18SP 021: Shawn Stevenson | Sleep is the Secret Sauce

Shawn Stevenson is a fitness & nutrition expert, a best selling author, host of a #1 rated Health and Fitness podcast (The Model Health Show), and a world renowned speaker.

He literally “wrote the book on sleep!” And in this episode, Shawn takes us on a deep dive into the topic of sleep and how it just may be the secret that you need to take your life and your game to the highest level.

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Shawn’s Background

  • Diagnosed with degenerative disc disease at age 20, told he had the spine of an 80 y.o.
  • Was an athlete, but was sidelined with this pain
  • Started studying physiology/anatomy and nutrition
  • Started living a healthier lifestyle regarding exercise and eating
  • Lost 30lbs in 6 weeks and his pain was eliminated
  • Shawn wrote the book “Sleep Smarter” in 2014, which has been a best selling book since it’s release

Highlights from this episode:

  • The “Nacebo Effect”: When you believe something negative is going to happen, it is more likely to come true (the opposite of the Placebo Effect)
  • Your body requires the raw materials to heal itself
  • Shawn has discovered 2 main causes of weight gain with his clients
    • Stress
    • Lack of sleep, or better yet, lack of quality of sleep
  • Shawn saw the correlation between how he was sleeping and how he was healing
  • Your body is healing itself when sleeping
  • It’s breaking itself down when you are working out and going about your daily lives

Why does a golfer care about Sleep Quality?

  • Brain health and memory (muscle memory)
  • Stages of Sleep
    • Stages 1 and 2 are REM Sleep
    • Stages 3 and 4 are non REM
  • Any technique or short term memory is converted into long term during REM sleep (stages 1 & 2)
  • Stages 3 & 4 are the anabolic state when the body produces HGH, which is the youth hormone
  • 3 & 4 is where the major recovery and rebuilding occur!

Strategies for better sleep

1. Do some form of exercise in the morning when waking

  • increases the amount of time in Stages 3 and 4 sleep
  • This also helps to set their cortisol and melatonin rhythms

2. Understanding the Light and Dark cycle

  • Black out your room at night

3. Get the electronics out of your room

  • Especially the TV (couples that have a TV in their room have 50% less sex!)


  • Helps you fall asleep, but reduces the amount of time spent in stages 3 and 4 sleep
  • Have an alcohol curfew (ie happy hour, vs a late night bender)


  • Sleep is the anabolic state which produces HGH
  • Another important hormone is Insulin, which is very important for energy
  • If insulin is “turned on” it’s job is to store fat/energy
  • If there is a high amount of carbs present, it will end up storing a lot of that energy
  • If your goal is to lose fat, the best way to do that is reduce your carb intake which will turn off the “faucet” of insulin
  • You have to find the right ratio of carbs for yourself, your genetics and your goal

*Just one night of sleep deprivation is enough to temporarily make you as insulin resistant as a Type II diabetic.*

When a healthy individual eats a meal, there is a 5% spike in cortisol.

When an overweight individual eats a meal, they can have upwards of a 51% increase in cortisol, which is especially troublesome if you are eating at night.

What is Shawn most excited about?

  • The Model Health Show is about to hit their 1,000,000 downloads
  • Reaching more people and helping millions of people master their own health!
  • His Best selling book!
  • Sharing this journey and knowledge with his family.

How to Find Shawn:

website:http://theshawnstevensonmodel.com/Sleep Smarter Book

The Model Health Show (on iTunes)

Twitter: @ShawnModel

Facebook: The Shawn Stevenson Model

Get the Book Here!: Sleep Smarter


Shawn on the TED Talk Stage:

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