6 Things Successful People Include in Their Bedtime Routine – People often consider sleep as a barrier to getting more work done when, in fact, the opposite is true. Sleep is a productivity enhancer. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables your body to create and maintain pathways in the brain that help you think more clearly and remember information, notes the Sleep Foundation. Sleep also provides essential support for the immune system, which means you’ll spend less time logging sick days and more time crushing your to-do list.
Successful people understand this, which is why many of them swear by their pre-bedtime rituals and routines. Interested in taking a note or two from their sleep playbook? Read on for six things successful people include in their bedtime routine and how to optimize them further.
Media mogul and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey reportedly meditates twice daily: once in the morning and once more before bed. And she’s in good company — Richard Branson and Marc Benioff also swear by the practice.
While many successful people use meditation as a way to calmly kick start their day, research suggests that it can also be a wonderful addition to your bedtime routine. According to Harvard Health Publishing, meditation can evoke the body’s relaxation response and bring your mind’s attention back to the present, making it easier to nod off at night.
Make It Better: If you want to take your relaxing bedtime routine up a notch, consider pairing your evening meditation session with a high-quality weighted blanket. Known for their stress-relieving, sleep-inducing benefits, these cuddly blankets apply gentle pressure that can help you stay in the present moment and allow your worries to melt away.
Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year. When does he find the time to read, you may wonder? The answer: right before bed. “I read an hour almost every night. It’s part of falling asleep,” Gates said in an interview with Seattle Weather back in 1990.
While reading is a great hobby for all times of the day, it’s especially beneficial at night. Cracking open a good book before bedtime helps to take your mind off work and other stressful matters that can keep you up until the wee hours of the morning. Time to renew your library card!
Make It Better: If you want to get to bed on time, stick to old-fashioned print books. According to the experts, the light emitted from ebooks can suppress melatonin production, making it that much harder to fall asleep.
A Warm Bath
Another great way to wind down before heading to bed is to take a warm bath. Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, is a big fan of this pre-bedtime ritual, which is thought to help us sleep by supporting the body’s natural temperature regulation process.
Make It Better: For maximum health benefits, follow Huffington’s suit and try an Epsom salt bath. According to Medical News Today, soaking in Epsom salt bathwater can relax your muscles, reduce soreness and soften up rough, dry skin.
A Quality Sleep Mask
Successful celebrity business owners such as Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson are big proponents of wearing sleep masks to bed, and it’s not hard to see why. These simple sleep accessories are an easy and affordable way to get the sleep you desperately need. Unlike blackout curtains that only block external light, sleep masks block light coming from inside and outside your bedroom.
That means you won’t be bothered by street lamps, the glare from your partner’s phone or light peeking through the crack in the doorway. Plus, they’re travel-friendly and perfect for red-eye flights or long road trips.
Make It Better: If you want to make your bedtime routine feel a little more Zen, invest in a weighted sleep mask. On top of blocking out light, these soothing sleep masks deliver calming pressure to the face to help you sink into a deeper sleep.
It might surprise you to learn that many successful people write in a journal before bed. Unlike the cheesy diary you might have kept in middle school, journaling for adults typically involves reflecting upon the day’s events and writing down what you’re grateful for. But how does that help you sleep, exactly? It’s simple: grateful sleeping makes you more aware of the good things in your life, which helps keep pessimism and nighttime worries at bay.
Make It Better: Unsure what to write in your journal? If you need some additional motivation or guidance, there are plenty of bedtime journaling prompts available online.
From Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn to legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, scores of high-level athletes have successfully harnessed the power of visualization to make their dreams a reality. Visualization, also known as guided imagery, essentially uses mental imagery to motivate oneself to pursue one’s goal.
Visualization can also evoke relaxation and promote a night of deep, restful sleep. Instead of visualizing your success, try imagining yourself in a quiet meadow, a serene oasis or another peaceful setting. If your mind starts to drift, gently guide it back to the calming image in your head.
Make It Better: Before you practice any visualization techniques, make sure your environment is free of distractions, such as phones, pets and television. It can also be helpful to pair your visualization technique with a deep breathing exercise.
When it comes to bedtime routines, there is no one-size-fits-all. We all have different things that relax us, so you need to find what works best for you. The most important thing is to make sleep a priority!