A lot of highly successful people will say how they maintain productive days by starting the day early — but LeBron James is expanding on that by sharing how important it is for him to also get to bed early.

LeBron James recently appeared on an episode of podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show,” and explained that he always insists on getting eight hours of sleep each night.

“That’s the best way for your body to physically and emotionally be able to recover and get back to 100 percent as possible. Now, will you wake up and feel 100 percent? There are some days you don’t. So some days you feel better than others. But the more, and more, and more time that you get those eight — if you can get nine, that’s amazing.”

And if you can improve on nine hours? That’s even better says James, who says he sometimes even gets 10 hours of sleep, and if he feels like he needs more sleep during the day, he’ll work in breaks for naps.

Creating an environment conducive to rest

His trainer, Mike Mancias, agrees that lots of rest is important for performance. “Without giving everybody all of our secrets, No. 1 is be very, very comfortable in that room,” he says. “Create an environment. For LeBron, it’s always in his hotel room, making sure the temperature’s set at a particular – probably 68 to 70 degrees is probably optimal.”

Mancias says that this rest is achieved in darkness — that means no telephone or buzzing smartphones lighting up. “Just turn everything off probably a half hour to 45 minutes before you actually want to go to sleep, and just really committing yourself to that,” he says.

It’s not all about darkness and ideal temperature though. James uses the Calm sleep app to help him get the rest he needs. “I’m the guy who picks ‘rain on leaves,'” he says. “That’s what goes on on my phone throughout the night.”

James is always active, even in the off season, and that includes a great deal of training. However, nothing he does is as important as getting enough rest.

“I could do all the ice bags and the NormaTecs and everything that we do, that we have as far as our recovery package, while I’m up,” he says. “But when you get in that good sleep, you just wake up, and you feel fresh. You don’t need an alarm clock. You just feel like, ‘Okay. I can tackle this day at the highest level.'”

LeBron James is an inspiration to many, and provides an important reminder here. No matter how busy you are, an important part of success is knowing when to take a break and take care of yourself.