Sleep is so important.
So why do we do so many things that keep us from getting the sleep we need?
If we want to optimize our performance and our life, we have to think about sleep.
Humans used to sleep when it was dark. Now so many of us do the “laptop lapdance” at night, keeping our bodies awake with unnatural light.
We can change our schedule and environment to get a deeper rest at night.
To help you understand more on the topic I wanted to bring you this clip from a conversation I had with the King of Sleep: Shawn Stevenson.
Shawn’s health podcast- The Model Health Show- has millions of listener downloads a year. He’s a bestselling author, has been featured on many major media outlets, and is an in-demand keynote speaker.
He’s the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance which helps people and companies with health services worldwide.
Like Shawn says in the episode, “We are infinite beings.” We have the power to have a great night’s sleep.
Learn how to change your habits to change your sleep in Episode 696.
Lewis Howes: This is Five-Minute Fridaaaaay!!
Shawn Stevenson! He is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, which is one of the top nutrition and fitness podcasts on iTunes. With a background in Biology and Kinesiology, Shawn went on to be the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, which is a successful company that provides wellness services for both individuals and organisations, worldwide.
He’s also a dynamic keynote speaker who has spoken with TEDx, universities and numerous organisations with outstanding reviews, and he is the king of sleep. He is the king of mastering your sleep to optimise your health, your performance, your mind, your body, for the best experience.
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Shawn Stevenson: People notice this, when they tend to get to bed a little bit earlier, they’re just like, “Wow! I slept really great!” I see your face, like, “Yeah! That happens!” But it rarely happens. That’s the kind of money-time window but, again, it’s not about being perfect. If this doesn’t fit your lifestyle, stack the other conditions, do the other things.
The timing does matter, because your body is wired up to work with nature. And only recently can we basically manufacture a second daytime. Our genes are expecting a night cycle, for us to get cosy, to get sleep, but we can do the laptop lap dance all night long, today. You know, watch YouTube videos and Netflix and be on our social media, but our genes are not different from our ancestors’ even a hundred years ago, let alone thousands!
Lewis Howes: I hear that, man!
Shawn Stevenson: So, we can evolve through this stuff, like some X-Men stuff, but it’s going to take a little bit of time. And your skin has photo receptors that pick up light.
Lewis Howes: Even the littlest amount?
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah! There was a study I put in the book, that the room was otherwise pitch black, but they put just a tiny light behind somebody’s knee, and it was enough.
Lewis Howes: No way! Shut up!
Shawn Stevenson: It was enough to take them out of their normal stage of sleep. It’s crazy, right? It’s crazy!
Lewis Howes: Crazy!
Shawn Stevenson: And so, because, again, we’ve evolved in darkness, and it’s not all light, it’s unnatural light. Like, moonlight, if you look at the lux, and I put a lux chart in the book, it’s not even a problem, but that unnatural light. And so, your skin has photo receptors that pick up information and basically send it to your brain to secrete more daytime hormones, namely cortisol.
So, your neighbour’s porch light, street lights outside, that kind of stuff, this unnatural light, it’s been dubbed, ‘light pollution’, now.
So, getting your room pitch black can keep that stuff out of your room, but also, the internal light. So, if you’ve got an ugly alarm clock staring at you, that kind of stuff, you might want to consider getting a dimmer shut-off, or throwing a blanket over it, or something like that.
Lewis Howes: I like that.
Shawn Stevenson: I think a lot of people know that a good workout can help you sleep. However, there’s a difference between going to sleep and passing out, as we’ve mentioned. So, a lot of people, you know, I talk with Rich Roll, and he’s running for days, and if he doesn’t do one of his workouts, like he says, his sleep isn’t the same.
It’s because of his cortisol rhythm which he’s changed, but that’s a whole other story. The bottom line is, there is a difference, number one, between going to sleep and passing out and here’s how to do this the right way.
So, the study with Appalachian State University, they broke exercise up into three groups. Group A exercised at 7am in the morning, group B at 1pm, group C, 7pm at night. Group A spent up to 75% more time in deep anabolic sleep.
Lewis Howes: Earlier in the morning.
Shawn Stevenson: So, early in the morning, if you can get a workout in. It doesn’t mean it has to be the time you hit the gym, you can work out in the afternoon, but that initial morning activity is important, because, going back to our evolutionary biology, it encourages that normal cortisol spike.
Lewis Howes: So, getting up and taking a walk.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, you could do a power walk, you could do a four minute Tabata session, do some Bodyweight stuff, or you can do your full workout.
Lewis Howes: Some air squats, some yoga stretching, whatever it may be.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, right. You’re helping encourage that normal cortisol spike.
Lewis Howes: Some movement, first thing in the morning. First hour, or something.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Exactly.
Lewis Howes: Interesting. And then, what about the full workout? What about if I feel like, “Okay, I’m going to do my hour workout today,” when should that optimal time be?
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, if you want to do it in the morning, perfect. There wasn’t much benefit to the afternoon, as far as sleep is concerned. But in the evening there was some benefit. But it has to be the early evening.
Lewis Howes: So, if I do work out in the evening, it’s okay?
Shawn Stevenson: If it’s the early evening.
Lewis Howes: So, six or seven?
Shawn Stevenson: You need about four hours, so if your planned bedtime is eleven, you need about four hours for your cortisol to get normalised, and you core body temperature to come back down, which we talked about how important that is.
Lewis Howes: That’s true. Yeah, because I’ll work out, and then I’ll take a cold shower, but I’m still sweating an hour later.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. A cold shower’s a great help though, to help to lower your core body temperature.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Still, the burn is just, for a big guy, you’re still sweating, so that makes sense. Okay, so four hours after the workout, you should take, before you go to sleep.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. But some people are hitting their Jujitsu class at 8pm, and then trying to get to sleep at ten.
Lewis Howes: Right. That’s not optimal. But it is good, you still get benefit if you go up till seven o’clock, up till four hours before, its okay?
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, just try and time and time it different. A lot of time we get into issues with this, because we tell ourselves there’s not another option. We are infinite beings that have plenty of different ways that we can change things.
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Lewis Howes: Hey, guys! If you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show, then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now. It’s called The Millionaire Morning. It includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at themillionairemorning.com and just pay shipping.
Again, check it out right now, themillionairemorning.com.