The very last thing you do before bed can have a significant impact on your mood and energy level for the next day, as it often determines how well, and how much, you sleep.
Successful people understand that their success starts and ends with their mental and physical health, and this in turn is dependent on getting enough sleep.
That’s why good bedtime routines are a key ritual for so many of them.
So, here’s what many successful people do right before bed:
1. They read
Experts agree that reading is the very last thing most successful people do before going to sleep – President Barack Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are known to read for at least a half hour before bed.
All of the books that we will ever need to make us as rich, healthy, happy, powerful, sophisticated and as successful as we want to be have already been written.
The important question is this: In the past 90 days, with this treasure of information that could change our lives, fortunes, relationships, health, children and our careers for the better, how many books have we read?
That said, this time isn’t necessarily reserved just for business or inspirational reading.
Many successful people find value in being browsers of information from a variety of sources, believing it helps fuel greater creativity and passion in their lives.
2. They disconnect from work
Truly successful people do anything but work right before bed.
They don’t obsessively check their email and they try not to dwell on work-related issues late at night.
Studies have found if you associate your bed with work it will be much harder to relax there, so it’s essential you reserve your bed for sleep and other activities only.
Give yourself a buffer period of at least a half hour between the time you read your last email and the time you go to bed.
3. They unplug completely
Disconnecting from work means not checking your email right before bed, but this doesn’t mean you should turn to social media or games either.
Researchers agree that any kind of screen-time before bed does you far more harm than good.
The blue light from your phone or tablet mimics the brightness of the sun, which tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, which is an essential hormone that regulates your rhythm and tells your body when it’s time to wake and when it’s time to sleep.
If you don’t believe the research, take it from Huffington Post cofounder, president, and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.
After collapsing from exhaustion, Huffington completely revamped her approach to sleep, and as she details in her book, Thrive, she has completely banned iPads, Kindles, laptops, and any other electronics from the bedroom.
4. They make a to-do list
We’ve all heard about to-do lists.
The best to-do lists incorporate daily activities that help you move yourself forward in life towards accomplishing your goals.
Clearing the mind for a good night’s sleep is critical for a lot of successful people.
Often they will take this time to write down a list of any unattended items to address the following day, so these thoughts don’t end up invading their head space during the night.
But you’ve probably never heard of a to-DON’T list.
A to-don’t list is a list that includes things you should never do because they are either time wasters, bad habits or things that hold you back from having a happy and successful
5. They reflect on the good things from the day
Many successful people take the time just before bed to reflect on, or to write down, three things they’re appreciative of that happened that day.
Keeping a “gratitude journal” also reminds people of the progress they made that day in any aspect of their life, which helps them to stay motivated, especially when going through a challenging period.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of replaying negative situations from the day that you wish you had handled differently.
Regardless of how badly the day went, successful people typically manage to avoid that pessimistic spiral of negative self-talk because they know it will only create more stress.
Benjamin Franklin famously asked himself the same self-improvement question every night: ‘What good have I done today?’
6. They meditate and picture success
Many successful people use the 10 minutes before bed to meditate.
It’s a great way to relax your body and quiet your mind.
Many successful people also take a few minutes before bed to envision a positive outcome unfolding for the projects they’re working on.
For most, this is not a task or exercise – they’re wired with a gift of solid resolution skills that come naturally.
7. They plan out sleep
We’ve all read about the dangers of not getting enough sleep.
One habit that several highly successful people do is to simply make it a priority to get enough sleep, which can be a challenge for workaholics or entrepreneurs.
One way to do this is simply to go to bed at a consistent time each evening, which is a key habit all sleep experts recommend to ensure a healthy night’s sleep.
8. They keep a hygiene ritual
It’s recommended that you create a hygiene ritual that sends a psychological signal that you are getting ready for bed.
This may include brushing your teeth, washing your face or flossing.
Author Stephen King’s nightly routine includes washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way, which may be a little neurotic, but you get the picture.
9. They skip the wine
When researching her sleep manifesto, Thrive, Huffington consulted a number of sleep specialists for tips.
One of her favourites is avoiding alcohol right before bedtime.
While alcohol can certainly help you fall to sleep, it can rob you of quality sleep.
Alcohol keeps people in the lighter stages of sleep from which they can be awakened easily and prevents them from falling into deeper, more restorative stages of sleep.
Of course there are many other beliefs, habits and traits shared by mega successful people.
If you want to know more so you can join their ranks I strongly recommend you read my book Michael Yardney’s Guide To Getting Rich, where I share my studies of how the rich and successful became so and how you can join their ranks.
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