Damian Porter—former police officer, current firefighter and coach, and one of the first personal trainers in the world back in his home country of New Zealand—is here today and coming to us all the way from Perth, Australia—the most isolated city in the world.

In this show, we talk about sleep tactics and strategies for optimal sleep cycles, the power of intentional breathing to instantly change your physiology and depart from an anxious, stressed state into parasympathetic function, tips for stress management, and much more!


Damien’s specialty is managing stress through sleep. [01:23]

Damien has served in the military and the counterterrorist team, as a police officer, and as a fireman. He has learned that the important things in life are health, sleep, and nutrition. [07:15]

He has used his special forces experience in the last six months as a teacher/coach teaching people how not to die. [11:24]

Although we basically speak the same language, there are cultural differences between Australia and New Zealand when compared to the United States. [14:13]

Do we protect our kids so much that they become more fragile?  Rather than “Be careful,” Damien says, “Be clever.” [17:25]

What are the major points of dealing with our stress levels and our tendency toward anxiety and troubled sleep? Learn Box Breathing. [18:53]

Simply offering a sip of water when someone is panicking, will definitely calm them.  [24:22]

What does Damien tell his clients about sleep? Sleep is one of the best things you can do. It outperforms any drug. [28:40]

There are people who would like to have better sleeping patterns but are challenged because of work schedules or parenting chores, or even bad habits. How can they be helped? [35:35]

It is important to reduce body temperature to get sound sleep.  What are the strategies to reduce body temperature? [51:47]

Where does the fitness component come into the picture with all Damien’s emphasis on de-stressing? [56:18]

Do you have the same hazards in Australia in child-rearing as we do in America? [58:20]



We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows, emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

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B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00:00):
[00:00:16]. Welcome to the B.rad podcast where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth and deliver short breather shows where you get simple actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype hacks, shortcuts and sciencey. Talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:00:55):
Damien Porter, everybody, coming to you from across the world, all the way in beautiful Perth of Western Australia. You’re gonna learn some fascinating facts, including that Perth is the most isolated city in the world. Yeah, man. It’s way over across the continent. It’s the difference between New York and Los Angeles when we’re talking about the more familiar cities and in Australia.

Brad (00:01:24):
Damien’s doing some great work over there. and he comes from a interesting perspective of a long career in the military as a special forces operator, also a police officer. So he has that no nonsense straight ahead approach where he’s going to dispense a whole bunch of really practical, simple and easy to implement tips, particularly in his real area of interest, which is managing stress, especially through sleep. So we spend a lot of time talking about, sleep tactics and strategies for not only people that have the flexibility to create optimal bed and wake times of people that are challenged by their careers and other disruptions to optimal sleep cycles. We also have a nice tidbit about the power of intentional breathing to instantly change your physiology and depart from an anxious stressed state into parasympathetic function. And I’m glad we spent some time on this cuz you might have heard this anecdote bantered about.

Brad (00:02:34):
And, when I think about it more with Damien, the power is amazing that if you can simply control your breathing and commence a known strategy such as Box Breathing or the 4 7 8 breathing pattern promoted by Dr. Andrew Weil, or generally try to minimize your breathing, as I’ve talked about on my show, summarizing the insights from Oxygen Advantage and practice that nasal diaphragmatic de-stress breathing, deescalated breathing, you will change your physiology. It’s incredibly powerful and it gives amazing anecdote from one of his clients who did it, I believe he said 67 times in one day. Like she kicked into Box Breathing because she knew she was about to get stressed or feeling stressed. And boy, if you can do stuff like that to change your life the easy way without the elaborate protocols and prescription drugs and things that have side effects and a long arduous journey to, to get better, I’m all ears.

Brad (00:03:33):
So I think you’re gonna love Damien’s straightforward approach, but it’s also mixed with incredible kindness and sensitivity. So he’s a real tough guy. He’s the badass going into the building to save the hostages and all that special training. But you’re gonna love if you’re watching on video, his big smile, or you can hear his energy come through if you’re listening. So he has had time as a police officer, currently a firefighter and a coach, and a content creator doing his great podcast. He was also a champion bodybuilder and one of the first personal trainers in the world way back when, when I was just starting out in his home country of New Zealand. Here we go with Damien Porter. Damien Porter, thank you so much for joining me, possibly my furthest guest away that I’ve maybe ever talked to on this podcast from Perth, Australia.

Damien (00:04:28):
<laugh>, Thank you so much, Brad. It’s an absolute honor to join you on your show.

Brad (00:04:33):
So when we think of Australia, especially here in America, we’re very familiar with the East coast and the big city, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, but Perth, the magnificent Perth is a whole continent away. So tell me what it’s like over there in the state of Western Australia and then, tell me what’s all in between like Sydney and Perth when you’re flying over the continent

Damien (00:04:57):
<laugh>. Ah, that’s interesting. I think the first, discoveries or adventurers here called it, um, uh, Terra Astras, but they thought there was nothing here at all apart from the little coast. Perth is the most isolated city in the world. I’m from New Zealand, and when I was in the Special Forces there, four of us, including myself, were looking to come and move to Perth. And we lit, did our, um, um, background checks and we realized Perth was the most isolated city in the world. And it’s, um, it’s the desert of Western Australia, literally, surrounded by nothing apart from Perth and a whole bunch of mine sites. I could probably liken it to maybe Texas, I’m not so sure. And then on the other side of the, the country, which is probably the same size as America, is the actual cities, you know of, of Sydney and the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House and all the beautiful things. But we are over here in like 40, 45 degrees in the summer, and, surrounded by mine sites, beautiful beaches, lots of sharks. So <laugh>, swimming’s not the best idea here. And, yeah, hey, it, it’s what we make it is, it’s it’s pretty interesting, uh, little place and, uh, a lot better economy than, uh, than where I came from. And, um, of course I met` my beautiful partner over here.

Brad (00:06:19):
So we’re talking about, what’s the stat where, is it 90% or 95% of Australians live within a couple miles of the coast? <laugh>,

Damien (00:06:35):
That’s, cause there’s nothing else there. The whole, the whole country’s one big mine site surrounded by some beautiful coastal cities that you probably raced and they are gorgeous. Every, Kiwi, every, New Zealander goes to the Gold Coast in Brisbane, when they go on holiday, they leave New Zealand

Brad (00:06:53):
Oh, to get warmer and more, more tropical scene

Damien (00:06:56):
<laugh>. Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Brad (00:06:58):
So you had a background in military, which I think is gonna be fun to get into, and also your current role, supporting, those peak performers in the military and elsewhere. So maybe give us a little background on your career track and how you got into your current position.

Damien (00:07:15):
Yeah, thanks Brad. So, you know, I was, I was a personal trainer back in the day. Um, we started personal training in the gyms and it was just very, um, old school. But at 27 years old, I, I joined the, um, I think you call them reserves or part-time Army or National Guard. I joined the reserves and then, um, I ended up doing a Mission to Timor, um, in 2000, which, um, was a real eyeopener. It started to get me out of, out of the gym scene into real life, um, into, you know, life and death decisions, what what was really important for, for humans. And, uh, long story short, I left the military straight away when I came back because of course the grass is greener. And then after a couple years of exercise rehab, teaching that I then had, I could make an informed decision of this is the military, this is civilian life.

Damien (00:08:05):
And I chose the military. I went back into the military in 2003, uh, tried out for special forces here in 2005 in, in, in New Zealand. And, um, I served in the New Zealand s SAS Counterterrorist team. So it’s kinda like, if you think of your Seal Team six, you Delta force over there in the States, we did, um, hostage rescue in training in reality for, for all the time. But I just got off a show yesterday, uh, with a, a fellow NZ s SAS operator. We made life and death decisions every single day for ourselves. You know, abs sailing off the side of the building, jumping outta a helicopter, but not only for ourselves, we look after the guy next to us, and if you’re in a leadership role looking after that. So what that taught us was, um, some real life importance. Gave us real purpose, uh, because of life and death situations.

Damien (00:08:57):
And it, it really changed my outlook in life. It changed the importance of things. I served three years there and then I ended up coming to Perth. As I said some operators, we all come over here. I fell into policing. I’ve been a fireman for the last 11 years, but I’ve also been the whole time teaching, I guess health coaching. I teach sleep, stress and human nutrition. And, I love helping people. And the reason why Brad is most people don’t know the military. We are not there to be the Rambos. We are in service of others and our role in the, in, in my team, in the Counterterrorist team and hostage rescue team, we put our bodies before you. We are gonna, we’re gonna save you guys, we’re gonna save everybody else.

Damien (00:09:47):
The things we do are, y most people couldn’t comprehend. Not saying that they couldn’t do it, but they can’t comprehend the level of we’ll put our bodies in front of those, those bullets and those bad guys and those bombs in order to, to help others. And we, we love doing that. We’re just wired that way. Pretty weird, to be honest. But look, that carried on to the health side of things. And I, I really am passionate about helping others and I do that as much as I can, uh, in my spare time as well.

Brad (00:10:15):
So you’re have a coaching operation and also working with like, groups, clientele, uh, uh, corporate, military. Tell us about your services.

Damien (00:10:26):
Sure. I mean, uh, for about 10 or so years, um, a mentor of mine, Rowan Ellis in New Zealand, he, um, he said, look, you’ve got so much information. Yeah, you’ve been, you’ve been in the, in the fitness and health world, which are interrelated, but not not linked fitness and health, as you know, from our, um, which was literally your journey. He said, just, just have people pay for your time. And, and I like to get a, a really good product out. So I thought, okay, I’ve really gotta get a concrete version of what I’m doing. I just taught clients individually over, over, um, 12 week programs correcting their nutrition, getting it back to what they needed to do individually, um, correcting their sleep back to normal, which is so well needed. And the stress side of it was important, but I don’t do so much of it any really Now, I, I’ve changed tech a little bit.

Damien (00:11:24):
I, I still help people out if I can. I had someone come to me, really needed some assistant, and I’m happy to help them and take them on board as a, as a individual client. But I’ve really found my purpose using my special forces training experience in the last six months, teaching people how not to die. And it’s, it’s, it’s self-defense, which is nobody likes to know self-defense, but the how not to die just seem to resonate. You know, I teach people to lock the door in their car and, and take an air butt out when they’re, when they’re running, especially if you’re, you’re a female or just situation awareness. And long story short, it resonated, Brad, and I’ve had messages saying, you know, I’ve been a Special forces guy for 20 years. My wife hasn’t listened to a word I’ve said, <laugh>, and she’s following you <laugh>. And, and it’s working. So, again, I’m trying to serve others by helping them, um, uh, their loved ones stay safe and yeah, stay safe and able to come home.

Brad (00:12:18):
Well, it seems like we’ve, uh, systematically lost our hypervigilance these days. Uh, we’ve talked about that in some of the Primal Blueprint books because, um, everything’s been, uh, anesthetized, uh, from danger. And there’s examples like the road signs and the guardrails in America that we obsessively put up to prevent car accidents. And then you go to the Alps in Europe and there’s no signs, there’s no guardrail, and they’re windy, crazy roads that are way more dangerous, but there’s less accident rate because when you’re driving on a windy, crazy road in the mountains, you’re not changing the CD changer or looking at your mobile device. And then if you take that example and, and push it into all the different areas where you could be looking at your device while you’re crossing the crosswalk, even though the light’s green, you kind of, uh, maybe benefit from tuning in to some of these things that have been suppressed by the safety and predictability of modern life.

Damien (00:13:15):
Absolutely. And it even relates to food as well. I mean, you gotta take ownership, don’t get brand, you gotta take ownership of your sleep, your food, your stress response, and no, not outsource it at all. And I was just teaching, uh, I, I was chatting with a SAS operator yesterday, I think, and we teach our kids the right stuff. Yeah, we, but we forget about ourselves. And like they say in the plane, you know, the oxygen mask comes down, put it on yourself first. Save yourself first. Be your service to others. Same with first aid. Make sure you are safe. Then you can help others. That same, what if you’re safety deprived as a parent? How good a parent are you gonna be? How good a a partner are you gonna be? How good are you gonna be at work? All these things. And let’s, let’s do the right thing for ourselves as well as other people and, and even these experts that they don’t practice what they preach. It’s, it’s so important to keep to those basics in my opinion, and, and just do well for yourself and then you can help others.

Brad (00:14:13):
That’s a good one. I was going to observe that on my visits to Australia and New Zealand for racing, I experienced a culture that had a tremendous appreciation for fitness, outdoor living, athletic lifestyle, um, the no worries mate mentality and the friendliness of the New Zealanders. I stayed with host families there for a week and just became part of their lives. And it seemed to me, um, there were some really refreshing, wonderful differences from the stereotypical American culture and the excess and the consumerism and the exportation of these assets to other places. So I’m wondering, clearly you guys aren’t immune from, um, the, the, the pressure forces of modern life being in the southern hemisphere, but I’m wondering if you see any compare and contrast from a lot of the things that might be, uh, sensationalized when you look at American culture, but actually have a lot of, uh, areas of truth to them, including the obesity rates and the, uh, the other things that are, that have gone off the deep end here, um, knowing we still have some challenges to, to navigate down under.

Damien (00:15:23):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think maybe it’s the size, you know, what have you guys got like 320 million people? It’s, it’s a lot of people. Coming to Perth was a big, big change. Perth that you, you think of as a city, but te uh, technically I think it’s like two or three Ks long with a bunch of different suburbs, they call them. Well, in New Zealand, that’d be a whole new town <laugh>. So they’re, they’re very small in New Zealand. And I think that gets you outta that big city mentality that, that I could sort of summarize what you are saying there and gets you to take ownership. You know, the kids do play outside, you are outside more, cuz you’re not stuck in that, that concrete jungle so much. And I think I, I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago, if you are in that concrete jungle, you can then gotta, hey, that’s where we are now.

Damien (00:16:11):
I’m gonna do the best I can with what I’ve got where I am. Which actually <laugh> at the motto of the unit, they say it’s who dares wins for the SAS, actually it’s do the best you can with what you’ve got where you are, which I think applies to everybody. And that’s, and answering your question in a slightly roundabout way, Brad, that’s what Kiwis do and that’s what Australians do because we were always removed from the commonwealth, removed from the empire we’re, we’re in this, we’re thousands of miles away, you know, in the next country’s Antarctica for my country. And you’ve gotta make do with what you’ve got. And it’s, it’s a common sense stand on your own two feet mentality. I mean, an example, and I’m not the best dad. II try to be my best dad to my seven year old.

Damien (00:16:58):
He’s two years old. I’ve got him outside with a, a hammer and saw and things. I taped up the four chlor end of the hammer. So he wouldn’t, you know, scone himself. But why not? I mean, because I remembered at three years old I was doing the same thing in kindergarten, so let’s expose them. And what was amazing was seeing his level of exposure to these things. I I know he is safe. Cause he, as you said, had no guardrails. I wouldn’t let the kid die, but, you know, I wanted to expose him to that.

Brad (00:17:25):
That’s funny. My former podcast guest and friend Gitta Sivander was talking about how she had a little stool for her son at a year and a half or two years old so he could get up there and crack some eggs and cook them on a hot stove and Wow. When, when he burns himself, he’ll, he’ll never forget the lesson. But, you know, the stuff we do <laugh> to, to, to keep the, the kids safe from everything starts to get exponentially increased to the point that they’re, you know, become emotionally fragile because they haven’t had any adversity. And, I like all those anecdotes of, you know, busting loose a little bit.

Damien (00:18:05):
Yeah, a hundred percent. And I caught myself one time, like I do try to be the best dad I can be, um, to him. I, um, I said to him one time, I’ll be, be careful. And then I stopped myself and I changed it to be clever. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I thought, you know, because that mind power, that mental, that the, the mental programming that you and I went through to become champions. it wasn’t, um, don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t lose, don’t lose. We, we had that positive reinforcement, so be clever or get to the end, or I’m the winner or these things. So I had to say, be clever if you’re crossing the road or whatever. And I think those little things count and, but it also seeps into, back into my brain, hopefully makes me the best sort of person I can be as well.

Brad (00:18:53):
So how do we take ownership, as you call it, of our stress levels, our tendency toward anxiety, as well as our sleep, which are the big points that you hit?

Damien (00:19:09):
Yeah, I love that. Thank you. That’s a great question. Look, anxiety, we can either react or we can create and, uh, they’re almost the same letters. <laugh>. Oh

Brad (00:19:20):
Yeah, I’m not as genius. Genius say, is that an acronym? Did you just, uh, make up a, uh, it’s pretty close. We can use that in our wordplay game. Yep. <laugh>.

Damien (00:19:29):
So you can either react or create and, um, you are in charge of your brain. Um, you know, you’ve done the, you’ve got Tony Robbins, I did the John Keo mind power, but you, you create your thoughts. Um, so you’re in charge. You’re not a you’re not a slave to what’s going on around you. Your environment will influence you, but you are in charge of this and it’s a supercomputer. Um, on top of that, we’ve actually got some technology now we’ve got the breathing things that we’ve got. Mark Divine from SEALFIT does the Box Breathing. We’ve got all these the, the PR YAMA apps. Um, I guess you’ve got all the meditation apps. So that’s well beyond my skillset. I’m a basic SF guy. And before we went in to do dangerous things, we would just breathe, chill down, go. And we should be the most anxious ever cuz we’re gonna go in a life-threatening situation.

Damien (00:20:17):
So ownership, how to take ownership or Box Breathing’s out there, Box Breathing without any thinking will switch off your fight and flight response. And is that easy? So we’ll be doing Box Breathing in the helicopters before we go and do things. And all the eff guys do it. It was actually invented for the Navy Seals, all the special forces units around use around the world. So why not let civilians use it? Because it’s an easy tool. Uh, you don’t have to believe it, which is great cuz not a belief system. All you do is you breathe in and I’ll use three seconds, breathe in, 3, 2, 1, hold your breath, 3, 2, 1, breathe out, 3, 2, 1, hold your breath, 3, 2, 1. Do it for a few times. Switches off your stress response, switches off your anxiety, maybe only for the couple minutes you do it, but why not?

Damien (00:21:04):
We, we love cheating. Who dares wins? You know? So that’s straightaway ownership there. And anybody that’s listening, you now have a tool that will conquer your stress for that time. So there’s no excuse. Just do that. And if you wanna know the physiology, and I know I’m preaching the choir with you, Brad, my friend, the physiology for the, for the listeners, um, you’re only getting oxygen in for three seconds. So for the other nine seconds, your brain goes, oh my God, this kid is choking himself, calm him or hurt down because we don’t have much ear. So we are just gonna be super calm. So there’s, there’s one bit of ownership from knowledge.

Brad (00:21:49):
Hmm. That’s a good way to explain it. And it reminds me of the popular strategies and books like the Oxygen Advantage with Patrick McKeown or Breath by James Nester, where they’re talking about minimizing the intake of oxygen and improving the carbon dioxide tolerance to elicit a stress response as well as a performance advantage. But when you think about that Box Breathing, only one side of the box is the inhale, but I guess yeah, it goes hand in hand with the, when we’re stressed, the tendency is to over breathe, I guess as a panic reaction.

Damien (00:22:26):
Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. You know, your shallow breathing and, and lots of it. I mean I had covid about a, a week and a half, two, two weeks ago, and I saw the breathing, um, with the Uber ring. It was amazing to see. And my respiration was had gone from 12, subconsciously because you are literally physically stressed. So yeah, the respiration rate changes and you do breathe shallow and, but that’s a, that’s a vicious cycle as you said. You’re gonna get, um, uh, uh, feeds into, well, I’m not breathing much, so I’m stressed. So it’s a vicious cycle.

Brad (00:23:05):
It’s almost hard to believe when I’ve read this and heard this so much that if you engage in, uh, any manner of, uh, deliberate nasal diaphragmatic breathing, such as Box Breathing in the other recommended practices, um, you can, uh, literally change your body chemistry on the spot. And secondly, that you will transcend, uh, the state of, uh, panic anxiety and actually, uh, kick into parasympathetic. And I’m, I’m now thinking about it more. And I guess if someone is truly worked up and anxious and really in a, uh, disrupted state, I would guess that if you went over and asked them to engage in Box Breathing, that they would either be incapable of listening to your direction and they couldn’t do it. And they’d be telling you why with a breathless, Damian, I can’t, don’t bother me right now. I’m too nervous. I I don’t wanna do your stupid breathing drills that you taught me yesterday. It would either be that, or if you somehow able to, you know, as a special forces operator, come in, grab ’em by both shoulders and saying, look, you’re gonna breathe and follow me right now. And then would it actually work? Is it that powerful of a technique that it can truly transcend a body chemistry in a short time? If you can do it,

Damien (00:24:22):
It is. And that classic one I use the kids, you know, they’re hurt and you say, look at me, breathe. So it is, but let me go back to the first one you said, you know, they’re literally breathless going, Hey, I don’t wanna do your stupid breathing drills, Damien. Um, as SF guys and I, we’re always humble, we’re always learning. I interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, uh, a couple months ago. He taught me something that was amazing. This broke my mind. He said, if someone’s in that state, you just hand them a bottle of water

Damien (00:24:54):
And you just say, have a sip. And he was chilled. He’s an old, he’s an older guy. He’s, you know, they tell stories, I’m not that good at storytelling. Okay. And then they, they started getting one up. Yep. Okay. Just have another sip. What that did. It forced, we, the sipping forced them into rest and digest for that one or two seconds. So it broke the loop and we were, um, we were talking maybe at a car crash, you know, you got a victim or a witness that’s really flipping out and maybe coming along as a police officer. And then, okay, you wanted to calm them down, but I was blown away. How simple is this here have a bottle of water. Yep, yep. And you’re just listening. They’re flipping out. You’re not trying to control them, therefore, they’re not anxious about some, some guy or girl, you know, tell him the opposite. Okay, just have a sip. Just have a sip. Have a sip. And I, so I interviewed him and then something happened with my boy, you know, uncontrollable crying a couple days, days later, boom. Here, have a sip. It worked. Just that, it just broke it for a couple of seconds, then broke it. And once you break that cycle, then you go, okay, now breathe. And yet, okay, you’re still thirsty, have another drink. And I thought this was amazing. And it does answer your question eventually, Brad, it does break that body chemistry.

Brad (00:26:11):
I love that the water trick is, is brilliant <laugh>. I mean, we can all do that to ourselves as well as, uh, offer that to someone who’s stressed out and Exactly. Um, and I guess if someone is really suffering with, uh, things that are disruptive to their life in, in terms of, um, anxiety or over, over, uh, overdoing it on the stress response, they can simply put in more practice and, and kick into breathing until it becomes, uh, you know, rewiring those flawed pathways that keep lighting up.

Damien (00:26:47):
Perfect. Look, you said you nailed it. So with a client, uh, I tell ’em, do the Box Breathing twice a day, every day. And as required, and for listeners, I have, I’ll give this example as

Brad (00:26:57):
Needed. It’s like, you can put it in a prescription bottle with the little printout. I love

Damien (00:27:02):
It. Exactly. Exactly. And we’ll go to sleep soon. And, and Dr. Kirk Parsley, my sleep guy, um, he says, sleep’s not sexy. Why is it so hard to sell sleep? But going back to the stress, um, I gave it to a a 27 year old, uh, female client years ago, and she was pretty stressed, you know, young girls. Um, and she had to go to court one day as a witness for the prosecution for the good guys, a witness for the police. She told me she sat outside the courtroom surrounded by police. Everybody’s been through metal detectives. So in logic, it’s the safest place ever. <laugh>, of course, she was anxious. She told me she did it like 67 times that day, realized she had the feeling do Box Breathing, realize the feeling do Box Breathing. What ownership is that? You know, Brad, that’s, that’s, I was so happy to hear that. And she had a great day.

Brad (00:27:50):
It’s, uh, almost like if you have the discipline and the, the focus and the, and the desire to execute the recommendation 67 times in one day, it seems like you’re, you’re gonna cure or or greatly alleviate any tendency or, you know, natural condition that you know that you’re, you, you suffer from quote unquote suffer. You just take charge. And I guess that goes back to your opening statement there where people take ownership.

Damien (00:28:23):
I think so. I think so. I agree. I was, I was just so stunned up, you know, I said twice a day every day and was acquired and she’s like, the next coaching call we catch up and she’s did it this many times. I just so proud. You know, she identified it and she went, I don’t need to feel like that. Here’s the tool, thumb put, put the app on.

Brad (00:28:40):
Fantastic. Wow. Yeah.what about the big challenge of sleep? And my observation on this is most people already know a lot of the important attributes that we’ll talk about, but still remains a glaring area of weakness or, uh, insufficiency in people who are otherwise aspiring to lead a healthy, productive, balanced lifestyle.

Damien (00:29:06):
It really does. And it’s, I think there’s a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know, I just took one hour of sleep off a a night and I get I can, I’m therefore this much more productive than every other human. You know, he’s ultra-competitive, ultra, um, if you’re not with me, you’re against me sort of guy. But it was true. He was, he was, he had more time in the day. I would actually challenge if he was more productive. Sleep is the most anabolic thing you can do. Sleep is one of the, the best things you can do. I think it outperforms any drug. I mean, if you are sleep deprived by two hours, you’re 30% insulin resistant, five hours or less, you’re in insulin resistant for 24 hours. You can reverse that in one night’s sleep. No drug, no drug will reverse insulin resistance in that time.

Damien (00:29:56):
Sleep is so important in Kirk Parsley explained to me really well in a show once, he said sleep is where you recover from the day’s activities before. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Now if you could recover a hundred percent, you wouldn’t age If you recover when you sleep and you don’t quite recover, but you gotta recover the most you physically can when you sleep. And that’s literally the best anti-aging thing there is because you’re recovering from the day’s activities. Look how long kids sleep for. Cuz they’re growing and they’re super active. A kid will cut themselves or have a sprain or a bruise next day. They wake up and, and go and do it again cuz they re they were so anabolic, so recovered. And it is so important. And for us, older generation that are using our brains rather than our physicality, it’s super important to make that, that brain recover and, and, and convert those long-term, the short-term memories from yesterday into long-term memory today and perform with our brain because we, our bodies aren’t what they were in our twenties.

Damien (00:30:58):
We know better as parents, we teach our kids how to get to sleep. That’s the point of the little baby and then the toddler and, and then the, the whatever they, the name is for when they’re 7, 8, 9. And we, we, we just don’t put importance on it for ourselves. But they know, I mean, they sleep 12 hours a day sometimes, um, depending on the age range. Sleep is one of the, the most important things you do for your health, your recovery, your performance. It’s literally performance enhancing. If you’re not, you’re putting the hand brake on. And I’ll give an example. Let’s use a ego example. A male who loses one hour of his sleep a night for one year will put on 14 pounds of body fat.

Damien (00:31:42):
Now if you’re not putting on body fat, if you’re listening, you’ve got the ha but you’re only getting, you’re losing an hour of sleep. You’ve got the hand brake on. So you are doing great. Well done. You, you’ve, you’ve got some good nutrition. You’re probably exercising hard, but you are, you are literally pedaling into the wind. You’re literally got the hand brake on going against the current, whatever analogy you want to use. That is a straight up, exact stat of, of what sleep deprivation can do. And that is only an hour. So sleep of seven and a half to nine hours, depending on which one makes you feel the best. It’s not a rule. You, we need it every, every night and it needs to be consistent and you will perform better and you’re gonna be less anxious. Your metabolism is gonna be amazing.

Damien (00:32:26):
Your insulin sensitivity is gonna be great. Your hunger’s gonna normalize. Your interviewed Chris Van last week, one of the Delta force guys who captured s mue and he was in a dark, wobbly, depressive suicidal state, absolutely open to talk about it. He, to get himself right, he went in the, into the wilderness for two or three weeks and after 11 days his sleep normalized. He felt amazing. He talked to his partner and he became human again. He got back to where he was cuz he was a one of the best guys in the world at what he did. So sleep is key, but we do not place the importance of it. I still dunno why, Brad, but it is something we do.

Brad (00:33:07):
I’m fascinated by the research showing that if you’re sleep deprived, you’re 20% slower with cognitive function or some number like that. And then the add-on is that you’re not aware of it because you’re sleep deprived <laugh>. And so you think you’re fine. It’s sort of like the drunk driving analogy where, who’s a good judge of their ability to operate a motor vehicle, someone who’s sober. And so someone who has blood alcohol level, they are gonna think that they can drive in large part due to the blood alcohol con clouding their judgment. And so everyone knows that, you know, shocking, uh, reality. But if we can apply that analogy to sleep, boy that’s a real slap in the face to think, boy, you know, how can I get more productive by, by closing the lid and coming back later instead of trying to power through

Damien (00:33:58):
A hundred percent. And caffeine helps a little bit. Um, but, you know, 18 hours awake, you are then legally drunk. That’s the number you’re at. Wow. Point eight. I dunno, I dunno how they relate the numbers. But you’re at 0.8, you’re legally drunk after 18 hours awake. And as a police officer, we do long shifts. And I remember six in the morning literally whipping my head while I was driving the car. When I finished that shift, I stopped. I actually <laugh>, I pulled a car over to keep me awake. I pulled the first car over in front of me. <laugh>. <laugh>. I had to get outta the car, talk to the guys that wake me up a little bit. And when I got back to the station, I went to sleep for an hour and a half before I went home cuz I would’ve killed myself or someone else.

Brad (00:34:46):
Well, that’s pushing it out to the limit. And that’s a pretty common attribute of the military career as well as the law enforcement, huh?

Damien (00:34:54):
Yeah. You put yourself last. You’re in service of others and, and we, um, we don’t listen to those signals, but when I was in the, in the Special forces, we used to do, um, uh, exercises with sleep deprivation. You know, you’re just out doing the job for two days and so on, and then the weekends come, right? The exercise is finished, it’s Friday. We want to go and, and party. And the boss wouldn’t let us go for about three or four hours. And we are thinking, you know, the officers, well what are they doing? They’re doing their fancy talking and then eventually we will sort of crash out on the couches. Mm. Because we’re waiting. We’re going, oh, come on, hurry up with you. Well, they were sneaky, weren’t they? <laugh>. <laugh>

Brad (00:35:33):

Damien (00:35:34):

Brad (00:35:35):
So let’s talk about two different scenarios. One is the person who actually does have the flexibility and the advantage of creating a bedtime and, and an awakening time. Yes. And I put a lot of people in that category. And then someone who is naturally challenged due to their shift work or disruptive sleep patterns being a parent of young ones or others. Who, how the heck are we gonna make up for the sta the cards, uh, stacked against us from the start?

Damien (00:36:06):
I love that. That’s, that’s and that’s so real. Thank you for asking such a great question, Brad. Look, let’s get the easy one outta the way. The person that had, has got control over hours. You, sunset happens. You don’t have light that’s not orange coming in your eyes after sunset. So put the sexy glasses on the orange glasses or even easier for a bit of sociability with your partner. Get an orange or red light bulb in your, in your lounge. And that’s gonna put you to sleep. Historically from civilizations, aboriginal civilizations, about two hours after sun, sun goes down maybe three hours. Mm. So you go to sleep with the, the darkness there. The three things that never changed for sleepers. Lack of light after sunset, reduced body temperature and reduced brain activity. Example. And I really am such a crayon guy. I apologize for being so brutal, but you wouldn’t, um, put your little baby, um, bath bottle, um, and then pull ’em out into the lounge, put all the lights on, put Rambo on the TV and, and start partying.

Damien (00:37:08):
Yeah. You know, well enough it’s gonna be calming them down, nice dark lights and then put them to bed. Same thing for us. We’re the same. So lack of light after sunset, reduced body temperature and reduced brain activity. And then you go to sleep and then you wake up naturally without an alarm clock. For us, we literally wake up at four 30 in the morning cuz it’s, it’s light at 4:15 here, but we were asleep at 9, 9 30. So I dunno what the max is there. We slept in again with that little sleep cycle to about five. But there’s somewhere about seven and a half, eight, eight hours. We try to get to sleep at 8:30. That’s the basics. Um, I do find that someone that’s really trying to reset their sleep cycles and get their sleep back, they do need a crutch. And I, I always use a sleep supplement with those people for about a month.

Damien (00:37:56):
And, and the reason why is they know what they know what normal, which for them is great. It’s like magic. They know what it feels like. It’s, they’re motivated to get their inter course. They’re actually biologically better to get there because they had a good night’s sleep and then they’re gonna build it on that. So I use, um, I, I’m, I use, uh, Dr. Cook Parsley’s sleep formula developed for the seals. It, it just works every time. You can also use melatonin, but there’s ups and downs I’m sure people have talked about on your show of doing too much. So the person that has that, that’s what you need to, to do. Going to sleep with the light, keeping that sleep hygiene. And if we just look at what I said, that’s probably, probably not gonna be technology cuz you’re not looking those lights after, after sunset and then waking up naturally.

Damien (00:38:41):
Super important is getting this light. I’m outside. It’s not a virtual background, it’s not my bookcase. Um, I’m outside in that light in the morning and that resets my clock, um, every time to, to realize that sunset’s gonna be happening a few hours later. So light in the morning, natural light is super important. And no coffee after say 12 or 12 till three. Caffeine happens a half=life of five hours. So it builds up. So watch your stimulant intake, but that’s the basics. Let’s keep it super simple. We don’t wanna get those one percenters. Let’s get the big low hanging fruit. Now. The next one would be my, um, my first responders, the people, the shift work, the nurses and so on. But I’ll pause and and see if you’ve got any questions on what I went through there, Brad. Mm,

Brad (00:39:27):
Thank you. One is when it comes to sunrise, uh, not inclined personally and do not enjoy those times when I have to wake up before sunrise. And I’m curious, is that a potential interference for someone who, you know, has a tendency to, to get up super early before the sun is up?

Damien (00:39:49):
A hundred percent. And, and uh, it’s probably a loaded question cuz you were so much more educated than than I am at this Brad. The bottom line is you have sleep cycles about 90 minutes. You start up here, you’re fully awake and you dip down to this sleep cycle over about 45 minutes, come up to 90 and you’re almost awake. Sometimes we feel the need to pee. Peeing didn’t wake you up, you were just almost conscious and then you had a bit of a bladder so you woke up. Mm-hmm <affirmative> kids do 40 minutes and babies wake up every 40 minutes. Um, so natural. If you wake up to the alarm clock at the bottom, that sleep cycle, Brad, you don’t know what day it is. You dunno what your name is and what planet am I on. And that is the worst that’s going to affect you. We used in the special forces Brad, on selection. You think about the Navy Seal training, how weak, all those things we all do selection processes. We on day one, sorry, day zero before they start day one we say right lights out at 10 15 and they put the lights out and we go in at 11:11 PM and wake them all up cuz it ruined their circadian rhythm for 24 to 48 hours and made them tired and and irritable. Cuz we wanna see what they’re like when they’re tired and irritable. Oh

Brad (00:41:05):
Wow. Brutal man. Brutal training, but necess

Damien (00:41:10):
Necessary. And we’re not scientists. Uh, yeah, we’re not a scientists, we’re not eerie fury people. We, we didn’t know about circadian rhythms. We just went, we know the screws them so we’ll do it, but let’s not do it to ourselves.

Brad (00:41:21):
So now we have someone who for whatever reason is sleep challenged. And maybe one of the reasons is a buildup of years and decades of bad habits to the point where, and I talk to a, a lot of people, uh, just, just the other day, uh, talked to a gentleman who says that he wakes up at 3:30 in the morning every day. And I’m like, what the heck for man? And he said he can’t help it. And then once he wakes up, his mind starts ruminating about his busy day ahead. And I’m like, man, that does, that sounds like sounds like a disaster, but it’s become wired into habit to the extent that any, you know, he’s okay with it. Uh, he gets to sleep at whatever time. So he is getting whatever, six or seven hours, which, you know, arguably might not be enough. But it, it feels to me like a lot of people are somehow getting through the day and getting through life with suboptimal sleep habits that they’ve somehow adapted to maybe to their detriment.

Damien (00:42:17):
Yeah, a hundred percent. Well let’s look at, let’s answer the question by an example and then we will, I’ll specifically give action steps. Cause I’m a guy <laugh>. We, we, we do. That’s what we do. We do solutions, right?

Brad (00:42:30):
I’ll just say sorry about that and then end the show. Yeah. <laugh>.

Damien (00:42:33):
Oh, too

Brad (00:42:33):

Damien (00:42:34):
<laugh>. I love it. You know, look at the, the, the new mum, or even worse, the new single mom, me and my special forces buddies, even on the shows, we all think they are tougher than us because they’ve got to get it done. They’re sleep deprived, they’re probably hungry. They’ve just gone through the biggest trauma ever. If they’re breastfeeding 30% of their calories, the calorie need has gone to gone to producing breast milk. They are amazing. And I’ve done it as a single dad. My boys with me for four days of my fymen off days and four days with his mum. We’ve cora him for the whole time. I’ve done the circle in the kitchen and didn’t know where you are. So I know what it’s like, uh, to some extent, but I think those seat deprived ladies mums are absolutely phenomenal.

Damien (00:43:19):
And they get a done, Brad answering your question. Cause they have to. But once you show them what, what a night’s sleep is like once that man or that male that you spoke about knows what real good sleep is like, just once you’ve shown them the, the golden goose, you’ve shown them the heaven or whatever you wanna call it, and they will go, wow, I thought I was good here and then I’ve seen this, this is amazing. The answer to that I think is you’ve got to give him that crutch. You’ve gotta give him that, that good sleep. You know, Chris van went to the wilderness and on day 11 he was sleeping nine, 10 hours and he was amazed at how well he felt and everything was gone. But you gotta give him the crutch, show them what good sleep feels like, and then teach them concurrently how to achieve that over and over. Um, consistently they need to reteach themselves cuz they knew better when they were young.

Brad (00:44:18):
Boy, what a treatment protocol to go out into the wilderness for 11 days and imagine the potential success rate for so many people suffering from modern maladies and receiving modern treatment, namely prescription medication and whatever else they’re doing. But yeah, going out, I’m sure your sleep would normalize under the stars in a very short time and you’d probably get bored. There’s, there’s no Netflix to watch. So you could, you could correct your sleep. Lifelong sleep difficulties can be, can be managed with 11 days in the wilderness.

Damien (00:44:48):
Well, it’s actually not just a question that you’ve thrown out there, Brad. Um, like I was talking to Chris and uh, I said there was a study done and I’ve looked, I’ve tried to find it on, I saved it on one computer. There was a study done on, I think the number was about 20 insomniacs, and these were bad insomniacs, like for 20 years couldn’t sleep. And they took him in the wilderness for 20 days. I think. Long story short, every one of them normalized their sleep patterns by day 11. Somewhere sooner, somewhere later. And Chris chatting just like this, he’s like, wow, that happened to me. I did this. And on day 11, and he was the same. So there was a real word example of Chris and then the, the, uh, intellectual world example of this study. But yeah, the, if you do that, you will, you will reset. It resets things. It, it’s great. And why not? I mean, can you, can you spend 12 days, 14 days out to make your life so amazing later on? I mean, why not? You’d spend money with a doctor and do prescription drugs, so why not just spend 12 days away?

Brad (00:45:56):
I suppose you could try to recreate that model within the context of your busy life. Life and your lack of flexibility by making a concerted effort to tone down the lighting after the sunsets in your environment in the home and switching out for the orange light bulbs and the lenses. If, if you, if you cared enough, it wouldn’t even be that disruptive if you just took those baby steps in that direction. I think so too. And you know, armed with knowledge is so important and, and apply that knowledge. Just do one thing. You know, when I give these these tips to people, I don’t give them to be stressful and change their life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, just give one little thing. If the person can handle five, they can, or five things, but let’s just add that thing and get better, add that thing, get better and, and be incremental. Let’s be real and meet people where they’re at. Um, I, yeah, it’s, it’s easy to do. Just start applying it. Take action. I mean, who is the awesome guy? Marcus Aurelius and Anderson Acton Nonverbal, you know, action’s, not words. Let’s not, um, get stuck in the weeds of, uh, of, of education and actually take action there and put the get go to go to, um, where is it, Home Depot over there and get an orange light bulb <laugh>.

Brad (00:47:10):
Yep, they’re fun. Switch ’em out. Uh, use the red light panels, whatever you can do to a candlelight and firelight, we should mention that of light is not disruptive to melatonin in the same manner that blue light is, which is the term that we use for the bright indoor light that appears to be be white in color. So it, it can be a big change and you can still navigate around your house and, uh, watch your entertainment on, on the screen if you’re, if you’re inclined maybe wearing some orange lenses. So now we have the people who have these built in challenges such as shift work and are there ways to cope and get around the realities such as napping or any other strategies?

Damien (00:47:54):
Thank you. It’s such a great question. And how about this for a contextualize, I don’t know if that’s even a word, but we, we compare some context to it. The person that you want to save your life as a police officer, as a paramedic. What about a doctor? When you go to the emergency room at three in the morning, you want that person to be the best brain ever, right? They did at least seven years of med school. Well, they’re sleep deprived. The nurses are sleep deprived. This is terrible. And we know their brain. You said about the brain function. We want these people to be optimal. So as a police officer and as special forces operator, we learned to do this. Police not so much. We sort of, you, you’ve get, you pluck it, you sort of guess it along the way that when we did operations at night and the special forces, we called it reverse cycle.

Damien (00:48:44):
So immediately it’s not just night shift, you’re just reversing your cycle of life. So we’d wake up at four in the afternoon, go do PT, go have dinner, dinner’s, breakfast, but it was a cooked one obviously. And then we’d go to work now in the morning, a normal day shift. The training cycle as we get up at, um, we turn up to the, uh, squadron lines at quarter eight. Have a nice chat, go do PT eight in the morning, hard PT for about an hour and a half, get some food down supplementation and go to the kill house at 10. Or we go to the choppers at 10 or whatever you gotta do 10 in the morning and then do your stuff. We just reversed that cycle. And we would get up at four in the afternoon, go do PT, have our dinner, which, and then start work and we’d have our little light cuz we’re reversing the cycle.

Damien (00:49:37):
And then what we did was we wound down, so we would finish about four or five in the morning and then I’d have a wind down routine, same as I do at night. For me, I’d watch a funny comedy show cuz it’s, it’s brainless, remember reduced brain activity is one of the things that don’t changed. I watched we, we used to watch Mash <laugh>, so we didn’t have to think. We just watched Walkway and Clinger doing that thing and um, and then we, and then we go to go to sleep. Now it’s daytime, so you need a blindfold. You, you, it’s not negotiable. You need a blindfold to sleep. All devices are off unlucky. If the mailman knocks on the door and delivers a package, you know, it’s bad luck. You can hear when you wake up. Excuse me, you can’t hear when you’re sleeping.

Damien (00:50:22):
But that was what we used. You can use supplementation. So if we had to switch as a police officer or as a nurse from night shift to day shift, you gotta use caffeine to wake you up. That’ll, that’ll definitely do the job. You can use melatonin to flick the sleep cycle. Using those two things as tools was helpful and using the light and dark as well. If you prepping, so sometimes you’re going on to night shift as a, as a shift worker and you’re just awaken the day. You wake up at a in the morning, you may have to use caffeine in the afternoon slash evening to stay awake and you’ll be 98% effective. Hmm. There was proven on some studies done on us. I may send you those details. It’s proven that with caffeine you’ll be 98% effective for 36 hours with enough caffeine, but just use it to shift that cycle.

Damien (00:51:13):
And then of course after you’ve done your night shift, wind it down, maybe use some melatonin then and that’ll flick you. And then you do have a many subsequent days and nights of that shift, I guess summarizing, use caffeine, use melatonin cuz it’s only for short periods of time. And then of course always use the reduced light, reduced body temperature, reduced brain activity, and that light will have to be a blindfold if you’re sleeping in the day as as well. Um, only tin is don’t use the orange glasses driving home at night cuz you’ll crash. You can’t see the green in the orange very well <laugh>.

Brad (00:51:47):
So that element of reduced body temperature. I remember Matthew Walker referencing that from his book, Why We Sleep that the body temperature needs to drop by a couple degrees in order to fall asleep. It’s a huge thing. Now are there strategies to artificially reduce body temperature as we wind down toward bedtime?

Damien (00:52:08):
Thank you. That was, I’m so glad you asked that. Yep. So 19 degrees Celsius, please,Americans, everybody else in the world is good, but Americans have changed. That one from Fahrenheit, uh, to Fahrenheit, 19 degrees Celsius is the optimal, um, air temperature. It may just have to be for your head so you can be under a blanket and that’s okay. Um, the

Brad (00:52:28):
Optimal air temperature that’s for sleeping is nine to 10, three Celsius. So if, if you double it and air

Damien (00:52:34):

Brad (00:52:35):

Damien (00:52:35):
Sorry, 19. 19. I’ve got a a little bit. 19

Brad (00:52:38):
Nine. Nine. Yeah. Nine. Nine. So that’s double it. And a 30, that’s what we do. That’s 19. 19 is 38 and then ad 30 is 68 Fahrenheit. And that’s commonly referenced to which I think in a lot of cases people be surprised how cold that is and need to make some adjustments accordingly.

Damien (00:52:58):
Look, I agree that’s, it’s super important. Um, it was 19 degrees at night, uh, the other night here and there was nights we could have the windows open. Um, but when it’s 25 degrees Celsius and night it’s gonna be too hot. So you gotta have the air conditioning on 19 degrees. I found with clients with rheumatoid arthritis, they can’t handle that, so they might put a, um, a, an ice pack underneath their pillow. So it’s just cooling brain down. So there’s a little heck as well.

Brad (00:53:28):
And, uh, Ariana Huffington says to get in a warm shower. And many others experts say so too, where if you warm the body up through the shower, you will have a compensatory response of actually dropping the body temperature as the blood leaves your extremities that was in there during the warm shower. And that’s a great way to prepare for bed. Conversely, if you’re gonna do a cold plunge, that seems like, uh, an instant obvious way to lower body temperature to go to bed. However, when you get out of that cold plunge, your body works hard to rewarm and perhaps even over warm. So I was fooling around with cold plunging in the evening hours at times, and then I realized, um, when I, when I get out of the, uh, the hot water, it’s probably a better strategy and more appealing for people who wanna relax and wind down and go to sleep.

Damien (00:54:21):
Look, absolutely, you know, I’m from New Zealand. It’s cold there. At the best of times. Let’s think about when we’re kids or if you’ve got a kid, um, as a parent. The kid gets outta the bath or the shower and what do they do? Daddy, daddy put me a wrap me up and the towel cuz they’re shivering a little bit, aren’t they? Right? So, so they didn’t have a cold shower. Who the hell would do that back in the day? Back in our day, Brad. So they just have their normal shower or bath and then they’re gonna wrap them up. So my advice is do what you do Sid, but have the air conditioning on if, if it’s an en suite, have the window open. So you’re doing that little shiver afterwards cuz you’re vacillated. Totally. And just be a little bit cool.

Damien (00:55:01):
Have a cool drink. Maybe an icy slushy that’ll assist. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And yeah, that’ll flick the body temperature. It’s again, going back to kids. They can teach us a lot of the right way to do things. We know what they did and it flicks their body temperature. It’s super important. If we’re in super hot places like this, I’ll have an ice bath at maybe four in the afternoon, five in the afternoon. Um, cause I need to, to learn by the body temperature. But one thing there, I mean, I, again, preaching the choir, exercising at night, they say it disrupts sleep. I believe they’ve seen that. It’s just from the raise in body temperature. So let’s hack that. You can only exercise at six at night after work, perhaps after seven o’clock at night after work. Well, if that raises your body temperature and then show us how cool it down a little bit as well with an icy slushy or some of the way. But do the best you can with what you’ve got, where you are. So let’s mitigate those things. But you nailed it there. Get that shower, get that bath, get out, have the cold air on you afterwards. You know, brush your teeth with the window open, that’ll shiver you down with the, with the water on your skin. And then you’ve got evaporation and you know, the other fancy words for cooling than I do. And that would be the way to do it.

Brad (00:56:18):
So where does the fitness component come into the picture with all your emphasis on de-stressing and, uh, controlling your breathing, getting that sleep right? Of course.

Damien (00:56:30):
Look, that’s, that’s a great question. It’s probably where I started with this, Brad, back in the day, cuz I was a personal trainer, I know how to get people fit and strong and I was, I was the bodybuilding champion. I had the as as clients. What I found when, when the average person came to me and wanted to get in shape and get healthy, that was hardly any part of the puzzle. So then I went, oh, it’s gotta be food. Well these, you’d say, eat this diet and they, they, they’re not sleeping the stress and it screwed things up. So the three legged stool was sleep, distress and nutrition. Mm-hmm. The fitness. I think the answer would be, first off, let’s just move, you know, let’s move naturally. Let’s go for a walk in the morning. Do those things. My personal opinion is you want to be strong.

Damien (00:57:18):
I wanna be strong to save for the life of my, my son and myself. And weirdly, I do a job where I have to save other people’s lives. It’s, it’s not normal, but I have to be strong enough to do that. So I wanna be strong. Um, I’m a little bit vain. I wanna look good. Um, I’m honest about that. But as a byproduct of, of strength I try to better myself every day. I’m injured as you know, and you’re recovering from this, from this surgery and and so on. So I’m still trying to improve myself there. Um, where does exercise come into it? Look, I think lift some weights or do some strength and conditioning somehow. Get outside, do some, some, some walking. Do some running. If runnings your, your things, again, an aerobic base and just like the Primal Blueprint stuff. Maybe sprint, sometimes do some long stuff. And unless some heavy things and, and eat good food and sleep and recover and try and, um, conquer the stress cuz we’ve got tools to do it. You’re in control. Um, it’s, it’s not a very scientific answer, I’m sorry, but it’s, it’s hopefully it’s relatively real,

Brad (00:58:20):
Pretty simple to execute, not asking for a lot of time or to bend your life backwards. And, I’m curious, you know, a seven year old, what a fun, exciting age and do you see some great potential ahead as well as the navigating of these present day hazards in America? We have things like helicopter parents as one of the hazards and then all the infiltration of mobile device into every second of the day, which is also especially harmful for young people. But I wonder what your strategy is and your vision and your intention for the, for the years ahead.

Damien (00:58:58):
Oh, thank you. Well, what a great question. Look, one of the first things I’ve got with that is we’ve watched the kid wants to watch, sorry, wants to the same story every night, wants you to sing the same song <laugh>. And it’s, it’s my numbing to us, but literally it’s my numbing to them because it’s reduced brain activity so they know it’s sleep. Um, so we’ve been watching, um, uh, I think I’ve made the poor kid watch the same David Attenborough episode for like a year. <laugh>, he knew the story, but we, we watched it within orange filter on the screen. And then when he was old enough to watch a screen, he’d use TV glasses, sorry, we’d call them TV glasses, blue blocking light glasses. But he has never been addicted to screens. Um, Brad, because he never got the dopamine issue between one and three years old, rewiring the brain with the screen.

Damien (00:59:54):
He’s not, um, what do they call it? Chasing the dragon <laugh> for us older people. He’s not chasing the dragon of blue light, the dopamine response. So I’ll literally say, okay, screen time. The hand signal screen time’s over. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> all done. He goes, yep, no problem. Turns it off, takes the TV glasses off, puts ’em away, and then carries on the next thing. Um, I think that’s super important. You talked about navigating this modern world. Those kids can’t, they cannot see that blue light unfiltered. It’s eight times stronger than the sun. It’s, we grew up with cathode ray TVs, the big TV screens. I grew up with black and white originally. They cannot see those blue screens between one and three years old. Otherwise they’re gonna chase that dragon for life. And, and then we’re gonna look for other, other ways to get dopamine.

Damien (01:00:44):
Cuz playing with toys and, and hammers and nails and, and saws won’t cut it. So that was one thing that I was very lucky to, to, to sort of stumble over. Um, Brad is the, is the question. And the other thing is shared time. So yesterday I was in the gym doing my thing, and he’s come out and started doing some, some building. First I started with playing his, his toy cars in the, in the gym. It’s how, it’s the garage. But then he’s, he got his, his drill that he got for Christmas and he got the, got the, the car out. He’s, he’s building a kit, a night rider in his brain. He is building night rider with wheels and, and, and nails and things. And all he was doing was wanted a rubber band next to me, didn’t wanna lift weights.

Damien (01:01:25):
And then he goes, oh, can you do this? And he got some dumbbells and he showed me some exercise that he invented. And of course I went, I, I try that. So interact with them, you know, it didn’t matter. I took a three minute rest period from my sets or whatever. And I, I held some dumbbells into some crazy way that a seven year old invented. But just being with them and, and letting them, not, not poo-pooing them so much, let let them hang out with you and, and do some things and see you, see you be an example, you know, o o of doing things as well. I hope that’s answers some of your question.

Brad (01:01:57):
I love it. I love it. Really, really practical and, of course, what we expect from, uh, a special forces no fooling around, but just gimme the scoop. What do I do? Here’s how I do it. And, uh, it was great to connect from all over the world and tell us how we can reach you and see more about what you’re doing.

Damien (01:02:16):
Oh, thanks Brad. Look, um, I really am passionate about, about this, uh, project, um, how Not to Die Guy. I sort of termed that if you just hashtag How Not to Die Guy somewhere, it’ll come up <laugh>. But, uh, <laugh>, um, and that’s why I wore this shirt today. The basic Dude stuff shirt. Um, pat McNamara, Delta Force guy, uh, uh, invented that. He’s, he’s phenomenal. Just throw some cool stuff for everybody. It’s not just dudes, but yeah, look at, look at How not to die.com au. Look at How Not to Die. Guy on Instagram. Message me about any questions he got. I, I’m absolutely happy to help. I’ve had questions fielding all, all week this week and it’s phenomenal to be able to help them. I had a guy message me that he saw some of my workout videos that I posted for no other reason.

Damien (01:03:00):
And he is lost like 30 pounds. He is in the Air Force and I didn’t even know the guy. Messaged me last night, as was Shane Jessica going, this is amazing. So I I I voice messaged him back, look, anything I can help with, wow. Let me know. I’ll assist. Cuz what does it take to leave a, a one minute voice message? You know, we’re not, it’s not the stars like it was back in our day, Brad. I mean, I connect with you. You’re a world record holder, you’re a champion. 20 years ago, I would never have been able to contact you and connect. And here we are sharing our, our stories for others to learn. And I think it’s so important to share our experiences.

Brad (01:03:34):
Love it. And what about your show? How can we tap into that?

Damien (01:03:38):
Oh, I appreciate it. You’re so thoughtful. Thank you. I run the podcast, A straight talk, Mind and Muscle podcast. Brad’s been a guest on it. It was amazing to interview my first world record holder. The, I interviewed some of the best people in the world at what they do. Straight Talk Mind Muscle podcast on, um, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, all the things. Put it in for Google and you’ll, you’ll see it come up.

Brad (01:04:03):
Damien Porter, everybody from Beautiful Perth, Australia, Straight Talk, Mind and Muscle and How Not to Die Guy, a great goal. Thanks for your great work and for taking time to visit. Thank you so much for listening to the B RAD podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@brad ventures.com and visit bradkearns.com to download five free e-books and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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