A Simple Bedtime Routine for Peak Performance

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 5 AM Club" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why is it important to have a bedtime routine? What can you do at bedtime to set yourself up for success in the morning?

You can’t reach your full potential and be productive when you are tired and sleep-deprived. A healthy and consistent bedtime routine is the solution for managing the last few hours of your day to prepare you for a productive morning

Keep reading for a suggested bedtime routine.

The Importance of a Bedtime Routine

You can’t optimize your mind and body for peak performance and creativity if you’re too tired to wake up in the morning. How you approach the last hour of each day (your bedtime routine) should become as much of a habit in your quest for personal and professional mastery as the first hour. 

How Sleep Affects Your Body

Sleep is a time when significant processes happen in the brain that support optimal focus and cognitive functioning. Both the amount of time and the quality of your sleep are essential for supporting your mental capacity and overall health. 

When you sleep, cerebral spinal fluid floods the brain and acts as a sanitizer. Your neurons shrink to more than half their normal size to allow the cleansing process to proceed unimpeded. This process also helps them rest and recharge so they can fire on all cylinders the next day. 

The brain also releases human growth hormone, or HGH, from the pituitary gland when you sleep. This hormone promotes healthy cell tissues, a good metabolism, and longevity. HGH also improves mood, concentration, critical thinking, and energy and regulates other chemical compounds in your system that trigger hunger. Exercise releases HGH, but a majority of this hormone is sent through the body while you’re asleep.

Without proper sleep, your body is not getting the supportive treatment it needs to stay healthy. Sleep deprivation can deplete health and lead to premature death. 

What Disrupts Your Ability to Sleep

Technology is a major issue when it comes to inducing sleep deprivation. We have become dependent on social media, television, streaming services, and other adventures on the Internet for entertainment, and we absorb all of these things through electronic devices. But research shows that these devices are wreaking havoc on our ability to sleep.

The blue light radiating from device screens is correlated with low melatonin production in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that acts like nature’s sleeping pill. It encourages the body to sleep and helps keep you asleep. When you stare at device screens in the evening, you stymie the effects of this hormone, which disrupts your circadian rhythm. This is why you may have trouble falling asleep or are prone to waking up throughout the night. 

A Successful Bedtime Routine

Forming the habit of early rising is a difficult process, and forming the habit of going to bed early is equally difficult if you’re used to staying up late and winding down with technology. The following is a suggested bedtime routine for how to manage the last few hours of your day to prepare you for a productive morning. You’re welcome to adjust the process according to your personal needs, but you must be willing to experience the discomfort of changes to your normal bedtime routine if you are serious about transforming your personal and professional lives. 

  • From 7 to 8 p.m., eat dinner, turn off your devices, and reduce other distractions to create a peaceful atmosphere.
  • From 8 to 9 p.m., talk with your loved ones about meaningful topics that enrich your mind and soul, meditate, read, take a bath, or do anything else you can do to bring your energy into a restful place. 
  • From 9 to 10 p.m., prepare your workout clothes for the morning, create space for gratitude practice, remove all devices from the bedroom, and prepare for sleep. 

Your bedtime routine should become as ingrained as brushing your teeth upon waking up. Do them nightly, and as you do, you’ll begin to feel more energy, focus, and power than you knew existed. You can reach your full potential when you are well-rested, recharged, and grounded in your internal empires. Each decision you make along your journey to mastery builds to the next. A series of successful steps builds to an exceptional existence, one where you are in full command of your body and mind. 

A Simple Bedtime Routine for Peak Performance

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Robin Sharma's "The 5 AM Club" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The 5 AM Club summary:

  • What the Victory Hour is and how it can change your life
  • Why an early morning routine activates your creative and productive potential
  • Why the first hour after you wake up is your most productive

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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