Sleep & Discipline

Post inspired from: Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink.

Sleep can be elusive. It can be frustrating. It can be restless. It can be tiring. But sleep can also be fruitful and it can re-energize. Everyone needs to sleep.

I’m going to be frank with you: I am usually in bed by 9:00PM and asleep before 10:00PM every night. I try and read something before I go to bed to help calm the mind, so sometimes it is closer to 10:00PM, other times I’m asleep right at 9. I love it. While I am very fortunate to be able to sleep in a comfy bed every night, sometimes I struggle with sleep - falling asleep, staying asleep, and, maybe most importantly, getting out of bed.

Many factors seem to effect the quality of sleep - Jocko Willink in Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual offers the argument that “if you are in good physical condition, eating clean, and have a clear mind” (103) then sleep comes faster, easier, and requires less of it. Right there is another benefit of working out, eating well, and calming one’s mind (through reading, journaling, meditation, etc). One quote that really stands out to me from this section is that Jocko “choose(s) not to sleep in. I don’t give in to the temptation of the warm blankets and soft pillow. I mobilize the will to get me out of bed and into the game.” (109) Mobilize the will.

The follow pages are then a good introduction into how Jocko the Navy Seal operates - he is up at 4:30AM and every morning posts a picture of his watch showing 4:34AM on Twitter. Why so early? Well if you wake up at 4:30, work out like he says, and start the day, then you will most likely be very, very tired by 9:30PM to fall asleep easier.

“… a vast majority of the world is still sleep. You aren’t. You are up getting after it. The world is yours when you are up before the enemy” (104)

So what do you think? 4:30AM every morning, even weekends. Do you think you can do it? Get after it.

Be sure to follow Jocko on Twitter to see his 4:34AM tweets.

Pro-tip from Joe: Jocko has an album out call Psychological Warfare on Google Play and iTunes where the first track is called “Wake up and Get After it”. Set that bad boy as your alarm and it will be tough staying in bed with Jocko’s voice right next to you.