This article will help you learn about seven sleep habits of highly successful people and will teach you how you can incorporate these habits into your daily life to get closer to success.
By John Breese
Opinion leaders, CEOs, presidents, and influencers inspire their fans to achieve success and thrive for more.
But how do they reach their own success?
The answer is plain as day:
Besides working hard, these people save time for getting proper sleep and thus restoring their energy.
Habit 1: Have a Solid Sleeping Routine
The first thing that unites all of the highly successful people is a rock-hard sleep schedule. Teaching your body to knock off and wake up at about the same time can balance your circadian clock, which in turn allows you to fall asleep faster and sleep sounder.
Maintaining a sleep schedule is essential even on weekends and holidays. Yes, the temptation to stay up late might be very strong; however, even a single sleepless night can put your sleep out of balance and result in sleep debt.
“Try to put your alarm clock in the opposite corner of the room or even in another room. This will force you to get out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button.”
Habit 2: Sleep at Least 6 Hours per Night
Building a routine isn’t enough; the key to quality rest is getting the right amount of ZZZ. The American Sleep Association suggests that adults should sleep 7-8 hours per night. However, according to this infographic by Forbes, Nikola Tesla never slept more than 2 hours per night and Marissa Mayer, the current CEO of Yahoo, can feel energetic even after just 4 hours of sleep.
People who can shine and glow after sleeping for 4 hours or less might seem cyborgs to some. However, this ability can be explained with an interesting gene mutation, called the ‘Thatcher gene’. This mutation allows certain people to get fewer ZZZs per night without developing common sleep deprivation symptoms:
- slow reaction;
- impaired short-term memory;
- cognitive problems;
While a Thatcher gene seems the thing to strive for, it’s actually pretty rare: only 1-3% of the global population have it. And if you’d have it, you’d probably already know.
So, let’s stress it again:
Get at least 6 hours of sleep.
And don’t worry, your business won’t collapse within this amount of time.
“If you believe that you lack sleep during the night, you may schedule a nap. Napping can help you score some sleep and alertness, but be sure to adjust your sleeping schedule as well so that it will better meet your needs.”
Habit 3: Be an Early Riser
Business researchers found that wealthy and successful people wake up at least 2 to 3 hours before their working day begins. For example, Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, is a typical lark — he gets up at 4:30 am on average.
This practice can be beneficial in many ways:
- Early rising gives you more exposure to sunlight. Natural light works like a switch, by putting you in the alert mode, and increases the levels of serotonin.
- You will have more time dedicated to yourself. Read a book, walk your dog, meditate, work out, do a million other things that will additionally lift your mood and set you up for work.
- People usually are more pliable in the morning. If you decide to hold negotiations or a business meeting, morning hours can be the best time, as neither of your companions will be stressed or exhausted.
Habit 4: Wind Down
Sometimes you can’t just stop thinking about your work and plan some new steps to expanding your emerging empire.
You’re not alone.
Inability to relax is basically the main reason why different mindfulness practices are so trendy today.
The good news is, you don’t need to pay the coach. Instead, you can use some breathing techniques that will surely help you fall asleep in minutes. Or, you can borrow some life hacks from influential people:
- Bill Gates spends an hour before bedtime reading books on different topics.
- Oprah Winfrey uses focused meditation as a way to let anxious thoughts go;
- Hillary Clinton says that the best relaxing ritual for her is to spend time with family and loved ones.
“Another great way to empty your head is to write down your worries on a paper or just plan the next day. By turning your thoughts into words, you make them easier for comprehending and processing.”
Habit 5: Curate Your Sleeping Space
A bedroom is for sleeping — this phrase should become your mantra.
Although you don’t have to go bizarre, like Stephen King, who arranges all of his pillows so that they’re facing one direction. Instead, try these recommendations:
- Maintain a consistent, low temperature. Your body needs a cooler environment to fall asleep faster, as cooler temperatures drop down the heart rate and blood pressure, putting you in a sleepy state.
- Keep your bedroom dark, especially before bedtime. This will increase melatonin levels in your blood and will contribute to better sleep.
- Block the noise. Urban areas are loud even at night, so you can use earplugs or consider investing in soundproofing of your house.
“Purchasing a humidifier might also be a good idea, as this device eliminates allergens and makes the air more comfortable to breathe in.”
Habit 6: Unplug
You live in an era of technologies.
Numerous gadgets became an integral part of business life a long time ago. However, while being extremely handy during meetings and negotiations, devices can significantly affect your sleep:
Blue light from screens suppresses melatonin, thereby increasing the time you need to fall asleep.
Plus, notifications and sounds can become a distraction during the night.
Shortly speaking, you can follow the example of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, who turns her phone off at night and reads emails only twice a day. Or repeat after Arianna Huffington, who reads only ‘real paper books’ and avoids electronic readers.
These women definitely know the deal.
Habit 7: Make Sleep a Priority
Underestimating the importance of sleep is perhaps the most common mistake of young and ambitious people. For some reason, they believe that grinding 24/7 will boost their development and pave the road to success right under their feet.
But this is not true.
Elon Musk has an impressive schedule; yet, he still makes time for 6 hours of sleep, daily.
That’s because successful people know that sleep makes them more productive and creative, as well as allows them to find excellent ideas to grow their success. They build their life around proper rest, whether it’s shut-eye or leisure time, and do not wear their sleep deprivation as a badge of honor.
And you should do that too.
John Breese is a sleep science coach and the founder of Happysleepyhead, a web resource for anyone seeking a way to sleep better. His rich experience and a trained eye help him test products with attention and precision. He picks only the best of the best and knows the key to putting your sleep back to normal. @_johnbreese