We’ve all heard it said that if you want to be successful examine the lives of others who are successful. When you study successful people patterns begin to emerge. One of the things they all have in common is they sleep well. And by now, all should know that sleep is vital to good health, longevity, and peak performance.
It’s Crazy Out There
Today’s world is a place of hustle and bustle, constant interruptions. There’s always that next thing that desperately needs completing today. Day to day living is stressful. Getting plenty of rest can help combat stress but here’s the problem: Stress can impact rest in a bad way.
What to Do?
Cutting back on caffeine and making bedtime a routine is a start, but quality sleep is also requires good daytime habits. Here’s some things highly productive people do to make sure they sleep well.
Almost all highly successful people get at least 6 hours of sleep, every night. The most successful businesspeople usually get 6–8 hours a night, averaging about 7. Elite athletes usually sleep ten or more hours, with some, like Lebron James, averaging 11–12 hours a night.
Stick to a Schedule
Aside from the amount of sleep successfully people get, they’re also notable for the regularity of their sleep schedule. The healthiest, most productive people tend to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Even when they travel, they make it their top priority to adjust to their new time zone within a day so that jet lag won’t keep dragging them down.
Stay Active During the Day
Richard Branson goes for a run almost every day at 6 AM. Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes, 6 days a week. Highly productive people make sure to exercise, even when they’re busy. Hell, they exercise because they’re busy. They understand that a good exercise routine doesn’t cost you time- it actually gives you more time, by giving you more energy and a healthier brain.
Get Some Sunshine
In addition to working out, successful people also make sure to get plenty of light during the day. If they work indoors, they keep the lights bright, the windows uncovered; they make an effort to get outside when they can. They understand that bright light signals their brains to stay away and alert- while also making it easier for the brain to understand that night time is sleep time.
Both light and exercise during the day will help make it easier to sleep at night. By being more awake and active during the day- by making daytime truly feel like daytime– you heighten the contrast between day and night, reinforcing your body’s circadian rhythm.
Sleep in a Room Designed for Sleep
“Aren’t all bedrooms designed for sleep?” You ask. Well in theory, yes. In practice? Not so much.
A well-designed bedroom is a room without distractions. That means no TV, no computer and in my own case, no music-making instruments. There should be no light and noise disturbing you at night. And never, NEVER work in your bedroom. Never. Highly productive people never work in their bedroom and you shouldn’t either.
Successful people never bring anything into their bedroom that causes stress. Aside from sleeping, you shouldn’t be doing very much in your bedroom. Having sex, changing clothes, maybe a little light fiction reading before bed, but that’s it. Controlling your sleep environment is one of the best things you can do to sleep better and improve your overall energy level.
Wrapping it All Up
One would conclude that the most productive people in the world are working almost every waking hour. Some of them probably come close, but all successful people understand the importance of relaxation.
Highly productive people prioritize sleep and keep it separate it from work. They never bring work into the bedroom- they’d rather work literally anywhere else, even standing at the kitchen counter.
Highly productive make sure to stop working at least a half hour before bed. They follow a set pre-bed routine designed to help them unwind so they can de-stress and get to sleep quickly. Just like sleep time, pre-bed relaxation time is held sacrosanct.