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This Biohacker's Nightly Routine Gives Him The Sleep Quality Of A 20-Year-Old

The Wind Down with Dave Asprey
Graphic by mbg creative x Pixabay / Pexels
November 9, 2022
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Our new sleep series, The Wind Down, provides a minute-by-minute peek into the wind-down routines that get well-being experts ready for bed. Today, we're relaxing with the father of biohacking, Dave Asprey, who ends most days with a sleep supplement stack, MCT oil honey, and mouth tape.
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For most of my life, I chose to sleep as little as I could. I always thought there was something more productive or exciting to do than going to bed. (I still think there are better things to do than sleep!)

Even in the first 18 months after founding Bulletproof, I slept for about four hours a night. I used the extra three hours to spend time with my kids, start a company, and work a full-time day job. However, I started to feel some burnout. I resolved to finally hack sleep, once and for all. I became leaner, healthier, and younger on 6.5 hours of sleep per night...which is the exact amount that some large studies1 say is associated with living the longest.

I started focusing on sleep quality, and now I get better sleep than most 20-year-olds. (Sleep quality normally declines slightly with age.) I'm so passionate about sleep that I started my own company, TrueDark®, which makes glasses specifically designed to help you get better sleep.

It turns out that lack of quality sleep doesn't just leave you tired. It also accelerates aging. If you know me, you'll know I have a goal of living to at least 180, so sleep is nonnegotiable now.

sleep stats written over line gradient
  • Average hours I sleep a night: 6.5
  • Ideal bedtime: 10:45 p.m.
  • Ideal wake-up time: 6 a.m.
  • Nightstand essentials: Mouth tape, bite guard
  • Favorite place I've ever slept: In a cave on a vision quest
  • Sleep bad habit: I fly a lot... last week I was in Dubai; now I'm on the West Coast of the U.S. I don't get jet lag anymore because of my TrueDark® sleep glasses, but crossing more than five time zones drops my sleep quality for a day or two.
  • How I track my sleep: I like the SleepSpace app and the Gen 3 Oura ring.
  • The last product or habit that changed my sleep for the better: Not eating after the sun goes down.
my sleep routine written over gradient
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6 a.m.: I wake up using the SleepSpace alarm that gently rouses me at the top of a sleep cycle so I don't get jarred awake. (The phone stays on airplane mode.)

From there, I say a short intention, drink water with sea salt for electrolytes, take a natural thyroid supplement, and go outside and get some sun in my eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. Sometimes I'll also do a cold plunge, or sometimes I'll walk barefoot on the grass. Just a few minutes of morning sunlight helps my body make melatonin later that night, which improves sleep quality. Walking barefoot on the earth, aka grounding, helps reduce inflammation.

Then I drink my first Danger Coffee (espresso/Americano), brush my teeth, shower, and take the kids to school. Only then do I take my phone off airplane to start my day. (That way, I have focused on my family and my health first.)

5 p.m.: I finish my last meal of the day. I choose to eat my last meal at least two to three hours before bedtime because eating too close to bedtime negatively affects sleep quality. Dinner usually consists of grass-fed steak or lamb, steamed low-toxin veggies (broccoli or Brussels sprouts), a clean carb like white rice, and lots of grass-fed butter!

8 p.m.: At this point, the sun has set, which means I'm putting on my TrueDark® glasses. Wearing them has allowed me to double my amount of deep sleep. (The automated systems deep within your body are completely thrown off by blue, violet, green, and yellow light at night. This so-called junk light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that tells your body when to go to sleep.)

9 p.m.: I power down electronic devices and Wi-Fi. These devices create nonnative EMFs that may negatively impact sleep2. Electronic devices also give off lots of junk light that tells your body it's daytime.

Sometimes I will also have a teaspoon of honey with MCT oil at this time. Why honey? If your brain runs out of glucose at night, it won't be able to do its job of cleansing and regeneration. Adding MCT oil helps me stay in ketosis.

9:15 p.m.: I take my sleep supplement stack, starting with Sleep 101 from my Suppgrade™ company. On top, I add Lion's mane, magnesium glycinate, trace minerals, L-ornithine, and GABA. I often use other high-quality sleep supplements to shake things up.

9:30 p.m.: I write three things I'm grateful for in my gratitude journal. Practicing gratitude literally rewires your brain and increases resiliency, immune health, and well-being.

9:35 p.m.: I close my blackout curtains... You'd be surprised how much junk light can make it through the cracks on the sides of your windows. You can find blackout curtains online (I don't recommend any one brand over the other), but be sure to buy some Velcro to tape down the sides and put a valance on top because light can seep in all around the edges of the curtains. You want your room to be completely dark. A darker bedroom equals better sleep.

10 p.m.: I put in my sexy custom bite guard, which keeps my jaw forward and prevents me from grinding my teeth. I put tape over my mouth. Mouth taping encourages nasal breathing, and all kinds of magical things happen when you switch from mouth breathing to nose breathing.

10:05 p.m.: I hop into my bed with a chemical and flame-retardant-free Essentia foam mattress, and I turn on my nighttime cooling system. This system monitors the temperature all night long and adjusts depending on my sleep stage, so I'm always sleeping in the ideal thermal environment.

10:10 p.m.: My body is asleep and working hard, cleansing my brain, consolidating memories, and getting me ready for another day of kicking ass.

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Dave Asprey
Dave Asprey
Entrepreneur and Author

Dave Asprey, founder and chairman of Bulletproof, is a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who spent two decades and over $2 million taking control of his own biology. Dave lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise, used techniques to upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time. Learning to do these seemingly impossible things transformed him into a better entrepreneur, a better husband, and a better father.

Dave is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, THE BULLETPROOF DIET. Through his work Dave provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.