6 Things Successful People Always Do Before Bed

Updated: Apr. 05, 2021

We caught up with time management experts and authors to share their tips on what successful people do before hitting the hay.

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What do successful people do before bed?

Good sleep habits fuel good morning habits. And successful people have a handle on both of their routines. Here’s what you’ll want to borrow from their bedtime routines for a successful tomorrow.

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They have a regular bedtime

Scheduling a set bedtime allows you to get enough sleep so that you’re able to perform optimally the next day, according to Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert and the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. “Having a bedtime means you don’t need to debate with yourself every night about when you intend to go to bed,” Vanderkam says. Making the conscious choice to go to sleep at a certain time frees you from wrestling with the consequences of going to bed too late, which can include decreased productivity and an intense longing for a good nap. (Here’s how to tell if revenge bedtime procrastination is keeping you up at night.)

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They set a bedtime alarm

Once you’ve established the bedtime that’s best for you, Vanderkam suggests setting an alarm to ensure that you stick to the schedule. While it may sound unusual (after all, you probably set an alarm to wake up, not to go to bed), she’s confident that this technique can make all the difference. “Lots of couples watch TV together before bed, which then requires one person to be the ‘bad guy,’ telling everyone it’s time to turn it off and go to sleep,” Vanderkam says. Setting an alarm makes the alarm the bad guy, so it lets you off the hook—and you’re more likely to do the right thing.

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They set a realistic wake-up time

Setting a morning alarm is a no-brainer for most people, but the key is to set it for the time you truly plan to get up. “Be honest about it,” Vanderkam says. “Hitting snooze is really the worst of all possible worlds. The sleep is lousy so you’re not getting the benefit of more sleep, but you’re also not getting up and doing anything either!” Successful people tend to value quality sleep, knowing that being chronically fatigued can seriously derail your daily goals. If you can, try setting your alarm for the best time to wake up for productivity.

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They turn off electronics

Silence or shut off your cell phone, switch off the television (better still, move it out of your bedroom), close your laptop, and don’t use any other devices a good hour before going to bed, to “allow your brain to rest,” according to Ronni Eisenberg, author of Organize Yourself! and a time management and lifestyle consultant based in Connecticut who focuses on home and office organization. In fact, too much screen time is one of the worst things you could do before bed. So take the time to unplug and recharge your own batteries. Here are the signs you might have smartphone anxiety.

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They plan for the day ahead

Go over your calendar before going to bed so you can make sure to prep for the events of the following day, gathering any relevant items you may need, Eisenberg suggests. Vanderkam recommends spending a little time envisioning how the next day will go, which does wonders to help you mentally prepare for just about anything. Successful people use these time management tips. This is just one small thing you can do that could save yourself hours every week.

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They develop a morning strategy

Discuss the next day’s morning routine with your partner and family so their plans don’t throw your day off. Consider adding these things healthy people do before 10 a.m. to your to-do list. Eisenberg recommends coordinating everything from shower schedules to putting your outfit out the night before. These habits will help you avoid last-minute snafus—like your spouse having to move their car so you can leave—that could make you late or otherwise impede your path to success.