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10 P.M. is the perfect bedtime.

Going to sleep at 10 P.M. enables you to get the recommended 7–8 hours of sleep, and still wake up by 5 or 6 A.M.

That means you can get in at least a 30-minute workout in the morning — a common habit among the most successful and productive people — and still be at work by 8 or 9 A.M.

With exercise out of the way, and an energized mind, you are poised and ready to tackle your most important task of the day — all before lunch.

You see, I believe a successful morning routine actually starts the night before.

Most people have commitments in the morning, so sleeping in is not an option. That means the only way to get a full night’s rest — setting you up for a highly-successful day — is to go to sleep earlier the night before.

Turning in at 10pm isn’t a major compromise. It still means that you can have a pleasant and productive evening (family time, dinner, work, TV, reading, glass of wine, etc.) without rushing to bed.

Even if you don’t get home from work until 7pm, that still means you have 3 hours to make the most of the night before heading to sleep.

I find that a bedtime much earlier than 10pm really cuts into the evening, and a bedtime much later than 10pm cuts into sleep time and the ability to be effective the next morning.

Of course this is based on a fairly typical schedule that can apply to most people.

I fully recognize that there are circumstances (an extra-long commute, getting the kids off to school, etc.) that might require a different routine. Or perhaps you’re a night owl without any demands in the morning.

But the principle holds true — find that perfect bedtime balance that allows you to enjoy the evening and still have a great next day. I believe that a 10pm bedtime yields that perfect balance.

How about you? What time do you go to bed and what is the routine that works best for you?

Andrew Merle writes about living well, including good habits for happiness, health, productivity, and success. Subscribe to his e-mail list at and follow him on Twitter.

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