Welcome to Sleep Diaries, where interesting people share a week’s worth of late-night habits. They’ll tell you, the reader, how they wrap up their day, how they get to sleep, stay asleep or fall back asleep, and how they feel when they wake up in the morning. Why? Because sleep is America’s Most Wanted thing. We chase after it like an elusive elixir that'll make us look younger and feel less stressed. (Maybe because it will.) We thought by getting people to share what works for them—and doesn’t—it might help you find better ZZZs. Or at least give you something entertaining to read. This week we have Mark Mullett, co-founder of obé Fitness.
I am a picky, routine driven sleeper. Like Goldilocks or the princess in The Princess and the Pea, I can’t sleep just anywhere, on just any pillows, at just any temperature. It has to be just right—and when it is, it’s oh so sound! The fact of the matter is, I lead a streaming fitness startup that runs 7 days a week, with an office that opens up at 5 a.m. Since we launched over a year ago, a consistent 8 hours have been hard to come by—but it doesn’t mean I don’t try. After decades of dreading bedtime, herewith is a week in the life of my job and my fickle, yet tried and true, sleep routine.
SUNDAY: Ignore the "don't look at work" rule
Sunday evening capped a long weekend full of exercise, socializing, and eating everything in sight. I used this opportunity to reset and focus on the week ahead. A light dinner of steamed halibut (trust me, nothing else consumed over the weekend was “steamed,”poached,” or “simply grilled”), a call with my co-founder Ashley, a calendar review, and lights out by 10 p.m. was just what the doctor ordered. I know you are not supposed to look at work before bedtime, but it’s 2019, and I live in this thing called reality, and frankly it’s when I do my best thinking. As a child I used to hate Sunday night; it meant the fun was over. Now I welcome it, as it signals that the fun is just beginning.
MONDAY: Turn the temp down before bed
As a general rule, I try not drink or socialize on Monday nights, but when an investor calls…you drink, you socialize. One glass of white wine and a new, ice cold sparkling water beverage that all the cool kids are drinking, coupled with some rustic Italian food and thought-provoking dinner companions, and I got home feeling inspired—but also with my physical battery in the red zone and needing to be recharged. I turned the AC down to 68 degrees before brushing my teeth and emailed the founder of that hot new sparkling water company about collaborating, and I was out in five minutes.
TUESDAY: Keep a fan going all night
Since I was “out” last night, it’s a three-iced-coffee day. Oat milk or a drop of half and half— I switch it up. No sugar. I leave the office at 7 p.m., stream Isaac’s most recent Sculpt Replay class (always a torcher) to my SmartTV, and take a second shower. I love showering at night and getting into bed feeling like I’ve rinsed the day (and streets of our beloved city) off of me. I also make sure that my fan—some $40 Target special—is set on low. Summer, winter, spring, or fall, I keep a fan going while I sleep. I’m big on air circulation, and I even ask for one at hotels when I’m traveling. A well-circulated 68 degrees? Check. Oh, and that third coffee was no match for my pillows. Two overstuffed down pillows if we are going to get specific.
WEDNESDAY: Try peanut butter and honey as a late-night snack
Like a Golden Retriever that needs to be let loose, I steal a run in the park in between my last meeting and dinner with another investor. Once home, I go through emails and rehearse a presentation that Ashley and I will be giving to our team at our first annual corporate retreat tomorrow afternoon. I’m not nervous, but I am excited, and I fear falling asleep quickly will be difficult tonight. I treat myself to a pre-bedtime spoonful of peanut butter and manuka honey, which has become a ritual that has nothing to do with sleep. I just love peanut butter and honey, and manuka honey happens to be so fantastic for you. Before getting into bed I make sure that my Molekule air purifier is set on low. It emits this barely audible hum, that, coupled with my $40 Target fan, is nothing short of melodic. Does purified, well-circulated, 68-degree air help you sleep? I don’t know, but apparently I am the Mariah Carey of bedroom oxygen.
THURSDAY: Put a pillow over your cable box
After a 5:50 a.m. alarm, I tuned into our first live class at 6 a.m. with Madelaine but ultimately opted for her most recent 10-minute express Standing Abs class as I needed to get into the office to prepare for our retreat. The summit itself was so spectacular and I got home full of energy and ideas. I decided to take Tiffani’s most recent Power class on replay and order in. I got in bed early with sleep air quality perfection and watched a little TV. I normally hate watching TV in bed, as it makes me feel trapped and restless, but tonight was an exception—and The Real Housewives of New York was on. When it was time to actually sleep, I placed a pillow over the cable box in my room to hide its tiny blue LED lights. I need a completely dark room. If I’m at a hotel, I place small towels over anything blinking so that I don’t fixate on it while trying to fall asleep. Add it to the list.
FRIDAY: Exercise your legs to tire your body
I slept really well, even though I woke up in the middle of the night and did the whole email/Instagram/panic about the human condition thing for 30 minutes in the dark. But my otherwise sound sleep was likely because of Tiffani’s Power class the night before. The class included heaver weights with a focus on the lower body. Over time I have noticed that I sleep extra deeply if I have worked out my legs earlier that day. This makes sense as the lower torso is comprised of the body’s largest muscle groups, which exert a ton of energy during a workout. Upon waking, I felt like I needed a little more recovery time and opted for a quick Restorative Stretch class with Francesca before heading into the office. Fridays are buzzing with planning for our upcoming weekend programming. After work, I hopped on a train to Long Island in anticipation of a fun weekend with friends. You know what they say...no rest for the weary.
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