You work hard. You come home tired and having residual stress from the day. How do you relax and ready yourself to go back to work the next morning? Take a few pages of advice from some of the busiest people you’ll meet — chief executive officers (CEOs) of big companies. Many of these top bosses have shared their bedtime rituals with the public in the past. Let’s consider some of their more attainable goals that could help YOU go to sleep with soothed muscles and a quiet mind.
Eat dinner with family or friends.
Intuit CEO Brad Smith and Virgin Founder Richard Branson are among the numerous CEOs who make a point of spending time with loved ones in the evening, especially over a nice dinner. Treating meals as a relaxing and social time instead of a necessary interruption in your day lets you have some thoughtful down-time. Plus, studies have shown that people who make time to socialize during meals eat more thoughtfully and make healthier food choices. If you live alone, set up another situation to thoughtfully eat, such as with a good book or sudoku puzzle.
Have a consistent self-care ritual.
Whether it’s a skincare routine, hot bubble bath, or light snack with herbal tea, have a sensory self-care ritual every night. Your body will train itself to recognize the ritual as a sign of impending bedtime, and you’ll feel yourself winding down in no time. For example, Oprah Winfrey enjoys the transcendental meditation method (that is also capturing the hearts of other executives) before bed.
Choose dedicated, comfy, dare we say CUTE pajamas.
Cute pajamas that aren’t old workout clothes and ratty t-shirts are a must. There are three benefits here: being comfy, establishing a routine your body will recognize, and feeling confidently “put-together” while you do it. Look the part of a confident, sophisticated CEO and you’ll feel the part, right? A nightgown, simple white nightshirt, or soft white cotton pajamas are all CEO-approved. Yes, men, you can also stand to benefit from investing in dedicated pajamas or at least a robe.
Don’t use your phone.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and media giant Arianna Huffington make a point to keep their phones off and away when they’re getting shut-eye. Huffington keeps her phone charging in another room, not her bedroom, so the temptation isn’t there. You’re likely glued to your phone out of want or necessity all day, and all that activity and blue light mess with your circadian rhythm. Many CEOs and industry leaders opt to use a good old fashioned alarm clock instead of their phone for their morning alarm.
Don’t stay in bed long — but make it COMFY.
Beyond stylish or cute pajamas, having a comfy, dedicated bed space is also CEO approved. Don’t be in bed longer than you have to; only lay down when you’re ready to sleep and don’t linger in the morning. When you ARE in your bed, make it as comfy as an experience as you like. Choose soft linens or nice touches like embroidered pillowcases, and wash everything once a week. Use more sensory experiences like pillow sprays on top of it; around 75% of people report a better night’s sleep with fresh-smelling sheets, so don’t underestimate the power of your nose.
As some of the world’s busiest and most successful people, executives probably know what they’re talking about when it comes to relaxation. All these things can be tailored to your personal preferences, so don’t be afraid to experiment before you reach that perfect night’s sleep.