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Dr. Kirk Parsley on Sleep and Longevity

By June 17, 2021 July 19th, 2021 No Comments

Many listeners are probably familiar with Dr. Kirk Parsley (@kirkparsley) and his work on sleep. He is a former Navy SEAL who is now an MD who specializes in sleep. In the second part of this interview with Doc Parsley, he and Mark talk more about sleep and longevity.

Hear how:

  • Laying in bed unconscious with your eyes closed doesn’t mean you’re actually sleeping
  • Your sleep will be different based on what you did during the day—there’s different types of sleep for recovering from physical or mental effort
  • There are methods not to only slow aging, but to reverse aging
  • If you cut out a part of your sleep, you are cutting out a part of your true potential

Listen to this episode to learn more about the vitality of sleep, so you can properly deal and manage the VUCA world that we all live in.

During these times we’re all experiencing unprecedented stress. To help decompress, Mark recommends the BiOptimizer magnesium supplement. Magnesium is a major component of body chemistry and is responsible for many biochemical reactions. So you can supplement with Magnesium Breakthrough, the supplement from BiOptimizer. Go to and for 10% off, use the code unbeatable10 at checkout.

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As a result, you are able to fall asleep 32% faster and it will reduce interruptions in sleep by 40%.

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Mark is happy to have another podcast sponsoring his podcast. He’s had phenomenal guests like Kobe Bryant and Mathew McConaghy and his podcast covers a very wide range of topics from jewel theft to birth control. He is an excellent interviewer, and always manages to put guests with the topics they can speak to.  Subscribe and listen to this podcast today at

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Mark: Hey folks. This is Mark Divine. Welcome to the unbeatable mind podcast. Thanks so much for joining me. Super-stoked to have you here. And if you’re a longtime listener, Hooyah to you. I appreciate that.

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Today, I’m super-stoked to be offering part two of my fascinating interview with my friend Dr Kirk Parsley. Navy SEAL sleep doctor and in this episode, we talk about all sorts of things related to sleep and longevity and peptides and who knows what else we get into.

So enjoy. Hooyah.

Kirk: So one thing is you can’t sleep more than you need to sleep. Like, if there’s no physiologic benefit to you sleeping, you’re not going to sleep anymore.

Mark: Unless you’re super depressed…

Kirk: Unless you’re depressed, I was gonna say, unless there’s some chemical imbalances in your brain and then you’re actually sleeping for a different reason.

So if you’re not in let’s say a psychiatric disorder – then you’re only going to sleep as much as you need to sleep to recover.

Now, if you get more rested than you ordinarily get – your normal sleep cue triggers might be slightly changed – so, let’s say the weekend decreases – and I’m not saying this is specifically to you – but this is just a conceptual idea of maybe.

So let’s say fight or flight is stress of 10 and what most people don’t know is that stress hormones get this really bad reputation that they’re bad for you. You know, cortisol is bad, stress is…

Like, no… stress hormones are actually normal. Stress hormones keep you awake in proportion to your environment. It’s when there’s a mismatch that they’re bad for you.

So what wakes you up in the morning – you specifically, without an alarm clock – is stress hormones. Like, your stress hormones come back up… so your cortisol comes up. It goes to its lowest point – as I was saying – during deep sleep that’s the lowest stress hormones you’ll ever have.

And most of that’s in the beginning of your sleep. And then over the course of the night, your stress hormones are coming back up… your cortisol is coming back up and at some point, it’s high enough to wake you up.

And then it goes up proportionally to what you’re doing during the day. And if something really stressful happens, it goes all the way up to fight or flight…

And then it gradually decays over the day… and at some point, it gets lower than the point where it wakes you up. So, let’s say a three wakes you up… it gets down to a two, and then you fall asleep.

Mark: Interesting.

Kirk: So, let’s say your weekend is this beautiful recovery situation, and your normal stress hormones are maybe four. And now because you’ve had this great recovery, your daily stress hormones are maybe running out a two.

So now you have lower stress hormones. And it’s easier for you to fall asleep at the end of the day.

Mark: And it takes less to wake you up…

Kirk: And it takes less to wake you up.

Now, the other thing is that it causes what we call “sleep pressure.” So, sleep pressure is different than your physiologic sleep needs – so, your physiologic sleep need is your need to recover from everything that you’ve done during the day. And by recover I also mean like you’ve learned a bunch of new stuff and you need to switch it from working memory into long-term memory, and associate it with other information and whatever…

So, all of that classifies as recovery. All of that recovery, that is set by what you’ve done during the day… now, what causes you that pressure – and we’re really familiar with this from military training, when you can fall asleep in between parachute jumps…

Mark: Yeah.

Kirk: That pressure is just like… how could anybody possibly fall asleep in that? So it’s just this overwhelming drive to go to sleep. And what that is, is a chemical called adenosine, which is the byproduct of breaking down ATP.

So ATP fuels every cell in our body. And it goes down from ATP – which is triphosphate – to ADP – di and mono. So it’s ATP-ADP-AMP and then just “A,” which is adenosine. And then adenosine builds up in your brain and it says we’re exhausted. We need to go to sleep.

And there’s receptors for adenosine to bind to in your brain… when those receptors get full – like, that’s when you’re just a walking moron and you just need to sleep.

Now interestingly coffee blocks those receptors – caffeine blocks those receptors – and that’s how it keeps you from feeling that sleep pressure.

But the point of it is that that sleep pressure drives you to sleep. And then the first sleep cycle – you’ve heard of the glymphatics where…

So you have obviously, cerebral spinal fluid… your brain is bathed in this. What happens is the cells that hold the structure of the brain – that keep its shape – they shrink down by about 30% and they create all these canals for the cerebral spinal fluid to flow through faster. And it gets rid of all the adenosine, it gets rid of all the waste products of your cells. And that first sleep cycle does like 90% of that.

And then if you have enough stress hormones to be awake – or if you just don’t really have a physiological need to recover anymore and you’ve gotten rid of all of that – then the next sleep cycle is really easy to wake up during. So, the more activity you do – and this is why the reason that men fall asleep when… even when men are stressed and they have insomnia, they usually fall asleep at the end of the night – usually after dinner they’ll fall asleep in their chair or something. They sleep for about an hour… hour and a half, and then they wake up. And then they can’t go back to sleep. Or even if they get in bed, they pass out, they sleep for an hour and a half, they wake up…

Women tend to not fall asleep at all and then once they fall asleep, they stay asleep. And so that’s the female insomnia – and that, by and large, is the difference in muscle mass between men and women. Because a woman’s brain is roughly the same size, but they’re dealing with 40% less muscle mass. And so they’re dealing with 40% less adenosine…

And so on your weekend – when you’re recovering, and you’re sleeping and maybe you’re not as active and you aren’t building up as much adenosine – so maybe you don’t have as much sleep pressure.

And then, when you take away that adenosine – that sleep pressure – and you don’t have as much stress hormones. And you don’t have as much… you haven’t beaten your body down as much, you don’t have as much to recover from, just relative to your normal state. Your brain and body are just going, “oh, we don’t really need to recover.”

So you’re waking up through that, right?

Mark: Yeah, it’s only on Monday that this happens to me.

Kirk: Yeah, and then I would think you after you crush yourself a couple of days during the week – like you usually do – then everything’s back to where it is…

Mark: Well my other question – back to the tech – was this is kind of how we’re so addicted to our technology… (laughing) like, I literally was sitting in bed this morning going, “don’t move. I don’t want to blow my sleep score.”

Kirk: I’ve done that. I’ve done that. Yep, yep.

Mark: Finally I said, “screw it. I’m getting up.”

Kirk: Yep.

Mark: So it can’t tell – besides movement – that you’re awake? Or could it pick it up from the blood pressure…?

Kirk: No. So, the Oura ring definitely picks up multiple things. So to go back to what we were talking about before – the mattress pad that you have – that’s primarily actigraphy… I’m assuming there’s probably some auditory cues in there, where they’re catching some respiration. There’s probably enough sensitivity to catch your heart rate.

So you could get heart rate variability from that, you could get heart rate and like the more things you mix into the algorithm, the more accurate it is…

And just nothing can get more information than the Oura ring, just because it’s sampling faster – it’s sampling arterial… and it’s just great tech. Like it’s well-designed.

Mark: I need to contact them… they should be sponsoring my podcast…

Kirk: Do you know Ian Roy?

Mark: No.

Kirk: Should get him on your podcast. He’s a team guy and he was involved with a corporation – I think they’re going public right now, or they just went public – and they had some tech – and I can’t remember the format of the tech – but they could essentially not only figure out what movement you were doing but they could figure out an energy expenditure from any movement you’re doing.

So you could row, you could go do CrossFit, you could swim, you could run, you could lift weights… and it knew what you were doing. And it would calculate it out, like what your energy expenditure was.

And he was heavily involved in that. Super, super-smart young guy –I guess he’s probably mid-30s, maybe… really, really smart guy. I’ll get you in touch with him…

Mark: So you have a supplement company sleep remedy – by the way, I use it at least four or five nights a week – it really works well for me for the first four hours.

Unfortunately, if I get up and go to the bathroom – I usually am a one-time up in the middle of night, go to the restroom. I fall back to sleep… I think it’s great stuff…

Kirk: And that’s really all it’s good for is about four hours…

Mark: Yeah, but it gives you that first sleep cycle, right? So it really helps you out.

Kirk: So the idea basically behind it is if we used the natural cues of the sun and like, if we lived like hunter-gatherers…

Mark: And if you did that, you’d be up and outside every morning first thing to get that early morning blue light, right? That’s one of the most key things for your melatonin stores, right?

Kirk: Yeah, for setting your circadian rhythm… yeah. So if you look at hunter gatherers who live today and you say “how do they know when to go to sleep? And how do they know when to wake up? And just what do they do?”

Mark: (laughing) it’s dark and it’s light.

Kirk: Right. And so the sun goes down, and they don’t fall asleep as soon as the sun goes down, right? They fall asleep about three hours after the sun goes down.

Why? Because there’s a bunch of neurochemical changes in your brain that happen once the blue light leaves. Blue light leaves, the stimulation leaves, you’re paying less attention to your environment…

And because the sun goes down and they don’t have electricity, it’s getting colder. So their body temperature goes down. So they decrease blue light, they decrease stimulation, and they decrease body temperature. And about three hours later, they feel like going to sleep.

And then they fall asleep, and they get gradually colder and colder throughout the night… and then at some point, their stress hormones start going back up. Not in small part because they’re getting too cold. And then somewhere right around the sun coming up – like, right before the sun comes up, right around the sunup or right after the sun comes up, they feel like waking up. And then they wake up and then move on.

But we don’t spend three hours or three and a half hours getting ready for bed. So the whole idea of the supplement was just to… well, what changes? What are the nutritional composition changes in your brain that would ordinarily happen during those three hours? Let’s just bomb that and try to simulate that.

So essentially, we give you all the constituent ingredients… so, it’s stuff that’s already in your body, we’re just super-concentrating all the ingredients to make melatonin and we’re giving a slight dusting of melatonin, hoping that we’ll initiate that cascade the same as if you would have spent three hours getting ready for bed.

But then your body has to do all the work – your brain and your body has to do everything… there’s no trick in there.

So if your brain doesn’t keep the cascade going, then it doesn’t do anything for you… and I can’t tell you how many people – when I go to symposiums, I hand out a sample of this and I say, “give it a try, come back tomorrow and let us know how you feel.”

And they come back and say, “man, I slept 12 hours. I haven’t slept more than six hours…” and this happens all the time.

And I go, “there’s nothing in there that’s going to make you sleep 12 hours. Like, all it did was get you into a deeper stage of sleep” – and perhaps some psychological changes of making it okay for you to get some sleep. And, in fact, encouraging you to get some sleep, because you want to see how well you’re going to sleep…

Mark: The placebo effect…

Kirk: Yeah. And so the whole reason I’m saying all that – the point of that, is that there’s nothing in that product that isn’t in your bladder or your colon by like four hours into it. If you don’t use it, it’s all going into your urine…

Mark: What would you say to someone who’s listening who’s still using like an Ambien type sleep-aid?

Kirk: Yeah, so the difference being is that – and the only reason I know anything about sleep, is because that’s what the team guys were doing – they were taking Ambien and drinking alcohol to get ready to sleep. And they were just destroying all their sleep architecture.

So we’ve lightly touched on it, but there’s stages of sleep. Different things happen during different stages. And so in-between REM sleep and the deep sleep there’s a transition phase that we call stage two sleep.

And there’s some benefit to that, but it’s mainly just what it sounds like – so mainly it’s just transition from deep to REM and REM does different functions like think about deep sleep really working on your body, and REM really working on your brain. Oversimplification but it’s good enough.

And stage two is just like the transition getting between the two. I do sleep studies on SEALs who are taking Ambien… they have a 99% stage two sleep. Which means they aren’t really getting any sleep. Like they’re really getting no benefit from it. It’s like keeping them alive and that’s all it’s doing.

And because they’re team guys and they have that mentality – “put your head down and run harder” – and they just keep running harder and running harder and they wake up at 4 a.m. and they go, “I’ll go to the gym, I’ll work out really hard and I’ll be super-tired tonight. And then I’ll just come home and go to sleep.”

And then they aren’t super-tired… they’re super-tired at work and then by the time they get home their cortisol spiked back up and so they’re like, “well, I’m gonna have another Ambien. I’m gonna have another alcoholic drink.”

But Ambien decreases REM sleep by about 80%. It decreases deep sleep by about 20 to 30%.

Alcohol does the opposite – decreases deep sleep by about 70-80% and decreases REM sleep by 20 to 30%.

So you do those two together, and you essentially have no sleep, right? You’re just getting the transition sleep.

So either one of those, they’re not really leading to sleep as we know it… I’ve been trying to come up with a good metaphor for that for ten years, I don’t really have one…

But certain things are supposed to happen when you’re asleep. And if those things aren’t happening, the fact that you’re laying down and your eyes are closed and you’re not conscious, doesn’t mean that you’re asleep really, right?

It’s like saying “I go to the gym every day.” But what you do in that time in the gym is what matters, not the fact… you could go sit in the corner and play on your iPhone for an hour and a half and leave. It’s totally different than if you’re doing strength training or aerobic training or HIIT training… like, what are you doing in there that’s gonna determine…

And so that’s kind of what it is. Like, you can be unconscious, and you will be unconscious at some point… you deprive yourself of enough sleep or you take enough depressants – whether it’s alcohol, or sleep drugs, or sleep supplements that are like kind of physiological tricks… whatever, all that stuff…

Yeah, you can go unconscious, but that doesn’t mean you’re sleeping. And it’s not the same thing. It’s not.

Mark: Interesting.

Different Kinds of Sleep


Mark: Let me just put it this way… if you were tracking, what’s a good quantity of deep sleep and REM sleep to get. Because sometimes I might get like an hour of either/or – and it still gives me a good score, but boy I tell you what when I get an hour and a half to almost two hours of each.

Kirk: Yeah, there’s a lot of variability to that, but I’d say kind of a safe basic rule would be to say that you have about a third deep sleep, about a third of REM sleep, about a third of transition sleep.

So that would give you a couple of hours – two and a half hours of each… maybe a slight favor towards REM sleep – but it’s really age dependent too. And it also depends on like what you’re doing.

So – like I said – there is a template. Every night of sleep is not the same. If you go out and run an ultra-marathon today, you need more sleep tonight, but you also need a different type of recovery than if you were going to redesign your business over the next week, and you stayed up for 18 hours a day doing that. You’re going to need a lot more REM sleep.

Whereas if you’re doing something super-physical that’s way more stress on your body than you ordinarily do, you’re going to need a lot more deep sleep, because that’s what you’re going to recover from. That’s what you’ve damaged the most, is the body… the tissues and the immune system.

And your immune system really you should think of that as your restorative system as well… so like, when you strain a muscle and you strain a tendon or you overuse a joint and you have inflammation that’s immune system, right? All that recovery – that’s being driven by these same chemical messengers that are involved in fighting off bacterial infections and viral infections and parasitic infections.

You know, we study the body and systems as a way to understand it, but the body doesn’t work in systems, right? Like everything affects everything, and everything’s always working.

So yeah, I’d say in general, think of it as thirds. Knowing that if you’re super cognitively driven, it’s probably going to be favoring REM. And if you’re super-physically driven, it’s going to be favoring that…

Now if you’re young enough – like, say teenagers – probably like forty percent… almost fifty percent deep sleep, and fifty percent REM… there’s very little transitional sleep for them, but the older you get the realistic ideals…

Now you can add in you know peptides – like DSIP and you can drive deep sleep more…

Mark: So a peptide is just a smaller unit of an amino acid, right?

Kirk: It’s just a combination of amino acids, yeah. So it’s a protein. So when does a protein become a peptide? (laughing) I don’t know, like, it depends on who you’re talking to. And what functions you’re looking at.

But it’s basically just like a series of amino acids. Most of the peptides that are being studied and used in humans right now are some derivative off of the growth hormone. Growth hormone’s a super-long peptide. Its 187 units…

Mark: I started to take one. It’s supposed to be for muscular development…

Kirk: Which one? Do you know what it is?

Mark: I don’t know off the top of my head. Should.

Kirk: So most of them are named… so there’s BPC – body protective compound 157. So out of the growth hormone chain – it’s peptides one through 57 or something like that. That’s how most of them are named.

And I might be wrong with that, but that’s the basic idea of those.

And so a lot of the peptides are affecting your immune system. And a lot of them are affecting your growth hormone pathways. So if you take the entire growth hormone and you chop it up in the little segments – so your body does do this, right? So when you secrete growth hormone it gets chopped up into a lot of different things.

And these little segments may be three or four peptides long and may be 20 peptides long… and they all seem to have these physiological benefits that we don’t really know. Like, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

It’s like, “well, this will make your hair grow faster. Gives you more REM sleep and boost your immunity to whatever…” and it’s just like all this random stuff. It’s just a real trial and error thing, because it is so complex. Nobody really knows like how this is working.

Mark: Are these pharmacological? Meaning you need a prescription?

Kirk: No. So none of these are technically approved for human use – there’s a few of them… like, maybe there’s four or five of them – but they all exist in your body already. That’s how we’re finding them it’s like we’re finding it in people’s body and then going, “oh, I wonder what this does?” And then they’re doing animal studies on them.

But there are peptides that are basically causing your pituitary gland to secrete more growth hormone. And then that’s having all the effects that having higher growth hormone would have, which is essentially a more youthful level of growth hormone.

Mark: Which seems like a good thing. As opposed to taking exogenous growth hormone, which will shut down your right ability to produce it…

Kirk: Right, so the only sort of element of caution around that is that we do know that igf-1 is like the downstream effect of growth hormone – that’s the serum Marker that we use really to figure out how much growth hormone you have.

We do know that there is a correlation between higher igf-1 levels and cancer – certain types of cancer. So which came first – chicken or egg – who knows? But we probably don’t want to keep it above the normal range. Which is what I do with everything, right?

Like, when I replace people’s testosterone, I don’t take it to higher than they’ve ever experienced in their life. I take it to where it was when they were 25 or 30. And we keep it in that normal range.

So when you’re taking these peptides, you’re staying within the normal range. As far as I’ve seen, you can’t take so much of that that it’s going to take you outside of the normal range. It’s like there’s some sort of check valve in your body. It’s like, “this is all you make and that’s all you make.”



We’ve been going for a while here – it’s been such a fascinating conversation – but I would love to talk a little bit about longevity – when I read Sinclair’s book “Lifespan” of course I’m like, “yeah, bring it on.” Went running right out and got some of the stuff that he talked about – veratrole and MNM and quercetin and… I’m a human guinea pig, just like you. Yeah, and there’s some really good growing evidence that that has a real effect on first slowing aging but now there’s new research around reversing aging right like the hyperbaric treatment that you just went through.

So what what’s your take on that and where we’re heading with this?

Kirk: And ice baths. A daily ice bath looks like that’s going to reverse genetic aging. Hyperbarics, as you said, that reverses genetic aging. Metformin – I can’t remember if that is just slowing it or if that actually reversed it as well…

But basically, what we’re looking at is the DNA, right? The DNA itself… part of DNA having some age to it, so being around for a while currently… with the addition of being produced longer down the chain – so as I get older, my DNA expression changes.

And then the longer that DNA is around the more methylation that that gets, right? So think of it like oxidation of metal or whatever. It’s kind of the same idea.

So you get these methylation Markers and strands on the on the DNA strand itself. And then, as you know, they have the telomere length which is like the little end cap that um that’s like the safety valve when you’re transcribing – when you’re copying DNA if you think of it like some sort of scanner that’s traveling along a train track, right?

Well, if you want to copy the entire train track, then you have to have somewhere for it to go. When you get past everything you want to copy, that’s the telomere.

And then once that telomere gets short enough, then you can’t copy everything, right? Because it’s like you don’t have enough you think of it’s like the whole train needs to copy you know a section of the track or whatever. If there’s no telomere at the end then the train just goes off the end of the track and it doesn’t get to copy everything.

So that’s kind of the idea – but of course, it’s got to be more complex than that, but this is as much as our simple brain understands… this is all we’ve got right now. This is this is as fancy as we can think about it.

But so when we say we’re reversing genetic age, we’re making the telomeres longer and we’re decreasing the methylation, or at least we’re changing the methylation patterns that are associated with age.

But what we don’t know is that that definitely leads to living longer, right?

Mark: It does in in mold and like…

Kirk: So, we think it should. And it makes sense that it should. It’s like cholesterol, right? We know that certain cholesterol patterns tend to be associated with premature cardiac death.

We don’t know for sure that if we change that, that you’re not going to have the same cardiac death. And how do we know, right? Because I don’t know when you’re going to die. Nobody else knows when you’re going to die, right?

So if you’re going to die five years from now from a heart attack and we change a bunch of stuff and you die five years from now, we could say “we extended his life five years.” Or we could say “no…” we don’t really know, right?

And so genetic age is like that like it. It makes sense when you look at the animal models… and you look at plant models which is easier to study. You can say, “okay, well as people get older, as people get closer to death, they tend to have this pattern in their DNA.” And so if we change that pattern, we think until that pattern re-emerges you won’t die.

But we don’t know. Like, maybe 20 years from now people start dying with these really youthful DNA profiles. We don’t know.

But if you’re going to hang your hat on something, you say “well, things being common, when people die, they tend to look like this.” People tend to be fat. People tend to have low muscle mass. People tend to have high cholesterol. People tend to have high calcification in their arteries – atherosclerosis. People tend to have a genetic pattern that looks like this. A cognitive pattern that looks like this. A sleep pattern that looks like this.

Well let’s change all of that to look more like the youthful person – it makes sense you’ll live longer. Or at least live better.

And what I strive for really is performance, so I say, “I don’t know if I can make you live longer. But I can make you live better.” Like I can help you reach your maximum potential, feel the best you can possibly feel every day. Get as much work done…”

Mark: There’s no reason we can’t live to 100 plus and be fully active and healthy, because it’s done in the blue zones and there’s individuals who’ve cracked that code.

Right and it could be that you’re just genetically predisposed to dying kind of prematurely, and maybe no matter what we do, you’re going to die by 75 or something, right? Maybe that’s just the way it is.

Again, we don’t know for sure. But wouldn’t you much rather be robust and healthy and feeling strong when you die at 75, than just like decaying for 25 years from 50 to 75 and dying at 75 either way?

So that’s my approach on it. And then I think – again, common things being common – it just makes sense that if every Biomarker that we have for you looks younger, you are physiologically younger. And if you’re going to if you’re going to die at a genetic age of 75, and we can make your genetic age of 75 chronologically 99 years old for you – then you’re still dying at the same genetically predetermined time.

Which is maybe the case… again, we don’t know.

Mark: So the research on… let’s say the hyperbaric chamber… just shows that it changes some of the genetic Markers… to look like they did when they were younger…

Kirk: Yeah.

Mark: But we’re not sure yet if that’s going to lead to longer life. Because we haven’t had the time…

Kirk: Yeah, we won’t know until time tests it out, right? It makes sense though. And I would hedge my bets on it… given my druthers, I’d be like, “yeah, I want to be physiologically younger.” I want to be as physiologically as young as I can be. If I can have a physiologic age, genetic age you study me under a microscope and you do my labs and I look 25, that’s how I want to be…

Mark: Speaking of longevity… we can end on this note, but in the realm of metaphysics I can’t wait till we have serious conversations about the power of the mind to transform the body. Because we’ve all seen and heard stories of the yogi’s and the advanced spiritual traditions… and there’s a whole monastery over in Tibet where these people live, theoretically, for a couple hundred years. Just doing this training. Eating really well – eating light, doing all the right things…

Kirk: I think those conversations can be had – they’re just not something I’m qualified to have. Like I don’t know enough to have that conversation, but I think it’s naive to suggest that your brain and what you do with your brain is any less important than what you do with your muscles or your heart or your liver your kidney or anything else.

Like your brain is the conductor of the orchestra, like your brain is conducting the orchestra of your body. And there’s no way to get around that. Like, you can focus on any area of the physiology that you want to, and it ultimately comes back… it’s being regulated by the brain.

And the brain is 100% being regulated by sleep. So when you sleep, the neurochemistry that you wake up with every day is the neurochemistry you’re going through that day with. And that determines your food cravings, your willpower, your attention, your focus, your stress levels, your problem-solving ability, your ability to look into the future make decisions…

Like, all of that is determined by the hormonal milieu of your brain. And I think of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides as hormones, they’re essentially the same thing. In the brain they’re essentially the same thing.

All that’s being dictated by how well you’re sleeping every night and how well you’re sleeping every night is being dictated by what you’re doing throughout the day.

So again, going back to what we originally started with, I don’t think you can segment sleep out from the rest of the day, and say, “well, this is when I’m alive. This is when I’m asleep.”

It’s like, this is all part of the process, and everything is just as important. So if you cut out two hours of sleep a day, that’s the same thing as saying you’re cutting out 30% of your exercise or 30% of your nutrition or 30% of your stress mitigation or 30% of your personal growth or anything else… it’s no different.

Like, you’re robbing yourself during the 16 hours you’re awake, or you’re robbing yourself during the eight hours that you should be asleep. It doesn’t make any difference. Like either way you’re not living up to your potential.

Mark: That’s fascinating. So What else you got going on? How can people find you? And are you taking clients these days or what’s…?

Kirk: I’m doing a little bit of small consults… I’m still completely stacked on my annual program but if people have particular problems that I think I’m the best resource for helping them, then I’ll work with them for a couple of hours. You know, five hours or over a couple of weeks or a month or something…

Mark: I’ll tell you, when you’re talking about one third of your life it’s probably worth taking a look at. Especially if it’s not working for you.

Kirk: Yeah. And I consult on everything so like I’ll help people with sarms and peptides and hormones and all that. Like I won’t prescribe them for you… (laughing) I’ll give them vaccine advice if they want to listen to me. I’m not a virologist… I slept at a holiday inn express last night.

Mark: (laughing) that’s fair enough. All right Kirk. Thanks very much. Appreciate you being here.

Kirk: Appreciate you having me. It’s good to be social again.

Mark: Yeah, no doubt. All right folks, Kirk Parsley – go check him out at And thanks for supporting this podcast. Really appreciate it. It takes a takes a lot of work to put these on, and it’s very helpful that you support it. Like I said, go rate it if you think it’s valuable and support our sponsors and support our guests. And send it to a friend.

And on that note Hooyah. See you next time.

Divine out.

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