Bedtime Routines For Success
Have you ever wondered (or Googled) what are some favourite books of successful and famous people? What do they like to read, what music do they listen to, are they religious, what artists do they like? From where do they get their inspiration? Where do their ideas and confidence come from? Well, before you start exploring the more complicated details, you may want to focus your attention first on some simpler, everyday habits. While you strive to find out more about business routines, you may be overlooking some highly important everyday routines, such as bedtime routines.
Let's take a moment to appreciate our brains...
Our minds need to process information and create completely new content every day. From deciding on right attire and managing business appointments, to discussing the purpose of life, we put a lot of tasks for our mind each second of the day. So, if you would just stop and think for a moment how many information our brain needs to process each and every second of the day you would be amazed. Our brain deals with info such as data about our basic biological needs to highly stressful and demanding business task every moment of the day. Intelligence, reason and emotions work hand in hand all day long in order to help you to complete your goals. So, you may want to help your mind help you. How can you do that? Well, start with healthy sleep!
Sleep is brain food. But don't overeat.
A rested mind is a successful mind, it’s simple as that. We have all heard about strange, unusual or even weird sleeping habits of famous people. Some sleep a lot, some sleep for 7 hours, and some sleep for 4 hours a day. Nikola Tesla slept only for 20 minutes several times a day, same as Leonardo da Vinci. Elon Musk sleeps between 4 and 6 hours. So, when you read all this you may wonder how are successful people so rested and alert with so little sleep?
Our minds are very complex and having a rested mind doesn’t mean simply sleeping for 8 hours a day and that’s it, you are done. We exist on many levels, intellectual, emotional, conscious, subconscious, and each level is as important as the next one. Also, each of them needs different things.
So, how to satisfy, rest and recharge all of those levels in order to benefit your performance, thinking and life the best that you can? In this article, we are going to talk exactly about that. So, buckle up and get ready to leave tiredness and poor performance far away behind you!
Finding the balance
Now, first things first, humans are in biological sync with nature. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the human in second century B.C. on an Ancient Greek island or a human living today in a dreamy cottage in the US mountains or a human in a small apartment in the busiest part of New York or London. We are all simply programmed to fall asleep with the dark and to rise with the sunlight. We can’t change, manipulate or fight this. So, the sooner you make peace with this, the better. Our somewhat ideal time to go to sleep would be around 10 PM and to get up around 5 AM. This maybe doesn’t go along perfectly with the habits of modern people, but this is the way things are. So, first, follow the rhythm of nature. Go to sleep with the night and rise with the sunrise.
Being in control of your body...and your sleep
Aim for the perfect timing - Programming the sleep cycle
This one is quite simple but extremely beneficial. Our sleep cycles last for approximately 90 minutes. So, always sleep the amount of time that is divisible with 90. Plus, always add 15 minutes that you need to fall asleep when you set your alarm clock. This is an easy part, nothing more complicated than this simple math.
Key for success - Confidence and planning
One of the most important things for success is to be in control. Let nothing surprise you and be ready if it does. This where confidence and peace of mind come from. There is no good night’s sleep than like one when you feel like you are holding everything under your control. You are not scared, frustrated or worried about the next day. You are confident and certain about it, your mind is calm and at ease, ready to bring you some great relaxing sleep.
So, how can you accomplish this when life is so chaotic? Prepare yourself always more than needed, for every task that you have. Improve yourself as if the hardest and the most difficult is going to happen. But, in your mind don’t think about the outcomes and the way the things are going to happen. Why not may you ask? Well, because we simply can know it. We can just worry and stress ourselves out completely without any reason. You would be wasting your energy on worrying about something that is beyond your reach. Instead, focus on what is within your reach – the way to better yourself.
Going to bed confident, relaxed and freed from worries should be the core of your bedtime routines. Those calm, relaxed wise old men from retro martial art movies are not relaxed because they know the outcome of the next day. They are relaxed because they did their best to prepare and don’t waste their energy on guessing what is going to happen. So, whatever does happen the next day, you can just react to it the best you can. You can’t react to it better than that or in the other way or as someone else would, so, stop worrying and enjoy your sleep.
Bedtime routines need alone time, creativity and purpose
We are all social beings but we need our alone time as much as we need water or air. You can’t process all information in conversation, nor you can process all information only in your head. You need a combination of both. So, never forget about the precious 15, 20 minutes or more before sleep that you can spend just on you. More importantly, don’t forget to spend it with quality.
First, ditch your phone and electronics. These things just disturb your circadian rhythm. Focus on things that engage your mind in a useful but calming way. Rely on great minds, look for the mentally healthy stimuli from literature, classical music and art. These contents will nurture your creativity and provide you with new insights. These bedtime routines will not just benefit your night time, but your next day and your life. All the info that you process just before sleep continues to unfold in your mind while you sleep. Always have this in mind.
So, if you are not really into reading literature classics after an exhausting day at work and at home, we have another idea for you. Take the things that you would otherwise like to read or watch on your phone and print them! Print the news, articles, fashion advice, whatever you like to read, and enjoy them old-fashioned style! It would be much more beneficial for you than staring into the bright screen seconds before bed!
Also, our creativity and thinking tend to peak during night. So, this is a great time to read and meditate on your decisions, plans, and life in general. Focus on some beautiful, meaningful philosophical questions as part of your bedtime routines. You may wake up with some interesting answers.
Your bedroom - Your personal heaven
Ah, we humans just can’t go without beauty in our lives. We seek it, we make it, we strive towards it. It relaxes us, brings us peace and meaning. We make breathtaking squares, museums, opera houses. Also, we admire architects who make those memorable buildings with gracious halls and entrances. We travel to the other sides of the world just to admire these marvellous achievements of art and architecture. But, what about our bedrooms, how are they like?
Did you ever stop and think what is the last thing that you see before you go to bed? Is it some painting that you don’t like, is it the window facing some ugly building, is the wall in some colour that you don’t even know why you picked? Is it maybe a bit of mess and a pile of clothes? We are not here to judge, but you may want to get rid of the all the things that you don’t really need in your bedroom.
Design your own bedroom - don't let it haunt you
So, let’s talk now some basic interior design. What is the first rule you should follow when making your house/apartment your home? It’s the rule of purpose. So, if the purpose of the bedroom is to be a room for sleep, what do you actually need in it? You need a bed, comfy mattress, soft pillow, tender sheets, maybe a lamp and…? Can you stop and think how many stuff besides these you have in your bedroom? How much time do you need to name just five?
Luckily, modern interior design strives more and more towards respecting this rule of minimalism. Nowadays you can easily google great articles about interior design and get inspired with some amazing ideas. But, you may wonder why is this so important?
The space we are in influences us, our mind, emotions and our calmness. You know how you easily get overwhelmed and taken over by the effect of marvellous, beautiful large structures, such as museums, temples, churches, universities? This is because great architects know this trick, how much space influences our state of mind. Goethe once said that architecture is like music frozen in time. So, what does the music of your bedroom sound like? You may want to make it sound like a calm and pleasant melody or song.
Embrace the light - Ready for the day
So, you turned off your phone and laptop, redecorated your room and set the alarm for 5 AM. What is now left to do? Now is the time to open up those curtains!
Remember how we said that it is important to be in sync with our circadian rhythm? There is no better way to start the day than to feel bright sunlight on your face. Natural sunlight reacts with hormone production process in our body. Sunlight makes us feel alert, awake, ready and full of energy. To ease your waking up be sure that sunlight can enter your room.
One simple rule - Busy day, relaxing night
Great way to fall asleep is after a long, meaningful, busy but pleasant day. Having that feeling of accomplishment is very important for our stress level, calmness and serenity. But when we say to make your day a busy day, we don’t mean just work. We mean more purposeful, meaningful activities. Hard work is not an essence of success, smart is. This doesn’t mean that you can be lazy unfortunately, but that you need to think things through, choose and plan your activities. Some task can be done faster if done in a more efficient way. Fun and creative activities can boost your performance. So, a day nicely planned out can be more productive than a simply hardworking day.
Plan out your working tasks and activities. Think about the most effective and the fastest way to complete them. Don’t forget about your other needs such as exercise, socialization and some creative activities. Make your leisure useful and beneficial to you. Instead of going to the movies, learn a new skill while having fun. Instead of watching TV, go to the gym or talk to your friends about some important subjects and practice your critical and creative thinking. Try to do something useful for every aspect of your life during the day. This way you will go to bed satisfied, calm and serene.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - You choose your thoughts
Our thoughts are our choice, just like our state of mind is. The world around us can seem both frantic and in harmony. Our thoughts can be worries or beauty, it’s really up to us.
So, right before bed, meditate. This is something that is widely known that most of the famous and successful people do, and there is a good reason why. It’s not some new age gibberish and some modern cheap philosophy. Meditation is in a way something that happens all the time to all of us when we are not aware of it. When we say “meditate” we simply mean taking the control over the content.
Learn about meditation
So, what is meditation? Meditation is focused and deep analyzation of certain non-material content. When we say “non-material” we mean content that purely exists and is conceived in your mind. So, when you worry too much you are in a way of meditating about the bad things. But you need to meditate about positive things. Let’s see how you can do that!
Before all, you need to train your focus and your concentration so that you can be in charge of your mind. There are two main principles of this. First, you can train yourself to be aware of each and every single thing around you. This is something like Asian traditional martial artists do in order to reach full awareness of the space and happenings around them. It’s something that in ancient times guards practised so that they don’t miss potential threats. This can be useful to practice maybe for your professional life, things like business meetings and social gatherings. It can help you to be a bit ahead of the occurrences and to better analyze the person you are talking to. But there is a mental skill that is way better to practice as part of bedtime routines, and that is a meditation about certain ideas or solutions.
Meditate on this:
So, meditation before sleep needs to be relaxing and beneficial. It needs to calm you down but also help you improve something about your life. But how to combine these bedtime routines with purpose? We are going to provide you with several ideas!
Your next day
You can simply use meditation to help yourself win the next day. Plan your activities and pick one thing that you really want to accomplish the most the following day. Then, focus on that activity. Break it down into pieces and analyze them. Visualize yourself doing it. This way you will get familiar with the task before you even start doing it.
Your biggest goals
Do a meditation on your biggest goals. Do this in the same way as with the previous method. So, the principle remains the same, only the content is different.
Answer the questions
Meditate on the general questions that have a direct influence on your life.
The eternal wonderings
Focus your mind on eternal questions, our purpose and meaning of our life.
Meditate with your mind completely clear about the essence of existence.
Why are these contents in particular beneficial for your calmness, thoughts and success?
The first content prepares you for the next day and the tasks you wish to complete. Or, it may prepare you for a new learning process, maybe some new set of skills you wish to obtain. The second content is somewhat similar but differs in one thing. This time you would be able to improve your perception of time and visuals your actions that initially seem to be far away.
Now, the second two contents have more to do with your critical thinking and creativity in general. The best way to constantly work on your language and thinking skills is to train your ability to think about questions, situations and ideas from scratch. To try to develop them, analyze them, test them in your head. This is a method that scientists and writers use all the time to improve their logic and creativity. So, this is an extremely beneficial method of meditation in general. As a part of your bedtime routines, this meditation can be beneficial even more for your calmness and stress relief.
So, we gave you four of the most famous meditation methods. You can play with them by adding your own personal contents and making them more fun and adjusted just for you. There is no limit about widening and enriching these contents. It’s all up to your imagination. All that is now left for you is to let beautiful thought accompany you into the dream world.
Spirituality, above all - Our higher self
You don't have to sleep less!
We have to be honest about this. Most of the people will never be able to sleep as little as Nikola Tesla did, for instance. And, they don’t have to. Ambitions of the regular ambitious and hard-working people can all be reached with 6 or even 8 hours of sleep a day. You have perfectly enough time to do amazing things with your life even if you sleep for 7 hours a day. And we mean really great things, successful business, many hobbies and travels. It can all be done with good organization.
When we talk about people who only slept for 20 minutes few times a day we are talking about people who completely changed the course of humanity and improved our civilization beyond recognition. Their feeling of doing something that is greater than themselves gave them enough energy to spend so little hours of sleep. Let’s face it, that is something that a majority of people simply can’t do.
So, the bottom line is, if you have reason enough to deprive yourself of sleep at such an insane level, you will know it. Otherwise, it has no point to endanger your career or even your health with so little rest per day. Most of the famous workaholics sleep for 6 to 7 hours, so, it can still be done even with the healthy amount of sleep.