My Evening Routine: How I Manufacture a Great Night Sleep

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Mark’s Daily Apple readers about how I do my day. What do I eat each day? What are my favorite snacks? What do I do for exercise? How do I work out when I’m on the road? What supplements do I take (and how often)? Even what personal products I use… I feel like I’ve covered about everything there is, but then I’ll get something new. In this case, some readers over the last year have asked me about my bedtime. Do I have a routine? Just what do I do to get a good night sleep?

Quality sleep isn’t in any way optional for good health. In fact, it’s a Primal Blueprint Law. That means I consider the hour or two leading up to bedtime as important as my workout time.

Here’s my nightly ritual rundown. As you’ll see in the video, it takes advantage of the relaxing effect of heat along with the Grok Tip of finishing cold—a theme I continue with attention to the ambient temperature of my room. Check out how I wind down my day (and even what I’m reading before bed) below.

Thanks for stopping in today, everybody. Do you have a question for me to answer in a future video? Shoot me a line below. Otherwise, be sure to share your favorite tips for enjoying a great night sleep. Have a great week, everyone.

TAGS:  videos

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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75 thoughts on “My Evening Routine: How I Manufacture a Great Night Sleep”

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  1. It’s probably worth remembering that what Mark does for a good night’s sleep might not work for everyone.

    For instance, I don’t like sleeping in a cold room. If I’m not warm enough I’ll never get to sleep. I prefer to sleep in the buff. I find it more comfortable than a nightgown or pajamas riding up and getting twisted around me, and don’t like a lot of heavy covers on top of me. The answer for me, then, is a warmer bedroom.

    I also don’t like a pitch-black bedroom. I prefer a bit of nightglow. Otherwise my spatial orientation disappears and I feel like I’m floating in a vacuum. Some people might not mind, but I dislike that sensation.

    The best idea for good sleep is to experiment and then do whatever works best for you as an individual.

    1. Shary,

      I’m with you! Cannot stand twisted night clothes. I get in bed in PJs and socks and then end up taking them off as I warm up lol (sometimes in my sleep)

      Everyone is a little different and we have to find what works for us as individuals.

  2. Great bourgeoisie bedtime routine. Out of touch with the real world. More bragging than helpful .

    1. Then if it’s not too late, the wife and I will jump into our Bentley and go to Whole Foods and buy grass feed bison. On the way home we laugh at all the saunaless and jacuzzi-less homeless people.

      1. I’m pretty sure Mark didn’t mean to show off here. He’s just living in another reality.

        No hard feelings here. I saw the video as something coming from another world 🙂

        A world where having a house with an outdoor jacuzzi and pool and a sauna is common. I’d love to live there in fact!

        1. #lifegoals! We are actually working on the infrared sauna for our home. There are so many options now for smaller, portable units at a variety of price points. None are super cheap, but I am so far convinced that the benefits are worth it. Just doing the research now 🙂

          1. People could also consider joining a gym that has a sauna.

      2. Not appreciating the bitterness in some of these comments. I enjoyed the video as I do most of the articles. Totally free education that has helped me and my wife improve our health and enjoy life more. Mark, keep the videos coming.

        1. Thanks Mike, I’m not either. I accept it though as part of success. The people that need to dig on him are just jealous and as long as they’re in that headspace will NEVER be able to rise above where they are currently.
          To the trolls….every time he mentioned an item that most people don’t have, he included something like, “that we are so lucky to have.”

        2. Mike,

          Completely agree. Mark Sisson provides us with so much valuable content and inspiration for free. He deserves all the success in the world.

    2. I think Mark was just mentioning HIS routine. There are ways to assimilate other things that would encourage the same results. 🙂

    3. Great salesmanship. I think Mr. Sisson really does offer great products, and his advice has helped thousands, so obviously these are good folks, but they are also selling the idea “if you buy our stuff you can be more like Mark Sisson”. Really not a bad pitch, just see it for what it is.

    4. I guess we see what we want to see. I saw gratitude for good fortune. While I don’t have all the features in my home that Mark talks about, I certainly can learn from the principles behind his practice.

      1. I saw gratitude as well. People really can be cruel. I’m in disbelief. I appreciate hearing from the tribe. Grok on mark! <3

        1. Me too, Jodi! People missed the entire point of the post. So ridiculous.

    5. That occurred to me too. However, Mark is simply describing what HE does to get to sleep. There’s no reason to apologize for the fact that he’s very successful and enjoys more amenities than most people.

      Everybody on this website knows he makes good money. Why should he try to pretend he’s poverty stricken? That would be dishonest, and I’ve never thought of Mark as a dishonest person.

    6. Bitter much?

      How about taking the IDEAS and implementing them however you gain. Warm shower, followed by cold shower. Keep bedroom as dark as possible and avoid computers and electronic screens and tv. Read a book. Keep bedroom cool (if that works for you…for me, it does).

      The bitterness of some of you makes me sad for you. It will shorten your life.

  3. Being the Paleo Messiah sure does pay well…nice digs.

    My house never goes above 60. 1. Im too poor to burn enough fuel to raise it higher. 2. Too poor to upgrade the heating and completely reinsulate the house. 3. I/we prefer the chill, over excessively controling the temperature thru artificial means. Same goes for summer. No A/C, just fans.

    I never take a pre bed shower, unless its super hot, or…you know…wink wink, plus it wakes me up. Showers, warm or cold wake me up.

    A little reading, lite, fluff stuff, and Z,z,z,z,z,z,z,z…

  4. I don’t know anyone that is truly health-minded that would sleep on or beneath an electric blanket. So why would I choose to sleep on a plugged in pad that has water in it to further conduct the EMFs/EMR?

  5. WOW! What a bunch of haters!
    Though I don’t have the luxuries Mark does, I was interested in the truth of how he prepares for sleep, and that is what he provided.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Lotsa envious people out there. There have been many times Mark has made reference to how he uses what he has/his environment etc but I’ve never seen it as bragging. I too just wanted to know his personal bedtime routine and from what I can see, he honestly provided it.

  6. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been thinking about a good bedtime routine for a while and this helps. I can take a hot shower and end with a cold shot of water instead of the jacuzzi.

  7. If you follow the blog you’ll know that Mark no longer lives in Malibu but now in Miami in a condo with probably different amenities.

    People asked his routine. He explained it. If you don’t have a jacuzzi or a pool, you can obviously use a hot and cold shower, which I’m guessing you probably have.

    And lots of people sleep without clothes on.

  8. If people ASK what he does, he should probably be allowed to answer on his own website without people getting pissy LOL
    Surprise – he has money now !! 🙂
    How about this – till you can get a sauna too (I don’t have one either!!) take a regular hot shower every night then rinse in cold water before you finish.
    Merry Christmas!!

    1. And, did he sell out to Kraft? Maybe. Maybe not. When it’s YOUR turn, YOU decide what YOU want to do with YOUR market, products, website.
      Till then. if you like what you learned here, great. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.
      If you just sit in your apartment judging others, maybe you just don’t know what you’re talking about.
      Maybe he did fold on his values for money. When you’re in the same position and choose otherwise, post and I’ll read

  9. Interesting hot-cool routine.

    It looks like this was shot in California – I wonder how it differs when Mark’s in Florida?

    I concur on the keeping it cool idea – I find keeping my bedroom cool helps with sleeps – really cool, like 15C (60F). This is easy to do most of the year where I live (Canada).

  10. “Do you have a question for me to answer in a future video? ”

    Mark, as a successful entrepreneur who juggles so many things and yet manages to get a good night’s sleep and stay in shape, what are your time management tools/tips/techniques that help you to achieve all of that? My new year’s resolution is to be more organized in 2019 and would be interesting to find out how you do that. 🙂

    1. Healthy Hombre great question! Mark is extremely successful and has always been an inspiration to me. Would love time management tips from someone like him.

  11. Not about this post but there are some things that are bothering me re the $200 million Kraft deal I just have to say. I don’t begrudge Mark for making a buck and he’s helped a lot of people BUT:

    No one pays $200 million for mayonnaise recipes. They pay for the ‘brand’ and user data. It seems like this past year MDA has had a business consultant making all the decisions:
    – spam users/viewers with product offers, get the numbers up for a sale
    – success stories are really just promotions for affiliate ‘influencers.’
    – on the post announcing the sale manage upset comments with a ‘PR voice’ in Mark’s rebuttals- not sure if those comments were from Mark or some PR media monitoring person using his account.
    – moving the forums to Facebook maximizes the value of user data. Facebook is the master of monetizing user data. A buyer would give a lot more $ for your intimate health issues if they’re on FB.
    – potentially deny California rightful income tax on a $200m sale by ‘moving’ to no-income-tax FL. CA was part of the MDA brand and even fought fires in Malibu and Ventura- but don’t pay taxes there if you can help it?

    Not saying this is what Mark actually did but it’s what it looks like. I wish our society wasn’t so accepting of deceptive behavior. These actions- unless I’m wrong and maybe I am- just really disgust me.

    1. Then be the change you wish to see in the world, and find another website. See ya later!

    2. What did California do to be entitled to the income of the sale?

      You just sound bitter. If you want some socialist apologizing over and over for being successful you came to the wrong site. Go join a Vegan blog.

    3. SoDissapointed, maybe it’s time for you to vote with your eyeballs and get your primal knowledge from elsewhere.

      BTW, Mark surely paid a TON of taxes in all the years he’s lived in California. California does not have ‘rightful’ income via taxes on the gain from the Primal Kitchens sale, as the sale will occur long after he moved to Florida. Behind your username, are you actually Nancy Pelosi? Tax strategy comes with wealth, and even many lower income levels.

    4. This is a great post that says everything and some that I didn’t even know I had. I am extremely disappointed that he sold out to Kraft given the philosophy. I mean when I read it he might as well had said Monsanto’s Daily Apple. I’ve found myself far less interested and honestly I will go back to making my own salad dressings. I smarter when I first saw them in the Whole Foods stores but I got over it because ultimately it was more accessible. This Kraft thing though? One of THE originators of fake and franken-foods? This is unforgivable for me. Now I’ll read everything he produces with a grain of salt. But why should he care? He’s set with the buy out. Almost 10 years in and I’m done.

  12. The question Mark was answering was about HIS night-time routine; it wasn’t “What everyone should do before going to bed.” Obviously, most of us don’t have hot tubs or saunas in our homes. (Wish I did, but I don’t!) But that doesn’t mean I need to begrudge Mark or anyone else their luxuries. As far as I can tell, Mark has worked his butt off most of his life. Good for him for achieving success! I can be happy for someone else’s material success without bemoaning my own (more modest) existence. It seems to me that Mark is aware of his good fortune; he always points out that he’s “fortunate” to have certain things — acknowledging that no, this isn’t most people’s reality. I appreciate how he cultivates gratitude, which is a lot different from bragging or boasting. That’s a good model to follow, whatever your financial circumstances. I’m grateful for what I do have, and as some have pointed out, that includes hot and cold water in my shower (if I want to copy Mark’s “end cold” method). Mark supplies a HUGE amount of free content here on his website. You can read hundreds of pages of material and get a great deal of advice, without purchasing a single product. Personally, I want to thank him, not rip him down. Surprised by some of the negativity here. Keep up the great work, Mark! Happy New Year. And many thanks from a long-time fan.

  13. I’m so jealous that Mark worked his ass off to create his own destiny. It really pisses me off that I don’t have the perseverance or wherewithal to do this myself, so I’m gonna $hit on those that do. What a load of [email protected] that I visit this free website, for free advice and all I get is what I came for!

    -Every hater in the comments section today

    1. Sorry Kirk, you missed my point. Not jealous of Mark, glad he made some money, he worked hard for it.

      What’s not cool is deception: putting user data for forum’s in FB but not telling people a gigantic corporation is about to buy it, possibly avoiding taxes by ‘moving’ to FL (not saying this is what he did but it looks like it). It might be nicer to stay naive but this stuff happens and our society suffers when no one cares.

      Please.. no one feels Mark hasn’t earned a payout. But the extra stuff, the deceptive stuff? Wasn’t necessary to make money, just wouldn’t be as much as $200m. That’s just extra greed and deception, something I didn’t think I’d ever see from MDA.

      1. I’d say that you are 100% correct. Alas, primal/paleo/keto has reached cult levels, as evidenced by the comments, and has lost its way of just trying to live the best life possible. Thankfully cults die off.

    2. Be careful! Always remember that you reap what you sow. Do what you love and you can’t go too far wrong. Find out what you were created to do. Be well.

  14. so, after I stopped laughing my head off at every single comment in here I was reminded that we are all the same. And sometimes I think that I am different but I’m not. Yes I would love to have the accoutrements but for whatever reason I don’t and as much as I may look at what is happening in the world with people and corporations in the end we’re all the same and so I would like to say what i came away with from Marks film was

    wow sounds like a nice life

    he worked hard to get there

    good for him

    And as for me I am going to be so thankful that I can just get up in the morning and see the sunshine hear the birds. have a job and a roof my head and the ability to laugh. especially at myself. . I have my health and my family, I think, ?,and if at the end of the day if made someone laugh or smile or just improved their day by a small act of random kindness, then I’m happy.

    my mom passed away around this time last year and I miss her so much she lived with me for 20+ years she was my best friend. Even though she was 91 i used to say to her 91 is the new 61. As sad as I am I have so much joy that I was her daughter and she was my mom. We did not have a lot growing up certainly not a sauna and all the other stuff but it didn’t matter.

    I remember going to a friends house who looking back now was in a much better economic situation. I remember we were making cookies, and I said I’ll do the dishes and she said I’ll put them in the dishwasher and I’m thinking what’s that

    a dishwasher?

    i’m the dishwasher in my house. The point being that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and when we headed back to my house I didn’t get a sense that anything was different. And that was because of my mom and how much she loved me and my brother and that love and determination and dedication was more than enough and I am thankful for that
    Life is too short for anything else I wish everyone the very best as you move forward and I hope that you stay well and are in a good place. Again, I thank everyone who posted because it made me laugh and it made me cherish even more the memories of my mom because of the wisdom and compassion she taught me.

    not there yet. ex new york driver?

    heres to a peaceful prosperous kind new year for all.

  15. Mark, I really enjoy your “Sundays With Sisson”. I look forward to reading it each week. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I’ve been reading this blog almost as long as it’s been around and Mark looked like that long before the hormonal supplementation he’s been very upfront about (which is not a shameful thing) was ever part of his regimen.

      Love this post, Mark. As an older woman, a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy. I personally enjoy the suggestions that I can adjust for my home routine.

  16. This time of year, I’m wearing long underwear to stay warm enough in the house. Just taking it off to go to bed is similar to your cool down. I heat w/ a woodstove in the living room so the back bedroom is around 55. I love grounding in the warmer months, but can’t really run around barefoot when the ground is frozen. Is there a reasonable workaround? I could run a grounding wire from an outlet, but it seems a little crazy.

  17. Thank you for sharing. This can easily be tailored for those of us without the pool, jacuzzi and sayna. I would be perfectly content taking a hot bubble bath, finishing with a cool rinse. Blue light blocking glasses and black out curtains or blinds are accessible to most. None of those have to be costly–I have bought them inexpensively on Amazon. Target also has a nice selection of blackout curtains and some blinds.

  18. Sleep is everything to me because in addition to being an athlete I am also a computer worker. 25 yrs on the tube my eyes are fried. Two nights ago I stayed up to 1am to watch fights at the local stadium. One of the trainers herw in Thailand was fighting, age 43. Thats why I did it. The next day was hell to pay! I missed an important meeting and I could not train like I usually do. Never again will I allow THAT to happen again. In health and wellness I wish you all good night. (We are 15 hrs ahead of North America over here). Cheers!

  19. His bedtime ritual is his and his only, and he can do whatever he likes. He’s got money? Is it a sin? He looks smug? Not the the first one to show off either. So, either follow him or not.

    As for the Kraft deal, one must always remember that he is first and foremost a businessman. I came across his website a few years ago and have never been that naive as to think that he was trying to save mankind. He’s doing something he supposedly loves, granted, but it’s also how he makes a nice living. As for the ‘allegedly dodging taxes by moving to another state conspiracy’, surprise, surprise, he won’t be the first one, if that’s the real reason he relocated to Florida. We live in a capitalist world dominated by money/business interests and Mark, however nice he might come across, wouldn’t be immune to it. He’s getting older and needs to ensure that his high-end lifestyle can be maintained too. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t dress it up as something else please, sir!

  20. Look at me! Look at what I have!
    His right? Yep. Did he earn it? Yep. But seriously, what a colossal…

  21. I`ve got a Q for Mark on the topic itself, quite diff from all the other **** . Hey, Mark, do u hv BPH or hv u found a way around it? With all the benefits of yr winding down routine, just how many times a night do u hv to rise to pee. With the best of effort (meditation and all that), I`m finding it takes abt 15-20 min to fall asleep again. So do not hv BPH or hv u found a way round it?

  22. I built a near infrared sauna for less than
    100 bucks using 5 infrared heat lamps.
    Followed with a cold shower it really does
    Totally relax me. Plans are online and easy
    To build.

  23. OK, so jacuzzi, sauna, cold plunge pool??
    This isn’t the real world. Sorry. Up to this point I was a fan but now I’m unsubscribing.

    1. I believe that’s called cutting off your nose to spite your face… I’m happy for Mark’s success and am grateful this blog and community have enhanced my life as much as they have. I’m happy to be here and will keep coming back.

  24. Mark, what are the best foods to eat before going to bed? What foods should you avoid before going to bed? And how long before bed should you have your last meal or snack? I try to eat my nighttime snack about an hour or two before bed, but maybe there is a better way to do it. thanks!

  25. Also, what is the best time to go to bed for a great night’s sleep? I’ve heard that 10:30 is the best time to go to bed, because sleep waves are generated during that time. Do you agree? What time do you usually go to sleep and how many hours of sleep do you get each night?

    1. Don’t apologise for your success Mark. You earned it with lots of hard work. I have a few of your books, and feel they are a great value with life changing info. Mark gives us the ability to take our health back from a world that is trying hard to take it away from us.

  26. I would think that a cold shower would do the opposite of relaxing you at night. I would think it would be a jolt of alertness!

  27. I think we all need to look at this to extract lessons from it, but the negative commenters are missing a few things! OF COURSE someone who has been consistently making a good living as a guru of a healthy lifestyle is investing in things that make his life more ideal! For more ordinary folks, and/or younger folks that have not amassed the capital to own these things, you can see warmth followed by cold, and a cool and dark sleeping spot.
    However, the most important lesson I see here is to establish a routine! Which I have… And it works. Find your own.

  28. You should really consider incorporating brushing your teeth into your bedtime routine!

  29. OMG
    all these negative comments!
    We rent, we have a pool and jacuzzi steps away from our door. Meaning we can do the exact thing. Like many others can do too.
    Also, sauna, pool and cold showers are available at most gyms. So go to the gym specifically to use sauna, hot tub and or pool.
    Be creative!
    It’s sooooo easy to just be negative.
    Says more about yourselves than Mark.
    And yes, of course a 2 minute simplifies his entire evening routine.

  30. Mark Sisson has GIVEN so much to change countless lives, mine included. For me, it included the cost of three books (my choice!) and that’s IT. What is wrong with helping millions of people live happier, healthier lives, and be able to make a living doing so…and even enjoying a big payout 12 years down the road? That did not make any of the information and deep research, given so freely over the years, any less applicable.
    For all you critics, I challenge you to ask yourself…what do YOU do for a living, how does it benefit others? I’m guessing many of you work jobs that do very little good, maybe even reduce quality of life for many people…and yet you get PAID for it, and that’s OK with you?
    Meanwhile, look at the wealth created by people like Mark Zuckerberg at FB, or Evan Spiegel at Snapchat, or the parents of the 7 years old kid that makes millions a year by posting toy ‘unboxing’ videos on Youtube. Arguable, none of that does much of anything to improve the lives of others, and more often than not, reduces people’s quality of lives, yet the founders become mega billionaires.
    Mark made a good living building a phenomenal brand, that he literally GAVE away…7 days a week, for 12 years. All the knowledge one could ask for, without the need to create an account or ‘log in’ for access to ‘member’s only’ info, etc, which is so common otherwise. It was FREE, and still is.
    He wrote some excellent books and profited from those, and then built Primal Kitchen into a business that was valued for $200 million. Good for him.
    I for one am forever grateful for Mark introducing me the primal/paleo world 7 years ago while I was googling around for info on feeding raw to my dog, and stumbled on a post on marksdailyapple about paleo, i.e. raw, for dogs. I was hooked, and life was changed for the better ever since.
    I won’t say ‘get over it,’ folks, because that’s none of my business. But I hope at some point you do, and instead just be greatful for the excellent FREE info Mark has shared over the years.

  31. As the mom to a sleep-challenged toddler, I’ve been working on maximizing the quality of the sleep I can get, and have tried many of these suggestions. I would like to know more about how going keto affects sleep quality and quantity.

    I’ve been tracking my sleep with a fitbit, which I find seems to correlate well with my subjective experience. When I started keto, I found that I woke fewer times in the night, and generally got back to sleep quicker when I woke, but fitbit told me I was getting significantly reduced “deep sleep.” I usually run about 60-90 minutes of deep sleep, and I was getting in the 20-45 minute range instead. I know that starchy carbs help to increase serotonin availability in the brain for improved sleep – could this be a keto side effect? Does my fitbit lie? Is this actually some undesireable carb-coma? Since I’ve been enjoying more starches (and sweets too….) due to the holiday, my deep sleep is up again.

    Mark, I’d appreciate your thoughts on the matter, as I find that getting a good sleep is foundational to all the other healthy choices and actions I take!

  32. Hey Mark, Thanks for sharing your routine with us. As tempting as it is to address the negative comments here I have decided it would be better to give them the proper priority that they deserve in my life and ignore them. They are baseless and deserve no more thought than that.
    I have been a daily follower of you and the Primal Blueprint since 2009 and finding your site was maybe the 2nd best thing I ever did. Right behind finding my wife of 34 years. The research, advice , thought leaders and tools to improve my life and health that you and your site have introduced to me are worth millions and you gave it away for free.
    The impact you have had on my health and on almost every aspect of my life is immeasurable and I know it has been the same for thousands more people. Thank you! Mark,
    Please keep it coming and I hope you and your family have the very best 2019!

    1. Bob Y said it best, thanks for your thoughtful and wise response!

      Life has surprises for everyone, be ready! Love is God’s answer to our feelings of loneliness and loss. He demonstrated that love by his coming to earth and giving us the words of eternal life when these bodies fail and they eventually will fail.
      Thanks Mark for seeking and sharing truth about how to care for our bodies and strive for the best!