#58 – AMA with sleep expert, Matthew Walker, Ph.D.: Strategies for sleeping more, sleeping better, and avoiding things that are disrupting sleep
In the first three parts of our series with sleep expert Matthew Walker, Matt revealed the many reasons why we need sleep as well as the many short- and long-term dangers of not sleeping enough. In this special AMA episode, Matt comes back to provide a dissertation on listener’s questions about HOW to sleep. He answers questions from subscribers that largely focus on the practical and tactical ways we can improve our sleep in terms of duration, quality, consistency, and avoidance of the common things that are standing in the way the best sleep possible. We discuss: Matthew’s TED Talk, and his favorite public speakers [7:45]; How good are the current sleep trackers like Oura, Fitbit, etc.? [10:45]; Is it bad to eat food too close to bedtime? [15:30]; How does exercise impact sleep? [17:30]; How is appetite affected by our sleep quality? [21:30]; Anxiety, cortisol, and weight gain: An awful feedback loop of sleep deprivation [23:30]; How to optimize your wind down routine: lights, temperature, & relaxation [26:10]; How alcohol disrupts sleep (and contributes to Alzheimer’s disease) [46:00]; Sleep’s impact on sex hormones, and romantic relationships [50:00]; Performance, accuracy, and minimizing the damage of shift work [55:30]; Bed partners: How to sleep in separate beds and retain a good relationship [59:30]; Can we use sound machines and electrical stimulation to improve sleep? [1:02:40]; Will we ever be able to “supercharge” our sleep stages using technology? [1:08:30]; Why sleep is the best insurance policy for lifespan and healthspan [1:11:45]; Melatonin: How (and how not) to use it for sleep improvement [1:19:00]; The dangers of sleeping pills, useful alternatives, and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia [1:28:30]; Can CBD and THC be used for sleep? [1:43:30]; Why haven’t we been able to develop a really effective sleeping aid? [1:50:40]; Can you get too much sleep? [1:55:50]; What to do (and not do) immediately following a terrible night of sleep? [2:09:15]; Why a consistent wake up time is king [2:14:30]; Does poor sleep speed up the aging process? [2:16:00]; Can different people be more (or less) resilient to sleep deprivation? [2:22:50]; Finding your optimal sleep schedule and determining your sleep chronotype [2:27:45]; Defining sleep efficiency and how to improve it [2:33:25]; Correcting insomnia: A counterintuitive approach [2:35:45]; How can parents improve the sleep of their kids? [2:41:30]; and More. Learn more at .
#57 – Rick Rubin, legendary music producer: collaborating with sensitive psyche of greatest living musicians, and his personal story of weight loss and spiritual quest
In this episode, Rick Rubin, legendary music producer and co-founder of Def Jam Records and American Recordings, discusses his early foray into music production which started as a hobby as a teenager and ultimately turned into a Grammy award-winning career that produced revolutionary changes in the music industry. Rick has worked with the likes of the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Johnny Cash, just to name a small fraction. Rick talks about the pain and suffering that sometimes drives music and the cycle of drug addiction and how he has been able to help artists through those struggles to make space for their creative genius. We also get into Rick’s own personal health journey including his battle with depression, his struggle with obesity, and ultimately his extraordinary transformation. Finally, Rick shares a really significant health scare which required emergency heart surgery, and how that experience has impacted him. We discuss: Early career, and the birth of hip hop [7:15]; Early success of Def Jam Recordings, and working with LL Cool J [13:15]; Revolutionary changes in music: LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, and Run DMC [19:30]; Partnership with Columbia Records, and leaving Def Jam [26:45]; The success of Licensed to Ill: how it took off, and how it changed things [36:00]; American Recordings: Rick’s transition to rock and roll [39:15]; Working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the poetic nature of music [45:45]; Rick’s favorite music that he did NOT produce [53:00]; Prevalence of drug use and emotional pain in musicians: Rick’s experience with helping artists through their struggles [57:20]; NYC vs. LA hip hop [1:05:30]; Rick’s battle with depression [1:10:00]; Coping with the death of artists that Rick worked with [1:22:00]; Working with Johnny Cash [1:26:45]; Working with Rage Against the Machine [1:34:30]; The digital age of music: Have we lost something? [1:37:45]; Rick’s health journey and battle with obesity [1:42:45]; Radical weight loss: How Rick was finally able to shed the weight [2:00:15]; Total transformation: Exercise and training with Laird Hamilton [2:11:00]; Emergency surgery: Rick’s frightening heart condition [2:25:30]; Methylene blue and exogenous ketones: Are they neuroprotective? [2:46:15]; The most profound thing Rick learned about himself from his heart condition and major surgery? [2:52:30]; What life lessons does Rick wish to impart on his son? [2:57:30]; and More. Learn more at .
#56 - Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, Part II of II: Sleep, fasting, raising kids, discipline, taking ownership, and the impact of war
In the second installment of this 2 part series, Jocko shares his sleep routine and attitude towards sleep, we talk about his meals (and occasional indulgences), his experience with fasting, and touch briefly on his workout routine. Jocko explains his approach to leading a family, instilling values in his kids, and working with others who may not share your same principles. We also find out what prompted Jocko to make discipline the underpinning principle of his life, when it might make sense to quit, and the philosophical topics such as free will, mindset, and whether or not you can change someone. We also discuss 9/11 and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the future of warfare, and perhaps more importantly, how Jocko’s experience in combat has shaped and impacted his life to this day. We discuss: Where was Jocko when the 9/11 attack occurred? What did he think? [5:45]; How SEAL teams are structured, and which teams Jocko was on [10:45]; War in Afghanistan: Unique challenges, how it differs from Iraq, and the lessons learned [13:00]; Iraq War: Differing public opinions on war, Jocko’s experiences in Iraq, strategic mistake of ISIS, and the Saddam regime [19:15]; The future of warfare: machine technology in war and medicine [27:30]; Raising kids, instilling values, and leading a family [33:45]; Sleep: Jocko’s habits, routine, and attitude towards sleep [40:15]; When it makes sense to quit [53:30]; What makes Jocko different, the existence of free will, and whether or not you can change people [1:01:45]; How to work with people with a bad attitude and opposing mindset [1:07:45]; Does Jocko ever indulge? Favorite foods and treats [1:11:00]; Fasting and meal timing [1:16:30]; Olivia (Peter’s daughter) interviews Jocko [1:21:45]; What prompted Jocko to start prioritizing discipline in his life? [1:22:15]; What does Jocko do in his workouts? [1:23:30]; Where did the nickname, Jocko, come from? [1:24:20]; Jocko’s favorite book, his best advice, and secret to getting up early [1:25:50]; The impact that war had on Jocko [1:28:00]; and More. Learn more at .
#55 - Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, Part I of II: objective, strategy & tactics, leadership, protocols, dealing with death, and applying the many lessons learned from war
In part 1 of this 2 part series, Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, discusses some of his most important lessons learned from his time commanding some of the world’s most expert special forces operators including the importance of understanding the objective and strategy (and then tactics) of a mission, why humility is the greatest trait a leader can have (and certain times when it’s not), as well as the necessity of having proper protocols in place to deal with whatever comes your way. We also talk about how Jocko prioritizes his military and family obligations with his love for jiu-jitsu, as well as how to decipher what really matters in life. Finally, we go through the US history with respect to various wars from World War I, all the way forward, and much much more. We discuss: Objective, strategy, and tactics [6:00]; Training compared to actual combat [20:30]; The importance of humility in leadership, business, and life [33:00]; The dichotomy of human traits: Can you be too humble? [49:00]; Why many leaders lack humility [52:30]; Why Jocko wanted to be a Navy SEAL [55:00]; Jocko’s attitude toward death, and dealing with the death of a soldier [58:45]; The vital importance of protocols [1:03:45]; Protocol for losing a child (or anyone close to you) [1:15:00]; Protocol for getting dumped, and some relationship advice [1:18:00]; How to differentiate between things that matter and things that don’t [1:24:30]; Jocko shares his experience during BUD/S [1:35:45]; How Jocko prioritizes his family and SEALs obligations: Would Jocko come out of retirement and go back to war? [1:48:30]; America’s lost sense of connectedness and purpose since WWII [1:59:00]; How warfare has evolved over the decades since WWI [2:05:40]; Obeying orders and the obligation to dissent [2:09:00]; WWI and WWII, the beginnings of “decentralized command” [2:15:00]; The American warrior mentality, and the impact of freedom on a society [2:20:45]; What impact can an individual president really have? [2:25:00]; The Korean war [2:29:15]; Lessons learned from Vietnam [2:31:10]; First Gulf War, Iraq War, and The War in Afghanistan [2:35:45]; and More. Learn more at . In part 1 of this 2 part series, Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, discusses some of his most important lessons learned from his time commanding some of the world’s most expert special forces operators including the importance of understanding the objective and strategy (and then tactics) of a mission, why humility is the greatest trait a leader can have (and certain times when it’s not), as well as the necessity of having proper protocols in place to deal with whatever comes your way. We also talk about how Jocko prioritizes his military and family obligations with his love for jiu-jitsu, as well as how to decipher what really matters in life. Finally, we go through the US history with respect to various wars from World War I, all the way forward, and much much more.
#54 – Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom: Continuous glucose monitors – impact of food, sleep, and stress on glucose, the unmatched power of CGM to drive behavioral change, and the exciting future of CGM
In this episode, Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom, discusses the remarkable benefits of a continuous glucose monitor for the diabetes population. Peter shares his own invaluable insights he’s learned from wearing a CGM including the impact of sleep and stress on glucose as well as the unmatched power of a CGM to drive behavioral change. Kevin also reveals some of the exciting partnerships and future advancements of their products benefiting not only those with type 1 and 2 diabetes, but also for the growing community of people interested in optimizing health and wellness. We discuss: How they met, and Kevin’s path to becoming CEO of Dexcom [7:00]; How CGM technology works, and what makes Dexcom’s G6 the best model yet [15:15]; Challenges of working in the US healthcare system and getting CGM insured [21:45]; Developing an even smaller, more user-friendly, and less costly product while maintaining performance and accuracy [33:15]; Next thing on the horizon for type 1 diabetes patients [43:30]; The incredible accuracy of the G6, recommended over-the-counter glucose meters, and the unmatched power of CGM to drive behavioral change [48:15]; Software improvements for type 2 diabetics, and the remarkable benefits of real-time feedback for driving behavioral change [58:15]; Dexcom vs. the competitors, the less invasive options, and the fundamental problems needing to be solved with CGM technologies [1:07:00]; The cost of CGM, why you need a prescription, and when might there be a OTC option? [1:12:00]; Smartwatch integration, bluetooth technology, and exciting collaborations and partnerships [1:22:00]; Future places for CGM: Hospitals, nutrition apps, general health and wellness, and more [1:27:15]; Dexcom’s unique company culture [1:34:15]; Parenting advice from Kevin [1:37:30]; Lessons learned through failures and success [1:38:45]; and More. Learn more at .