Gabby Bernstein: "If You Don't Sleep, It's a Slow Death"

Gabby Bernstein shines a light on the path to more sleep, energy and personal power.

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

May 20, 2024 - Updated May 20, 2024

Gabby Bernstein profile

You’re not here to play it small. You’ve got your own unique set of gifts, strengths and dreams and it’s up to no one but you to try and tap into those talents, pave your own unique path and make your life a masterpiece. And there are definitely people out there who are in your corner and want to do everything they can to help you get there. Gabby Bernstein is one of those people.

A number one New York Times bestselling author, teacher, podcast host and speaker, Gabby considers it her personal mission to help you unlock your highest potential, and she was recently a guest on Sweat Daily where she talked to Kayla Itsines about personal power and getting a better night’s sleep.

The power within you

Gabby has reached millions of people and transformed countless lives by sharing the techniques that have changed her own life for the better, and she’s driven to help people step into their power and live with as much peace, presence and joy as possible.

When it comes to your own personal power and where it stems from, Gabby believes people often get it wrong, assuming power comes purely from credentials, who you know or where you’re sitting at the table. In her view, that’s a bunch of BS.

“Our power comes from the energy that we bring and the intentions we show up with and the presence we have inside. When you have a connection to your inner landscape and you have a connection to the feelings of peace, joy and inspiration within you, then you are unstoppable,” she says.

In a fast-moving world that praises productivity, hustle and wearing “busy” as a badge of honour, it’s common to attach a feeling of guilt or laziness to rest days and sleep, but being the healthiest, best version of yourself and discovering your potential takes energy. It’s never going to happen if you’re not getting enough rest. And no, unfortunately, coffee is not the answer.

As Gabby puts it, “If you don’t sleep, it’s a slow death.”

The link between day and night

Although getting into bed at a good time is obviously a great start if you want to recharge your batteries to a higher level, but for many of us it’s not that simple. Extra hours in bed can end up being extra hours spent looking at the ceiling, running through a mental to-do list or ruminating over the day.

Gabby’s number one tip for better sleep? Take a closer look at your daytime routine.

“Daytime begets nighttime,” she says. “What you’re doing during the day affects your anxiety during the day, but also during the evening.”

For some, wearing yourself out can help to nod off quickly. For most people however, having stressful days or rushing through life with a busy mind is not conducive to a deep, restful sleep and the energy patterns of the day don’t come to an immediate peaceful halt when you hop into bed. As Gabby explains, daytime anxiety doesn’t switch off at night and although she encourages you to create a strong sleep routine, your daily habits should have just as much focus.

Prioritise healthy habits that promote peace during the day and will give you the best possible chance of a good night’s sleep come bedtime. Sleep-supporting habits Gabby recommends include:

  • Daily exercise

  • Reduce caffeine in the afternoon

  • Have a wind-down routine and reduce screentime

  • Avoid eating close to bedtime

  • Avoid intense conversations in bed or close to bedtime

  • Practice meditation, mindfulness or breathwork

  • Dim the lights in the evening

  • Charge your phone outside of the bedroom

Practices like meditation and breathwork aren’t just there to support your sleep - they are also powerful ways to feel more connected to yourself and step into your power.

Sleep troubles should never carry shame

Gabby knows just how crippling it can be to struggle with sleep and speaks about this topic with so much compassion having been through chapters in her life when her sleep was far from perfect.

“I had a really extreme sleep disorder when I experienced postpartum depression and anxiety. It first manifested in the form of insomnia, which I didn’t understand at the time, but I was having panic attacks in the middle of the night,” she explains.

Prior to getting a professional diagnosis and support, Gabby exhausted every single sleep technique she could, but ultimately it was professional help and medication that shifted the dial in a positive direction, and that’s a story she now tells with no hesitation or shame.

“For me there was only one choice, which was a medicated path, and I speak about that loud and proud because I want to save lives,” she says, knowing how many women suffer with postnatal depression and anxiety in silence.

Yes, she worked hard on her sleep hygiene and eventually created a better structure around her routine to support her sleep, but if you’re trying everything to no avail, your sleep issues are interfering with your daily life or you’re concerned about your emotional wellbeing postpartum, seeking help should always be the first port of call and it isn’t anything to feel ashamed of.

Step into the best version of yourself with Sweat Daily

The new podcast from Kayla Itsines

Level up your sleep, level up your life

So much of feeling well comes down to feeling energised, and sleep should always be one of your top health habits to rest, recharge and start each day feeling powerful within your own skin. If you’re looking at creating a daytime routine that supports your slumber, one of the best things you can start doing today is moving your body in a way you enjoy!

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

Erin is a writer and editor at Sweat with years of experience in women's publishing, media and tech. She's passionate about the power of movement, and you can often find her on a yoga mat, a hike, a dance floor, in the ocean or the gym.

Mental Health
Self Care

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


Recommended Stories

We have a feeling you’re going to love Sweat

That's why the first week is on us.