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Dr. Daniel Mollicone on Fatigue

Season four of the Lindberghs Podcast is made possible by:

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Listen to this episode here, or find The Lindberghs on any podcast player such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

About this Episode

Hi there friends, it's Lyn.

Mission critical or safety sensitive personnel working long hours and at all hours of the day is an obvious disaster waiting to happen. But what if we could harness the knowledge we have around fatigue and use it to our advantage?

In this episode we talk with Dr. Daniel Mollicone who has helped pioneer the field of fatigue risk management. Their primary focus is on aviation, trucking, and the workforce, but everything he said resonated so deeply with my fatigued existence of everyday life. As a person who likes data I appreciated his scientific descriptions that helped me understand more about what is happening with my body and mental health when I am deeply fatigued. I left this conversation with David feeling motivated to take better control of my fatigue so that I can more fully live a life I love.

I hope you'll also be inspired by our conversation with Dr. Daniel Mollicone.



Our Favorite Quotes from this Episode

Each day you go without getting the sleep you need you build up a debt. As this debt accumulates you become impaired. The debt must be repaid.


The sinister thing about sleep debt is that is creeps up on us slowly.


People who have sleep deprivation systematically underestimate how impaired they are. There must be something in place to objectively quantify how sleep deprived they are.


Your circadian rhythm adapts to timezones. It takes approximately one day per timezone to reacclimatize.


It's a very healthy lifestyle to have a regular wake-up time.


In our eyes we are a photometer. This ganglion photo receptor measures the frequency and intensity that your eyes sees. It sends a signal to your hypothalamus to adjust your sleep schedule. Knowing this, you can use light to adjust your sleep schedules.


For Charles Lindbergh's flight, if it was happening today there is a very good chance that I would be there helping the mission to mitigate the risks of fatigue in the mission. Charles had experience with fatigue and staying awake for over 40 hours staying active, but it gave him a false sense of security. Physical labor gave him energy, but when seated still in a cockpit that he would not have the benefit of sleep masking.


Even brief naps can restore performance to a great extent.


If you can get past 25-26 hours [without sleep] you'll usually experience a second wind.


Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain that make you feel sleepy.


How to sleep. Eat healthy, exercise, avoid stimulants, avoid alcohol, and when it comes time to go to bed, go to bed in a dark comfortable environment without any goals to sleep. The rest is done by your body. When the brain wants to go to sleep, the brain will go to sleep.


Most people don't realize that Charles Lindbergh was doing something that nobody had done before. The miracle of flight has become so commonplace that we don't appreciate the number of unknowns he was dealing with. The process he adopted was to do everything he knew to do.


What's inspiring about Charles Lindbergh's story was that he set a goal that was so lofty that the press and many people thought he was fool-hearty in setting, and he achieved that goal. Everything he did was in pursuit of his goal and he took no action that was detrimental to his goal. That was a big part of his success.


The Construct of Fatigue

  1. Sleep debt: How many hours of sleep are you missing?

  2. Hours awake: How many hours have you've been awake since you last slept?

  3. Time of day: When are you normally awake and asleep?

Mentioned in this Episode

About Dr. Daniel Mollicone

Dr. Daniel Mollicone is Chief Scientist and CEO of Pulsar Informatics, Inc. Dr. Mollicone holds degrees in Engineering Physics and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Mollicone has played an active role in the development of the field of fatigue risk management. He has acted as principal investigator on research funded by US Department of Transportation (DOT), US Federal Aviation Administration FAA, US Department of Defense (DOD), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Transport Canada related to assessment of fitness for duty and fatigue risk management.

About Erik and Lyn Lindbergh

Erik and Lyn are the co-hosts of The Lindberghs Podcast. Learn more about Erik at: and Lyn at:


Join Erik in his quest to Escape from Gravity.

Reignite your health and fitness with Lyn.

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