5 Things You Should Do Before Bed Every Night, According to Successful People
It all starts on focusing on sleep.
One common denominator between the world’s CEOs, politicians, Oscar winners turned media executives, and other phenomenally successful people? Quality shuteye. These people understand that one can only rise and shine if they’ve given themselves the chance to power down and recharge. Incorporate these six rituals into your nightly routine to snooze and score like a boss.
Any kind of screen time before bed, even an innocent Instagram scroll, messes with your sleep function. The blue light from your phone disrupts your brain’s production of melatonin: the hormone that tells your body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. What’s more, obsessing over any new information, whether world news or an angry email from a client, can keep you from deep sleep. Even the world’s most digitally savvy divas — like Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and former Huffington Post editor-in-chief — shut off their devices before bed. According to Huffington’s book, Thrive, she unplugs everything nightly so she can unplug, herself.
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Tell your loved ones you love them.
Connection is the most important part of the human experience, and finding time to rehash your day and remind yourself and your partner of the love you share is important for any couple. Just take it from the former FLOTUS and POTUS: Barack Obama tucks Michelle into bed every night. "He'll come and turn the lights out and give me a kiss, and we'll talk," Michelle Obama said in a 2012 interview with People Magazine. The same goes for anyone you love: snuggle your kids, call a good friend, and acknowledge warm fuzzy feelings of gratitude.
Go a step further after you unplug and actually luxuriate in the disconnection. Wind down with calming music or take a warm bath. Or do like David Lynch and meditate. The award-winning director and producer actually manages to meditate twice daily, and even started a transcendental meditation foundation to heal traumatic stress in at-risk populations.
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Read a book.
Swap out your iPad and Kindle for an actual book with actual pages. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, told the Seattle Times in 1990 that, even in the height of Microsoft's success, he read for at least an hour before bed—no matter how late it was. Reading anything that interests you fuels inspiration and can allow for big ideas to come to you in your sleep. Plus, the physical act of reading peacefully lulls you into slumber. Win win!
Write a gratitude list.
Practicing gratitude is a surefire way to create sound sleep... and happiness. People naturally pay more attention to negative situations: disagreements we could have handled differently, work setbacks, and things we ought to have said, for example. But replaying these negative situations before bed only increases stress and keeps you from sleep. So make like Oprah Winfrey: producer, actress, businesswoman and former talk show host, and take some time to reflect on the day's small joys. Oprah has said that she writes down five things she's grateful for before bed each night, and credits this practice for her personal success: “You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots,” she wrote in the November 2012 issue of her magazine.