Sleep Hygiene! Life improvement strategies for the Surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 35

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

Jeff welcomes to the podcast sleep medicine specialist and Chief Medical Officer of Optisom, Dominic Munafo, MD. The topic of discussion in this episode is Sleep Hygiene!

Most surgeons could probably use more sleep, including Jeff Smith, MD!  While that may not always seem possible, there are simple ways to improve the sleep you are already getting. If we are sleep deprived, can we minimize the long-term effects on our health? Evidence from a study out of Sweden says we can. Knowing that there is a health opportunity for sleep recovery, even surgeons can make some improvement. With improved attitude and habits about sleep, we can maximize our return on investment.   

What does Dominic suggest we do to improve our sleep hygiene?

  • Suggestion 1 - Curate your sleeping environment - Your sleeping environment should be cool, dark and quiet.

  • Suggestion 2 - Watch the timing of your caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake. The body goes through alcohol withdrawal 3-4 hours after drinking.  

  • Suggestion 3 - Take a Nap! A nap can boost creativity, increase alertness, reduce stress and clarify decision making.

Most importantly, increase awareness of your sleeping habits and look for opportunities to improve your sleep hygiene!


If you’re not familiar with Dominic Munafo, he is board certified in Sleep Medicine and Internal Medicine. He has more than 25 years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. Munafo received his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Baylor and then completed a Pulmonary/Critical Care fellowship at the University of California San Diego, and joined the institution’s faculty in 1993 as an Assistant Professor. In 1995, he entered private practice in San Diego and worked there until becoming Sleep Data’s Medical Director in 2000. Dr. Munafo thought that his medical training had exposed him to the extremes of sleep deprivation, but nothing could have prepared him for the sleep deprivation of being the father of three boys and a girl. He and his wife JoAnna love to swim, bike and run.