055: Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, Official Sleep Coach of the US Olympic Team: How Concepts Like 'Sleep Banking' (+ More!) Can Have You Managing Your Sleep Like An Olympian!

Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, MD, PhD, the official sleep doctor of the US Olympic team and and expert in technology-enabled sleep-health delivery systems, discusses why he's so passionate about improving sleep through technology and how he found himself as part of the US Olympic medical team.


Jeffrey Durmer is a systems neuroscientist, neurologist, and sleep medicine physician with particular expertise in technology-enabled sleep-health delivery systems. Since 2013, he has been helping athletes in various sports as a sleep consultant to optimize their performance through sleep programs. This year, he is one of the first staff members on an Olympic team that solely specializes in sleep. Currently, he is Chief Medical Officer of Nox Health, a US-based international telemedicine sleep healthcare & technology firm. Dr. Durmer is a co-investigator for the NIH-funded Sleep SMART research trial together with the University of Michigan & the NIH StrokeNet consortium to determine if treating obstructive sleep apnea protects individuals from the occurrence of stroke. Dr. Durmer is a member of the NIH Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board and provides scientific and clinical guidance for multiple sleep-related organizations involved in the healthcare technology, pharmaceutical, and clinical science/practice arenas.

He has published multiple medical textbook chapters, original research papers and abstracts. His collaboration with international clinical research teams led to the development of medical criteria used to diagnose and treat Restless Legs Syndrome in adults and children. Dr. Durmer is past-President of the Georgia Association of Sleep Professionals and three-term member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Board for the Restless Legs Foundation, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation. He serves as the Sleep Performance Director for the United States Olympic Weightlifting team and multiple other sports organizations including the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the NCAA DIII Championship Emory University Swimming & Diving team. In addition, he is the appointed Sleep Medicine advisor to the Federal Aviation Administration.

In this episode, we discuss:

🧠 Sleep as a change in consciousness in which we spend a full third of our lives.

🧠 How sleep affects our day-to-day performance and our neurodevelopment.

🧠 How Dr. Durmer bridged the gap from data to practical application with Olympic athletes.

🧠 Nox Health brings the science of sleep and circadian rhythm neurobiology to big populations that need them.

🧠 The positive outcomes of practically applying sleep science.

🧠 How “sleep banking” can help athletes like swimmers.

🧠 Working as the sleep and circadian performance physician for the Atlanta Falcons

🧠 Sleep challenges during the 2021 Olympics

🧠 Why your emotional well-being is a big factor in any kind of performance.

🧠 What happens to the chemicals in your brain while you sleep.

🧠 The three distinct components of sleep.

🧠 The important relationship between sleep duration and sleep quality.

🧠 You might actually need more sleep than you think you need depending on your metabolic expenditure.

🧠 Why sleep is an underserved area of medicine and what you can do for access.

🧠 Consumer-grade sleep wearables vs medical-grade sleep wearables: how the technology compares.

🧠 What Dr. Durmer considers the most important metrics for sleep.

🧠 A checklist of things to work on when you’re trying to improve your performance.

🧠 Why you should avoid activating your gastrointestinal system before sleeping.

🧠 The important thing you should get rid of to get good sleep.

🧠 Discover Dr. Durmer’s own sleep routine and the biggest item that has made a difference in his sleep quality.

🧠 Dr. Durmer’s opinions on mouth taping and its effects on breathing during sleep.

Mentioned Resources

Guest contacts



Complete a short assessment to test the quality of your sleep

Free & Customized Actionable Strategies for Changing How You Sleep
Start the assessment