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Finding Your Recovery Blindspots | How Sleep and Rest Can Help You Not Get (Too) Sick

Read Time - 31 minutes

INTRODUCTION

In this episode, we entertain and educate with studies and personal stories on how sleep and rest can help you fight off sickness, make you a better human, and overall improve your life.

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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

How do you know you’re getting enough sleep? What is affecting you from getting the optimal rest and recovery that you need to perform at your peak? 

Daren tells an anecdote about his sleeping patterns through the years and what he has finally managed to decode. While Phil uncovers what you may have forgotten to check that is impacting your sleep rhythms, such as your chronotype, lifestyle, culture, thoughts, feelings and other factors that are essential for a healthy and balanced life. 

Tune in to get a good night’s sleep!

LINKS & LEARNINGS

  1. Matthew Walker – Why We Sleep
  2. Michael Breus – The Power of When
  3. James Clear – The Science of Sleep
  4. Gretchen Rubin – Better Than Before
  5. Ken Wilber – Four Quadrants
  6. Alexey Guzey – guzey.com
  7. Music by DLAKE CREATES
  8. Podcast Production by POD PASTE

Intro By – MICHELLE LEE

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MASTER OF SOME – FINDING YOUR RECOVERY BLIND SPOTS – FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION

Daren: It’s one of those, the conscious, unconscious thing, like it’s like, I know I should be doing that. Oh, I should eat well, but I’m not going to eat well because I need to do the actual research on how to eat well. I need to figure out how to prepare the meals and what meals I like. There’s so much to it.

It’s like it’s simple in theory and very hard in practice, you know, like very complex in practice. So getting good sleep, it required me to be very organized. Early. You know, like multiple hours before I went to sleep, I need to be organized, you know, I need to organize the, the morning before or you know, that afternoon. So sleep became really serious.

Intro: What is up! I’m Daren, your co-host of Master of Some. A podcast about health and fitness served up as a metaphor for life. If this is your first time listening or you haven’t already, please, please hit the subscribe or follow button on whatever you use to listen to us. Make sure that you get alerts when a new episode comes out. We are on Spotify, Apple podcast, Stitcher, and Acast, and a few others. Also, please rate us on whatever app you use and leave a comment. 

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Please note there is a language warning as we sometimes cuss/curse, and I’d hate to put you in an awkward moment if we slip up and use some adult bad words.

Daren: Want to know the best, free and most natural and organic way of getting faster, stronger, more energy, thinking more clear and being sharp in your fitness health in general life.

Phil: Will it make me more handsome?

Daren: Probably. Oh, actually it will. It’s actually the title of the podcast, which is, um I think we’re going to title it recovery.

Phil: I don’t know. I reckon we would get through the episode and then we think of it, think of the title at the end. It will emerge from the episode.

Daren: Okay. Uh, but this is, um, you know, getting proper sleep and resting well and recovering right. That’s the way to all of those things. Um. Basically living a better life. And, um, this episode is all about finding your recovery blind spots. That’s what it could possibly be called. 

Phil: That’s a pretty good click baity headline. Um, and I think that’s it. I think that’s a really appropriate title. And I think that sort of, that’s some unique value we can bring to this topic. Because what we’re not going to do is we’re not going to rehash and replete all of the, all of this, you know, we’ll mention some studies and we’ll mention some, some data points and all the rest of it, but there’s plenty of podcasts with informed people, plenty of articles that break down, you know, the consequences of not recovering, not getting enough sleep, and the benefits of doing the opposite. Um, so. 

And we’re not sleep experts either. Just, you know, well, I don’t know. I consider myself a sleep expert. I’ve done my 10,000 hours, I think I’ve slept for, you know what I’m saying? Like, Oh,

Daren: Was pretty good. That was very good. Very good. You’re turning it on for the, uh, for the microphone and the cameras.

Phil: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, yeah.

Daren: So with this, we’re talking about sleep, rest and recovery because we think it’s essential for a healthy and balanced life. It’s that whole meta thing. We know a lot of people have talked about this before, but we’re going to try to put our own little slant on this and talk more of the recovery benefits with your training and again, with your life.

This will start out with three anecdotal personal stories of where I came from and what I’ve learned over the past 37 years of living and figuring out my own sleep patterns that hopefully could work for someone listening or stumbling upon this podcast. Um, and maybe that person can then go, Oh, well, I kind of relate to that and I can take something from that. So we’d love to hear your own stories, failures and successes, and, you know, let us know if something we said worked or didn’t work. 

After that, after your story, Phil will then explain some of my stories via data studies and his own personal experience. 

And then at the end we’ll approach it with the dark side, which is that good old red team.Um, and we’ll, we’ll throw some, some Himalayan rock salt at it, which we, we’ve now called Himalayan rock salt. It used to be called red team. This is going to be an interesting one because I think we’ll be attacking the red team, which might be a new interesting angle.

Phil: Yeah. And where I’m coming at this from uh, from a, from a coach perspective is, it’s translating that, um, conscious incompetence to conscious competence, to unconscious competence. 

So many people know the value of sleep. They know they should be sleeping more. You know, there’s a sense there that they’re not sleeping enough or they’re not recovering well enough, and, and you know, they’re, they’re suffering the consequences of that. Yet they’re not doing anything about it or they struggle to make the change. And, and really that’s what I want to dive into. And that’s where the, the suggested title came from. You know, how to find those recovery blind spots. Where are you not looking? What are you not seeing? That’s uh hampering your, your sleep, rest and recovery.

So that’s the kind of angle I want to approach things from.

Daren: Cool. I like that. And to, I guess to add to, to what I was just saying before you just said that, um, I think the game of, you know, fitness and health and life is actually more about who can recover well enough after stressing themselves

Phil: Completely.

Daren:  to then come back, you know, at 100 -101%.And then do it again and then do it again. And it’s, it’s actually a game of, of recovery. Um, rather than being, you know, 50% because you demolish yourself from, you know, either working too late or smashing yourself from training or racing too much and then not being able to recover and not being able to do the workout to its fullest potential or to its, to its extent, the workout, like, you know, performing and actually executing the intervals you need to, if you need to do ten intervals at three minutes, if you only get to six because your legs are tired from the workout from three days ago, yeah, then you’re not going to get anything out of that workout.

Phil: Absolutely, absolutely. 

Daren: Recovery is key.

Phil: Yeah. Yeah, 100%.

Daren: So I love telling stories and here we go. I used to be a night, night owl. Um, I think I have the genes for it because I read a book that we’ll talk about a bit, which is Why We Sleep. Is it Matthew Walker?

Phil: Yeah. The, the better one about the night owl and early bird. I don’t know. I might, I might be talking out of school cause I’ve not got to that bit in Matthew Walker’s book yet. But Why We Sleep, uh, sorry, not Why We Sleep, uh, The Power of When. Um, is a, it’s a book on chronotypes. So it breaks down the concept of, you know, the typical night owl, early bird, but it adds, it adds another couple of categories, but we’ll, we’ll talk about that in a sec.

Daren: All right, cool. Well, that’s good because, um, I definitely have the night owl genes from, uh, just based on my parents and I know how my mom operates. She works nights. Um, she, she did up until a few years ago when she retired and she carried me. And she was still working nights. Um, and I think they kept me up ridiculously late as an infant, um, to see her when she would come in.

And so I remember, like, very early on, I loved, I just would naturally get the second wind at pretty much like seven-eight o’clock. Um, and I finally figured out that rhythm, that circadian rhythm of sorts, and it is because, you know, I’m a, quote unquote, night owl. Um, But, I’ve kind of changed that and I’ll get to that in a second.

So back it up to my early twenties. Um, it was awesome. I used to just stay up till two, three, 4:00AM and uh, you know, work on music, create stuff. Cause yes, you know, my name is DLake Creates, you know, that great stuff. And, um, I didn’t go to class at 8:00AM. I train on the track. Go hard. Repeat. Hit the weekend. Sometimes Thursday, go out drinking. Get that drunk sleep. You know that? Oh, I got nine hours of drunk sleep. Yes. Real good sleep.

Phil: I got about six hours of drunk sleep last night.

Daren: Oh sick. Oh, that’s like three hours of real sleep. Uh, you know, stay up till 2:00AM bullshitting online and then repeat that again, you know, for about two, three years going into my early twenties.

Phil: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, there is your sleep strategy. We are Master of Some. Thank you. Good night.

Daren: Just end it there. There you go. Yup. Yeah, it worked in my early twenties cause I’m, you know, I’ve got a lot of stamina. Um, and I got a lot of life stamina and obviously endurance fitness stamina. 

Phil: To a certain extent in your early twenties you can just not sleep, eat car parts for your diet

Daren: drink oil, literally car oil

Phil: and smoke, just, just, just paper, just paper and plastic and you’ll be fine.

Daren: You’ll be absolutely fine. Yeah. So I got faster in track when I was doing all this crazy sleeping, not sleeping thing, um, from my genetic ability, but I never actually got past a plateau. And that plateau was two minutes and one second in the 800.

Um, so. I never hit that plateau. I couldn’t, I could not, sorry, I couldn’t get past that plateau. Two minutes and one second. I just could not break that. And I then started thinking back, you know, a few years later and I’m like, it’s probably because I wasn’t sleeping right and you know, my potential, cause I was running a 49 second 400, um, you know, you run through any calculators and all that, like I should have been running. I think my coach was like, you should be running a 150 to 800. Okay. And, um, that will never, like, I’ll never let that die. I’ll never let that go away. That 152 is what I should be running based on my ability. And I couldn’t, you know, I had this potential, but I couldn’t fulfill that potential and I’m gonna probably chalk it up to just lack of sleep, rest and recovery.

Phil: Okay.

Daren: So, I mean, what do you, you want to say anything about that? Do you got any stats to, to help that?

Phil: Um, going back to the book we mentioned earlier, the, the, The Power of When. Each of the chronotypes and he breaks it down into four different categories. So it’s got the, I think he gives them animal names as well.

So you’ve got, um, you’ve got a Lion, which is the early riser. Like, at that best, a kind of five, 6:00AM but ready for bed at like eight, 9:00PM. Um, I’m, I, I’m definitely, definitely in that category. 

Um, then you’ve got the Wolf who is the, you know, the typical night owl kind of thing. So the person whose creativity and output peaks, you know, post, post midnight. 

Um, you’ve then got, uh, the Bear, which is pretty, pretty standard circadian, circadian rhythm, most of the population fall into ’em fall into this category. So not, you know, not early morning, not early risers, not particularly going to bed late, just basic sleeping. 

Um, and then you’ve got Dolphins who all kinds of messed up polyphasic, um, you know, broken sleep, weird sleeping patterns, and, and that’s, uh, you know, a small percentage of the population.

So, I, I’m, I’m mentioning this because what, um, what’s kind of posited in the book is that for each of these chronotypes there’s a particular time of day that are best to do certain activities. So, um, there’ll be a different time of day for each chronotype that they’re best to, um, their best to workout, their best to, um, take a test, a best time to have sex for them as well. Um, best time to take naps. So there’s all of this stuff that is, that is deeply affected by our circadian rhythm. Um, and the, the author, did you get the author’s name? 

Daren: Michael Breus.

Phil: That’s it.

Daren: B-R-E-U-S. so I might’ve pronounced that wrong.

Phil: Yeah. Um, so he, he posits the, uh, yeah, the, the, the, this is genetically mediated that we, that we come with a, a chronotype. Um, and that affects how we do things. 

So, what it could have been as well, depending on the time of day you were, you were attempting your, uh, you know, your, your, your timed runs on the track, um, and, and your lifestyle factors, um, relating to that. It could’ve just been a mismatch. Like if you, if you’d have run those, say later in the day, or you’d have been going and meet at a completely different time, or you’d have been conducting your training later in the day as well, you might have gotten greater benefit from it there.

So that’s what strikes me. That’s what strikes me. Um. Uh, you know, with that as well. Plenty of stats to suggest though the, um, lack of sleep does affect the like physical and mental performance. Um, absolutely. Um, if you want to dive into this, the Why We Sleep, uh, Matthew Walker’s book. Um, we were talking about this before we came on air. Lots of pushback apparently on that book.

Daren: Well, we’ll get into that. We’re going to red team at the end of this.

Phil: Well, okay, great. Okay, well we’ll just go 

Daren: Old school, reggie. 

Phil: foreshadowing, foreshadowing that conversation. But, um, and I just want to sort of get ahead of this with, you know this, again, we’re not sleep experts where we’ve, we’ve not conducted sleep studies. We’re just throwing out some anecdotes in our experience and, and kind of, you know, digging into how you might identify again, your, your own sleep blind spots. Um. Take, take all of these studies with a grain of salt, but the overarching matter lesson here, the, the, um, taking sleep, see it seriously, having good sleep hygiene and getting an appropriate amount of rest is it’s, it’s pretty undeniable that, that has a profound effects on, on performance, health and wellbeing.

So, um, just wanted to sort of get that out of the way there, um. I realize I’m rambling on, but I’m going to ramble on to one more point. No, if you, if you’re in a situation, uh dear listener, like Daren, then maybe experiment with that, with that time of day training as well. So, you know, even if you change nothing about your actual sleep, maybe switch up when you’re doing your workouts, when you’re, when you’re, um, when you’re scheduling in your, your hard workouts or your time trials and see if that, um, see if that has an effect on your performance. Cause it could just be the time of day that you’re trying to do stuff.

Daren: So fast forward to my mid to late twenties, um, I got deeper into running and endurance sports. Now got into cycling. And I think I even tried to do a duathlon before I turned 30 and I was like, okay, I like this long distance stuff.

Phil: I was going to say, by long distance, you, you running more than 800 meters? Right, okay, cool.

Daren: Yes. Finally and yeah, stepped up to a half marathon. Um, I was doing, you know, longer runs, like, I mean, my longest run before, you know, I started doing all this was like 25, 30 minutes. So, uh. Yeah. So I think I got into proper, you know, 60 minute long runs.

So I started seeing a trend and I was getting sick a few times a year and I was also kind of feeling burned out and I was like, what’s going on here? You know? And I was like, oh, when you train hard, you train a lot, you put a lot of volume in or intensity. 

I then would pick up some bug, you know, and my immune system would drop. Um. I wasn’t, you know, sleeping as well and still trying to jack up the endurance training. So I basically, you know, poured water from one glass to another and you know, I was like, I traded in 800 running for long distance running, which probably was worse because, you know, the, the longer medium intensity stuff is probably does more damage than the short sharp stuff. 

I really was starting to, to see an interesting trend with me loving waking up early, but me having trouble going to sleep early enough to get a enough sleep. And I really liked waking up, especially when I was in New York city. I love going off for bike rides. And I think early for me was like 6:00AM. Uh, I did a couple of 5:00AM and I think, yes, seven, six, 7:00 AM was early for me back then and I was riding with this one group and I remember I had to, like, actually be out at like 5:45 to meet them in Central Park. 

Um, and I really, I was like the city’s so quiet, you know, cause it’s a late city. It doesn’t start til about 9:00 AM. It really, things don’t get going. Um, and I remember just having this internal struggle of going, but I’m deejaying late and you know, I’m working on music late. I’m out networking, doing my clinical job, my career. I want to wake up early and go for these runs, the sun’s rising and all this stuff. 

So. I don’t know. I mean that it’s not, it’s not really a story. It’s more of just a, a transitioning me starting to take sleep more seriously. Um, and, and really go like, where’s the optimal sleep? This goes back to your original point that you said, it’s one of those, the conscious unconscious thing, like it’s like, I know I should be doing that.

Oh, I should eat well. But I’m not going to eat well because I need to do the actual research on how to eat well. I need to figure out how to prepare the meals and what meals I like. There’s so much to it. It’s like it’s simple in theory and very hard in practice, you know, like very complex in practice.

So getting good sleep, it required me to be very organized. Early, You know, like multiple hours before I went to sleep, I even need to organized, you know, I need to organize the, the morning before or you know, that afternoon. So sleep became really serious and in my early thirties, and I wasn’t able to recover as quickly.

Just general, like getting five, six hours of sleep, like you said, in my early twenties, I was perfectly fine with that. Um, it was like, Oh, I’m tired, you know, five, six hours of sleep, three days in a row. I was like, shit! You know, 30, 31 I was like, I think I need to get seven, eight hours of sleep tonight because I’m tired.

Phil: So it kind of points to that, um, allostatic load of things. So, you know, we’ve got good stress. So when, we’ve talked about this before, you know, exercise is a, is a hormetic stressor to a point. You know, we, we apply stress to the system and the system adapts and, and, and comes back, comes back stronger. 

Um, the problem comes in where we don’t consider the, the, the total stress load, the, the total of all the things that we’re putting in our, our particular bucket. So we, you take late nights, you take the, the deejaying, you take the networking, you take the mental energy, your physical energy, your pointing to all of that. You layer on, um, an increased training load, um, and you’re filling your bucket up. And if you think of, if you think of that kind of stress as putting stuff in a bucket and you think of, uh, sleepers as almost bailing you out afterwards. 

Overly simplistic. I know, but just for the visual metaphor, I think this works. You know, you start feeling more and more with a different type of endurance, endurance training and then you’re, you’re giving yourself less bailing time because you’re getting up in the, in the morning and, and it’s, it’s a no, it’s no wonder that you start suffering things like, you know, getting sick more frequently and decreased performance and feeling a bit shitty. Um. 

You know, a couple of the studies from, um, I think these are from Why We Sleep, but, you know, uh, uh, half a million people. Eight different countries.Men, women, young, old, all the rest of it. Sleep deprivation seem to, across the board, increase the risk of getting cardiovascular disease by around 45%. A similar study in Japan, um, the track to a bunch of males over, I think, 14 year period. Um, and then when they compared that to a, a, a control group, um, they found those who slept six hours or less per night with 500% more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest.

I mean, that’s pretty wild. And we’re talking, you know, heart health there specifically. But, um, you know, numerous other examples will, will point to, um, just, you know, uh, less serious forms of sickness. You know, you’re more likely to get a cold. You’re more likely to, um, you’re more likely to, um, do damage to yourself and training as well.

You know, um, for a couple of reasons. I mean, you, a hydration status could be affected. Um, and you could be just have less, um, uh, like synovial fluid around, uh, around the joints. You’re more likely, if you’re playing a technical sport as well, to make, um, uh, technical errors, which could lead to, you know, twisted and broken and, you know, tripping and falling and clattering into stuff.

Like, I think that’s, that’s a under considered, um, uh, path to injury from sleep deprivation. Um, you know, plenty of studies on, uh, uh, driving, um, you know, showed that in terms of, um, uh, being flagged as a drunk driver, sleep deprivation was as, as detrimental as, um, uh, as alcohol consumption to a certain extent as well.

Daren: Yeah. I’m seeing, um, the, sorry to jump in. There was the six hours of, where’s that at? So, Oh no, it was, um, a group of people. They got drunk and then there was a, you know, they had people that drank a few drinks, and then there was people that didn’t get sleep for 48 hours. Uh, those people, or even less than 48 hours, and it was 36 or something, or 34 hours.

And they were performing the test at the same exact level. I’m sorry, this is the James Clear article. Yeah. Which we’ll link. But yeah, they performed the same cognitive level as someone that had like three or four drinks or something. Yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah.

Phil: Uh, yeah, once again, if, if you need, if you need a, I said this to be, most of the time, more information about something being good or bad for us is not what we need to make the change happen in our lives.

You know, people who are looking to stop smoking don’t need further convincing that cigarettes are bad for them. People who are looking to cut out sugar from their diet or reduce sugar in their diet don’t generally need more information about. 

I had a conversation with a mate the other day. He’s like, Phil, have got any, have you got any books about how bad sugar is? I’m like, do you not know how bad sugar is? And he’s like, I do, but I think I need more convincing. I’m like, okay. Let me, let me give you, let me give you something else. I steered him to a book on habit formation. Gretchen Rubin’s book actually, Better Than Before. I think that’s a really, really good read actually for anyone who’s looking to, um, look into build better habits.

Daren: So we’re at present day now in my story, and

Phil: You look tired.

Daren: I’ve been not sleeping for the last 15 years, 20 years! No. Um, I actually cracked the code, um, about two, three years ago. And my partner, she, she goes to sleep early. I think she’s a, what is she, no, she’s an elephant. No, she’s a lion.

Phil: Oh my God. I’m gonna text Nadia after this and be like you will not believe

Daren: No, please don’t she is not an elephant or a lion

Phil: Daren called you an elephant in the podcast.

Daren: Um, she goes to sleep very early, and she likes waking up early naturally. Um, and that was a bit like, Oh, wow. She was going to sleep two, three hours before me when we first moved in. And I’ve slowly started kind of like sucking into her because once she woke up, I would be up, she’d be stirring in the apartment and I’d be like damn it. 

So I was like, you know, I need to get my, what I’ve worked out, I need to get seven hours of sleep. And I’m, I know that because I got some proper sleep analytics studies done. I got the whole thing connected to my brain and all my senses and all that. And they did ah, they did a whole thing. I went to a sleep center. Um, I did that for snoring, which was interesting, but I got all my sleep data, which was cool. And, um, I found out that my, not circadian, my, uh, my cycle, my sleep cycle, the whole 90 minutes is actually about 85 minutes. 

So most people theirs is a 90 and you need about five, five of those cycles. It’s the REM deep kind of coming back up and then back down. And. I’m at 85 that actually worked out to be about just about seven hours. So it makes sense that I am fully fresh at seven hours because I have a shorter cycle than most people. And that Nadia’s might be 92 minutes or 94 minutes, you know, and just that, that’s the extra hour that she needs, hour and a half.

Um. But what’s, what’s interesting is, I found out how much sleep I need, and I was like, cool. You know, I can operate on 6:45, 6:30 is a bit, you know, pushing it seven is nice, 7:15. Once I would get to 7:37, 7:45 and I was getting this routine, I actually felt really tired. Like I was oversleep.I felt over, um overslept or I was oversleeping and I felt really sluggish. Yeah. It took a long time to wake up. Um, I was waking up with an alarm. Oh, sorry. Without an alarm. It was really interesting. I was getting this nice flow, um, you know, recovering well, just feeling sharp.

And then we had a baby five months ago and um, yeah, that kinda all went out the window. Um, baby’s been actually great, like as far as sleep goes. And, um, I’m now modulating a bit mine, adapting my training around how I sleep. So, you know, he sleeps pretty well towards the morning, so if I haven’t gotten the right amount of sleep, I then just sleep in a bit. Um, I get to sleep much earlier so that at least my time in bed, quote unquote, is longer, even though I’m up sorting him out for five, ten minutes, three or four times, five times a night. And it’s been quite interesting. 

So it’s ironic that now I finally figured out how to sleep. You know, I figured out my patterns and my rhythms and what works for me and my nighttime routines and my morning routines and all that.And now I have this thing that I have no control over and, you know, it’s a human being. So he has a high priority. He’s pretty chill. Um. So, yeah, I, I just, it’s just a great way to end my story is, uh, I can’t control my sleep, but I actually figured it out now.

Phil: Yeah. And that’s super important. And what, what your story across the years as a sort of pointed to is that

I think we all need to be mindful of constantly adjusting our strategy. Like we can’t have this thing and it will work in perpetuity for the rest of our lives. Same thing with nutrition. Same thing with training. Same thing with everything, right? Like it’s. What is, what is appropriate for you now with what else is going on in your life.

Um. So, yeah, that’s, uh, uh, watch out for, for, you know, for anyone who’s listening that just, you know, when you just, when you think you’ve got it dialed in, something’s going to change in your life and you might need to, you might need to tweak a little bit. 

So, um, yeah. Um, uh, and coming back to that conscious competence uh, piece and that finding your blind spots. There’s a, there’s a model I really like. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s sort of Ken Wilber’s, um, four quadrant model. Um, we’ll include a link to this in the show notes. I’m not gonna explain it in, in exhausted exhaustive detail now, but it essentially looks at the, the, the internal and the external factors.

It gives you a lens through which to look at yourself. Um. In the context of what’s going on inside for you. So your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs. What’s going on outside physically with your, with your, with your political meat wagon, your body. Um, what’s going on in, in the culture. So what’s going on in your, in your groups, in your, in your, in, in your, in groups, in your, uh, in the wider culture, like the, you know, the, the, the, the country we live in and, and the maybe an organization you are part of and what’s going on in the, in the systems as well. So, um, some examples of this and, and we all, I mentioned this model and I like it for this purpose because we all tend to have blind spots there. 

So, some people are really not good at understanding their own thoughts and feelings. You know, the, the, the, they’re kind of, that silence to them, they, they’re like, what are you feeling right now? And it’s like, I don’t know. I’m not really sure what. they’ve not tapped into that, that intelligence. 

Some people are really poor at understanding what’s happening in their physical body. You know what. You know what that, or what the, what the sensations mean. Like, you know, controlling and modulating that. Some people are really blind to the effect that culture has on them. 

So moving through each one of these quadrants, you’ll see where you’re struggling to come up with answers. You’ll see where you’re struggling to, to identify or really dig into something. And that’s usually where the work is. That’s where, and I’ve worked with coaching clients on, on this model, um, fairly extensively. That that’s where the leading edge of development is for people. So if you’re in the, if you’re in the camp where you are aware that you might need more sleep, you’re aware that maybe I’m not getting enough and I could, I could really change up my sleep hygiene and my sleep strategy, this could be a good, um, good thing for you to explore. Um, so. Again, the internal subjective experience of the world. 

So looking at your thoughts, your feelings, your, your beliefs, your attitudes towards sleep. Um, do you have a lot of mental chatter going to? Do you find it hard to turn off? Do you, um, you know, do you, do you constantly put yourself in a, uh, in emotional states? You know, you think yourself into a mind, body, emotional state. Is that where the work is? You know, is it, is it in the realm of the subjective thoughts and feelings that are preventing you from getting sleep? 

Is it in the realm of the physical? So is your physical environment not conducive to sleep? It’s too warm. It’s too noisy. It’s too, uh, it’s too light. In the room. Um, maybe you’re eating too late, maybe you’re, um, you know, there’s a physical thing you’re doing, or there’s a physical thing in your environment, which is, it’s causing you to not get sleep. So it could be nutrition, it could be, um, you’re taking certain supplements, you’re taking alcohol, drugs, whatever it might be.

Um, and then there’s the cultural factors as well. Um, and this is the last one, but we’ll, I’ll kind of mention for today, but, um. You know, are you existing in a, say an organization where it’s work hard, play hard, and there’s a culture of going out and there’s a culture of drinking and there’s a culture of working late.

Um, uh, do you live in a country where, um, that doesn’t agree with your chronotype so, you know, are you in one of those like, wacky countries that, where they all eat dinner at 10:00 PM like, psychobots, sorry.

Daren: Like you’re talking about Spain and, like Portugal and all psychobots, like go fast. No, New York is like that too.

Phil: Yeah, all love.I’m just coming in. I’m just joking. I like, I can’t imagine it though. Like I’m like, I’ll have my dinner at half past five, thank you very much.

Daren: Oh man, dude, I didn’t even talk about that, man. I was eating dinner at like eleven, midnight. So going to sleep at like 20 minutes later. 

Phil: Yeah, exactly. 

Daren: Yeah. It was bad.

Phil: But that’s culturally mediated, right? Like, you know, people who exist in those cultures, they might be a, they might be a lion from the chronotype. They might be the early morning, you know, that’s why that core is all spikes and they’ve got all the energy and they can, you know, just because their society that they are, that they are part of says, you know, we have dinner at 11:00 PM and that’s, that’s how we roll. Is that affecting you? Do you need to move to the UK? 

Um. But you, you get what I’m saying? So exploring, exploring and just unpacking and digging into those different areas for yourself. So my, uh, my, uh, my offer is you could pull up the quadrant model. Pull up Ken, Ken Wilber’s quadrants. Um, it, it should have some, some prompts in, in each one of the boxes. And just think through that. It’s like, okay, how is that, how is that impacting on my sleep? Um, you know, how, how could that be causing me to not get the sleep I want? Uh, and is that where the, that, where the exploration is, is that where the work is for you?

Daren: So we’re going to red team this or as we retitled it. Last, was it last season? Um, it’s a pink rock salt. Himalayan pink rocks, rock salt.

Phil: When did we do, I don’t remember.

Daren: You don’t remember that? You need to relisten to the whole season binge mode like I did. And, uh, critique the shit out of yourself. Um, but yeah, it’s called a salt bae. It’s just salt bae. Pink Himalayan rock salt. It’s like, take it with a grain of salt. Get it?

Phil: Can we go back to red team?

Daren: Yeah, or red team. Uh, so the antithesis of sorts to Why We Sleep. Um, it was actually quite harshly debunked. Um, there was a lot of facts that were not facts. 

Um, a lot of studies that were taken, um, incorrectly from that book. And this came out, I think about, you know, uh, it was, I won’t even, I’ll give you the time. I won’t say how long ago was it, but it was November, mid November of 2019 this came out. And, um, I forgot the guy. It’s a, we’ll put up, show notes. It’s guzey. Guzey.com. G-U-Z-E-Y.com. And it seems like, you like, debunks a lot of these books, like uh, he goes and gets the facts. 

But, uh, one of the biggest things is, no, shorter sleep does not imply shorter life span. Um, and that was the thing about if you get little sleep, yes, it did show that those people live less, but if you get too much sleep, it shows those people live less. Um, the, the, the sweet spot was around seven hours, but that’s just like nutrition studies where there’s actually more to it. It’s, um, it’s, it’s causation rather than correlation. Is that, is that correct?

Phil: It’s correlation rather than causation.

Daren: Correlation rather than causation. So the studies don’t take into account the lifestyle factors of those types of people. And those end up being more like the people that sleep a lot are usually sedentary and don’t take care of themselves and all those other things. And you know, people that eat red meat and get cancer usually eat the processed, simple, refined carbohydrates, and

Phil: With the red meat, red meat, and this study, the study is not done on people eating grass fed bison and organic vegetables and drinking kombucha with the, with their dinner, and then getting a good night’s sleep like those aren’t the folk in the study.

Daren: Exactly. So yeah. Yeah. And Mark Manson actually kind of gave me the heads up in his newsletter. It’s called a Motherfucking Monday. It’s so good. So Mark Manson, um, privy to me to that actual, kind of debunking of the book. And what’s interesting was because Mark Manson actually recommended the book a few months before and said, Hey, everyone needs to read.

Why you sleep? I was a terrible sleeper. Um, you know, like I thought I could run a five, six hours of sleep and caffeine, and I was fine. I read the book, scared the shit out of me, and then he went back and said, okay, uh, a lot of this shit was actually, no, not a lot, but there’s a couple of points that he, that he said that actually weren’t true or he skewed the studies.

Um, and he’s like, fair enough. And he said, you know what? And he actually kind of defending his, like, this nonfiction shit is kinda hard, especially when you’re not writing about things that there’s a lot of studies about. So you end up having a pretty much, kind of come up with theories out of your ass or connect studies together.

Um, and this guy though, he is a doctor and he’s a sleep doctor, so I’m not going to, you know, uh, uh. Was it Matt Walker?

Phil: Matthew Walker.

Daren: Yeah. I’m not going to shit on him because I think it actually is a very well written book. And there’s a couple of things that I’ve found from the book that while this is red team, there’s still like value in what he wrote.

And I went to the internet for that to actually help me out. So Mark Manson said, uh, does the critique negate everything in the book. No, there’s actually still a ton of great info in it. And here’s the funny thing. I’m sleeping better and feeling better than any other time in my life. And much of that is due to reading this book that is full of, quote unquote, bad research.

So the question is, is a bullshit book that helps you still bullshit. Um, I don’t know. All I know is get, probably, a bit more sleep. Make it a priority. And also don’t obsess about it because obsession is bad. So that’s one thing. 

Another guy that I found on hacker news, uh, T-O-M-T-E gotta give him full credit, um, hacker news looks like Reddit. Uh, he said, Im just gonna paraphrase. That’s interesting. When reading the book, my takeaways were, weren’t really about cancer risk. They were actually what REM is an N-E-R-M-E. Light and deep. N-E-R-M-E sleep is for some fascinating studies about lucid dreaming effects of a, it looks like caffeine and sleep medication or coffee and sleep medication, sleep hygiene tips. And um, he said a whole bunch of other stuff. 

So like, I actually really like it cause I’m learning about sleep. So the book is actually titled Why We Sleep. And while there was a lot of, you know, health scary shit in it. Like you need to sleep more or you’ll die in the beginning, in that first, you know, 15, 20 pages to really get you sucked in.

Um, I do feel like I was like, Oh, there’s a, there’s actually a rhythm to sleep and all this. I learned all about the circadian rhythm, like, and how that works and how, uh, it’s 24 hours and 15 minutes is your circadian rhythm and you have to get that reset by the sun. Fuck. And there’s actually flowers and stuff and all other animals, they all have circadian rhythms like, and the sun resets them.

So that’s just fucking cool. I liked, I’m interested and curious about that stuff, so yeah, I don’t know. That’s just, that’s, that’s what I’m going to take out of it.

Phil: Sure. Absolutely.

Daren: I red team my own red team.

Phil: I like how you did that. I like it when you red team the red team, 

Daren: The red team, the red team. 

Phil: But yeah, I mean, look again, once again, I think I’ve said it twice on this episode already, but I’m not asleep specialist or a doctor and I’m in no position to debunk or validate anything in that book. Uh, or the, or debunk or validate the debunking and the validation of the book by these other people.

Daren: We’re getting, we’re getting, we’re doing that thing. We’re doing that thing that starts with a M and ends with A, and rhymes with betta.

Phil: Oh, Meta. That, no, it’s all good. But what

Daren: I like it, I like it.

Phil: what I’m saying, the overall body of evidence I think is there for, for, for, you know, more and better, so, well for the right amount of, of good quality sleep. And I don’t think that’s in, in particularly hot dispute. Um, if, if it’s, if it is true that Matthew Walker did kind of, um, mm misrepresent or embellish some stuff in the book. 

There is a real potential for damage there. And I get why you try and do it to some extent, like, but you’ve got to look at say like, so like the Reef of Madness films of, you know, I don’t remember when they were made, but all the scare tactics that were, that we’ll put around say like around pot in the U S.

When it becomes evidently not true from people’s experience, that the propaganda that’s being put out there about something is, is absolutely false. It gives people a, uh, a way to dismiss and throw out the whole thing. So, you know, it’s like, okay, so you’re telling me I’ll smoke one joint and become, you know, a murderous psychopath.

And then, you know, lo and behold, you have a bit of a party and that does not happen, you just get a bit hungry and sleepy. Um. You’re like, Oh, well, all of this is, you know, all the propaganda is bullshit then, and the, the, you know, potential real consequences to still, like, especially for developing adults, like if you’re smoking loads and loads of pots, probably not a good idea, but people can look at Reef of Madness and go, well, the government just lies about this and we’re not doing it.

So I think on that vein, there’s potential damage in over representing the dangers of stuff as opposed to like, just, drilling down to what’s known and what they’re all good studies about. But, um, overall I think most people, I think the net effect of this book has been to raise awareness around, around sleep.

I mean, I first heard about it, I’ll listen to Matthew Walker talk on Joe Rogan’s podcast. You know, a guy like that going on a, on a platform like Joe Rogan’s is reaching a phenomenal amount of people. And I, I guarantee, a lot of people who would have listened to that would have changed some, some sleep habits and be, be sleeping better and performing better.

So overall, I think, Matt Walker providing a service, I think he’s good.

Daren: Yeah, he had good intentions. Yeah, I agree. Um just to uh, kind of end all of that, uh, some interesting takeaways to know if you have gotten enough sleep or you’re getting enough sleep. Um, so this is, this is something I don’t do too much, but I’m basing it off.

I’m basing it on qualifying the data rather than quantifying it. I love quantifying my data. Um, And this is, this is kind of cool. So none of these are set in stone. Again, I’m not an expert. Phil’s not an expert in uh, sleep training, even though you have gotten your 10,000 hours.

Phil: I have, I’ve given talks on sleep to athletes as well. So in the context of like training endurance athletes, you know, I know the bait. And sleep hygiene as well, like maybe we could do that another time. I don’t think we’re going to get into

Daren: We could pepper that into another episode. So just a couple of things that I’ve actually, you know, I’ve read these things and then I’m, I thought about it and applied them and it’s pretty spot on for me at least. I don’t know about you or you, Phil, or you, mr and mrs, or mix listener, listener, MX listener. Um, 

Phil: What’s MX?

Daren: Uh, that’s the non-binary. Yeah. Um, if you don’t need caffeine before 11:00 AM, you’re doing well. So if you need caffeine before, you know, 10, 11:00 AM, if you need it to just function and get to 11:00 AM, then that means you’re probably not getting enough sleep. This is, these are just like general ideas,

Phil: uh, are these from you or?

Daren: No, this is from what I read. Yeah. Um, let me say, waking up with no, I, so I wrote it in the how the notes are, I wrote it in my, my POV, point of view. Um, I wake up, when I wake up with no alarm clock, um, it’s more of a habit and routine. And after about 10 to 14 days of the same bedtime and wake up time, I start doing that. That’s another sign that you’re sleeping, you’re sleeping well.

Um, I personally, this is a personal one. This is not a study. I don’t life bunk, I call it life bunking at around 3:00 PM that whenever I haven’t gotten, whenever I get like five and a half, six hours of sleep, I decided to go training hard that day or something. 3:00 PM hits. And I’m like, Oh my God. And I know that I probably should’ve gotten a bit more sleep. 

So that’s my kind of barometer. Uh. And if I’m not bunking, then I know I’m sleeping well, you know? And I’m recovering well, and, uh, kind of. Also, if I’m rested and recovered, this is a me thing because I know I’m a night owl. It takes me forever to wake up. Whereas like I think my partner, she just bounces up when she wakes up and she’s like, yay. And no matter if I got in seven hours of sleep, nine hours asleep, perfect amount of sleep, I’m always at I’m dead. And it takes me like 10 15, 20 minutes. 

Sometimes I wake up and, at first I thought it was cause I wasn’t getting enough sleep. And then I do this thing in the morning where I do this series of kind of yoga, like it’s like the slow pushups and holds and whatnot, and it’s really slow stretching things. And I do, you know, my morning routine, which is, um, journaling and reading and meditating. Then I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and basically within that 10 to 20 minute span.

I feel myself waking up and by that 20 minutes I’m like, yay, let me crush this workout. Like I’m ready to go and if by that 20 minutes, if not 25, 30 minutes, I don’t feel good, I know I haven’t gotten enough sleep. So that’s a personal thing because I don’t wake up like chipper, like, and it just takes me forever. Like I’m like, you know, a bear coming out of a cave.

Phil: I think that’s the chronotype thing again. Cause it sounds like I’m more similar to Nadia. Like Kat makes fun of me for it as well. Like I’ll wake up and I’ll just be like, Bing, like ready, ready to go. Whereas whereas Kat sounds more like you, she, she’s like, get out. Yeah

Daren: Yeah.

Outro: And that’s it. As always, we really appreciate you taking the time to listen to us ramble about shit that we think you could find of interest and that we find of interest and hopefully help everyone out there. 

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