We all have our own nightly rituals, no matter how simple or ordinary. Some of us drink a glass of milk, while others unwind with either a cold bottle of beer or a glass of red wine. Some people practice yoga to relax while others prefer to watch the news as they lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. These are all well and good but here are five things that we must do every single night before we go to bed to improve ourselves.
- Spend time with your family – Most of us are too busy working for our family that we forget to actually spend time with them. Taking time out at the end of each day to reconnect with the ones we love is vital and should definitely be non-negotiable. We must learn to just be able to relax at home, maybe schedule game night on Wednesdays and movie nights on Fridays? Prioritize dinner with the family rather than dinner with colleagues or potential clients, confine meetings during office hours as much as possible. Read to your kids as you tuck them into bed, catch up with your spouse. After all, “a happy marriage (and by extension a happy family) is more important than a good job to one’s well being” (High, 2015).
- Plan for the next day – We all sleep better when there is nothing to worry about. “Many people have difficulty drifting off to sleep at night because the still have the day’s events playing in their heads, and they are concerned about the day ahead” (High, 2015). That said, we should also take the time to go through the next day’s activities in order to make sure that we have everything covered. One way to do this is to make a checklist of what needs to be done the next day then plan how to go about it as efficiently as possible. If we can hit two birds with one stone, then all the better. If you have a big presentation or meeting the next day, then pick out your clothes before you sleep. Some people have made it a habit to prepare their kid’s lunches after dinner then just bag them in the morning. Knowing we have everything covered, there won’t be anything at the back of our minds that might cause us to wake up in the middle of the night.
- Read – As a child, we were almost always put to bed with a bedtime story. Successful people are voracious readers and often make the time to read whenever possible. Though our book of choice does not necessarily need to be one that requires critical thinking it is widely suggested that we pick up an old-fashioned book or magazine rather than a gadget. The bright light that is emitted from gadgets might affect or delay our sleep cycle (Toren, 2014).
- Unplug – Shut down all gadgets at least an hour before bedtime. This includes mobile phones, laptops, tablets and what have you. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial as this affects our day. To be at our best and ensure the highest level of productivity we must make sure that we get uninterrupted sleep through the night. We can put off reading and replying to emails or messages till the morning, so we should either turn off or mute our phones (Toren, 2014). One way to easily make this work is to leave all gadgets outside the bedroom, this will ensure a proper nights rest.
- Go to bed at the same time each night – This last thing is just as important as the other four mentioned above and can very well be the most difficult. We must make it a habit of going to bed at the same time each night just like how we set the alarm to wake us up at a certain time every single day. Plus, it is not enough that we get sleep, we must get adequate sleep for us to be able to function properly the next day (Smith, 2015). According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between 18-64 years old need about 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each day. Adjust the length of the activities of the night so as not to compromise bedtime.
High, P. (2015). Five Things Successful People Do Before They Go To Bed. Forbes. Retrieved 19 July 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2015/02/16/five-things-successful-people-do-before-they-go-to-bed/#5a17c96d2e7b
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?. National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved 19 July 2016, from https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Smith, J. (2015). 9 things successful people do right before bed. Business Insider. Retrieved 19 July 2016, from http://uk.businessinsider.com/what-successful-people-do-right-before-bed-2015-2?op=1
Toren, M. (2014). 5 Things to Do Before Bed That Will Jump Start Tomorrow. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 19 July 2016, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234622