Five Things Successful People Do Before Bed

27 April, 2016

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The problem with annoying titles like Five Things Successful People Do Before Bed is that I’m almost guaranteed to click on them. And then I scan the article looking for the secret sauce that’s going to turn me into one of the chosen few. And then I’m disappointed. You know why? Because chances are I’m already doing most of those things and the ones I’m not doing are waaaaay beyond my comfort zone.

Meditate? Yawn.

Reflect on the day? Zzz…

The first thing successful people do before going to bed is spend time with family. If you don’t have a spouse or partner to play with apparently it’s just as good to stroke your dog. I wouldn’t know. I don’t have a dog. I’ve got nothing against dogs. I just don’t have one.

The second thing successful people do before bed is make a to-do list. Clearing the mind for a good night’s sleep is critical so that these thoughts don’t end up invading your headspace during the night. I make lists. I lie there, in the dark, planning the wholesome meals I’m going to cook for the children and how I’m going to get up early and go for a run, and do 100 lunges and 100 situps before breakfast. I picture the me that’s going to emerge, svelte-like and lissome… and that’s usually where it all ends.

The third thing successful people do before bed is unplug and disconnect. They don’t check email and they don’t dwell on work-related issues. They switch off all screens at least two hours before lights out. They clearly don’t write blog posts entitled Five Things Successful People Do Before Going To Bed before going to bed.

The fourth thing successful people do before bed is have a calming night-time routine. This usually involves some sort of hygiene, like teeth-cleaning and face-washing. In my very successful lawyer friend’s bathroom I found teeth flossing things that look like furry little green worms and when you pull them tight they resemble skinny (albeit wrinkly) pipe-cleaners.

I didn’t ask.

My own routine includes checking that the children are still under their bedcovers and returning rogue dishes to the kitchen. And then v-e-r-y c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y turning the double-lock in the security door so that it doesn’t wake my husband from his pre-nap. You know, the thing you do when you tell yourself you’re just going to lie there, fully-clothed, with your eyes closed, for 5 minutes, with your belt-buckle digging into your stomach, and your tongue lolling on furry molars before you get up and get ready for bed.

The fifth and final thing successful people do before bed is they lie down on a positive note. They avoid the pessimistic spiral of negative self-talk that creates even more stress. I’m usually too exhausted to listen to the strange, tired woman who climbs into my head and babbles, so all good there.

Does this make me a winner-takes-all type? Hard to be certain. But what I am sure of is that I love climbing under the covers and waiting for nocturnal bliss. Tomorrow is another day.

Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.