Kirk Parsley: Why Sleep Impacts Every Aspect of Life and How You Can Improve and Protect Yours

Kirk Parsley Sleep

Kirk Parsley
Why Sleep Impacts Every Aspect of Life and How You Can Improve and Protect Yours

Kirk “Doc” Parsley completed SEAL training as a teenager and served on SEAL Team Five for 6 years. After leaving to attend college, Kirk received his medical degree and returned to the military as the physician for the West Coast SEAL teams. It was while helping the world’s most elite warriors optimize and maintain their performance after years of sustained combat that he noticed a significant gap between “healthcare” and true “health.” Kirk was compelled to delve into extensive alternative medical literature, synthesizing and applying plans that relied minimally on pharmaceuticals, supplements, or gadgets. His unparalleled success led him to become a sought-after medical human performance expert, not only for Navy SEALs but also for various military special forces commands. Kirk firmly believes that 80% of health is derived from focusing on Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress mitigation, with a strong emphasis on Sleep.

Doc Parsley was the first person in our universe that helped us understand the importance of sleep. In this episode, we learn the mechanisms by which sleep impacts every aspect of life, and it is filled with practical and actionable information on what you can do to improve and protect yours.

For more info on Doc Parsley, download his Sleep Guide and follow him on Instagram.

Points of interest in the episode: 

03:40  Kirk is the first person that really helped Kelly understand the importance of sleep
04:25  Dr. Parsley’s background with the SEALs and in medicine; Lee Rice
10:30  Operators Syndrome; Chris Frueh
11:30  Ambien
13:51  Putting the pieces together on Ambien and sleep disruption
16:40  No one believed Kirk that sleep hormones were being disrupted by drugs like Ambien
20:09  Doc Parsley did bloodwork consults at a John Welbourn event
20:40  Kirk actually got in trouble for practicing outside the scope of his training
25:28  Sleep stages; William Dement
31:05  Your brain uses today as a template for tomorrow
33:30  There’s nothing that sleep doesn’t impact
35:25  The whole reason to sleep is to repair from today and prepare for tomorrow
41:25  The effect of chronic sleep deprivation
50:45  Sleep and wake cycles and how to adjust when traveling
55:16  What supplements actually work?
64:44  How do we get ppl actually adopt behaviors?
67:45  Adaptation
70:05  Teaching kids to sleep
73:40  Strategies for getting to sleep, and strategies for being awake during the night; Sleep Guide
80:45  Kirk’s socials


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This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by LMNT, a tasty electrolyte drink mix with everything you need and nothing you don’t. That means lots of salt — with no sugar. If you are like Juliet and work out first thing in the morning, try chugging an LMNT before training instead of just coffee. You’ll be surprised how much it will improve how you feel and perform. Go to and check it out!


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