The Best Sleep Podcast Ever: Everything You Need To Know About Sleeping Better, Hacking Sleep, Sleep Cycles, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea & More With Dr. Daniel Gartenberg.

Ben Greenfield Life


If you've been following me for any length of time, you know the emphasis I place on sleep.

I'll give a hint to the newcomers: It's a-freaking lot. Sleep is far and away the body's most important recovery process. It's the only time your brain “washes” itself via the glymphatic system, and without sleep, you'll die faster than without food or water.

So as you can imagine, I get pretty darn excited whenever a new bit of sleep tech actually moves the needle for me, and the SleepSpace app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%) takes that needle and blasts it off the dials. This is why I am proud to introduce my guest on today's podcast … Dr. Dan Gartenberg, creator of SleepSpace and a fiercely intelligent mind.


Dan's stated Magnus-opus is to develop the ultimate connected smart bedroom where natural remedies like sound, light, and vibration are used synergistically with various wearables and‘nearables’ (small, wireless devices in the room not attached to you) to diagnose and treat sleep disorders and improve the sleep quality of every human being. His current focus is on improving insomnia and sleep apnea outcomes, which contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. The digital health technology created by Dan and his team is currently not for medical use, meaning it is available to the general public. People like you or me can access direct interventions on a nightly basis, including the best meditations to stop a racing mind, a network of coaches who specialize in all aspects of sleep, and the Dr. Snooze AI which features in the SleepSpace app.

As the inventor with five patents, Dan is a highly innovative creator with a superior understanding of sleep disorders to the vast majority of other experts. With over 10 peer-reviewed publications, and a viral TED TALK with over 5 million views, Dr. Gartenberg and his technology have been featured on the Today Show, Gizmodo, NY TimesThe Washington PostQuartzNPRPop SugarCNN BusinessReutersGet The GlossMarie Claire, Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science, DC Inno, APA Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Sleep Review, Business Insider, Lonely Planet, and App Picker.

And for a quick features rundown, the SleepSpace app:

  • Tracks sleep with any smartphone (iOS or Android)

  • Improves sleep with sound, light, & vibration

  • Integrates with major wearables (Oura, Whoop, Apple Watch, Biostrap, Garmin, Eight Sleep, and more)

  • SleepSpace Smart Bed for transcendent sleep experiences

  • Smart alarm clock to awaken exclusively during the light sleep phase

  • Circadian optimizer tracks your energy peaks

  • Includes meditations like Yoga Nidra, Breathwork, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualizations, and more

Join me as I delve into the revolutionary world of sleep improvement – it's sure to transform the way you approach your nightly slumber.

-Why do people sleep?…20:48

  • Every animal sleeps

  • 6 main reasons for sleep:

    • Energy conservation

      • You need energy to hunt for food during the day

    • Cooling of brain

      • If you don’t sleep, you die

      • Brain cells are damaged

    • Learning and memory

      • Synaptic Homeostasis of Giulio Tononi

      • You down-regulate all the synapsis during the day

      • Integration to long-term memory occurs during REM sleep

    • Emotional processing

    • Restoration and Resilience

    • Brain Metabolic Clearance

-Brain cooling bio-hacks…22:33

  • Brain cooling devices

    • Ebb (currently unavailable)

    • Lowers metabolic activity of brain cells 

    • Ben’s experience with the device

  • Eric Nofzinger developed the Ebb

  • Moona

  • Adequate room temperature for sleep

  • Warming feet (taking a warm bath, wearing socks) reduces the time to fall asleep

  • Decreasing internal body temperature helps you fall asleep

  • Why does body temperature decrease when the feet get warm?

  • Ben’s experience with socks and sleep

  • SleepMe’s cooling blanket (use code BEN to save 25%)

-Learning and memory bio-hacks…36:02

  • Sleeping over before making decisions

  • 20-minute sleep deprivations and naps

  • Naps are not recommended for people with insomnia

  • The idea of targeted memory activation

    • Building an association between a stimulus and cognitive state

    • Replaying stimulus in different stages of sleep

  • Programing of neuro-circuitry is more important

  • Dr. Daniel has several patents and would love to collaborate

  • Working with Sage Rader of Neuroacrobatics

  • The main problem was replaying the sound that doesn’t wake you up

  • SleepSpace (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)

  • Evaluation of SleepSpace app

  • Sleep tracking and wearable devices

  • Other apps measure the sleep after the sleep has occurred

  • Targeted Memory Reactivation

  • Polysomnography data collected over 24 period

  • AUC values using heart rate and motion data 

    • 0.77 for light sleep

    • 0.90 for deep sleep

    • 0.85 for REM

    • 0.95 for wake

  • Ideal is 2 hours of deep sleep, 2 hours of REM, plus light sleep

-The impact of wearable devices in bedroom…48:39

  • SleepSpace Smart bed device with app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)

    • Measures movement, not heart rate

    • Developing the ability to measure heart rate

    • Measures breathing to some degree

  • Helps in diagnosing sleep apnea, in collaboration with Wesper

  • The goal is to track non-invasively

  • EMF impact on sleep in the context of wearables 

  • Bedroom should be a protected space from Wi-fi signals, dirty electricity

  • Shielded Healing Shielded Fabrics for Canopies and Curtains

  • Dr. Daniel’s devices don’t emit EMF

    • Works completely offline

    • Only on one side of the bed

  • No research on EMF impact on people

  • Phones are dopamine-creation machines

  • Breathwork, meditation, and Yoga Nidra sessions in the SleepSpace app (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%)

-Tips if you wake up in the middle of the night…58:45

  • Kion Sleep

  • Red lightbulbs in the bedroom

  • Waking up occasionally is not a problem

  • If you’re up more than 30 minutes, it's problematic

  • Stay hydrated to get more deep sleep but push drinking a little bit earlier in the day

  • Push bedtime a little later, go to bed more tired

  • Sleep restriction therapy rather than sleep deprivation therapy for insomnia

  • People with insomnia get less deep sleep and more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease

-Why people have insomnia and how can cognitive behavioral therapy help…1:03:04

  • Main theory for why people have insomnia is the 3P model          

    1. Predisposing factors

      • Hyper-aroused biology

      • Worrisome thinking style

      • Circumstances of life

    2. Precipitating factors

      • Dealing with death

      • Work stress

    3. Perpetuating factors

      • Building behaviors around insomnia

  • Recommended treatment isn’t a drug

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia is much better

    • Addressing issues at its core

    • Included in the SleepSpace app

  • How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy work?

    • Sleep compression

    • Stimulus control

    • Sleep hygiene

    • Cognitive training to address active thoughts that form around sleep

    • Training relaxation

    • Breathing and prayer for ruminating thoughts

-Remedies for sleep apnea…1:09:59