like a computer right, and so, if you if you want different results you got to reprogram your brain to run a different Program.
00:26:47.820 –> 00:26:52.770
Jason Mefford: meditation is one of those ways to do it because, like you said, every time that you start to wander and you’re like nope.
00:26:53.280 –> 00:27:02.670
Jason Mefford: Thank you for for that thought, but right now, I have to focus on this right, and the more that we do that, the more that we practice it.
00:27:03.000 –> 00:27:15.240
Jason Mefford: it’s just like doing push ups or you know barbell curls or anything with our muscles we’re actually you know retraining ourselves and, like you said that leads to higher productivity.
00:27:15.960 –> 00:27:32.040
Jason Mefford: To feeling better you know, like the Mayo clinic using it with the breast cancer people i’m sure it helps them to heal a little bit more as well, or at least reduce their anxiety about what they happen to be going through at that time right.
00:27:32.940 –> 00:27:40.980
Ariel Garten: yeah I mean it reduced their according to study it reduce their stress it also reduces their fatigue and improve their quality of life during the cancer care process.
00:27:41.400 –> 00:27:56.670
Ariel Garten: And meditation has also been demonstrated separately from that study to actually help your body heal when you reduce the cortisol levels in your body when you change your cellular amelia by no longer dousing it and stress hormones you’re actually able to heal faster.
00:27:57.120 –> 00:27:57.360
00:27:58.590 –> 00:28:11.220
Jason Mefford: yeah so there’s there’s a lot of benefits, even in something as little as 123 minutes a day you know it’s not it’s not sitting down for four hours you know, like you see a Buddhist monk sitting.
00:28:12.180 –> 00:28:20.280
Jason Mefford: there on a on a hard stone or something for four hours, this is something that literally anybody can do and just a couple minutes a day it sounds like.
00:28:21.120 –> 00:28:27.960
Ariel Garten: yeah and, obviously, the more you do it, the more benefit you’ll get, but when we say more we’re talking at the order of 10 or 15 minutes a day.
00:28:28.260 –> 00:28:35.460
Ariel Garten: we’re not talking on the order of four hours we all live busy lives with kids and dinner to make and work and all these obligations.
00:28:35.820 –> 00:28:48.210
Ariel Garten: So you know part of creating muse was creating a tool that allows meditation to fit into your modern daily busy life in short ways that are rewarding and allow you to actually see and track your progress.
00:28:50.400 –> 00:28:53.100
Jason Mefford: which has been great and like I said i’ve got i’ve got a lot more a.
00:28:54.840 –> 00:29:00.270
Jason Mefford: lot more research to be doing on some of those other areas to Part one the other stuff but.
00:29:00.780 –> 00:29:08.040
Jason Mefford: But I wanted to talk to you because I know that that you guys have been doing some stuff about sleep, which you know I know for me.
00:29:08.850 –> 00:29:19.740
Jason Mefford: i’ve trained myself so literally I hit the pillow i’m out in one or two minutes, so I don’t have a problem, going to sleep once I go to sleep, I am gone.
00:29:20.310 –> 00:29:28.500
Jason Mefford: Until I wake up, but I know sleep is a big issue for a lot of people my wife, being one right, you know.
00:29:29.130 –> 00:29:43.980
Jason Mefford: She always gives me a hard time about it, but you know she she struggles with sleep I know a lot of people struggle with sleep, and you know if you start your day off tired and exhausted, because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep.
00:29:45.540 –> 00:29:59.070
Jason Mefford: It makes the next day hard as well right so so let’s talk a little bit about sleep, you know that way, why sleep is is so important and kind of how you are actually helping people with that as well.
00:29:59.460 –> 00:30:09.870
Ariel Garten: Sure, so sleep is incredibly key and so you have the group of people who feel like oh no I have insomnia, I don’t sleep enough, and then you have a group of people who say.
00:30:10.290 –> 00:30:15.870
Ariel Garten: Oh, I only sleep three or four hours a night or four or five hours a night and it’s totally fine I can totally function on that.
00:30:16.290 –> 00:30:26.070
Ariel Garten: The reality is both of those groups could benefit significantly from more sleep so sleep plays an important role both in our mind and in our body.
00:30:26.580 –> 00:30:34.680
Ariel Garten: While you sleep you’re consolidating your memories both including forgetting things that you need to forget, as well as remembering things you need to remember.
00:30:35.220 –> 00:30:45.000
Ariel Garten: you’re cleaning out your brain so there’s this little system in your brain called the limbic system, just like we have lymph nodes in our body we have lymph nodes in our brain and that allows.
00:30:45.480 –> 00:30:53.310
Ariel Garten: gaps to open and extracellular fluid to move about your brain that actually flushes out the toxins and accumulation of the day.
00:30:53.580 –> 00:31:03.270
Ariel Garten: So there’s research demonstrates that people who sleep better are better able to flesh out beta amyloid from their brain and therefore likely reduce the risk of alzheimer’s disease.
00:31:04.260 –> 00:31:13.830
Ariel Garten: So sleep is really important, when you don’t sleep well enough you decrease your hormone balance in your body you typically screw with your satiety signals so.
00:31:14.310 –> 00:31:19.440
Ariel Garten: Your body doesn’t know as well when it’s supposed to be hungry you’re not hungry that often leads to weight gain.
00:31:20.430 –> 00:31:30.000
Ariel Garten: And really poor sleep is associated with just about every chronic illness, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc, etc.
00:31:30.480 –> 00:31:42.510
Ariel Garten: So really sleep is critically important for your mind and body and most people don’t realize that getting good sleep doesn’t need to be that hard and so i’d love to talk about ways to help you sleep.
00:31:43.470 –> 00:31:50.580
Jason Mefford: I, but I would too, because I, you know I i’ve got my own little routine what works for me, but what what are some things.
00:31:52.050 –> 00:32:03.240
Jason Mefford: That really can help people some some easy takeaways that they can even just to tonight write it as as a way as a way to practice and try to get that better night’s sleep.
00:32:04.020 –> 00:32:13.800
Ariel Garten: Sure, so there’s two different parts to improving sleep one is the mental part, and the other is the stuff that you are doing to keep you from sleeping.
00:32:14.220 –> 00:32:24.360
Ariel Garten: So let’s deal first with the physical, because in some ways that’s easier, so in the physical side you want to make sure that you are not drinking coffee too close to bedtime.
00:32:24.810 –> 00:32:34.980
Ariel Garten: So caffeine has a half life of six to eight hours, which means that if you drink a cup of coffee at 4pm at 10pm half of that caffeine, is still in your body.
00:32:35.520 –> 00:32:44.130
Ariel Garten: And so you want to make sure that you’ve given yourself time to flesh out and process that caffeine, which typically for people means no caffeine afternoon.
00:32:44.550 –> 00:32:50.400
Ariel Garten: which all of you are going like what no caffeine afternoon, yes caffeine makes a tremendous difference in your sleep.
00:32:50.760 –> 00:32:58.800
Ariel Garten: What caffeine does is it reduces something culture sleep pressure there’s a little molecule that builds up in your brand called adenosine when it’s at a sufficient amount, then.
00:32:59.280 –> 00:33:06.150
Ariel Garten: Your sleep pressures so high that you just need to sleep your body just shuts down and your brain does do caffeine blocks that’s the pressure.
00:33:06.810 –> 00:33:11.490
Ariel Garten: See the simplest and easiest thing you can probably do to help yourself sleep is stop caffeine.
00:33:11.790 –> 00:33:21.090
Ariel Garten: You might be like Oh, I can still drink caffeine it’s fine maybe when you were 20 you could but right now, your caffeine sensitivity decreases as you age so really analyze it.
00:33:22.080 –> 00:33:29.820
Ariel Garten: The second is managing the amount of light that you get so light triggers a hormone called melatonin which many of us have heard of.
00:33:30.330 –> 00:33:37.710
Ariel Garten: You want it to be dark before you go to bed and bright when you wake up and you want to do that inconsistent timing.
00:33:38.130 –> 00:33:45.030
Ariel Garten: So choose the time seven to eight hours that you think you’re going to be able to sleep in regularly.
00:33:45.360 –> 00:33:53.520
Ariel Garten: You want it to be consistent, because you are literally training a system of your body your melatonin to be up at a time and down at the time up at a time and down it’s time.
00:33:53.970 –> 00:34:06.360
Ariel Garten: choose a time that’s realistic for you, maybe that’s 12 to seven maybe it’s 11 you know, maybe it’s 12 to 811 to six choose the realistic time and go to bed at the same time, every night and wake up, at the same time, every morning.
00:34:06.990 –> 00:34:14.400
Ariel Garten: Before you go to bed try to limit the amount of light that you have in your eyes it’s really great if you can dim your lights half an hour before bedtime.
00:34:14.700 –> 00:34:19.560
Ariel Garten: Know screens in your face just before bedtime when you wake up in the morning light in your eyes.
00:34:20.250 –> 00:34:35.670
Ariel Garten: So those are some of the easiest takeaways for what to do to get your sleep working physically on the mental side, there are two reasons that we don’t sleep well one is because we’re worried about not sleeping and the second is because we have anxiety in our lives.
00:34:36.210 –> 00:34:39.150
Ariel Garten: And so, if you can let go of the anxiety around not sleeping.
00:34:39.390 –> 00:34:49.950
Ariel Garten: You can actually get dramatically further one of the reasons that we entered into the world of sleep was that we were hearing from us users, that they were using news before bedtime to help them sleep.
00:34:50.370 –> 00:34:56.160
Ariel Garten: And then from the studies that we did we realized actually that’s very effective, so people would use muse right before they were falling asleep.
00:34:56.640 –> 00:35:04.800
Ariel Garten: to train their brain to why it the you know the voices to quiet, the ruminating thoughts and it would help them slip into sleep.
00:35:05.280 –> 00:35:13.560
Ariel Garten: And then, if you wake up in the night, rather than thinking, oh no i’m going to be late for this thing, oh no i’m going to feel terrible, oh no and creating anxiety around sleep.
00:35:13.920 –> 00:35:20.640
Ariel Garten: If you simply lie there and focus on your breath and be like a modest sleep for a few minutes that’s Okay, this is a concept called equanimity.
00:35:20.670 –> 00:35:21.930
Jason Mefford: That you also learn a meditation it’s.
00:35:21.930 –> 00:35:35.790
Ariel Garten: Just like not sleeping that’s fine you know eventually asleep, and you just breathe deeply meditate a little, if you want, eventually, you will fall back asleep, because it is often that anxiety around not sleeping that ironically keeps us awake.
00:35:36.960 –> 00:35:44.040
Jason Mefford: yeah which is funny because the more people worry about not sleeping, the more they don’t sleep right.
00:35:44.100 –> 00:35:58.650
Jason Mefford: Yes, which is, which is, which is ironic and so yeah you can use things like that so it’s interesting because, like with me, I have my whole routine how I go to sleep how I wake up right and and so like you said you know, trying to.
00:36:00.030 –> 00:36:07.740
Jason Mefford: Probably our phones are one of the worst things that keep people from having a good night’s sleep, because you know I noticed.
00:36:08.430 –> 00:36:24.000
Jason Mefford: got apple products and they started doing the wind down right do you want to do you want to wind down on your phone set a time when you want to go to sleep and then a half hour beforehand it kind of starts to shut off some notifications or do some different things.
00:36:25.920 –> 00:36:32.280
Jason Mefford: So that you’re not on your phone because again it’s we’re staring at the phone it’s light in our eyes.
00:36:32.580 –> 00:36:41.010
Jason Mefford: Plus our mind is going crazy to right because we’re like scrolling Facebook or instagram or whatever, and so our mind is like going going going going going.
00:36:41.460 –> 00:36:52.620
Jason Mefford: So i’ve always heard you know, whatever you do you know it’s half an hour before you go to bed, you want to start winding down, which is sounds like again it’s kind of what you’re talking about there too.
00:36:53.310 –> 00:37:03.510
Ariel Garten: yeah you want to start engaging practices that are going to help you sleep, so one of the things that we’ve built with the muse S, which is our newest device that helps you sleep.
00:37:03.870 –> 00:37:10.230
Ariel Garten: Is this amazing biofeedback experience that actually teaches you to quiet your mind.
00:37:10.620 –> 00:37:19.560
Ariel Garten: So you’re listening to audio content, it can be soundscape that’s actually built from your body and nature soundscape it’s in training, your body into sleep.
00:37:19.830 –> 00:37:26.640
Ariel Garten: Or it can be a guided meditation that’s guiding you to you know move your mind out of the wandering thoughts and onto your breath and relax your muscles.
00:37:27.150 –> 00:37:38.550
Ariel Garten: And then, as you’re falling asleep, as you were the muse device, because the muse is tracks in your brain it’s a real EG it’s literally like a sleep lab, it is a clinical grade EG on your head.
00:37:39.570 –> 00:37:50.610
Ariel Garten: It is able to actually interpret your state of wakefulness and change the content, based on it so as you’re falling asleep the devices able to see your state of wakefulness.
00:37:50.940 –> 00:37:59.760
Ariel Garten: And shift and guide that content to be quieter to be slower to really indicate to your brain that it’s okay to let go now it’s time to sleep.
00:38:00.300 –> 00:38:10.200
Ariel Garten: We found this to be remarkably effective in a recent study by a third party lab they saw like a 27% increase in the Pittsburgh sleep quality index using this.
00:38:10.860 –> 00:38:15.630
Ariel Garten: Because it really helps you just have a tool that you can rely on to quiet your mind and sleep.
00:38:16.080 –> 00:38:22.560
Ariel Garten: And then reduces all of that anxiety that you have around, oh no am I going to not sleep, because if you wake back up in the night.
00:38:23.040 –> 00:38:37.590
Ariel Garten: The muse, which is still on your head, will be able to actually see that you are now awake because it’s a clinical grade EG tracking your state of wakefulness it brings in the same intervention that helped you fall asleep, the first time, and just guides you back to sleep automatically.
00:38:38.820 –> 00:38:54.000
Jason Mefford: Well i’m guessing that it probably can even do it a little bit subconsciously because it’s notices that you’re coming back even before you’re probably consciously awake it’s actually helping you go back down because your subconscious is pulling that in.
00:38:54.750 –> 00:39:04.800
Ariel Garten: yeah and you can set all the settings so you can choose how long you are awake for before the audio comes in, you can choose how long the ramp down is you can choose the kind of audio.
00:39:05.100 –> 00:39:12.240
Ariel Garten: So you have total control over your experience to really create what it is for you, that is your personal sleep assistant to guide you into sleep.
00:39:14.670 –> 00:39:15.690
Jason Mefford: fabulous stuff.
00:39:16.740 –> 00:39:17.250
Ariel Garten: amazing.
00:39:17.400 –> 00:39:18.990
Jason Mefford: I told you, I mean I could.
00:39:19.980 –> 00:39:28.350
Jason Mefford: I could geek out on all this stuff because, again, the whole science side of it, the whole you know, mindful and spiritual side of it, I could sit here and talk to you for hours but.
00:39:28.950 –> 00:39:37.530
Jason Mefford: Unfortunately, we both have busy we can’t do that, plus the people that are listening have to get back to whatever they have to get back to as well, but.
00:39:38.100 –> 00:39:44.730
Jason Mefford: Thank you so very much for for coming on here and and for what you’re doing for the good that you’re doing in the world and.
00:39:45.720 –> 00:39:55.650
Jason Mefford: It always makes me happy when I see that there are people in the world who are trying to make a positive change in the world which.
00:39:56.160 –> 00:40:08.520
Jason Mefford: that’s what I see you doing and so i’m grateful for you and for what you’ve been doing and for the hundreds of thousands of people that you help as well, so any any final thoughts, you know before we end up wrapping out.
00:40:09.240 –> 00:40:16.920
Ariel Garten: Oh that’s so kind of you really, really kind, and you know we’re trying, we got really lucky that somehow we got this right and it really is working.
00:40:17.400 –> 00:40:25.200
Ariel Garten: And I know there’s lots of people trying and it doesn’t always work but i’m here to help and support anybody out there who needs help and.
00:40:25.650 –> 00:40:35.190
Ariel Garten: In doing what they want to do in their lives, so thank you so much for this conversation for the ability to dive deep and to spend some time together yeah.
00:40:35.880 –> 00:40:44.370
Jason Mefford: Well, thank you and for everybody that’s listening, this is probably one of those episodes you want to hear more than once, and we might have sounded like your mother get a good night’s sleep.
00:40:45.930 –> 00:40:51.450
Jason Mefford: You know, sit in silence for a little bit probably throw in there, drink a lot of water would be another good one, too, but.
00:40:51.960 –> 00:41:01.590
Jason Mefford: they’re simple things, but when you do them it’s it’s not whoo whoo stuff This is all backed up in scientific research as well, so.
00:41:02.040 –> 00:41:14.040
Jason Mefford: Believe it don’t believe it it’s up to you, but if you want to feel better why not at least just try it right that’s what I always try to tell people just try it see if it works.
00:41:15.240 –> 00:41:19.590
Jason Mefford: So thank you and glad to have you back at some point the future.
00:41:20.400 –> 00:41:21.540
Ariel Garten: So, look forward to that.
00:41:22.020 –> 00:41:22.650
Jason Mefford: Thank you and good.
00:41:22.860 –> 00:41:26.550
Jason Mefford: afternoon, you too and it’s going to be a magnificent rest of the day.
00:41:26.940 –> 00:41:27.720
Ariel Garten: Yes, it will.
00:41:28.260 –> 00:41:29.640
Ariel Garten: Thanks goodbye.