Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates is an avid reader. Each night before bed, he spends an hour reading a book, ranging on topics from politics to current events.
A 2009 study from the University of Essex revealed that reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.
Another big benefit from cracking open a good book on a nightly basis is that it can improve the long term health of your brain. Every time you read, it’s like a mental workout for your mind.
The blue light from your phone mimics the brightness of the sun, which tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, an essential hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm and tells your body when it’s time to wake and when it’s time to sleep. This could lead not only to poor sleep, but also to vision problems, cancer, and depression. So, if you want a good night’s rest, stash your phone in another room.
Many successful people use the 10 minutes before bed to meditate. Dale Kurow, a New York-based executive coach, says it’s a great way to relax your body and quiet your mind. Meditation is found to help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain.
In 2006, Vera Wang stated to Fortune that her nightly routine includes, “a fair amount of designing — at least conceptually if not literally.” Sometimes, the quiet of the night can be the perfect remedy for a creative block.
What’s even more surprising is that there’s a study that actually shows night time can be the perfect time for creativity, even if you’re tired from a long day.
Soo if you’re a morning person (raises hand), then your most creative ideas will come right before bed.
The American Express CEO likes to manage his time, and he does so by ending his nights in a very simple way. He plans out three things he wants to accomplish for the following day. That way, he can wake up in the morning, and get to work on his most important tasks, right away.
The busy CEO of Buffer likes to unwind with a brisk walk right before bed. He uses his walks to turn off his thoughts about work, and slowly work his self into a “state of tiredness”. One study revealed that walking can increase creativity. When you’re walking, your mind isn’t working as vigorously, which “opens up the free flow of ideas.” So if you’ve got a tough problem you haven’t been able to solve, maybe a nice, night time stroll is all you need to find the perfect, creative solution.
Woodward says it’s important to make some time to chat with your partner, talk to your kids, or play with your dog.
Laura Vanderkam, author of “ I Know How She Does It” and “ What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” says this is a common practice among the highly successful. “I realize not everyone can go to bed at the same time as his or her partner, but if you can, it’s a great way to connect and talk about your days.”
The National Sleep Foundation recommends you create a hygiene ritual that sends a psychological signal that you are getting ready for bed. This can include brushing your teeth, washing your face, flossing, combing your hair.
Stephen King’s nightly routine includes washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way.
Kerr says many successful people take the time just before bed to reflect on, or to write down, three things they are 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 in turn serves as a key way to stay motivated, especially when going through a challenging period.”
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.
“one habit I know 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,” Kerr says. One way to do that is to go to bed at a consistent time each evening.
Vanderkam further suggests that you plan out when you’re going to wake up, count back however many hours you need to sleep, and then consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed. “The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” she says.
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