Before going to bed, smart people follow a personalized evening routine that prepares their mind and body for a good night’s sleep.
While most people obsess about developing the perfect morning routine, smart people understand the importance of having one for nighttime as well.
The reason is simple: after a long day of work, you need to replenish your mental and physical energy with hours of sleep.
A nightly routine is the secret sauce you need to increase your morning productivity and maintain focus and stamina throughout the day.
In this post, you’re going to learn what smart people do before bed so you can use it to create your own evening routine.
Let’s dive in.
What do Smart People Do Before Bed? Here’s 15 Things
We analyzed the bedtime routines of 302 smart students and professionals. These are the most important things they do before sleeping.
1. Establish a time to stop working
Overworking is a huge problem.
It affects students, stay-at-home parents, corporate slaves, and entrepreneurs.
Lots of people bring work home and continue grinding right up until bedtime.
This isn’t just a bad idea, it’s detrimental to your long-term health.
Smart people know this. That’s why they establish evening cut off times for work.
Some even take weekends off. And they stick to their routine no matter what.
Now, you probably have a million reasons why you can’t do this…
But if you care about your time and wellbeing, don’t you think it’s worth a try?
2. Find your ideal bedtime and stick to it
Part of creating an evening routine involves figuring out the best time to go to bed.
If your bedtime hours are sporadic, you’ll struggle to get consistent sleep.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all time.
Everyone has a specific and unique range of time for getting the optimal amount of sleep. So you’ll have to figure yours out alone.
A good place to start is this article by the National Sleep Foundation.
Once you find your ideal sleep time, try your best to stick with it.
Eventually it’ll become one of your good habits.
3. Set a wind down alarm
What the heck’s a wind down alarm?
It’s a reminder alarm that you set one hour before your ideal bedtime.
When it rings, it’s basically alerting you that it’s time to wrap up whatever you’re doing and start getting ready for bed.
As with other parts of your evening routine, you want to ensure you adhere to this on a consistent basis.
Once you get into the habit of winding down, you may notice yourself getting tired at the same time every night.
That’s one of the benefits of implementing this strategy.
4. Do something relaxing
After a long day of nonstop stimulation, your mind and body deserve a break.
Doing a relaxing activity is a great way to relieve that stress.
Now before you ask, binge watching reality shows is NOT a form of relaxation.
Here are some examples of what smart people do to relax:
- Read fiction
- Light stretching
- Deep breathing
If you spend your nights doing stuff like that, it won’t just relax you… it’ll significantly improve the value of your life.
5. Have a healthy meal or drink
Surprise, Surprise! Consuming healthy food and beverages is an important part of a smart person’s evening routine.
When it comes to food, they prefer dishes that are light and nutritious.
Although, there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating a heavier meal. Some people eat dinner several hours before bedtime.
As long as you’re not eating junk, it’s all good.
In terms of drinks, popular choices include water, herbal tea, natural smoothies, and special holistic beverages.
Whatever you choose to eat or drink is up to you, just make sure to nourish yourself every night.
6. Clean and tidy living spaces
One of the fastest ways to kill your morning productivity is to wake up to a messy environment.
Things like dirty dishes, messy countertops, and cluttered rooms can easily put you in a bad mood.
But wait, it gets worse…
You’re also more likely to let everything pile up and spill over into the weekend.
So not only will you have to wake up to filth everyday, but you’ll also be dreading all the chores you have to do when the weekend rolls around.
The smarter thing to do would be to tidy up before bed.
Clean the kitchen, organize your desk, place your dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and ensure other living spaces are clear.
Once you get in the habit of doing this regularly, you’ll be amazed at how much time it saves. And you’ll love how great it feels waking up to a clean home.
7. Prep for tomorrow
If you’re a last minute type of person, the concept of prepping may seem foreign to you.
The most common type of prepping people know about is meal prepping.
Obviously, this is something that smart people do as part of a healthy diet.
But there are other things you can do before tomorrow. Here’s a few:
- Prep lunch for your kid(s)
- Choose your outfit
- Make notes for important tasks to be done in the AM e.g. pack toothbrush for trip
Smart people love prepping because it saves time in the morning, prevents them from forgetting stuff, and leads to a very productive day.
8. Disconnect from distractions
It’s possible that this might be the hardest task for most people to do.
The only thing that spends more time in your hand other than your skin is… your smartphone.
Now you didn’t come here for a lecture on the negative effects of endless digital consumption.
And you don’t care how many hours it steals from you.
All that matters is what smart people do.
Well, they disengage from all types of screens, loud music, and unnecessary distractions before bed.
They do that to prevent those stimulants from messing with their sleep hormones.
Now you get to decide if distractions matter more than your mental health.
Let’s move on.
9. Take a cold shower
Some people shower once, twice, or several times a day.
But a few smart people make it a habit to shower before bed.
Well one reason is they like to be fresh and clean.
But the more important reason is the way it makes them feel.
To them, taking cold or lukewarm showers helps relieve any tension or anxiety they may have.
Stepping out of the shower feels like a burden has been taken away.
It’s clear that showering does more than cleanse your skin.
When water flows down your body, a certain purification happens.
But in order to experience that feeling, you’ve got to take a cold or lukewarm shower yourself.
10. Spend time with family
Family time used to be an important part of the American household.
But it’s slowly been replaced by tech, social media, news, and demanding jobs.
Fortunately, smart people understand the effects of quality family time.
It strengthens relationships. Your partner feels appreciated. Your kids get incredible value from your presence.
And everyone’s relaxed and much more likely to share their thoughts and feelings.
Family time builds trust, comfort, and creates a stable environment. This type of happy home is virtually indestructible.
Now the question is… do you spend enough time with your family?
11. Review, reflect, and plan
Do you take a moment at night to reflect on your day?
Do you review your agenda to see if you completed all your tasks?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Or maybe you tried and quit.
Regardless, doing those things will have a significant impact on your life. You’ll become more organized, focused, and productive.
Reflecting on your day allows you to do a deep analysis. You might think of something that happened or find ways to make improvements.
Reviewing your goals gives you an idea of your progress.
After doing those things, you can plan your to-do list for the next day.
Now you’ll know exactly what you should be doing when tomorrow comes.
If you’re smart, you’ll spend a few minutes doing this every evening before bed.
12. Set a morning alarm and activate DND
Setting an alarm isn’t some novel idea. Almost anyone can do it.
The important thing is: how you do it.
Most people set alarms on their phones, that’s pretty normal. But smart people go one step further.
After setting an alarm, they put their phone in airplane mode or turn on Do Not Disturb (DND).
Then they place their phone out of reach, like on a dresser or vanity. This way when it goes off in the morning, they’re forced to get up and shut it off.
Ironically, most of them usually wake up just before the alarm goes off. That’s because their mind’s have adjusted to the habit.
This is definitely a good time management technique you can try.
BTW, if you use a bedside clock, just make sure it’s not one that ticks or has a bright glare if it’s digital.
13. Use a diffuser
Studies have shown that certain scents have the ability to make you feel calm and improve your mood.
But you don’t need a study to tell you that.
Humans have been using scented incense, potions, and candles for centuries.
Diffusers are just another method for releasing those calming and relaxing fragrances.
All you have to do is buy one like this, and pick up a few scented oils.
Then you can use it as part of your evening routine.
14. Lower body temperature
You already know that personal wellness is extremely important to smart people, but this takes things to another level.
The reason for lowering their body temperature is to activate their Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS).
The PSNS is your body’s rest and digestion system that deals with more restorative processes.
Basically, you want to activate this system for optimal sleep prior to bedtime. And cooling your body is one way to do it.
Here are some ways to lower your body temperature:
- Crank up the AC
- Use a chilling pad
- Wear less clothing in bed
It may seem like wacky science, but you’ll love how refreshing it makes you feel in the morning.
Maybe that’s why we tend to sleep so well in the winter.
15. Get a skin care routine
Most of the beauty industry primarily focuses on women.
That makes sense since females are the biggest consumers.
But skin care is not gender-biased.
Everyone has skin. And things like dirt, pollutants, oil, and pigeon poop are all threats to your skin.
That’s why you should try to do some form of skin care at night.
If you think it’s a waste of time, remember this: your skin is your largest organ.
Imagine if your heart was outside your chest, wouldn’t you do your best to protect it?
Then try to show the same concern for your skin and give it some TLC.
Now that you know what smart people do at night, you can use the info to create your own evening routine.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to do everything on the list.
There may be times where you need to break your routine for unexpected circumstances. That’s ok.
As long as those circumstances aren’t similar to watching TikTok videos, you’ll be fine.
The key is to find a few things you can use to ensure you sleep well and wake up with the energy you need to get things done.
BTW, if anyone asks you what smart people do before bed, just send them to this post. It’ll save you a bunch of time and give them the answer they want.
As a matter of fact, just go ahead and click the buttons below to share this post now with those folks who might find it helpful.