We all have those friends who live by the YOLO lifestyle; you only live once so get as much immediate gratification now and don’t even worry about the consequences.
Then we have those disciplined friends who work their ass off. These friends follow the philosophy of “sleep is for the weak” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.
What do these two types of friends have in common? They all struggle with their health, in particular their hormone levels are out of whack and more specifically their testosterone levels are dropping faster than the stock market in 2008.
There’s nothing wrong with living a fun life, and there’s nothing wrong with working hard toward a goal. The problem lies within your sleeping habits, in particular this “money time sleep window” that these friends are missing out on.
What is Money Time Sleep Window?
There is a small window at night in which you can get amplified benefits by sleeping at the right hours. When it comes to sleep, it’s not necessarily about the total number of hours you are sleeping, but what time you are asleep, and how deep that sleep is.
I first want you to understand that our hormones are in sync with the environment. What the heck does that even mean? It means when the sun goes down, melatonin (cancer fighting antioxidant, hormone) goes up, and cortisol (stress hormone which gets you ready for activity) goes down; at least this is what’s suppose to happen in a healthy human being. It’s been shown that human beings get the most beneficial hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10:00pm to 2:00am. This is what sleep expert Shawn Stevenson, and author of the New York Times best seller ‘Sleep Smarter‘, calls “Money Time”.
You get the most rejuvenating effects during this period; in fact, some experts even say that one hour within this window is equivalent to two hours outside this window!
Humans are a part of nature, when the sun goes down, that’s a cue from the universe that it’s time for us to shut it down for the night. The problem is that in this day and age we have literally manufactured a new daytime with all of the blue lights coming from street lights, televisions, cell phones, and computer screens, light is everywhere!
Melatonin, human growth hormone (HGH) aka the ultimate fat burner and muscle builder, are more secreted in their stronger doses when your sleep is lined up properly. Want to be ripped with six pack abs and have the testosterone levels of a Greek God? Then you need to know that you get your best dose of HGH if you’re sleeping during this money time window.
Renowned neurologist Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, says, “Timing your sleep is like timing an investment in the stock market, it doesn’t matter how much you invest, it matters when you invest.”
Dr. Chauhary also states, “If your body is chronically deprived of regenerative sleep between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., then you might still feel fatigued when you wake up in the morning.” It’s all about hormone production when it comes to fat loss and overall optimal health, and missing out on that money time is not a very smart investment.
Most people know that sleep is important for energy levels but don’t know that it’s one of the biggest keys to fat loss, especially getting quality sleep at the right time. According to Shawn Stevenson’s Sleep Smarter book:
“Around 10:00 p.m., your body goes through a transformation following the natural rise of melatonin. The purpose of this transformation is to increase internal metabolic energy to repair, strengthen, and rejuvenate your body. Heightened production of antioxidant hormones happens at this time to help protect your DNA from damage, improve your brain function, and more. If you’re asleep as normal during this phase, all is well. However, if you’re up when 10:00 p.m. rolls around, that increase in metabolic energy can be experienced as a second wind.”
The second wind is when you feel wide awake around 10 o’clock ready to do scroll through Facebook and check snapchats.
More from Shawn’s book Sleep Smarter:
“It’s important to understand that your body’s ability to repair itself, remove free radicals, and maximize hormonal output is greatly inhibited when you allow yourself to stay up and move into that second wind. People who stay up past 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. and dig into that second wind energy often find that they have a harder time falling asleep when they want to. The result can be that you’re more fatigued and groggy when you wake up in the morning. But this is only a small slice of what habitually staying up late can do.” 
Now that we’ve established how important sleep is for fat loss, brain function, optimizing your hormones, testosterone production, and more, let’s go over solutions for you being able to take advantage of this money time window.
SOLUTION #1 : TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A SLEEP CAVE
Add these few changes to your bedroom for a significant increase in sleep.
Adjust the temperature.
Studies have found that in general, the optimal temperature for sleep is quite cool, around 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that fall too far below or above this range can lead to restlessness.
Temperatures in this range help facilitate the decrease in core body temperature that in turn initiates sleepiness. A growing number of studies are finding that temperature regulation plays a role in many cases of chronic insomnia.
Researchers have shown, for example, that insomniacs tend to have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers just before bed, which leads to heightened arousal and a struggle to fall asleep.
Make your room as dark as possible.
Unplug everything that glows, cover your windows with black curtains. Yes it might feel like you are about to begin a 3 month hibernation, but you’ll sleep like a baby.
Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed.
This may be the hardest tip to do. You read from your Kindle, check your email, text friends, all while trying to fall asleep. Many experts feel that our excessive use of communications technology (e.g. cell phones, laptops, television, etc.) is driving this significant level of sleep deprivation. It’s no wonder so many Americans struggle with poor sleep, since 95% have reported using some type of electronics at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.
Research has showed that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, as mentioned previously, is the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles.  Therefore, it would make sense that a reduction in melatonin at night is associated with subjective levels of sleeplessness. ,  But melatonin suppression has far worse consequences than simply poor sleep outcomes: it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to cardio metabolic consequences such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease. ,  This is some serious business.
Listen, if you are not willing to shut down the Macbook, or power down the iPhone, at least reduce the brightness on the screen. Setting the cell phone on ‘Airplane Mode’ is also a good idea.
SOLUTION #2: BED TIME SUPPLEMENTATION
Sometimes you need to signal your body, and tell it “Hey, I’m ready for sleep so let’s start shutting down now”. These supplements will relay that signal.
The most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep.
A deficiency in this critical nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine. It also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient.
Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, crampy, irritable, and stiff – whether it is a body part or an even a mood is a sign of magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.
Take 400mg of Magnesium Threonate 30-60 minutes before bed. Too much will result in diarrhea aka disaster pants.
Synergistic with magnesium; the combination will remove nighttime leg cramps for most people. Less cramps equals more sleep.
A recent study demonstrated results that may indicate an improvement in sleep consolidation with potassium supplementation.
Take 400-500mg of potassium citrate 30-60 minutes before bed.
MCT or Coconut Oil.
This works well if appetite cravings are keeping you awake, but you don’t want an insulin spike from carbohydrates or protein. This strategy works well for people who are on a diet or who have really stepped up their level of physical activity.
Take 2-3 tablespoons MCT Oil, Brain Octane or coconut oil 30-60 minutes prior to bed.
During the night, your brain uses a lot of energy. One efficient form of brain energy comes from sugar stored in your liver, called liver glycogen. Your brain taps your liver glycogen before hitting your muscle glycogen (stored sugar in your muscles), so having a little extra sugar before bed can help your brain function better at night. Raw honey is preferentially used to stock liver glycogen, so it is used first for brain function.
Raw honey is 22% better at making liver glycogen than the cooked, conventional stuff you’re likely to find at the supermarket.
Take 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey before bed if it helps with your sleep.
#3 SOLUTION: CAFFEINE CURFEW
If you are a regular reader of mine, you know how much I love my coffee; specifically my Bulletproof Coffee as it puts my mind into an amazing place where I become more productive and perform better.
However, you also need to let your mind rest after its high output performances. In general, don’t drink coffee after 2:00 PM, or at least 8 hours before bedtime, which ever comes first. This will make sure you get all of the cognitive benefits of caffeine without sacrificing your sleep. Some people need more than 8 hours of caffeine avoidance to sleep with maximum performance.
If you’ve been cutting it close with your caffeine and bedtime, consider this study which showed that caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive effects on sleep.
Use these strategies to sleep your way to a better body, increase testosterone production, and achieve better health.
Sources and References:
Stevenson, Shawn (2016) Sleep Smarter. New York, New York: Rodale Pages 42-43
Stevenson, Shawn (2016) Sleep Smarter. New York, New York: Rodale Page 43