module 1

Lesson 2

 High Performance Sleep Habits


How often do you wake up, full of energy and ready to tackle the day ahead?

Once a week? Twice a week? Never?

Ever wonder why this is? Let's take a minute to actually stop and assess our sleep habits. 

Getting proper sleep is critical to recharging our productive battery and keeping negative stress down.

What exactly happens when we don't sleep well? Click to find out. 

Societies attitude toward sleep:

You think something so important we would treat with the utmost respect, but as humans we are TERRIBLE at abusing our sleep quality.

There is an unfortunate mindset and pressure from society today when it comes to working and getting ahead. I see it in a lot of young entrepreneurs.  It is the mindset that not sleeping and staying up all night working is some type of necessary badge of honor or ingredient to be successful

Hard work, extreme persistence, perseverance and hustle are all necessary ingredients, but sacrificing your sleep isn't going to make you more productive.

Ours is a culture where we wear our ability to get by on very little sleep as a kind of badge of honor that symbolizes work ethic, toughness, or some other virtue - but really, it's a total profound failure of priorities and of self-respect.

Maria Popova

Founder -BrainPickings

Why lack of sleep is a productivity nightmare

A study done in 2016 by the RAND Corporation found that because of sleep deprivation, the United States sustains economic losses of up to $411 billion dollars a year (or 1.23 million working days). 

That's pretty bad. Even more disturbing though, a 2007 Harvard report showed that the effects of a lack of sleep include not only reduced efficiency and productivity, but more errors, and accidents. These errors can be deadly.

The report from Harvard stated that preventable medical errors, many of which are the result of physicians and surgeons not getting enough sleep, cause more than a million injuries and between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths each year.


In short, don't mess around with your sleep.

It’s not a sustainable tactic to work until 2am each night then wake up the next morning and do it all again. You  may get more done in the short term but you are simply just borrowing from your time in the future. In the long run, it will kill your energy, productivity, amplify your mistakes and shorten your life. 

The objective is to create powerful focus and productivity each day so you don’t need the extra hours to get it all done.

Imagine if you could get twice as much done during your 8 hours each day as your peers? How would that impact your happiness, career and performance? 

Very few people are as productive as they could be during their working hours. Maximizing this time for productivity requires us to be well rested and energized.


1. Follow the circadian rhythm 

As you may have noticed we aren't robots. We need to sleep and do it often.

There is a reason why we are meant to sleep after the sun goes down and wake when it rises. There are a whole host of hormones in your body that also follow and rely on this cycle. It's not unique to us either, pretty much every animal and living thing on the planet (including trees) rely on this reliable cycle of the sun setting and then rising again. 

This natural cycle of sleeping when the sun goes down and waking when it rises is called the circadian rhythm. We’ve been following this pattern for thousands of years. It is only recently with modern light and electricity that we have started to stray and we have suffered for it. 

Imagine in the 19th century before there was electricity? All we had was candle light and the world was a very dark place at night for most of human history. 

Getting into the habit of heading to bed by 10:30PM almost every night is one of the best things I’ve ever done for feeling good and improving my energy. This is the time of night where everything just starts to "click" if you can consistently switch your body and mind off at this time. Sam Parr, CEO and founder of the Hustle found the same.  

I used to be a 12am to 7am sleeper but it wasn't cutting it. Getting up each morning sucked and I would get sluggish in the afternoon. Extending and creating a regular sleep pattern from 10:30pm to 7am has made without a doubt, the biggest impact in my happiness. Along with using a sleep mask and keeping the room temperature at 65F. 

Sam Parr

CEO - The Hustle

We can also use sunlight in the morning to help reset our internal clocks. Exposure to sun in the morning will trigger daytime hormones. This will actually make it easier for our body to know when to activate the night time hormones as well.

Each morning, make an effort to exposure your body to natural light from the sun for at least 15 minutes.


The beauty of consistently going to bed at the same time each day means you will also begin to consistently wake up at the same time each day.  I naturally tend to rise at 6:00am if I'm lights out by 10:30. No more stressful, loud and annoying alarm cock needed. 

2. Limit exposure to electronics before bed. 

As we keep exposing the light receptors in our eyes to artificial lights through TV, mobile phones and tablets, the hormones in our body interpret that as "the sun is still shining" and keep producing daytime hormones. 

Our eyes are particular sensitive to blue light, which just so happen to be the strongest on all these screens we look at . During the day it's less of a problem, however as the sun goes down the intake of this light suppresses the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) and our bodies don't shut down as they should. 

Ever been restless in bed? This could be one reason why.

Is it possible our bodies will adapt to this overabundance of artificial light in the world now?

Probably... but this tends to take thousands of years and we've only had electricity for around 140 years. We are not quite there yet.

The best thing to do to reduce this effect is to limit exposure to these types of lights a couple hours before bed. If you really need to work (as I do at times), use these tools below:

Use your bluelight filter or F.lux

F.lux is a tool that will automatically reduce the blue light on all your devices. It syncs to your timezone and once its setup its entirely automatic. Get it now. 

Smart Lights

Automate your home and lights so they automatically dim and and reduce blue light at night. There are a number of options. 

Get blue light glasses

If you want to ensure all blue light is removed in the evening, try these after the sun goes down. Warning, you may get comments that you look like Bono from U2.

Ear Plugs & Eye Mask

Old school, but highly effective to block out street noises and light that may still get in. These also work great on planes.

3. How to calm your mind before bed

A lot of people have good intentions about wanting to get to bed earlier but they find themselves restless so they wonder what's the point of even trying. 

How many nights have you laid awake, overwhelmed with thoughts from the day? Having too much on your mind is a common problem, you are not alone.

Here's some very simple techniques to calm your mind before bed.


Dim the lights, don't check email, don't keep working on your laptop and don't go for a crazy heart pumping workout at 10pm. If you haven't accomplished everything you need to today, pack it up and start again tomorrow.

Your body is trying to prepare you to go to sleep, so don't fight it. After 9PM, try to live like it's 1850.  Do your favorite relaxing activity. My recommendation: Journal about your day and what you are thankful for so you go to bed with a positive mindset. (I highly recommend The 5 Minute Journal). 


Another trick to put your mind in a relaxed state is to use sound to influence and calm your brain frequency. 

If you've heard of Binaural Beats, this is what I am referring too. If you haven't, here's the 30 second explanation:

Sound operates in frequencies and so do your brain waves. Your brain waves operate at different frequencies based on what's going on around you. These can be waves for focus, excitement, fear, calmness etc.

By introducing certain sounds, we can get our brain to a calmer state (great for sleep) or for productivity (which we will  explore in Module 3).

Delta waves specifically, operate at a frequency that puts your brain in a calm and relaxed state, perfect for going to sleep.  

If you find yourself restless, download this below and try it out.  It's an underlying constant delta wave frequency interlaced with some relaxing music to calm you down. I use this occasionally when I'm a little too fired up around bed time...


This is one of the best ways to beat feeling overwhelmed. It will not only help you sleep, but help you release anxiety and tension as well.

We have a full workbook planned for this in the next section. 

This was a long chapter and it's not easy,  but highly important. Take some time to digest this, then let's step into how to beat feeling overwhelmed.

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