Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Tom Brady’s one of the most recognized and accomplished athletes in the world. His three NFL MVPs, fourteen Pro Bowls, and record-setting five Super Bowl championships have earned him a reputation as one of, if not the, best quarterbacks of all time.
Teammates and rivals alike praise Brady’s character, commitment, and leadership. Oh, and he’s also married to Gisele Bundchen, a supermodel with an estimated net worth of over $300 million.
Wouldn’t it be nice to harness just a fraction of Tom Brady’s success? By learning about and applying some of his most effective habits, maybe we can.
How Tom Brady Maintains His Body – and His Mind
Even with all of Brady’s accolades, perhaps the most important and impressive aspect of his success is his longevity.
At age 41, he’s the oldest quarterback in the NFL – and one of the oldest players in the league, period. Yet he still manages to play at an elite level, as shown by recent Super Bowl and MVP wins.
So, how does he do it?
Brady credits his ability to continue competing at a high level year in and year out to his extremely disciplined lifestyle and training regime. He eats a specialized diet, takes incredible care of his body, and even uses cognitive games to keep his braining firing on all cylinders.
But perhaps the backbone of Brady’s entire regime is his sleep schedule. As Tom tells it, “Proper sleep has helped me get to where I am today as an athlete, and it is something that I continue to rely on every day.”
In fact, sleep is so important to Tom that he even partnered with Under Armour to release $200 pajamas that aid sleep and recovery through something called far-infrared.
How to Create Sleep Habits like Tom Brady
Fortunately, you don’t need expensive PJs to get better sleep. And you don’t need to be an elite athlete to benefit from the physical and mental benefits provided by a good night’s rest.
Try applying some of the small steps below to start sleeping like a champion.
1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Tom Brady goes to bed around 8:30 pm every night.
Now, we’re not saying you actually have to go to bed that early. What is important, however, is maintaining a consistent bed time, whether it’s 9pm, 12am, or 8am. Yes, that means on the weekends, too.
Our sleep schedule is connected to our “Circadian rhythm”. When that rhythm is out of whack, it causes all kinds of nasty effects, like weight gain, fatigue, and even disease. On the other hand, a well-maintained rhythm can lead to better energy levels, increased fat loss, and improved cognitive ability.
So, choose a bed time – and stick to it.
2. Get at Least 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Per Night
It can be tempting to skimp on sleep to get more done – and there are certainly people who manage to function on only 6, 5, or even 3 hours of shuteye per night.
But Tom Brady disagrees with that approach.
He not only has a consistent bed time, he gets a full night’s rest, night in and night out.
The truth is, your body and brain need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep. It reduces your risk of heart disease, promotes clearer thinking, improves your mood, and balances your hormones.
So, stop pulling all-nighters and give yourself some quality rest.
3. Eliminate Distractions Before and During Sleep
The amount of sleep we get is vitally important, but so is the quality of our sleep.
As Brady details, “[I’ve] tailored my sleep routine to ensure that the environment I’m sleeping in and what I’m wearing when I’m sleeping are working together to maximize the impact of those recovery hours.”
Again, you don’t have to wear special pajamas, but there are some easy things you can do to make sure you’re falling asleep easily and sleeping soundly.
For starters, don’t consume any caffeine before bed. Studies have shown that caffeine disrupts sleep, even if your last cup of joe was six hours before bedtime. Brady, of course, doesn’t drink caffeine at all, and he rarely drinks alcohol, which is another major sleep disruptor.
The blue lights from your various devices, whether it’s your smartphone or laptop, can also make it harder for us to fall asleep. Ideally, you should turn all of that stuff off at least a half hour before bed. But if you absolutely must toy with them, most devices have an app or setting that will make your screen color warmer and less blue at night. This dimmer, orange-ish screen color is a lot less stimulating than the bright, blue light that you’re typically exposed to.
Finally, keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. As Brady says, “I like it cold and dark like a bear.” And research shows that these conditions improve our sleep quality.
If you live in a noisy area, try using a white noise machine to drown it out. And for goodness sake’s, turn off your phone!
Add these daily habits to your list:
- Go to sleep and wake up at around the same time each day – establish a strong Circadian rhythm to maximize your mental and physical health
- Sleep 7+ hours per night – give your body and mind the rest it needs with a full night’s sleep
- Create a good sleep environment – get rid of distractions and stimulants to maximize your sleep quality