Ep07: How to Sleep Smarter | with Shawn Stevenson

In many creative industries it is not uncommon to wear a ‘Sleep Deprivation Badge of Honor’ to the office every morning and champion how hard you work despite barely getting any sleep. Let me put this simply…this needs to stop. NOW.

There is nothing more detrimental to your energy levels, your productivity, your focus, and your creativity than sleep deprivation. And beyond how poor sleep affects your performance, the long term effects of sleep deprivation are downright terrifying. For example, did you know that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep your cognitive scores and reaction times are equivalent to being legally drunk? And that’s just the beginning (unfortunately it gets WAY worse).

In this episode I have an in-depth conversation about the science of sleep with Shawn Stevenson, author of ‘Sleep Smarter’ as well as the host of “The Model Health Show” which is routinely the #1 health & wellness podcast on iTunes. He’s been featured in Forbes, Fox News, ESPN, The Today Show, Men’s Health, and many other top publications. If you’re interested in taking sleep seriously, Shawn is the guy to help you reach the promise land.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • The detrimental effects the sleep deprivation has on your health
  • Shawn’s history with degenerative disease and his path to healing
  • Prioritizing good sleep above extreme workouts and diets
  • The connection between sex and sleep
  • The importance of sleep quality over duration
  • The effects of working the night shift on your health (hint: It’s not good)
  • How looking at a chromosome’s telomeres can tell you how sleep is affecting your lifespan
  • Debunking the myths surrounding daylight’s effect on your sleep quality
  • The importance of regular exposure to sunlight
  • Knowing the balance of cortisol and melatonin in your body
  • How exposure to technology affects your sleep quality
  • Eliminating white and blue light from your evening routines for better sleep
  • How alcohol affects your sleep cycle

Useful Resources Mentioned:


How to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life

Sleep Smarter Book

Ep02: Deskbound – Standing Up To a Sitting World | with Dr. Kelly Starrett

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

Guest Bio:


Shawn Stevenson is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, featured as the #1 Nutrition and Fitness podcast on iTunes. A graduate of The University of Missouri – St. Louis with a background in biology and kinesiology, Shawn went on to be the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a successful company that provides Wellness Services for both individuals and organizations worldwide. Shawn is also a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken for TEDx, universities, and numerous organizations with outstanding reviews.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”