Although the whole balance of our activity during the day is important in falling asleep, it turns out that the last thing we do before falling asleep is the most important. It is this activity that affects the mood and energy levels the next day, as well as the quality and length of sleep. Successful people usually know perfectly well how important rest is in achieving goals, and many of them even perform special rituals that provide energy after waking up. So what do they do before bedtime?
1. They finish work
Successful people never work before bedtime. They don’t check e-mails in bed, view documents or write messages to colleagues. Research clearly shows that working in the bedroom makes it difficult to fall asleep and relax. It is therefore very important that our bed is associated only with two pleasant activities i.e sleep and/or sex. Give yourself a minimum of one hour to calm down and de-stress between your last work-related task and going to sleep.
2. Turn off telephones and other electronic devices
There should be an equal signal between the break from work and turning off all the devices that are associated with it. Scientists have long proven that looking at the screen at the time when we try to fall asleep causes a number of negative consequences. The light from the computer screen, phone or TV stops our brain from producing melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for fatigue and sleep. Long-term staring at artificial light screens can lead to serious sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and vision problems. Ideally, all such devices should be outside the bedroom.
3. They make a list of tasks
Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, writes down three things each evening that he wants to accomplish the next day. Such an action is brilliant in its simplicity, enabling us to organize our thoughts and avoid unnecessary stress. By avoiding chaos, our brain will produce less cortisol (stress hormone), which will improve our ability to rest and to enter deep sleep.
4. They spend time with family
Most of us long for an ordered and happy family life, but constant rush, too many duties, overtime and accumulated stress keep us from this goal. Successful people know, however, that good relationships with their partner and children are an extremely important aspect of feeling happy and satisfied and help to focus at work and achieve their goals. Furthermore, research proves that going to bed at the same time as our partner makes our relationship more successful. It also allows time for conversations and closeness, which will affect our mood the next day.
5. They think positively
There is a certain practice among successful people that involves thinking about good and positive things that happened to them during the day. Keeping such a “positive diary” even if only in our thoughts, helps us tune in and train a sense of gratitude for our lives. After all, we don’t have major problems when thinking about stressful things, so why not reverse this mechanism in favour of the body and mind? No matter how bad your day has been, write down what you are grateful for today, then read the list again. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, always asked himself before bedtime – what good did I do today?
6. They are looking for a solution
With a home, children, illnesses, parent-teacher meetings and stifling duties at work, it’s easy to forget about … yourself. We function as machines that tick off tasks and place our own body and mind at the end of the list, which is difficult to reach. Inspired by successful people, you should learn to take care of yourself, observe your body’s signals, and respond quickly. So if you have trouble sleeping, you can try to sleep under a weighted blanket instead of the usual one. If you can’t fall asleep, rearrange the bedroom and take care of basic sleep hygiene. If you wake up sleepy, apply all the points from this article for a minimum of one week and watch the changes. Action and mindfulness are important here.
7. Imagine their success
People who have achieved a lot often visualize their further successes before going to bed. Most of them do not treat it as another task, but rather as part of the process of positive thinking and tuning in. In this way, we subconsciously make our brain bring us closer to achieving the set goal because inspiring images will be part of the next achievement. It is also a good way to activate our imagination.
8. Planning their sleep
Sleep and rest are at the top of the pyramid of human needs but rarely do we perceive them as an absolute priority. Although it is difficult to set a rigid limit to finish work when running or developing a business, it will help in achieving your goals. Try to go to bed at the same time every day to get into a good sleep habit. In the morning, after waking up, think about whether you slept the right number of hours and if not go to bed earlier the next day. The worst thing you can do is go to bed late and switch your alarm clock to numerous snoozes in the morning. People have limited energy resources and if you do not take care to replenish them, it will affect your health.