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  • Sleep is really, really important,

  • and unfortunately, we just don't get enough of it.

  • And I think one of the reasons for that

  • is that our lives our increasingly dependent

  • on time tables and schedules,

  • and things that tend to start early in the day,

  • at a specific time,

  • which makes us subject our lives to the

  • tyranny of evil alarm clocks.

  • Unfortunately, we don't use these same alarm clocks

  • to tell us when to go to bed often,

  • so for a lot of us,

  • getting to bed on time to get adequate sleep

  • is tough.

  • I know I've had this problem and if you're watching

  • this video,

  • you've probably had this problem as well.

  • But this is not a pity party,

  • this is not an empathy video,

  • this is a solution video.

  • And today, I'm hoping I can give you some tips

  • for building the habit of getting to bed on time

  • and thus, getting adequate sleep.

  • But before I can get into those tips,

  • we do have to answer the question,

  • "What time should you go to bed?"

  • Well, everyone has individually different sleep needs,

  • but we can use two main pieces of information

  • to establish a kind of baseline rule,

  • if you will.

  • Number one.

  • According to the National Sleep Foundation,

  • people between the ages of 18 and 25

  • want to get between seven to nine hours of sleep a night,

  • on average.

  • Also, we know that when you're sleeping,

  • your brain goes through multiple iterations of

  • what's called the sleep cycle.

  • It starts off at a higher level of brain activity

  • and then kind of comes down to a really low level

  • for a while,

  • before shooting up into a very high level of activity,

  • called REM,

  • or Rapid Eye Movement.

  • Now in a perfect ideal world,

  • where every alarm clock had long since been

  • smashed to tiny, tiny pieces,

  • you would naturally wake up at the end of

  • one of these sleep cycles.

  • And these sleep cycles take on average

  • about 90 minutes.

  • But, when you're using an alarm clock,

  • you run the risk of waking up in the middle of one,

  • which is going to make you feel like a truck hit you.

  • So, you want to try to time when you fall asleep

  • to wake up at the end of one of these sleep cycles.

  • And if you want to make this really, really easy,

  • head on over to a website called

  • "Sleepyti.me,"

  • where you can input when you need to wake up,

  • and it will give you some times where you should

  • aim to fall asleep.

  • Now keep in mind that the average adult takes about

  • 14 minutes to fall asleep after the lights go out,

  • so pick the window that works for you,

  • add about 15 minutes to it,

  • and that should be your established bedtime.

  • And the key word there is established.

  • You really want to precommit to going to bed at this time,

  • instead of just being real casual about it.

  • A lot of people just go to bed when they feel tired,

  • which would work in a perfect ideal world

  • without those alarm clocks,

  • but it doesn't really work in the modern world.

  • And the reason for that,

  • well to explain that,

  • we're going to have to get into some science.

  • Basically, your sleep is regulated by two

  • biological mechanisms.

  • One is called the "Sleep-Wake Homeostaic Process,"

  • and this works kind of, sort of, like an internal timer.

  • It basically records when you slept last,

  • how long you slept,

  • and then it creates this internal desire to sleep,

  • which increases in intensity as time goes on.

  • And this process is complemented by what's called the

  • "Circadian Clock,"

  • which is a mechanism that basically syncs your

  • biological processes with the day and night cycle.

  • Basically keeps you awake and active during the day,

  • and wanting to sleep at night.

  • Unfortunately, in the modern world,

  • we have a lot of artificial light that we expose

  • ourselves to,

  • and this can actually dampen the secretion

  • of a hormone in the brain called melatonin,

  • which makes you feel tired.

  • So, when you're up at night staring at screens

  • and having all these bright lights on you,

  • your brain thinks basically that it's daytime,

  • and you don't feel tired until it's too late.

  • So, number one tip here,

  • if you're getting up at a specific time,

  • then go to bed at that pre-established bedtime

  • you've set for yourself.

  • And I've found that when you stick to this

  • and you do it for a while,

  • it actually becomes a habit and your

  • body responds in kind.

  • It will start feeling tired when it's supposed to.

  • Now, the main impediment to progress in

  • building this habit is the fact we tend to do stuff

  • that's really highly mentally active late at night,

  • whether it's homework, or Netflix, or video games,

  • or whatever it is,

  • we tend to do stuff that causes us to push our bedtimes

  • off further and further.

  • Which is why I think one of the most important things

  • you can do to increase your chances of going to bed on time,

  • is to create what I like to call a "wind-down ritual."

  • Basically, a sequence of activities that sort of bring

  • down your brain activity,

  • calm you,

  • relax you,

  • and get your brain to the context of knowing

  • that the day's about over and it's time to

  • start going to bed.

  • Now if you can structure your wind-down ritual

  • in a number of ways.

  • A lot of people like to get ready for bed early,

  • brush their teeth,

  • have a shower.

  • A lot of people like to do some light reading or journaling,

  • or maybe even have a cup of tea and meditate.

  • You can basically do whatever you want,

  • but I have a few tips for making it as effective

  • as it can possibly be.

  • Number one.

  • Have an alarm for it.

  • Have something on your watch or your phone

  • that tells you, "Hey bro, it's time to start

  • winding down.

  • It's time to stop playing video games

  • or finish up the episode of TV you're on,

  • or stop working and start winding down."

  • Number two.

  • You're building a habit, just like with any other,

  • there are certain things you can do to increase

  • your success in building that habit,

  • and one of those is to track your progress.

  • So us a tool like "Habitica," or "Coach.me,"

  • or you can use something like Excel or a journal

  • to record the time that you start your routine

  • and the time when you go to bed.

  • So you've got data and you can actually see your progress,

  • and that will in turn increase the likelihood

  • that it will become a strong habit.

  • Finally, I think the first step to your wind-down routine

  • should be to stop using the internet for the day.

  • Either turn off your computer or maybe use a Chrome

  • extension, like Stay Focused,

  • to set a time where your internet access gets shut off,

  • because I know that personally the internet is the

  • worst offender among the host of distractions

  • that can keep me pushing my bedtime off.

  • It's so easy to say,

  • "Oh, it will only take 30 seconds to check this email,"

  • or "30 seconds to look at this stat thing,"

  • and then an hour's gone by.

  • So the internet has to go.

  • So now we've got a set bedtime,

  • we've got the wind-down ritual,

  • we're building that as intelligently as possible,

  • and there's one last tip I wanted to share with you

  • which comes from the author Gretchen Rubin,

  • who wrote, "The Happiness Project,"

  • and also the book, "Better than Before,"

  • and she says,

  • "Remind yourself how great it feels

  • to wake up naturally,

  • before the alarm goes off,

  • without that sickening jolt into wakefulness."

  • Then, when you're surfing the internet

  • at 11:30 p.m., ask yourself,

  • 'Am I making a good trade-off?'"

  • I really like this tip because it's all about

  • pausing and deliberately doing the cost benefit

  • analysis and asking yourself, "Is the goal I want

  • a little bit later more important than the thing

  • I can get right now?"

  • Because remember, as humans, we're wired to

  • discount the value of future rewards

  • and increase the value of what we can get now.

  • But, I think the value of waking up and feeling well-rested

  • is a little bit more important than being able

  • to check one more Facebook post.

  • And if you tell yourself that deliberately,

  • I think you're going to get your brain to agree as well.

  • So that is what I've got for you today in terms of tips

  • on getting to bed on time.

  • Hopefully, you've found them helpful and I do know

  • that this is only one part of the equation.

  • Once you've actually gotten into bed,

  • you do need to fall asleep,

  • and I know most of us have a pretty easy time of that,

  • but I know some people don't,

  • so in a future video,

  • I'm going to have some extra tips on falling asleep

  • on time and getting better quality sleep.

  • Before I go, I wanted to update you on my reading progress,

  • because in the video I did a couple of weeks ago on how to

  • read more books,

  • I told you I was committing to read 25 pages a day

  • without fail for at least the next three months,

  • and I can tell you that now it is 19 days into the challenge

  • and I have done it,

  • and so far I've read 472 pages,

  • which is awesome for me.

  • I've never read that much nonfiction before

  • on a consistent basis,

  • and I've picked books that had a lot of like

  • crazy science in them,

  • they were pretty dense,

  • and I'm finding that as I've built this habit,

  • as I'm doing it every single day,

  • my mind is more easily able to slip into a flow state.

  • It's more easily able to stay focused and not

  • get distracted or bored.

  • So, there's definitely a lot of merit in building a

  • daily reading habit beyond just the accumulation of pages.

  • And to give you a bit of an update on the books

  • I've been reading,

  • I did finish the first book that I chose to read,

  • which was "Spark,

  • The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain."

  • And let me tell you,

  • I love this book.

  • I knew exercise was really important before it,

  • but I never knew how it affected

  • all the parts of the brain and solves

  • a lot of the different problems our brains can have.

  • I like this book so much that I actually invited the author,

  • Dr. John Ratey,

  • onto my podcast and the episode with him will be

  • coming out in a couple of weeks,

  • so subscribe to the podcast if you haven't,

  • and keep your eyes peeled for that one.

  • I actually finished that book when I was out in Colorado

  • and, of course, I had to stop at multiple different

  • bookstores when I was in Boulder and Denver.

  • And when I was at the Boulder one,

  • I picked up a book called, "Good Calories, Bad Calories,"

  • by Gary Taubes,

  • and I've heard this is one of like the best nutrition

  • books out there and I wanted to really dig into

  • the science of nutrition,

  • so I've started reading this one.