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How To Sleep To Win

I'm going to tell you how you can actually win in life and in business. You can make more money, perform at a higher level, be smarter, learn more, perform better physically and basically do better in anything you want, by sleeping more and sleeping better. That's right. I'm going to explain some of the hardware that I use to get a night of better sleep, and how I objectively measure these experiments.

What I'm going to be sharing with you today isn't just my opinion or some wispy things some gypsy told me. I like to measure things, and I like to be as scientific as possible. I also keep an open mind and test the things that some people think are fiction. I just see for myself what the data says and I often find some really interesting things.

When it comes to sleep, you're probably thinking: "Why the hell would I want to sleep more? Isn't sleeping for losers?" Or you may think that people who are successful don't really sleep at all. If you're going to be successful, why would you sleep more? Doesn't sleeping mean you're lazy? Why do you need any fancy gadgets for sleep?

Those are all good questions, and that's what I used to think too. I used to think that sleep was for weak people or for lazy people, and really successful people basically didn't sleep. I thought maybe they had three or four hours of sleep at most. So that became my philosophy. I gave it a try and it went horribly wrong. I started to become basically depressed, delusional and made a lot of errors. I found out that I was not performing very well. The most dangerous thing about a lack of sleep is that the more you need to sleep, the less you believe you need sleep. So there's a vicious circle. Basically what happens is, the more sleep deprived you get, the less sleep you believe you need. But in reality, you actually need more sleep.

So a lot of people I've observed, really get stuck in this vicious loop. I've helped a lot of people perform better in business and make more money. And what's amazing is that even at my quantum mastermind level, my highest level program where most of the people are making seven figures and eight figures, still, the number one thing we talk about is routine and sleep. It's quite funny that sleep is often one of the things that we work on because it helps them make the most progress and get the best results. This is because, you as a human are a biological system, and your performance directly impacts the results you get. If you don't perform very well, you won't get very good results. If you perform really well, you will get really good results.

So how does one perform well? A lot of people focus on eating really well, taking supplements, and exercising, but when it comes to sleep they just neglect it. I can tell you, sleep is the most powerful variable to play with. I can tell you that if you sleep properly and improve your sleep, you will be smarter, you will perform better and you will get better results. There is always room for improvement when it comes to sleep. Just like learning a new tactic, focusing on sleep allows you to be smarter and come up with your own strategies.

So that's enough of me explaining why sleep is important. Now let's get into some of the things that I use to really get a night of better sleep. So the first thing you need, and this is absolutely crucial, is you need an objective measuring stick. We need to make sleep scientific and objective. We need to come up with a unit of measurement, and we need some instruments that can perform this analysis. This will create outputs of data without it being subjective to us and self-referencing ourselves. So the best product that I recommend for measuring your sleep is called an Oura Ring.

It's pretty small and it looks just like a normal ring. Previous versions of this ring were really chunky, but this new one is smaller and more comfortable. You wear it just like a normal ring and then it syncs to your iPhone or your Android phone. Each morning when you wake up you can sync it and it will tell you how your sleep went.

It not only tells you when you went to bed and when you got out of bed but also how many hours you were actually asleep. A lot of people think how long they sleep is when they get into the bed and when they get out, but that's not sleeping. That's just bedtime. Many of us wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. With that said, you could be a light sleeper, you could go into REM or you could go into a deep sleep. Then there's your resting heart rate and your body temperature. All of these different things come into play when it comes to sleep.

I've been measuring my sleep every day for over two years. I've been objectively recording it all in Excel and I've been tweaking the different variables like diet, exercise, nutrition, the time I eat my meals and different hacks that I've found that have really improved my sleep.

So the first one is the Oura Ring. You need to start with this because you need to get a baseline. So you want to get seven days of sleep and then see what your baseline sleep level is. Now once you have that baseline, it's time to start tweaking some of the different things that you do and see if it improves above your baseline or goes below your baseline. You basically want to go through an iterative cycle of doing more of what works, and less of what doesn't work. You want to constantly seek perfection.

If you want to know what a night of good sleep is, what bad sleep is and where do we draw the line-- well, your Oura Ring will give you something called a 'readiness score' and it's basically an algorithm that consists of metrics such as time of sleep, the previous night's sleep, resting heart rate, REM, deep sleep and more. It looks at these things, takes this bundle of different metrics and it gives you an overall singular metric score out of 100. I've found that if you're above 80, you're good. If you're below 80 you're not good. If you're below 60, something was seriously wrong and that's an emergency scenario. If you're in the 90s, you're amazing and out of this world. My average is close to 90.

Now first and foremost, one of the biggest things that I've noticed to fix my sleep is room temperature. If you're hot when you're asleep or when you're trying to go to sleep it's excruciating. You can't really sleep properly. So I've found that the room temperature is extremely important. It's probably one of the biggest ingredients to good sleep for me. I have an air conditioner and I set it up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit and that's pretty cold. My wife Ashley has to actually wear a jumper and track pants because it's too cold for her. But I find that the colder the room temperature is, the lower my resting heart rate is, the deeper my sleep is and the better my readiness score is. So room temperature is extremely important. If you have a partner that gets a bit too cold, they can always wear extra layers.

Secondly, the darkness of the room is important. If there are lights coming in, especially artificial light, it's going to be very hard to go to sleep. We use blackout curtains which pretty much blacks out the whole room. Even beyond the room darkness, you want to get it really dark. It should be pretty much pitch black. Then you should get it really cold and really quiet. I personally hate road noise and I hate hearing cars drive by. I want it to be really silent. So making sure that you really sound-proof your room can be a great thing to do.

Another thing you can do is, you can put sound-deadening panels on your bedroom roof. The acoustics of the room makes a big difference. If you're sleeping in a room that has hard surfaces, like concrete floor or tile floor, and the walls are plastered with a lot of glass around, then the acoustics are going to be pretty intense. The sound is going to bounce around. That freaks your nervous system out and makes it hard to sleep.

Again, you want to really pay attention to these things. You want to make sure the acoustics are soft and there is no noise coming in from the outside. You also want to feel safe and secure, because otherwise, you are going to have anxiety or your subconscious is going to be working towards protecting you while you sleep. So having a lock on your door is often a good idea as well.

The next thing is the AC. I know everyone can't afford to just put a big air-con unit in the room. If you can do it, nothing's better than just blasting the room and making it really cold and then you can sleep. Even in the middle of the summer in California, you can sleep with a heavy duvet all over you, which feels really nice. But if you rent your place and you don't want to invest in something like that, or you just don't have enough money, then what you can do is get a BedJet. What it does is, it sits underneath your bed and it blows cold air. It's an air conditioner but not for the whole room. It's an air conditioner just for your bed. So it's really small and it's portable. You just plug it in and grab the remote to use it and it does an amazing job. When I was in New York, our apartment had a really good air conditioning system except for our bedroom. Our apartment was full glass, so it got really baked when the sun was out. So we used the BedJet in New York, even though we had air conditioning. If you have air conditioning but you still get a bit too overheated in your bed, invest in one of these.

It's a lot cheaper than buying an air conditioning system. It's also portable. So if you rent you can take it with you. These things are honestly amazing. I tried another one called a Chilling Pad that was a water-cooled system. It was complicated and awful. It always needed maintenance and it was a nightmare. It stressed me out. Its benefits did not outweigh its negatives. So then I got something much cheaper and much more simple. The BedJet V2, and it's awesome.

To summarize, we got it dark. We got it cold. We got it quiet. We got good acoustics. We got the Oura Ring on to objectively measure sleep. Now what you want to start doing is optimizing the general environment.

We don't keep TVs, computers or any electrical gear in the bedroom. The room needs to be pretty much plain because this room is for sleeping. So you want your room to be simple because when there's a lot of complexity all over the place, it's hard for your mind to relax. You want to really strip your bedroom,  make it very simple and have the room's purpose to be just for sleep. Because if you start doing work in your room, and watching TV in your room, and doing all of these different things in your room, then your mind is still going to remain active.

I turn my phone on airplane mode when I come into the bedroom, so I don't have any thoughts of grabbing it and checking it or anything that. It doesn't buzz or vibrate, it's out of sight, out of mind. I set my alarm on there so my alarm still goes off and my phone's still in my room charging, but it doesn't distract me at all. I keep my alarm clock over a certain distance and it is better for waking up in the morning because when my alarm clock goes off, it's away from the bed. So I have to get out of bed and walk over to turn it off. I can't just push snooze. So it actually helps me get going in the morning as well. That's a very simple hack that anyone can do, you don't even have to spend any money. Just putting things in different locations makes a huge difference.

Also, for the lighting in the bedroom, you not only want to make the brightness go down, but you also want to control the warmth of the light. The fluorescent lights and the LED lights are 5,500 Kelvin and that is trying to imitate true daylight. It makes you feel like you're in a mental asylum and it basically throws your nervous system into chaos. That's terrible. Whatever you do, don't put any of those lights anywhere in your house, especially not in your bedroom. If your body senses 5,500 K warmth, then it thinks it's still the middle of the damn day. So you're not going to be able to go to sleep because your body is getting the signal from the light that it's still daylight. So don't do that. Make sure that you dim the lights. I would use the actual tungsten bulbs, the old school ones. Those have a filament in there and it produces much warmer color. I would use only those or the dim ones. You want to make it quite dark with a warm ambiance. What's even better than a tungsten bulb would be a candle or a fire. So we have a fireplace, and often I light a candle because that is much warmer light and it's also calming. Candles help you relax and go to sleep, so that's another hack.

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Also, if you're using your phone or your laptop at all, after the hours of 7 o'clock, you should turn on the night shift on your Mac. It's under the display settings. Turning night shift on will make your screen go more yellow after about 7 PM and the same with your phone. You want your body to start knowing that the sun is going down outside and that it's time to start producing melatonin to get ready to sleep. You've got to think about these things and start tracking them, measuring them, and optimizing them, because sleep is a big thing. Once you get it right, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes to your life. Your thinking, your decision making, your results, and your performance will all improve.

The comfort of your bed is also important. You want to have a nice comfy bed. Now comfy means different things to different people. I have one of those purple mattresses. I saw it on the Internet and thought at first it might've just been some fancy marketing but I looked into it, and the studies that they've done were quite interesting. I gave it a try and I'm actually pretty impressed.

So the company is called PURPLE.com. I got one of those king-size mattresses. It's pretty damn good. Now in terms of sheets and pillows, you don't want to use synthetic crap because it basically feels like those satin boxer shorts that you wore when you were a kid. Those ones would stick to you and give you static electric shocks. They were just awful. That's what some people's sheets feel like and that's terrible, it's going to give you an awful sleep. We use linen. We find that linen is the most comfortable for us. It is cool, but still thick so that works well. The worst is the synthetic crap, satin or things like that. So invest in some good linen. When it comes to pillows, you want to use feather down ones. Also, I like sleeping with just one pillow. If I prop my neck up with one more, it's harder for me to get to sleep, and I have a worse sleep.

The things I've shared so far are simple, but there are different levels you can go to. So another thing that we use is called the Bio-Mat. It's an appliance that sits on top of your mattress and it's filled with amethyst crystals. It puts an electric current through them to create warmth. It acts like an electric blanket in a way, so it warms the bed up, but it also produces infrared light. You've probably heard of infrared saunas and some of the health benefits they have. It's pretty much similar to that. It's like when you go to bed at night you can warm your bed up, which makes you go to sleep easier. The bed is warm and the outside room temperature is cold. Even in the middle of summer in California, I can control the environment.

I also know that for me, I need at least two hours after I finish working until I can go to sleep. So I tend to stop work at around 9:00 pm and then I come home and have a shower. Having a shower before bed actually helps you sleep better because you're clean and you feel better when you're in bed when you're clean. It's something called 'sleep hygiene'. You can research it a bit. I have a shower, get into bed, and then it takes me two hours to wind down before I can fall asleep.

So if I stop work at 9:00 pm, then I'm not going to be asleep until 11:00 pm. During those two hours, I typically read, talk to my wife, or watch a documentary on my laptop. If we're watching it on the laptop, we always have the night shift turned on, so we're not getting the white light. That's basically what I do for two hours, then I go to sleep. I sleep for roughly eight hours every night. The minimum I can really get by on is seven, but eight is ideal for me. I think eight hours of sleep is probably ideal for most people.

Another thing that helps me a lot that you can try, is a weighted blanket. Most duvets, have some weight to them because they've got feather-down or other fillers in them. The thicker the duvet, generally the heavier it is. Also, the better quality it is, the heavier it is. If you've found that you sleep better when you've got a heavy blanket on, and you sleep terribly when you've got only a sheet on, then you're probably someone that's going to benefit a lot from a weighted blanket. Some people love them and others don't. It's different for different people. If you like a lot of weight on you, you'll probably love a weighted blanket.

The one I have is the one that is 40 kg, which is quite heavy. It's on the heavier side of weighted blankets. That's almost 90 pounds in weight. Basically, there have been studies done on this, and I've personally done a study on myself using objective data over time, and it helped me. But having weight on you soothes the nervous system and it really calms you down. It basically relaxes your nervous system. It's similar to getting a hug from someone that soothes you and helps you relax. That made a massive difference for me. Also, having a lock and some kind of security in your place helps you sleep so you're not at all worried. That really helped me with my quality of sleep.

Another thing is, your body has a circadian rhythm that it gets used to. It's basically a pattern that with time your body recognizes when you wake up and when you go to sleep. Once it notices this pattern, it will start to optimize for it. So around the time you wake up, it'll produce cortisol and it will try to tell you to get up and get going. Around the time when you go to sleep, it will produce melatonin and it will try to get you to calm down and go to sleep. So one of the best things you can do is go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day and stick to it. It might not make much of a difference initially, but it will make a huge difference over time once your body starts to adapt.

So I wake up at 6:30 am every morning and I go to bed between 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm every night. I stick to that and it helps a lot. That makes a huge difference.

Also, don't eat anything after about 7:00 PM. So if you eat late at night, then your body is going to be trying to digest that food more than it is trying to repair tissue in your body and reconcile different pieces of information you're storing in your mind. So deep tissue repair is deep sleep, and reconciling your mind and dealing with the psychological information-based stuff, is REM.

So if you're not getting much REM, it's really affecting your thinking and your memory. If you're not getting enough deep sleep, it's really affecting your physical tissue repair. So what I noticed is when I had meals or snacks later, I got nowhere near as much REM and really no deep at all. I was just staying in light sleep and my heart rate was jacked right up, probably an increase of 10 beats per minute. It totally destroyed my sleep, and I woke up in the morning feeling like I didn't really get any sleep at all. I realized what was going on with my body. It was just committing all of its energy to my stomach to process the food. So you want your body to be done processing the food by the time you go to sleep so it can focus on other things like memory, reconciling information in your mind and tissue repair. So don't eat anything after 7:00 pm.

The last thing would be, don't touch any alcohol. You'll think completely differently about alcohol after you have an Oura Ring. When I first used it I had one beer, and I realized that it just threw my sleep totally off. One beer or one glass of wine will spike your heart rate by about 10 beats per minute, and it will destroy your entire sleep. It will just mess up your entire sleep and then it also makes you dumb. It's a huge disadvantage to even have just one drink.

So not having alcohol, not eating after seven, and getting into a consistent pattern of waking up at the same time and going to bed at the same time, will make a huge, huge difference. If you want to improve your life and business, start focusing on sleep and start measuring your progress.