Morning routines and night time or bedtime routines are all the rage and for good reason, they are the setup for and essential to the overall performance we all depend on every day and signify a shift in our paradigms for staying energetic, healthy, fit and productive.
Less and less we are subjecting ourselves, or at least depending on the latest diet and exercise routines alone to help us deal with the energy depletion, weight, poor health and deconditioning issues driven people suffer from when they live an overwhelming lifestyle with too much stress, too much food, too little movement, and insufficient sleep…
Now, we’re getting serious about lifestyle and learning the skills for living balanced and healthy successfully; performance lifestyles that work for us and what we’re to in the world.
Nowhere is this more evident, besides the absolute explosion in health and wellness, performance and wellbeing insights on the Internet and in books, magazines, and podcasts, than the emphasis on routines like your morning morning and your night time routines.
The Bookends of Your Day.
These are known as “the bookends of your day,” and they have paramount influence over our lives.
For example: Imagine (you might not have to imagine that hard ;-) that you were to end your day with 1-3 hours of TV and go to bed, instead of 9:00, but now at 10PM-1: 00 AM. Ok, not so bad that you go to bed at 10:00, or even 11:00 once in a while, you can compensate for that. But every night, you’re watching TV and worse eating.
We won’t even get into the quality of the food here, but we’re going to assume, given the stress levels in so many peoples lives, it’s not very healthy food and more about pleasure eating, and medicating one to sleep. Now, think about the consequences of that seemingly innocuous period of daily entertainment where we eat before bed.
a) You are not really recuperating in the sense that you are falling asleep though you are relaxing, winding down, and facing your exhaustion. For this reason, I myself (John Allen Mollenhauer) have often watched TV in the past, and to some extent, it is useful for this purpose after a very stressful day as you focus externally. But, one doesn’t usually sit in front of the TV by itself. We usually eat and today with episode-series on Netflix or “tv shows, as a never-ending movie,” television watching is usually not one hour. So you chew up hours at night.
b) Those hours throw off your sleep not only in terms of hours, but what you ate or drank and consumed in the form of stimulation from the movie you were watching is still occupying your body-brain when you sleep or attempt to.
c) Now you are awake having, in addition, overdosed on blue light, and your brain thinks it’s still daytime, so you roll around trying anything to tire you out with the added pressure that you need to fall asleep soon, else you won’t get up or be able to function well the next day. And that creates the opposite effect.
d) During the night, you now have the food to deal with, not the full repair of your body, and the vital brain and nervous system activity that should be the primary function in your sleep, which are now diminished. Note. I greatly simply all the functions that go on during sleep with the previous statement.
e) You are awakened several times during the night due to reflux in the digestive tract or bronchial tubes as you airways get blocked, and to go to the “restroom,” which is ironically messing up your rest. And now you not only wake up tired, but your body hasn’t fully recovered, repaired etc.
On that nightly routine, you again do not need to imagine too hard what the day will look like as you engage tired and attempt to get wired to keep going and that sets up our insights into your morning routine.
- Our morning routine ensures that we wake up with a grounding in who we really are before thought, free of old (maybe disempowering) thoughts directly connected to not only the source of our gratitude but with what we are grateful for in mind and will focus on for the day.
- Our night time routine ensures that we go to bed with peace of mind, ready for a drop in body temperature, satisfied with a complete close out of the day so that we can sleep with minimal extended periods of awakening, restore and get ready for another day of wakefulness.
How we bookend our days determines in large part how the rest of our day will go because you’re either primed for full function and performance or you are relegated to struggle through, even when things are going well for you (at least for now), in your broader life.
So let’s look into the morning routine what can one include and why?
Keep in mind your energy is highest, whether you feel like that’s true or not, in the AM. You have just completed your sleep, complete or not. So, you want to take advantage of this time and do so in accordance with how well you’ve slept. In other words, the same routine is not always best. You have to understand your present situation and circumstances so it may not be best to exercise after a really poor night of sleep, at least at that time.
Prayer, meditation, and contemplation and priming are the core of a morning routine because these practices align you with your “source,” God, nature, intelligent energy of the universe etc, and this is a wonderful way to start the day; from where it all begins and ends. No matter how well or poorly you’ve slept because they are mostly regenerative in nature, to begin with; your experience of these practices will be exponentially better if you are on a firm foundation fo sleep.
Have you ever tried to meditate when you are tired? Zzzzz. The most enlightend people are no different. They struggle.
When you meditate is always up for debate, but the best answer is, it depends on your preferences and what you want the ancillary benefits to be. Meditation can happen all day, but for an extended period, I for one, like to meditate after I exercise and workout and or during the use of some of the effective stimulation and recovery therapies I use like cold therapy, red light therapy, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy or compression devices etc.
It’s called “stacking;” doing more than one complementary practice at one time. You don’t always need to sit like a Buddhist monk to meditate, though that may be the ideal.
These recovery therapies, I’m speaking of both stimulate you in beneficial hormetic ways (unlike coffee or other types of unhealthy stimulants that make up many peoples morning routine) and induce a recovery that makes you stronger as time passes and the body has a chance to adapt. Among other benefits, they work to accelerate your recovery at a nervous system, mitochondrial, and cellular level, that ultimately results in a measurable increase in personal and professional performance.
When you start using recovery therapies as part a commitment to regeneration in your life amazing things happen.
For one, hormesis; simply put; what doesn’t kills you makes you stronger. Hormesis is a biological phenomenon whereby a beneficial effect (improved health, stress tolerance, growth or longevity) results from exposure to low doses of an agent that is otherwise toxic or lethal when given at higher doses, such as cold or hot therapies.
With an optimal morning routine, for you, that is, soon you’ll be approaching your day in ways that you would usually only see elite athletes engage. Not all athletes have fully established morning and evening routines, let alone well-established performance lifestyles at this time in history, unlike Tom Brady who lives his version of a Performance Lifestyle. Which is to say that athlete or not, we are all learning how to develop lifestyles and the optimization routines that enable us to sustain high energy levels, health and performance, play and live well into the future. And your morning routine is one of the most important routines of the day.
It’s clear that people want to stop debiting their longevity for short-term performance gains attained by strategies that are stimulatory in the wrong kind of way, addicting, and are devoid of science, principle and sound practice that only result in compounding effects and more struggle.
Let’s see, wake up and drink coffee and more coffee, eat a danish, drink a Redbull, and I think you get the point. That is so yesterday.
The drive for all of this is coming from the simple fact that we are living in a performance culture now. Due to a 24 / 7 global market, the rise in technology, the breakdown of traditional boundaries for work, life and sleep, and access to so much information and opportunity; people who may have never been an athlete or even a fitness enthusiast are now compelled to start adopting some more athletically-oriented routines simply because they are feeling the effects of stress like never before.
- Energy depletion
- Weight gain
- Health deterioration
- Mental strain
Who’s got time for that?
You’re a professional services provider, marketing director or a CEO for a startup or an established company, you are managing people, and you realize you need to perform as much or more than an elite athlete at least 6 days a week, up to 50 weeks per year!
You can only respond to that level of performance stress with wine, coffee, Cheetos and late nights on willpower for so long before your body starts to break down, and you struggle to cope. You need powerful routines to (as we way) live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while acheving even you most ambitious goals.
That’s why people are now developing what are called “performance lifestyles” today, and learning the foundational skills around sleep, living with optimal energy levels, mindset (what we like to call headset training, since there is more to the optimal performance state than your brain) and the lifestyle skills that enables us to function and perform, look and feel the way we want in our lives; it’s because we’re finally giving attention to energy and health, performance and wellbeing.
All of it!
Your lifestyle is comprised of a series of routines. Your lifestyle itself is a macro routine and most other things you do, require a routine. From how you wake up to how you engage your day, live and work throughout your day, wind down and start it all over; daily, weekly, annually, over the course of your lifetime.
Routines become habits and are ultimately and situationaly responsible for creating the results in our lives.
So, if roughly one-third of your life is meant to be in a state of sleep, and the other two are meant to be in a waking state, it makes sense that we’re going to want to have a lifestyle that supports optimal performance relative to the time of day. And that means optimizing our morning, daytime and nighttime routines as these are what make up the 24-hour cycle.
Let’s take Tony Robbins, for example, a man I used to work for back in the early days of my career. He is one of the most visible people and a go-to pro on his morning routine. Note: You are not Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins is not you, so you want to learn how to engage your day with routines that work for you. More so, you want to learn the underlying dynamics so that when you’re circumstances change and are not conducive to your perfect routine playing out, you’ve got ways to make it the best it can be.
That said, you can get some good ideas from Tony and from others, as you develop a Performance Lifestyle you can call your own.
Tony Robbins, illustrates a great point. When Tony Robbins prepares for one of his long, multi-day seminars, physical training is as important to creating an engaging experience as is nailing his material. Seminars like “Unleash the Power Within” consistently run past their scheduled daily endings, and Robbins will be on his feet — running, jumping, and yelling across the stage and audience — for as much as 16 hours in a day. On top of that, the world-famous life coach is on the road for the majority of the year, and he runs 12 companies.
To deal with the level of stress Tony is faced with, sleep is only one component. It’s the most foundation component as this is the bedrock of regenerating your energy, which is essential to the proper function of all other daily routines. So learning to optimise your daily routine so that sleep is optimal is a great place to start.
Back to Tony Robbins.
You’ll see that Tony, uses some pretty expensive equipment ranging from $5000, to $25,000 to $50,000 to $120,000 and most of us are not going to have access to that kind of equipment in our homes. Some of us will, but most 97% or more won’t so to get access to these technologies you will want to search out Cryotherapy studios or other types of recovery industry centers that provide access to these kinds of services.
As a company, Performance Lifestyle Inc is planning to roll out Regenus Centers™ by Performance Lifestyle® in the coming year. Recovery centers are popping up and ideally in places where people are already so they can build advanced recovery into their day. And even still, assuming you are not yet a client of a “Regenus Center” like facility, we will still want you to have a morning and night time routine using at-home facilities when getting to a center is not possible; not only for recovery, but readying yourself for start of your day and winding it down at the end for optimal sleep and next day performance.
So it’s only practical that even Tony is not going to have a cryotherapy chamber everywhere he is or goes, such as at his vacation home and resort in Fiji, as it has to be run by somebody in Fiji, or even at home. He does happen to have a cryotherapy chamber, and while Cryotherapy is significantly different from an ice bath, an ice bath will appear to have a similar effect and that’s why he does it in various places. He has multiple homes.
This is something that an athlete would do, and now you can too at home, or at a recovery center like Tony.
I (John Allen Mollenhauer) do a cold shower every morning for instance; warm to hot showers at night so that you actually lower your body temperature as a secondary effect before bed.
Other morning routine practices…
- Meditation to get grounded in who you really are, not who you think you are is a given!
- Priming to get your mindset focused (more psychological and contemplative than meditation).
- Electric stimulation mats that act like massage, are useful based on pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
- Going to a home or outside gym, of course. Although later in the day, 5-6pm, probably ideal time as testosterone is at peak; and according to natural circadian rhythms, you have the greatest cardiovascular and efficiency and muscular strength. But the reality is, that may or may not work out in the schedule. We do it when we can and usually around energy levels.
- Cold shower, ice baths or Cryotherapy (Optimal) for hormetic stimulation that’s invigorating, detoxification, and resilience building. Do any of these and you’ll never rely on coffee again.
- Red near-infrared light is a very recent development not only for Tony Robbins, but the rest of the broader market which is only just beginning to tune into recovery therapies that are so vital to making a regeneration transformation, but it is probably the best solution to use for regeneration and transformation available.
- Red near-infrared light and heat saunas are an addition to the daily routine.
- Hot showers, an awesome tactic before bed.
All or some of these therapies can be built into your routine, pending condition, time, resources, schedule, access and more; and are great as part of a person morning, daytime or nighttime routine; before and after sleep to optimize performance in the 24-hour cycle.
Some like a hot shower or sauna could be better at the end of the day because of the dynamics but are still effective at other times of the day.
The basic morning routine cold or hot, meditation or priming, exercise… most people can do at home at some level in the time they have. More advanced routines require some gear, like light/cryotherapy, stimulation, message, compression etc.
Develop your morning routine and more
Your morning routine for starters, your daily routines, your nighttime and bedtime routines are of paramount importance. It’s time to get serious about em’ if you are not already. You can use the support of a coach to help you understand your situation and circumstances, the stage you’re at and your objectives so that you can develop the right morning routine (s) and other key daily or night time routines for you.
Remember, one of the primary reasons why these routines are so important is because it’s become critical that we all have more recovery in our lives. People today are too driven, and our ambitions are outpacing our ability to take care of our selves our bodies and our lives. It’s why fatigue is prominent today.
It’s time to get serious about your lifestyle and one of the best promoters and inspiring ideas to improve your lifestyle is to make a Regeneration Transformation.