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Sleep Your Way to Better Performance

Lesson 28 from: Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

Sleep Your Way to Better Performance

Lesson 28 from: Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

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Lesson Info

28. Sleep Your Way to Better Performance

Lesson Info

Sleep Your Way to Better Performance

we are going to geek out on one of my favorite topics and we're gonna talk about sleep. And now you can literally sleep your way to better performance. You guys are going to learn all about the circadian rhythm. And I'm also going to teach you special hacks and supplements to help you sleep better. How to be jet leg, how to master napping, basically everything that you need to know toe optimize sleep. Now, if you remember in the last session we ended by talking about how sleep really is that seventh way that I reduce stress in my life. And the reason for that that I gave was that because if you don't sleep, there are two things that happen that will eventually kill you. That is, you miss out on the growth and the repair of your nervous system and you also miss out on the production of very important hormones. I mentioned things like growth hormone and testosterone. There are others, for example, in women, prolactin and progesterone to other incredibly important hormones that get down r...

egulated when you don't get enough sleep. And today we're gonna learn about why that stuff happens an optimal circadian rhythm, and then we're going to jump into into actual sleep bio hacks. But first, let's go into a review of the circadian rhythm itself, which is what we're looking at right now. What I'd like to do is start the circadian rhythm in our discussion of the circadian rhythm at about 6 a.m. And it's at about 6 a.m. When your body starts to experience that peak or that surge in cortisol. Now, do you guys remember how on day one I explained how one of the best ways to test for stress was called in Adrenal Stress index. And the reason for that is it's not just a morning blood cortisol measurement. If you always measure your morning blood cortisol or that's a marker that you test on yourself, it's always gonna be kind of high because it's supposed to. It's a wakefulness hormone that's supposed to be churned out when you wake up in the morning, and that's why that adrenal stress index has four different quarter Saul measurements spread throughout the day. Now, of course, it should concern you if you were to do something like test your blood cortisol in the morning and it were low. That can be a sign of adrenal fatigue or some kind of a disruption in your circadian rhythm. So when we get that surge of cortisol that happens at about 6 a.m. it's accompanied by a surge in something else called V I P o or vaso Active intestinal poly peptide. Now that sounds like a big word, but all V I p does is it basically starts your body into the process of doing things like churning out gastric hormones. To prepare for your first meal of the day, it prepares your bowels to basically begin that Paris stall tick movement that results in you needing to go to the bathroom at some point in the morning. And this is kind of interesting because one of the things that really helps people kind of reset their circadian rhythm if they've gone through a period of not really sleeping properly, is to eat in the morning. And I know that we talked a lot about intermittent fasting and how there are some benefits in terms of cleaning up cellular garbage by injecting 12 to 16 hour fast throughout the day. But sometimes in somebody who has a lot of of problems with getting to sleep at night or feeling really tired when they get up in the morning. One of the places in the circadian rhythm where you can hit the reboot Buttner is to actually eat a meal within an hour or so after waking, because that's when your body is turning out all that V I. P. So you're basically training your body how to naturally adapt to its turkey to its circadian rhythm. So as we produce that morning cortisol, the other cool thing that happens is the body starts toe wake up. It starts to produce some important hormones that begin to allow you to be more wakeful throughout the day. One of those is vitamin D, and this is why it can be very, very useful to get out at some point within the first hour after you wake and get morning light exposure, morning sunlight exposure. If the sun is shining where you live and you're not kind of, let's say you're just tooling around the house and you don't step outside or you don't go, perhaps open up your front door and just stand there for a little bit just soaking up the sunshine and freaking out your neighbors as you stand there in your underwear, soaking up the sunshine. Basically, what happens is you miss out on some of vitamin D production. I got in the backyard in my underwear in the morning and soak up the sunshine when it's nice out. And it's just a really good thing to do in the first hour that you get up because of that rise in court of soul and the subsequent rise and vitamin D, so sunlight exposure is really important here. You get a pretty sharp rise in blood pressure at about 6:45 a.m. and that's because of that rise in cortisol. Your body is kind of getting ready for activity in people with unhealthy hearts or poor cardiovascular systems. This is this is a reason why we tend to see heart attacks occur in the morning because blood pressure actually peaks in the morning along with that surge in court assault. So it's kind of interesting that you can get pretty stressed out in the morning with that surge of cortisol. If you're not careful, it's also why, if you tend to be somebody who is kind of in that stage. Two section of adrenal fatigue, which, if you remember, is the point at which you're constantly producing cortisol. You're on the edge, and you're kind of getting close to dipping down and exhausting the adrenal glands. It's why it's kind of important in the morning when you're already producing a bunch of cortisol not to dump, even Maurin your body by drinking too much coffee or by using too many adrenal stimulants in the morning. It's also why it's important. Every once in a while, switch to decaf for a little while or do like I've been doing for the past two weeks and just not drink coffee at all. It's a nice little reboot for your circadian rhythm, and this may be useful for you to know going forward as we talk about napping, that caffeine from a morning cup of coffee will stay in your system in most people's cases for about three hours. But in some people it's more or less in me. It's a little bit less. I've actually had genetic testing done from a company called me and, uh, they one of the things that they test is how slow or fast of a caffeine metabolize er you are. And I'm a fast caffeine metabolize or being goes through my system pretty quickly. So different people have different times, but on average it's about three hours for most people, that caffeine stays in your system. Now it's at about 7 30 that melatonin secretion stops, and your body naturally decreases its production of melatonin. Melatonin is something that is very important for you to produce later on as the sun sets in the evening as well learn. But you actually want to make sure that you are helping your body shut down melatonin production. If you're trying to optimize your circadian rhythm and one of the ways you can help your body to shut down melatonin, production is not only by going out and getting that sunlight exposure or like you'll learn about later on if you're not able to getting what's called blue light exposure, but also by being really careful with, for example, some of the bio hacks that I talked about earlier, like the blue light blocking glasses you actually wouldn't want to wear those in the morning. Technically, if you're trying to optimize your circadian rhythm. That's why you also need to be careful using things like, say, blackout curtains that keep your entire bedroom dark. Yes, those help you get to sleep better at night. But technically, they can also be kind of a Catch 22 if they're allowing that melatonin production to continue far into the morning because your room is entirely blacked out. You gotta be careful stuff like that. Jessa question working out early in the morning. It has always felt wrong. In my opinion. Never one point my life, even when I did it regularly. Do you ever feel good is that way? That could be one of the reasons why. But technically, light morning workouts are okay to dio that surgeon cortisol in that wakefulness and that slight increase in blood pressure can make a workout be okay in the morning. Technically, you wouldn't want to work out prior to about 6 a.m. Before that quarter cell secretion starts to go up. That's why working out from like 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. time range, which a lot of kind of people who are high performers type a type of folks do. It's technically not the hottest thing for your circadian rhythm. That's what I was talking before. That 6 a.m. Time Rangi. You do need to be careful because of that production of V. I. P. It's around 8 30 or so that a bowel movement is likely. If you're not having a bowel movement prior to that point, then you may want to consider kind of just giving yourself some toilet time to train your body. How toe have, like I mentioned yesterday, like that morning bowel movement, and that could be actually really useful in training your body. How to get into its normal circadian rhythm. It's actually normal. Few did not try and hold on to that until lunchtime. Like if you can get yourself to go sometime between light eight and nine in the morning or slightly earlier, it kind of naturally coincides with that production of those poly peptides that are helping with with Paracelsus in your digestive tract. 9 a.m. is the point of highest testosterone secretion in males. It's a point where progesterone secretion really goes up in females. This is actually one of the reasons why it can actually be, um uh, not useful, but it can be beneficial toe have sex in the morning. Some of those hormones are actually pretty high in the morning. And if you wait until later on in the day, you might start to get that cortisol drop. And also a drop in testosterone. You don't necessarily have to have sex at night. Having sex in the morning is okay because some of those sex hormones actually peak in the morning. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that I recommend workouts at 9 a.m. In the morning. There's a different time of day that you'll learn about in a little bit that I recommend workouts, but know that testosterone secretion surges at about a.m. You experience your highest level of alertness at about 10 AM now I've personally found, because I've really worked very, very hard to get myself into this optimum circadian rhythm. I've personally found that I need to do most of my mentally demanding tasks prior to 11 a.m. and I think that it's partly because of this natural creativity that for most people occurs right around 10 a.m. So I try and get more of the creative tasks more of the tasks that are mentally demanding done earlier in the day. And I save more of the physically demanding tasks for later in the day. And the reason for that is because you get coordination and a peak in reaction time at about between 1 30 in the afternoon. And then after that you get a peek in cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength at about 5 p.m. The other thing that peaks sometime between five PM and six PM and the circadian rhythm is protein synthesis, which means that your body's ability to repair and recover after a workout is gonna peak at about 5 to 6 p.m. So if you time like your harder workouts, say, like a high intensity interval training session or hard weight training session, or like practice for a sports team to occur sometime between about three and six PM and end somewhere between around five and six PM that's kind of like the ideal scenario for human performance. Now I realize that some of this may not be logistically feasible for some folks, but I want to spell out what would kind of be an ideal scenario if you're able to kind of hack your circadian rhythm and hack your life to time things to occur at the ideal moments. Um, at about 6 30 we see another rise in blood pressure, and at seven o'clock you see a rise in body temperature. Now, this is one of the reasons that using cold Thermo Genesis or a cold shower post workout is not only good for shutting down inflammation and helping you to recover more quickly and move blood around after that workout. But it can also help you to get to sleep later on, because it pre initiates the cooling of the body at about the time when the body reaches its highest temperature. So doing something like a like a cold shower or a cold so cold exposure or used to that cool fat burner vest that I talked about around seven PM can set you up for sleeping better a little bit later on at night. So it's kind of another cool hack that you can throw in is around seven or eight PM ish. Take a cold shower and you actually sleep better later on at night. You can also do that hot cold contrast shower that I talked about the five minutes of 20 seconds hot. 10 seconds cold. Um, melatonin secretion is going to begin at right around kind of that. 10 p.m. To 11 PM ish time range. The interesting thing is that your body is not going to start to secrete melatonin, which is going to help you get into your deep sleep cycles and help you to get sleepy, unless it's actually been exposed to darkness or specifically not exposed to bright lights and blue lights for several hours prior to that natural peak and secretion. Which means that the use of IPads computers, IPhones, televisions, things of that nature after the sun sets and whatever area the world that you're in can actually be really, really dealt with. Military is for melatonin production. Now I understand that that's kind of a downer for a lot of people who need to work on their computer in the evening for their job or who are using their phone or who maybe want to watch a little TV cause you want to catch your favorite show after you finish with work for the day. So I'm gonna tell you some ways later on. In this talk that you can, you can mitigate some of that blue light exposure and help your body to get into that melatonin production range. Now, if melatonin is allowed to kind of be secreted, one of the things that happens is Ah, hormone called leptin enters your hypothalamus and lepton is responsible for doing things like allowing your body to burn fat while you sleep. Stepping up the ability of your brown fat tissue to burn calories to generate heat to keep you warm as you sleep, cooling certain sections of your brain so that they get cold enough for neuronal healing and nervous system repair to take place as you sleep. So by exposing your body toe light. Not only do you shut down melatonin production, which interferes with your deep sleep cycles, but you also shut down your ability to burn fat and repair your nervous system while you sleep. The other thing that can cause kind of ah, an interruption of the release of this hormone lepton is insulin, so a surgeon insulin from, say, something like late night carbohydrates or a huge meal. Uh, late in the evening or late night snacking while you're watching TV. That insulin secretion can also shut down or inhibit a lot of that left in production and once again resulting in inability of you to burn fat while you sleep. Lepton also allows for up regulation of growth hormone and testosterone. So once again, big heavy meals before you go to bed can really come back to bite you when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck out of your sleep cycle. Um, bowel movements are typically suppressed sometime before midnight, usually around 10 30 or 11. If you're finding that you need to get up and go to the bathroom a lot during the night, especially if it's number two. Usually that indicates kind of like a deeper issue going on. A lot of times it can indicates parasites, which we'll talk about later on. Sometimes it can indicate a toxic liver if it's happening sometime around one or 2 a.m. There's some interesting Chinese medicine that has looked in the wake wakefulness at different times of night, some of the organs that are affected, but technically, um while it's OK to get up during the night, occasionally to P. You should definitely not be getting up in having bowel movements during the night. And if you are, there's something kind of going on from a gut standpoint, Um around 2 a.m. We reach our deepest sleep phase, and it's between two and 6 a.m. That we reach our lowest body temperature. Your body has to be at a low temperature in order for your nervous system to repair and recover. If you struggle with brain fog, brain inflammation, if you have trouble with memory with learning a lot of times, it's because you're doing something in your circadian rhythm that's keeping that core temperature from dipping while you sleep, which is when that nervous system repair takes place. So that might mean that you're eating a higher carbohydrate meal before you go to bed at night, which might be interfering with leptin production. That might mean you are spending too much time staring at a screen and meeting blue light like an IPad, and you're not reaching your low body temperature because of that. That's another reason why I kind of like the cold thermo genesis and kind of getting the body temperature down at that point in the circadian rhythm, where you start to get into your highest body temperature to kind of pre initiate that cooling phase. It's also why a temperature about 68 to 70 degrees is really, really nice to keep your bedroom at. Keeping your bedroom at a really high temperature can also inhibit some of that nervous system repairs. Well, there's a lot of little ways that you can kind of hack the circadian rhythm. So in a minute we're gonna jump into four of my favorite sleep what I call bio hacks. But before we dio, um, let's take some questions about the circadian rhythm or questions about anything I've talked about so far. Jessa. Does it change? Seized Nelly. I mean, if we lived in a climb in a place where we didn't control climate like where would be very hot in the summer and more cold in the winter? Um, does that Sure, your body followed that as well. All sorts of things change seasonally. There's a really good book called Lights Out Sleep, Seps and Survival. And not only does it cover some of the things that I've talked about in terms of some of the damage that light can do to your circadian rhythm. But it also gets into moon cycles for women and their hormones, uh, on sun cycles as well. It gets into how, when you're exposed to more light and higher temperatures during the day, your body can actually become more insulin sensitive. And you can do things like handle fruit and rice and some of these carbohydrates a little bit more efficiently. It's often why we tend to crave carbohydrates a little bit more in the summer as well, just because we tend to be able to handle them a little bit better. Metabolically So, yeah, this stuff can change slightly, depending on the season and a time of year. We do kind of naturally sleep mawr in the winter, um, and need more sleep in the winter. So it's it's really, really interesting, like, you know, just and I just got back from Thailand and I didn't just find on, you know, anywhere between 78 maximum of nine hours of sleep in Thailand and man, as soon as we got back to seven degree Spokane, Washington with the super dark nights and the dark, dark mornings. I was wanting to stay in bed for 10 hours, and and the body just kind of naturally wants to do that sometimes, depending on the season. Great question, Jackie. Things like electric blankets affect this cycle. Well, electromagnetic frequencies can certainly affect this cycle pretty significantly. Specifically, what they do is they interact with your cell membrane. So movement of water throughout your body is really affected by electromagnetic frequencies. And, ah, lot of the metabolic cycles that take place for everything from nervous system repair toe left in production that could be affected by especially electromagnetic frequencies that in a very, very high range, typically above about to 12 hurts. So having a cell phone next to your bed having like a plugged in electric blanket, it's a really good idea. Toe unplugged as many electrical devices as you can in your bedroom. Um, I keep one of those dirty electricity filters, Um, in plugged in next to my bed that, for example, that Earth colts that I sleep with this plugged into and the earth pulses emitting a lower frequency to kind of mitigate some of the effects of electro may know frequencies I unplugged the WiFi router. I'll get into some of these little hacks later on, but ultimately I would be most concerned about the electromagnetic frequencies that you get from an electric blanket. And also, if it is generating a lot of heat, it might interfere a little bit with some of that nervous system repair, because that's optimum when your when your core body temp is low. So Jeff is the circadian rhythm optimized Just generally on that window, I asked because and previous jobs, I've been a bartender, so I would go to bed at, like, 4 a.m. And then I've sold products and services across time zones. So it was similar in terms of when I would actually be going to bed and getting up and having the most rest will sleep has been an issue for me in the past. Is that the case? Even if you're normal, sleep schedule is ah, you know, shifted a little bit or outside the Yeah, it's a great question. I've worked with some some face like are shift workers like nurses and people who work in electrical utilities, etcetera. One of the things that will do is try and hack this as much as possible, like if they're working at night, will get like blue light block boxes. I'll explain with those are in a second and get them into the working environment where they're working in at night trying to fool their bodies into thinking that it's day and then at home when they get home. During the day, we've got blackout curtains. We've got sleep masks basically as many things around. It's possible to fool the body into thinking that it's nighttime because ultimately, yeah, this is the stuff that's hard wired into us from thousands of years of living in a natural, light, dark cycle that that doesn't necessarily involve things like, you know, high amounts of artificial light exposure at night. Paris. You talked about the athletic ability being peaked around 3 to 6, and I'm noticed with the athletes, especially West Coast teams. When they travel, sometimes they have problems. They don't really play as themselves when they have the early afternoon gains. Is there something specifically you do with your athletes that you work with their pro athletes to mitigate these? The's problems of traveling? Yeah, we're gonna talk about that when we talk about jet lag. So, um, we're definitely going to get into that. Let's take one question from the Internet if something's come in and then we'll jump into our four bio hacks. Absolutely. M Seal addict brought up another thing regarding the circadian rhythm that they find their most creative and have that energy between seven PM and Midnight's they're asking, Does that mean there's their particular circadian rhythm is off or they're just a different. Their body is just operating differently. There are some people that say that their night owls that are really fooling themselves because they've got broken circadian rhythms. That's usually the case. There are a few people that genetically are kind of hard wired to be those true night owl types whose productivity really, truly is between, like that 7 to 9 p.m. But in many cases, people are that way because they've trained their bodies to be that way. And if they were looking for ultimate performance and ultimate health, they'd kind of shift their body into this cycle, where you're doing more of the creative tasks at that kind of like between nine and noon type of time range. You may be getting into this when you talk about some of these hacks. But Brody Brooks wants to know if you recommend any melatonin supplements. I know you mentioned when your body naturally produces it, But could these supplements be useful? I dio, and I'll get into it. I'm going to be very careful with them and only use them selectively because you can kind of shut down your body's own natural endogenous production of melatonin. But especially as you age, you begin to produce less melatonin so you can use melatonin supplements a little bit more liberally. And there are other situations which I'll get into in a second in which melatonin comes in handy. Yeah, absolutely.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Human Performance Meals
7 Day Done
creativeLIVE Home Detox
Health vs Performance Slides
Become Superhuman Resource Guide
Body Products and House Cleaners
Enrollment Page
Ultimate Human Performance Exercise.mp4

Ratings and Reviews


Ben delivered an exceptional three-day seminar at creativeLIVE that I was lucky enough to attend. His expertise in all facets of health & wellness was on full-display -- and his presentation was clearly articulated & engaging He was friendly and responsive to feedback and gave actionable recommendations which are already paying dividends in my life -- especially in the areas of energy, mental clarity & sleep quality I strongly recommend Ben -- he walks the walk & talks the talk -- genuinely cares about helping other people and possesses a real gift to teach & inspire

a Creativelive Student

This is one of the best courses I have ever seen! So much value for money and so many amazing bits of information jam packed in. What a brilliant guy! Geeky information presented in a down to earth way. I can not recommend this course enough. I don't think I have ever been bothered to write a review for anything (EVER) but this was SO good I had to share. Well done Ben and thank you Creative Live!


Ben Greenfield has a lot of information, best course I have taken in regards to Nutrition and Fitness. There is a lot of knowledge and their a great couple and both have a lot of information to offer, I even like the lame jokes that he makes. Very nice and knowledgable couple.

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