The 1% Podcast

Motty Varghese

  • 01

    Motty Varghese

    The impact of sleep on performance Lincoln Recruitment Specialists


My guest today is Motty Varghese. 

Motty is a Registered Sleep Technologist and has completed a Mini fellowship in Behavioral Sleep Medicine from Perelman School of Medicine under University of Pennsylvania. He believes sleep is the cornerstone to optimal physical and mental health, and currently runs Sleep Therapy Clinic where he offers non pharmacological treatment for behavioural sleep issues and insomnia. Motty has presented at national and international conferences and also collaborates with corporate employers to optimise employee sleep, to improve their productivity and efficiency. Motty has contributed to articles on “sleep in shift work”, insomnia and sleep health for Irish Examiner and Irish independent and has also featured in RTE and Today FM.

We deep dive into why we sleep, the importance of sleep as an aspect of overall well-being, the recent impact of COVID-19 on sleeping patterns, the relationship between sleep and learning and performance, the purpose of dreaming, sleep and nutrition and much, much more.




Show Summary


1:25 Motty’s background

  • Licensed sleep technologist
  • Various recognitions and experience in the sleep field


3:41 Sleep as an aspect of overall well-being

  • Lack of recognition of sleep as an important factor
  • Impact of sleep on feelings, functioning, productivity, immunity
  • “Sleep certainly does deserve to get more attention”


5:00 Stages of sleep

  • Explanation of different stages of sleep
  • The sleep cycle


8:12 Importance and benefits of REM sleep

  • Benefits of different stages
  • Functions and characteristics of REM sleep
  • Impact of REM on the body and daily functioning


9:45 Emotional well-being

  • Impact of REM sleep on the emotional life


10:41 Importance of sleep in certain age

  • Misunderstanding about the need for sleep for adults
  • “It would be helpful for us to get better sleep as we get older – longer sleep and good quality sleep as we get older”
  • Importance of good quality sleep in older age


12:05 Differences in need for sleep between individuals

  • 8 hours of sleep myth
  • Sleep varies between people
  • “Not recommended sleep duration is less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours”
  • Description of 3 types of insomnia


14:45 Golden rules of good night sleep

  • 3 factors that influence the quality of sleep


17:05 Impact of COVID-19 on sleeping patterns

  • Different aspects that could have an impact on sleep patterns
  • Importance of returning to usual sleep patterns after the virus
  • Advice on sleep length


18:40 Factors impacting sleep

  • Quantity and quality of sleep
  • Factors impacting the quality of sleep
  • Sleep disorder, restless legs


20:29 Connection between sleep and Alzheimers

  • Association between sleep and disease
  • Current research about the topic


22:23 Impact of lack of sleep on the immune system

  • Importance of consistent, good quality sleep
  • Studies about sleep and diseases


24:08 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for people with poor sleep patterns

  • Sleep associations
  • Anxiety, dysfunctional believes and attitudes about sleep
  • CBT treatment and its effects
  • Ways to strengthen bed and sleep associations


27:48 Relationship between sleep and learning

  • Types of memory
  • The impact of pre-learning sleep and post-learning sleep on retaining information


29:53 Genetic basis of chronotypes

  • Explanation of 3 types
  • Differences in productivity for people with different chronotypes
  • The importance of recognition of chronotype and body clock


34:35 Purpose of dreaming

  • Impact of emotions on dreams
  • Different sleeping cycles due to COVID-19
  • Impact of RAM on mental well-being


36:50 Impact of sleep on the problem-solving process

  • Importance of RAM sleep to improve the decision marking


38:00 Relationship between diet and sleep

  • What to avoid before sleeping
  • Impact of food items and eating time on sleep optimization
  • The negative influence of poor sleep on eating patterns


41:55 Improvements in stage 3 sleep

  • Advice on what to do to do to improve sleep quality


43:25 Effects of exercising on sleep

  • What to avoid before sleeping


44:55 Sport, performance and sleep

  • Research about performance according to chronotypes
  • Predicting effectiveness


46:41 Effects of sleeping on practicing

  • Impact of good sleep on enhancements in sports and learning
  • “Practice with a good night sleep will make things perfect”


47:44 Beauty Sleep

  • Beliefs and lack of proof in research


49:30 Sleep deprivation in teenagers

  • How should parent help
  • Advice on what could parents and teenagers do


52:14 Blue lights and sleep

  • What to do and not do before sleeping
  • Advice on morning habits


54:45 Distraction techniques

  • “The last thing that we want to do is to think about sleep itself, or think about our inability to sleep or sleep-related efforts”
  • Different techniques explanation


55:55 Benefits of napping

  • Impact on productivity
  • Rules of napping


58:40 Motty’s sleeping routine


1:00:05 Research about sleeping

  • Future research possibilities


1:00:50 Book recommendations

  • Book according to sleeping type and particular sleep problems
  • “Address your anxiety”


1:02:09 Final advice

  • “Be mindful about your sleep”
  • “Every day is a new day. Every moment is a new moment. Every night is a new night. (…) Tonight, it is still a new night and you do have all the potential and you do have the ability to get the good night sleep.”


Further Resources

More about Motty Varghese and his work on his website