Ep. 127 – Sleep Hygiene: What Happens to Your Body While You Sleep, with Doc Parsley

Your trusted source for nutrition, wellness, and mindset for thriving health.

We have Doc Parsley (Dr. Kirk Parsley) joining us as our guest for today. He served as the Undersea Medical Officer at Naval Special Warfare Group One from 2009 to 2013. There, he led the development and supervised the group’s first Sports Medicine Rehab center. He is a former SEAL, and he received his medical training in Bethesda, at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He interned in OBGYN at Balboa Naval Hospital and subsequently completed a Navy residency in Hyperbarics and Diving Medicine in 2006. Doctor Parsley is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and served as Naval Special Warfare’s expert on Sleep Medicine. 

His philosophy for wellness is simple: to optimize our health and get the most out of our bodies and minds, we must live more closely to the way we evolved as a species. He believes that many diseases and disorders that we accept as “inevitable” in modern society are unnecessary complications of poor sleeping habits, living in a toxic environment, eating foods we were not designed to digest, and allowing stress to overwhelm us. His passion is to help his patients and clients achieve the highest quality of life possible, and realize their health, performance, and longevity goals.

Sleep is a pain point for so many of us. Doc Parsley is the sleep guru, and in this episode, he talks about his journey from being a Navy SEAL to becoming the sleep guru, the purpose of sleep, sleep hygiene, what happens to you when you sleep, and how sleep impacts your cognitive function. Be sure to stay tuned to find out why a good night’s sleep is foundational to your good health.

“I believe with every fiber of my being that there’s nothing as important as sleep to our overall health and wellness.”

Doc Parsley


  • How Doc Parsley went from being a Navy SEAL to being the sleep guru.
  • The purpose of sleep.
  • What happens to your body when you are asleep.
  • Why deep sleep is the exact opposite of fight or flight.
  • How dreams are a rehearsal mechanism that is fundamental to learning.
  • How a lack of sleep affects PTSD.
  • What aligning your body’s normal rhythm with the circadian rhythm means.
  • The function of cortisol.
  • What happens to your brain and the quality of your sleep when you take certain types of sleep medications. 
  • The purpose of melatonin.
  • How changing your behavior impacts your sleep.
  • What sleep hygiene is.
  • Doc Parsley’s thoughts on EMF radiation.
  • Sleep deprivation and ADD.
  • The sleep products that Doc Parsley developed.

Connect with Dr. Kirk Parsley

Doc Parsley’s sleep ritualization       

Doc Parsley’s website

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

About Everyday Wellness Podcast

Everyday Wellness is not just another health podcast. Your host, Cynthia Thurlow (nurse practitioner and nutrition/IF expert) has over 20 years of experience in clinical medicine and wellness. Her mission is to bring you the best, science-backed yet practical information to improve your physical and mental wellness every day. She is a busy mompreneur and knows how important your time is. She has designed this podcast to be short in time and big on impact. She interviews a variety of guests in the field of health and wellness, and discusses important issues, and provide practical strategies that you can use in your real life.