Sleep Smarter - Shawn Stevenson

Sleep Smarter - Shawn Stevenson

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes

Sleep Smarter

“Sleep is the secret sauce."

"There isn’t one facet of your mental, emotional, or physical performance that’s not affected by the quality of your sleep."

"The big challenge is that in our fast-paced world today, millions of people are chronically sleep deprived and suffering the deleterious effects of getting low quality sleep."

"The consequences of sleep deprivation aren’t pretty either. Try immune system failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, and memory loss just to name a few."

"Most people don’t realize that their continuous sleep problems are also a catalyst for the diseases and appearance issues they’re struggling with."

"Studies have shown that just one night of sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a type-2 diabetic. This translates directly to aging faster, decreased libido, and storing more body fat than you want (say it ain’t so!)."

"Now stretch that over weeks, months, even years, and you can start to see why lack of sleep can be such a huge problem.”

As if you didn't already know..

Sleep is extremely important..  But often the we get so busy that we sacrifice it!

Does that sound like you?

Well then this book is for you!

Inside Shawn's amazing book we're going to learn a bunch of Tips for how to sleep better..

Everything from how to prioritize sleep..

Hacks to help you raise your sleep quality..

And just simple reminders about how important it really is!


“Always remember the value of your sleep." 

"You will perform better, make better decisions, and have a better body when you get the sleep you require. Sleep is not an obstacle we need to go around, it’s a natural state your body requires to boost your hormone function, heal your muscles, tissues and organs, and make your mind work at its optimal level. The shortcut to success is not made by bypassing dreamland. You will factually work better, be more efficient, and get more stuff done when you’re properly rested."

"There’s a big difference between ‘working’ and actually being effective. By sacrificing your sleep, you can definitely do more work but the quality and effectiveness of your work will be sacrificed. A physician study published in The Lancet proved that sleep-deprived individuals took 14 percent longer to complete a task, and made 20 percent more errors than individuals who were well rested. Structure your time to get more sleep first and you’ll be able to get your work done faster and more effectively than if you zombie walked your way through it.”

This is Tip #1 from the book: Know the Value of Sleep

Very fitting for this to be the #1 tip.. 

  • The value of sleep is easy to underestimate..
  • When you're hard charging in business or have a busy personal life it feels like their aren't enough hours in the day!

But what if we do the math?

  • Can you afford to be 14% less productive at work?
  • Can you afford to make 20% more mistakes?
  • Not to mention the attention you're not able to pay to your loved ones because of lack of sleep!

Shawn says it all here "Structure your time to get more sleep FIRST" 

  • We'll talk more about the HOW part of that in the next points..  
  • But first I want you to look at your work day and at your life..  
  • Are you 'unproductive' and 'not present' at some points?

How are you explaining that to yourself?

Are you potentially denying that sleep plays a huge part in that?

I know I am guilty of this at times!

Sleep Suckers

“This is likely the number one thing you can do to improve your sleep quality immediately."

"Computers, iPads, televisions, smartphones, etc. are kicking out a sleep-sucking blue spectrum of light that can give you major sleep problems.”

"The artificial blue light emitted by electronic screens triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep."

This is Tip #3 from the book: Avoid Screens Before Bed

What if you could only do ONE thing to improve your sleep?

  • Well..  This would probably be it!
  • This is what Shawn says is the #1 thing you can do to improve your sleep..
  • Simply shut off ALL of your electronics before bed.. 

How can you do that?  After all screens are what occupy our attention 90% of the day..

  • First..  Are you afraid to be alone with yourself?  That's something you should look into..  Why are you afraid of quite time?
  • Next if you simply want to spend the time 'doing' something..  Try reading a book!  90 Minutes of reading a day and you will be an expert in almost any field in no time!
  • Finally try connecting with a loved one..  This is my favorite!

Previously my time with my girlfriend at the end of the day was filled with watching Friends or The Office reruns..  

That's not productive in any way shape or form..  Ruining our sleep and robbing us of a chance to get connected!

Instead we now dim all the lights, turn on some chill music, roll out the lavender essential oils and stretch while we chat..  It's now my favorite part of the day!

PS.  Check out Akira The Don on Spotify..  He's got some great relaxing chill music with powerful messages behind it!  


  • Do you sleep with your phone by your bed?
  • Stop!  Try getting a regular alarm clock..

Caffeine Curfew

“Caffeine has the unique ability to fit into receptor sites in your body for adenosine, because it’s so structurally similar to the real thing."

"Normally, when your receptor sites are filled with real adenosine, your body shifts into rest mode. The issue with caffeine going into those receptors is that it simply sits there like a distant relative over-extending their stay on your couch. It doesn’t actually turn on functions, like adenosine would, to make you tired. As a result, your brain and body are still trucking along and you don’t realize that you’re actually sleepy."

"Pretty cool in some ways, but hopefully you can see where this could become a big problem.”

This is Tip #4 from the book: Have a Caffeine Curfew

What else can I say..  You knew we were going here!

  • Let me come clean..  I'm a coffee drinker!
  • What I didn't know before I saw it here is that caffeine doesn't really give you energy..
  • Instead it's a process of caffeine blocking receptors that make you feel tired..  Scary thought!

There is actually some stats in the book I found fascinating..

  • Caffeine has a half life of about 5-8 hours..
  • So if you drink a coffee (250mg of caffeine) at noon about 125mg will be in your system 5-8pm
  • That's a scary number because 125mg is more than enough to make you not feel tired..  and it's still alive when you should be getting ready to go to bed!

What about you?  How is caffeine jacking you up?

  • Are you drinking caffeine in the afternoon?
  • Shawn recommends that we have a hard 'caffeine curfew' at 2pm 
  • This is to avoid the vicious cycle of constantly needing more coffee..  

First you need coffee because you didn't have a good nights sleeps

Then you don't get good sleep because you drank coffee too late in the day..

After which you need more coffee just to get through the day!

Not a cycle you want to be a part of!

Try switching your afternoon warm drink to a delicious tea..

I REALLY like this Yogi tea called Egyptian Licorice it's caffeine free and I love it! 

Morning Mediation

“One of the best times for meditation is when you’re already close to the alpha and theta brain waves." 

"This would be as soon as you wake up in the morning, or right before bed at night. As the American Academy of Sleep Medicine research showed, meditating in the morning is proven to help test subjects sleep at night."

"You’re creating a conscious neuro-pathway to relaxation, a buffer against stress, and a profound sense of presence that will help you sleep better at night.”

This is from tip #16 Calm Your Inner Chatter

Ever had a hard time falling asleep because of ruminating thoughts?

  • Thinking about what you have to do today..  or tomorrow..  or something that happened..
  • That's what Shawn calls the 'inner chatter' and it's incredibly common and makes it hard to fall asleep!

The good news?  There is a solution for that inner chatter..

  • Morning meditation seems to help calm the inner chatter for the rest of the day..  
  • Now when you think of meditation you might be wondering..  how the heck do I do it?
  • Let me share my experience..

When I first started I had to focus on my breathe or my mind would wander..  and I couldn't get it back!

So I would simply breathe slowly and count my breaths..

That worked great!  But now I can focus on clearing out my thoughts without focusing on the breathing.. 

So now instead I do 3 DEEP and SLOW breathes on the chair in the morning to get me started..  

Then proceed to clear out my mind for 10-30 minutes..  Whenever I'm stressed in the day I repeat those same 3 breathes and find it makes it easy for me to calm myself quickly..

What would be a good solution for you?

  • Start a morning meditation practice..  Don't make it difficult!
  • Drink coffee in the morning?  Make that a meditation
  • Shower and clean up before work?  Make that a meditation
  • It doesn't have to be complicated..  It's just the process of decluttering your mind and helping yourself alleviate some of that inner chatter!


“If you live in a home where you can regulate the temperature, you’re more fortunate than billions of other people on the planet." 

"With that said, overdoing it on the warmth can result in your sleeping the ‘right’ amount of hours but not feeling rested when you wake up." 

"If you’ve got seven covers, an electric blanket, and you’re dressed like you’re going hunting, you just might be preventing your body from getting the most rejuvenating stages of sleep.”

There are a few tips on this in the book

First is about turning down the room temperature

  • Basically your room should be anywhere from 60-68 degrees
  • What do you set yours at?

Second is about not bundling yourself up

  • Next you have to make sure you're not too bundled up with pajamas or think blankets
  • These are going to make it tough for your body to stay cool

The human body is very good at keeping us warm!  But bad at keeping us cool..

  • Staying cool at night is going to allow you to get a higher quality of sleep..
  • Just give it a try!  Turn down the heat or turn up the AC and watch the difference..


“The word ritual is derived from the Latin word ritus meaning ‘a proven way of doing something.’ A ritual is a small sequence of step-by-step actions that put you in a certain mood, state or frame of mind for getting something done." 

"Whether or not you’ve had a history of sleep problems, a regular bedtime ritual will help you wind down and prepare your body for the best sleep possible."

"Jessica Alexandra of The Sleep Council stated, ‘A bedtime ritual teaches the brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times. It programs the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.”

This is from tip #21 Ritualize Your Night

Sleep ritual to me is really a meta-tip to help you encompass a lot of the other tips given..

Not only is it going to help your brain know it's time to go to sleep but you can also link up a lot of other habits with it!

How to do this:

  • First have a hard bed time say 9pm
  • Next have a full shutoff time say 7:30pm
  • Turn down your AC so the room gets cooler
  • Do your deep meditation breaths
  • Spend your night reading or with someone you love
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