How to Optimise Sleep with Frances Anderson

Sleep is the time for our mind and bodies to reset, regenerate and repair damages that may have accumulated during the day. Undoubtedly, this is a part of our daily routine that is important and can impact our health. Sleep affects our emotional well-being and mental ability, as well as our physical health and energy levels. If you want to face the day with your best self, a good night’s rest is what you need. Thus, we need to learn how to optimise our sleep.

Unfortunately, millions of people worldwide suffer from sleep problems, including snoring and sleep apnoea. These disturbances in your nightly rest prevent you from making the most out of your sleep. Furthermore, you most likely don’t have the tools or knowledge on how to optimise sleep. Frances Anderson is with us today to share her story on how she decided to create a solution for sleep problems after not being able to find one for her snoring.

Listen to this episode of Pushing the Limits to hear more about Frances’ tips on how to optimise sleep. 

Visit the Patney website for more information on Frances Anderson, her story and her products.

Use the code: Lisa for a 5% discount on Patney products for a good night’s sleep!


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Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out how changing your pillow can give you a better, deeper and restful sleep.
  2. Learn how sleeping disturbances like snoring and sleep apnoea can negatively impact your health and everyday performance.
  3. Discover what you and those around you can gain from knowing how to optimise sleep.

Resources

Episode Highlights

[04:58] The Story Behind Frances Anderson

  • Frances has always been a snorer since she was younger. 
  • Her snoring worsened as she grew older and progressed to sleep apnoea.
  • This condition impacted her health and emotional well-being. 
  • She tried looking into ways on how to optimise sleep, but none of them worked.
  • Taking matters into her own hands, she developed the sleep positioner.

[11:26] What Is the Patney Sleep Positioner?

  • The Patney Sleep Positioner is a special pillow with a particular shape and design.
  • Its latex properties contribute to its durable and hygienic characteristics.
  • It supports your jaw, head and shoulders while sleeping.
  • This pillow promotes good sleep posture and opens up the airways. 
  • It’s designed in a way that prevents your head from dropping down.

[15:27] The Negative Impacts of Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

  • The deep sleep phase is vital. This is why our sleep shouldn’t be interrupted during this phase.
  • Disturbance of your sleep occurs when you wake up gasping for breath. 
  • These disturbances negatively impact your cognitive abilities and may cause neurodegeneration down the road.
  • It can also affect your partner’s well-being as their sleep gets interrupted too. 
  • In turn, your relationship may get strained. Both you and those around you end up tired throughout the day. 

[20:35] More on the Patney Sleep Positioner

  • The Patney Sleep Positioner has a 86% success rate. 
  • Patney has a 30-night money-back guarantee. 
  • The product has been tested in the WellSleep Centre at the University of Otago.
  • The pillow helps people who snore or suffer from mild to medium sleep apnoea. 

[23:28] True or False: Big People Are Snorers

  • This is a fallacy; Frances herself falls within the 58 kg size bracket.
  • 25 to 30% of sales to women fall within the same size bracket.
  • Men who buy the pillow include those who are 5.9- to 6-feet tall, weighing 80 to 100 kg. 
  • 42% of Patney Sleep Positioner sales are to women, 58% of sales are to men.
  • After menopause, 60% of women snore. 

[27:38] Is the Patney Sleep Positioner Unique?

  • While there are similar products, the Patney Sleep Positioner has been patented in multiple countries.
  • Each pillow is individualised for the buyers.
  • The pillow considers the user’s weight, height and shape to give them the best support for sleep.

[29:35] What’s the Story Behind the Name ‘Patney’?

  • Patney is a made-up name that stuck when Frances was brainstorming.
  • Frances’ mother is named Pat. 
  • Her grandson called her Patney once, and it stuck. 
  • The brand name became a tribute to Frances’ mom who passed away from dementia.

[31:03] What’s Your Approach to Life?

  • Frances wanted a non-invasive solution to her problem. 
  • The goal was for it to be non-invasive, comfortable and effective in  preventing episodes of snoring and other sleep problems.

[36:45] Will It Help People With Asthma?

  • Patney has had customers with different medical conditions.
  • However, they have not conducted studies on these yet.
  • People with a cold or the flu report that the pillow can help open up airways.
  • There is anecdotal evidence that it may help.

[38:30] Why Do You Think Some Don’t Find the Pillow Successful?

  • Sometimes, there are more complex health issues than just snoring.
  • Some just can’t get used to using the pillow.
  • Others might have more serious sleep apnoea. If this is the case, Frances advises that they go to a sleep clinic.
  • Listen to the full episode for more information on the Patney Sleep Positioner and how to optimise sleep.

7 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

‘So it's opening up their whole airway. Because when we’re snoring, you know, we have a normal pillow [and] we’re snoring, what's actually going on [is]—there we are tipping our chin forward onto the chest and blocking off these airways.’

‘And so what often happens is people get woken up by their own lack of breathing, and they've been constantly pulled out getting into that deep sleep phase, which is just absolutely crucial if you want to avoid neurodegeneration.’

‘If you're not sleeping well and getting good quality sleep, you're really going to age quicker. You're really going to damage your cognitive abilities, your memory. And you know, neurodegeneration is a likely chance of it happening further on down the road.’ 

‘But it's also a relationship issue too. You know, you've got the clinical issues with habitual snoring and sleep apnoea. But you've got relationship issues, too, that there's more than one person involved with this.’

‘But we knew we had a product that was going to solve a problem. And that problem was habitual snoring and mild to medium sleep apnoea.’

‘Without good sleep—all of those things: you can be eating perfect, you can be exercising perfect. But if you’re sleep’s out, you're not going to get the optimum out of your body.’

‘So it’s a wellness product, absolutely… While it was developed for snoring, you don’t have to be a snorer to use it.’

About Frances

Frances Anderson, the founder and Managing Director of Patney, had suffered from snoring for most of her life. 

She has experienced the negative effects caused by interrupted sleep and consequent fatigue. Frances could see the detrimental impact snoring was having on her health and her relationships. But it wasn’t until Frances’s husband told her one morning that she had scared the life out of him during the night because she had stopped breathing; this comment meant she was heading for sleep apnoea.

She had tried various anti-snoring products, including surgery, without success. So she decided to take things into her own hands. She set out to solve a problem that she and millions of other people experience. 

Fast forward to today, the Patney Sleep Positioner pillow is no longer a dream. With the product being non-invasive, comfortable, and individualised, it is proven to control snoring for thousands of customers.

Connect with Frances and learn more about the Patney Sleep Positioner on her website. You can also send her an email at goodnight@patney.com or find her on Instagram.

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To pushing the limits,

Lisa

Transcript

Welcome to Pushing the Limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host, Lisa Tamati, brought to you by lisatamati.com.

Lisa Tamati: Lisa Tamati, your host of Pushing the Limits. Welcome back again for another excellent episode. I hope you're going to enjoy this one. I have Frances Anderson, who is the founder of Patney pillows, to guest today. You may think, ‘What? Sounds really weird’. But this is a very important topic. This is all about sleep optimisation, how to stop snoring, looking at sleep apnea and helping improve your health through correct sleep. 

So, Frances is the founder of a company called Patney pillows that has sleep positioners. And this has all been clinically tested to help people with snoring, and this is an episode around sleep optimisation basically. So I do hope you enjoy this. If at the end of this interview, you're interested in trying out one of Frances's pillows, you can use the code ‘Lisa’ at checkout for a 5% discount on the actual product too. I don't usually do episodes where it's all based around a particular product. But this invention is pretty unique in the world. And it is helping people with their health and their sleep. So I'd really like you to listen to this and get some good information if you're dealing with anyone who has snoring, anyone who has sleep apnea, if you want to optimise your sleep, then this is the episode for you. 

I'd also like to refer you back to a couple of other episodes that I've done around these topics. One are with James Nestor, one with Patrick McKeown and one with James Morris: two on breathing, and one on sleep apnea. If you're interested in further finding out more about optimising your sleep. There's also one with Dave Liow, on the science of light and how that affects your sleep. So make sure you go and check out all those podcasts as well in the back catalogue. 

Before we head over to the show a reminder we have launched our premium membership group, our VIP group. If you want to come and join us at the pushing the limits podcast if you want to support us getting this great content out and we would love you to come and join our membership group, our patron group. It's only a few dollars a month. You know, really is a cup of coffee a month to be involved, and we have a lot of member benefits and we would love you to check it all out. You can go to patron, P-A-T-R-O-N patron.lisatamati.com for all the information on that. 

And another reminder to check out my latest and greatest longevity and anti-ageing supplement NMN, which stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide. Now this is a supplement that helps upregulate the sirtuin genes which are longevity genes in the body. Without going into all the science. If you want to check out the episodes that I've done on this with Dr. Elena Seranova, a molecular biologist, then check those out on the podcast as well. And if you want to find out about this longevity and anti-ageing supplement if you're like me and you're getting on in, but long in the tooth, and you want to make sure that you slow the ageing process down and that you optimise your your health and your vitality and your lifespan then head over to nmnbio.nz, nmnbio.nz. And I highly recommend going and reading the book Lifespan by Dr. David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School researcher. That is why I got into this. So if you want to know and do a deep dive into the science behind NMN and upregulating the sirtuin genes in autophagy, and know all about the sort of stuff that's going to help you live a longer, healthier life, then please go and check out all those resources. Right, now over to the show with Frances Anderson. 

Lisa: Welcome back to Pushing the Limits today. And I have an amazing, lovely guest. And we've actually got a bit of a backstory. We already recorded this interview and then I went and lost it all on my computer somehow. Don't ask me how. 

So Frances Anderson, thank you very much for joining me again. Very embarrassing situation when you go and delete an entire interview. So I know you probably want to throttle me but, today we're going to be talking a little bit about your story and this amazing invention. I want to call it invention that you've made. Now Frances is the founder of the Patney pillow or sleep positioner. And this is going to be an episode all about optimising his sleep and why snoring is bad for you and all of that sort of good stuff. 

So welcome to the show, Frances again. So I think we'll start with a little bit of a backstory. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and then why you got into this, making this invention?

Frances Anderson: Well I'm the snorer, it's as simple as that. I had tried all sorts of things, including surgery, and that lasted about as long as it took the swelling to go down, so that wasn't effective. And I've tried most things and they just didn't solve the problem. And it got to the stage where I was beginning to get sleep apnea, so stopping breathing and my husband, one morning said to me, ‘You frightened the living daylights out of me last night, you stopped breathing. You got to do something about this.’ And so I sort of walked away and thought, ‘I don't know,’ What am I going to do, I’ve tried everything’.

And so I set about trying to find a solution for my snoring. And that took a little bit of time. I have to say it's not a great thing to try and invent something to sleep on, at two o'clock in the morning you're busy trying to design this thing, how the hell do you stop snoring. So eventually I did and then I felt that I'd solved my problem and carried on working like everybody else in my normal job and then a couple of friends said, ‘Can I have one’? And at that stage I thought I was the only female that snored. 

Lisa: Let's dig into that little bit for a second. A lot of people have issues with snoring and for me that's sort of acceptable. Sort of it's like one of those things, I mean sort of, ‘Yeah, you snore, so who cares’? For women it's a little bit more embarrassing and like you thought you were the only woman who snored, and you're a tiny lady, very slim and, you said you struggled with snoring even in your young years, like in your teenage years. How did that make you feel?

Frances: Well I first knew that I snored at 13 when I went to boarding school. And of course you're in dormitories, and got horribly ostracised, and found I found that incredibly embarrassing. But also incredibly stressful because I didn't know how to solve it. And you know it's fine for people to say, ‘Stop snoring’, but how? So I went to the boarding school years and but still the snoring was a problem, but as I got older it became kind of a more of a problem and but I inherited from my mother, so it's probably not quite right that I thought I was the only female that there was that snored. My mother did and she was a chronic snore and with the knowledge we have now, obviously she had sleep apnea or really bad sleep apnea. And my problem, she died of dementia, and they are now looking at links between dementia with—sorry, with chronic snoring or sleep apnea, you're starving your brain of oxygen. Because it can stop breathing as much as 100 times an hour. So sleep apnea is huge. 

Lisa: And we've done a—I've got a backstory with us too with my mom having sleep apnea after her stroke and I think she probably had it before it even, and doing a sleep assessment and realising that her SpO2 levels were down at around 70% at their worst time in the night, and that she was stopping breathing hundreds of times a night and actually knocking off her brain cells at a point we you know after the aneurysm which he didn't have a heck of a lot left. 

And so this work came on my radar then and getting a sleep apnea assessment and realising that she was in deep trouble and having to have a CPAP machine and this is a problem that, as you know, not really well understood people sort of think snoring is just annoying. It's not just annoying, it's disrupting the sleep of the partner, obviously, in the bed which has its own health consequences for that person as well, or the other people in the dormitory in your case. But it is also really damangeling your health and there is a huge correlation now between Alzheimer's and dementia and neurodegenerative diseases and sleep apnea. This is—hence doing this podcast because it is a very important health topic. 

Snoring is not just a pleasant thing and it's not just overweight old men that snore, Which is the common sort of perception. And we had a couple of experts on the show breathing experts, James Nestor and Patrick McKeown have both best-selling authors of breathing books, Breath and The Oxygen Advantage. And they talk about, you know, just how important the breathing is to the whole health and, you know, nasal breathing and in the talk of how important that piece of the puzzle is. And, you know, they go so far as to tape the mouth shut at night, which I do, actually, in order to help with the nasal breathing, which is optimising my breathing. I don't have sleep apnea, I don't snore. But that helps optimise if you like. 

So you managed though, without doing, having a CPAP machine, to get on top of your snoring. And I think a lot of people would be interested in this because having a CPAP machine is brilliant. And thank goodness for them as I don't think my mum would be here now. But they're also very intrusive. A lot of people just won't comply with them. You've got this big mask over your face. And it's a very important machine. And the invention that you've made, the sleep positioner that you've made, doesn't replace CPAP. CPAP has its place. We need those. But for certain people this can help. 

What is the sleep positioner? What is the special pillow that we're talking about?

Frances: Yeah, well, it's interesting. It took me four years to actually bring it to fruition. While I solved my own snoring within a few months, I had only just made it out of retail materials. So to commercialise that I needed to have a molded product. And so that took even more time to be able to then move it into latex. And we chose latex because of the properties. Because it's antibacterial, antifungal, anti-dust mite, it's temperature neutral, and it’s got a long life to always make from the rubber from the rubber trees, it’s close to memory foam which is made from petroleum. 

Lisa: Yeah, I didn't know that. That's amazing. 

Frances: So we wanted a natural product. And when I got in touch with the manufacturer, I thought I could just show them the drawings, and they could whip me up a mold, and hey, we'd have our pillows. But no, I had to say instead about trying to cut latex and build it into a shape that could be molded. And I learned that I could only do that with a scalpel. And I saw—I had made about 60 of these and my trialists would have a gallery session and let me know, said there are wedges on all sorts of exotic and make it the right shape. So eventually then we went and got the bulk made. 

So the pillow is about—we call it a pillow because—sorry, we call it a sleep positioner. But in pillow is short for your life. So it looks nothing like your normal pillow. And some people get a bit of a surprise when they see it because it's a slightly different shape. But then your normal pillow doesn't solve snoring. So obviously has to be a particular shape and design. If I said to stand up straight, you find your chest comes up and out a little bit when you do that. And so there's a shoulder pad. And so the shoulder pad lifts your chest so that you can breathe right through your nasal cavity right down and into your lungs. So it's opening up your airways, like you do when you stand up straight. And then the main body of the pillow has a magic spotlight, if you like, called the sweet spot. And by positioning yourself here, in this shoulder pad, we can control the snoring.

Lisa: So it's opening up their whole airway so—because when we’re snoring, you know we have a normal pillow and we’re snoring, what's actually going on there? Are we tipping our chin forward onto the chest and rocking off the airways? There's probably a number of reasons, people who are overweight or have a big circumference of the neck, bodybuilders and so on. They have a lot of pressure going on to the airway just from the size of their necks. So is there you know is this is this really just it's repositioning that whole airway so that it's opened up. That's the whole premise behind it.

Frances: Yes, it is. It's about good sleep posture, and about opening up your airway and it's for both back and side sleepers, and sort of half tummy sleep on it. But it's not for pure tummy sleepers. And so the shape of the pillow supports the jaw when you sleep on your side, and on your back. And of course, keeping yourself in that nice position so that you can’t easily drop your feet down. The whole thing is to prevent the feet from dropping down and cutting off your airway. And getting—ike people who wake themselves up in the night. They sometimes hear themselves snore. Yeah, but they've actually stopped breathing, and they’re hearing themselves actually gasping for a breath..

Lisa: Wow. So they've actually been working out and saying, well, you know, on the podcast that I've done around sleep and breathing, when we, when we sleep, we need to get into this deep sleep phase, which as we get older, gets more and more difficult. We have not, you know, non-REM sleep and REM sleep. And we have different levels where we're in a deep, deep sleep where we're actually paralysed and unable to move, and their body does it in order to, we have all these dreams, otherwise we'd be living them out. But when we're in this really deep unconscious state, we're completely unaware of the position of our body and what we're actually doing and what's actually happening with our circulation and our breathing and, and so what often happens is people get woken up by their own lack of breathing, and they've been constantly pulled out of or getting into that deep sleep phase, which is just absolutely crucial. If you want to avoid neurodegeneration, you need that deep sleep.

So when you're being pulled out, and you're in only getting into a shallow state of sleep, and then being pulled out again, as you have to gasp for air and wake yourself up, the body is waking yourself up, so you don't bloody suffocate, basically. And it does it very well, but it is stopping you getting that really restorative, important deep sleep happening, which is really going to have effects on things like your emotional state, your ability to deal with stressors, your ability to function properly, basically, during the day. 

And as time goes on, then it can affect your memory. And then it can affect, you know, the whole neurodegeneration side of things where you're not cleaning out the tau proteins that they talk about in relation to Alzheimer's. And we're doing this, there's something called glymphatic cleaning at night. And you know, I'm not an expert on sleep, I'm going to get Dr. Matthew Walker, I hope, on who can explain this way better than me. But there is this brainwashing effect that's going on when we're in certain levels of sleep, and it's the glymphatic system. And if we're not getting that really deep, you know, continuous sleep, we're not getting that. And so we're not cleaning out these damaged proteins, if you like, and they start to accumulate in the brain. And these can lead into neurodegenerative diseases. And I've probably butchered that from a science perspective. So, but you get the whole point. 

If you're not sleeping well and getting good quality sleep, you're really going to age quicker, you're really going to damage your cognitive abilities, your memory, and you know, neurodegeneration is you know, unlikely chance of it happening further on down the road as you experienced with your dear mum. So this was really crucial for you because you didn't want to go down that same path having seen your mum go down there.

Frances: No, absolutely not. But it's also a relationship issue too. You got the clinical issues with habitual snoring and sleep apnea. But you've got relationship issues, too. There's more than one person involved with this. There’s generally two people involved with this.

Lisa: The one is the sufferer. 

Frances: Oh it’s the sufferer. And so it's really important to try and resolve this for your partner's sake. Because while you're not sleeping well, and you will find that he'll be tired in the daytime, really tired sort of mid-afternoon, falling asleep at night,before bedtime, if you like. And it also, just that general well-being that fuzziness in the head and and such like. But your partner is also suffering from sleep deprivation. They're the ones that have been woken on a regular basis while you supposedly sleep through. 

And you know, there's that lock in the morning that says, ‘Here's your star rating from a’... Generally the partner that has to go to the spare room, because they're the one that's being disturbed. So they're having to go and get into a cold bed somewhere else in the house. And or, you know, people don't necessarily have a spare bedroom and they're sleeping on a couch to try and just actually get some sleep. So it is, it's a social problem within your own home. And, you know, it creates arguments. 

Lisa: It definitely does. 

Frances: It’s very disturbing and, and you've got two people feeling very tired during the day. So it is important to get both parties to get a good night's sleep. And so now and again, you may store a little, but just turn over and you know, reposition yourself on the pillow and you're satisfied again. And so we have an 86% success rate, which we're really proud of. 

Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. 

Frances: And you know, we've sold thousands of these now. So we know our statistics are right, because we give a 30-night money back guarantee if somebody is not happy. So we know for a fact that we have the same 86% success rate. But also we didn't go into this blindly there and just you know, hit the back with a second session. We put it through the Otago University, the WellSleep Center, at Berlin Hospital in Wellington. And a wonderful lady, Dr Angela Campbell who was in charge of that study. And it came out really, really well there too. In fact, we wouldn't have commercialised it if we didn't put all these resources into it, if we didn't believe in our product. But we knew we had a product that was going to solve a problem, and that problem was habitual snoring and mild to medium sleep apnea. We don't advertise it as a product that's going to solve serious sleep apnea because those people do have a serious condition, 

Lisa: It can be a neurological thing. So in the case of mum, it's actually brain switching off in the wrong times in the night. Yeah, you know, so we can’t affect that. However, you know, like, even in a situation like with mum, I get up at four in the morning to check on her. And often she's taken the mask off, because she's had enough of it. And her argument to me is ‘Well, I'm not sleeping properly. You know, like, I'm not in the deep sleep at that hour. So it's okay.’ I’m like, ‘Mum, when you're asleep, have no idea what level of sleep you're in. And why would you think that in the early morning, you are not going to have sleep apnea, whereas at midnight, you are? This will be an extra backup system for me.

Frances: We do, we get people that buy the pillow because they know that they whip off this CPAP machine during the night. And so some people sleep with the CPAP machine and the Patney when they whip that CPAP off, they still have some protection for the rest of the night,

Lisa: Because neither—you know, like, even the CPAP machine isn't 100% coverage, you know, like it's blowing air down into your lungs, which you know, has its own certain amount of problems. You can't nasal breathe really when you've got a sleep apnea machine or at least mum can’t. And it dries your mouth out, and it does all these, it's not very nice having this you can't turn over very easily et cetera, et cetera. So it's, it is a little bit difficult having one of these. But in combination, and this is the perfect, you know, situation to be able to have it as a backup. If she does take it off in at least hopefully her chest is more open. Hopefully she'll breathe better, if not 100% perfect.

Frances: I mean, we talked before about big people being the snorers. Yeah. That's a bit of a fallacy. I believed that too. But no, I'm 58 kgs. Yeah. So I'm not a big person. And probably 25% to 30% of the sales that I make to a woman in that size bracket. So our problem is narrow airways. 

Lisa: Yes. 

Frances: But then if I look at it, the male, my male customers, majority of them would be five foot nine up to six foot and be in that 80 to 100 kg bracket. So they're not huge. They're not huge men. And they’re not overweight. You know, the big fellas, I don't see that much of. 

Lisa: Really? 

Frances: Yeah. But also, you know, if you're looking at females in particular, 42% of my customers are female, and 58% male. So that's quite a big number of females.. And also, after menopause, about 60% of women snore. But yeah, something else to look forward to ladies here. 

Lisa: Yeah, we're in the middle of it. Thanks very much. It's awesome fun, this menopausal thing. So when your estrogen levels drop, and there's a big correlation between menopause and then worsening cardiovascular outcomes and so on. I wonder if part of that has to do with the sleep issues that come along with that, or whether it's because of the drop in the estrogen, which is particular for the heart. It's probably a combination of many things. But as your health starts to deteriorate because you're not getting good sleep, then you get things like, when you're not sleeping well, like shift workers for a start. 

For example, you know, I've been dealing with this issue with my husband as well, he's doing shift work, shift workers die earlier. But that's pretty much a given. They are more prone to diabetes and cardiovascular, metabolic disorders and cardiac neurodegenerative disorders. If they're doing shift work where they have to be awake at night, they tend to be more overweight, they have problems with their appetite regulation, their hormone situations, all of these things are affected by sleep. So okay, that's for shift workers. And we need our shift workers because they keep the country going when we need them to be. But they need extra help. And then they also—we need to realise that, okay, so that's what's happening if you have to stay up all night, and your Circadian rhythms are all out of whack. And the rest of us get to sleep normal sort of hours. But if we're not sleeping well, again, this is going to have all of those knock-on effects. 

And this is why I think this episode is really important. I don't usually do an episode with something on a particular product. But I think that this is a product that I've found that is actually going to help change people's lives. And therefore, it's really worth doing a whole episode on this because it's something that's easy to try out and see whether it works for you and see if it improves your thing, because it's the basis of all health is sleep. 

As a health coach, as a running coach, before I deal with what exercise I'm going to get you to do or what nutrition I'm going to get you to eat or what times a day and all that sort of thing. I have to look at your sleep first. Your sleep is the basis. Without good sleep, all of those things, you can be eating perfect, you can be excising perfect, but if your sleep’s out, you're not going to get the optimum out of your body. So I think this is actually at the base. This is the thing we need to sort out first is your sleep. And a part of that is making sure that you're not snoring. And so I think trying their Patney pillow is a really good thing to have a go ahead if you are dealing with this. 

And I haven't seen this type of product anywhere else in the world. I mean, I haven't searched the world. I'm sure there's somebody else maybe in the world has come up with something similar. But is this pretty unique?

Frances: Yeah, it is. We have actually paid into it and several countries and the major countries, because it is quite unique. I suppose the other thing I should tell your listeners about or your viewers about is that it's actually individualised. As far as we know, we are one of only three commercialised individualised pillows in the world. And so the pillow is unique to the user. And so we have an algorithm and we're developing that further and further all the time to determine what weight and size, well the size doesn't change. But what weight the pillow is, in the depths of it. So we compression test them, we know exactly what height it is. And so we measure that to the customer. 

So we ask our customers some basic questions like, do they have a broad, very broad, average narrow shoulder. And if you cut them other questions like that, they don't need to measure themselves, all they have to do is compare themselves to their peers who are their height, roughly their height or weight. So we've been able to do that. And that is incredibly unique. 

So our biggest customers being two meters tall and 170 kgs, so a fairly big boy. But we can cater for bigger still. And for everybody underneath that they're smaller, slightly about 4 foot 6 and about 45 kgs. So from the teeny, tiniest little lady who did snore, and through to the biggest fellows so we can cope with any body shape. In particular, we get a lot of tradies, strummers, sportspeople in particular, who have built up a lot of muscle around the necks or shoulders.

Lisa: Bodybuilders have issues with this. 

Frances: We can deal with that though. So it's quite a unique product.

Lisa: Now I want to dive into a little bit the story of the name because this was a very cute story. It's called the Patney pillow. When I first talked to her I thought your name was Patney. You said it, but it's not quite right is it? Tell us about the story behind this.

Frances: My surname is Anderson, so very Scottish surname. Patney is a made-up name. My mum's—because my mum was a major snorer, and I inherited it from her. We were trying to think of what we would call the pillow. And so one day, one of my grandson—not my grandson, my mum's grandsons—walked into the house. Her name was Patch and he called ‘How you going Patneyneckers’? And she grabbed hold on for calling her that. The Patney stuck. And the grandkids used to call her Patney, and so we thought well what better name for the company and the product. We’ll call it Patney.

Lisa: What a lovely tribute to your mum. It's a cute name so the Patney pillow and it sort of sticks, rolls off the tongue quite nicely. And you know, this is the thing like you lost your mum to dementia. You were fearful that that was the track that you were going to be going on, and therefore you came up—and this is what I love the number eight wire mentality of you like, ‘Okay I've got a problem no one else can fix this for me I've had surgery I've tried every other thing there is around, I'm gonna fix it myself’. Are you very much like that, is that your approach to life?

Frances: Well I get all the things yeah. It has to be non-invasive, that was the other thing that was really important to me. Because I had tried a lot of invasive products like surgery and found that that didn't work. And so for me, it was really important that it was non-invasive. 

It’s interesting we did a survey before we commercialised and asked people what was the most important thing about a product that could stop snoring and the partner said, ‘Stop snoring’, that was the most important thing, that they would stop snoring. We had a list, then it was ‘Comfort and such’ like. The snorers said ‘Well comfort is the most important thing’. For the partner, they didn't give a toss about comfort. They just wanted it away and if it's a torture chamber, I don't care you know. It's non-invasive, it's very comfortable and it has to be both for me that was for sure.

Lisa: Yeah and you know I sent you a photo of my husband using his one and you know he's loving it. He stopped snoring and that's you know improved my sleep knowing and improved the marriage because I'm not hitting him in the middle of the night waking him up because he's snoring like a trooper. And I'm worried, like your husband like when he would be snoring in and he would stop breathing and that would terrify me because I'm like, you know ‘When are you going to take a breath, are you gonna take a breath?’ And then you're like this the whole night you know worried that they're not gonna breathe. So I think it's just fantastic. I don't have to worry about that now. Now he just does the occasional sort of *snoring noises* and then when he's turning over and that's about it and then he goes back and he's good. 

And he's very much like, because I, you can imagine in my household I'm the biohacking queen, right. I've got every gadget known to man. And I come home with all of these things for him to try and he's like, ‘Okay here we go again another thing that I'm going to have to add to my daily routine and regime of what Lisa is telling me I've got to do, you know whether it's from hyperbaric to ozone to you know shaking machines and all sorts of infrared light things that you stick up your nose’. And he's always like my guinea pig but he's taken to this like a duck to water. 

So I was stoked because I did think he might go, ‘Nah, not doing that’ because you know very much he does that on occasion and ‘I'm not doing it’ you know. I tried to get into the mouth taping thing, that was never in a bar of that. But this is at least something that he's actually adopted. So sorry poor husband he's not here...

Frances: Yeah it reminds me of a story when I had trials when I was back in the prototype stage, and so I've given out these prototypes to the testers and I thought back about four days later to follow them to see how they were, how he was going. And he wasn't there but his wife was there and she said, ‘Oh’ she said ‘I had a terrible night's sleep the first part’. I said ‘What didn't work?’ She said, ‘No I've listened to him snore for 20 years and I thought he was dead’. So I was like, ‘What’s happened?’ ‘He's not doing it!’ Yeah, that upset you.

Lisa: Because you can get actually quite used to that sound a little bit it becomes quite comforting in a weird strange way. It's a bit like that white noise apps that you have. You turn on the white noise to help you sleep sometimes, a little bit like that. But yeah, you slept pretty quite, quickly if they’re not snoring. 

So Frances, where to from here for your company? We're going to share the links and so on in the show notes. But can you tell everybody, where can they find out? Where can they reach you, there is a 30-day money back guarantee on this sleep positioner if people want to try it out, where can they find you?

Frances: They can find me on www.patney.com. That's P-A-T-N-E-Y dot com. And there's a wealth of information on our website about how to use. There’s not a lot of testimonials, there's blogs. And there's the story there too. But obviously, we will be offering some special through Lisa as well, too. 

Lisa: Yes, we're gonna have a discount code. And we will organise that afterwards. And I'll put that in the show notes too, guys. So if you want to try this out, if you're dealing with snoring, if you're dealing with someone who is snoring, try it out, it's risk-free. Give it a go, it might change your life.

Frances: I think the other important thing too, is you don't have to snore to use it. 

Lisa: This is the point.

Frances: Absolutely not. And we get a lot of people who their partner has one. And they've come back to us for one for themselves simply because it just opens up your airways, gives you good sleep posture and breathe easily through the night. And so a lot of people buy it because for more about wellness, as opposed to just snoring. So it’s a wellness product. Absolutely. As well as, while it was developed for snoring, you don't have to be a snorer to use it.

Lisa: A question, and this may be outside the remit of it, but would it help with people with asthma? Because when I was severe asthmatics, especially as a child, I used to sleep like half up, because it would take—would be less pressure on the lungs. Have you had any experience in that realm with asthma at all?

Frances: We've had people with different medical ailments, if you like, like reflux and aspirin and things like that. But we haven't done a study on that to say, ultimately, we get a lot of anecdotal evidence of it. But also people where they've got a really big cold or flu, they find it helps open up their airways as well too, during those years. So I can't say you know, from a medical perspective, that it's going to help. But because it does put you in that very good sleep position, and it does maintain an open airway, it may well help with. Like I said, we have anecdotal evidence.

Lisa: And I think, when you're trying out new things, especially when it's you know, something like a pillow, it takes a little bit of getting used to, isn't it? You'd need a couple of nights for sort of I know with Haisley, he—the first night he was like, ‘Not sure not sure’. And then after that, after a couple of nights he got used to it. And it's the same with mum’s CPAP machine. I've tried to change the mask that she wears so that it's less invasive, but she actually just wants to go back to the thing that she knows, you know, so it is very much a habit-forming thing. And once you push through that initial sort of pushback that you get when you try anything new that can help. 

So what do you think—I mean, I think an 86% success rate is huge. And the 14% would just be people who aren't willing to push through that little difficult phase or just don't, you know, aren’t willing to try it. I bet you get a lot of partners buying them and then the person won't even try it out.

Frances: Yeah, the odd one. I mean, there's a myriad of reasons why, you know, that 14%. If I said it was 100% nobody would believe me. Yeah. Nothing, nothing is 100%. So we believe that you know, 86 is pretty good. 

Some people have quite complex health issues. And there's more going on than just just the snoring. Some people will, they just can't get used to it. And some of the perhaps the older folks, you know, find that a little bit. But majority of people, it's fine. And we can’t solve everybody's problems. Sometimes plain doesn't solve the snoring problems. And they get their money back, and so there's no loss. We've tried it and for some reason, it doesn't work. There's some people who I believe have got serious sleep apnea. And I advise them to go to a sleep clinic and actually get there what's causing their problem, their snoring to be actually diagnosed and and sorted.

Lisa: Especially if it’s neurological—absolutely obstructive sleep apnea, and then there's neurological reasons for it like mum’s. Like where the brain’s been actually damaged, the brain stem’s damaged, and we can't fix it. And I've just had mum at the sleep clinic last week assessing her data because they record her data every weekend. Unfortunately, she hasn't improved everything else and your brain sort of come right but that aspect hasn't. So she can't ever get off that machine. We need it for life. And thank goodness we have access to that. So there is things, but she can still benefit from this pillow, especially when she takes it off in the middle of the night. 

So I think all of these aspects—I really encourage people to go and listen to the episodes with Patrick McKeown and James Nestor. To understand more the whole, ‘Why our jaws even have developed differently than our ancestors, the different reasons for that the foods, the breathing, the nasal breathing, all of those aspects are also very crucial, important pieces of this particular puzzle. And I also did a episode on sleep apnea with James Morris, who used to own all the eating clinics throughout New Zealand and was very instrumental with us and with mum’s situation. So those are—if you're interested in this topic, make sure you go and check out those episodes as well. And try out the Patney pillow just go and order one find out. See if it works for you. If it doesn't send it back.

Frances: Well, you talk to us first.

Lisa: Yeah, find out, ask Frances all about it. See if it's going to be for you. Try it out. And then yeah, see how it goes and give us some feedback.

Frances: But the other thing is too, that if somebody does have a question, we’re only fire ways to telephone. And we've got lots of tips and tricks anyway. Because of course, we don't know what your bedroom environment is like, we don't know how old your mattress is, things like that. But we can overcome those problems as well. 

Lisa: Yeah, brilliant. Thank you so much, Frances, for being somebody who thinks outside the box. And, one number eight wire mentality. I've got a problem. I'm gonna fix it. Now I'm going to fix it for everybody else, because this is exactly how I am too, and that's how I've come to do when I do. Have a problem, fix that. Okay, now I can help other people with it. So thank you very much for your time.

Frances: Thank you, Lisa. Thank you.

Lisa: Hi, again, it's me. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Frances. I actually got the code wrong. It's actually a 10% discount. If you want a 10% discount on the Patney pillow, then use the code ‘Lisa’ at checkout. I said 5% in the intro, but I got it wrong. It's actually 10%. So thank you very much Frances for the discount, and go over there and try it out now.

That's it this week for Pushing the Limits. Be sure to rate, review, and share with your friends and head over and visit Lisa and her team at lisatamati.com.

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