Six Things Successful People Do Before Bed

3 Min Read | By edh

Last Modified 23 January 2024   First Added 15 February 2018

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Been struggling at work recently? Your sleep, or lack of, might have more of an effect than you think. To help you get a full night’s rest and consequently have a productive following day, we turn to the likes of Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey to find out what successful people do before bed.

Related: 10 Morning Rituals Of Successful Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

Six Things Successful People Do Before Bed

A good night’s sleep = a productive following day.

There are certain bedtime habits you can adopt to help you on the road to success. To inspire you, we look at successful people’s bedtimes and before-bed habits.

How much sleep should I get?

8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep for adults. However, this is not always the case for the rich and famous… 

  • Bill Gates: 7 hours per night (12 a.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Richard Branson: 5 hours per night (12 – 5 a.m.)
  • Ellen DeGeneres: 8 hours per night (11 p.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Donald Trump: 3 hours per night (1-4 a.m.)

Disclaimer: We do not recommend you try this at home!

What should I do before bed?

1. Read a book

Did you know just 6 minutes of reading reduces stress by 68%?

Bill Gates reads for an hour before hitting the sheets, no matter how late it is.

Here are a few reads he has recommended:

  • The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion

2. Meditate

Sleep science: Meditation helps reduce stress levels and boost sleep hormone Melatonin.

Oprah Winfrey meditates twice a day, once before bed. She has even released her own mediation app.

Top meditation apps:

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience

The Mindfulness App


3. Have a bath

 “If you raise your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep,” – Joyce Walsleben, PhD, NYU School of Medicine.

Arianna Huffington is an advocate for a pre-bedtime bath filled with Epsom salt and lavender oil.

The best sleep-inducing bath ingredients are:

  • Epsom salt
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Lavender essential oil

4. Get a Massage

Did you know a gentle, three-minute back rub could help you get 35 minutes extra sleep?

Gwyneth Paltrow recommends a foot or head massage to relax before going to bed.

If you cannot get to a masseuse often, try to recruit your partner or get a trusty massage pillow.

5. Feel the humidity

Mariah Carey sleeps roughly 15 hours a night and has several humidifiers in her bedroom.

Sleep science: Having a room that’s the right temperature and humidity can aid sleep. If you or your partner snores, a humidifier may help as it clears your sinuses.

If you want to try this at home humidity levels should be around 45%. Anything lower can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Measure your humidity with a digital hygrometer.

6. Keep it dark

‘Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the Hypothalamus.’ This consequently wakes us up. – The National Sleep Foundation.

Eminem supposedly goes as far as wrapping tin foil around his windows to keep the light at bay!

If you do not want to go reaching for the foil, blackout blinds should do the trick.

Best of luck with your pre-bedtime routine. Good night!


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