EPISODE 4 - Sleep Performance: How Things Go Wrong, Impacts on Performance and Habits of Highly Successful People w/ Dr. Amy Bender

In this episode, Dr. Bubbs takes a deep-dive into all aspects of sleep with expert Dr. Amy Bender PhD. Amy discusses the benefits of "light box" therapy in the morning, tips to offset the blue light from devices in the evening, "cognitive reshuffling" and "4-7-8" breathing to increase parasympathetic tone and help you unwind and fall asleep, as well as the controversial "nap-uccino" that seems to be gaining in popularity. Dr. Amy drops a lot of knowledge bombs in this episode... Enjoy!

"Lay Ups" in This Episode (easy, simple, actionable takeaways)

1) Get exposure to morning light (outdoors) for 10-15 minutes during winter months.

2) Avoid blue light 1-2 hours before bedtime from phones, iPads, computers (and turn the lights down in your house).

3) If drinking alcohol, do so earlier in the evening rather than right before bed to minimize impact on sleep.

Sleep "Performance Hacks" from This Episode

1) Introduce light box therapy to trigger circadian rhythms in the morning during winter.

2) Use "4-7-8" breathing technique to trigger parasympathetic relaxation response (i.e. inhale 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds).

3) Limit naps to 20-minutes on game days.

Coffee Talk

Amy's "Morning Cinnamon Drip" - Drip coffee with almond milk, cinnamon and honey.

About Dr. Amy Bender

Dr. Bender is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology and works jointly at the Centre for Sleep & Human Performance as a Sleep Scientist. She received her PhD and Master of Science degrees in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University in Spokane, WA specializing in sleep EEG. Her current research focuses on the relationship of sleep and recovery on athletic performance in Canadian National Team athletes. She has developed sleep intervention protocols for numerous Canadian National Teams, and is working towards validating the Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnaire in over 200 Canadian National Team athletes. Her research interests stem from being an athlete herself; she is a Hall of Fame basketball player, a mountaineer, and completed an Ironman in 2009.


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