This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get.
Of course, as with all health questions, it depends.
There isn’t one answer that works for everyone. There is one answer that works for you.
The first area you’ll want to examine is your sleep, which is what I want to talk about today.
If you’re not prioritizing your sleep, then you already know what the answer is.
Yes, it is possible. Even with a kid, a spouse, and a job. Even with two kids, a spouse, and two jobs. (I’m not sure about two spouses though. You might be exempt if that’s you.)
Seriously though, I can’t overstate that enough. I could write 2,000, even 5,000 more words about sleep but we cannot move forward if we’re not on the same page about that.
You can get enough rest if you prioritize it, and that is, without a doubt, your number one defense against illness and injury, and also the key to feeling energized.
Notice that I have not said “eight hours” or “every night”.
I don’t get eight hours every night.
I don’t get top quality sleep every night.
I do get top quality sleep on most nights.
There are some nights that I work late, pushing my limits. There are even some nights that, after working late, I then go ahead a watch a crappy Van Dam movie for the 73rd time after that. (That’s my weird sleep vice; I feel like if I’m already up too late, I might as well just ‘screw it’.)
But most nights, I make sure to get into bed by 10:00 PM, and I have no problem going to bed at 8:00 or 9:00 if I’m tired.
Now, here are some recommendations in addition to ‘get in bed by 10PM’. (By the way, there are biological reasons why 10PM is important.)
- Complete darkness & silence in the room.
- No bluetooth, cellphone, WiFi, or electronics of any kind. Get an analog alarm clock, or, better, no alarm.
- Track your sleep. I use a WHOOP. Whatever device you choose, it raises your awareness greatly.
- Cool temperature – not hot.
- Sleep on your back, not with your head propped up too high. (Actually, a pillow should primarily support your neck, not your head.)
- No electronics for 30 minutes before bed, at least.
- Dim the lights all around the house close to bedtime. (Starts to shut down the brain & eyes.)
- Have a bedtime routine. If that includes some or all of the following, even better: gratitude practice, reading, journaling, organizing your most important things to do in the morning, breathwork or meditation, etc.
- Go to sleep in the clothes your going to workout in when you wake up.
- Give yourself permission to not be Jocko Willink every morning. I love getting up early too, but sometimes, it’s OK not to rush.
I do not do all of those things. I do most. Some nights are better (or worse) than others.
If you have never tracked your sleep, you might be surprised to find out that that what you think is ‘X’ hours is more likely ‘X minus 1 (or more)’ hours, as it takes time to actually fall into sleep – even for those who go down fast.
It’s not about perfection. There isn’t one perfect routine for everyone.
There is one system that works best for you, and so I put these ideas here so that you can consider, or perhaps begin to pick & choose.
If you really want more energy, start with its source: rest.