Improve Your Well-being By Changing Your Sleep Posture

What do hormone imbalances, digestive issues, and breathing have in common?

According to Dr. Peter Martone, a neurostructural sleep specialist, they’re all controlled by a nerve you may be damaging in your sleep.

In this episode, he joins me to explain the connection between your sleep, your spine, and your health. He shares how a loss of the cervical-spine curve could cause unexpected chronic symptoms—and what you can do to start turning things around tonight.


00:00:57 – The three pillars for powerful aging
00:04:36 – How Dr. Martone became interested in sleep
00:06:10 – The body’s laws of adaptation
00:07:10 – How can you be sure you’re sleeping in the best position?
00:09:26 – Do different sleep positions impact your health?
00:11:41 – Three reasons your body will move out of position during sleep
00:13:52 – Is there more to it for women as hormones change?
00:15:30 – How quickly can you restore this curve?
00:17:48 – Is there a point when it’s too late?
00:19:22 – Does using a pillow destroy the natural curve of the neck?
00:22:28 – What happens when you improve your neck’s structure?
00:24:20 – What’s a good HRV and how do you test it?
00:27:27 – How to hack your way to deep sleep faster
00:28:19 – What about sleep trackers?
00:29:10 – Is mouth taping good for snoring?
00:31:00 – What was Shark Tank like?
00:34:50 – Beware of the righting reflex

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Get Dr. Martone’s FREE 5 Pillars Of Sleep Download

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Subscribe to my podcast

Download my FREE Best Rest Sleep Cheat Sheet

Learn how foods cause leaky gut in The Virgin Diet

Read my book, Sugar Impact Diet

Learn more about Dr. Peter Martone

Dr. Joe Dispenza meditations

Get the Neck Nest

Oura Ring

Apple Watch

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
you feel safe, but your body is technically not comfortable because you’re in a
ion that’s not sustainable.
When we fall asleep, most people want to feel protected and safe. That’s why
we fall asleep curled up in a ball on our side.
Makes total sense. Now, is there more to it for, say, a woman like 45, 50,
like as hormones start
to go
completely wacky, you know, one of the
first thing that starts to get really messed up is sleep.
Now, some of that is temperature regulation. I still remember getting thrown
across the bed because I was like, so hot. It was like, get off o
f me. So I’m
assuming, is that more a temperature regulation thing or is there more at play
Dr. Peter Martone:
there? So there’s more at play, and then the complicating
factor is that loss of cervical curve.
When you lose that cervical curve, and then you
go into a time in your life
where your body is really depending on hormone regulation. Hormone
regulation happens through the parasympathetic nervous system. If you have
compromised parasympathetic nervous system due to loss of bagel tone, due to
loss of
curve in your neck, it complicates.
Everything. So the lifestyle habit should be regardless on if you have sleep
apnea and you snore on your back, it’s get that neck into extension for at least an
hour a
night. And then while it could go to your side where you feel
comfortable, but yes, you’re correct. Temperature regulation is a big thing.
Then cortisol levels increase as you get lack of sleep. Then you’re left in drops.
He feels hungry at night. There’s
so many things that happen when you start to
go through the chain, but most of the problem. Which is not talked about
anywhere, is that low vagal tone due to that loss of cervical curve.
And that’s what I’m trying to correct at night while people sleep. S
o how
quickly can you restore that?
Dr. Peter Martone:
That depends on how much degeneration and arthritic
change. So picture the spine like hardened clay. The more scar tissue you have
due to old injury. And I’m going to tell you, people often ask m
e, how do I
know if I have it?
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
Here’s the history. I can look at people and by the way that they stand and how
they move and I’m actually creating a protocol I’m going to teach in 2024. Great
accuracy and
dependability. I can look at you and tell you what’s
wrong. Well, why is that? Because your structure affects your function. So you
know if you have an issue, if you had ear infections as a kid.
If you have a
hard Wait, wait, wait. How do ear infecti
ons as a kid, I mean, I understand
things like I got rear ended and hit head on simultaneously on the freeway and
basically totaled, cracked in half, Lexus SUV. Clearly, that left a mark, right?
But ear infections?
Dr. Peter Martone:
So, ear infections ar
e caused by what’s called atlas
laterality, which there’s a bone in the top portion of your spine called your atlas.
When that bone is out of alignment, it affects what’s called the tensi beli
palatine muscle, the muscle that when you yawn, your ears are s
upposed to pop,
they open and fluid drains down. When that atlas is out of alignment, it affects
that muscle. Well, it’s also affecting the function of the vagus nerve.
So, if there’s A history
of ear infections. I know that that atlas
y was there since you were born. And then you carry that suppression all
the way through your life, and your entire life is going to be adapted to it. So if
you had ear infections as a child, you’re also going to have degeneration at a
specific level of yo
ur body called C5, C6 in the neck.
And then you’re going to have issues with hormonal imbalance. There’s going to
be a history of digestion issues. There’s going to be a history of cysts, fibroids,
heavy periods, if you’re a woman. And all of these things
can be tracked back to
low vagal tone. And the first question I ask all of my patients is, did you have
ear infections as a child?
Tells me to timestamp these problems from when
they were a kid. I mean, who didn’t have ear infections as a child? Right
Unless their mom nursed them until they were like 10. So again, let’s take
someone who’s arthritic, the clay is fairly hard. Can you restore this or is there
ever a time where it’s just like, you’re
Dr. Peter Martone:
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
Most people.
40s, 50s, 60s. That’s in that stage two, even going
into stage three degeneration, you can improve the curve. You can improve the
curve within six months. We have hundreds and hundreds of post x rays on
people improving their curve with significant degener
ative arthritic changes that
I did not even believe that they would be able to be restored.
Now picture you, you’re going to a chiropractor. Chiropractic would be like this.
You have hardened clay. You could take that clay with chiropractic and put it in
ater. That makes the clay more moldable, but you still have to expose it to a
different mold at night when you’re sleeping and what’s really critically
important that people understand is.
Anytime you support the body, I don’t care what you’re supporting.
You put a
shoe on in your foot, that’s supporting the arch. You’re going to weaken the
arch. You put lower back support in anything, you’re going to weaken the back.
Anytime you support the body and you take over the function of the body, you
make it weake
So if you use a neck support while you’re sleeping, you’re going to make the
spine weaker. Use a pillow, technically, support for your head. You’re going to
make the spine weaker. You want to use distraction when you sleep, which is
gently st
retching a curve back into your neck.
seems to me that the way that we sleep has set us up to get rid of the curve
in our neck because we sleep with our head up on a pillow. This seems like the
wrong thing to
Dr. Peter Martone:
do. Isn’t this grea
t? And let’s just tell the entire world that,
and I wish the entire world would listen to us.
So, you sleep that way, you get rid of the curve in your neck, which I
literally, yesterday, went to the chiropractor and he showed me it, and I’m like,
I had another guy show me a year before, but he wanted me to lie on this
thing for 15 minutes a day, and I’m like, I don’t have time.
So, bad patient. This instead, you know, this guy gave me a little better
protocol, now
I’m going to add the pi
llow. Couple questions, number
one, any pillow, because I know you were on Shark Tank with the pillow. So,
let’s talk pillow first and then I want to talk vagus nerve.
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
Dr. Peter Martone:
So the neck mass goes angled up and then it goes
underneath your nec
k, but look what’s happening to the back of my head.
It’s hanging off. The back of the neck nest. It’s about an inch above the bed. So
when you put something under your neck, the weight of your head is gently
distracting that curve into your neck. So you’r
e supporting just the base of your
skull with the head. But the majority of the weight of the head is off of the back
of the pillow.
Almost like if you watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, they put their neck
over a block of wood, right? And their entire
head is hanging off the back of
that block. What’s key is to have the weight of the head off of the bed so that
not. Supporting the back of the neck. So
people shouldn’t be sleeping the way they’re sleeping with pillows because
the w
ay we’re sleeping with pillows is taking the curvature out of our neck.
And we’re spending eight or nine hours that way every night. So clearly this
creates a problem. So should it be that we just need to train ourselves to be
sleeping on a neck nest style
Dr. Peter Martone:
Absolutely. And once you’re able to do that for at least an
hour a night, because you are not in control what happens.
In the middle of the night, you’re only in control with setting yourself up for
success. So you set yourself up the same way every single night. You set
yourself up with the intention to improve your structure while you sleep. Which
decreases sports relate
d injuries, increases performance. You have less pain
when you wake up and then don’t get yourself in a tizzy all crazy because I toss
in the middle of the night and I got to just reposition the pillow,
start out every night on your back wi
th a pillow under your neck and your neck
off of the back of the pillow.
reminds me a lot of other types of things like a food intolerance where
you’re having joint pain or skin breaks out and you don’t correlate it to the food
intolerance. Strikes
me here that there’s so many things that having this neck
issue would then cause that you’d never lay it back to the neck that most people
have no clue that this is an
Dr. Peter Martone:
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
Which would also be food intolerances. When people improve t
he structure of
their spine, their body is becomes less sensitive because you have three areas,
main areas that are controlled by the vagus nerve or the parasympathetic
nervous system, the reproductive system, the immune system and the digestive
st people that have an issue with one have an issue with all three of them in
some way, shape, or form. And nobody is talking about how the nervous system
that controls all three of them is linked,
and then linking it back to
the structure that’
s affecting the integrity of the vagus nerve.
Well, how would you know unless
Dr. Peter Martone:
you looked?
If you have an issue with those systems, I almost guarantee that 80 percent
chance that you’ve lost a cervical curve affecting it. Now, another way to
monitor that is something that’s called heart rate variability. You can get a heart
rate variability moni
tor or ORR ring or something that measures HRV.
An HRV is a way to determine how strong your parasympathetic nervous
system is, or how imbalanced the two systems are. And you’ll find that you
always feel a block. You’re always going to have a block. You’re
not going to be
able to get those really good HRV readings that, let’s say, your peers get.
Because your, your tone is suppressed. Okay.
Questions on HRB because I just got a Polar H10 to be able to better track
it. Cause I’ve been looking at it on m
y Apple watch versus my Oura ring. I’ve
been looking at it
sleeping, daytime, and it’s like, they’re giving me
completely different measures. And I’m like, okay, this is silly.
I’ll go get a chest strap and check. How are you looking at it? Are
you seeing a
difference between the different, cause you know, just like an Oura Ring and an
Apple Watch, I always joke, I just take whichever one gave me better readings,
but you know, that’s not really what you want to do. For HRV, is there a
between daytime and sleep?
And when is your best time to test it? And what really, because I heard Peter
Attia, Dr. Peter Attia say the studies show that as long as I think it was like you
were above 14, it didn’t really make a difference. I’m like, 14? So
I’m assuming
it changes with age, but like, how do we know what a good HRV is?
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
How do you test it? All of
Dr. Peter Martone:
that. So HRV, simply the device, you want to stay
consistent with the same device, regardless of what the scores are. So I’m goin
to read 14. That 14 could be 30 on another one.
I really take that as a
grain of salt. Really people dive in on that very specific number and then they
compare it to what their friends get.
Let’s just forget about that. Let’s take really, trul
y, if somebody was a client, this
is what I do. Use a consistent device, monitor that HRV for a period of three
weeks. Let’s get an average and then let’s see the day that you feel the best that
you are, right? So let’s say you wake up, you’re energized an
d you’re, you’re
ready for the day.
What’s that HRV score look like? Let’s say you had alcohol and you were
traveling and you got, you know, an HRV, you know, of something like what’s a
horrible HRV look like for you and how do you feel? And then the goal
is going
to be is when you have that great day, what can we do to increase it by 15 to
And then that is where we then start to dive into different things with sleep. But
ultimately, your HRV should be the highest and most variable when your
hetic nervous system is at its maximum. So during
meditation, when you calm down, when you’re sick, you’ll have a high HRV,
when you are sleeping.
So anytime you need that bagel toad to increase immune system, digestive
system, and reproductive
system, you’re going to have higher HRVs. Because
your parasympathetic nervous system is in charge. Wait, when you’re sick,
you have higher HRVs?
Dr. Peter Martone:
Yeah, because your immune system, in order to stimulate
an immune system, you need to
stimulate your vagus nerve.
That’s why you get tired. Your vagal tone increases when you’re sleeping. So
let’s take things to extreme. You have very, very low vagal tone when you’re
running from a tiger. You have high vagal tone when you’re sleeping. So t
are the extremes. So now in order to stimulate the immune system, you need the
vagus nerve to turn on, so you’re going to get tired.
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
If you’re running from a tiger, you can’t eat a sandwich at the same time because
you’ll throw it up because you’re in
survival and thrive. So everything is a
balance within the autonomic nervous system. I just did a
post on Dr.
Sleepwright. The single best way to stimulate other than getting a great night’s
sleep long term.
Your immune system is to elevate you
r core temperature. So get in a jacuzzi, a
steam room, because your, your immune system in vagal tone follows
temperature. So if you artificially give yourself a fever, you’re going to improve
digestion, immune system, and reproductive. So,
is that wh
y it’s great to either do a hot bath or sauna before bed?
Is that the mechanism? You
Dr. Peter Martone:
get a release in melatonin when you have a drop in core
temperature quickly. So, if you elevate your core temperature, that drop in core
temperature co
uld In order for us to get good deep sleep, we need our core
temperature to drop within the first third of our sleep cycle. So if we fall asleep,
let’s say at nine 30, 10 o’clock, we want our core temperature to drop two
So we get into deep sleep before our energy spike, which is around midnight. So
if you elevate your core temperature with a sauna or a jacuzzi, which I love to
do. And then your core temperature is
allowed to drop. You’ll get
into deep sleep qui
cker. Interesting.
All right. So two more things, since we’re talking tracking and same thing, I,
I use my Oura Ring and Apple Watch, and then I take the best score.
However, I really feel like my Oura is way better at sleep tracking than the
Apple Wa
tch is. What do you think about the sleep trackers? Is it just to stay
consistent with one or are there some that are better than others?
Dr. Peter Martone:
It’s just to stay consistent with what you have. It’s. You can
do a sleep diary, match that to you
r tracker, really stay focused on how you feel,
and then look at the numbers based on how you’re feeling.
Obviously the technology is getting better and better where it’s becoming,
becoming more accurate. But I like to just pick one and stick with one.
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
And the final one. Oh, he’s not here. So I’m going to do this. He doesn’t
listen. Anyway, Tim, we’re talking about Tim, we’re talking about Tim. My, my
husband who also can snore like a bear at times.
He’s a mouth breather when he sle
eps, so then he tries to tape his mouth, but
then he rips it off in the middle of the night. So what about mouth taping and
mouth breathers?
Dr. Peter Martone:
So we are not taught to breathe correctly, right? Parents
always told us to go to bed, go to sl
eep. They never taught us how to sleep
because nobody knows how to sleep.
We’re not taught how to sleep. We’re supposed to fall asleep with our mouth
closed and our tongue sucked to the roof of our mouth, let’s say. It opens up our
palate, expands it, and
we breathe out of our nose. We’ve never been taught that.
So, you know, most people, the airway drops down. And, and anesthesiologist
did a study that in order to open up your airway, you need an angle of your
So the neck needs to be into extension,
then the airway will not close down. So
most people, whether they sleep on their side, they sleep on their back, their
airways close
down, which causes them to snore. So if we sleep on
your back, neck nest or something underneath your neck, get
that neck into
I use a pillow or covers. Under my chin to keep my mouth shut. And as long as
I’m in that position, there’ll be no snoring. If I then move it and then my jaw
drops down, closes down that airway. Sometimes it can mess with it. Whet
somebody has sleep apnea or snores in the middle of the night, there are ways to
combat that.
You still want to sleep with a pillow underneath your neck for about an hour a
night. And then if you’re snoring, your spouse can elbow you and then turn to
your side.
Yeah, that’s what I do most nights. I’m thinking I’ll just put a dog under his
Dr. Peter Martone:
Actually, yeah, dog would be great. You know, maybe
some bling, like some Mr.
T gold chain
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
. That’s a great
idea. Yes. That’s so perfect. I’ll tell him that’s, that came from you. We’ll put
a link to your neck nest. What happene
d? Just, you know, we all want to know.
So you
went on Shark Tank. What was that like?
Dr. Peter Martone:
So the way that it happened was. Lines and lines and lines
and lines of people.
And you get all the way down to the very last second, you
know, the producers
want to talk to you. It is a really pretty awesome process and you make it to the
end. And then when you, you have to fill out all the stuff, what are you asking
for, what you’re asked. And in there, I didn’t have the patent on the neck
So they had said, well, so what would be best is when you get the patent. Let’s
get the ball rolling and let’s get you on the show. By the time I had gotten the
patent, which was about three months later, four months later, I had already had
e money in the account that I was going to ask them for the neck nest
because of the message of what it does was just a great success for us.
I haven’t responded back to them. I haven’t reached back out to them. You’d be
so good on the show. I know, I
know. You’re so convincing. Like, I think
everyone needs a neck nest and a neck nest for travel that just lives in their
Like I’m hearing this going neck nest for everyone. Well, I
Dr. Peter Martone:
think let’s reform sleep, but als
o we have to understand.
So we sold neck nest on Amazon and we had tons of sales on Amazon. They
were our highest returns because people buy a neck nest and like, Oh my God,
this is going to be easy. It’s going to change my life. It’s changed the way I sle
But most people that bought the neck nest originally heard me on a podcast like
this, their why is big enough.
So the what doesn’t matter because the neck nest is going to take some
transition. The neck nest is just a how. The why needs to become impor
tant for
you. So when you start to see whole and macro, my hormonal imbalances have
been tied to loss of cervical curve. My digestion issues that I’ve had all these
years, could it really be from low vagal tone?
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
And then you start to see how your health is
directly related to the positioning.
Now you’re going to work on your positioning and you’re going to go through
the trials and tribulations of being able to make a neck nest work for you. Then
you’ll go into one of our neck nest programs with where we te
ach you how to
We teach you the positioning. One of the things, and I know we
talked about this, JJ, I love you, but you don’t want to share your covers with
your spouse in your talks. And that’s because you’re a heater. He’s a heater. Yo
have to tell him this. Come together at night as you wish, love each other, but
use your own covers so you’re in control of your own space when you sleep and
it’s really
Yeah, this is going to be interesting when explained to him because
he like, is
like a koala bear, like between him and the two dogs, I’m like shoved in and
sometimes I’m like, I can’t even move over here.
Dr. Peter Martone:
People don’t like to be told things, JJ, so what you do is
you say, Oh my God, you’ve got to talk to Peter.
He has some of the similar issues. Do you mind just talking to him about his
sleep problems and how he sleeps? No, I’ll bring up the cover
ng. You know, I always love assessments because it helps people really
go, oh, wow. And I will tell you that going, it’s such perfect timing that I
literally. Went back for my
second visit at the doctor and he showed
me the lack of curve in my n
And as I’m hearing all this, I think it’s something most people don’t think about
doing. And when you see it, you go, oops, you know, it’s like, oh, it was the big
oh that makes you take action because we get so used to our little issues that
we’re li
ke, that’s just normal for me. And so I. I would also highly advocate for
going and getting a spinal exam and having the doc outline your neck curvature
because when you see it, you’ll go, oops.
And hopefully yours won’t have gone as far as mine has gone b
ecause now I’m
highly motivated but even more highly motivated, but I think that’s helpful for
people because There’s no lying to yourself about it once you see that, right?
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
Dr. Peter Martone:
Yeah, and then what’s really important to notice is body
re adjusts to head positions called the righting reflex.
So as you lose that curve, you’re going to have forward constriction in the
forward plane.
You’re going to start to lose your balance. And then
your brain tends to atrophy based on that fo
rward constriction. ’cause there’s a
specific portion of your brain that called the verus that adapts to that. And then
the prefrontal cortex, it tends to atrophy.
So what people don’t realize is if you’re getting more anxious, you don’t feel like
you’re i
n your skin. You’re yelling a lot. You, you get a short temper. That’s
typically due to loss of proprioception in the brain. And as you start to lose the
curve in your neck, all of that becomes heightened. So there’s so much
connected to this and the layer
s, if the one message somebody gets.
From this podcast, all I would want you to take from this is the nervous system
controls everything in the human body. And the structure of your spine needs to
be looked at and maintain the integrity of that structure.
And at night, when we
sleep, we just have to be looking at becoming a little bit more productive when
we sleep, because we’re becoming destructive when we sleep
on how we’re sleeping.
That was a
beautiful wrap up. Thank you. There you
go. So, I’m going to put everything
at and that is DRSleepRight. I’ll put the NeckNest.
So, the NeckNest you, you get on your site, not on
Dr. Peter Martone:
Amazon, correct? So yeah, there’s a link from
DrSleepRight too at Neck
They can use a code JJ10. And then we can they get a deal. They
get a deal. We love deals. Okay, that’s fantastic. We love deals. I didn’t
know we were going to get a deal. I’m so excited. So, we’ll put the neck nest,
we, you’ve got your fiv
e pillars of sleep that you’re going to get access to and
whatever else cool that we can think of will be there as well.
So maybe a picture of you and your PJs. Well,
Dr. Peter Martone:
you’ll see, you’ll find that all over the place. This was
great, JJ. I really appreciate it. You know, somebody as passionate about you
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 635_Interview with Dr. Peter Martone.docx
diving into sleep because, you know, it’s
sleep performance is really
what we’re all about. And it maximizes
your time during the day.
You got to maximize your performance at night.
Heck yeah, like I have my three pillars of powerful aging, eat protein first,
lift heavy things, sleep through the night. At first I put sleep like a baby and I
went, wait a min
ute, if they sleep like my babies, that would be hell. So I went,
it’s, it’s sleep through the night, but really this, this is a whole different take on
And we all talk about, you know, what you need to do to prepare for a good
night, but this is. V
ery different than preparing for a good night’s sleep. If you’re
not sleeping well, none of the other things work. You’re not going to be able to
build muscle. You’re going to be insulin resistant. You’re going to have trouble
burning fat.
You’re going to
like it. Just everything else falls apart. So this one, if you were
going to put a little pyramid of those three things, sleep is the most important of
all. Thank you for giving us this perspective that we have never talked about
Dr. Peter Martone
Well, thanks for giving me the platform to share.
Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can
incorporate into
everyday life to ensure you look and feel great.
And more importantly, that you’re built to last.
And check me out on Instagram,
Facebook, YouTube, and my website, . And make sure to follow
my podcast so you don’t miss a single episode at subscribe to jj.Com. See you
next time.

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