Dr. Amy Bender: How to create a sleep strategy to optimize performance and support mental health in 2021


Tired of being tired? You’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with sleep every night. In Canada, 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep and 1 in 5 do not find their sleep refreshing. Yet, sleep is a powerful free tool at your disposal that can improve your athletic performance, mental and physical health.

Knowing how many athletes struggle with sleep, I decided it was due time to source one of the best sleep scientists in the industry to help gather some tactics to help you cultivate a new sleep strategy in 2021 and beyond.

Also available on all major podcast platforms (apple, Spotify etc.. at Imperfect Progress with Anne Guzman)

Dr. Amy Bender PhD:

Dr. Amy Bender PhD, Sleep Specialist – Award Winning Scientist

Award winning sleep scientist Dr. Amy Bender is bursting with evidence based insights that will play an integral role in creating your new sleep strategy. After spending over 15 years studying sleep through many avenues including work as a sleep technician, clinical research, written publications, interviews for stories in Oprah Magazine and public speaking appearances including her Ted Med talk, Dr. Bender has an intimate relationship with the science. Her ability to translate the science to the field is evident through her successful work with NHL, Canadian national team athletes and Olympic athletes.

Dr. Amy Bender knows the value of exercise and light exposure! She’s immersed.

For athletes, sleep is a free performance aid that won’t break the bank. Understanding how to set up your environment to maximize it’s quality and quantity is paramount to getting the most out of your training routine.

This year in particular has brought extra stress for many due to the challenges of our current global pandemic. We know that stress can impact sleep and lack of sleep can impact stress. Learning tactics to put the breaks on this viscous cycle can prove to be very beneficial for many aspects of our health and performance.

I could have spoken to Dr. Amy Bender for hours, but of course in respecting her time I did my best to get what I thought would be the most practical information for you the listener.

Inside the podcast you will learn:

  • How daylight exposure impacts your sleep
  • CBD oil: What does the evidence say regarding sleep?
  • Light therapy – can a lamp replace daylight?
  • How can I reduce jetlag if I travel to race? (step by step!)
  • Why this sleep scientist ditched her Garmin sleep technology
  • Specific tactics to help you fall asleep at night
  • Caffeine, your brain and sleep drive
  • The caffeine “crash”
  • Naps: Can they help performance? What’s too long?
  • Meditation: Is it as restorative as sleep?

This episode is loaded! To round it out Dr. Bender shares some personal insights about how she has managed to push through challenging times in her own life and demanding career path. What kept her going when things were so grueling? I’m always interested to hear what my guests have to share in this final question about navigating imperfect progress.

Dr. Amy Bender maximizing her daylight exposure!

I’m super grateful that I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Amy Bender this week. Her ability to translate science to an audience is next level and I’m appreciative of her passion to do so.

Share and comment on this episode:

Thanks so much for listening. Please share this episode with anyone you think may benefit from a better night’s sleep. If you listen on Apple Podcast I would love it if you could rate the podcast and leave a comment, it really helps to get my podcast heard by new listeners and your feedback is appreciated. My goal is to help as many people as possible optimize their health through evidence based expert advice, so having them listen is key to spreading quality information.


Learn more from Dr. Amy Bender below as well as find access to links from topics discussed during our conversation.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sleep4Sport

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sleep4sport/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dramymbender/

Centre For Sleep: https://centreforsleep.com/

Sleepwellforsport.com (COMING SOON STAY TUNED!)

Light Meter (app in apple store FREE and Pro version)

Luminette Blue Light Glasses: https://www.myluminette.com/en-us

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Anne Guzman

Sport scientist, sports nutritionist, content creator, former pro cyclist, life long learner. “Find a way to your dreams, even if it involves detours."
Running, Cycling, Triathlon, Track Cycling, Wrestling
Hamilton, ON

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