How to Sleep Better Tonight With Sleep Expert Dr. Chris Winter

Chris Winter

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Dr. Chris Winter

Chris Winter is a neurologist and sleep expert who helps his patients learn to sleep better. One of his most recent areas of interest surrounds athletes and sleep. He’s researched how travel affects professional athletes and he’s often hired to teach them how to sleep better when they’re on the road. 

He’s the author of two books. His first book, "The Sleep Solution," was released in 2017. His newest book is called "The Rested Child."

Why Dr. Winter Is Mentally Strong

Dr. Winter brings a fresh perspective to the sleep industry. While many people are quick to turn to medication as a first line of defense with sleep troubles, he encourages people to be less anxious about their sleep difficulties.

He also conducts research about sleep and how it can improve athletes’ performance. And he shares his knowledge not just with the teams who hire him but he also talks about what he’s uncovered in his books.

Despite his busy schedule, he continues to see patients in the office as well. He stays up to date on the types of struggles people continue to experience with their sleep and keeps his suggestions realistic and relatable.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How to deal with sleep issues when you’re traveling across time zones
  • The health risks associated with working long overnight hours
  • The link between insomnia and anxiety
  • How dreading sleep makes sleep problems worse
  • How to stop being so anxious when you have trouble falling asleep
  • Why you shouldn’t be so focused on how long it takes you to fall asleep
  • The truth about sleep studies and at-home sleep studies
  • What most people discover about their sleep when they use sleep trackers or apps
  • The reasons why some people still experience fatigue after sleeping all night
  • The specific strategies that can help you sleep better
  • How to know when you should see a sleep specialist

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

It’s clear that poor mental health can lead to sleep problems. And sleep problems can lead to poor mental health. It can be a tough cycle to break and many people wonder which issue they should address first.

Dr. Winter talks about how the pressure to fall asleep fast raises anxiety. And anxiety makes it tougher to sleep.

It’s one of the reasons why he encourages people to grow comfortable with resting, even if they aren’t actually sleeping. Learning how to get better rest could be key to feeling better and growing stronger.

Quotes From Dr. Winter

Chris Winter, MD

Even if you never actually fell asleep, it's amazing how refreshed somebody can feel after a period of good rest or good meditation.

— Chris Winter, MD
  • "I don't think the speed with which you eat your food is a great metric for good nutrition or good eating. Similarly, I don't think the speed with which we fall asleep or become unconscious is the best indicator for good sleep."
  • "Most people would define insomnia as an inability to sleep. It's not. It's a person who's not sleeping when and how they've decided they want to. That's part A. Then, part B is you have to have a negative emotional response to part A."
  • "Somebody can't just sleep on command in a lot of cases. And that's the reason why I titled my new book, "The Rested Child" instead of "The Slept Child," because I do think that we put way too much importance on unconsciousness."

More About the Podcast

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.