#24 – Kirk Parsley: Sleep Is More Productive Than Working Late, Part 1

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Episode Summary

Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life with Krisstina Wise. This episode is part 1 of 2 shows featuring the sleep doc, Kirk Parsley. Kirk is a former SEAL and currently works as a health optimization coach, focusing specifically on sleep. Kirk examined and interviewed over 300 SEALS. Having found poor cognitive function, he searched for the reason why and discovered that sleep plays an enormous factor in our daily lives. Despite this, it seems that sleep is often the first thing to go when we’re under tough deadlines. Kirk discusses why you should never sacrifice sleep, or at least be very cautious of doing so, when you’re working towards a greater goal.

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What We Covered

  • [02:40] – Why did Kirk become a Navy SEAL?
  • [05:30] – After getting a bit older and wanting to settle down, Kirk decided it was time to shift gears.
  • [07:20] – Despite being a high-school dropout, Kirk was encouraged to become a doctor.
  • [09:15] – Kirk went to the military medical school and completed the necessary training to become a doctor, specifically for the SEALs.
  • [10:35] – The military decided it was time to train their SEALs the same way athletes are trained. This gave Kirk the opportunity to oversee the development of the military’s first Sports Medicine Rehabilitatio
  • [13:35] – Because Kirk was a former SEAL, his friends told him the truth and trusted him in a place where medical is often seen as the enemy. SEALs are quite afraid of being disqualified for their injuries and
  • [15:25] – Kirk found that many of the SEALs were suffering from memory issues. Was it because they were getting old (they were only in their 30s) or was there something deeper behind it?
  • [16:25] – This started Kirk’s quest on health optimization.
  • [19:15] – Does sleep play a factor in memory? Of all the SEALs Kirk interviewed about this issue, 80% were on sleep drugs.
  • [19:45] – Nearly all of the SEALs were using alcohol as a sleep aid.
  • [19:55] – Let’s go back to the basics. Kirk started to learn about sleep and everything associated with it.
  • [20:30] – Sleep seemed to be the only real explanation as to why 300+ SEALs were having these particular problems.
  • [23:50] – Sleep is the most important thing. Kirk believes sleep is even more important than nutrition.
  • [25:15] – Sleep deprivation is built into the SEAL culture. In fact, SEALs are trained to go a week without sleep.
  • [27:55] – Tough SEALs are able to catch up on their sleep after they’ve finished a mission, but for the busy corporate executives? Not so much.
  • [29:50] – It is estimated that 1/3rd of Americans are diagnosed as insomniacs.
  • [31:10] – Kirk personally believes that 75% of the population is sleep deprived, especially because the population doesn’t recognize what ‘lack of sleep’ really is.
  • [35:40] – Lack of sleep affects you the same way alcohol does.
  • [40:00] – What happens to your body when you sleep?
  • [47:50] – When you’re in deep sleep, the brain is restoring itself.
  • [50:45] – Depriving yourself of sleep is counter-productive.
  • [56:15] – Almost every psychotic break or manic episode is preceded by a period of poor sleep.
  • [57:00] – Like this episode? Tune in next week for part two!


[Tweet “You should not be having cognitive decline at 36.”]
[Tweet “You don’t have to be broken to get better.”]
[Tweet “Nearly 95% of all your hormone regulation happens while you sleep.”]

Links Mentioned

Doc Parsley Website
Eat to Win by Robert Haas

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