I Used To Have Disrupted Sleep — Until I Made These Small Changes
In 2022, I made a commitment to cut back from three cups of caffeine a day to one cup of coffee, which has made a huge difference in my sleep. I typically have my best night's sleep on days when I do not take any caffeine after 10 a.m. I also tend to have a better night's sleep when I have had a really intense workout at the gym.
The biggest thing that disrupts my sleep these days—which I have tested—is having a late dinner. Eating dinner after 10 p.m., which can sometimes happen when I go out with friends, will have the biggest effect on my sleep according to my Oura ring. My ring will detect that my sleep has been disrupted and predict that I had a late dinner.
When I have a good night's sleep, it's as if I've taken steroids for the brain. My thinking, cognition, and ability to get things done are all to the next level.
- Average hours I sleep a night: 7½ hours
- Ideal bedtime: Midnight
- Ideal wake-up time: 7:30 a.m.
- Nightstand essentials: 5-HTP, a magnesium supplement, and melatonin are always on my nightstand. I also have my bedroom wired with red lighting1, which doesn't activate your nervous system the way white light does.
- Favorite place I've ever slept: The business class seats of Emirates Airlines—I kid you not! The pampering and huge television screens are pure bliss.
- Sleep bad habit: Sometimes I get hooked on my phone reading on Reddit.
- Caffeine consumption: I have no more than one cup of caffeine a day, and then I might have two to three cups of decaf coffee.
- How I track my sleep: Oura ring
- The last product or habit that changed my sleep for the better: Michael Breus' The Mastery of Sleep Quest on Mindvalley. By following this program, I realized that there are actually varying levels of sleep. The more time you can spend in truly deep and rejuvenating sleep, the greater the benefits.
10-10:30 p.m.: Typically, I like to rest by watching a good documentary or TV series. When I'm watching, I always do it with dimmed lights or candlelight in my apartment because bright lights late at night can affect your sleep. As the movie progresses, I may have a glass of red wine (I like Malbec) with dark chocolate—I typically limit it to one glass.
Sometimes I'll read a book instead. One of the little changes I'm doing is switching from reading on my iPhone to a Kindle device, which better emulates the texture and lighting of paper. My Kindle device also doesn't distract me with WhatsApp messages or Instagram notifications.
11 p.m.: I start winding down and getting ready for bed. Before I lie down, I make sure the room is set at an ideal temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), as slightly colder temperatures help facilitate thermogenesis2, which may allow the body to burn more calories in your sleep.
11:30 p.m.: I brush my teeth, do my skin care routine, and take my nightly sleep supplements before lying in bed.
12 a.m.: As my head hits the pillow, I always have a ritual that I go through in my mind that helps me facilitate my sleep, which is the nighttime version of The 6 Phase Meditation I coined. I ask six questions:
- How did I display kindness today?
- What was I grateful for today?
- What lesson did I learn today?
- What is a new vision or goal that came to me today?
- What is the biggest thing I would like to accomplish tomorrow?
- And finally, I pray to God to bless me to sleep well and protect me.
I put my phone on my nightstand when I'm ready to sleep, but I keep it on just in case I get a call from my kids or a family member needing help with something.
Vishen is the Founder of Mindvalley. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and stumbled onto meditation when he was 26 as a way to cope with the stress of working for a startup in Silicon Valley. The results he got from bringing personal growth into his workplace were so stunning he went from a junior hire to VP of the company in seven months. He then went on to start Mindvalley—a video platform that is now home to hundreds of world-class teachers and a thriving global community.
Today, Vishen is listed in the Watkins list as one of the top 100 Most Influential Spiritual teachers of 2022. His show, The Mindvalley Podcast, is ranked among the top 5 percent of all podcasts worldwide. His first book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is now translated into 25 languages. His second book The Buddha and the Badass hit #1 on the Wall Street Journal and various business bestseller lists.
Vishen’s widely practiced 6 Phase Meditation—which is hailed by famous athletes and celebrities—was recently published as a book in September 2022, and instantly became a bestseller and top meditation book of 2022.