Sleep Optimization, Recovery, & Performance with Dr. Kirk Parsley


If you want to optimize your health, enhance your performance, or improve your sleep quality, this episode is a must-listen. Join Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Kirk Parsley for an engaging discussion that goes deep into the world of sleep optimization, recovery, and performance enhancement.

Dr. Kirk Parsley has a remarkable background, joining the Navy SEALs straight out of high school at just 17 years old. During his SEALs tenure, he spent a decade living at the pinnacle of physical and mental health. Later, he pursued a medical career, graduating in 2004 and interning in obstetrics and gynecology, followed by a Navy residency in hyperbarics and diving medicine.

In this episode, Dr. Parsley explores the profound impact of sleep on various aspects of our lives. They discuss its influence on exercise performance, appetite, food choices, cardiovascular health, and insulin resistance. The conversation also delves into menopause, perimenopausal sleep-related changes, and hormonal considerations. Dr. Parsley and Dr. Stephanie share their thoughts on the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and discuss key hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogens.

Additionally, the episode explores common sleep remedies and Dr. Parsley’s natural supplementation solutions found at


Kirk is certified in Hyperbaric Medicine, Anti-Aging Medicine, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and is currently pursuing national certification in Psychedelic Medicine Therapies. He dedicates a significant portion of his time to advising non-profit organizations that support the SEAL community and providing healthcare guidance and treatment to veterans. Operating his practice and supplement business from Austin, Texas, Kirk is an avid outdoorsman and fitness enthusiast. When he’s not working or working out, you can usually find him in nature, continuously enhancing his medical skills.


Free Stressless Sleep Guide:


0:00 Intro

0:04:13 Dr. Parsley’s expertise in sleep physiology

0:07:17 Sleep as repair and preparation for the body

0:12:58 Lack of sleep affects cognition, emotions, and mental health

0:17:12 The fight or flight response and its effects

0:25:33 Regulating appetite hormones and fuel partitioning

0:26:29 Sleep cycle: repair, transformation, and memory consolidation

0:35:35 The impact of an overactive amygdala

0:43:21 Evening rituals for better sleep

0:47:18 Components of sleep rituals: light, GABA, and temperature

0:51:11 Creating a to-do and to-worry list before bed

0:54:37 Sleep changes and menopause

0:59:02 Insulin and blood glucose: impact on hunger and stress

1:02:09 Interactions between hormones and the complexity of hormone replacement therapy

1:08:07 The WHI’s impact on women’s health and hormone replacement therapy

1:16:24 The impact of muscle mass on sleep

1:23:07 The drawbacks of Z-drugs for insomnia treatment

1:26:07 The dangers of using sleep drugs like Ambien and alcohol

1:29:27 The negative effects of sleep drugs on sleep quality

1:31:34 From SEAL doctor to sleep expert

1:35:02 Ambien and the discovery of sleep issues

1:38:42 Creating a sleep supplement for the SEAL teams

1:42:28 Tea vs. capsules: absorption and dosage



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I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!