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Shawn Stevenson: “Sleep Smarter” | Talks at Google

Shawn Stevenson is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, featured as the #1 Health podcast in the world on iTunes. With a university background in biology and kinesiology, Shawn is the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, providing wellness services for both individuals and organizations. Shawn is also a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken for TEDx, universities, and numerous organizations.

In his book, Shawn breaks down why physiologically sleep is so critical, how many people approach getting optimal sleep wrong, and quick hacks to get the best sleep of your life. Topics include:
1. Why timing your sleep is like timing an investment
2. How your devices impact your sleep quality
3. What toxic chemicals are in most mattresses and how to avoid them
4. How alcohol affects your sleep
5. The connection between sex, orgasm, and sleep
6. How to hack your bedroom to create a sleep sanctuary

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  1. The talk was fine, but Internet/health-info junkies like me may have heard most of this info before. If you're interested, I think people can safely skip to about time 18:00 or so (TLDR: 5.5 hours of sleep every night for multiple nights is bad). I was interested to learn about the physiology of sleep in terms of lymph and brain-cell shrinkage, how your body cleans up wastes during sleep.

  2. If Shawn Stevenson ever reads this comment I just want you to know that you do make quite a few medical mistakes in your speech. Still, this is a very helpful speech. I wish more Med students and residents followed the principle of clean sleep.

  3. I would say that if you take coffee right before you go to sleep, when you start to feel sleepy, and then you go and sleep, you recover much faster. but you can replace that by some thing with a strong presence of natural sugar, or something like that which also boosts your recovery rate during night

  4. If skin photoreceptors are disturbed by light according to the study at Cornell, doesn't this contradict the evolutionary tale that our ancestors slept near fires (and thus our problem with blue light)?

  5. Informative talk, even for those who've studied sleep quite a bit. Summary:

    Sleep deprivation leads to increased hunger, decreased fat loss, reduced academic performance (comparable to that of binge drinkers), reduced will power, increased cyberloafing (online procrastination), increased risk of Alzheimer's due to reduced waste removal (which happens during sleep 10x more actively).

    @15:41 When we're sleep deprived, the amygdala hijacks out brains. Late night arguments are the worst, and stuff doesn't get resolved. In a relationship, when one partner is sleep deprived, the incidence of arguments increases, because the higher order part of the brain isn't on.

    @21:33 When you drink alcohol, occurs, which prevents memory consolidation and reduced sleep quality drastically. That's why you can't remember what happened last night and have a hangover.

    @25:56 caffeine stays in your system for ~72 hours. To avoid building up resistance to it, cycle caffeine 4 days on, 3 days off, so it feel like you've had it for the first time again.

    @28:27: WHO declared working overnight a cancer-causing agent, because of melatonin suppression. Melatonin is the most powerful endogenous anti-cancer hormone. Every hour of device (with blue light) use at night causes 3 hours of melatonin suppression. Red light has no effect.

    @36:38: stop spending time only 30 minutes before sleep. Replace that with talking to other people (in person), journaling, goal setting etc.

    @38:30 Potassium deficiency makes you more likely to have interrupted sleep. Eat avocados; bananas are not that great of a source of potassium.

    @39:46 80%+ of the population is chronically deficient in magnesium ( says at most 15%…). Instead of oral supplements, use topical application –

    @43:39 Time your exercise to the morning. Appalachian State University showed that 7AM was better than 1pm or 7pm for sleep and blood pressure. Tabata is good.

    @46:15 Get 10 minutes of sunlight from 6am to 10am and your cortisol will drop in the evening.

    @47:24: 20 minutes of morning meditation for 8 weeks cured insomnia in a group of sleep deprived individuals: decreased sleep onset, less interrupted sleep, decreased depression symptoms.

    @49:08 Practice Tai Chi and Qigong

    @50:45 To avoid hangovers, don't drink late in the night, and drink lots of water to eliminate the alcohol (no mention of how you'll have to wake up to pee extra)

    @52:00 Kids are professional curveball throwers 🙂 To reset your cortisol rhythm, perform morning exercise for 10 minutes.

    @53:30 Use blackout curtains. A sleep mask is insufficient, because the skin also has photoreceptors (greatly illustrated by a study where they put a fiberoptic light behind a sleeper's knee in a blacked out room).

  6. How come these arrogant smart asses were busy checking their fones n not be interested in the talk.. Education is somthing that cant teach people to be sensible..
    BTW gr8 work Shawn!!! thanks a lot!!

  7. Not a bad talk and I like his message as well, but he makes a lot of basic presentation errors that make it hard to listen. He doesn't know his audience at all (he is at Google and keeps mentioning Apple! His theory on why Apple introduced night shift mode is because they are afraid to get sued is an indirect shot right at Android), he trips over his words a lot of times, his jokes fall flat when they aren't bad, and just doesn't seem confident. I have heard him on a podcast too and he sounded much different.

  8. Mr Stevenson speaks with an authority that hides his lack of knowledge depth.  Sometimes his information is almost accurate.  Sometimes he is totally confused.  Watch Dr Kryger's talk instead.  He actually knows what he's talking about.

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