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The Evening Routines of Tim Ferriss, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington

Ditch the alcohol

The National Institute of Health found that alcohol robs you of quality sleep. When you drink or eat late-night snacks, it keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep and prevents you from falling into deeper, more restorative sleep. 

In most cases, you want at least a few hours between your last drink and your bedtime.

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The Evening Routines of Tim Ferriss, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington

The Evening Routines of Tim Ferriss, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington

https://blog.rescuetime.com/evening-routine/

blog.rescuetime.com

12

Key Ideas

Benefits of an evening routine

Haphazard evening routines can have serious effects on our sleep. 

The right evening routine helps us wind down, relax, and get into a deep, restorative sleep—making us refreshed and ready for tomorrow.

The science of sleep

When we close our eyes for the night, our mind cycles through different stages of sleep:

  • Light sleep: Which is most similar to being awake
  • REM (or Rapid-Eye-Movement): Where our minds are asleep but active and where dreams are most likely to happen
  • Deep sleep: Where our mind is in “regeneration” mode

So many things can get in the way of us reaching deep sleep, from stress and burnout to late-night screen usage, eating late, and physical issues. To make sure we reach our deep, restorative sleep, we need a proper evening routine.

Create a “closing ritual”

For most of us it is the mind, rather than the body, that disrupts restorative sleep.

To cleanse our mind of the leftover responsibilities of the day, we need to bring a mental wind down into our evening routine.

Prep for tomorrow’s goals

Your evening routine doesn’t simply need to be about relaxation. The reason those thoughts keep our brains active long into the night is usually because we feel some aspect of our life is out of our control.

Spend time in the evening to write down your 3 MITs (Most Important Things) for tomorrow. Add other preparations to your evening routine such as checking the weather and picking out your clothes for the day, packing your lunch, and tidying up a bit so you wake up to a clean house.

Reflect on the day

Your evening routine is a fantastic place to reflect on what you did today.

Writing down a list of positive events at the close of a day—and why those events made us happy—lowers stress levels and gives us a greater sense of calm at night.

Ditch the screens

Instead, pick up a book. Reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.

If you do want to watch a movie at night, try to work it into your schedule earlier in the evening. The goal should be to leave at least an hour or two before bed where you’re screen-free.

Stick to a regular bedtime

Going to sleep at a consistent time is an important part of our “sleep hygiene”—the practices that insure we get regular, deep sleep. 

Commit to a daily bedtime and waking time and try not to waver too far from them (even on the weekends).

Be creative

A study from Albion College revealed that tasks requiring creative insight were consistently better during their non-optimal times of the day.

If you can’t sleep, you can at least use the time productively.

Go for a walk

Exercise during the day can help us get more quality sleep but it can also be a great part of our evening routine. 

Buffer CEO, Joel Gascoigne likes to unwind with a brisk walk right before bed. He uses his walks to turn off his thoughts about work and slowly transition into a “state of tiredness.”

Ditch the alcohol

The National Institute of Health found that alcohol robs you of quality sleep. When you drink or eat late-night snacks, it keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep and prevents you from falling into deeper, more restorative sleep. 

In most cases, you want at least a few hours between your last drink and your bedtime.

Change your sleep environment

If you can’t sleep, it might be your room’s fault. 

Excess noise and light can keep us awake. Temperature also plays a big role. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees.

Get out of bed

When you lie in bed thinking for long periods of time, you teach your brain to automatically go into “thinking” mode rather than “sleeping” mode when you lie down. 

To break this connection, don’t try to fall asleep in bed for longer than 10–20 minutes. If you pass this threshold, get up, go into another room, and do something relaxing like reading or meditating until you feel sleepy again. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.

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Take five minutes to consider how your day went. Journaling reduces stress and helps boost your EQ.

Instead of going the “dear diary” route, write two bullet points for each of the following questions:

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A simple ritual can help: Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.

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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Take steps to make it easier to sleep well.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs for several hours before bed
  • Set a regular bedtime
  • Drink some warm milk or herbal tea, or have a light snack
  • Try a screen-free activity like meditation or reading
  • Eliminate as much noise from your bedroom as possible
  • Keep your bedroom dark
  • Don’t linger too long in bed. It’s better to do your lounging on the couch and head for bed only when it’s time to sleep.
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Why a Night Routine Matters

A night routine is the things you do immediately prior to going to bed.

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  • You’ll have a more restful and higher-quality sleep....
Before You Head Home…
  • Get rid of caffeine after 4:00 pm. Caffeine stays in your system for up to six hours.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and tired when you want to be awake.

  • Decide when the workday ends. Establish a cut off time for work-related emails and phone calls as well.

Immediately After Work…
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may make you drowsy, but the sleep you get won’t be restful. Stop consuming it at least two hours before bed.
  • Have a healthy dinner. 

    When you need a snack closer to bedtime, reach for something light and healthy.

  • Take time to tidy. Waking up in an orderly space will work wonders for your mood.

  • Prepare for tomorrow. 

    When you don’t have a million things to do upon waking, it’s easier to fall asleep.
  • Take time for yourself. Perhaps you watch an episode of your favorite show or play video games.

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There isn’t one perfect routine that will make you rich and happy overnight. Instead, there’s different routines for different purposes: if you're focusing on health and fitness, starting with exercise or eating a healthy breakfast might go first. If you're working like crazy, getting straight to work on your most important tasks may be better than cluttering up my morning with different tasks.

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Avoid Randomness

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Eliminate Negativity

Negative emotions can lower your immunity. They affect every part of your body. Carrying them up to sleep will affect your health causing you to lack the necessary rest your body needs.

Doing something that lights you up can help shift the mood. Force your mind to think of good thoughts. 

Do One Thing You Love

Your brain relaxes when you do something that is delightful. It puts you in a safe zone where you can enjoy yourself for the time being.

Doing it just before going to bed is the best time because it helps to seal the positive energy that will condition your mind the next day.

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Step Away from the Spreadsheet
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Look Back, Look Ahead
Review what you accomplished today, then make a to-do list for tomorrow. 

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Cool It

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees. 

The cooler you are, the sleepier you become, so turn down the thermostat.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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