How to Maximize Your Sleep Every Night


Hey, everybody, Dan Martell here, serial entrepreneur, investor, and creator of SaaS Academy.

In this episode, I’m gonna share with you how to get to sleep fast and make sure you have a deep sleep, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

And be sure to stay to the end where I’m going to share with you access and links to all of the resources I mention in this video. You’re not gonna wanna miss that.

All right, so my sleep journey, just so that you guys have context, I get 93, 94 sleep quality scores every night. One of my good friends, Chad, calls it to sleep porn. I use my Oura Ring, this is actually an Oura Ring I use as a wedding band.

If you don’t know what it is, it’s an electronic device that measures a lot of cool stuff, but definitely my sleep. Here’s the thing. I didn’t really prioritise sleep growing up. Growing up.

As an entrepreneur, I built a company called Spheric. Didn’t care about my sleep. Did another company, Flowtown. Same deal. It wasn’t until I had kids were, all of a sudden,

now I had these human alarm clocks that were waking up every morning, and I really need to dial in my routine and structure.

And what happened is when I got my Oura Ring about three years ago, it gave me something to measure. And all of a sudden now I made it a game that I wanted to get world-class at sleep.

One of my friends, Ben Greenfield, shared with me some strategies I’m gonna teach you in this episode. And then also my buddy, Matt Gallant, who is literally the sleep czar.

He’s probably spent 50 grand on different experiments and strategies to get the best sleep possible. I’m not gonna share some of those because they’re obviously out of range for a lot of people.

I, personally, don’t think I’m gonna go from a 94 to a 96 if I get some of these devices. That being said, I’m gonna share with you my strategy, make sure I get to bed and fall asleep quickly, stay in a deep sleep, and wake up feeling fresh so I can get on with my day.

Because just because I sleep well does not mean that I’m not hard-charging any less than I was before. I just do it with a clearer mind. Let’s get into it. Number one, daily dumps. Yes, that’s what I’m calling it. I know it sounds hilarious, but here’s the way I think of it.

Every day, at the end of my day, I really need to get out of my mind on paper, but in my case a doc. A Google Doc. All of the things that are still outstanding that I need to work on.

The reason why is because if I don’t do that, when I’m lying in bed, trying to get to sleep, my brain keeps going, “Hey, you forgot about this. Hey, you forgot about this. What about that? Did that person ever get back to you?” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And you literally will toss and turn all night. So what I do at the end of my day, it’s 5:00 because I go get my kids, is I dump everything into a Google Doc,

including my email. So I get to inbox zero every day because I transfer my emails into this Google Doc and I put every other project that I need to review or focus on in there so that way when I close my laptop,

I know that it’s there, it’s ready for me to review to make sure I prioritise in the morning. So a daily dump at the end of your workday to get things out of your mind onto digital paper so that you don’t toss and turn and worry,

and so that you can be present with people you might be spending your nights with. Your family, your partner. And if you have kids, it’s critical. So do that. Start with a daily dump. Number two, early to bed. This is gonna be a tough one.

I know a lot of you do not wanna hear this. You want to continue staying up till 11, 2:00 in the morning working, partying with friends until one in the morning. Whatever your spice of life is,

I will say this. The thing that’s allowed me to really dial in my sleep is following because this is the first thing my Oura Ring told me is, “Your optimal time to go to sleep is between 7:45 and 8:15.” Let’s be honest. I’ve got kids.

They don’t go to bed until 7:20, and I do wanna hang out with my wife. So for me, it’s 9:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m, I am typically sleeping. And I do a full eight hours, right till five in the morning. So I’m a 5:00

If you want to do six, you can go 10 to six. Whatever the time is you need to go to bed probably earlier than what you’re doing. The reason why is you has a circadian rhythm.

You have this nocturnal default sensory of your body. Your biological clock that wants to be, once the sun goes down, it wants to go to bed.

And the longer you fight that, the less chance you’re going to allow your body to do what it does naturally while you’re sleeping to rejuvenate, to repair, to recover. And for me, that is critical. So yes, it means that it takes a whole lot.

Do I stay up until two in the morning partying? Like I said to somebody the other day, the ROI required for that to be true is very rare.

Maybe once or twice on an annual basis, somebody will present an opportunity to me that requires that kind of commitment. Like New Year’s Eve in the British Virgin Islands that I just got to enjoy.

But it is rare that I’m going to bed late, so early to bed is a key strategy. Number three, cold room. Turns out, I generate a lot of heat. My wife has always said I am like an energy plant. I don’t know why. It’s just my body type.

But here’s the deal. I think for most people, if you think about it, when you went camping as a kid, maybe you’ve experienced this. Or if you do like I do and set the temperature cold in your room.

There’s something about having cold air in your breath but your body being warm that feels really relaxing and really nurturing. So when I travel, or definitely when I’m home,

I set the temperature low, but when I travel I do the same thing. So much so that recently we had a team meeting in my hotel room, and when they came in they were freezing because I think Fahrenheit, it was at 68 Fahrenheit.

I like to keep it down in the 17, 18 Celsius range. If it’s wintertime, I’ll open a window. But I really want to feel cold outside of my bed so that when I’m sleeping, my body’s like,

“Okay, it is time to get a deep night’s sleep.” Okay? So make sure that you try this out. Set your room cold and see if that works for you.

Number four, ramp down. So I think that I learned this as a software programmer. When you start your work, you should ramp up. 

And that’s why I do the daily dumps of everything in my head. That’s an example. But I have the same process for my nighttime routine.

So nighttime routine pretty much starts like after dinner. I make sure I stay away from devices and all that fun stuff. No stimulations, et cetera. 

I don’t read super creative business books. I usually read kind of just, not boring, but I would say things that I find harder to read. Hence, I’m trying to fall asleep,

so a little bit more boring, a little bit more story-based so there’s no having my brain gets wired for new ideas and wanting to jump out of bed to go work on them.

And it’s gotten to the point now that even when I go on vacation and I’m reading my Kindle, you can frequently find me falling asleep poolside because I’ve created this habit of when I’m reading my Kindle I get sleepy.

And because of that, because I’ve continued to use that as my mechanism for winding down at the end of the day and really going to sleep,

I have no issue. I can’t remember the last time where I didn’t get to sleep on time or I didn’t feel like. Most of the time,

I’m rereading the same page on that book for a whole week until finally, I might make two or three-page progress.

Most of my real deep reading I do throughout daylight times, but the end of the day I ramp down and for me going to sleep I have this trigger where I start reading on my Kindle, and usually, within two or three minutes I am out.

Number five, blackout. So blackout’s fun because it’s not being blackout drunk. It’s a blackout in the sense that you want to visually blackout your room. So the way I do that because it’s easiest, I use a sleep mask, okay?

Again, I’ll show you how to get all the links to these products at the end. But the idea is that you want to make sure you don’t have any interruptions because of light.

And too often people think that their room is dark, but it is not. I’m talking dark like you can’t see the person sleeping next to you.

Like you want no ambient light. Sometimes it can be light from your phone or some device in your room with a little green power-on light, et cetera, creating this ambient light, and you take it for granted that it’s present,

but it actually will affect your sleep. So full sleep mask. The other blackout I do is on the audio level.

So I’m a big fan of white noise, but I’ve gone to the next level thanks to my buddy Ben Greenfield. Check out all of the biohacking stuff that Ben does.

He’s even done stem cells in his man parts. Just to throw that out there, if you were really like, “Who’s the best biohacker the world?”

Dave Asprey, yes, you are the godfather of biohacking, but I’m pretty sure Ben has taken it to another level. So on the audio level, he recommended me an app called SleepStream 2.

And it’s cool because it has eight hours of audio, so you can go offline. You don’t have to be connected to the internet to stream the audio.

And also if you’re flying, like when I do international flights and I’m doing some red eyes, I’ll use that to make sure I get a really good deep sleep so nothing around me wakes me up. And he even recommends,

I don’t have this but I just bought it, which is a sleep mask that’s got the audio headphone’s built-in using Bluetooth so that they’re flat, and that way you can lay on your side. I’ve been using my AirPods when travelling on flights and whatnot.

Don’t really work. You want noise cancelling. The downside is they don’t have noise cancelling. But it’s better than nothing.

You definitely wanna make sure that there’s no chance that you’re accidentally waking up because of sounds that might be going on outside your room or in your house that you’re not aware of when you’re sleeping that’s waking you up and then causing you an interruption to your sleep pattern.

So blackout your room, your senses.

Easy tools to get that done. Number six, no consumption. All right, so I know this isn’t going to be a popular one, okay? But here’s the deal.

If you want to get great sleep, you think that drinking alcohol is helping? It is not. You can literally run your own split test between a week of having a glass of wine at dinner to kind of wind down versus a week of not, and look at your sleep patterns.

So the data is out. No consumption is just 101 stuff. So it’s table stakes for getting a good night’s sleep. So that’s not even part of my conversation. The other one is consumption around food.

I think too often, especially if you’re snacking late to right before you go to bed, the digestion system will turn and the sugar levels will spike, and it’ll just really mess. Like if you’ve ever had a big meal and then tried to go to sleep.

You might fall asleep fast because you just had this huge kind of carb load crash, but the quality of the sleep is not there. So make sure when I say no consumption, it means no consumption on alcohol or food. For me, 6:30 onward, I like to fast until the next morning at 8:00 is.

So I get not a really long fast but a decent fast between 6:30 and 8:00 am. But that, to me, is how we’re really gonna just allow our bodies to do what it needs to do to recover and really repair while we sleep because that is the benefit for me when it comes to this charging forward,

building a business, being present for my family, really trying to squeeze as much out of life. Sleep’s non-negotiable because, without that, everything else starts to fall apart.

So quick recap. Six strategies to fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep as an entrepreneur. Number one, daily dumps. Get everything out of your mind onto a digital paper. Two, early to bed. Follow the patterns of the sun as a little cue, a tip.

Cold room. Make sure it’s cold. Set it when you’re travelling. Ramp down. Have a habit. For me, it’s reading to go to bedfast. Blackout your room, audio and visual. And six, no consumption to make sure that your body is ready to get an awesome night’s sleep.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I wanna share with you an exclusive resource, well resources. I have the How to Get Back to Sleep If You’ve Woken Up video So if you search my YouTube channel, you’ll find that.

I’ve got some very structured practices because I coach high performing entrepreneurs that really struggle with this. So if your mind’s racing,

you can’t get back to sleep, I’ve got a quick four-step strategy to get you back to sleep. So that’s a video on my YouTube you can check out.

Check them out. They’re not referral links or anything. I just want to make sure you have access to the same tools that I use. And if you like this video, I’d ask you to smash that like button, subscribe to my channel.

And if there’s anybody you feel this video could serve, feel free to share it with them directly. As per usual, I want to challenge you to live a bigger life and a bigger business. And I’ll see you next Monday. Oh. That’s sneaky.

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