Achieving Your Life’s Goals With Gillian Duncan
I am so excited to welcome Gillian Duncan to the show today!
Gillian is author, editor and podcast host over at Clarity Junction which is a site inspiring women to go out and live the life they want (rather than the one they think they should be having) and it covers all areas from goal achieving, personal development, health and wellness. Gillian is also author of the book Sleep: Cure Your Insomnia, Improve Your Health and Feel Better. She discusses the importance of sleep as part of entrepreneurial self-care, and give tips on how you can improve your sleep.
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Jamie: Hey everyone, it’s Jamie here with the OMG show. I am super excited today because I have Gillian with me. Gillian, welcome to the show.
Gillian:Thanks so much Jamie. Thank you for having me.
Jamie:I am so excited that you’re here. So tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, what you do, that sort of stuff.
Gillian:. My name is Gillian Dunkin and I am currently loving. I have done actually for the last 20 years and the side coast of England in the UK. So I live in a tiny little islands called hailing islands, and we have one bridge that takes us on and off to the mainland. So it’s a really small place. Um, I have a Scottish accent in my notice. Um, so I was born, I’m just eyesight of Glasgow, but I left there when I was 21. I haven’t gone back to live there since all my family live up there. So yes. So we’ve been living on this little islands for by 18 years now. And I have got, uh, my husband’s here and my two teenage sons. Um, I, my dog cope bulb. Um, so yeah, and I work from home. I have a website called Carthy junction, and that’s all about support Tang and encouraging women to overcome obstacles and challenges in their life and to really see the life that they want to live. So I’ve got that and I run a podcast with that. Um, and I’m also an author. Uh, I’ve written a book by sleep and yeah, so that’s been based on really a personal journey that I’ve been through myself. So I’ve got background in biomedical sciences and alternative therapies and the way I changed and qualified yoga teacher and meditation teacher. So I feel all my knowledge altogether and I wrote a book all about sleep and it’s how to improve it.
Jamie: That’s super cool. So I would love for you to kind of share like how those two things come together. You know, your, cause you have like a coaching side, right? And then a sleep side, right?
Gillian: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So it’s definitely, I mean, the sleep site is a huge, huge thing. Majority of people’s lives. So many papers don’t give enough honor to their slate. They don’t give it the priority that they need to add. They don’t actually realize that the lack of sleep or the pure quality of sleep is affecting their life every single day. So, you know, when I’m coaching people and when I’m trying to look at the different angles and where they can be overcoming obstacles in their life, a lot of the time sleep comes up as the topic. You know, it’s like, so how many hours of sleep do you get a night? And they’ll say, Hmm, you know, four or five, Oh, it depends on catch up at the weekend. It doesn’t really matter. You know, I eat really healthy, you know, and I exercise and it goes to the gym.But yeah, I, so sleep is so important and you know, as I say, I’ve had periods of insomnia through my life. I’ve, um, I’ve been blessed with, um, chronic illness and chronic injuries and times in my life were not being like completely anxious or depressed and that’s affected my sleep. Obviously you’ll know yourself having children, having babies. Oh my goodness. I just R knocks the stuffing out of your Snape so yeah, it’s a, it’s a challenge in times so that it wasn’t a towel really. I had my children and I started building my own business that I realized that the lack of sleep was causing some really how like health issues in my life. And it could have actually been contributing to a lot more of my past health issues. Um, you know, just to go on that story, you know, I was, I had two children back to back. There’s 18 months between them. Um, yeah, they weren’t easy pregnancies either. So I had been told that I can have kids through my own conditions. And so there were my little Mary Coles, um, you know, the were both fine but the were born prematurely, so I had little challenges with that. My second son, he was really happy and I was able to feed him myself. So, you know, that was super cool because obviously I had a toddler and you know, I, it’s article the equation of bottles and get us those whales. Um, so super easy for me to two feet, my second child bought with feeding from yourself and breastfeeding, you know, it takes, um, you know, that milk doesn’t last. No, Tommy, just as long as he was waking every two hours to fades. So every two hours, every single night. Um, yes. So I was up and I go into this really bad habit of maybe sleeping for about, you know, three hours, four hours max in the night.
And then I was a week after, you know, one of these feeds. And so I would just get out my bads and I do work, you know, work on my business and you know, then I’d be getting them up for, you know, during the daytime doing the usual mom things with them and you know, and that went on for a few years, um, until they went to school and I was still doing it. I was still getting into that habit. They were sleeping fine, you know, they were, they were killed, you know, um, no problems there. It was just me and like such as this big Badger attain. That’s um, you know, it came to a point where I had noticed I gained quite a lot of wheat and there was no real reasons for this weight loss. I, I the Ian rather, I was exercising, I was really eating Housley.
I had cut back on my giant hangs. I was only drinking water and you know, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing the weight or keeping a healthy weight. Um, so I did more studies and more research and I realized then that sleep can cause Weking or a number of reasons. Um, but mainly it messes up with your hormones. And so before you know it, you’re, you’re signals in your body are all messed up and you’re eating when you shouldn’t be eating and you’re not stopping eating because you’re not getting the signals to stop eating and then you’re making really poor food choices. And although I really, really careful, but while I was eating, I didn’t have that signal to stop eating. So my portion sizes were obviously too big. Um, so that kept going on for awhile until I said, right. You know, I go up to dishonor but my sleep, you know, I’ve got to do this cause you know, I’m a mom, I could cats.
I mean exhaust dates, I’m running a business, you know, I just kind of keep this going. My house is obviously really saw a friend. So I went down the line of, well, what can I do to improve my sleep? And you know, I, I find all different ways of, of doing this. One of them was meditation, which is like my favorite thing in the world. Um, and that really helped me to calm my mind at night and to chill out. But you know, I, I watched what I was eating during the day. I ate foods that were cause our help to ingest sleep, um, later on. So that wasn’t interrupting with my sleep patterns. I made sure that, you know, I wasn’t working too late at night. I kept my stress levels down. There’s a whole lot of things I tried. But yeah, so that’s, that’s really what, what led me to about sleep.
Jamie: That’s super cool. So I’d love for you to kind of talk cause I think, I dunno, there’s a lot to me, there’s like so many things that we do nowadays that are such bad habits and so impactful to our sleep. Like we’ve got these like devices that like live next to our beds. We have TVs in our bedroom. Like we just, we don’t honor ourselves when we’re tired and we just push, push, push, push, push. And there’s like this real like hustle mentality. So I’d love for you to kind of speak to like how someone who is for, well I think even more than that, let’s just take a step back for a second. I think like how do you identify even if you are, you’re sleep deprived, cause I think it’s something that we probably don’t even realize that we’re operating on low sleep. I mean I know for me I have a just turned three year old and a seven year old, so I feel like I have not been sleeping for like seven years. Two of them, right. So you know, I finally got my three year old to start sleeping and then I got pregnant and then you don’t sleep when you’re pregnant and then you got a newborn and you don’t sleep. And my three year old still won’t sleep in his own bed. So like I’m just like, I’m tired for seven years. So how do you even identify that you are a, in a position where you’re asleep deprivate is affecting your health, but then be like, how do you even get a handle on that?
Gillian: Yeah, sure. Gosh, there’s a lot there to answer. Um, yeah, sure. Um, okay, so this is, this is a big call. I, it’s like when you are a mom, it’s like one of those things, you’re going to be sleep deprived. There’s not much really we can do about it. You know, we can go sit back. But you know, we as our main role, our main role is to get up and to look after and to care for our cats. I’m not calm, XY, heavy price and it’s called sleep deprivation. And as you said, you know, you start that sleep deprivation when you fall pregnant. You know, I, I, I’m hearing you, I had a huge, um, massive painful pregnancy from wiping a really worrying pregnancy from my first, and I never slept a wink. Uh, and I was exhausted. I went into, um, my contractions started at like 24 weeks.
They were every three minutes. And that lasted until three, four weeks until my baby was actually born. I was in the labor ward eight times and you know, I was admitted to hospital for pain. You know, I went through all that and then I wonderfully went through a second time, only a few months later, you know, call me crazy, but my slate was so not tight apart. Yeah. Well, yeah. So you’re, you’re really got yourself into that routine and that habit and that starts off when you’re pregnant. Uh, you know, and then you’ve got those early days. You’re feeding them every so many hours. You’re up here, you know, and then you get your toddler taken poorly times, whether you know that picking up every sickness bug possibly. Yeah. I mean really. And then you end up with it and you know, so you’re not sleeping because you’re not, well, it’s just some vicious, vicious or, and then you should say you can have a break and then you’ll end up pregnant and you know, it looks like a cycle of bike again.
So, yeah, there’s not much in all honesty that you can do because you’re not likely to get your seven to eight hours of recommended sleep during those periods. But the key thing is to try during that time where you are sleep deprived and you’ll know you’re sleep deprived, you will be grumpy. You will be not what nobody will want to be near you. You be making really poor choices in your life. So you’d be confused. You’d be like, gosh, it’d be walking into things. A lot of times your balances is offset as well. So you’d be like, your coordination is shot. Um, you’ll be noticing that you’ll be making perfect choice choices, sarcastic when you are like a mom, I don’t know about you, but for like the first probably year at least, um, I was eating cold foods. I was grabbing drinks, whatever I could, I was starving, hungry and I just honestly opened my cupboard and ate whatever was there.
Um, so that was, that again was perfect choices. It was necessitate, but it was also the fact that I was super tired. Um, you know, there’s all those different things that can start happening to your body or your immune system will start to flag. You’ll be getting all of those codes in place by taking care of your kids or bring them home. Um, there’s lots of things that you’d be finding the, as I say, you might, weight gain is definitely a key one that you might notice happening to you because your stress levels are through the roof as well. So I mean this is what happens when you don’t sleep and when you don’t get your seven to eight hours of sleep per night, your body is going into a stress response. And when that kicks off, you know all these other negative things happen to you.
So you will know when you’re sleep deprived, you will feel it and it will feel, you know, when you’re a mom and when you’re running your own business, sometimes it’s us feel that you’re constantly constantly tired. Well I will say though is in that time that you are sleep deprived, a lot of the bad habits kick in. So as a say, you will start making poor food choices. That’s one of the bad habits. Initially the preferred choice is out of necessity. Perhaps it’s just a, the fact that you have got that imbalance in the hormones in your body and you wrote, just reach out. But when that needs or that necessity disappears, that habit still is there. You’ve trained yourself to go into that and all of a sudden, you know, you’re, or you’re not particularly hungry, you don’t really care. But you’ve got that habit of going into the cupboard and grabbing the packet of basket.
Sorry, you know, the box of chocolate or the Chris or whatever. So you’re, you’re getting yourself into that habit. And the other habit, uh, is the main habit that you’ve just been talking about is your devices. So you’re talking about your mobile phones, you’re talking about your laptop, you’re talking about, um, you know, tablets, TVs. Now that they all have a light on them and your brain doesn’t differentiate. It doesn’t know the difference between why the, that light is D light or that light is a fee client. So you are shining that light into your eyes, into your brain right up to that minute that you want to go to bed. And then you’re expecting your beds, your, your brain rather to switch off. Um, how does that, how does that work? Because your body is a natural being. It’s got rhythms, it’s got cycles. It, you know, it’s a very fine balance and then all of a sudden you’ve chopped this light in and you’re saying, right, no, the light’s not there.
You must sleep. It doesn’t work like that. So, you know, when you’re, when you’re a mom, a lot of the times you will be up in the night, you will get your food and you’ll do whatever it takes. You be sitting in front of the Taylee sometimes trying to nurse your child back to sleep. And if our, um, you know, ever kitty program will say, um, you know, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like, but there is a time where you have to see no, that it has to stay off. And also, if you’re a mom and you’re doing that with your kids at young age, you’re teaching your kids that it’s okay to turn little screens on when they should be going to sleep. And that doesn’t the robot. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, I get stories of people who will talk to me about their children having sleep problems and they’ll catch their kids and the middle of the night, you’re 54 in the morning and there’ll be on like watching YouTube videos are, you know, on their phones to their friends. It’s like, no, no, there is, the sleep pattern is completely disturbed. Um, you know, and, and they get a different attitude because if you think, Oh yeah, well mom and dads are promotes stallion, we watch films or mr art with us one night when it was poorly and that was okay, then you basically find you that seat that it is okay to do that.
Jamie: Yeah. I appreciate you saying that too. Cause I think it’s such an important thing to talk about. A couple of weeks ago I was sharing this example of my son, my seven year old who I S I have two boys. Um, and my seven year old is like, it’s the worst to get them to brush his teeth. So then I noticed one day I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and he was literally copying everything that I do. They’re like a little sponges, right? You have to set that example. I’d love for you to kind of speak to, I know you mentioned meditation, working out, eating healthy, right?
I think all of those things are super, super important, but I’d love for you to just, because meditation has kind of been something for me that I’ve added into my daily routine and habits within the past couple of years. And it’s been a very interesting journey for me with that. And I’d love for you to kind of, if you’re comfortable with it, speaks to how that plays into how we can all be healthier, happier, calmer. Sure. Yeah. Cause I think it’s something that not a lot of people talk about.
Gillian: No, no, we don’t talk about it. We think it’s a bit weird. We think it’s a bit out there and I mean, meditation has a fantastic effect in the body. Um, and it’s, it’s proven to, to, you know, to, to calm our body. It alters our brainwaves. And it bring our brain frequencies. So it’s almost like going into like how many trans, how many sleep? Um, we are able to actually properly rest and relax. So we often think that when we’re sitting on our sofas, watching tally where our feet are and we’re watching a film, then that’s us relaxed. But it really truly is an we’re on alert, we’re still engaged in that brain and into something and we’re passively feeding it. Whatever information is coming our way and we’re using all our senses and we’re not really truly switching off and we’re not really listening to ourselves and you know, being aware of our feelings.
And when we meditate we’re able to do that. We’re able to chain an and so our sense where we’re, where we are and how our body is power minders and you know, just give a self service piece. I saw important, you know, we’re constantly 24, seven going, going, going, going, going. And if we don’t just take that time to stop and recharge. How do we know where we’re going? We’re just going to be living in the SAR, confused life all the time. And so, yeah, so it’s, it does sound a bit woo. But I, you know, I know a lot of people come to me and they’ll say, you know, I’ve got years of teaching people meditation and yoga and you know, you can see them fidgeting and they’ll go, Oh, you know, I’m trying to meditate but I can’t stop the thoughts from going into my heads.
And it’s going, well, you know, that’s good because your brain’s there. It’s got lots of thoughts. You have to process them somehow. You know? And that’s one of the reasons why meditation helps if you’re not sleeping properly because one of the processes in sleep is to actually help your thoughts, you know, get files. That’s why like, I like to think that we’ve got like a filing system so that when we go into our, our gene phase of our sleep, that, you know, that’s when all that nonsense comes into your head and you have these really of your dreams. I like to think that that stage is when your filing cabinet comes out and you’re sort of like putting all your sayings these in there and all the things that happened and all the things that might happen and then run dumb thoughts come in. Yeah.
So if you’re not sleeping majority of times it’s usually at that point your, your Ram sleep’s getting disturbed. It shortens and then you’re, you’re breaking the cycle and you’re not moving onto the next part of your sleep. Um, which is a start all over again. So it’s back to phase one. I like to think that meditation comes in and fills that gap. So it comes as Diane again, it gives us more control. We’re able to file our thoughts and our feelings and give ourselves that space and time. And I really think it’s a massive positive effect on the race of the body. I know that when I’m poorly, I like to meditate more. I like to be able to sort of tune in myself and think, you know, this is how I’m feeling and I need to slow down. I get more answers. I, you know, I can feel when I’m thirsty, I can feel when I’m hungry, I can perhaps say the store fits, I’m going to need. Um, I’m just more in tune with the aisle. And I’d also like to think I believe in positive energy. So everything’s energy around us in our, in our world. And I like to think that when I meditate I can attract that positive energy to me.
Jamie: Yeah, no, I was just going to say, I think it’s so, it’s so awesome that you say that. Cause I know for me, right, I always feel like I can show up as a better parent and entrepreneur when I meditate. It’s just I have patience. Um, which when you’re tired I was feel like your willpower is lower. So like, you know, it’s harder to say no to things. It’s hard to whatever. But I find when I meditate, I slow down and I really come to terms, the fact that like, I am not my, I am not my emotions per se. Like certain things that would trigger me to potentially go off on a runaway train that I would later regret. I won’t necessarily do because I have taken the time to just slow down and be like, Oh, that’s just like, you know, that’s a trigger of something. Just let it go. It’s not, you know, it’s not something to have a big fight about with your husband or like whatever with this client. Like it’s just, it, it’s like that separation of your emotion from yourself.
Gillian: Yeah, sure. I mean this a bit like friend, my oldest son when he was left, so he was going through his temper tantrums. He’s toddler read. Um, he has, he had quit and anger that used to just start fleeing up. All of a sudden when he didn’t understand something, when he got confused and we had to teach him to camp by kind of thing and before he react, Tate’s Eva’s to breathe and he was to count. And he did that as a toddler and that lasted all the way through. And he still does that. He’s a teenager now, you know, he’s, but he certainly used the sat technique to breathe. Um, I think it’s a lesson for everybody that if we can take that moment, it doesn’t need to be long. It doesn’t need to be, I feel meditation session eight. If we can just take that moment to breathe, then perhaps we can find that town and those other feelings that you know, that were blocked, that were booking through that complete knee jerk reaction.
Um, cause that’s really what what it is. It’s like a fight or flight response. Again, it’s that stress on this happened to you and you’re just sort of flaring up and you’re just like reacting rather than, you know, considering the consequences of your reaction or the reality of all if y’all do it, you know, something happens. Um, we’re very quick to judge and we’re very quick to go off goodness sake or you know, storm off an hour and a half or wherever. But really we just kinda need that time to see as you were saying, is it really worth having the argument or is it me? You know, cause again, we’re all really quick to, you know, blame other people. I mean, I write about that in my book, caboose sleep, we’re very quick to turn around and say, well, I don’t sleep. But because of, and we blame everybody else and all the other circumstances.
And yesterday you might have noisy neighbors and you show your husband might snore. Sure the dog might jump in your bed at three in the morning every morning or the cat and you know, let your face or whatever like that. But at the end of the day, there’s a reason there why you’re are actually responsible for your own sleep loss. So the pet thing, for example, you close the door and you keep your pets sort. Things like that, train them not to do it. You know, your husband’s doing. That’s a conversation that you really need to have because that can actually be an underlying problem for your partner if they’re snoring. And there are certain things that you can go and do to help that. Um, you know, and as for the noisy neighbors, you know, yet you’re going to have to come on and start chatting. You’re going to have to open up, you’re gonna have to tell them the, the noises, you know, the start menu, you’re gonna have to open up that communication and then say that in process if it really doesn’t stop. Um, so that’s you getting, you know, you know, those, this confident pants on and actually stepping up and doing that rather than back in a way inland. It happened. So there’s a whole load of reasons why, why we do things, but you sure meditation gives us space to work through and um, to just reconnect in with ourselves and be more present.
Jamie: Yeah. And it really is that split second because that’s all it takes, right? Like it’s, it’s amazing to me. Like I said, I’ve been meditating pretty consistently for almost two years now and it’s, it’s that split second that it’s like you’re going to crazy train or you’re just gonna like take a second and be like, process it normally like process it normally. Right. And, and to your point earlier, like so many of us, especially moms, are sleep deprived. So it’s really easy to go down that crazy train for no apparent reason.
Gillian: Yeah, sure. As sure as, and you’ve got to remember you’re sleep deprived. You’re, you’re probably fit, deprived as well, your nutrient for deprived and um, you’re just, you know that person anymore. You don’t, you kind of lose your identity. You become mom, mom, not just mom, your mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom. You know, and it’s, it’s nonstop. It’s 24, seven. Whether you feel good, whether you feel bad, you can’t take a night off, you can’t take, you know, the weekends off. You can’t go away without it though. And the thing is, if, even if you do get the chance to have a night off or go away without them, you talk about them, you want to think about them, you phoned them, you’re still there with them, you cannot break. That bond is so strong and is con, it’s so you really need to make sure that you are on top of things and as best as possible. So, you know, I talk in my book about not taking a nap, but that really doesn’t apply to moms. You know, and I do see that I’m a book that the things in this book are not all, you know, if you’re a mom and your kids, obviously, you know, you just have to be there. You just have to do, you need to do and if you need to, if that means that you have to have, you know, a quick nap sneaking up, then you know, we need to do that.
Jamie:Awesome. Well Jillian, how do we get in touch with you because this has been awesome.
Gillian: Oh, thank you. Yeah, it’s been great to chat with you. Um, yeah, sure. So you can find firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on fit based book and Instagram at Carisi junction. Um, yeah, I’ve got a Facebook group, um, as well called the Carthy social hub, so you can find me there. Um, yeah, and I’m also email@example.com and that’s where you can find out more details, apply my bit, con sleep on some other resources all about that. Including, uh, as sleep, MPC, uh, uh, meditation MP3. You can tie unloads. Awesome.
Jamie: All right. We’ll be sure to put all of those in the resources so you guys can easily link them up and find Jillian, Jillian, thank you so much for coming on the show. I super appreciate it.
Gillian: Thanks so much. I love chatting with you. Likewise. Have a fantastic day. You too.