Here at Jeff Clark Trader, we do our best to bring you actionable and profitable trading ideas. In that regard, I’m proud of the many calls we’ve gotten right.
But being able to spot great trades isn’t always easy.
It takes a lot of energy, both mental and physical, to stay disciplined and to pick only the best setups. It’s important to look after both your body and your mind, the same way a high-performing athlete would.
That’s why today, we’re digging into the second pillar of optimal health: sleep. You can find our discussion on the first pillar of health – nutrition – right here.
Sleep is something that we all know is important. But it’s also very easy to put on the back burner and ignore.
I know that recommending better sleep isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea… but neither is buying low and selling high.
The Best Investment You Can Make
These are obvious things we should be trying to do on a regular basis. And as usual, the tricky part is in the details.
And for the record, whenever you make a conscious decision to invest in your health, that’s worth significant recognition. Our health will always be the best investment we could ever make. It’s one that is truly priceless.
Sleep is one of the key pillars of optimal health. You can think of it like regularly scheduled maintenance for your mind and body. As you go through the various stages of sleep, you begin a self-healing and restorative process.
There are three stages of sleep: light, deep, and REM (Rapid Eye Movement). It takes about 90 minutes to go through each stage before moving on to the next.
If you have a good night’s sleep, you should cycle through these stages about 4 to 5 times. But if you have a poor night’s sleep, then you’re not spending enough time in each stage.
Each cycle is important in its own way. Light sleep, for example, is associated with building a stronger and more resilient memory and improving fine motor skills.
Deep sleep aids with muscle, tissue, and bone repair. Deep sleep also helps with energy production. That’s why when you do get a great night’s sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
REM sleep is commonly associated with dreaming. This plays an important role in the reduction of stress. REM sleep helps calm down the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for emotions like fear and anxiety.
The baseline for a healthy amount of sleep is 7 to 9 hours. That’s how long you need in order to get enough sleep from each stage.
Cutting your sleep short means you’re not going to have adequate time in each sleep stage. The effects of sleep deprivation aren’t immediate. Sure, you might feel a bit irritable and groggy after a bad night’s sleep, but it’s over the long term that these effects will add up.
Long-term sleep deprivation will impact your memory, your ability to regulate your weight healthily, and even your immune system.
This is why it’s so important to build a disciplined routine around your sleep. The more areas of your life in which you build routine, the more disciplined you’ll become. And the more disciplined you are, the better your trading results will be.
Health Is Wealth
Here’s my personal sleep routine below. I try my best not to deviate from this routine. And if I do, I make sure to get back on track as soon as possible.
I keep a consistent schedule for when I go to sleep and wake up. I never compromise when I wake up. If I go to sleep an hour or two later than I would like, I still keep the same waking schedule.
No more caffeine after 12 p.m. Full stop, no exceptions. Similarly, I avoid alcohol in a three-hour window before I go to bed.
One hour before bed, I avoid all screens. As a trader, this one is the hardest rule for me to follow! But it builds great discipline and ultimately helps a lot with my sleep.
Reserve the hour before I head for bed to wind down. My wind-down routine might mean reading a book, spending time with my family, or taking my dog for one last walk.
Free Trading Resources
Have you checked out Jeff’s free trading resources on his website? It contains a selection of special reports, training videos, and a full trading glossary to help kickstart your trading career – at zero cost to you. Just click here to check it out.
It’s a pretty simple routine, but it’s a highly effective one. I use a smart ring to track my sleep. Since using the tracker, my sleep has significantly improved.
As a result, my overall health has improved too. My immune system has gotten stronger. And my trading has improved, too. Getting more sleep means being able to make higher-quality decisions under pressure.
As the old cliché goes, health truly is wealth.
If your mental and physical health is on point, there’s no doubt that’s a valuable edge that could help improve your trading performance.
Yours in good health,
Analyst, Market Minute
P.S. Please let me know by writing to me at [email protected] if you’re enjoying this series. We have one more pillar of optimal health left – activity. It’s my personal favorite, and I’ve been saving it for last.