Kwik Brain 061
June 6, 2018     |   1371 VIEWS
Overcoming Reading Fatigue with Michael Breus

Kwik Brain 061: Overcoming Reading Fatigue with Michael Breus

"Getting great sleep is mostly about consistency."
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 ofThe 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 and Beauty Sleep. He’s been featured by the 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.

Connect with Michael: Website | Facebook | Twitter

This week’s podcast is all about reading and sleep — and we welcome special guest Michael Breus!

The most common complaints about reading we hear from our Kwik Brain podcast audience relate to focus and fatigue. It’s easy to lose focus while reading, to forget what you’ve read, and to get sleepy and tired — especially given many people use reading as relaxation. It’s common for people to end their reading session frustrated and feeling like they didn’t quite get what they wanted from their book.

For many of us, reading is vital to our careers and livelihoods. The best leaders are readers! And the best leaders often need to read through huge volumes of written information and not just skim the words, but end their reading with a solid comprehension of what they’ve just read. Your reading ability isn’t set in stone — with regular work, you can train and improve your reading speed and comprehension.

Today’s conversation is an eye-opening dive into revolutionizing the way we read and take in information, between two people who couldn’t be better qualified to speak about it! Jim’s internationally successful Kwik Reading program has helped thousands of people around the globe, and guest Michael Breus is an industry-leading expert on optimizing sleep with years of experience helping clients to maximize their productivity.

In today’s conversation, we tackle why the ‘when’ matters when trying to maximize your brain potential, give you some practical tips for avoiding eye strain and bust common myths about quick reading ability. Michael will give you some tips to improve your quick reading and five all-important steps to optimize your sleep.

Show Notes


  • Getting tired, eyes tiring, forgetting what has been read
  • Michael says reading fatigue is real and common
  • Quick 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 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: more pausing, more your eye muscles have to be 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 sleep the night before!


  • Consistent schedule: our 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.

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 4: Read 1 Book a Week (52 Books a year)…Without Speed-Reading

Episode 7: How To Read Faster

Episode 28: Boost Your Reading Comprehension (And Retain More)

Episode 45: Improve Your Memory With A Good Night’s Sleep with Dr. Michael Breus


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