Ep 76: The Science of Sleep: Why it Matters and How It Will 10x Your Performance with Dr. Greg Potter
Joining me on the show this week is Dr. Greg Potter, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Resilient Nutrition, a nutrition and supplement company that uses nutrition to help people be more resilient. Since he did his PhD on sleep, circadian rhythms, nutrition, and metabolism, Greg spends much of his time helping individuals sleep, eat, feel, and perform better. Highlights of Greg's career include coaching a sprinter to four gold medals at the European Championships; having his research featured in dozens of international news outlets, including the BBC, Reuters, and The Washington Post; working with the US Naval Special Warfare Command; helping to prepare two men to break the Atlantic rowing World Record; and being the sleep expert in a Channel 4 documentary on sleep and weight loss.
We dive into the episode discussing why sleep matters, particularly when it comes to your everyday housekeeping and brain functions and understanding how to navigate within both. Dr. Greg Potter unpacks the importance of sleep and its effect on athletic performance including its connection to injury risk factors, motor skill learning, immune function, testosterone levels, and recovery. When thinking about sleep health, you should always consider the amount of sleep, the quality of sleep, the time you sleep, and the regularity of sleep to find a good sleep rhythm that works for you.
Listen in as we share a list of action steps to balance sleep in a healthy way: setting an alarm clock for yourself as a reminder to go to bed to increase sleep regularity, having time to unwind before going to bed (e.g., reducing your exposure to light, taking a hot shower one hour before bed, and listening to music), keeping your room cool and dark, going to bed only when you feel tired, and finding a relaxation strategy to practice. With sleep probably being the most powerful performance cocktail around and has the ability to drastically improve your performance faster than any other intervention, we should all be prioritizing and understanding the why behind it.
What you'll learn in this episode:
[07:08] Why sleep matters
[11:11] Aspects of sleep relevant to evolution
[13:51] Understanding sleep maintenance
[15:25] Sleep and its effect on athletic performance