01:45 – What to expect
03:42 – Why sleep is undervalued
05:53 – Knowing your chronological bent
08:12 – A change in body clock
09:28 – Do you need an alarm?
13:42 – Why sleep is vital
15:58 – Rigging your sleep space
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. And this is Episode 676. It’s The Bio Upgrade Method, Episode Three, part of a multi-part series. And I’ve got my friend, special guest Anita Chaperon here. Welcome back.
Anita: Hi, James, it’s good to be here again.
James: We’re getting some great information across on these episodes. We’ve talked about, in previous episodes, 674 is where we started talking about taking the reins of your own health and being the CEO of the business of you, which was a really nice framework to view our health and fitness. And we strongly urge you to go and listen to that episode. If you haven’t already listened to 674, it’s kind of a prerequisite to all the rest of the series. We then went into Episode Two in Episode 675, where we were talking about eating well and eating healthy. And by now, you will have had a sense of what foods you can customize to get different outcomes for the way that you feel, and some resources relating to genetic information, and we talked about cooking at home. And that was a great episode, as well.
What to expect
Today, we’re talking about rest. Rest daily, sleep, recharge for optimal energy and repair. And it is pretty much one of my favorite topics. I’ve become a lover of sleep. After having numerous children and working hard in the early part of my life, I do appreciate a good rest these days.
Anita: And so should everyone. It never ceases to surprise me how many people are finding it surprising that sleep is so beneficial. Considering, you know, we were wired to spend approximately a third of our life sleeping. This is the only time your body gets to at peace, regenerate, restore the tissue that has been used up in wear and tear during the day. It’s the only time your brain gets any specific time to back up whatever you’ve learned throughout the day, the emotions that you’ve lived through, memories you’ve accumulated. And it’s the only time where it’s got enough time to clean up and prepare you for the following day, so you can start again in a fresh and renewed and focused and vibrant, like, with full vitality type of existence.
Other than sleep, there’s also rest and there’s also recovery – we’re going to touch on all three of those. But the way I wanted to introduce the concept of how important sleep is, is if you think about it, as the company responsible for all the services that help a city to keep clean and restart every day, in a fresh way. So typically, when we all go to bed, and we clear the streets, and we’re snuggled up in bed, you know, trucks will come out and then they’ll clear the rubbish bins, they’ll wash the streets, they’ll go and repair the roads at that time so that they don’t cause disturbance for the traffic, etc. And this is what’s happening in your body when you’re sleeping. So I’m excited to cover more on this topic.
And in the previous episodes, we alluded to the fact that your body is a system, and it exists in the ecosystem of the environment. And your system actually has subsystems, and sleep and resting daily is one of those subsystems that we’re going to talk about.
“If you burn the candle at both ends, it only lasts half as long.”
Why sleep is undervalued
James: It kind of makes me wonder, how did the business culture get to a point where anyone thought it was a great concept to be hustling and grinding and working 20 hours a day pretending that, you know, if you wake up early before your competitors, you’re going to beat them, and championing this concept of always working, never resting? I’d never really understood how that came to be, because it’s just quite obvious, if you burn the candle at both ends, it only lasts half as long.
Anita: Oh, yeah. But also we’ve been brought up to, like, typically the people that push themselves the hardest are the ones that are also the loudest, and those are the ones that get interviewed. You know, back in the times, maybe not so much today. And those are the people that made the most noise. And when they become successful, and they get interviewed, they keep saying, oh, well, I’ve worked hard and never give up, and all this stuff. But nobody takes the time to explain that working hard and never giving up doesn’t actually mean work every hour God sent you. It means, you know, working in the right way towards the right goals and the right priorities, etc. And actually working shorter hours, but having more reflective and restorative time, which obviously now is coming to the mainstream media and we’re hearing a lot more about it, that’s why we get more awareness of it.
Because we don’t have time to go too deep into the topic, I wanted to give a few quick wins…
James: Yeah. Let’s make this a nice, light and easy one, three tiny little actions to help sleep and rest.
Anita: Yes, and the first thing I wanted to do is just to frame the importance of sleep. Because yes, the rest and repair will happen in every single hour, you should get up from your workspace and move around a bit and and let your eyes rest from the screen, etc. I want to invite the listeners to think of their body as a collection of light cells. Every single cell in your body, including every single bacteria, you know, like in your gut and on your skin, and basically everything that composes the physical form of your body has a light receptor in it. And that light receptor is very strongly governed by something you’ve heard of, which is a chronological clock. And because of that, it’s really important that you live your day by what you are genetically designed to behave like in terms of that chronological clock.
Knowing your chronological bent
And the two books that came out recently that are very, very interesting on the topic, so if you want to go down the rabbit hole, I invite you to go and listen to them or read them, I suppose, if you’re an Audible person. The first book is called The Power of When by Dr. Breus. And that book talks about how we each fall in a different chronological group, and how to rig your daily activities to basically optimize your productivity, to optimize your feeling of wellbeing throughout the day. Very useful book. For me, even if you don’t do your genetic testing, it’s a really, really useful book to read.
And you can go and do his quiz, it’s a free quiz, it’s called thepowerofwhenquiz.com. Go and do that and see what your chronological clock is, naturally. Two reasons for that. One is, it will give you a very good idea of you know, when to exercise, when to wake up, when to go and socialize, when to go to sleep, etc. Obviously, you don’t have to follow it to the tee, but it gives you, again, a good baseline starting point. And then the second reason is, and this was something that I was a victim of, is you might have grown up and constructed your entire adulthood and your working life around a certain schedule, because at one stage you had to. Like for example, when you have children, you don’t have much choice, you’ve got a regular life around how they live, right?
Anita: You would testify to this. But the problem becomes when, you know, let’s say the children grow up or they’re going to a different age group, where they’re now sleeping through the night, yet you’re still stuck in your old way of chrono-behavior, right? And then you start thinking that, oh, this is how I am. So what this quiz will do, by defining your natural given chronological clock or chronological tendencies, it will give you an idea of, okay, I need to experiment in a different way because maybe what I’m doing right now is not optimal for my biology.
And because so much of us is light and chronology-dependent, it’s really important that you understand how you naturally operate, because it’s got huge implications. And this has been proven in multiple research studies now, that it’s got huge implications on your longevity, on your enjoyment of life, and also, in terms of whether you’re going to catch any chronic disease or not. And James, I think you had a really – not think that you did – that you had a really good episode with Danny Flood on how to improve your sleep. So I suppose people can go and listen to that as well.
A change in body clock
James: Yeah. I also had a sleep doctor, Dr. Andre, come and talk to me about it. That’s one where I really discovered how much alcohol can affect sleep, bright lights at night. Obviously, if you’re loading yourself up with energetic type foods or your environment sucks, you’re going to have bad sleep. But I used to think that I was a night person. And I’d stayed up all night and I’d sleep in the morning. I did that for a while after I quit my job. I’d wake up mid morning, and stay up till two or three at night.
“Maybe you’re capable of being productive in a different time than when you figured.”
And then when I moved quite a while ago now to the beach, and I had no blinds there, I noticed I started waking up early, and then I felt tired at night because I’d been surfing, and I went to bed early. And I realized I was really, really productive in the morning. So you might think you’re one, but maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re capable of being productive in a different time than when you figured, and maybe your exercise is ideal. For example, I prefer to exercise during mid morning. For some reason, that’s my perfect time to surf. It could also be related to the fact that everyone’s gone to work. But I find I like to do a little bit of high-quality business work first thing, and then I do my surf reward, my exercise for the day. And then I have an afternoon routine as well. But it’s a matter of finding your routine, and I’ve tried a few different ones. And I found the one that works for me where I don’t need an alarm clock to wake up on time. I saw someone publish a video about this, that millionaires wake up at 6:15 to their alarm clock. And I thought, I don’t think so. I think there’s something wrong about that.
Do you need an alarm?
Anita: Yeah. I mean, obviously, there will be some life circumstances that don’t allow for those experiments to take place. But if you are, you know, if you can engineer your morning, it’s worth doing the quiz and then experimenting. Something I do, just as a form of an example is, I would set my alarm clock half an hour past the typical waking time that I usually wake up at, just as a kind of backup. So it gives my mind a little bit of peace that I’m not going to oversleep.
James: I think that’s totally valid, especially if you’re going to fly somewhere or you have an interview. But I’ve found that I wake up on time or before my alarm clock, every single time so far. I’ve not woken up to the alarm clock for I don’t know how long. And I usually won’t set it, because four days a week, I have no appointments anyway. And I’ll only set it on for my earliest appointment on a middle of the week, if I stay up. Like, for example, you might have a Formula 1 late on a Sunday night here. I know you watch it too, sometimes. But it might start at midnight, and I will watch it because I really like it. And that’s going to have a knock-on effect. You don’t just make that up the next day, it can take a couple of days to make that up. So I might set an alarm clock for Tuesday morning, for example, just to be double sure. But so far, so good.
Anita: Yeah, so I wake up naturally, usually before my alarm rings, unless something the night before has thrown me off schedule. The other thing you could do is, and this is a little bit more high-tech, and definitely not a first one, but if you like your tech, and you know that having the feedback loop of the data will get you to be stricter with your sleeping routine, then by all means, investigate getting an Oura ring. That’s a device. Basically, it’s a biometric device, like the Apple Watch, for example. But it focuses specifically on measuring your sleep patterns, and your sleep depth, duration, heart rate variability, heart rate, etc. And that’s been absolutely groundbreaking for me and for Andre, in terms of finding out the things that most affect the quality of sleep, and then also the duration. And it’s allowed me to also relax into my sleep, meaning not to stress out about, oh, did I rest enough last night or not, etc. But this is if data feedback works for you then, you know, again, talking about gamifying stuff, maybe invest in one of those. And maybe, James, later on, we can talk about, if your listeners are interested, in how to use the Oura ring specifically, too.
James: Yeah, we get some comments about that. I’ve definitely heard good feedback from it. And I’ve noticed other people wearing these. I’ve seen a few people in videos sporting a chunky little ring, and you can see what they’ve got. But I mean, I like it. You know, I’ve come up with a new quote that I leave grinding to the barista. And it’s good when I see that, I think, okay, someone’s paying attention to the quality of sleep. I can tell you categorically the difference between pre-newborn and post-newborn was a dramatic shift in my concentration and ability to focus for the first few months there. It absolutely decimates your routine compared to how well I had it. I had my routine so good that my sleep was, you know, incredibly high-quality. And it took a little bit of a beating. When you get up every two or three hours, it’s kind of like a torture camp. But it does improve over time, and we’ll get back to that. But certainly you’re going to have time-to-time challenges that you’ll have to deal with when it comes to sleep.
“Working 20 hours a day is not practical or feasible.”
But just know that working 20 hours a day is not practical or feasible, and most likely, even the people who champion it, even if they’re biologically a little bit different to us, and they can operate on less sleep, and I believe some people may be able to, it’s really not general advice.
Anita: Yeah, it’s not. And again, it’s about, you know, figuring out what works best, having that baseline that you can get from that quiz, for example, and then working through a series of small micro experiments to see what you can keep and what works for you. One thing I would say is, don’t be fooled in kind of like burying your head in the sand and thinking, okay, just because I’m not feeling the effects of my four-hour night sleep right now, because I’m 28 years old, for example, don’t for a moment think that that’s not going to catch up with you, because sleep is so vital.
Why sleep is vital
And this is why I wanted to bring to attention the second book by Dr. Matthew Walker, it’s called Why We Sleep. Because that’s a lot more technical look on exactly the function of sleeping. And as a business person, when you find out that sleep actually has the same kind of function as backing up your hard drive at the end of the day, for example, right? If you only had one USB stick of memory worth, you want that memory stick to be clean for the next day, right? If you’re going to start learning new things and paying attention to how your business is running, etc, you want to be able to back up that stick at night effectively so you can keep everything you spent effort on accumulating in terms of memories, and in terms of learning. You want to be able to back it up properly through a good night’s sleep at night. So even something like that, you know, notwithstanding the changes to physiology that people have measured, or people, meaning doctors, have measured in experiments, just from one night of deprivation, it’s actually quite mind-boggling. So that book would really open your eyes and make you really, really selfish about your resting.
James: Yeah, I’ve got that book. And I’ve got a couple of others too, like The Promise of Sleep, The Sleep Revolution. And a lot of the books that I’m reading these days talk about sleep, they’re finally sort of acknowledging it. So I think we’ve moved a long way in the last few years around it. But yeah, it’s just, it’s amazing when you look at the stats on how many accidents are caused by lack of sleep, how many hospital missteps, airline accidents, a lot of them relate to, especially road accidents, sleep. Lack of sleep is a big killer and causes problems. But if you think about trying to operate your business on a lack of sleep, it’s really like trying to operate your business as if you’re drunk or smacked out on some kind of drug. It’s suboptimal. You won’t get the same performance as if you’re well rested and restored.
Anita: Yeah, yeah. So we’ve covered kind of the first two big steps that I wanted to share, which is the chrono clock and then rigging your sleeping and resting routine and recreational routine around that chronological, natural tendency. And then the third one is a lot more practical. And I really like giving that practical, kind of those practical tidbits, because they’re really easy to implement once, and then you leave them and they’re there. It’s not like something like a habit, we have to keep repeating and repeating, you know? And these are very simple. And I’m sure James, you’ve covered it in your previous episodes of sleeping. So in terms of details, you guys can Google and find them out.
Rigging your sleep space
But, you know, your sleeping room should be rigged for the ultimate sleep. And then there’s a few things that really matter. So one is, make sure it’s cold. So research shows that it’s better to sleep between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. So you know, if you need to put an air conditioning on, figure it out. So keep your sleeping room cold.
Keep it dark, unless, like you, James, you like to rise with the sun.
James: No, no. To be clear, I have complete blackout blinds now. It was just a scenario of my environment that woke me to a different scenario than what I was used to. It forced me open. But unless you’re ready to wake up, it’s probably a better idea to have blackout blinds. I agree with the cold, agree with the dark. And I’m sure you’re going to mention, no tech in the bedroom.
Anita: So, no tech in the bedroom. For a lot of people, it’s difficult. What I would say is, stop, take at least two hours before bed. But that’s part of your actual sleeping routine, which is a little bit more involved. If you do have to bring your phone into your bedroom, then switch it off, or switch it on to airplane mode when you’re going to bed. So don’t have it next to your head, beaming out these waves.
James: Or beeping every five seconds when someone tags you in a picture, you know?
Anita: Well, people still do that. And the other thing is, as well, bear in mind that you might be one of those people that are super sensitive to electromagnetic waves. So to keep your tech inside or to keep the WiFi on in the room, it might be what’s waking you up during the night, if you wake up consistently at the same time. I’ve even heard stories where people are kind of sensitive to wires that are running above their houses, or the electric station somewhere nearby, and every time they switch on at night, that person wakes up because they’re so sensitive. So just bear in mind that if there is a pattern, maybe there’s a reason for that.
The other thing that’s very important is quiet. And they’ve done multiple studies now where they established that even the hum of, let’s say, a fan, if the hum is quite low, vocally, low-toned, it basically signals your fight or flight response that there’s some danger coming. This is how we’re wired in our limbic brain – the lower tones imply danger. That’s why you know, skilled negotiators would lower the tone of voice when they want to sound serious and they want to come across as forceful, etc. So if you’re battling to fall asleep, consider that there is some sort of a noise that’s keeping you awake, that you’re not necessarily perceiving in your consciousness but your subconsciousness is triggering.
So generally, if you like using earplugs, I know most people are not, but if you don’t have a choice, consider using really nice soft earplugs.
Keep your space clean. Again, if you have pets and they sleep with you, consider not having them in the room with you. Or consider having a way of keeping the fur off, because maybe that’s what’s keeping you awake if you’re not having good sleep.
We spoke about the mattress in our last episode, James, and it was a very good point that if you’re going to spend a third of your life in the space, make sure that you get a quality mattress. And quality for different people, obviously, it’s subjective. So consider the softness, consider the make of it, consider the breathability so you’re not sweating in it and leaving in a pool of sweat every morning, for example. Consider the bacteria that will go inside those mattresses. Nowadays, they’ve got really good quality wares. You know, they’ve got technology that keeps the bacteria out. But vacuuming the mattress regularly is quite a good way of keeping your respiratory system happy.
I’ve chosen, and this is one of my marriage-saving tips for everybody listening, I have chosen a mattress that doesn’t bounce when the other person bounces.
Anita: I’m not going to mention any names, but for me that is absolutely critical, and when I travel, it’s one of my biggest problems. And then, by the same talking about saving your marriage or your relationship, doesn’t matter if you’re married, consider using separate single duvets as opposed to one whole duvet, because that kind of eliminates the struggle who’s going to have the most at night.
James: Nice. Yeah, these are good tips.
Anita: And then the last thing was, you know, keep your bedding fresh. I mean, I’m sure people don’t sleep in dirty sheets. But make sure that you’re not, you know, breaking that rule. And if you’ve got carpets, make sure you’re vacuuming them and vacuum underneath them, etc. I’m a big fan of not having any carpets in the bedroom. Just wooden floors. But obviously circumstances will dictate your setup.
James: Awesome. So that’s it for 676 on rest, daily sleep. I love this topic. I’m a huge fan of it. I’m looking forward to my sleep tonight. Had a good day.
If you’ve enjoyed this stuff, check out Anita’s training at jamesschramko.com/anita. I really enjoy going through this series, and we’ve got several more parts to come. So stay tuned, that’ll be in the 677 and 678. We’ll be talking about movement, and happiness. And these are topics that are going to add extra dimensions to your quality of life.
So Anita, once again, thank you for coming along and sharing your tremendous information. And we do take comments, so if you liked this episode, wherever you see it, be sure to comment and we’ll get some feedback for it.
Anita: Yeah, thank you for listening. And I just wanted to add that it will be really interesting to hear in the comments if you guys have implemented some of this stuff or something that you’ve come across by yourself and it’s transformed your sleep. I’m a great believer in crowdsourced wisdom. So you know, if you’ve experimented with something, it might be useful to someone else listening. So don’t be afraid to share. It’d be great to hear your opinion.
And then in the next episode, we’re going to be talking about the exciting topic of you know, movement and keeping fit, not just for exercise’s sake, but also for keeping your brain fresh and focused and also cleaning up in terms of detoxing, but not in a conventional way that you might have heard of. Looking forward to that.
James: Awesome. Thank you, Anita.
Anita: Cheers, James.
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