A Navy SEAL Physician Reveals How Hard-Charging, High-Achievers Can Fall Asleep Fast

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Podcast, Sleep

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Meet Dr. Kirk Parsley (pictured above), affectionately known as “Doc Parsley”.

Doc Parsley is a former Navy SEAL. He received his Medical Degree from Bethesda, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) in 2004. He interned in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Balboa Naval Hospital San Diego in 2005 and subsequently completed a Navy residency in Hyperbarics and Diving Medicine in 2006. He served as an Undersea Medical Officer at Naval Special Warfare Group One from June 2009 to January 2013. While there, he led the development and supervised the group’s first Sports Medicine Rehabilitation center.

And in addition to being able to kill you with his pinky finger, he's a total sleep nerd.

Doc Parsley has been a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine since 2006 and served as Naval Special Warfare’s expert on Sleep Medicine. After leaving the Navy he went into concierge medicine and consulting. He consults on sleep for multiple corporations, and professional athletes, teams and individual clients, including the Navy SEALs. He lectures worldwide on sleep, wellness, anti-aging and hormonal optimization.

But wait, I'm not done…

Doc Parsley is also a bit of a chemist, and his supplement formulations are used to help the world’s most elite fighting organization: the Navy SEALs. He designs sleep products to compensate for the toxic environment that SEALs find themselves living in – high stress, heavily processed foods, and insufficient sleep, and his brand new “Sleep Remedy” is the first sleep product designed specifically for hard-charging, high-achievers to fall asleep fast.

I know that I talk a lot about different pills, capsules, powders and oils that can help you sleep, but this Sleep Remedy stuff is one of the most potent that I've used lately, and worth a try, especially if nothing else seems to be working for you.

So now you can tap into the same stuff Doc Parsley is feeding the SEALs, and in today's podcast we get to talk about that, the unique mix of Sleep Remedy ingredients, sleep cycles, melatonin, jet lag, and much, much more.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The shocking things that happen to your body while you are sleeping if you take Ambien or Valium…

-Why the GABA in sleep supplements doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier (and how to actually make GABA cross your blood-brain barrier)…

-Why you must shut down your neocortex if you want to get true, restorative sleep…

-The biggest nutrient deficiencies that keep you from falling asleep…

-One big disturbing fact about physicians and sleep…

-Why you “wake up” in middle of night when melatonin wears off…

-How to manage jet lag symptoms with supplementation protocol…

-If you can take sleep supplements when you wake up at, say, 4 or 5am and you want to sleep until 7am…

-And much more!

Click here and use coupon code BEN10 to save 10% on Sleep Remedy.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about sleep supplements or insomnia? Leave your thoughts below and either myself or Doc Parsley will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

51 thoughts on “A Navy SEAL Physician Reveals How Hard-Charging, High-Achievers Can Fall Asleep Fast

  1. Carl says:

    Was really excited about this product until i found out that “ph GABA” as actually phenibut, this is nasty stuff and not just a slightly modified GABA but a more sinister product that will soon be banned in the USA. Steer well clear.

    1. Mark says:

      I tried it last night and it worked fairly well. However, that being said I don’t want to have side effects from the ph gaba or risk an addiction. The more I listen to Ben Greenfield the more I feel he is a pusher of products (safe or not), failing to have any consumer responsibility just to make a buck. Anyone agree?

  2. Blakeman says:

    Been using the cocktail for 8 months. 30 minutes before sleeping, then I am out for good. I do NOT wake up until my alarm goes off. I also dream everytime. Whew, better go, my eyes are getting heavy.

  3. tellthefacts says:

    PhGaba is straight up addictive and can cause dependence and withdrawals. Look up info on phenibut. Not disclosing this is quakery.

  4. Stephanie Hoke says:

    Hoping to find a solution for my father who has issues sleeping due to a high stress job and being unable to “turn his brain off”. I’m a big fan and have followed your podcasts & recommendations for about a year now. I came across this episode was was hoping for input on taking this pill vs. using vetiver essential oil on the bottom of the feet before bed. Which do you think will help the most with calming the brain and sleeping?

  5. Ben Zwadlo says:

    Will this every be available in the UK?

    1. Ben Zwadlo says:


      1. Annette Jarman says:

        Wondering why Ben didn’t reply to this comment and another similar one. Can you please address this question/ concern?

  6. Amy says:

    Hi Ben, perhaps you can clear up some confusion: from another reputable health site , I was dismayed to learn that the “ph GABA” in the remedy is actually phenyl gaba — also known as phenibut- which is a legal nootropic with the known problems of tolerance and physical dependence. — bad news. Phgaba is another animal. Please clear up this issue. Thanks.

    1. Annette Jarman says:

      Wondering why Ben didn’t reply to this comment and another similar one. Can you please address this question/ concern?

      1. Hi Annette and Amy, here's a response for Kirk:

        “phGABA” is phenibut. Whoever wrote that might have been confusing it with pharmagaba when they said it’s “another animal”—which is sometimes denoted as pmgaba.

        Phenibut is classified as a supplement, but has been used/sold as a nootropic. However the “nootropic” dose was 100 to 1000 times more than what is in our product. The high end of the doses (2.0-2.5 MILLION mg) resulted in two case reports (one dependence and one withdrawal), in all of the medical literature.

        The dosage of phenibut in our product (very small) is out of your bloodstream within a few hours, and therefore won’t result in receptor down regulation (tolerance) that would be associated with dependence or withdrawal.

        This is almost exactly the same scrutiny that Vitamin D3 went through for nearly a decade. First, it is actually a hormone not a vitamin and there was a lot of talk about it needing to be a prescription—primarily because of 2 case reports of “Vitamin D3 Toxicity”, which again, were two men taking 2-2.5 million iu’s of vitamin D3 per day for over 6 months.

        The poison is in the dose of anything. 1-3 Tylenol—> decreased pain. 100-300 Tylenol—>death. 2 grams of Kava root per day—> liver failure, etc.

        Hope that helps!

  7. Vance Yung says:

    Curious regarding Canadian customers being able to acquire this stuff. Has anyone from Canada ordered Kirk Parsley’s Sleep Remedy and were there any issues with it getting past our Customs and Border Agency? I am desperate to find an effective solution and it seems there is nothing north of the 49th Parallel that works. I have inquired a couple of years ago, and just wondering if there is some progress. Thanks!

  8. lucas says:

    good listen; the doc mentioned one other possible reason for the people waking up preliminary is glucose levels. i wish this would have been touched upon a little — i suspect i may be falling victim to this phenomenon, being ketoic most of the time. any suggestions on remedying this, apart form the obvious route of ‘carbing up’?

  9. Simon says:

    I would like to see what the actual ingredients are along with how much of each. Many supplement manufacturers are using ingredients that could be nothing more than ground up Parsley. Does a third party do regular testing on this product?

  10. Steve says:

    Hi Ben,

    Love the podcast. I wish you would put links to the different products

    you advertise also, like the four sigma foods one, and others sometimes.

    I’m driving usually and can’t write stuff down.



  11. Tor says:

    Re the sleep cocktail, if my problem is waking-up around 4 am, after only 4 hrs sleep, when would you recommend taking it, at bedtime or at 4am?

  12. Tor says:

    Is it taken daily, so it’s 30 doses?

    I’ve been on 1 mg Ativan for 8 – 10 years for muscle relaxation, reducing low back and leg pain. It is no longer effective for me and I’m currently weaning myself off the nasty addiction using another non- addictive prescription sleep aid, Sinequan along with Magnesium & Melatonin. Not a fun process as you probably know.

    Would I use this cocktail in conjunction or wait until after I’m off Ativan and Sinequan completely or at least off the Ativan?

  13. Tor says:

    How many doses for $60?

    1. That will give you about a good months worth.

  14. Justin Z says:

    phGABA, after doing a little research is Phenyl-GABA (aka. Phenibut), correct?. I know that there is a dependency and withdraw component to taking Phenibut (at least in higher doses) and shouldn’t be taken more than a couple times per week. How does this supplement get around this potential problem?

  15. Aaron says:

    The site no longer exists. Was he shut down?

      1. Peter says:

        I also keep checking to see if the site is still working, but it’s not – can’t find where to get the sleep cocktail anywhere

  16. WJE4 says:

    1) Does this product make you dependent on it or help you sleep better after using for a period of time and then stopping use? I occasionally us melatonin to help me sleep. Some nights i fall asleep within 20 minutes, others it takes an hour or two :/ I'd like to try the product for a week, but after i stop using it, could i potentially have a harder time sleeping without it if i hadn't taken it at all in the first place?
    2) I see GABA is one of the ingredients – i'm a little weary of this one since i've heard that supplementing with GABA can cause issues with your body's ability to produce it.

    Thanks for clarifying! Great show!

  17. tww0711 says:

    You and Doc Parsley briefly discussed the CBD and sleep cocktail interaction, but I would like to get Doc Parleys take on THC and/or CBD use as a sleep aid. Such as does he have concerns with it causing dependency for a sleep aid, does it allow one to reach all stages of sleep (unlike the benzos he referenced) and any other useful info he may have. Thanks for another outstanding podcast with one of the best Docs available!

  18. RemyCricket says:

    I can't find the amounts listed with the ingredients anywhere. I'm *very* sensitive to GABA and 5-HTP and get a paradoxical effect at certain doses so this is important to me. Can you help?

  19. billintenn says:

    I have ordered this for my wife to try. I very much enjoyed the podcast with Doc Parsley. Thank you. I am ok with paying a premium for hiqh quality supplements if they are effective – the high shipping charge I am not ok with. $ 9.98? Sheesh!

  20. Donna says:

    Women do shave their pits… scary, I know. LOL.

  21. rabasak says:

    Any thoughts on the product not containing K2 to help metabolize the D?
    Should it be taken with some fat, since the D is fat soluble?

    I live in the west but my body clock is on east coast time. I'm sleeping by 8pm and up at 2-3 am. It's a vicious cycle that I can't seem to change. Maybe Doc Parsley's Potion can help – worth a try.
    Very informative podcast Ben.

    1. I would definitely use it. The vitamin d is not enough to create issues in absence of vitamin k. There could be other issues at play. Happy to do consult with you, you can book one by visiting greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choosing 20 or 60 mins and we’ll get you scheduled.

  22. dcortz says:

    Ben and Doc Parsley,
    I don't have problems falling asleep. My problem, according to an overnight sleep study, is that my brain frequently wakes up at night which the doc termed poor "sleep efficiency." Would this product actually help with that? I am currently taking 1 mg melatonin, some l-theanine, some kavinace, and some taurine. I don't want to take that much melatonin if I don't have to though.

    I started taking the supplements I listed several weeks after the sleep study. I also use a sleep mask and sleep in a cold dark room.

    1. Yes, absolutely, this could help. I would also make sure you rule out sleep apnea. Check here for info on that: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/05/a-hid…

      1. Dcortz says:


        Already ruled out apnea in the same sleep study. That’s how I found out I had poor “sleep efficiency.” I was just wondering your and Doc’s opinion on this supp vs. the ones I’m already taking for efficiency problems.

        1. I think this one is definitely, definitely worth a try! If you want to go into more detail book a consult at bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching and choose 20 or 60 mins and we’ll get you scheduled.

  23. PeterSav says:

    Doc Parsley should call it – Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze

  24. James says:

    good interview guys, thanks. Could you please clarify if you feel it is beneficial to supplement (pharma)GABA, for sleep or other reasons, whether or not it will cross the BBB? In particular for someone whose pancreas is not producing as much as normal. I got some to help with sleep and the first 200mg dose gave me hypertension to the point of blacking out for a second going from sitting to standing. subsequent 100mg doses tolerated well. thanks for any thoughts

    1. the whole idea between p-GABA is it DOES cross blood brain barrier unlike other forms. I'd definitely try the cocktail if I were you.

  25. jjedwards says:

    I can vouch for Doc Parsleys sleep formula in that I have used a similar concoction for years with pro cyclists who are often stuck on ambien!

  26. Bill says:

    Sounds like a well thought out formulation and very anxious to try it. Any concerns with the vitamin D interrupting sleep if dosed at night?

    1. Zero issues. The Vitamin D *helps* you sleep!

  27. Code is Ben10 – should be working now!

  28. Jasmelacosta says:

    Great interview. very well explained.

  29. Brett2726 says:

    Ben10 link doesn't work.

  30. Meg says:

    Hey Ben! Looks like The link to the sleep cocktail is broken. Thanks for the great info; excited to try this for my own insomnia issues

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