Performance improvement lessons from a leading sleep expert

Pat Byrne

Pat Byrne has pioneered sleep and fatigue programs for athletes, sports teams and workplaces. He is the co-author of ‘Inconvenient Sleep: Why Teams Win and Lose’, where he uses his expertise to outline the impact of sleep on performance using history of sleep science and decades of research in the area. The book explores the facts and myths behind sleep, sleep science, and sleep monitoring. 

He has over 30 years of experience in risk management, performance optimisation and health and safety. The sporting Organisations Pat has worked with include the National Olympic Committee, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Australian Football League and the National Hockey League.

Tune in as we explore the evolution of sleep science, how to improve sleep quality and how understanding your body’s natural rhythm can help you to improve your own performance, whether personal, business or athletic.


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2:32 Lessons from growing up in Fort Nelson Canada – an extremely cold and sometimes harsh environment

4:42 The negative reputation when first entering occupational health and safety

8:13 Pat was the first to design a watch for use in sports performance

10:07 Attributing the impact of sleep on performance

11:10 The development of sleep science and why it took so long to evolve

12:14 How to best analyse sleep

18:31 The types of mental health issues that poor sleep can indicate

19:54 Advice for people who sleep badly due to factors beyond their control

22:51 What is Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and why it is so relevant

27:41 How do you approach treating something complex like paradoxical insomnia? Is there a way to convince the brain otherwise?

32:36 Sleep supplements

35:20 Wearable sleep technology

39:40 How much sleep do you actually need?

44:01 Learning from high performers and how they develop good sleeping habits

45:42 Impact of fragment sleep and napping

47:51 The impact of shift work and your sleep

51:29 The body’s circadian rhythm

56:56 Can we manage our body’s temperature rhythms to improve our performance day to day?

1:00:22 Early bird vs night owl

1:02:41 What advantages sleep has on athletes

1:06:51 Habit and routines coaches can instil in their programs

1:08:18 What to look out for in fatigue amongst your athletes

1:09:46 The current state of sleep: are we on the right track to better wellbeing?

1:11:17 How can companies optimise performance using fatigue management?