What makes successful people different from the rest? It turns out, a series of small-yet-significant decisions about their everyday lives are what separate the average from the stellar. One of the most noticeable things successful people do that unsuccessful people do not: Get a good nights’ sleep.
But how? If you’re busy running a company, managing a family, and trying to make some time for yourself, how can you enjoy a peaceful slumber each night? Steal the sleep habits of the successful and sleep your way to the top.
5 Things Successful People Do Every Night
1. Ban blue light
Televisions and electronics emit a type of blue light that messes with our circadian rhythm and tells our brains “It’s daytime! Wake up!” instead of “It’s bedtime, shut down.”
Successful people don’t play on their smartphones for an hour before bed because they know it leads to insomnia.
We’re not saying successful people sit in total darkness once the sun goes down–of course not!
Just avoid blue light close to bedtime, about an hour before, to encourage a peaceful night’s sleep.
2. Nix nightcaps
Even the most successful people enjoy a drink or two, but not before bedtime. Contrary to the old belief that a nightcap would help you sleep, drinking alcohol before bed actually causes you to fall asleep quickly, but experience a fitful and periodic sleep throughout the night.
The alcohol depresses your nervous system initially, but once it is metabolized, the effects wear off and you begin waking up because your brain didn’t enter the sleep cycle naturally. Successful people avoid alcohol before bed to ensure they sleep throughout the night (i.e., NOT like a baby).
3. Write down worries
Sometimes, worries will literally keep you awake. Remembering appointments that have been made, people you need to reply to, tasks that are incomplete, deadlines looming–no wonder worry makes it tough to fall asleep.
Successful people have their fair share of worries–to whom much is given, much is asked–but they better manage that worry by writing it down so they can rest assured it will be taken care of tomorrow.
After all, there’s nothing you can do about it in your pajamas from your bed, so just write down what needs to be done and rest easy.
4. Skip sugar
Who doesn’t love a sweet snack before bed? At the end of the day just a few hours after dinner, your blood sugar is dipping and you’re beginning to feel a bit peckish. But don’t make the mistake of choosing a sweet snack before bed!
Successful people might choose to grab a bowl of unsweetened cereal, some nuts, or a bite of beef jerky if they get hungry before bedtime.
They skip the sugar at night because sugar wakes your brain up initially (crashes it later) and confuses your circadian rhythms. After you’ve fallen asleep post-sugar binge, you’re likely to wake up several times throughout the night–and could wake up with stomach troubles or a headache tomorrow.
Choose low-glycemic snacks at bedtime for a better night’s sleep.
5. Set the mood
Not that mood–the sleep mood! Successful people have bedrooms that might be considered a sleep oasis.
Cool-toned colors, breathable and comfortable fabrics, adequate shades/blinds for blocking light pollution, and the sound of white noise in the background are all examples of things you might find in a successful person’s bag of sleep tricks.
Moonlight or street lights shining in through the window are sleep disruptors, as are hot, stuffy fabrics and a room filled with warm-toned hues. Go for cool, muted colors to achieve optimal sleep status.
Note: This post originally appeared on ITX Design’s blog.