Are you a person that has a bedtime routine, such as watching TV, browsing the web or just generally going to bed late? Have you ever considered that what you do now might be detrimental to the way you perform the next day, for whatever task you have to complete?
Having a good bedtime routine is a great way to make sure you are ready for the next day ahead. If you are more prepared, you will perform closer to your optimal ability, thus hopefully making you more successful.
Below are 12 things successful people do before sleep.
Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington are big advocates of reading, and especially ‘real books’. Bill Gates has said that he reads for an hour almost every night, regardless of what time he gets home.
Arianna is a big fan of banning all iPads, Kindles, laptops or any other electronic device, in favour of picking up an old fashioned book and getting lost in it. Electronic devices have endless ways of distracting you, while with a physical book allows you to get completely lost in the book and enjoy it more.
Not only that, reading may actually help you sleep better. It has been said that creating a bedtime ritual such as reading can promote better sleep as you slowly transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Planning for tomorrows tasks is a great habit to get in to. Many of us have to juggle our professional and our personal lives and sometimes they can collide, creating stress and an unproductive day.
From getting our work clothes ready and our lunch prepared the night before, to writing down tasks which need to be completed, this can all help to keep productive.
Waking up and knowing exactly what needs to be done will allow you to kick start your day.
Benjamin Franklin was a big believer of tracking his self-improvement and accomplishments. In his autobiography he noted down that he asked himself the same question every night: “What good have I done today?”
This is a great habit to get into as you will feel happier about yourself at the end of each day. No matter how large or small the accomplishment is, aim to write down at least 3-5 to keep those good feelings going.
Meditation will be alien to most people, but its benefits can be quite massive. Certain types of meditation have been proven to lower stress and anxiety for example, which is perfect for those who live busy lives.
Business mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted back in April 2013 that he was trying to learn transcendental meditation in the hope that it would improve ‘everything’.
Trying to learn transcendental meditation. Everyone recommends, not that easy to get started, but said to improve everything!— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) April 21, 2013
Although transcendental meditation will not make ‘everything’ better, it will certainly help with things like stress levels, weight-loss, focus and decreasing the risk of depression.
With our busy lives, it’s easy to become clouded on what really matters – our friends, family, health etc. Taking a couple minutes to tell ourselves or write down what we are thankful for can put us in a better mood when preparing for sleep.
Don’t forget what we normally take for granted, and have a moment just to just be thankful.
Taking a short walk in the early evening can you promote a healthier sleep state. Not only will it help you keep trim and looking good, it will also help free your mind of worries and decrease stress levels.
While taking your walk, you may also be able to complete some of the other habits on this list, killing two birds with one stone. Handy!
Be cautious not to overdo it though. Exercising too strenuously before bed can have a negative effect and may disrupt your sleep.
A big chunk of our day is spent with co-workers where we all chat about work, work, work! Neglecting our chance to spend time with friends and family is never something we should do. Just doing something different will help us unwind, solve problems and just help us take us away from our professional lives.
Try not to bring your work problems home with you. This can create tension that may not help the situation. If you have a particularly busy work life, allocate time for your friends and family and stick to it. You’ll be happier you did so.
Procrastination is something we all can say we have done at some time or another, and for some of us, we do it way more often than we would like.
Setting goals, writing to-do lists and giving ourselves rewards for completing tasks will all help us just get things done. Why do it tomorrow when you can get it done today?
But there is a fine line between getting things done and working too hard. It is important to set yourself realistic goals for the day. Don’t tell yourself to do something you know you can’t get done in a day. If the task is large, break it up and complete it one step at a time.
Dehydration can make us feel tired, but not in a way that will help us sleep. In fact dehydration can disrupt our sleep making us feel more tired than normal in the morning. We all lose water while sleeping due to sweating and breathing for example, and since we sleep for an average of 7-8 hours a night, it can be a while before we next have the chance to top up our water levels.
A good habit to get into is to drink a small glass of water before bed to help keep our water levels topped up, but not so much that it will make us need the toilet during the night.
Getting woken up from a text or phone call during the night is never a good thing, and more often than not, whatever is said could have probably waited until the morning.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said its “painful”, but she does turn off her phone at night in order not to be woken up.
Studies have shown that the bright light from our electronic devices suppress melatonin levels which controls our body clock. For anyone wishing to sleep throughout the night with no interruptions, this is not good.
Envisioning the day ahead can do wonders for your self-confidence and esteem. By taking 5 minutes before bed to run through your tasks for tomorrow, you can wake up feeling more confident about fulfilling those tasks and get them done in a timely manner.
Just remember to envision them running smoothly without any hiccups!
Allocating part of the day to things other than work is important, and sticking to them is key. You must give yourself time to relax and enjoy leisurely activities that help you switch off.
By doing this you can enjoy a peaceful sleep and wake up more prepared for a hard day’s work.
As you can imagine, not every successful person does all these things. It would be stressful in itself trying to fit all of these in before bedtime. But what you can do is use them on a trial and error basis. Learn what works best for you and utilise it.
What these habits do is help you become more prepared for the next day ahead. By doing this, you will feel more awake, more engaged in your work activities and ultimately will make you feel better about yourself.