A conversation with Ceili Cascarano, CEO & Co-founder of Somn

“I think it’s about finding, as an individual, what recovery methods work for you and how you are able to carve that out in your own unique schedule.”- Ceili Cascarano

Sleep seems to be a perpetually tricky routine to land, and it’s one of the most important pillars of our overall health–it affects everything from our immune systems to our cognitive function. Listen in as I, your host Douglas Ferguson, discuss this and more with Ceili Cascarano on Episode 4 of the Control the Room Podcast.

Ceili is currently the co-founder and CEO of Somn, a digital sleep expert that helps people tackle their unique sleep issues. Somn brings clarity to the world of sleep. Without individuals understanding why they can’t sleep, they aren’t able to come up with a solution that works. Somn helps people navigate their sleep journeys and assists them in their sleep process.

Ceili has over ten years of experience in Big 50 corporate healthcare America where she worked on large national brands. She has recently worked in corporate innovation, where she helps build partnerships between Somn and other companies with a good product-market fit.

In today’s episode, Ceili and I  talk about how sleep impacts daily function, different approaches people are taking for individual recovery, and how your daily routine can affect your quality of sleep. We discuss the emotional and physical benefits of exercise, how to speed up the decision-making process in meetings, and why you should never go into a meeting without knowing the purpose of the meeting.

Show Highlights

[01:13] Ceilie’s corporate marketing and innovation experience.
[03:39] The factors that create a market for Somn.
[07:08] The effect of sleep when facilitating meetings.
[10:14] Science-driven resources and solutions to achieve quality sleep.
[13:33] The ability to remove yourself from everyday situations gives your mind space for creativity.
[18:45] The power of a good-enough-to-go viewpoint.
[22:43] Accommodation of structured breaks throughout your day.
[27:35] Ceili on being a good leader.
[30:30] Owning your power in meetings and taking responsibility for your actions.
[33:00] How to take the Somn assessment.

Ceili on Linked In

About the Guest

Ceili is currently the co-founder and CEO of Somn, a digital sleep expert that helps people tackle their unique sleep issues. She is a strategist and business builder with 13+ years of experience managing established brands and emerging innovations in CPG, healthcare, and healthtech. Ceili spent over 10 years at Fortune 50 companies, and she has worked most recently in corporate venture capital, assessing new verticals, products, technologies, and business models for investment and growth. She has experience as a commercial leader and P&L owner for LISTERINE® and TYLENOL®.

About Voltage Control

Voltage Control is a facilitation agency that helps teams work better together with custom-designed meetings and workshops, both in-person and virtual. Our master facilitators offer trusted guidance and custom coaching to companies who want to transform ineffective meetings, reignite stalled projects, and cut through assumptions. Based in Austin, Voltage Control designs and leads public and private workshops that range from small meetings to large conference-style gatherings. 

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Full Transcript

Intro: Welcome to the Control the Room Podcast, a series devoted to the exploration of meeting culture and uncovering cures for the common meeting. Some meetings have tight control, and others are loose. To control the room means achieving outcomes while striking a balance between imposing and removing structure, asserting and distributing power, leaning in and leaning out, all in the service of having a truly magical meeting.

Douglas: Really excited to have Ceili Cascarano on the show today. She is the CEO and co-founder of Somn, and Somn was created to help people navigate the mysterious world of sleep.

Welcome to the show, Ceili.

Ceili: Thanks for having me.

Douglas: Let’s kick it off with a little bit about how you got your start and a little bit more about Somn.

Ceili: Great. So I am a good 10 years in Fortune 50 big company, corporate America and had a phenomenal experience in a big healthcare company, where I worked on tons of brands, and had a phenomenal experience understanding how businesses run. And most recently, actually worked in corporate innovation, where I helped assess startups, partner with startups, and really helped them understand product market fit in service of partnership with this big company.

And so that sort of gave me the startup itch, and was actually working on a project in the sleep space with this company, myself and two other gentlemen. And as corporate priorities always do, the pendulum swung, and they decided to double down on core businesses, move away from whitespace, move away from sort of new verticals. And myself and these other two gentlemen said, “Hey, we really believe in what we’ve been working on. Can we take it and run with it on the outside?” and took a leap of faith and have been doing that for about a year now. The company was really supportive and really wanted to see this flourish, even though it couldn’t happen inside the walls.

And so we just launched the site, still working through a few of the early iterations of that, and excited to be bringing a little bit more clarity to the world of sleep. It’s a really complicated space. There are lots of factors that affect sleep. And one of the biggest issues in this space is that people just don’t understand what’s driving their unique issue. And so they can’t navigate their way to a solution. And so we’re there to help demystify some of that and help people navigate that journey and handhold them a little bit in that process.

Douglas: It’s really exciting to see how much personalization is coming into fields of science like this. It’s interesting. There’s developments on the population health, and then there’s also developments on personalization. And it’s fascinating to see them both moving and how they both can impact us at the macro level and micro level. And I’m personally really interested in how I can—like, the quantified self kind of stuff—where I can learn more about me and how I need to treat myself versus oh, here’s this population study that says 80 percent of the people benefit from this, but what’s unique about me. What sort of stuff are you starting to find?

Ceili: I think the interesting thing in the world of sleep is that it spans such a spectrum of factors, of lighter-touch issues through its actual medical diagnoses. And so what we’re seeing emerge in this space is a strive for personalization. You’re absolutely right. What ends up happening, though, is that a lot of these technologies, a lot of the wearables are right for one subset of the population. They’re right for one underlying factor. Maybe it’s meditation-forward device that’s helping with some of the racing mind and the anxiety. That’s not going to work for somebody whose sleep is affected by hormonal changes, like moving into menopause. And so you are seeing acknowledgment of customization, of personalization, but it’s really hard to navigate all the various things and factors that might affect sleep. And so it is a big, sweaty problem, and we’ve definitely taken higher up in the funnel sort of demystifying as a foundational exploration, what is it that’s affecting your sleep? And then, let’s help you solve it.

And that will shape our roadmap. That’ll shape how we think about solutions we bring to market. But first and foremost, we are focused on the demystification. We’ve created a digital assessment that has taken over 25 clinical scales, and turned them into about five-minute experience to help you understand what’s affecting your sleep so you can find that personal solution. So you’re spot on, and we’re seeing it in so many fields. Sleep is no exception.

Douglas: Yeah, it’s fascinating. It reminds me of a story that we shared, and start with them, about the Crash Test Dummies. When they were first developed, they were developed by men, so the shapes and sizes of these things resembled the average man. And then the sad, sad thing—we both laugh because it’s absurd—but it’s actually a sad, sad thing because you look at the statistics of deaths and injuries on the highway, and women are off the charts, much, much more likely to get injured. And so, to your point, if these devices are only helping a subset of the population, how can we start to serve the others? And I think that’s a noble cause.

Ceili: Yes, we hope so. And also acknowledge we are never going to be able to solve everybody’s issues, underlying factors. And so how can we leverage some of our data, leverage some of those top-of-funnel experiences to get them on the path to the right partner or to the right doctor? So that’s a little bit longer term, but we really think we can play an important role in the ecosystem, where it’s not about us or a competitor; it’s about how do we get you on the path to the right solution. And I am very glad as a woman that there has been some acknowledgment of that, as I wear my seatbelt.

Douglas: Yes, absolutely. Better airbags, for sure.

I was thinking about this whole phenomenon that if you’re going to facilitate a room and you expect them to be there for the room, you have to be there for yourself first. Your psychology has to be stable if you’re going to help manipulate—and manipulate’s the wrong word—but help bring forth some change or take a group in a direction. And so when I think about that, I think in relation to sleep, it seems that sleep plays a big role in that. If we’re not getting quality sleep, then it’s going to be hard for us to show up as facilitator. So I’m curious to hear your thoughts there.

Ceili: Yeah, we talk a lot about sleep, obviously, and the role it plays for overall health. It’s critical. It’s becoming more understood. That’s not just about hours. That’s not just about going to bed at a set time. Even that looks individualized to some extent. I really like taking that even to the notion of recovery. So how do we view sleep in the context of recovery and allowing our body to do what it needs to do overnight to repair itself? How do we think about recovery throughout the day?

My co-founder, one of my co-founders and CTO, is a huge believer in the mini nap. Literally been in sessions with him where he’ll walk away for 20 minutes and go take a catnap. I wish I had that super power. But you’re absolutely right. Then you think about facilitating groups and being in the right headspace, the intentional commitment to recovery, everything from the good sleep at night, but also the recovery through the day, whatever that looks like for you. If it’s a moment to yourself, if it’s the catnap, if it’s a little bit of meditation, all of these things are impacting our ability to function and to operate at our highest level possible.

Douglas: I think about the fatigue that we are experiencing with all these virtual meetings, and also the extra stress. We’ve talked about having the kids around, and, sure, we love our kids, but when they’re tapping at the door when we’re trying to—it as another source of information that we had to process. And that’s coming in, and we have to prioritize and delegate and regulate. And there’s just a lot more coming at us that we have to filter and deal with. And so I agree. Taking those moments of recovery.

It reminds me of athletes have built-in recovery. It’s very planned and very intentional. So they might train really hard, and then, there’s a day of recovery. And they have very specific tools to do that, whether it’s ice baths and saunas and massage and all these things. And so I love this notion of the catnap. And I’ll sometimes just say, “Hey, can we—instead of doing the Zoom, can we just do a phone call?” And then I’ll go sit on my recliner and just kind of veg out but get the work done, and that way when I come back to my desk, I feel a little bit more charged up. And so have you seen other types of tactics or approaches people have been taking to get that recovery?

Ceili: Especially in today’s environment, it’s so individual. And so the catnap might work for my CTO, who has one small kid at home. It just doesn’t work for me. I will be crawled on and slobbered on and hair pulled. So I do think it’s about finding as an individual what recovery methods work for you and how are you able to carve that out within your own unique schedule.

We have seen, especially through the sleep lens, a large rise in things like meditation. Absolutely. I mean, you have phenomenal science-driven resources out there, like Headspace, like Calm, that are helping to facilitate that in an accessible way. Talk therapy, especially in this current environment where therapy used to be more face to face, moving more to the telemedicine model and that becoming more mainstream. Absolutely an uptick as well.

And I do think it’s just about your habits and your routine. We talk a lot about it, actually, at Somn, and is one of our five factors that we focus on is routine and what is the impact of routine on your day, on your sleep? And so how are you making those choices to support that recovery in the current environment?

So, I mean, for me, I’m pretty competitive. I got an Apple Watch, and I’m getting my 30 minutes of exercise every day. And so while exercise itself is not about recovery—that’s about performance, and that’s about exerting effort—taking the intentional minutes after to recover and to have some time to myself and to escape the chaos of life for everybody right now has been really important.

So I think it’s a range of things. I think it’s very individual. And you have to acknowledge that your situation may look different than mine and find ways to build that recovery in a way that works for you.

Douglas: That’s really cool that you mention exercise as a way of disconnecting or resetting. I was recently talking to Jon Fitch about this, about how you can actually vary your level of intensity to dial in the type of recovery you want. So if you want to totally reset your brain, do something really intense, because (a) you’re not going to be to think about anything else because you’re devoting all your resources to that intense cardio. Also, like the deprivation of oxygen—you’re basically pushing your systems to the max. So it’s like you can’t stress out of whatever your cousin just did or whatever. So that can be a really great way to move past this moment and kind of hit a reset button. But if you’re needing to really concentrate on something and think through it, but you’re needing to kind of change the scenery, then a short walk or brisk walk might be just the thing that the doctor ordered. And you mentioned taking walks as well as being something that you are finding relief in.

Ceili: That’s right. I just actually started running again. And you’re spot on. I was in the humidity and dying and couldn’t think about anything other than how miserable I was and how much I hated it. But I have intentionally—and I didn’t really realize this until you mentioned it—I’ve intentionally varied that with walking for my physical purpose. But the emotional and the mental benefit of that as well has been huge to vary that as well. And being able to take the walks, to use that even for a creative reflection, I’ve started building walks even into my schedule as part of my work day as a time to reflect. I mean, you know, in this environment, Zoom fatigue, even without quarantine, we were facing meeting fatigue. And carving out time to think is so much harder than I think any of us realize, and the ability to remove yourself from a setting and find a new one, a new inspiration, is key to both creativity, but being able to find what you were talking about at the beginning, some of that mental headspace to effectively lead and manage teams.

Douglas: I always like to say that if you create space, innovation rushes in. So if we’re just like—if our calendars are crammed full, if our brains are crammed full, where’s the juice for cool things to happen? So I like that notion of having this headspace for that.

You just talked about meeting fatigue. And we were, before the show, talking about as a startup we can just jump in a room and make some decisions. And big companies require, even though it’s just a lot of churn in conversations and circular this and that. And I’m just curious what you found. Are there ways to speed up decisions? How do we get to the destination a little bit quicker, even when we’re having to deal with larger groups?

Ceili: If I had a perfect answer for that, I’d probably be a billionaire.

Douglas: It’s a tough thing, right?

Ceili: It is. The two things that immediately come to mind, number one is being very clear up front on the meeting purpose, the meeting objective. So I was just talking to somebody about this. Had a meeting pop up, no context, I don’t know what this is about, and now having to spend time to figure that out, figure out, am I the right attendee? Am I going to prioritize this? So the better expectation setting we can set up front and what outcome we want at least sets the right framework going in.

Now, I fully acknowledge that might look different at every company. So when I was at big company, the culture was very relationship driven. I remember early in my career, we tried to start a very formal, “Okay, when you send the email, there needs to be an objective, a purpose, a goal; the attendees,” and culturally, it didn’t work. It was too formal. It was too structured.

So how do you lean into the culture of the organization? So if it’s a swing by when we’re back in the office, if it’s Slacking me, if it’s a text, just helping to set the expectation for some of these meetings, however that makes sense culturally, is first and foremost a huge opportunity to overcome the, “Well, this meeting could have been an email sentiment.”

And then second, and it’s something I’ve really grown into in my career, is a mentality and is hard for a lot of perfectionists but I think is critical, especially in the world of innovation, is having the mentality of good enough and go. So you’re never going to get it perfect. You’re never going to get all of the answers. But how do we get to the core of what we’re trying to achieve; align, commit, and go? And again, that’s a mindset. It is easier said than done. But as a facilitator, setting the expectation that this doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be good enough for now until we have new information or more information that will lead us to learn, evolve, pivot has really, really helped me as I’ve grown in my career and as I’ve learned how to prioritize and also not to stress the impossible pursuit of perfection.

Douglas: I love that. You know, it’s funny. I see so many companies, when they’re in that pursuit of perfection, they’re pursuing and pursuing and pursuing. And then finally, it gets to this point where it’s like, “Oh, now we have to release it.” I mean, it’s like, it’s so ridiculous to me because we could have just skipped all that in-between stuff because you still made that decision at the end to do the thing you could have done much earlier. And I think to me, the biggest problem is that people don’t take note of the fact that many decisions are reversible.

Ceili: Absolutely. And as you were speaking, the word that came to mind, they don’t leave room for learning. And the past few years, both on the startup side and the corporate side, where I’ve really sat and spent a lot of my energy, is how you create the room for learning, because there’s always going to be something you didn’t expect. There’s always going to be an insight that develops. And I truly believe that this pursuit of perfection hinders the ability to learn, which rightfully then leads to iteration or to new insights or to new opportunities. And on the corporate side in particular, you want it to be buttoned up and perfect, and you want to go then and pitch it to the C-suite and for it to be shiny and exactly how you have it in your head. But the reality is we don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know. We don’t know how the market will react. We don’t know how consumers will like a feature or something else that we never planned for. So sitting in the space of learning and really allowing that good-enough-and-go mentality to support that pursuit of learning has been really important in my career.

Douglas: That’s great. And I come back to your point around when you were talking about the structure being too, let’s say formal, for a company that’s very relationship based. And when I heard you describe the things that were necessary to create better results, they sounded more like principles to me than structure. And so I think that a lot of times when people hear those things, though, when they hear, “Oh, we’ve got to set expectations,” they tend to jump the structure. The solution they go to is like very rigid stuff. But like, hey, if we’re just clearer, if we agree that we’re never going to walk into a meeting without understanding the purpose, we don’t have to have a consistent, rigid structure. We can be very relationship and informal about how we communicate that. But just hold that true as a value that we will not walk into a meeting that we don’t feel like we’re going to provide value in.

Ceili: Doug, I love that. And what’s coming to mind is this notion of aligning on the what, what is it that are guiding principles; and allowing room for the hows, so how that gets executed, how we prop that principle up and live and do it every day.

Listen, you know, companies are different and sometimes maybe culture needs to change. But this balance of the what and how when it comes to some of those values and principles, you’re spot on, are two levers we can pull. And I think sometimes people get scared that it has to look a certain way.

Douglas: Yeah. And if we can ladder all that into the why, then we’re really cooking.

Ceili: Absolutely. You’ve hit the mecca at that point.

Douglas: So I want to ask you a somewhat facetious question. So we talked a little bit about facilitators needing sleep. It’s important to recover, be on the A game, and do that self-care, because you spend a lot of time taking care of your participants. And if you haven’t taken care of yourself first, it’s going to be difficult. But what about participants? I saw this funny video loop. I don’t know, it was maybe four months ago or something. And there was a participant falling asleep in the session, and all the other participants started clapping to wake her up. And it’s somewhat funny, but also somewhat sad. Like, she was—now, assuming she’s not narcoleptic or anything, she was so tired that she—or the session was so boring, she fell asleep. So I’ve just wondered if that conjures up any stories or relates to any of the work that you’re doing. I mean, it’s somewhat facetious, but also, I think it’s a curious thing to explore, this notion of attendees being deprived.

Ceili: Yeah. So one story that comes to mind is I was at a training one time that was actually very focused on performance and recovery. And a very senior leader had, very much on this topic, talked about for employees to facilitate some of the recovery for participants, for employees in their day to day. They had put nap pods throughout the maybe first floor. But as a place for employees to recharge, maybe take that catnap, and that nobody used them. And somebody turned to this gentleman and said, “Have you ever used one?” He said, “Oh, no, never.” And then he caught himself and realized what that response was reflecting, of you can put the shiny objects out there, you can do all the cool things, but if you don’t have leaders or facilitators living into those principles and setting the same example, it’s really hard for employees or participants to do the same.

And so where I’ve seen really successful meetings enable participants to promote some of that recovery is a combination of structured breaks. So the rule I’ve heard lately, especially with some of the Zoom work sessions that I’ve been on, is 50 minutes and then a break, no matter what. So building in the structured, but then also those informal check-ins. As you said, sometimes the topic is dragging, or sometimes it’s post lunch and people, it’s starting to settle, and they’re losing steam a little bit. How do you tune into the needs of the group as you’re facilitating and make those impromptu stretch breaks or quick walks or quick breaks and allow for that combination of structure and spontaneity as well?

When I was in B-School, I interned at a company where they were very focused on us for employee productivity, and there literally used to be an alarm that went off every—I want to say it was every two hours. And everybody would line up, and we would do calisthenics together. And I sort of laughed at it at the time, but it was so ahead of the curve. And so I do think there are things in the toolkit that facilitators can bring in, whether it’s stretches. I have this great app called the 7 Minute Workout app. It’s literally down and dirty. You can do a really light touch, quick exercise all the way up to more hardcore. I have not tried the hardcore one yet, so please take that with a bit of a grain of salt. But I do think as leaders, as facilitators, we have to live into the principles, create room and structure for that recovery, but then also tune into our employees, tune into our participants, and say, “Hey, you know what. Actually, we’re at the 30-minute mark, and it’s time. Let’s stretch our legs and get outside. Let’s do a little bit of calisthenics,” whatever that might look like.

Douglas: That’s cool. I have two things I’ll share. I was doing a virtual conference. The conference is in Bangkok, which was really strange because (a) I was up really late to do this virtual conference. And I had mixed feelings because I didn’t have to hop on a plane and deal with jet lag and all that to get to this conference. But also, I was kind of sad that I wasn’t in Bangkok. I’m talking with all these folks in Thailand, but I wasn’t actually there experiencing the city. So it was a lot of weird mixed emotions there. And before we came on, we were in a waiting area. And there was a guy that was giving a session on how to stay more fit during COVID. And his entire exercise routine, it was called Sit and Fit. And there were exercises you could do from your chair, which made me laugh because I was like, “Wait a second. You’re going to take the effort to exercise, but not take the small effort it would take to stand up?”

Ceili: So I’ve got to tell you, that reminds me of the planes. You know, how they have the seat exercises, the roll your ankle. Nobody ever does that. So did people actually partake in this, do you think?

Douglas: I don’t—I mean, it was there, and we were kind of getting cued up to go on. So we were watching the thing before us. It was actually really quite nice because any kind of butterflies or stress that I had evaporated watching this guy do hip movements in his chair and stuff.

Ceili: You’re like, if he can do hip movements from his chair, I can go on and facilitate this.

Douglas: Yeah. I can talk about innovation. No big deal.

The other thing I’ll share is you were talking about doing stretches in your meetings and workshops. And in our weekly facilitation practice, we’ve seen a really cool technique where—and someone had a name for it. I’m forgetting now—but essentially, you go around the meeting, and you have people share a stretch, and then everyone does the stretch. So someone will share the stretch, and we all do the stretch. And then they’ll pick the next person. So it kind of creates a cadence because it’s really hard. You can’t say, “Oh, go around the circle,” because there’s no circle in Zoom. And so that kind of “choose the next person” is a nice dynamic there.

So in general, do you have any favorite questions that you find really provocative or interesting or generally get good juice from a crowd or a coworker?

Ceili: One that may not be provocative, but I have found helps to push the boundaries of thinking, to clarify folks’ perspectives, even to bring in more diversity of thought is something as simple as “tell me more,” especially in big meetings. You’re trying to get to a resolution. You’re trying to get to an objective. There’s folks sometimes that are the leader of the pack. They’ve got the loudest voice in the room. And what’s been really important for me as I have progressed as a leader is ensuring that everybody who wants to have a voice has the opportunity and that I take the time to probe with the folks that maybe are a little more reflective or a little bit quieter. And what I find is that once you get the opening and you use that statement of “tell me more,” it can open up discussion that may not have happened otherwise.

And so a great example. I was in a meeting, and we were pretty close to resolution, and somebody hadn’t really talked, but I knew this person had great insight, great perspective. And that statement of “tell me more” actually ended up leading us down a different path to a different resolution of where we would have gotten otherwise, and also ensured that the loudest voice in the room wasn’t the one that was heard just because it was the loudest voice in the room.

Douglas: Yeah. It’s always tricky when there’s over-talkers or someone feels like they have a lot to share. How do you redirect that and get others talking and stuff? And so I’m always really curious. We call it verbal judo. How do you kind of deflect and get the room kind of really humming and make sure everyone’s active?

I was actually reading something last night about microaggressions, and just the current climate has impacted what’s kind of come across my reading nightstand and in a positive way, I think. And this microaggression article, it was talking about just general things that you can do in certain situations. Because I think the insidious thing about microaggressions is that we don’t realize we’re doing them. And so there was this prompt that I thought—and it relates to what you were talking about except slightly different—it’s, what do you mean by that? So rather than calling—I thought it was so beautiful because rather than villainizing someone for doing something that they’ve been conditioned to do all their life, and there’s no intent behind it, it can give them the opportunity to take it back in a very soft way. And I think that it’s somewhat parallel to the “tell me more about that.” It’s very open, and it kind of puts them in the driver’s seat, to take it where they think it should be taken.

Ceili: Yeah. What’s really nice about that as well is, I’m sure that you leverage this, too, this notion of assuming best intent, that is on the individual who is maybe on the receiving end of the misinterpretation. And what I love about that is let’s empower everybody in this situation. Let me assume best intent as an individual, but let me also prompt a discussion, prompt a reframe, of how I interpreted that, because then maybe I don’t even have to worry about assuming best intent because I realize “Oh, actually, I just interpreted that completely wrong.” And so how do we make everybody active participants in that clarification of meeting, that clarification of intention, and own that there are these microaggressions and own that we are players in that and bring power to sort of that full system of players. So I love that. And that is why I love this notion of “tell me more,” because it opens up both to diversity of thought and folks who may not be the loudest voice in the room, but also allows for a bit of an open-ended share. Share what is on your mind. Share what you want to share.

Douglas: One that’s slightly different but definitely in the same ballpark is I love to ask, what do you think we should do? Because when someone brings me a problem, they probably have some notion of what they think we should do. And I think that’s very empowering to—also, it kind of keeps me from, as a leader, from getting exhausted from having to have all the answers.

Ceili: You know, right or wrong, I’ve also found myself using that notion of we in terms of—failure is maybe too strong a word—but owning the output. So, “Hey, we committed to doing that. And maybe it was actually you, but we are in this together. So how do we sort of rectify or commit to fixing that?” And so this notion of “it’s not you versus me. We are in pursuit of better sleep together,” or “we are in pursuit of better facilitation together,” whatever that is, trying to reframe and reground that common goal probably doesn’t happen enough in startups or corporate.

Douglas: I agree. There’s not enough focus on the purpose. And, you know, if we live there, then a lot of the other decisions become a lot easier.

Ceili: Though easier said than done, yes.

Douglas: Yes, exactly. It’s hard work, and people get uncomfortable doing it. It’s like a lot of times when we do purpose work—and that’s where we like to start—and people can get uncomfortable because it’s difficult. They’ll restate the company slogan and say “Let’s move on.” It’s like—

Ceili: Check.

Douglas: —we need to move past the jargon, you know?

Ceili: Yeah.

Douglas: In closing, you mentioned that there are five factors that you study or promote within Somn, and recovery is one of them. Maybe share the final four, and let listeners know how they can maybe take the assessment, how they can learn more, how they can lean into what you’re working on.

Ceili: Great. I’d love to. So to take the assessment, you go to www.somn.co, and the assessment helps you understand the underlying factors affecting your sleep. And so there are five: mind, so anxiety, racing mind, staying awake at night. Body, so the things that affect your body, your hormone levels, things like that; routine, which I mentioned, is a huge one when it comes to sleep. Just having good routines, productive routines as your routines, as you’re readying yourself for bed. The environment, so environment plays a huge role. The street lights, the noise. I live in the city, so I hear all sorts of crazy stuff that can keep me awake at night. And then social, so the effects of your bed partner, your pets. In my case, kids. So all of those things are underlying factors that affect your sleep. They all may have different solutions, different opportunities to address. That doesn’t mean that it have to be things that you buy. So that’s really what we’ve distilled it down to. And then the notion of recovery is actually sort of a separate sentiment of how do we live into recovery as a benefit in terms of how you think about sleep and the broader efforts driving to health.

Douglas: Excellent. Thanks for sharing. And I encourage everyone to check this out because sleep is so, so important. And love the work that you’re doing. It’s been fun chatting.

Ceili: Hey, Doug. Thanks for having me. And I look forward to learning more about all the great stuff you guys are doing.

Outro: Thanks for joining me for another episode of Control the Room. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates when new episodes are released. If you want more, head over to our blog, where I post weekly articles and resources about working better together.