The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

058: Top Sleep Tips with Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor

Dr. Breus

As health professionals, we all know the importance of good sleep but how often do we include in into our wellness initiatives or address it at the workplace? On podcast # 7 I interviewed sleep researcher Dr. Rebecca Robbins and I thought we should re-address this health factor.

Today we talk about:

  • What stands in our way of getting enough sleep
  • What happens when people don’t get enough of it
  • We talk lions, bears and wolves
  • He leaves us with his top sleep tips and I’ve implemented one of these right after our interview.

You’ll learn more about my sleep habits then I’m sure you care about and we learn how Dr. Breus’s sleep habits defy some common sleep advice.

The Interview:

2:29: Common themes that cause sleep deprivation. CDC says sleep deprivation is at an epidemic.

With sleep, it’s not just about quantity. Quality is key.

4:07: How sleep deprivation affects the body (every organ, system and disease state); we’re 1/3 more slow the less sleep you get and don’t think quickly or correctly.

6:12: What can hinder you from getting quality sleep

7:14: Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits of lack of quality sleep because it has a half life of 6 to 8 hours

8:54: Is the recommendation of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night accurate?

9:21: An experiment to help you wake up without an alarm clock and feeling refreshed

11:30: The first 3 to 6 months of having a child and how it affects sleep. His advice for new moms getting sleep.

13:11: Dr. Breus’s 4 Chronotypes (lions, bears, wolves, dolphins) and the Power of When

18:28: Things you can do if your natural chronotype doesn’t work with the average work schedule.

20:23: What happens if you wake up at 4 a.m. and when your spouse and you don’t align on chronotype.

22:15: Shift workers have elevated health risks because they’re supposed to be sleeping when they’re working.

23:10: How employers can help shift workers.

25:55: What can wellness professionals and employers promote good sleep health.

27:33: Dr. Breus’s Top Sleep Tips

29:46: His sleep habits and why it’s ok to sleep with the TV on.

32:19: Darkening shades/blackout curtains and the impact on sleep.

Links Mentioned:

The Power of When Quiz 


National Sleep Foundation

ABOUT The Sleep Doctor™ Dr. Michael Breus

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He was one of the youngest people to have passed the Board at age 31 and, with a specialty in Sleep Disorders, is one of only 163 psychologists in the world with his credentials and distinction. Dr. Breus is on the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show and is a regular contributor on the show (30+ times).

Dr. Breus is the author of the The Power of When, a ground breaking bio-hacking book proving that there is a perfect time to do everything, based on your hidden biological chronotype. Dr. Breus gives the reader the exact perfect time to have sex, run, a mile, eat a cheeseburger, ask your boss for a raise and much more.

His second book The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep (Rodale Books; May 2011),  discusses the science and relationship between quality sleep and metabolism.

His first book, GOOD NIGHT: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-WeekProgram to Better Sleep and Better Health (Dutton/Penguin), an Amazon Top 100 Best Seller, has been met with rave reviews and continues to change the lives of readers.

Dr. Breus was recently asked by The National Sleep Foundation to be the inaugural Sleep Technology Ambassador at Health 2.0 a cutting edge health technology conference.

Dr. Breus has supplied his expertise with both consulting and as a sleep educator (spokesperson) to brands such as Princess Cruise lines, Six Senses Hotel and Spa, Lighting Science Group,  Advil PM, Breathe Rite, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Dong Energy (Denmark), Merck (Belsomra), and many more.

For over 14 years Dr. Breus has served as the Sleep Expert for WebMD. Dr. Breus also writes The Insomnia Blog and can be found regularly on, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Sharecare, and The Oz Blog.

Dr. Breus has provided editorial services for numerous medical and psychology peer-reviewed journals and has given hundreds of presentations to professionals and the general public. He has published original research and worked on grant funded projects and clinical trials.

Among his numerous national media appearances, Dr. Breus has been interviewed on CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Ray, Fox and Friends, The Doctors, Joy Behar, The CBS Early Show, The Today Show, and Kelly and Michael. He is an expert resource for most major publications doing more than 100 interviews per year (WSJ, NYT, Wash Post, and most popular magazines). He also appears regularly on Dr. OZ and Sirius XM Radio.

Dr. Breus has been in private practice for 16 years and recently relocated his practice to Los Angeles. And can be reached by phone at 480-999-5900 or on the web at