9am Lifting

A. Snatch

3x60, 3x70, 2x75, 2x80, 1x85, 1x90, 1x90

B. Clean + Jerk

3x60, 2x70, 2x75, (2x80)x3

C. Snatch Pull

3x80, (2x90)x3

10am Class

4 Rounds:

10 Strict Pullups

20 DB Box Step Ups (50/35)

200m Run w/ DB

Highlights from Peter Attia’s podcast with Mathew Walker

(the hottest sleep specialist right now)


Part 1

 ·Walker’s cutting edge research is showing that poor sleep is likely a major contributing factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s/Dementia

            -“wakefulness causes low level brain damage. Sleep is the inevitable healing mechanism.” In other words, the price we pay for being awake is assuaged by sleep

            -when we go into deep sleep, the brain shrinks certain cells, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to clean up unwanted debris accumulated from wakefulness. One of these chemicals is beta-amyloid which is protein that causes Alzheimer’s. Therefore, poor sleep can allow these proteins to accumulate


· Four Pillars of Sleep:

1.     Regularity: essentially the consistency of when you go to bed each night. Irregularity would be something like a that of a shift worker who goes to bed 10pm some nights and 5am other nights

2.     Continuity: how many times your sleep is disturbed at night

3.     Quantity: how much total sleep are you getting and how much of each stage

4.     Quality: sort of a combo of the above 3 pillars. An example of this would be 8 hours of sleep vs 8 hours of sleep after consuming 4 drinks before bedtime

 ·There are two distinct phases of sleep Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

 ·Interesting to note that we sleep in 90 minute cycles. In an 8 hour sleep example, during the first half of the sleep, NREM is makes up most of the  90 minute block. However, in the second 4 hours of sleep, REM then dominates the 90 minute block. This is another reason why it is important to get adequate sleep. A 6 hour night will rob one of 2 hours of REM sleep


-NREM is further divided into 4 stages. Stage 1-2 are considered light sleep while stages 3-4 are noted as deep sleep. During this stage we compartmentalize our memories from the day’s wakefulness.

            -REM: as mentioned above, REM occurs in greater bursts towards the end of the sleep. Not getting enough REM sleep is associated with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts). Walker says “REM sleep is first aid for our emotions”.

-Teenage suicide has a strong correlation with lack of REM sleep.

-Only birds and mammals go into REM sleep

·think about a child who is under slept and/or missed their nap. Their behavior is markedly different than a rested child. Many times they illustrate this through a tantrum which is completely irrational. Adults that are under slept actually are feeling the same types of emotions but of course do not act out in the same way as a toddler. However, poor decisions can certainly be made (food choices, use of words, poor job performance, car accident, the list goes on)

· Walker is frustrated with the social stigma that adults and/or kids that sleep “too much” are slothful or lazy. He proposes it is not a bragging point to say “well I operate on 6 hours of sleep and I’m just fine.”

·Guinness World Record have recently banned the world record for staying awake due to the dangers of such attempts

·”Drowsy Driving” is much more common than we may think. In fact, statistics show it accounts for more car accidents than alcohol and drugs COMBINED. Chronically under slept individuals can have “micro sleeps” where their eyelids close for a split second and during that time frame they cannot react. Drunk drivers do react to situations on the road but their reactions are slow. Drowsy drivers having a micro sleep do not react at all, so this is actually a more dangerous state than drunk driving


Part 2

·Daylight Savings Time: “a global experiment on sleep deprivation every spring”

            -24% increased heart attack risk the day after DST vs a usual day

            -in the fall when we gain an hour of sleep there is a 21% reduction in heart attacks the next day

            -federal judges hand our harsher sentences the Monday after DST in the spring. More lenient sentences in the fall (showing more empathy when well slept)


·Cardiovascular Study:

            -5 year study. Took individuals with no previous heart conditions or coronary plaque. Those getting 5 hours or less: 200-300% more calcification of coronary arteries.


·Diet and Sleep and how they interact

            -if sleeping 6 hours or less, 70% of the weight you lose will come from lean mass (muscle). In other words, when sleep deprived, the body has a mechanism in place to hold onto its fat stores at all costs!

·Reproduction and Sleep     

-for men, lack of sleep will lower testosterone levels to that of a man 10 years older. Also, a significantly lower sperm count and more malformed sperm

            -women lacking sleep produce 30% less FSH (important hormone in all reproductive process including becoming pregnant) and 30% higher rate of abnormal menstrual cycles.

-in a broad sense, mother nature is saying “if the conditions are not optimal for sleep to occur, they are also not optimal to reproduce at this time”. Along the same lines, if a female is fasted or at a caloric deficit, the same reduction in reproduction hormones are seen. This is likely because the body does not want to take on another growing body if food is scarce


·Cancer and Sleep

            -WHO now classifies night-time shift work as a carcinogen

-one night of a 4 hour sleep led to a 70% reduction in Natural Killer Cells in the body (these cells identify foreign invaders and dispose of them)


·If an attending surgeon sleeps 6 hours or less during a 24 hour period they are 170% more likely to make a major mistake

            -1 in 20 residents who are under-slept  will kill a patient due to a major mistake

·Later School Start Times

            -in Wyoming, a high school changed its start time from 7:30am to 8:55am. They saw a 70% reduction in car crashes with their students the following year

            -16,17,18 year olds require 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night (brain is still developing). Unfortunately, the data shows that 89% of kids in this age group are not getting the required sleep they need

            -another issue is 70% of parents believe their teen is getting sufficient sleep while only 11% of teens actually are

            -teenagers circadian rhythm is biologically pushed forward, that is, they are wired to go to bed later and wake up later. Bed 10-midnight and sleeping until 8-9:30am is their natural rhythm. Adults are more pliable and can go to bed earlier and rise earlier naturally

            -Walker says it’s best to let them sleep in as long as needed on the weekends to cover their weekday sleep debt

            -GPA and SAT scores increase at later start schools

            -morning class grades increase with later start times

            -Walker believes 10am is the sweet spot for school start times

·Technology and Screen Time

            -using an iPad for one hour right before bed reduces melatonin in the brain by 50%. The rest of the melatonin then arrives 3 hours later, throwing off the timing of the body’s sleep signals. In kids, iPad use before bed was associated with lower REM sleep

            -not the same affect with TV, but Walker recommends not watching TV in bed because studies show the brain then associates the bedroom with wakefulness. This can lead to anxiety and/or insomnia -like symptoms

            -phones/iPads have been shown to promote “sleep procrastination”. Not hard to envision, but something interesting pops up on your phone before bed and then an hour later you realize you’re an hour late to bedtime

            -80% of teenagers reported they woke up in the middle of a sleep and checked their phones (social media)

            -blue light/LED has the worst effect on melatonin

·Walker’s historical studies show that primitive humans would fall asleep around 8:30-9pm and sleep for 7 to 7.5 hours. They would then nap for 90 minutes in the afternoon for around 90 minutes to get closer to 9 hours of sleep per day


            -90 minutes is ideal because it completes a full sleep cycle

            -do not nap if you have difficulty sleeping at night. Especially in the late afternoon

·Prescription Sleeping Pills (Ambien)

            -“a chemical baseball bat to the head”. It renders you unconscious but in no way does it provide the restorative stages of natural sleep

             -cancer risk increases with those who regularly take Ambien

            -when we get a full night’s sleep, our brains reinforce the wiring of nerves for memory. An example of this would be if you learned how to do a kettlebell swing for the first time in class. A good night’s sleep allows you to compartmentalize that memory and connection so that the next day you can pick up where you left off vs. forgetting what a KB swing is entirely. However, after sleeping on Ambien, there is a 50% reduction in memory and nerve wiring



Part 3

 ·Glucose/Insulin Study

            -a group slept 4 hours a night for 2 weeks. By the end, their cell’s ability to take up glucose was reduced by 50%. This may seem like just another statistic, but imagine 50% of the food you eat does not go where it needs to; this is a breeding ground for weight gain, stress, metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes. Four hours is a bit extreme but it shows just how bad things can get regarding blood sugar

            -those are well slept will move more throughout the day, exercise more frequently, the quality of their exercise performance is better, they build more muscle, and store less fat. Of course, it’s the opposite with under slept folks: less movement, less motivation to exercise, gain less muscle, store more fat

 Leptin & Ghrelin

            -Leptin is the “stop eating” hormone. Ghrelin is the “keep eating hormone”. When folks are under slept, Leptin is decreased, while Ghrelin is increased. In other words, there is a strong biological drive to eat more when one is lacking sleep.

-Those sleeping only 6 hours a night typically eat 300 more calories a day. On a given day this not significant but over the course of weeks, months, years this adds up to significant weight gain

-studies have shown that under slept individuals will not only eat more calories, but their food choices are worse. Given a buffet-like scenario, under slept folks chose junk foods more frequently than well slept individuals

 ·Sleep and Genes

            -study showed that a group getting 6 hours of sleep per night had over 700 of their genes distorted compared to when they were getting 8 hours of sleep! Many of the genes affected were associated with the immune system. Other genes that were upregulated resulted in increased inflammation and tumor promotion

 ·Sleep and Behavior

            -lack of sleep increases impulsivity. This relates to the food discussion above, but also think about careers where being impulsive is a disadvantage if not downright dangerous: stock broker, pilots, doctors, pro athletes, e

            -under slept leaders or motivational speakers are rated less motivational. Slept leaders are rated as being more trustworthy, attractive, and inspiring.

· “lack of sleep is like a leaky water pipe in you home. It will leak down into every nook and cranny of your physiology” -Mathew Walker

 ·Alcohol: it’s a sedative. It fragments sleep, meaning you wake up more often during the night. Blocks REM sleep, leaving you feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Often times people will wake up after sleeping with alcohol in their system and not remember ever waking up, leaving them to believe the alcohol was an effective sleep aid. It is very common for folks to then counteract their groggy, alcohol induced night with caffeine the next day

            -when falling asleep, the body works to reduce its core temperature by a few degrees. (This is why it’s better to fall asleep in a room that is slightly colder than slightly warmer). Alcohol raises core temperature in the body thus conflicting with the body’s effort to create the proper environment for sleep to initiate

            -alcohol is a diuretic, so it will produce the urge to urinate more frequently overnight  


·Caffeine: adenosine builds up in the brain as the day goes on, eventually reaching a high point in the later evening, leading to sleep. In other words, adenosine is the chemical “sleep pressure” mechanism that makes us want to sleep. Caffeine blocks adenosine from attaching to brain cells.

            -if you have a cup of coffee at noon, half of the caffeine is still in your brain at 6pm, while a quarter of the caffeine is still in your brain at midnight

            -when caffeine is in our brain during sleep, a typical disruption of 20% of deep sleep can occur


·THC: Walker does not believe THC is a pro-sleep compound. It does reduce latency (time till falling asleep), however like alcohol, it does block REM sleep. Important to note here that those who used THC built up a tolerance to it. They had to take a higher dose to achieve the same shortened latency. When they discontinued use, they had an “insomnia rebound” and their sleep suffered as a result


·CBD: more promising than THC. Appears that it does improve latency without the reduction of REM sleep. No insomnia rebound has been seen.

            -evidence that it may increase deep sleep

            -core body decreased when taking CBD (bear in mind the body needs that reduction to fall asleep)

            -CBD may lower anxiety, which in turn would improve latency for those who have a hard time calming down before bed

· As a very broad view of sleep, and a conclusion to the points above, it is fascinating to think about sleep from a thousand mile lens. Like, we are dead to the world for 1/3 of our day. We can’t eat, hunt for food, reproduce or build shelter (safety) during 8 hours of our day. Biology and evolution likely did not make a mistake in this thing called sleep. Because it is keeping us away from some pretty important human stuff. On that point alone, I hope we can all appreciate the importance of shutting it down once per day.


These podcasts and Walker’s findings are eye opening (pun intended) to say the least. In his view, almost anything in your life can be improved by getting more, higher quality sleep. These notes I made are certainly evidence of that. Below are a list of sleep hygiene strategies that should get us started:


1.     Do not consume caffeine past noon

2.     Do not consume alcohol within 4 hours of bedtime

3.     Eliminate screen time (blue light) at least an hour before bed time

4.     Sleep in a cool (less than 72 degree) room

5.     Make the room as dark as possible

6.     Use the bedroom as a place to sleep and limit any other activities to outside the bedroom. No TV, reading, exercising etc in the bedroom

7.     Meditation is the #1 treatment for insomnia in Walker’s opinion. So try meditation if applicable

8.     Limit naps to 20 minutes or 90 minutes

9.     Use of prescription sleeping pills is not advisable

10.  Allow yourself a non-negotiable 8 hour window to be in bed every night