Sleep Better: My Evening Routine

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  • Your evening routine is completely dictated by the quality of your daily structure.”
  • If you are having trouble with establishing and maintaining a healthy and proactive nightly routine, learn these 4 tips that will get you back on track.
  • “Your environment matters.”
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • Are you struggling with creating a nightly routine that promotes productivity and healthy sleep? This episode is a MUST WATCH to create an effective nightly routine that will equip you to tackle your days with excellence.
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My Event Routines (and Recovery!)
Three Worst Morning Routines
How to Deal with Stressful Situations, Proactively!
Four Secrets to Success
Four Decisions that Changed My Life




[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Hey, it’s Brendon, and I’m in the studio in Portland and I’ve just been on the road like crazy. Since my last vlog to you all on YouTube where I talked about my event routines and how I recover from such difficult events where I’m going four or five days on stage. I got tons of questions about something I left out, which was, “How do you manage your sleep while you’re traveling?”, like what are your evening routines?

So I’m talking about that in this vlog. I’m also in the studio to shoot some live cast so I thought I’d give you a little behind the scenes. This is what it looks like for those who have not seen it before. It’s pretty simple setup. We’ve got the big boom up here. We got the two C100 beasts which I’ve shot like, I think twenty eight online courses on this thing. So if you’ve ever seen one of my live cast before that I used to shoot in Portland it was basically standing right here and then I would put the flipchart, which is now over there, I would put it right here and then I would teach. For those who don’t know, I go live and I do teaching and training every month for literally hours and hours. I think I do like two, three, four, or five hours once a month on a Friday.

So this is kind of the setup and that’s why I’m in town to shoot something for the peeps, which is awesome. I thought I’d take this question on how do I stay sane and manage my sleep while I’m on the road, which I don’t pretend to be an easy thing!

So, how do I do it?

First, if you have not watched that video of how I manage my energy at our events, I think that would be really instructive to see what my daily routine looks like in terms of performance to be able to do forty-plus hours on stage and events.

The number one question we got was, “How are you managing sleep at your events?”, but also how do you have a better evening routine?

I know not everybody here is on stage for forty hours in a week. So instead, let me just share what my basic evening routine and philosophy is and I hope that will serve you.

1. Structure and Fill Your Day with Joy

The first thing that I always think about is your evening routine is completely dictated by the quality of your daily structure. What I mean by that is, often our evening is completely destroyed because we didn’t organize our day. So now our day is encroaching into our evening and we become exhausted, we don’t get enough sleep, or we carry our stress into bed, which ruins our sleep. So I think one of the most important things you have to learn to do is better structure your day.

That’s my first tip for you is to structure and organize your day so you are so clear about what you are doing, when you are doing it, how long you are doing it for, and what most importantly, what are your major outputs and major intentions for the day.

So this is why you should get one of my High Performance Planners. I use this every single morning and it just keeps my intentions clear, it keeps my tasks clear, it keeps my mind on my own performance so that I can’t make a lot of excuses. It just gets me into a good morning mindset, sets the day up right and makes me win week over week, month over month, and I hope you’ll get one this time of year. It’s awesome.

Outside of destructuring your day, you need to have that intention in your mind to enjoy the day. Find moments of peace, gratitude, love, creativity or passion because if you enjoy the day, if you love the day, if you if you have positive energy during the day, it’s so much easier to go rest easily at night because you feel fulfilled, you feel grateful, you feel in a positive mindset.

So I would say my first big idea about evening routines is to structure the day and fill it with enrichment, joy, and gratitude and you’ll sleep better.

2. Structure with 3, 2, 1 Pattern

Then my real evening routine begins by what I call my “3,2,1” pattern. What this means is 3 hours before bed — and yes, I set a time every night that that is when I’m going to bed. So if I say, “Okay, it’s gonna be midnight or it’s gonna be eleven or it’s going to be 10, whatever”, I always know what time I’m going to bed. I work backwards from that.

So the “3,2,1” — three hours before bed I never eat any food. That’s really critical. Honestly, for me, it’s probably usually four to four and a half hours, but minimum expectations I will not eat three hours before bed. I just think your digestion system needs a little bit of a processing time before you go horizontal.

So that’s the “3”, the “2” is I don’t do any work two hours before bed. For me, that means no email, no social media, no DM’S, no looking at anything on my phone or screen that is work or social media related in the two-hour block of time before bed. This really sets me apart because I know most people, they’re still scrolling in bed and they’re getting that light from their phone. They’re getting that dopamine drop because the more they scroll, the more the brain gets excited and they don’t realize it’s that it’s ruining their sleep. Four or five hours later, that comes back to haunt you so just put the phone away. Or if you have to look at it for your messages or something real fast, look at it thirty minutes before going to bed. My rule is two hours before bed, no work, no email, no social media, and no news. This allows me to let my mind wind down.

The “1” in “3,2,1” is that the hour before bed, I have no screen time. That includes no television, that includes no looking at the phone. Nothing. So two hours before no work activities one hour before — zero screen time. Ideally, that means Netflix turns off. It means I’m not looking at the phone. It means maybe I’m journaling. It means maybe I’m just chatting with my wife. Maybe I’m just doing the dishes. Maybe I am making the bed or laying out the clothes for the next day or journaling or something like that. But in general, I’m not doing much screen time or work or any other activities in that last hour going into bed and that’s really key.

3. The Room is Crucial

The third big idea I have for you is the room is so critical.

Your environment matters.

I mean, look at our studio. I’m going to come back to you guys. Look how cool our studio is. Yeah, I spent a lot of my life trying to figure out how to set up ideal environments to allow my creativity and my joy to flow whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s work or some type of creative endeavor or it’s even sleep, and sleep is important.

And so what do I do for sleep?

For me, I make sure that the room that I’m sleeping in is set at 65 degrees. I know you’re going to be like, “Oh my god! That’s so cold!” And yes, because people sleep better when it’s cold and your body goes, “Oh, it’s nighttime. I should sleep here. This is important.” So I set the room very cold — 65 to 68 degrees depending where I’m at and humid it is.

Then what I do is I make sure every bit of light is blocked out. I travel with a little electrical tape. My friend, Arianna Huffington, taught me this. I travel with electrical tape so when I’m in a hotel — they’ve got all the fire things and the alarms and the little red lights with the TV. All these little dials around I shut off. I shut off everything. I block every little piece of light so it’s completely pitch dark where I sleep, which is totally critical to me being able to sleep well.

So the room is now set. Okay. Now before I get into bed, I do about ten minutes, sometimes five, but five to ten minutes of stretching and mobility work. Just stretching out my body. So it’s kind of like yoga or calisthenic or just stretching. I’ll lay on the ground. I’ll open up my hips. So I’ll do runner’s lunge, I’ll do happy baby. I’ll do all these things to stretch out my body. Then I’ll lie on my back — just flat, and allow my vertebrae to kind of fall into place. I’ll lay there for maybe two or three minutes and just focusing on my breath.

That’s all I’m doing. So I’ll stretch, and while I’m stretching, I’m not thinking of anything. I’m just being in the stretch, focusing on my breath. Then I end it with about two minutes to three minutes of just laying there flat on the ground, letting my vertebrae fall into place, just focusing on my breath. Then I go and get into bed.

Is this totally TMI? I feel like this super TMI today.

But I haven’t been — guys, I’m using a new camera here. I’ve got the Lumix GH5, Panasonic GH5 for those who love this kind of stuff. I’m experimenting. We spent all day — well, not all day, but probably the last 30-40 minutes with Ben just playing with the lighting for the livecast tomorrow and I was like, “I’m going to bust out that GH5 because you’ve all been asking me so much about the sleep stuff.”

4. Peace Offering

So my last big idea, and this is important before I go to bed, is what I call my peace offering. And that is, I’ll lay in bed, I’ll consider the questions that I consider every night in my life. Did I live, did I love, did I matter today? And as I always, the answer isn’t always yes, but if I felt like I lived a little bit today — I tried something, I was spontaneous, I was vibrant, I was happy, I had a positive mood. If I loved today — I led with my heart, I was vulnerable, I was sharing and caring. If I mattered — I stayed on the path to helping you guys. Because this is all I do.

You know, I’m coming up on my 20th year as a writer. My first book was published in 2001, but I wrote it in 2000 and so coming up on 20 years as a writer and as a creator. And I’ve had lots of different jobs and businesses and brands throughout the time, but it’s always been for you all and I just wanted to teach and write. And so if I did some of that during that day, I feel good.

So I ask, “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?”

I just think about them very softly. But then my peace offering. My peace offering is to the day and to God and it’s very simple. It just says, “Thank you so much for this beautiful day. I hope that I served well. I want to release all of the energy and all of the emotions of this day. I would love to sleep tonight peacefully all through the evening. I want to say thank you for a great day. There’s nothing from this day that’s going to come into tomorrow. I have done all that I can. The day is over. The emotions are over. The work is complete. There is nothing for me to do until I wake up well-rested and excited for the day. The day is over. I appreciate the opportunity to live today, God. Thank you for the opportunity to serve my audience. Thank you for this work I get to do. Thank you for Denise, my wife. Thank you for the health of my family who are still here. Thank you for all of our fans and our friends and people around the world who support us and believe in us and allow us to serve this important mission. Lord, please allow me to rest tonight.”

That’s about it. It’s just like a — just getting into peace. It’s talking myself to sleep. It’s just releasing all the energy from the day. I’ll tell you, I’ve always been — at that moment, there’s nothing left in my brain. I’m done. Because listen, the thing about how all that lined up, I won the day. Right? Because I organized it. I followed my High Performance Planner. I got things done. Then 3,2,1 by the time it’s night. So I’ve spent three hours winding down. Three, three hours no food. Two, I did not do any work in that last two hours ideally. One, no screen time in that last hour.

Then I made sure the environment was set up from when it’s dark, when it’s cold. Then what I do, I stretch out my body to open it up to release it, to align my vertebrae — just to get comfortable. Then I got into bed. I thought about my life. I gave my gratitude. I release the day. There’s nothing else to do. Let’s go to bed, babe! That’s it. That’s kind of how I wind down.

I hope that serves you all.

For those who have been more active with me and social media recently, I appreciate it.
My big 2020 goal is to talk to more of you like this vlog style. I haven’t been able to do that in this big crazy move we had this year to Puerto Rico, but I’m learning how to use the cameras down there.

I’m learning, how do you shoot in a breeze? How do you shoot outside when there’s ocean and sun and light is very different than shooting in here where we can control the whole environment with these LEDs and all this light that we’ve set up here that you guys have become used to over the years. So you know, we’re kind of setting everything up.

As we head into the holidays, I hope that you will focus on your sleep and take care of yourself. For those who would love a High Performance Planner or you’re digging the new hat, the Live Love Matter hat which we have never ever sold before, we have a holiday promotion going on. I’m announcing tomorrow, but you guys will know it earlier where we are doing our very first bundle that we have ever done. It’ll be in the link to this post. Okay, here’s what we got for our holiday bundle:

We’ve got our subscription to HPX Optimized. This is the supplement I take every day to have my positive mood, my mental clarity and energy. It’s basically a brain optimizing supplement called HPX Optimized. It’s what allows me to stay focused. Anyways, when you subscribe to this for our holiday bundle, which means will auto ship it to you every single month, it’s the world’s best nootropic, by the way. I spent so much time and energy and money on developing this but when you order this today, you get the hat free, you get a full year of High Performance Planners. So it kind of looks like this. Your whole 2020 planners and you also get the Live Love Matter water bottle, by the way. Fill this full of water, have it next to your bed so when you wake up in the morning you drink it and start the day super hydrated. So basically you get the bottle, you get the full year of the High Performance Planner pack and your Optimized subscription to stay focused, mentally clear and positive all of 2020. Two zero, two zero, baby.

So I hope this served you, I hope to see you out on the road. You guys will hear more from me as we were doing this.

Until next time, please go out there every single day. And how I always used to say, make sure you live fully, you love openly, and you go make a difference today. Thanks everybody!