Good bedtime habits can be the difference between a wonderful night’s sleep and a fretful one.
We know just how much influence poor sleep has on our health and mental wellbeing, so getting it right has never been more important. And those who have analysed the most successful business leaders, have picked out a series of patterns that can help us all to have a better night of sleep. It’s important to get the basics right, of course, and create the right atmosphere in your bedroom. The temperature in your room should, for instance, be no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 75 degrees. But what else can you do?
Well, here are five bedtime habits of highly successful people.
1. Switch off from work
We know that the demands of our careers can extend well beyond the traditional 9-5 working day. Smartphones and devices mean we are always contactable, whatever the time of the day, but our sleep is suffering as a result. How do you go about making the break between work and sleep? Well, start by creating a buffer period, a cushion between when you read your last email and when you lay your head down on the pillow. What you shouldn’t be doing is answering emails in bed and then turning over and expecting to get some rest. In the hour before you expect to go to sleep you should unplug from devices and screens altogether, if possible. If you can do that you will see the benefit in the quality of your sleep because the blue light from your phone and tablet confuses your bodyinto thinking it is being woken up by the sun.
2. Take time to reflect on your day
It was the former American president Benjamin Franklin, who said that before he went to bed, he would ask himself “What good have I done today?” It is a lesson we can all learn from. Before you go to sleep, reflect on what you did during the day, the things you are grateful for and, if you can, write a short note to clear your mind. This can help you remind people of what you have achieved in your day and to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives, in your life.
3. Don’t eat and drink rubbish before you hit the hay
Eating and drinking poorly before you go to bed can have a massive impact on the quality of your sleep. Alcohol and sleep do not go well together as it prevents you from falling into a deep sleep and means you never really feel like you get a proper rest. The same goes for food high in sugar and fat, both will disrupt your sleep patterns so try to avoid the temptation of that piece of chocolate just before you go to bed.
4. Make a to-do list
Worrying is something that keeps us all up at night, but successful people get into the habit of writing down the things they want to achieve the next day. Even if it is only three things, it can help the brain come to rest, rather than throwing ideas around in your mind. Give it a try.
5. Make your sleep a priority
This is a choice. You can choose to make sleep an important part of your life or you can choose to make it something that you neglect. Successful people favour the former, and try to stick to a consistent sleeping pattern. If you can do that, too, you will give yourself the best possible chance of sleeping well.