Crain’s Phoenix - If I knew then…
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based The TouchPoint Solution is the creator of TouchPoint Devices, a noninvasive wearable that uses patent-pending neuroscience to relieve stress. TouchPoint Devices' BLAST technology has been successful in treating PTSD and other anxiety-related conditions.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was when I was younger and working in the hospitality industry: When meeting with prospective clients, I was insecure about the fact that I was a woman and that I owned a company.
So, I often took male managers to franchise meetings and to negotiations with large tour company clients because of the stigma that came with being a woman.
At that time it was – and to a certain degree still is – a man’s industry. So, I wanted to try and make our company fit in better. I was worried that being a woman would jeopardize our success.
Being a women-owned company is actually our strength.
Thinking forward, what I realize now is that being a woman – especially now, with The TouchPoint Solution being a women-owned company – is actually our strength.
In such a male-dominated industry, such as manufacturing and tech with TouchPoint Devices, I’m sure men are surprised to see a woman. But I think that the atmosphere has changed, and it’s something that we now highlight.
My business partner and I are leading our company with purpose, passion and a strong focus on ethical principles. We go into every business meeting with confidence and a sense of pride that we are a women-owned business.
Follow The TouchPoint Solution on Twitter at @IloveTouchPoint.
Photo courtesy of Vicki Mayo
Swaay - TouchPoint Founders On Entrepreneurial Success And Stress Relief
Phoenix Business Journal - Top Women Owned Businesses for 2016 with only 1 month in business
International Cruise & Excursions Inc. took the No. 1 ranking in the 2017 edition of the Phoenix Business Journal's Women-Owned Businesses list, extending its top-ranked streak to three years. The list was ranked by 2016 revenue and International Cruise & Excursions reported revenue of $773.7 million. Second on the list, with revenue of $550 million, was Hensley Beverage Co. Third on the list was Mach 1 Global Services Inc. with $109.14 million in revenue. A total of 115 women-owned businesses with revenue of $100,000 or more, are included in the online version of this list.
Tech. Co - 5 Ways to Bounce Back After Sleepless Nights
After a few sleepless nights, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. This often makes your ability to perform at an optimal level diminish throughout the day. But don’t worry, we’ve found some solutions to help you bounce back after those sleepless nights of tossing and turning.
Dr. Amy Serin, neuropsychologist and co-founder of The TouchPoint Solution, suggests to start looking at your sleep environment and pre-bed habits to help shift your body into sleep mode.
“Look for the root cause of the lack of sleep and address it,” Serin said.
Technology is Adding to The Problem
Checking that last Facebook or Snapchat post before you go to bed or watching a certain type of TV show you hit the hay could be adding to your sleepless night. Serin suggests setting bedtime boundaries and turning off your smartphone well before bed to allow your brain to switch to sleep mode.
“Technology creates two problems for sleep. Bright screen lights can confuse your brain into thinking it’s daytime and interfere with your sleep cycle. [As for TV programs,] the content you watch before bed is also a factor. Suspenseful TV shows can put your body into a stressful state, which is counterproductive for sleep. I recommend not having a TV in your bedroom and to turn off your phone and avoid bright lights before bedtime and create a peaceful sleeping environment.”
To Nap or Not to Nap
Grabbing a cat nap during the day after a restless night might be ok now and again, but creating a pattern of sleepless nights, and gulping caffeine at the office followed by an afternoon nap isn’t ideal. Serin suggests getting back to your regular sleep schedule as soon as possible.
“Taking naps and staying up late the following night can disrupt circadian rhythms and create a pattern of sleep problems rather than just dealing with one restless night. If you must nap, take a nap for only 10-30 minutes during the afternoon hours to give yourself a boost without impairing your ability to fall asleep at your usual bedtime.”
Use a Sleep Hack, not a Sleeping Pill
If you have too many thoughts racing through your head, some may try to use a sleep aid to counter their busy mind and fall asleep. Serin cautions the use of this method as you may not reach the deep stages of sleep that are required to feel rested the next day. Instead she suggests these sleep hacks before you go to bed:
“Your body needs to be able to be calm enough to fall sleep. Heating the body up and then cooling it down is a great sleep hack to replace sleeping pills. If you take a hot shower and then turn the water to cooler temperatures before you get out, this change in temperature can kickstart your body’s ability to start the sleep process. Also, if you have racing thoughts in your head, try writing your thoughts down before bed. Keep a pen and pad of paper next to your bed and write down the thoughts that won’t go away and trust yourself to take care of whatever is on your mind the following day.”
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
While eight hours of sleep is recommended, the reality is that we aren’t prioritizing our sleep schedule. Serin suggestions to first try to develop a set time to get to bed and make it a goal for 7 to 9 hours of shut eye versus making it up on the weekend.
“Try to go to bed around the same time every night and prioritize your sleep over everything else. Don’t fall into the habit of trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep on the weekends. Some research suggests getting more than 10 hours of sleep a night can have a negative impact on performance and mood in the same way that only getting 4 or 5 hours a night can cause, so it’s best to stay within the recommended range whenever possible.”
If All Else Fails, Try to Do Something Positive
If you tried to relieve some stress during the day and still had a tough night, Serin said to expect that you might have some change in mood during the day and to try and engage in positive activities.
“Be mindful of how your brain is impaired after a night of sleeplessness. You may be irritable, less productive, more anxious, feel depressed, have more cravings and make more mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t on top of your game.
“Try to plan for a slightly earlier bedtime the next day and limit unnecessary events from your schedule. Practice healthier habits that day and try to exercise if possible. When you hop into bed at night, don’t worry about not sleeping well the night before. Remember, sleep is a natural state that your body wants you to go into, so calming down and surrendering to it is the best policy.”
Read more about avoiding sleepless nights here at .
CBS News - Don't let daylight saving time knock you off-kilter
Monday mornings are scary enough already, but next Monday is poised to unleash a workforce of sluggish zombies.
That’s because sleep-deprived Americans will lose an hour of slumber after setting their clocks forward early Sunday in the annual “spring forward” ritual of daylight saving time (DST).
Sleep experts say workers would be wise to use the occasion to improve sleep habits, including by watching their diet, exercising and keeping cell phones out of the bedroom. And those with existing sleep problems or other risk factors should devise a plan to slowly adjust to the time change.
DST is one rite of spring that can be deadly: A 2014 study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center found a 24 percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday after springing forward. The instances of heart attacks dropped to a more typical rate on Tuesday, once people returned to their routines.
The “spring forward” is arguably the worst day for work-sleep balance for Americans, but the other 364 aren’t much better. Nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night, and 60 percent say a lack of sleep has harmed their work, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.
What do those negative workplace impacts look like? Think lower productivity, more mistakes, job resentment and a heightened tendency of workers to snap at colleagues. Adding insult to injury: 65 percent of respondents said they’ve had dreams (or nightmares) about work. Just 17 percent of those surveyed said they got the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep per night.
Some workers are more vulnerable than others to the time change, including older workers, those with existing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, and those with rotating shifts, said Dr. Aparajitha Verma, a sleep neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital.
The spring change is particularly vexing because for most folks it’s easier to sleep in another hour in the morning than it is to go to sleep an hour earlier at night.
“Someone who’s otherwise young and healthy can pretty much recover from a time change rather quickly,” Verma added.
Sleep quality has far-reaching implications for health, with a lack thereof being a risk factor for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and weight gain, said Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC.
Combine the longstanding risks with a years-long trend toward fewer sleep hours for most Americans, and you’ve got a scary formula.
“When we talk about the clinical manifestations of having no sleep, you tell me the organ, and I’ll tell you what the problems are going to be,” Dasgupta said.
Some companies, particularly in the tech and medical fields, have taken aim at the problem by offering napping facilities at the workplace, Dasgupta noted.
A mindset change could help, too.
People don’t brag about skipping the gym or overeating, but they do tend to brag about being too busy for sleep, said Dr. Amy Serin, a neuropsychologist in Arizona.
Instead, they should treat adequate sleep as “a badge of honor.”
“Sleep is an interesting thing because it really is the key to everything else,” Serin said. “Forget about sleep deprivation. Even a few nights of lack of sleep can really take a toll on your immune system, your productivity, attention, your mood and anxiety level.”
Finding a balance between work and sleep sometimes requires proactive steps: “When someone lays their head down at night, if their mind doesn’t shut off, that’s a problem,” she said. “You need to create ways to self-regulate so it does.”
Among the practical tips she recommends: Eliminate artificial light a few hours before sleep, avoid certain dream-provoking entertainment (think crime shows) before bed and exercise during the day but not right before sleep.
“Even an extra 20 minutes, half an hour a night, is huge in our modern day,” Serin said. “That would add up to a lifetime of better health, less anxiety, more happiness and better productivity.”
The best way to prepare for DST is gradually -- adjusting dinner time and bedtime before the change, said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program and a sleep health consultant for Mattress Firm. Otherwise, avoid TVs and devices late at night, and allow for plenty of natural light to filter through your home’s windows in the morning.
Another tip: Capitalize on longer evenings -- one of the key advantages of DST, said Dr. Charlene McEvoy, a sleep medicine specialist at the Regions Hospital Sleep Health Center in Maplewood, Minnesota. “Enjoy the natural lighting outside or indoors with your curtains open,” McEvoy said. “Sunlight helps naturally reset your body clock.”
Ultimately, for most people, getting better sleep comes down to “stimulus control,” Dasgupta said: “If you aren’t ready to fall asleep, don’t go to bed.”
Still anticipate trouble falling asleep early on Sunday night? Certain scents, such as vanilla and lavender, can be great sleep aides, said Dr. Param Dedhia, director of sleep medicine at the Canyon Ranch wellness resort in Tucson, Arizona.
Dedhia also suggests sleepers avoid heavy foods such as pasta close to bedtime and skip the alcoholic nightcap. Instead, pour yourself a glass of tart cherry juice.
Autism Live - Dr. Serin and TouchPoints
Dr. Amy Serin, co-founder of the TouchPoint Solution, and creator of TouchPoints, appeared on Autism Live this week to talk about reducing stress with BLAST technology. Watch here: