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Sex with Dr. Jess


January 15, 2021

Yoga Nidra, Rest & Sleep Habits: How They Affect Sex & Relationships

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This week we explore the research that connects sleep and rest with sex and relationships. Dionne Roberts joins us as we discuss:

  • How your sleep affects your connection and conflict
  • How Yoga Nidra can be used to address sleep deprivation and improve relationships
  • Sound baths
  • How to reduce stress in the name of overall health and happier relationships
  • How to let go of the mindsets that cause stress and hinder relaxation

Follow Dionne on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. It’s not too late to sign up for her Rest & Digest Virtual Retreat happening today! Check out her Youtube channel, and let her walk you through one of her Yoga Nidra practices below!

This podcast has been sponsored by Let’sGetChecked. Use code DRJESS to save at checkout!

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

EPISODE 196: Yoga Nidra, Rest & Sleep Habits: How They Affect Sex & Relationships


You’re listening to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. Sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.

Brandon (0:19):

Welcome to the Sex With Dr. Jess Podcast. I’m your co host Brandon Ware, here with my lovely other half, Dr. Jess.

Dr. Jess (0:26):

Hello, how did you sleep last night? That’s what’s on my mind. How’d you sleep?

Brandon (0:30):

That’s what’s on your mind. I slept okay. Wasn’t bad, had a hard time falling asleep. But once I’m asleep I’m usually out for the count.

Dr. Jess (0:38):

Except when I wake you up in the night.

Brandon (0:40):

Except when you wake me up, and my default has been to start to rub your hand before I fall back asleep.

Dr. Jess (0:46):

I think you just hold it.

Brandon (0:49):

What do you know? You don’t even know anyways, you’re probably asleep.

Dr. Jess (0:52):

I’m feeling actually a little bit better today. My sleep has been so poor lately. With everything that’s been going on, you know my schedule has been turned upside down. I don’t know if we talked about the fact that we’ve been going to bed so early and I’ve been waking up by five.

Brandon (1:10):

We go to bed embarrassingly early, the last six weeks.

Dr. Jess (1:13):

But it’s so weird because my whole life I’ve been a night owl, like my ideal would be to stay up ’til about 2:30 every night and get up by 6.

Brandon (1:23):

Really, 2:30? I’d be asleep by 12, 12:30, and I’d like to get up around the same, around 6.

Dr. Jess (1:32):

Yeah but I can’t do that. I mean it’s not enough sleep. I did it for so many years, and it’s not healthy and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. About how important feeling rested and getting a good night’s sleep is to overall health and wellbeing, but also to relationships and to your sex life. So before we dive into that. I want to say thank you to “Let’s Get Checked”, check them out if you are looking to do any medical health testing at home, Use the code DRJESS, you can get tested for everything from hormones to STIs and a whole bunch of other tests, so do check them out. And I also wanted to shout out an event I’m pretty excited for next week, because I’m working with a brand that I’ve been using personally for a long time and this brand is Consonant. So Consonant was introduced to me by my mom, she would buy me their face cream, their foaming facial wash, their body wash. It’s all natural. They actually even have their own podcast on pleasure. Anyhow they have asked me along with Holt Renfrew…

Brandon (2:40):


Dr. Jess (2:41):

… to join them for an event Thursday night, Thursday the 21st, with Holt Renfrew and Consonant. And we’re going to be talking about why self pleasure is important to overall wellbeing, to skin health to beauty, and what we can do most importantly, to find pleasure during these really stressful time. So I’m going to link to that on my Instagram and my website, this virtual event Consonant Skin and Self Pleasure. It’s one of the Holts from Home virtual events, and everybody’s welcome and it’s free to sign up, so please do go check out the link for that as well. Now, I said we’d talk about sleep. And I’m really self conscious as I was going through the data and looking into how sleep affects relationships. I started to feel like I must be ruining this relationship. So sleep is so important here to your sex life, to your relationship, to your overall health. So I wanted to run down some of the research, just scratching the surface that connects a good night’s sleep with happy relationships. So first, an Ohio State University study looked at couples, videotaped them while they were fighting, having arguments and found that those which both slept less than seven hours the night before were more hostile, than if even one partner had slept seven hours. So when one partner got enough sleep the arguments were more likely to end positively. Well maybe that’s what’s going on here, maybe you’re getting enough sleep and holding us together, I’m hanging by a thread. So the study also found, and I thought this was interesting, that certain protein, IL6 and TNF alpha actually increased during these arguments, which can increase inflammation. And that’s positively correlated of course with the development of various chronic diseases and conditions. So not only do you have trouble fighting, when you haven’t had enough sleep, but it can be bad for your physical health as well. And so I found another study published in the journal Nature Communications, and they looked at people who had slept well versus those who were sleep deprived, and what they found was that a good night’s sleep makes us more open to other people. So physically we’ll even get closer to people when we’re not exhausted. And then they also found a correlation between lack of sleep and higher levels of loneliness. And then there’s this other kind of large area of research around couples and fighting, and it makes sense that couples are more likely to fight and have more difficulty resolving arguments when we’re tired. Because sleep also makes us more empathetic. So when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep, we lack that empathy. One study, where they tracked college students sleeping habits for two weeks and those who slept better, were significantly more empathetic toward people in distress. And even their brain activity showed increased activity in parts of the brain associated with emotional empathy when they were exposed to photos that depicted others in distress. So we know that we’re just nicer or more understanding. We also have multiple studies that connect sleep deprivation with aggression and even violence. And of course not being well rested affects our cognitive ability, and our thoughts affects our feelings. So when we’re tired we may have difficulty self soothing. We may see more things as problematic or threatening when they aren’t necessarily, and our reactions to perceive threats are also more severe. You know really it goes on and on. I’m going to keep going. Because I thought these studies were fascinating. Another study found that we’re less prone to feeling rejected when we’re well rested. And this is a big one because fear of rejection leads to so many issues in relationships, from not wanting to initiate sex, to not wanting to engage in honest conversations, to avoiding conflict, withdrawing, to attacking, to deflecting, and so much more. And Brandon’s nodding his head, do I do all of these things?

Brandon (6:54):

No, I’m thinking about my own perspective. There’s so much truth in all of these studies for me. When I’m tired I’m frustrated, or when I get frustrated, I don’t want to invest the effort or the time into trying to fix a problem. I just wanted to be done. Which I know doesn’t solve the problem. But I don’t even want to have it to begin with. Even when I think about how I feel in terms of wanting to have sex, I find when I’m very relaxed is when I’m more interested in initiating.

Dr. Jess (7:21):

You mean like this morning?

Brandon (7:22):

But I was about to say, so this morning. And I was thinking about it — this is the problem with with being your partner in this industry, is where you end up thinking so much about how you’re feeling and how it applies to your work — but I noticed this morning, while I’m interested in having sex and I’m very turned on by you, and then I started thinking, “well it’s because I’m relaxed, and relaxed because I’ve had a good night’s sleep, and I’m not thinking about all the stresses of the day.” So all of these things ring very true for me right now.

Dr. Jess (7:53):

It’s just such a reminder, as I went through this research and really, this isn’t even one percent of what I read. There’s so much more. We really just need to prioritize rest if we’re going to have happy relationships. And I was also reading that research suggests that sleep reduces feelings of gratitude. So man I really need to work on my sleep and think about the ways to deal with these deficits when I don’t sleep well.

Brandon (8:17):

What was that last one again?

Dr. Jess (8:20):

So we don’t feel as grateful.

Brandon (8:21):

But sleep reduces the feeling of being grateful and gratitude. Interesting. Not surprising, again.

Dr. Jess (8:28):

Well because I think you just feel more frustrated. So you know as you go through this list of lower gratitude, lower empathy, impaired cognitive functioning, more fights, aggression, avoidance of anything that might be perceived as rejection. Like whew, I think I just, I don’t know.

Brandon (8:44):

Well you’ve caught me, we’ve had discussions where I haven’t been well rested, and your question. I’m like “uhhhhhhhhh.” It just cognitively, it takes a few extra seconds to get there.

Dr. Jess (8:56):

Right, and then you can frustrate yourself, frustrate your partner. So you know I was thinking about okay, so we can’t always have a perfect sleep and sometimes it’s you know, beyond our control. We can do all the things, but if you know you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, so I’m not here to talk as a sleep expert, in fact I have like super deficits in this area, but I do know from the relational side, if you know, you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, can you do something about it to offset the potentially negative effects you know? Can you journal, do a gratitude journal? Can you make a list of why you love your partner, so you feel more empathy? If you’re fighting, can you take a step back and maybe write down what’s really bothering you, or record a voice note, if you’d rather speak right? Can you catch yourself after a bad night’s sleep and try not to engage or resolve really complex issues that day, like can it wait till the next day? And then this is where we’re going with this, can you practice self care when you’re tired whether that’s skipping work and watching Netflix, or stretching, or walking, or napping, or dancing, or screaming, or reading, or eating, or cooking or boxing? Whatever self care is to you. And this is what brings us to our guest expertise today. We’re going to be speaking with Dionne Roberts, who was hosting the Rest and Digest virtual retreat this weekend, which is a purposeful weekend of rest, which sounds so good. But I really struggle like, I need a nudge to embrace something like this. If you offered me a weekend of extreme sports or you know anything where I got to run around and move, I’d be like “I’m in, here’s my money.” But a weekend of rest and relaxation is probably more what I need but man, it’s hard to embrace it.

Brandon (10:42):

I find that you are very much, a get up and go kind of person, and you always want to be doing something so I could imagine the challenges associated with this for you. Whereas I have other friends and I can think of other people who are very much like, “I’m all over this. Like I’m down to do to rest and digest for seventy two hours.”

Dr. Jess (11:03):

It honestly sounds so good. Like in theory, I wanna do it. I just need to bring my body to give it a try. And we’re going to be talking to Dionne, not only about her retreat but also about other restorative practices like Yoga Nidra, and sound baths, that you can use to feel more rested even if you’re not sleeping very well. And this is again in the name of happier relationships, because the data really is, it’s so thick, it really shows us that we need to rest in order to have these happy connections. So Dionne is a survivor, an artist, a dancer, a creative entrepreneur, a Yogini, a traveler, a dreamer and more. She has worked across the world with everyone from community groups to corporations and even the NHS, and we are excited to learn about a work because rest is just not something I know enough about, and it’s not something I have prioritized, and for me, it’s about time. So let’s do this. Thank you so much for joining us Dionne, you have a Rest and Digest virtual retreat coming up and Brandon and I have been chatting about how we don’t tend to feel rested, so this is right up our alley. It sounds like something the two of us could absolutely benefit from, and so many people in our lives. So can you tell us a little bit about the Rest and Digest virtual retreat?

Dionne Roberts (12:35):

Yes, this is going on next week, so we go live on Friday evening, so you can arrive home from work, and kick off your shoes, or if you’re working from home, just close a laptop on the dining room table and head to the bedroom. Because what’s unique about this retreat is the whole weekend, we encourage you to spend it in bed.

Dr. Jess (13:03):

I wish I could go to all retreats that I did from bed, I mean that’s sort of been, that was our reality last year in 2020. But I’m so curious, how do you heal while resting? Why is rest so important to healing?

Dionne Roberts (13:17):

When we rest, what we are doing is that we are engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. And we have more, in reference to our nervous system strands, all the different strands, we have predominantly the active nervous system engaged, and we just generally have more of them. We have something like 6 to 8 out of the 12 to 16 of the active ones, and 6 to 8 of the parasympathetic nervous system. So when we actually are engaged in specific practices to do with rest, what we are doing is allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to become dominant, to rise up and become more dominant. And we all need it, just how we all need sleep. And we actually cannot be our best selves, in any capacity, whether that’s physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s like food, rest is. You know that, what’s that saying, “I’m still hangry.” When you’re so hungry, you start to tap into anger. I maybe you don’t feel it, but the partner you live with is so like, “oh you’ve just got to feed him.”

Brandon (14:46):

Jess never gets hangry, never.

Dr. Jess (14:50):

I’m in a consistent state of hunger for sure, and it’s always teetering on the point of hanger. I need to be to be fed often. And actually I can tell you back at the start of 2020, so a whole year ago now, I remember saying to myself that if there’s one thing I could fix in that year, sort of a resolution but not specifically a resolution, it had to do with sleep. Because I’m such a bad sleeper. I’ve always been such a bad sleeper. But I’m not sure it’s so much about sleep as it is rest. And that’s why your retreat sounds so interesting to me. So for example, can you give us an idea of over the course of the weekend, what will you be doing while in bed this entire time? Well not you, but what will the participants be doing?

Dionne Roberts (15:40):

Well, if we just back it up slightly. One, I would like to apologize for Brandon of course, I should have said he or she. Secondly, this like two parts, in reference to this whole retreat. There’s like dealing with the biopsychosocial conditions, which is the mind and the the mood and the mentality that finds it difficult to rest. So it’s like, I can’t, because I’ve got so much to do. I can’t, because I feel guilty. I’m too ashamed to put myself first. My partner can’t cope with the kids on he or she’s own, and all those mindsets, actually prevent us from resting in the first place, even when we’re trying to rest. So the retreat will actually address that in the beginning, so that one can actually let go of those mindsets, so that later on in the practices that we’re gonna be giving, one can really then surrender to those practices, and really embody them. But we need to deal with the mind first of all, that is so resisting.

Dr. Jess (16:53):

So how do we let go of those mindsets? I struggle with, I have all these things I must be doing. How do we even begin?

Dionne Roberts (17:01):

Well one is recognizing, just recognizing them. And also taking away the shame, all the proudness. They need to feel good about themselves in regards to the activities that doing, so that the activities that they’re doing will make them feel proud about who they are. And if you ever asked yourself you know, would you still be you if you weren’t doing this, if you didn’t have that title. So it’s about accepting oneself regardless of what you’re not doing first of all, so that’s taking away the proudness. And then dealing with the shame, so actually addressing that you are still valuable, you being you, and being still, is still a person that people love and the person that is worthy of love, regardless.

Brandon (17:59):

Wow, for me that really hits the nail on the head. I feel like I’ve defined myself in a lot of ways by what it is I’m doing or what it is I’m achieving. And I also, when I think back to when I was growing up, when I first got working, it was these ideas that like, “you don’t need sleep. Sleep is for the you know, the weak,” or something like that. And over the last number of years, I’ve really started to recognize how much better I perform when I’m rested. But it’s, I do have a hard time getting into that mindset of being rested. So I could see how this could really benefit you, really benefit people, by just kind of acknowledging and then allowing people to rest. But I feel like I wouldn’t even know how to get there. So I’m assuming that’s what you walk people through?

Dionne Roberts (18:50):

Yeah so all the practices that we have engaged over the course of the weekend, all the different facilitators, which are from all over the world, there is UK, there is Scotland, there is Europe, but half of the lineup is from the States and From Canada. So and that’s this pandemic, you know me reaching out to just blasting everybody on social media, “Do you want to be involved in this?” And so we have an international lineup of practitioners, who will deal with those things I talked about, but also look at the things you can do, that help promote and rest. Which the reason why Rest and Digest is the term used for the parasympathetic nervous system, but it’s also a term used for the whole intestinal tracts. So the the journey, that food tastes when your mouth way down to your intestines your upper and lower. And there’s a direct relationship between the parasympathetic nervous system and your digestive nervous system. So we do have practitioners on there that’s going to be dealing with the digestive system specifically, and then we have one’s who will be dealing with digesting the emotional body, as well as the mental body. Because emotions need processing. The procession of emotions is a form of digestion. And also, when we do assign ourselves rest without something like this retreat, one get’s bored. So it’s like you know, we must deal with the resistance of resting, then it’s like, “well I’ll be bored in I’m lying in my bed.” And you probably would be, because you didn’t wait to place your mind, which is by having practices that are perfect for the bedroom, which will actually allow you to engage in activity where the activities are not activities that will deplete any part of you. Whether that’s physical, emotional or mental. Activities, that actually have to do with healing, and activities that will actually harness your energy.

Dr. Jess (21:01):

Well let’s talk about some of those activities. So you have these different specific ways that we can rest and reconnect. And I’ve been watching your videos and reading your work, beginning with Yoga Nidra. I’m not sure if I’m saying that correctly. But can you tell us what, I presume as one of the activities on the list, and can you tell us a bit about that?

Dionne Roberts (21:22):

Yes, yes, Yoga Nidra, that’s my forte. That’s what I specialize in specially, even though I actually won’t be delivering that, somebody else is going to be delivering it next weekend. Yoga Nidra, is the most, oh it’s magical. There isn’t any kind of rest practice that’s better than Yoga Nidra. And that is because, I can say it with complete confidence, because the science behind it proves it all. So Yoga Nidra is the best practice of rest because the brain in Yoga Nidra, the brain goes through the exact same journey that we experience we go through as when we are asleep, except that it’s faster. So twenty minutes of Yoga Nidra is the exact equivalent of two hours sleep.

Dr. Jess (22:24):

So what does it look like, what does it sound like? I don’t know if it’s fair for me to ask if you can I don’t know, can we walk through a minute of it? Does that make any sense or is that not something you can do?

Dionne Roberts (22:37):

Yes, yes, I’m just going to explain a little bit more of the science though, sorry. So when we’re awake and we’re active, our brain is in the beta brainwave state. When we relax, say for example, I mean I’m using the word relaxing in the general sense now, like sitting down watching TV, reading a book, reading a newspaper that form of relaxation. But we can go deeper with that with music, we go deeper with that having a bath. And that’s when we step into the alpha brain wave state. And around 2AM, the brain releases a chemical and that is when we are in the dream state, which is the theatre brainwave state. And then when you go into deep, deep, black, black, sleep, when you can’t remember anything, that’s the delta brainwave state. And then 6 o’clock to 8, we go back into theatre and that’s the dream state again, that’s usually the dream that we remember, and then as you start awakening to the world, we’re in alpha when you first wake up. And usually you have, you need a cup of tea, you need to use the toilet, and that’s when you’re stepping more, until you’re you’re brushing your teeth, into the beta brainwave state. So that’s the journey of the brain. In Yoga Nidra, you travel that same journey. And the most of the time you spend it in the theatre brainwave state. I’m not sustained where your cells regenerate, your tissues heal, before that and after, your muscles soften. So there’s about ten stages in Yoga Nidra. So you set up a new, this preparation, this settling, this coming into, really coming into the body. So that’s when you can’t hear anything outside no matter what’s going on. Your mind is synched into your internal, into your energy body.

Brandon (24:34):

I’m really intrigued by this. But for somebody who hasn’t done it before, can you go through these cycles fairly quickly, or learn to?

Dionne Roberts (24:47):

By me walking through it like I was just doing, that’s the teaching of it, but to experience just a tinge of it, so for example, companies and businesses and practices in reference to helping people, like if I had to give somebody a mindfulness exercise I’d just take one of those ten stages. So now would you like to experience like one of these stages?

Brandon (25:17):


Dionne Roberts (25:18):

Okay, so if you sat in a chair, if you can just like shuffle your bum so you’re right in the back of your chair, with your back straight. If your legs are crossed, can you uncross your legs and place the soles of your feet flat to the floor, and then place the palms of your hands down onto your knees. And then just close your eyes. Close your eyes. And just settle. Settle the mind and your body, and your breath, into the state known as Yoga Nidra. And I want you to take breath in, and a breath out, so you aware of your actual inhalation and equally aware of your exhalation, through both your nose and your mouth. So you’re not changing your natural breathe, you’re just being aware. You’re accepting it coming in, you’re accepting it going out. Likewise, you’re accepting of all the sounds that are around you. So you’re not pushing any sound away, you are not following any sound or bringing any sound towards you. Even my voice, you allow it to come and go. There’s no right or wrong in Yoga Nidra. Place your mind of awareness, from your breathe, to the very crown of your head. You know that little dimple, that indent. That’s it, that’s the one, that’s nice. And then allow your awareness, your mind, your focus, to just slide down your skull, in through your brain and through the back of your throat, the front of your spine, and down, down, down, into your chess. You’re heart. You’re home. You’re real home. Your heart, centre, of your “I”ness. Allow your breath to also land here, at your heart. And to rise up, from your heart. Your home. And as you take your next inhalation, come to the back of your throat, the back of your mouth, and be aware of the bottom of your tongue. And then the roof of your mouth. And allow any fluids there, just be swallowed. And then move your attention to the inside of your cheek, on your right side, and then the inside of your cheek, on your left side. And allow the back of your gums to widen and soften and your tongue to just land. And place your awareness onto the roof of your mouth, the ceiling, and then onto the top of your tongue. The back of your tongue, the tip of your tongue, the side of your tongue, and soften. Widen. Yield. Let go. Let go. Down, down. Let go. Feeling the cold air, and the warm, as you breathe in as well as out. And then take your focus all the way back to your throat, up into your head, down to the bridge of your nose, and out, through your nostrils. Out, out, out. And open your eyes, you’re back in the room. You’re back in the room. Open your eyes. Welcome back. Welcome back. Welcome back.

Dr. Jess (31:08):

Whew. Thank you for that. Brandon, I think you probably were able to engage more deeply than me. I think first of all, I thought that was, I’ll just say how I felt. I felt that this was very moving and powerful. And I want to do it again without the distraction of the podcast. Yeah but I think Brandon’s able to, he doesn’t worry about the podcast.

Brandon (31:38):

No that’s not true. I found it. I found it very relaxing. I also became, it’s funny how I started to become more aware of how my body was just feeling. Like I noticed tension in certain spots that I wasn’t focusing on, but also trying to not allow my mind to necessarily go there, like just be aware. So, it was a really interesting experience for my entire body to just start to become more aware. Thought it was great.

Dionne Roberts (32:06):

So in what was, I don’t know, was that two, two and a half minutes? So in a twenty minute journey of that, we actually go through the whole body. So you go through the whole body and then at the end of going through the whole body, you can’t feel your body. It’s gone. So you can’t feel the pain, sensations, they’re all gone. And at that point, someone who’s only trying it for the first time, they do try to move. So a toe, a foot, a finger, and then the next stage is to make me feel safe again, to remind them that it’s normal. That they are simply conscious of being asleep. So the body goes to sleep. And then once the body has gone, we can then move on to the mind. And that’s step six, seven, eight. And then we start to bring them back up and out.

Dr. Jess (33:08):

As someone who really needs work slowing down, someone who really struggles, the idea of being able to and maybe this is, I’m nervous to say it. The idea of being able to do it in twenty minutes sounds really good to me. I definitely feel warmer in my body. Even the parts that you didn’t ask me to bring attention to, I’m feeling them with more, I guess awareness and vibrance if that makes sense? Like I can feel my fingertips differently. How are you feeling in your body now, a couple of minutes later babe?

Brandon (33:51):

I definitely feel more relaxed. I just feel more comfortable and every time we do one of these exercises I feel like I benefit so much from it, that I don’t know why I don’t do them more regularly. No I’m serious. It’s like, I know that this will help me be a better version of myself, but I don’t carve out the time that I need to, every single day. And like Dionne just said, twenty minutes of this is like a two hour rest. And usually after a two hour rest, excluding the first three or four minutes, where I don’t know where I am when I first wake up, I always feel so much better. So using this every single day would just be a tremendous benefit to me. So I don’t know why don’t do it.

Dr. Jess (34:41):

I know, and I mean for me it aligned with the body scan. And sometimes I do a body scan, but I feel like I do it when something’s wrong, when I need to slow down, as opposed to just doing it proactively. And so this was just a really, really, good reminder, so thank you. And I’m sure you know this weekend in the retreat — which also is going to be available for people to check out, even if they can’t make this weekend, in a digital package — I imagine you’ll be doing more of this practice as well as some others that I had read about. I don’t know what a sound bath is, would you mind telling us what a sound bath entails?

Dionne Roberts (35:24):

Yes, a sound bath is specific instruments that have a harmonic tone. And they resonate at certain frequencies that also enable somebody to slip into the theatre state of brainwave state. So how sound healing work, is as we know, sound is vibration. And our bodies also a vibration, and every single organ within the body has also its own unique vibration. And when we are sick, when we are ill, we can actually, it’s actually been monitored, that the vibration of that organ, whether its your liver, your kidney, your heart, the vibration is also out of sync. So by bringing your organs, your body, your energy body, which is your emotional and mental state, back into the the frequency that they are meant to be in, when they’re at their optimal level, you are healing the body and mind.

Dr. Jess (36:30):

That’s so interesting. And there’s some neuroscience to this, I was reading this article recently on how different rhythms help us to walk and talk and connect. And how these neuroscientists, people who have been involved in both neuroscience research as well as record production, have kind of come together to look at rhythmic therapy. So I was reading that, for example, a steady clear beat can be helpful to people with Parkinson’s, to overcome the characteristic kind of shuffling way they move. So there’s some really interesting both practice and science to this. And I wanna definitely learn more. I wanna plug your website as well, because you have a number of courses and offerings online, at  declawed body. You share your personal story, your story as a survivor and artist, a dancer, a very creative entrepreneur, a Yogini, a traveler, all of these different things. So I do encourage people to head over to to learn more. And you also have some courses here, that people can take so, I’m really interested in this Yoga Nidra. I was thinking maybe we can have you do a session for Brandon and I, even for the whole family. Because as I’ve said a number of times I’m really struggling with sleep right now. Is there anything I’m missing? Sorry go ahead.

Dionne Roberts (38:04):

Well just two quick things. The reason why you both feel the way you feel, is now after that short thing is simply because, it’s like a blind person. When one sense is gone, the other senses are awakened. When you were more aware of the fact that you were aware of your nose and your mouth, that’s why everything else rose up to say “hello.” The other thing is, the work I do, so I do Yoga Nigra sound scapes. So I bring sound healing and Yoga Nidra together, so you get a double whammy with me. And the other thing is that you can find me on youtube underneath my brand. My brand yoga work is called “Cosy Yoga,” spelled with an ass. And that’s my youtube channel. And also part of this retreat that’s going on next weekend, is that month after that, you can access the retreat as a plug and play retreat. And that’s going to be launched in February, and that’s on the new site where all the online offerings are going to be. And that new site is called the

Dr. Jess (39:18):

Excellent. Okay. I really encourage people to check it out. I mean we personally will be because we need this. We’ve been talking about it off and online, so we really, we appreciate your time, the way you’re educating us, but also even that you were able to walk us through that in this space. I can’t imagine how much more powerful and relaxing and rejuvenating and healing it will be when it’s maybe just the three of us, and not all of our thousands of closest friends. And I know Kelly’s on the line as well. So we thank you so much. We wish you absolutely the best of luck with the upcoming retreat, the launch of the new sites. We’ll be sure to put all of your info in the show notes as well, and we’re really thankful for your time today.

Dionne Roberts (40:04):

Thank you very much. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate you having me on board, thank you.

Dr. Jess (40:10):

I know that I need this. I know that I’m avoiding it. I know that I have an immediate anxious response to, I want to call it doing nothing. Maybe that’s not fair, because it’s not doing nothing. It’s actively doing something for my own health, for the health of this relationship. Because I’m going to those studies and I’m like yes, tick, tick, tick, that’s me. I need to work on that. So I’m going to commit to a Yoga Nidra practice tonight. So I’m going to go on Dionne’s youtube channel and do one practice. The shortest one I can find. Hopefully there’s a short one. Not because I don’t want to do it, because I just wanna be realistic with myself. When I set my sights too high. I just won’t do it. I’ll psych myself out, like the idea of sitting still for that long is tough. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

Brandon (41:00):

I’m only laughing because it’s not just you. I have an an Apple Watch and I use the breathing app that’s built into the watch. It just guides you through however long you wanna breathe for, could be one minute to sixty minutes. Whatever you want. And the other day I put in four minutes and that seemed overwhelming, it seemed like it wasn’t attainable. But then once I was sixty seconds in, just guiding me through the inhales and the exhales. Obviously I was able to do it. And it went a lot faster than I thought. I could spend hours working, being online or doing things, but like four minutes, four minutes! And about Dionne’s website, I went on and watched some of the other video, whether it’s the Shruti — I don’t know if I pronounced that correct —box and some other things. And there’s some really interesting videos that you can be guided through, so even if it’s not just sitting and breathing, there are other options.

Dr. Jess (41:50):

Yeah, I need this. So I just encourage folks to think about if there are ways or strategies you can employ to relax a little bit more, starting today. And connect that to, I think for me what I need is the connection to the benefits. You know the benefits not only to my health, but I’m more motivated by the benefits to the connection I have with you, and not being snappy. Especially these days I find I’m just more quickly irritated, like I felt like I was so chill before. And now I’m more snappy. So I do know it’s associated with the stress of the current situation, but also with the lack of sleep. I mean I just can’t get over how poorly I’m sleeping. Maybe my body just wants to stay up ’til 2 AM. Maybe these like 9 PM are just to early for me.

Brandon (42:35):

Well you say that, and then you lie down. And I’m not kidding you. Within thirty seconds she does the arm twitch, that tells you that somebody’s asleep, and then I’ll look over, “Oh no I’m awake, what’s up, what’s going on?”

Dr. Jess (42:50):

I’m like a dog. I’m never actually sleeping. If you say my name or if you open a can of food or something like that.

Brandon (42:56):

The other day I moved my head and she was like “what? What’s up, I’m awake, hey.” I’m like, “you’ve been asleep for thirty minutes.”

Dr. Jess (43:03):

Sleeps an issue. Anyhow, of course there are experts in the sleep field who will talk to you about how to get a better night’s sleep. Really what we’re trying to do here is cultivate that connection and the value and motivation to do it for your relationship. And if you can’t sleep, in the absence of a good night’s sleep, because we don’t always have one hundred percent control over that, there are these restorative options. And you know, we didn’t talk about masturbation, so I mean that’s a big one. Like one night I couldn’t sleep, and I just started rubbing and then I fell asleep.

Brandon (43:32):

For me, twist on off, we’re good, I’m out.

Dr. Jess (43:35):

But point it the other way. And on that note, thank you so much for being here. Please do give us a review if you like the podcast, and share with your friends. Otherwise, send us your questions because we really do like hearing from you. Thank you and have a great one.


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