Who Is Rob Sweetman?
Robert joined the Navy at 28 years old to become a Navy SEAL. By 29, he completed BUDs class 284, where he sustained a quadruple hernia requiring surgery. He served for eight years where he did two deployments with SEAL Team Seven and became an instructor at Advanced Training Command. He was medically retired after a back injury but had multiple other "hidden" injuries. Those included Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI),Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Insomnia. Robert tells the story of using Ambien to go to sleep and stimulants to wake up. At one point in time he was using NyQuil to go to sleep at night.
Then, on April 23rd, 2017, one of Robert's platoon mates, Ryan Larkin, took his own life. Ryan had been struggling with sleep for a long time along with PTSD and TBI. Robert was impacted by Ryan's death and took it upon himself to better understand why this happened. Ryan's father Frank launched research on TBI while Robert dove into sleep science. After years of research, Robert discovered the bi-directional relationship between sleep and mental health. Poor sleep can cause mental health conditions to include suicidality. Robert dedicated his life to the study of sleep science to help all people, especially veterans. Four years later, he founded Sixty Two Romeo.
THINGS WE DISCUSSED:
Talk4 EP 071 Introduction
Who is Rob Sweetman - the Sleep Genius?
Getting in to the Seal Teams
Hell Week and how hard it is
How was your sleep affected in the Seal Teams and how did you fix it?
How badly alcohol affects sleep
The world is sleep deprived. Why? What's causing it?
The truth around napping and sleep hours
Is it possible to get too much sleep?
How to fix a bad sleep schedule
Shameless plug - 62 Romeo - Sleep genius
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hey what's up guys and welcome to episode 71 of talk 4 the quickfire podcast where we ask four great questions to unique and interesting people behind the mic today is your host Louis Skupien that's me and let me introduce our special guest for today Rob Sweetman who's going to be answering some questions today Rob welcome aboard the talk 4 podcast man please say hi to the Fine people listening and just give us a quick rundown of who you are and what you do before I shoot some questions thank you for having me Louis uh hello to everyone out there um I am Rob Sweetman I was in the military which we're going to talk about a little bit I think and now I'm a sleep scientist so I can explain how that all happened doesn't really make a hundred percent sense uh to say it out loud but now I help people with their sleep I had my own sleep problems um so I'm very passionate about that so happy to dig in absolutely yeah this has been a podcast that uh I've really been the looking forward to I've had so many pressing questions about the subject of sleep and and you're obviously a really interesting guide too and you've been through the ringer in the seals and Hell weekend look at you now you're doing fantastically yesterday I can't wait to ask a few questions if you're good to go man do you want to jump into question number one yeah send it all right let's do it then so to kick it off let's wind back the clocks a bit then so tell us about your backstory so what was your motivation to become a Navy SEAL how tough was hell week for you and goddess through your service history oh well hell week was very easy I just took the online course um that was an option when I joined just kidding just kidding um I was like wow okay right uh it you know it's the hardest military training in the world that's what they say who knows maybe there's something out there we've never heard about that's harder but that has an appeal to it doesn't it you know the hardest um the best and so you know those were some of the things I was thinking about uh when I made the decision to join the Navy um I had already kind of cut my teeth in business I was an entrepreneur did a lot of great things as an entrepreneur but a lot of them were all about money or self-serving and really didn't serve our country right now we're you know talking across the pond right now um as it was but I think that we can both agree that there's something about uh defending Freedom right and for me I I've always felt like I was a patriot I always felt like I had this Warrior Spirit deep down inside of me and when I got out of high school uh I gave my first shot at college and then when it's entrepreneurship I really wasn't um following that passion and so it wasn't until 29 years old that I made the decision so I went I signed up at 28 was a cut off without a waiver so I signed the dotted line at 28 and by my 29th birthday I had arrived in Coronado to complete the buds training the hardest training in the world um so what was it like
it it was hell uh I won't lie to you man um most human beings are not cut out to to endure this level of suffering um it was definitely a gut check you know they say how do you prepare for a kick in the nuts right and there's no way to prepare for that you you just have to take it as it comes and that's the same way that um you prepare for buds right you you just can't prepare for what's about to come and I say that because you know we had Olympic athletes we had dudes that could do 50 pull-ups uh run extremely fast in the sand you name it athletes from all over the world that instantly failed instantly I mean I'm talking within minutes of uh starting the training and the reason why is because um well there's a ton of different reasons why everybody has their own reason but some of the big reasons are that um it's harder than you ever could have imagined and they say that uh you know the human mind and the body can take 10 times what you think it can um I thought that was a joke uh but no that's that's very very real um so the first thing is people have you you know a lot more put on them than they were expecting so they quit another reason is that that water out there in Coronado is cold and when you touch that cold water you may quit the first time it may take a few times to dip it in that water it may be night time when there's no sunlight and that water you're you're chilling out in that cold water that's what gets you a lot of people face injuries I've seen a ton of neck injuries hip injuries shoulder injuries as well as MRSA and sepsis from um maybe not as much sepsis but um uh what's the internal lung disorder that uh the one bud student died from Recently I can't remember their name but either way he got an infection in the lungs I mean this is some serious stuff here um your body is is being totally destroyed in every way like your immune system is as low as it can possibly be your morale is very low your body is going through physical exhaustion you have injuries in every every part of your body and just to throw a little icing on the cake you have sand in every orifice of your body I mean I had sand in places that you can't imagine right um You might can try to imagine uh but there's there's orifices that you didn't really know existed um or new orifices that you're creating through cuts and scrapes and bruises um one thing that was kind of uh challenging was the chafing the chafing of uh sand in the wounds between your legs and your armpits and stuff like that it hurts and it's not a life-threatening hurt it's like this stings it burns you jump in the ocean it relieves the pain for five seconds and then the salt gets into the wound and then it makes it worse so a lot of inflammation just sheer Terror and horror and the the reason why we do this is because um we want to be a part of the most elite Tactical Unit in military history that's why we do it right we want to be a part of the best um but I think once you get out there and you feel that cold water and you feel the pressure over time um you have to dig even deeper than that it really has to be a spiritual connection to your path whether it's the SEAL Teams or SBS in the UK or the Marine Corps here in the United States whenever we Face these these really gut-wrenching challenges the people who persevere are are likely to be people that have a deeper purpose Beyond just hey I want to have this title you you have to earn that title and there has to be something deep within you that wants it so I hope that answered your question certainly did and I mean it just sounds from the descriptions like it's just absolutely well that's the name implies sounds like absolute hell but I don't think anyone could really imagine that until they're actually there being put through that kind of a thing but so if we talk about the Sleep side of it then I think I read or I heard that during hell week you're kind of getting around like an hour and a half to three hours of sleep every night is that about right weights or kind of like how brutal is that on the sleep and how affecting no because that's the performance no it's way worse um so yeah so
hell week is five and a half days straight of training so you get to Sunday and I'll be honest I am a knucklehead and I didn't read the books I didn't follow up on any of the I I really didn't know how bad hell week was going to be I was it was Saturday night and I was still playing poker with my brother staying up late having fun not a worry in the world um I didn't realize that we were going to get no sleep and it was going to be as crazy as it was I was like I thought it was you know sure it's hard but whatever I signed up I'm gonna do whatever I could tough it out and I did um so I don't know if knowing beforehand would have helped but I definitely didn't show up like fully charged like with great sleep um so as hell we kicked off on Sunday we show up to the uh there's like this building that we all showed up to and we went in and we kind of um I think we must have had you know like our little sleeping mats there and we're all kind of you know chilling out I think we ate a big meal together and we're in this building and we're waiting on hell week and so it's Sunday night um kickoff is going to be I think at midnight if I recall this has been 15 years ago but um so we're all there waiting and we're in this pace we're in this place um standing by standing by to standby right and I think it must have been 11 o'clock or so and they they walked us out to the beaches in some Alaska tents and we all got into our cots and it was uh I think it was midnight we had Breakout and so breakout was you know simulation grenades um rapid you know blank fire like automatic weapons m4s all blanks it's not real it would not be a good idea for there to be live rounds um but it's meant to be very loud and chaotic right it's the middle of the night you're already kind of tired so you have to kind of get out of bed and start low crawling through the sand and now you're low crawling into the asphalt into the buds compound they're spraying you with water and you have to do jumping jacks and start you know push-ups and you're really excited you're so excited to be there um for those first few hours right but then 12 hours passes by 24 hours passes by you've waved goodbye to the Sun as the instructors mock you and it gets cold and then you see the Sun come back up and this goes on for five and a half days um now to your point yeah you said 1.5 to 3 hours a night I think is what you said there is some truth to that so on Wednesday night now you know so you start midnight on Sunday yeah so really Monday on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon they give you either an hour or 90 minute nap and the reason why is because doctors have figured out that there's some critical systems within your body that'll start to shut down and you may die if you don't get this quick reset but let me tell you uh those two resets there's a reset on Wednesday and Thursday I I know now as a sleep scientist that is actually very important but um at the time we don't know we're just doing what we're told right and so you go from this 90-minute nap where which trust me you you want to go to sleep you're very tired like ah I gotta thank God so you lay down and in an instant that time has gone by and you're getting woken up imagine you know cuddling up with your pillow oh you know you're not prepared you're not mentally prepared like you show up to work you've had your shower and a shave and boom you're ready mentally focused no you're waking up like when your mom wakes you up and guess what happens hit the serve hit the serve get wet and Sandy start all over again that is a nightmare that is the thing that uh nightmares are made out of uh waking up straight out of maybe you're having a dream or whatever so that was not fun that was very very disturbing everything about it was disturbing um so you're getting back into the water freezing cold shivering and uh so yeah five and a half hours with three hours total sleep um sorry five and a half days or three hours total sleep and
if you make it past the the physical injuries if you're lucky enough not to have a life-threatening injury or a severe break in one of the bones or something like that that just preclude you from finishing the course um it takes more willpower and sheer grit uh to make it through this training then I think most people can ever perceive going into this I mean you look at all of the guys you go through basic with all of the guys you go through pre-buds with you show up for indoctrination you're all hungry ready been training for years for this moment everybody promises to make it with you dude we're gonna make it together I swear to God I'll be there with you like we're brothers through this everyone is gone everyone man yeah I think it's like average is 25 or 30 percent make it through this through the buds class training once you've actually made it there which is you know tons and tons of people drop in between start to finish before you even get to the day one of buds um most people get lost through hell week but it's it's a little bit depressing all of your friends are gone uh you've made it through this crazy chaotic training your brain is probably um messed up a little bit from that um Bridging the dream world and the real world um through this extreme sleep deprivation no one knows the uh the negative consequences of that um long term we do know we have a problem with suicide in the teams um that's something that we're trying to attack from the Sleep perspective uh but yeah so you can say that that was really my first um major injury in in sleep and then there would be more follow-on injuries um or long-term sustained habitual injuries throughout my Navy career that would lead me to have sleep problems and lead me to want to transition to this sleep scientist role that I have now right okay so let's move on to that then so for question two exactly about this then so can you tell us about what happened with your sleep then in the teams and then obviously gave us a bit of info about how you became sleep scientists and fix those problems afterwards yeah absolutely my sleep got worse and worse through the teens for a ton of different reasons at some point I developed obstructive sleep apnea which has a you know military in general has a really high percentage of uh obstructive sleep sleep apnea symptoms way higher like three four five times as high as civilian counterparts which begs the question uh what is the cause of of Osa the medical community does not have good answers for this at least that they all agree on I have my own hypothesis but um so anyways there's a little bit of that um but I would say that most of it's behavioral so going through the teams doing nighttime missions having a watch cycle that's all jacked up switching between daytime and night time and you know I'm not complaining there's people in the military that had it way worse than me um when we do an analysis of the five and dime watches on ships on the the Navy Fleet ships um those are terrible um other people probably have had it worse I'm not complaining but my personal experience was terrible sleep not only Not only was I not getting sleep but the culture surrounding sleep was not conducive to ever getting full recovery I mean the the culture was more of a pro sleep deprivation it's like oh it's a badge of honor that you didn't get sleep and you went out and went on a mission or you operated um without that sleep right and to now like in hindsight it's like that's so bizarre because that's completely backwards like you want to have good sleep to be able to have better Human Performance cognitive function uh physical recovery and all that but that's just not how it works like when you're with a bunch of guys in this group dynamic they tend to feed off of each other and they just uh they they Heckle each other and they they called each other weak if they get too much sleep it's like oh sleepy baby you need some more sleep and this type of shaming right so I would say that you know the op Tempo uh the nighttime missions the crazy watches all of this led to me creating bad sleep behaviors bad behaviors during the night daytime that led to bad behaviors at night time and so I take full ownership of that and people who are suffering with this now in the military First Response have to take ownership of it because there's bad influence But ultimately it is up to us to manage our schedule and our sleep patterns so I was struggling with sleep for those reasons and then in 2017 I had a buddy who committed suicide Ryan Larkin my you know impression of the whole thing was that Ryan was not sleeping he was not sleeping and when he was sleeping he was using ambien or alcohol to go to bed we know that sedative and do sleep that's not real sleep and then you wake up feeling like crap and you're using monsters and coffee and energy drinks or whatever to to stimulate to try to like make it through the day and my my thought process was that I thought there was a relationship between mental health and sleep health and it wouldn't be until years later in graduate school that I would identify that there absolutely was a very strong relationship between sleep health and mental health and physical health and everything sleep was such a big part of the entire Health Continuum but at the time I uh Ryan Larkin his death made a huge impact on my life I actually thought about suicide at that point and I thought what if I am next like I thought Ryan was a better Navy SEAL a better team guy than me why did he do this and am I next and I know that sounds silly to say out loud but it's a real thought process that I went through so I didn't go down that path thank God right um my my way of making this his death have a meaning was to dedicate my life to sleep I found out that yeah Ryan's sleep did impact his mental health there's other stuff right uh that he was dealing with but I dedicated my life to sleep science because I wanted to not only improve myself but also to help my brothers that were struggling with sleep ton of people struggling to sleep in our surveys like 98 of the team guys are reporting terrible sleep we expand that to the Navy the Rand report on sleep in the military it's a huge problem and now I do work with First Responders in some situations it's even worse so right now we have an epidemic of sleep deprivation in veterans and First Response and in the civilian sector it's actually a global problem especially in First World countries and so there's no shortage and work for me um one of the things that that differentiates me from other sleep scientists um is that I have this background right uh I would say that at least three quarters if not more of my colleagues are female they come from a place of love that really understand this topic but for some reason having a knuckle dragger guy who has been through the ringer is a Navy SEAL and been through all of this stuff resonates with people so they actually listen to my story and they say hmm maybe I should really think about improving my sleep health so that's what brought me here today absolutely and I do personally believe as well that military guys and Veterans they command a very different kind of respects and attention that a normal civilian wouldn't get and that's from my experience and what I've seen from other people like ex-navy sealed that has a lot of weight behind it because you know exactly what the kind of person has to be to get through that sort of a thing so they do derive a lot more respect um before we move on to the third question I want to ask just just touch on something that you mentioned there as well um if I if I asked you to be detailed about this we'll probably be here for a few a few hours I'd imagine but just to summarize it so if we talk about alcohol versus sleep how bad actually is that and how effective is alcohol on killing that sleep routine for you you said it's it's not real sleep so if you were just to summarize it for people listening like the civilians and stuff who are kind of going out on the weekends and wondering why they don't feel rested like how much alcohol does it take to destroy the sleep and just give us a bit of info about that
yeah so sedative and do sleep is uh not real sleep we say that all the time because uh there's a ton of people who are on sedatives to go to sleep um none of these have ever been tested long term none of them have shown significant um improvements on sleep over Placebo um alcohol is one of those that it's a sedative but it is so culturally acceptable it's promoted everywhere in the United States I'm sure the UK everywhere that you should drink alcohol every weekend you should party you should buy this alcohol and you should just have a part of it I don't drink I did have a problem with alcohol in the past I overcame that um so in terms of how it impacts your sleep alcohol not only um is is going to cause a ton of problems with your sleep um but it can cause uh Awakenings it can cause interruptions it can cause you know degraded performance within deep sleep and REM sleep primarily though we look at the deep sleep and we're seeing that if um if you are going to sleep with alcohol in your system that some of the critical processes of recovery within the brain within the muscles are not able to function fully and a lot of times we're just not going to get that recovery and so you wake up feeling like crap and you wonder um oh well it's just a hangover but you know you really haven't gotten some critical processes uh to work during sleep and that's a big deal so you know I'm I'm a pragmatist I'm a realist I get it that people are not all going to live a very strict and disciplined life like me that's okay if you're going to go out and have a couple of drinks with your friends on the weekend um let's talk about how that you know how we can sort of mitigate the impact on your sleep first of all we have to acknowledge that sleep is important and once we do you know as part of every aspect of the health Continuum right um your work your immune system which is how much you get sick um how much you're going to lay out of work but it also impacts your personal relationships um even emotional intelligence I can tell you through sleep deprivation that uh you know the level of someone's ability to read facial expressions in uh one-on-one situations uh specifically with law enforcement in military uh not only is it degraded with sleep deprivation but it is so important to their career and making a decision to take someone's life uh in a crazy situation like I can't imagine being sleep deprived and being on shift uh with the the responsibility of having to make that decision um but if if we look at like okay how can we mitigate some of the effects of alcohol in our sleep well let's try to and I know this is a tough one right because the bars stay open until two let's try to stop drinking with enough time to get the alcohol out of our system before we go to sleep some techniques that might help out are switching between alcohol and water um you know kind of alternate if if you're drinking all night and that can absolutely help hydrate your system and help reduce the amount of alcohol that you're consuming you know they always say to drinks is cordial um I know in my college days and in the teens I mean we would drink bottles of liquor I mean there's just no limit to that so if people are struggling with alcoholism that is you know drinking and excess that is a problem in itself that really you should take a hard look in the mirror and and just try to stop that because the the cultural norm of alcohol is okay it's not okay right maybe you have a little bit here and there but not drinking to excess so if you're struggling with drinking to excess and potentially alcoholism that is a subject you know you should probably get that looked at but if you're just a casual drink or two or three drinks a night then what we want to do is give yourself a few hours before bed uh after you finish that drink that last drink and then maybe alternate some water yeah great points um I mean I find it amazing to be honest because some of the other kind of Veteran foundations that I'm talking to have contact with and work with obviously they're kind of starting to use these class one schedule one drugs ask therapeutic use things and you look at the actual definition of a schedule one drug and that's high rate of addiction no therapeutic use isn't that literally just the definition of alcohol and cigarettes and stuff but the the acceptance around that is just it's shocking and you and you're the weird one or the odd one out if you're not doing that especially in kind of friendship groups and universities and stuff and I can imagine like you said even in in the teams and all that but let's talk about then Society where we're at now because this is a big subject and obviously like the alcohol comes into that hell of a lot but you know I believe that a massive massive massive I know especially people my age majority of the of the world are sleep deprived um I truly think that if everyone had better sleep then there would be way less car crashes less accidents less human errors mistakes at work the list just goes on it's endless I honestly truly believe that um as a society how bad do you think the sleep deprivation is in this day and age and what do you think are the top negatively and contributing factors towards us and how can we start to fix that
that is a super big question um I'll say that you know the the comments that you just made are statistically factual um sleep deprivation is an epidemic both from short sleeping or shift work or not getting adequate sleep for a number of different reasons specifically in First World countries it is a big deal I mean like in the U.S we're talking like a third of the country is not getting adequate sleep and so yeah that increases your risk of getting in a car accident and not living a full uh lengthy life it decreases your ability to be on point at work um it increases the number of sick days that you're going to have um I think the it's BCC search that publishes um the economic loss um I think they do globally but in the United States it's something like 400 billion dollars and lost um earnings for businesses because or due to productivity right not necessarily earnings but loss in their finances due to sleep deprivation or sleep related issues and how they get that number is that when people are not getting enough sleep the number of people who are laying out of work not being productive at work getting sick and not showing up to work increases um it's really an issue so in the civilian sector uh we're looking at like a third of our country right when you look at veterans and First Responders um specifically in a post-covered first responder World um these numbers are out of control like extremely high percentages of these groups of people are struggling with sleep then we go back to the link to mental health um if you're not getting adequate sleep there's a direct correlation to mental health it's a bi-directional relationship does the mental health cause poor sleep does the poor sleep cause mental health it's both right but what we do know is that um if veterans and First Responders are having poor sleep at alarming rates right now uh above uh what any civilian is suffering with right now and they also have a significantly larger suicide problem um we we know that one is connected to the other right and so what we're seeing I'll quote uh Dr garav nishra Who works with us he's a MD psychiatrist here in the U.S here in San Diego with me um he will say that it really doesn't matter short of like schizophrenia major depressive or bipolar like it doesn't really matter what prescription he gives the patient if the Sleep doesn't improve typically the symptomology will not improve right but if the Sleep improves regardless of what medicine he gives them the mental health will improve just as a general blanket statement um so what we're seeing is that if we can improve sleep Health with veterans and First Responders and I am starting to dive into civilians and help them as well but if we can improve the Sleep Health we can improve the mental health if we improve the mental health we're living in a better world all of us together and then uh subsequently we can reduce those suicide rates absolutely so true and one of the kind of things so from the stuff I've seen about sleep and advice I've heard kind of around the internet obviously you can't always trust these sources and everything definitely not especially nowadays but something that I kind of wanted to learn a bit more about as well is what's the kind of the truth about napping and taking power naps I've always wondered because people always have a lot of good stuff to say about it with the kind of the energy things and and kind of refreshing yourself throughout the day but I've always been kind of it's always been in the back of my mind thinking does this detract from my main sleep at night so I'm just wondering what's the kind of the truth there or the final verdicts in your opinion yes it does detract from your sleep at night in one regard but it can also support your overall daily sleep it's a personal choice um optimally we want to get the majority of our sleep at night time optimally for shift workers sometimes they have to get that sleep period during the daytime we just have to do the best that we can with what we have so the first um type of sleep that we understand in terms of sleep scheduling would be a monophasic so that would be one sleep period right uh National sleep associ Foundation says you know maybe that should be seven to nine hours right we all have heard eight hours of sleep right is the target yeah well truthfully it's different for everybody uh it really is and you should find out how much sleep you really need uh and then that should be your target you shouldn't need eight hours of sleep because somebody else told you uh you should seek out that number so then we look at biphasic sleeping so that would be two phases of sleep in one day so what that might look like is the Siesta right and we know that humans have a dip after lunch right and some people say oh what's food Cola maybe it's enzyme production causing drowsiness but that dip actually happens whether or not we eat lunch or not there's a natural dip that happens around 2 p.m if we're on a normal sleep schedule and so many countries and cultures have done the Siesta or done the biphasic sleeping uh for much of recorded history and we've kind of gotten away from that and condensed it back to the monophasic sleeping because we have most of us live in this very fast-paced world of like you know Buy sell go to work produce you know come home see your kids you know play all the sports and be a participant of everything in life and just go go go uh and we don't give ourselves time to take that Siesta or to get that down time so when we look at mapping that would be one type of napping right it would be the um and so that that second sleeping period um your Siesta might be an hour um so that is an app now whether or not you take a nap every day uh is a personal choice it doesn't have to be at 2 pm in the afternoon it can be whenever you want but we need to think about the impact of that um as it pertains to uh your overall sleep so the point of you know naps damaging sleep that's true because what we have is an adenosine buildup uh in our brain right so adenosine is a byproduct of the energy process and so our brain has the brain has these receptors to detect the volume of adenosine that we build up so the minute that you wake up you start you know accumulating this adenosine and it doesn't uh you don't really have an adenosine dump until you take a nap or go to sleep so the adenosine acts as sleep pressure right that's the whole point so you feel this overwhelming pressure from the adenosine and after about 20 hours it can cause micro naps it can cause drowsiness it can cause all these um you know things that we associate with sleepiness right so if we take a nap and we dump that adenosine then we won't have the same adenosine buildup and the same sleep pressure from adenosine when it's time to go to bed at night time now is that good or bad well it depends right because if we're going to have a a full eight hour sleep period at night time then we don't need a nap but if we're let's say a first responder and we're only getting four five six hours of sleep it may be critical to get that nap throughout the day and there's plenty of sleep pressure to build up to the sleep period at night time the one thing that I'll recommend whether you choose to have a nap or not is to just be consistent with it the best thing to promote good hormonal function which is is a very big part of going to sleep in in the recovery process is be consistent right like if you're going to take a nap um do it daily build it into your routine if you want to take a nap at 10 A.M great if you want to take a nap at 2 pm great but try to do that consistently and then when you go to bed same thing try to go to bed at the same time wake up at the same time I know that's not possible all the time but the more consistent you can be the more your body can expect that the more you're educating rhythms will be in sync and the better result that you'll have from the sleep that you do choose to get I see yeah that that's really good info I've always kind of thought about that it's like how impacting is sleeping on the weekend and the stuff that I've always heard about that is that you should always try to go to bed at the same time and try and wake up at the same time every single day regardless so that's kind of what I've heard about it but so just one more little bit on this subject so is it possible to oversleep like is there a is there a time or a certain kind of part in your body obviously it's individuals for everyone where it's actually going to have like a negative impact or can you literally get as much sleep as you want and need and then that's brilliant so I'm just wondering if you do get that eight hours eight hours of sleep and then you want to have like a couple of pound naps in the day is there like a point where you're getting too much sleep and then that's negative or literally is it just get as much as you can sort of a thing
yeah so yeah you can get too much sleep um if you're getting eight hours of sleep at night time you probably don't need to take a nap uh throughout the day because if you take a nap throughout the day and then you don't really feel sleepy at night time you're not able to get adequate sleep not only could that impact some of the uh the functions that we're looking for in that main sleep period at night time but it can also be a slippery slope of uh confusing this insomnia with the lack of Need for sleep so you're getting a little bit of recovery for uh during that nap period and then maybe you can't sleep that much at night time and then you're thinking like well geez I can't get sleep there's something wrong with me and this rumination actually turns into a cycle that can cause even more insomnia right so most likely we're you know if um if we're feeling rested we're getting enough sleep and we don't need naps if you prefer naps throughout the day like my father he swears by him then you don't actually need as much sleep at night time so one thought is is if you only get six hours of sleep at night time and then you take a nap 30 minutes or an hour and a half those the two uh napping timeline strategies um then you're probably okay right I'm like a seven and a half hour or seven fifteen hour uh seven hour 15 minute sleeper I know that that's where I function optimally but studies show that anything less than about seven hours definitely less than six hours can start to have some really damaging effects on your body uh there's a direct correlation to the development of cancer and hypertension and just a number of different issues but what happens if we get too much sleep if we're starting to hit nine hours of sleep per night and what we've seen is that um that is also bad like once you hit about nine hours uh we start to see increased rates of obesity and other health issues um that we you know you wouldn't normally think that getting too much sleep might cause but yeah it is actually bad so there's a there's a bell curve and if you know short sleeping is on one side oversleeping is on the other side um both can have negative effects this is something that anybody can begin doing research on right now um another thing that I wanted to point out is that banking your sleep on the weekends is not the best idea it's not like a savings account where you can spend it throughout the week and then plus it up on the weekends that doesn't really work because we fall into the same issues of like okay our body needs you know seven eight hours of recovery um through sleep getting those additional hours on the weekend doesn't actually trigger any additional recovery response it's just sleeping around more now you may get a little bit more recovery but the damage that you've done throughout the week by short sleeping can't be recovered by oversleeping on the weekend wow that is fascinating because I've always been under the impression that well I've always known that there's a thing called sleep there which I'm sure you know a hell of a lot about and I always kind of had this this sort of curious curiosity towards it almost wondering if there's if there's a sleep debt that's possible is it possible to have sleep credit as well that's really interesting that's a misleading term yeah sleep dead is real and you know you know there's rebound effects that can happen from sleep deprivation but these are processes that your body will automatically seek right it's not a good idea to sleep deprived throughout the week and then Bank your sleep on the weekend um if you're not getting good sleep and you get extra sleep on the weekend I'm not saying that's a bad thing yes get as much good sleep as you can whenever you can some people don't have the opportunity to get adequate sleep that's just their career choice or their life situation so I encourage those people to just do the best that you can but if it's a willing choice to sleep deprived throughout the week you're not going to be able to um that that's still going to be damaging to your body uh throughout the week no matter what you do on the weekend if that makes sense yeah it does 100 and that's fascinating I've learned that level up from that um so last question then kind of a personal one I'm going use myself as the example but really this question is aimed at anyone who's in a bad sleep routine so for me when I tried to be a good boy I tried to kind of get in bed and go to sleep around like the 10 30 Mark or something but when I do that at the moment I just can't actually fall asleep and it tends to be around like the midnight half past midnight sort of time where I think I'm actually falling asleep and then I'm waking up quite late in the mornings and I'm feeling really really tired still not kind of like fresh let's get out of bed and attack the day not at all but I went to Miami recently and the five hour jet lag there it was put me in the perfect sleep routine so I was feeling very tired that's around nine o'clock at night and it's kind of grinding almost to stay awake to about the 10 o'clock Mark and I was waking up naturally without the alarm clocks around seven in the morning and I felt amazing so I've kind of proven to myself that I can actually get the perfect sleep routine in so just for the last question then anyone who's kind of like having this problem or something I'm sure there's loads of people um if you're in a bad sleep routine is there a way to sort of do like a factory reset to sort of simulate what I had with the jet lag always flick fixing a sleep routine a case of slow and small changes over a long period of time okay yeah Luisa that's a really well documented um effect when people travel in that direction and um and find it a little bit easier to acclimate um there's a couple of different reasons for that you don't have time to go over the natural endogenous circadian rhythms of humans and how that relates to the 24-hour uh sleep or the 24 hour cycle as dictated by the sun right um but what I'll say is one of the most common um sleep coaching techniques is to do sleep restrictions right so a lot of times people especially if they're napping right here's the downside to napping right if they are getting too much sleep or their perception is they're not getting enough sleep and so they stay in bed a lot more and they actually end up not accumulating as much sleep pressure as they as they need to feel sleepy one of the techniques is to sleep restrict and so in sleep restriction we might take a normal eight or nine hour sleep period and reduce it to six hours right so what that does if we wake up at if we wake up at a certain period of time spend the entire day awake without any napping we're going to build up that adenosine we're going to build up that sleep pressure and there's some other tips and tricks I can offer get some sunlight reduce the screen usage before bed this stuff all impacts uh our sleep function but if we can get a full day build up that adenosine and then go to sleep sleep restrict only get six hours of sleep wake up and do it again A lot of times you'll self-correct right you'll self-correct and then once you start going to sleep effectively and feel you know restored maybe a little bit sleepy because you are being sleep restricted then you can start to expand that six hour sleep period to six and a half seven but you know be consistent with the sleep time and wait times build your plan and follow it but that is very effective because a lot of times people are getting more sleep than they think they are and a lot of times they're you know dissipating some of that adenosine build up by taking naps and they're not really sure why that impacts them so the goal and the Sleep restriction is to really build the Sleep pressure so that you feel like going to sleep when it's bedtime and once your body feels that and it becomes a trigger then you can just easy knowing that you're having a low sleep latency you're falling asleep quickly and most of the time your body will do what it's supposed to do and give you you know as long as you're not drinking before bed or taking sedative stuff like this right you fall asleep naturally your body knows what to do and it should give you deep sea deep sleep REM sleep go through all the cycles and then you wake up feeling refreshed that's the target excellent stuff that's great info I'm gonna definitely have a best look into that and hopefully apply some of that stuff but um yeah that has been uh four questions done for today and before we wrap it up it is time for what I like to call the Shameless plug so Rob feel free to take a minute and promote anything that you're working on the website the foundation your Instagram just send my people where you want them to go to see your stuff yeah so I just opened up my private practice so I am taking on a couple of private clients if you're struggling with sleep and you want to work with me directly um it is sleep genius it's s-l-e-e-p-g-e-n-i dot u s uh clever little play on uh the web address there um that's my private site and that's how you get to work with me I also run a non-profit that focuses on Veterans and First Responders here in the United States we have put some people through the UK and Canada through the program so we're open to that it's not a primary focus but that is six two r dot o r g 62r.org that's 62 Romeo it's a beautiful thing that we've put together as a non-profit to help people and those are my main two plugs um anybody can find me at sleep genius on any of the regular uh social media and that's all I got awesome thank you very much Rob for joining me today for the talk for podcast it has been an absolute pleasure having you on
thanks brother it's been a good one and thank you guys for listening this has been episode 71 and if you'd like to listen to the past episodes go and have a look at our Channel and if you'd like to listen in for the future ones make sure to hit that subscribe button and spread some love by leaving a like and a comment signing off for now