“We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – William Shakespeare
Many of us are captivated by success. We love to read success stories, interview successful people, and learn how we ourselves can become more successful. We especially love to learn the “tricks” of success. Think about how much money people have made through the production of success-related media, books, CDs, DVDs, classes, conferences…the list goes on. Tony Robbins, perhaps the most well-known success and self-help guru in the world, is estimated to be worth nearly a half of a billion dollars.
And successful people have been asked just about every question known to man: ‘What do you do in the morning?,’ ‘What’s your diet like?,’ ‘How do you balance work and home life?,’ ‘How much do you work out?, and on…and on…
Ever wonder what successful people do before bedtime? We asked this question ourselves, and found some of these bedtime habits very interesting.
Here are 10 things that successful people do before heading to the sack:
1. They read
One thing behavioral experts have discovered is that reading is the very last thing a number of successful people do before going to sleep. From business magnates like Bill Gates, to national leaders like Barack Obama, to fashion designers such as Vera Wang – reading is considered a non-negotiable activity for many successful individuals.
2. They have an “unwinding” ritual
One thing most successful people don’t do before bed is work. Of course, some successful people are considered “workaholics” and may continue their work into the late hours – but, this is considered an exception to the rule. To “unwind” is also something considered non-negotiable – and there are a number of ways to do so.
3. They do something nostalgic
Some successful people like to “take a trip down memory lane.” Doing so helps them keep things in perspective – to remember what is truly important in life. Part of success is the ability to recognize when a mental break is needed; when the body and mind require something other than the work that all-too-often makes up their day.
4. They daydream
Not really a surprise, here. Many successful people have attributed daydreaming – aka “mind-wandering” – to breakthroughs that have brought them to the next level of success. This is particularly true of innovators, artists, and other creatives who truly appreciate the power behind daydreaming. Aside from the next “big breakthrough,” some successful people will daydream to simply relax the mind, gain inspiration and/or wisdom, or develop potential goals.
5. They plan for tomorrow
People that have achieved tremendous success are known for their incredible work ethic – an attribute that often involves working above and beyond the normal “9 to 5” routine. While they may not do anything too demanding prior to bedtime, they will plan for the next day. Not to mention, this short time investment pays big dividends. Successful people understand this short planning time makes the execution of tomorrow’s activities clearer… and less stressful.
6. They’ll unplug from everything
Avoiding heavy work, relaxing, and recharging often requires a complete disconnect from the phone, computer, tablet, or any other digital device. Further, researchers have discovered that use of electronic devices prior to bedtime makes it much more difficult to fall asleep – an essential part of a successful person’s life.
7. They prioritize family
For many, the phrase “work-life balance” translates to “work-family balance.” For most people, including the very successful, family always comes first. Balancing a heavy workload and quality time with the spouse, kids, pets, etc. can be a difficult task at times, but is often considered non-negotiable – and rightly so.
Whether family/pet time is scheduled or not doesn’t matter to successful people. The great ones always know who help make them great…and make certain to reciprocate their love.
8. They practice gratefulness
Many successful people take the time to reflect on or write down things that they are appreciative for in their lives. Some keep a ‘gratitude journal’ to keep things in perspective, and also to serve as a reminder for progress made in various aspects of their lives.
This is a particularly important habit for successful people, as their day is often riddled with stressful situations. Too much stress breeds pessimism, and a pessimistic outlook is not something that successful people can afford.
9. They decompress
As mentioned, successful people too often have to handle stressful scenarios. Any person that has been exposed to high levels of stress over a long duration of time requires a certain period of time to decompress.
For some, this means hitting the gym. Others like to meditate, listen to relaxing music, or take a hot bath. The list is endless, but the goal is the same: decompression.
10. They abstain from booze
Not completely abstain, but most successful people refuse to touch alcohol right before bedtime. Whether intentional or not, successful (and all) people abstaining from booze before bedtime have an improved quality of sleep.
The National Institute of Health – a preeminent public health organization – has discovered that consuming alcohol prior to sleep “robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keep them in the lighter stages of sleep.”