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Overcoming Reading Fatigue with Dr. Michael Breus

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and a trusted expert in everything sleep-related. A member of the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show, he also serves as an expert resource for major publications, doing more than 100 interviews a year for outlets like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

A prolific author, Dr. Breus is the author of four books on topics from enhancing sleep to diet to ultimate life hacks, including the popular The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. He’s been featured by CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, the Wall Street Journal, and Oprah, and regularly writes his own articles for The Insomnia Blog, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. His latest book is The Power of When.

Dr. Breus maintains a private practice in the Los Angeles area.

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When you’re reading something, do you ever lose focus? Do you ever get tired and fatigued? Do you ever get frustrated? When people are reading, one of the biggest complaints I hear is that they get tired while reading.

To help you with that, I brought my sleep doctor and one of my dear friends, Dr. Michael Breus, on today’s episode to talk about sleep, reading, and chronotypes (the science of best times WHEN to do things for YOUR specific body type). He’s written a number of books, including “The Power of When” and “The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan.”

In less than 15 minutes, you will discover:  How to overcome reading fatigue, the worst time of the day to read (it’s not what you think), five easy sleep hacks for deep rejuvenation and greater mental energy, how to minimize fixations to prevent excessive eye strain, and more.

*** Want to go deeper in learning to read faster with better comprehension and without falling asleep? I’d like to invite you to become one of the top 1% readers in the world by joining my new Kwik Reading program. Check out all the details and the very special discount I created for our Kwik Brain Podcast listeners here: kwikbrain.com/reading. ***

Dr. Michael Breus

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  • Getting tired, eyes tiring, forgetting what has been read.
  • Reading fatigue is real and common.
  • ‘Kwik’ tip: take breaks from reading to avoid eye strain.


  • Chronotypes: early bird or night owl. More alert at different times of day.
  • You can figure out the perfect time for you to read from your chronotype: WHEN you read matters.
  • 1-3pm in afternoon usually not a good time for most people— it’s a great time to nap, but not to read.
  • Michael is a night owl: does his best intense reading between 7-9pm at night, not so good in mornings.
  • For early birds: mornings are better for reading, between 8-10am if you’ve been awake since 5:30am.
  • Think about your own patterns and circadian rhythms to work out the best time for you.


  • Fixation is a fancy word for eye stops.
  • Slower readers see the letters, then the individual words, stopping on every single word.
  • Quick readers don’t see the letters or individual words, they see groups of words.
  • Kwik Reading: people come in reading 200-250 words per minute, but come out 300% more efficient, not only in their reading speed but reading comprehension.
  • No point in reading faster if you don’t understand what you’re reading — leaders are readers and need to know the exact details of what they’re reading.
  • A quicker reading speed is less taxing for the eyes because the more you pause, the more your eye muscles are used to stop.
  • Common perception: when you read faster your comprehension decreases.
  • This is a myth: when people read faster they have better comprehension.
  • If you don’t give your brain the stimulus it needs, it will seek distraction.


  • Ensuring there’s sufficient light when you read stops melatonin production and keeps you alert.
  • Take a break every 45 minutes.
  • Get a great night’s sleep the night before.


  • Consistent schedule: your circadian rhythms love consistency. Your wake-up time is more important than your going to sleep time.
  • Caffeine: small dosages only and stop by 2pm. Caffeine has a half-life of 6-8 hours.
  • Alcohol: be careful. One alcoholic beverage takes one hour to process, stop drinking 3 hours before bed.
  • Exercise: there’s nothing more effective than exercise to improve the quality of your sleep, even if it’s just 20 minutes. Do your exercise at least 4 hours before bed.
  • Sunlight: Get 15 minutes of sunlight when you wake up to reset your clock, inhibit melatonin production and get more energy.


*** Please note, this episode is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.Want to go deeper after listening to this podcast?

Want to read faster with better comprehension and without falling asleep? Become one of the top 1% of readers in the world with Jim Kwik in just ten minutes a day! Join the new Kwik Reading program, with a special discount created especially for Kwik Brain Podcast listeners.

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