Welcome to episode 12 of the 911 Shift Ready Podcast. I’m excited about today because I am going to teach you to be independent of anyone else in order to figure out what your body needs and when on any shift schedule. So you will not need to rely on anyone else to be able to figure out what your body needs and when.
I mean, you know your schedule best and what happens on each shift. And then if you add to that what I’m going to teach you today, you will be able to take back control of your training, your recovery, and being able to be strong on any shift schedule because you know your body better than any practitioner or a coach out there.
I mean, you can tell a coach or a practitioner what happened on shift but they will never know how it affected you. It may not have bothered you at all or felt like anything, or it may have really stressed you out. And we’re talking like admin stressors or a length of a shift, or maybe a pursuit. It might have been a certain call that may not have necessarily affected one person, but it may affect you and they can’t make that call for you. They can’t decide how much something pushed your body. So it’s time for you to be in the driver’s seat so that you can be 911 strong.
If you are working with a coach or practitioner, you can also use this information to guide them on the best direction, based on everything that you are going to be learning today. Which means you are going to be navigating your own health. And today’s episode will be absolutely invaluable to you. So you will stop guessing, and you’re going to be able to move the needle so that you are in control of your sleep, control of your energy, control of your moods on any shift schedule. No matter what your shift throws at you.
So with this, how this all started what I’m going to be teaching you today is that I have always worn a device on me. A tracker, a health tracker. I’ve always had a health tracker on me and about a couple years into my program, I had one of the responders in my program as well, was wearing the same device that I was. And so I started asking to see some of their data when we were on coaching calls in order to be able to help me pinpoint some things and find some better direction with them. And it was amazing. It was really fascinating that I was able to help them. And I didn’t have to guess at what shifts were affecting them the most with using the data of the health tracker. And then I knew exactly which tools for my program to be able to take out to help him.
And so, it was fascinating. So then what happened was some others were involved in these coaching calls ’cause they’re part of our group calls and they started getting some health trackers themselves and we started using their data. And I found that this actually excelled the tools and everything. It allowed me to be more individual with them. It allowed me to really figure out what was going on, on each shift. Where did we need to start working first? Where did we need to move that dial first? Or focus first with that individual responder based on what their information was showing us.
It’s been crazy. Like even myself as a personal trainer, I’ve always had to guess. I always had to guess what my clients needed. I always had to guess what I needed. And I think about this back when I was training high level executives and athletes and I may never have actually transitioned into working with first responders because I may never have experienced burnout before. But having this health tracker and having to understand this health tracker has allowed my clients, the first responders to become more independent of me and it’s really excelled their progress. So that is what we are going to be diving into with you today.
Now, your life is unpredictable. Each shift, it can go in a number of directions. Not like a regular schedule. Sunday night football games or Olympic trials when we have athletes that are preparing for these, they know their game is every Sunday. They know when all of their major events are happening. They know when all of their game days are, so they know how to train on and off their games in order to peak during these games. But the thing is, is that you all need to be prepared for anything, and you’re pretty much guessing at what your body needs, and you need to know it on a day to day basis.
A lot of the information that’s out there as well is for civilians. It’s for their life, their schedule that for you guys, it still isn’t even a one size fits all. If I’m working with even two different responders at one station, that’s even taken a fire station. They may be on the same truck. They may have had the same calls that they went to.
But the thing is, is that what that responder did the day before? What’s going on for them at home? What health issues are bugging them for one of them, do they have gut issues? Another one is their sleep more off? Me being able to actually go in or you being able to go in really allows you to know for yourself, what do you need in order to recover?
And what do you need in order to be able to peak during hot priority calls? You don’t know when they’re gonna come in. So we need your body to be as prepared as possible for each one and recover as quickly after. So having that data really does allow us to do it. And when you don’t have this data, your sleep sucks. You’re kind of guessing at what your body needs and when. Your energy becomes non-existent. You don’t have that get up and go anymore. And that athletic version of you becomes no longer.
In your mind, you are very athletic and you wanna do things, but when you’re not able to recover, when you need to recover and peak when you need to peak that you start losing some of those gains that you had from an athletic standpoint earlier on in your career. Your motivation and drive starts to decrease and your short fuse starts to increase. So by the end of this training, I’m gonna make sure that you do know how to figure out what your body needs and when. And you’re gonna get back from the driver’s seat. So let’s get started.
So if you’re experiencing even one of these then this training today is definitely going to help you. If you follow what works for somebody else, if you’re following their recommendations for sleep or for energy or for their workout and you’re getting frustrated because you are not making gains, you are not recovering, you are not able to wake up with that energy. If you are spending lots of time and money on things that don’t work, if you are spending tons of time working out in the gym, but injuries keep creeping in. If you’re taking all kinds of different supplements for your sleep or your energy and nothing seems to keep working or if sometimes you are feeling worse than you did before because you’re trying somebody’s new recommendation and you’re just guessing at what that recommendation is instead of actually seeing in your body if it’s working or not working. It can be so frustrating.
If you feel like you are spinning your wheels and nothing’s happening. You’re not making any progress. You’re trying to work on your sleep. You’re trying to work on your energy. You’re trying to improve your fitness and your health ’cause you know you need to stay in peak condition to stay safe on the job but nothing’s happening. You’re not really feeling or seeing that progress. If you are feeling frustrated and demotivated because of this, you’re kind of feeling like you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall. You’re see what will and won’t work. You’re getting prescriptions, you’re trying supplements. You’re trying everything and so much time and money has been spent. And you’re finding just that things that even used to work for you they don’t work for you anymore.
Now, what we need to do is get you back on track. Get you understanding and knowing stop wasting time and money to get you knowing actually what direction to go in and how we do that is by diving into the deep data of your health tracker. So as I mentioned, I brought this into my program probably about a year ago is when I brought it into my program.
And as I mentioned as well, it caught on and more of them started using them. That what I eventually did was I built out a mini course on reading their health trackers. Reading that deep data so that they actually could become less dependent on me. I teach the tools that helped them improve all the data and the stats on their health tracker, but they needed to know which ones to implement based on where their body needs and each and every shift, which varies they need to understand what was going on and what they needed and how they could adapt without daily messaging me to find out how do I switch to this? How do I adapt to that? So with that, the health trackers, they tell you about your sleep. How long it’s taking you to fall asleep?
They dive into your HRV, which is a stress marker. So it tells you how your body is able to manage stress on that given day. And it’s fascinating how that changes and adapts. It will tell your respiratory rate. It will dive into a lot more. It’s really quite fascinating how deep we can go into this. So I created this mini course so that they could understand all of the data. They could understand what it meant and how to adapt that to their shifts. Not the life of a civilian, but actually to their shifts.
So I kind of think of it like we know that there’s something wrong in your engine when your engine light comes on in your car and your mechanic, they have this code reader that they can connect to your engine, so that they know when the engine light came on, what is going on. And then they have a direction on where to start investigating to fix the problem which stops them from wasting time, energy, and money. And it allows them to focus and dial in on what really needs to be addressed first.
So it’s just like, you know your sleep is off. You know your energy is low. Your gut may be off and you may even be getting like prescriptions or supplements. And the thing is, is that when you start using a health tracker, it is going to allow you to get more information on what’s going on and it’s going to give you, or your coach or your practitioner an idea of where the best place to start or to focus first in you. And then it will start letting you know when you’re making progress. So you’re not continuing to waste time or spend money on things that aren’t working for you. And you can focus on that time and money on what is working. So having the data from each responder in my program, those that have it, not everybody does, it’s an absolute choice. It’s a supplement in my program that helps them use all the tools that I teach. So allowing that really does help me give more of an individual approach so that you can really get to the goal faster and stop wasting that time that I don’t think you personally have. So we can really dial in on things.
With this, we can really bring things to that other level. So regardless if you’re working with me or somebody else, we can absolutely bring it to an entirely different level so that you know, what’s working, what isn’t on any shift. And when you don’t use a health tracker, it’s kind of like hopping in your car and driving from Las Vegas to New York City without ever checking your GPS. Without looking at a map. Mapping it out, using your GPS to find out what is the best route to get there. So would you even get to New York if you didn’t use a map, didn’t use a GPS just hop in your car and went? I know I definitely would not and if I did get there then it would’ve taken me a lot of time and cost me a lot of money, in gas, food, hotel, frustration to eventually get there. Then had I actually mapped it out, followed a GPS and had a plan in place.
So when I start to think about it, that’s kind of what your doctor does when you go to them with sleep struggles or anxiety and they hand you a prescription without ever diving into what’s really going on or following up with you to see if the prescription or doses are really helping you. And without any data other than you saying yes or no, they’re not even gonna know if it’s actually helping you get a better sleep. Is it helping you get a deep sleep? Is it helping you get better REM? Is it helping you with your latency, you’re falling asleep time? Is it? Cause that would be very helpful in them knowing how to proceed. So when you have a health tracker, you can see all this data for yourself.
You can see when you’ve had a bad sleep versus a good sleep. What is and isn’t working? And it really does move you towards your destination faster which leads me to step number two. So you have a health tracker now, where do you start? Before we dive in to where do we start with your health tracker, let’s cover which health tracker is the best because I have a feeling many of you may be thinking that. I do have a few favorites, but I’m gonna tell you for right now it doesn’t matter. If you have a health tracker, I would prefer for you to use it then to upgrade right away. Because the thing is, is that you need to foresee if this is something that you like. Do you even like tracking your data? Your health tracker as well may give you enough of the data that you need to get started.
So there’s no sense in really investing in something that you may use or you may not use or you may not even need. Now I have two on my wrist. If you’re watching on the video here, you can see, I have a ring. It’s a titanium ring. It’s an Oura ring, O U R A. I don’t recommend it for first responders because titanium ring is not really practical for your job. And then we have the Whoop band. So those are the two that I wear all the time. And that the other responder in my program did have was the whoop band and we were tracking that. So that’s what we use, but we have other guys that use everything. We have Garmins we have Apple watches. We have somebody even that used their bed. They have an HRV tracker on their bed, so we just use the HRV no other stats or anything and that gave us enough data to actually make some significant changes with that responder. And so honestly, use what you have. Don’t go out and buy something new until you really do know that you are wanting to upgrade and get more stats and that you will use them cause you may find what you have works absolutely great for you. So let’s get started into step number two.
So because you are a first responder, it’s really important to understand how your body reacts on each shift. Now I’m saying your body. This is not general data but what’s going on with your data. And it will not be the same for everyone. Often we are our own worst judge. We may know that our sleep sucks and or we may think that our sleep is great. But how much does it suck? How great is it? Is it on certain shifts? Like, where is your sleep on certain shifts on certain days off?
Are there patterns? So the same goes for your other stats on your health tracker. Interestingly, sometimes we think that our stats are actually worse than they are, and we find that some days aren’t as bad as we thought. So finding out this data is absolutely key. If you don’t have a baseline and nothing to compare your progress to, you’re basically relying or guessing.
So we first need to really make sure that we’re getting your baseline finding out just where everything is with you. Where is your sleep? Where does it lie? Where does your energy? Where does your HRV? Where is your respiratory rate? All of these things are really, really important data points. If yours has a respiratory rate that I’ll get into a little bit later in this episode. Why that can be important for you, but it’s not, that’s not a make or a breaker. It’s more the sleep that we want to start looking at.
And the thing is, is that if you are constantly guessing, then you don’t know it’s working. So getting that baseline is really, really important. So what you wanna do is you wanna start tracking your sleep for an entire shift cycle or two cycles. Now, the cycle can vary. I know my husband used to be on a five week rotation of days, evenings nights, blocks of days off in between. So for him, I would say definitely do it for that entire five weeks. Fire is sometimes 24 on, 24 off three of those in a row. And then like three days off or, oh an EMS guy that just started recently is a two week shift schedule of this one’s crazy is 5 24 hour shifts. He’s at a very, very slow station, but it’s five shifts on, I think two off two on it’s a two week rotation. And then five off two on. It’s a crazy rotation. But he would be a two week rotation that I would have him do one or two of those rotations. So figure out what your shift schedule is and figure out an entire block days off and working shifts.
And why a full cycle? The reason is, is because you will find that the data will be very, very different on days off versus on shift but not necessarily in the way that you expect. And all of that data, we can start working with later on to figure out, okay, this one point in your shift is really throwing you off. So we need to figure out when are your good sleeps? When are your bad sleeps? Are they on shift? Are they the day before shift? Are they the day after shift? Are they days off? And do you sleep better on shift? Is it day shift, night shift, evenings, first, second, third? You all have different names for your shifts. So which shift is it for you that where your sleep’s the worst? Where your sleep is the best?
Track all your stats. Sometimes they’ll just spit them out. I know I get them on my phone. You can actually get weekly, monthly reports, which is really cool. So do that for a little bit, without really making any changes and figure out what your baseline is. You really, really, really need to learn your baselines. And it is fascinating because often responders find that their sleep before the start of the shift is sometimes they’re worse. It’s worse than their days or worse than their shifts. It’s worse than the end of a block of shifts. Sometimes too, day shift is actually worse for some than night shift.
You might have kids of a certain age as well, and their sleep schedule may also be affecting yours. So your sleeps may be worse at home. You may have more stress at home and that is affecting your sleep. So there’s a lot of different factors to start really looking into this. We had a guy, a fire guy, 24 on 24 off three in a row. And so we were tracking his HRV.
So HRV is your stress marker. It is the time in between your heartbeats. So it’s the space in between one beat to another. Now, as you know, when you’re stressed, when you are running, when you are pushing your body, your heartbeat’s faster, so that space is slower. When you are relaxed and calm, there’s more space, your, your heartbeats slower. So there’s more space. So the higher your HRV the better. So he was finding that he started his shifts with a certain HRV and as he was going through his shift rotation, his HRV lowered which is expected. But what wasn’t expected was that he found that his first day off, his HRV lowered even worse into his second day off.
So he was recovering and getting himself up on the rest of his days off. He started recovering his HRV. Started going up on the rest of his days off that he was starting at a certain baseline of his HRV going into his block of shifts, which lower. And the thing is, is that if he was able to increase his HRV on his first recovery day off, the HR that he would be going into his shift would be higher. And so we started diving into that and we found out that he was having major, family guilt on that day off. So me looking at his tracking data and looking at his baselines really, really allowed me to see that he was stressing himself out more on that first day off. And it was, he felt guilty because his spouse has taking up all of those 24s that he was working.
He would get off of a 24, come home, not sleep at all. Hang out with their daughter, try to get everything on his to-do list done, his honey do list was trying to get it all done and didn’t give himself any recovery at all that we dove into that. That we started figuring out some sort of a schedule that allowed him to nap when his daughter was napping. Allowed him to have help, and allowed him to spread out his to-do list over his days off and not to work out on that first day as well because his body couldn’t handle the stress of the workout on that day, which is interesting cause you would think that your days off would be your best days to work out but that’s when you start tracking your data that you may find that your first day off is not your best day to go for your personal best in the gym that’s your best day to recover. So it’s fascinating once you start getting this data. And the thing is, is that this data from him was all from his bed HRV.
It wasn’t even wearing a device on him. So that goes back to what I said earlier, but it doesn’t matter. We can still get data from it. So don’t change what you’re doing. You can absolutely use any tracker, any devices. We can figure out how to get enough data to at least get you started that that was a huge start for him. That was a huge shift that we were able to make from him based on his data. So I love geeking out on the stats.
Everything from your data can tell me a story. What’s going on at home? What’s going on at work? What’s going on in your gut? I can even find that out from your heart rate. The way that it goes at night, I can tell how your gut is reacting. Like it’s so frigging fascinating to me that when we can dive into all of this that I can really figure out, “Hmm, we need to start on the gut lessons, or we need to start on your sleep. We need to start on working on some habits of recovery. Where do we need to be starting?” And that baseline is what is going to tell us the path that we are taking is moving the needle in the right direction. So as we have that baseline, we know your sleep usually takes you this amount of time to fall asleep that’s your latency. Or you get this amount of deep sleep or your HRV is usually this on this day, but we find that you’re starting to get a little bit more.
You’re starting to get a little more sleep or a little more of something and it helps to motivate you. It helps us know, “Oh, yep. We’re going in the right direction. This tool is the one for you.” Cause not every tool works for everyone the same. So Tom Brady, he would never go into any game without getting the intel on the other team. Right? Of course he wouldn’t. So you don’t win like many super bowls without making sure that you know what you’re up against and that you’re making the right decisions each and every play.
And so the thing is with your shifts and everything that you guys come up against on shift that is basically like what an athlete is facing, going up against different opponents. So why would you not want intel on that? Why would you not want to know how your body reacts on every shift? Especially when this data is readily available. It’s available on your, your phone on your mobile app and you just take it from your mobile device. Nobody needs to know at all what your data is and where it’s at. This is personally just for you and knowing your baseline data is your starting point.
So yes, the data may show you that you are that current rundown responder, where it takes you way longer to sleep than you should, so your latency gives you like a warning light. You’re not getting the right deep REM sleep. It may show you that your HRV is lower than it should be. You’re not able to manage stress the way that your body should. That your body’s not recovering right. It may show that your gut issues are happening. All of these things might show you that you are that rundown responder but how are you going to become that resilient tactical athlete? That one that knows how to recover? That knows what your body needs when that knows when to push in a workout and when you should be recovering? That knows what your body needs in order to sleep and stay asleep and wake up with energy if you aren’t tracking your progress?
So I know that I do use Tom Brady as a pro-athlete example, but all pro athletes, the ones that are top of their game, they know their stats. They know their weak points. They work on their weak points. That’s how they continually stay taught by the game. And this having a health tracker is going to show you your weak points. If they ignore their stats, if they ignore their weak points, they’re not ever going to stay top of their game. So making sure to figure out your baseline no matter how much you’d like to avoid it with whichever tracker that you are using is absolutely key to you getting out of that rundown responder and moving into that resilient, tactical athlete status.
So let’s recap that in step one, we talked about using a health track, so knowing what your body needs and when is the key to taking control of your sleep, energy and moods and it stops you from needing to rely on a coach or practitioner for the remainder of your career. And step two is understanding how your body reacts each shift. So knowing your baseline and gathering that intel is the start to knowing what will and what won’t work.
So let’s get to step number three, which is knowing what is working and what isn’t working. So when you’re guessing and trying recommendations blindly for supplements that somebody recommends, you go into the GNC or the supplement shop and they’re recommending, “Oh, you should have this for sleep or have that.”. They might be recommending at the gym, somebody’s telling you about this great workout that they started or sleep strategies that somebody is using or recovery tactics, ice baths, saunas are a big one.
Knowing how your body reacts to those will help you know sometimes like, if you’re doing a tactic and you start testing yourself that if you do 10 minutes of it versus 30 minutes of it and you check your stats and your stats stay the same regardless if you do 10 or 30 wouldn’t you wanna just do 10 minutes of it? So this is pretty much like figuring out your path to success. It’s not gonna be linear. Right? So all of these strategies that people are giving you, if you are not using that GPS, if you are not mapping your way from Las Vegas to New York then you’re just gonna keep spending time and money on something that is actually making your sleep or energy worse. And because it’s moving at such a slow rate, your body doesn’t know that things are taking a slide but it shows in your data. Right?
So there’s times too, you know this from eating healthy. We eat healthy. We’re watching what we eat. And then, you know, we have a little cookie and we have little things and all of these things start adding up and then all of a sudden we realize we’ve kind of gained some weight. And it’s, we’re like, “Oh shoot, we’re gaining weight.”. And then, you know, I’ve gotta go back to watching my eating again, not taking all these little snacks. That is the same thing if you are not tracking your data, you’re not gonna be able to catch when your sleep starts sliding again or if the supplements you’re taking aren’t having as much of effect anymore or they’re not helping at all. All of these things are happening or you may even stop doing something that’s benefiting your sleep or energy because the success rate started off pretty slow but your data is actually showing you the incline.
So, as I said earlier, like if you get 10 minutes of extra deep sleep, you may not feel it or notice it right away but your data will show you you’re on the right track. Right? So if you spend way more time and money on the things that aren’t working, you’re wasting time and money. So who likes to waste money? I know I don’t. And when you don’t see the progress, you lose a lot of motivation and you start steering in the wrong direction when you’re not seeing the progress and it may stop you from something that was working but wasn’t moving the needle fast enough, so you could feel the progress.
So sleep supplements are a great example of that, where certain sleep supplements or another tactic for sleep. So let’s say like, there’s so many out there for sleep, they’ll say, “Go into a dark room, have it at a certain temperature.”. Some people might say certain essential oils or certain supplements work and you may be trying one of them and it doesn’t give you such a noticeable benefit that you don’t know if it’s working or not. But when you track your data, you’re gonna know because oftentimes it’s a compounder and accumulative effect of what gets you to be like 911 shift ready. Gets you to have that energy gets your sleep in there but it’s this compound effect. And they all work in together.
I mean, we have three phases if you go back to, oh shoot. I believe it’s episode of my podcast of the 911 Shift Ready podcast. If you go into that, it breaks down our three phases. And the thing is, is that if we’re working on being 911 shift ready, which is where we’re working on your sleep, we’re working on your energy, we’re working on balancing at your hormones to make sure they’re doing everything that they can, so your circadian rhythms are going so you can sleep and you can wake and doing all of that there are a whole bunch of tools in there and not every tool will work the same for each person. So having the data helps, but if we’re not working on this other phase, which we have, which is the strong resting system, that’s your nervous system that switches you in and out of a stress state.
If you can’t switch out of that then that means you’re always in the stress state. Which we talked about before means your HRV is going to be lower. And if we’re doing things in the hormones and in the sleep that are supposed to be helping your HRV but we’re also not working on this strong resting system then we might in our data, be able to see that some of this hormone stuff’s working, some of this is working, but something’s still not getting you to that full destination. And we’re like, “Ah, that’s where we need to start working on strong resting system.”
And then we have that third pillar as well which is your post-shift recovery. And if you’re not doing the right things, as we mentioned that gentleman, that one fire guy who his first day off of recovery was going like a whirling dirvish. Not having any sleep, not having any recovery. His HRV wasn’t recovering to its best potential before he went back on shift. So all of this stuff plays a part of one another and it’s not just one thing.
So it really needs to have a combo. And when we have the trackers, we know when we’re moving in the right direction with one of the tools, we know that’s a keeper. That one we need to keep. That one we’re dialing in on and let’s add this to it and see where our stats get us. Same thing with making it worse, so it really is helpful.
So when you’re trying a new recommendation for my 911 Elite Performance Program that would be those who are going through the steps and the lessons or I actually go through their tracker data and on coaching calls guide them on which lessons to go through next. I only add one thing at a time. So regardless on if you’re in my program or you’re trying to do some of this on your own, or you’re working with another practitioner or another coach. You only add one new thing at a time.
Why? It’s kind of what we went into before. Well, actually we didn’t go into this is because you’re not gonna know what’s working. So if you add more than one thing, so if we’re working on certain supplements to help support your testosterone and get your testosterone up so that it’s working naturally. And you’re not needing to rely on testosterone shots or creams or say we’re working on something for your sleep or we’re working on something for your gut. If we throw in, let’s say two or three, even two things and your stats get worse then we’re gonna have to stop. Take those things out. Wait until your levels baseline out again and then we have to try one of them. See how you react. See if your HRV goes up or your other stats. Then we need to test the other one and see what happens.
Sometimes it’s the individual of adding those as a combo that makes things worse. Sometimes it’s one or the other that made it worse. But if you add more than one thing at a time, you’re always going to have to stop all of the things that you just added. Get back to your baseline and then add in one at a time, so you lose traction. You lose time on that to figure out what is right. So I get that you want to get your goals faster and throw everything at your body at once. I’m right there. I actually did this to myself last week. So don’t beat yourself up if you do this. I know better and I did it to myself and now I’m back where I’m like frustrated.
I’m like, “Ah, now I gotta start all over again with, checking out which of the supplements that I was trying last week set my gut off.”. So one of them did. My gut didn’t like one of them, but I don’t know which of the three things it did. So now I have to let my gut stabilize again before I go and test them out again.
So it just becomes so frustrating. So try each one separately and see which one causes you the struggles and at the end of the day, How much will that actually slow you down from getting your end goal? To work at one at a time and really know which ones you can keep so that if you do run against that roadblock of not staying there then you run into that roadblock of getting into a problem, you know you only need to go back one supplement or one remedy or one thing because you know that only that one thing held you back versus trying to problem solve then.
Which I worked with a practitioner once where I was struggling and I would message her and be like, “Ugh, my gut’s really off again. And I need to be working on this.”. And she would go, “Oh, try this and this.”. Or I would be where my moods, like everything was being thrown off. All my hormones, all my gut, everything was being thrown off. And she just kept adding more and more and more and I was taking like this humongous amounts of things. It turns out it was actually the capsules of the pills that were setting me off. So every time she was adding more and more, it was making things worse that it got to the point where I cold Turkey had to stop everything and start all over again. So frustrating. So learn from those mistakes.
And then you wanna check if your stats improve even by a little bit. So start only adding one thing at a time and then check if your stats improve even by a little. That little bit, give it a minimum of a week. Before making any changes. Sometimes longer because different shifts will affect you differently. Also, if it is something that we’re checking for gut, we wanna make sure that your body has time to have that in cause some people react quickly and some things take a little bit of time until your body starts reacting to them. So you may not link things.
Same thing with all of the remedies that you’re doing for sleep, all of the biohacks that are out there only add in one at a time. And then check that your stats improve and try it for more than a week at a time because one thing might be really good for you but your body may not like it at an accumulative effect as well. So also some things can get worse first. So really understanding with what remedies you’re taking or what supplements you’re taking will help you know if your stats are actually supposed to get worse before they get better.
So you need to know how to interpret the data. This happens with gut stuff quite often because when you’re having gut issues, you may have some bad bacteria in there that gets pissed off when you’re trying to get rid of it. So when you’re doing some things in your gut, this bad bacteria gets pissed and it puts up a fight which will lower all of your stats at the start and then you go up. So it really is understanding how are your stats going to change.
It’s basically one of the things as well, it’s fascinating is understanding this of when you do a workout and you push hard in a workout, your stats are gonna lower. Right? You may still have a great sleep but your sleep may be a little bit affected. Maybe, maybe not. Your deep may go up if your body’s healing and repairing, if you’re in a good restorative state but depending on like your heart weight will probably change, your strain score will definitely change. So your recovery really, really important to know that the day after a workout, you may show that your stats are all lower but that is understanding that you did a really, really, really tough workout the day before and your body still needs to recover.
The thing is, is watching how long it takes you to recover. If it takes you three days for your stats to recover then your body’s either overtrained, it’s not recovering. Or what you did was not great for your body yet. And that’s where we find with guys with burnout, when they’re coming outta burnout, start feeling really great and they want to really kick button their workouts and they go and do a workout and then their’s stats drop the next day but it takes them two or three more days to recover.
Your stats, the day two after your workout should be coming back up. If not, then that’s telling you the state of burnout that you’re in as well that your body just isn’t recovering enough yet. And that’s where we start getting your body stronger in order to be able to handle that. And also it might also be telling you that that day on your shift’s schedule was not a good day for you. It could be just what happened on shift the day before or it could be that that shift did not do well for you. So for some, we find that day shift, certain responders don’t recover as well after their workouts and night shift affects others where it’s vice versa. Some of them recover better after days. Some recover better after nights.
So that’s where taking this data and really understanding how many days after. So how many days after that workout do you recover, on what shift schedule and what happened on shift? What happened the day before that workout or the day of that workout that you did not recover on? Is this a regular occurrence on your shift schedule on that shift day? If so, then that tells you that that day is one that you should not be working out on that hard, but then you figure out what is the other day that you should be based on how your body reacts on your shift schedule.
So alcohol is an interesting one as well, where it is very individual. Some people cannot have a drink, a certain number of hours. Let’s say like four hours before they go to bed. It messes up they’re deep in their REM sleep whereas some people can. It is very individual. How many drinks you’re having? What you’re having? What time of day? Where you are on your shift schedule? All of these things vary as well.
So it’s really, really, I love it. I think it’s so much fun to start diving into this data and fairing out each step tells us which tools you need, what works for you as an individual and what doesn’t. I find alcoholic so fascinating with you guys because some of you are so different to another one as to how much it affects your sleep and your recovery and how little it does in somebody else. So it’s quite fascinating. We start looking at all of these stats and diving in.
It’s really important for you to start taking control. Yes, working with a coach or practitioner that knows all of the roots and fastest direction to go like detours that can definitely get you to better sleeps, get your energy up and calming your moods and your gut. But I personally feel that I would not be doing my job if I didn’t teach you how to be successful and independent of me. So once we have your baseline numbers up to where you’re getting a solid sleep and you can handle the stressors that are being thrown at your way at work and at home then it’s important for you to learn how to stay that way independent of me.
So in my program, we do give you lifetime access to be able to ask questions in our group and which is where we see guys pop up after a shift change or we’ll see them pop up back after they’ve changed departments or into another specialized unit. Or once they’ve had kids, we’ll see them pop up again and start asking questions because they were doing really well at managing their data at staying on top of things and then they didn’t know how to start adapting or changing those things.
So I’m there. I’m there when life does throw you the curve balls but it is imperative that you know how to navigate your sleep and your stress around your shift schedule and your family life in order for you to be successful for your entire career. I mean, you’re the one that needs to stay strong for the rest of your career and beyond.
As a wife of an officer, this is my goal, is for you to be able to come home to your family at the end of each shift safe, happy and with energy and to live a life outside of the job. And if that means that you have to be independent of me then that’s what it means.
It’s like your kids kind of leaving the house and going out on their own. You may fumble a bit but I’m always here for you to start asking those questions, so you can become more and more independent of me as you’re going through your career. But I’m always there if you need when your schedule changes and you have questions.
So to recap, we covered in step number one, that knowing what your body needs and when is the key to taking back control of your sleep, your energy and moods. And stops you from needing to rely on a coach or a practitioner for the remainder of your career. And then we dove into understanding how your body reacts each shift, knowing your baseline. That baseline is so important. Gathering that intel, getting that data is going to help you start knowing when you move to the next step what will and won’t work. That’s the step of getting you started.
So before we get into that step, I wanted to tell you one more thing about how amazing health trackers are. Kind of geek out on this kind of like this but when you have one that it can track your respiratory rate and you can see spikes in your respiratory rate that can actually give you advanced clues that you have COVID. So often with COVID we only realize that you have COVID once symptoms hit. And because of your job that can mean a snowball effect on the job and at home. Like more colleagues may get hit with it, your family members may get hit. So your risk of infecting others does go up when you only realize you have COVID once symptoms have hit.
So there has been some really cool studies that have come out with respiratory rates and COVID, so your respiratory rate should only ever spike with elevations. So if you are traveling to a higher elevated level, your respiratory rate will most likely spike until you normalize. And when you have some sort of a respiratory illness. So COVID hits in the respiratory system and what they’re finding is a significant spike. Your respiratory rate should never really change more than one point. So mine’s usually like 15.3. Something like that. So sometimes I’m like 4.6, 4.7. Sometimes I’m like 16.1 but I’m in that range of one with it with my respiratory rate.
And so I first learned about this respiratory rate when a PGA golfer was on tour and he checked his respiratory rate and it spiked. He actually was feeling a little bit tired but he’d also had jet lag traveling to his travel schedule was pretty hectic that he just thought it was like from travel but he did do a COVID test the day before when he was feeling a little tired and it was negative. But then his respiratory rates spiked the next day and he was actually feeling fine that day. And he was ready to go out on the golf course but he called his coach and explained to him about respiratory rates and explained to him about this.
So they actually cleared him to go and warm up, but he kept his distance from other people and they tested and they were waiting for the test to come back and then he got a call saying, “You tested positive for COVID and don’t go near anybody and get out of there.”. And the thing is, is he would’ve played that game. He said he felt fine. He had full energy completely fine but his rates spiked. And so 20% of people through the whoop, whoop is actually the one that has done all the research. Whoop has found that 20% of their members that have reported having COVID that their respiratory rates spiked before any symptoms whatsoever. 80% of people reported a spike in respiratory symptoms the day one or two days of symptoms occurring.
So the thing is, is that I knew this and a couple of months ago, COVID went through our house. Now I wear my tracker and one of my sons wears a tracker as well. And my son wasn’t showing signs yet. My husband and I had it. My respiratory rate spiked like three or four points. And my son, all of a sudden his respiratory rate spiked. And we were like, “Ooh, okay, you’ve got it now.” By that afternoon, he was flat out on the couch. He was exhausted. Total flu symptoms, fever, aches, all of that but he didn’t in the morning. In the morning he was totally fine but his respiratory rate was two to three points higher than normal.
His respiratory rate actually stayed up for almost a week before it went down. So we knew rules and regs here, I think are like five days after symptoms are gone. His was, we actually kept him from going out and about and doing things with anybody for much longer until his respiratory rate had come back down. And then we also have another new member as well, EMS that tested positive for COVID and he got himself a whoop band. And so I was like, what were your stats last week? And he found that his respiratory rate spiked two days before his symptoms, when he did the test. His spiked up for a while and once his test was negative, his respiratory rate was down again.
So he found that so fascinating that he’s like, “This could help us.” and that is the thing. This could really make the difference as well with COVID spreading through stations or spreading to other people if you are tracking and you’re tracking your respiratory rate. Now most trackers don’t have them. But if you do happen to have one that does, it’s a cool data marker to take note of with COVID going around right now. All right.
So that leads us to the end of this podcast episode but I do have something really cool for you guys. So hold on a sec, I think you’re really gonna like it. Just to recap what we went over. We recapped that having health trackers is really, really important to stop you from spending time and money. Allowing you to be more in control of what your body needs. Allowing you to pick the right tools and right remedies for you. And also to help you in letting you know a little bit upfront when you have COVID. Oh, I did not say to you with COVID this does not say don’t take a test. This tells you when you should be taking a test. So if you’re spiking beforehand, start taking a test before you’re symptomatic so that you know whether or not you do have COVID.
So trackers really can put you in the driver’s seat of your sleep and health. And I kind of hope that you guys are as excited about health trackers and how they can actually help you thrive in your career, take back that control and really know what your body needs. If so, you may be excited to know that at the start of this episode, I did mention that I created this bonus course for teaching those in my program how to really take this deep dive into health trackers, how to read the stats so they could become more independent of me. And more recent research has actually come out linking sleep deprivation to increased rates of suicide, ethical mistakes on the job with first responders and the use of excessive force.
So that can definitely make the difference of you coming home to your families. And that’s really my priority with this is to make sure that you do come home to your families. And so I decided that I’m going to share this health tracker course with you. Once you really know how to track and interpret all of the data, as you’ve seen, you can start improving your sleep. Even 10 minutes of extra sleep can make the difference between a life or death decision for you on the job. And my ultimate goal is for all first responders to be safe.
So this health tracker program is what I call the Coach Yourself To Sleep Program. And regardless if you decide to work with me or not, it is really important for you to build the skills to understand what your body needs and when to keep you safe on the job. So I’m sharing it all with you guys. To gain access to your free Coach Yourself To Sleep Mini Course, go to my website 911ShiftReady.com.
Look for the Coach Yourself To Sleep Program and click the button. Pass along your email and we will email you the link to the course. As soon as you get your email in there, it will go right to an automation that will send the Coach Yourself To Sleep Program into your inbox. So I’m really curious to hear what you think of this program and how it really does help you.
That is it for today’s episode. I will see you in episode 13 where we dive into When A First Responder’s Strength Become Their Weaknesses. I lay it all out there in this episode. You definitely will not wanna miss it.