5 things high-value people always do before bedtime, according to psychology

High value isn’t about being better than anyone else. It means that you’re emotionally intelligent, responsible, and committed to bettering yourself.

That takes work.

Psychology tells us that routines and good habits can help to support us in all sorts of ways.

From managing stress and improving sleep, to kick-starting your goals and plans for the future — it pays off to create structure.

With that in mind, there are some things that high-value people make sure they do each night before bed.

These are the things that psychologists say encourage a healthy body and mind.

1) They take some time to reflect on the day

Reflection is a very important tool for high-value people.

It’s this that allows them to cultivate the self-awareness necessary for real growth.

Until we can train ourselves to look honestly at what makes us tick, we’re bound to remain in the dark.

High-value people have a good grasp of their weaknesses, strengths, and motivations because of this willingness to reflect.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to encourage this is through journaling and writing.

Psychologists have heralded journalling as a great tool to boost mindfulness, memory, and communication skills.

Not only that, but it makes us calmer by serving as an emotional release for feelings and thoughts we may keep locked inside.

Spending 10 minutes each evening getting down on paper how you’re feeling and what’s on your mind can be incredibly cathartic.

2) They spend a few minutes deciding on the next day’s most important tasks

This one can be a fine balancing act.

You don’t want to spend too much time envisaging tomorrow.

After all, mindlessness encourages us to remain in the moment and resist the urge to allow ourselves to get unnecessarily caught up in thinking about the past or future.

If just before bedtime you get too wrapped up thinking about tomorrow’s to-do list, it may raise your stress levels and make it harder for you to switch off.

Instead, this is about setting yourself up to start the following day with purpose.

Identifying some of your main goals or the first thing of the day you intend to tackle can help you to do this.

The Ivy Lee Method is a productivity hack that helps you manage your priorities by writing down at the end of each day a maximum of six of the most important things you want to accomplish tomorrow.

Psychology says this works by giving us something concrete to focus on when starting our day, rather than feeling overwhelmed by an endless list of potential things to do.

3) They make sure they end on a positive note

We can be so hard on ourselves.

It’s easy to focus on the things you didn’t get done that day or what went wrong.

Yet the key to growth is actually self-compassion.

Whilst we’re busy beating ourselves up, we find it much harder to summon the confidence and courage needed to push our comfort zones and try harder.

Psychology tells us that negative self-talk is incredibly destructive, yet so often we do it unconsciously and habitually.

It takes conscious efforts to readdress the balance and feed ourselves on more positivity.

As many as 43% of people report that stress has kept them awake at night.

That’s why it’s so important to end your day on a positive note rather than provide a breeding ground for worry.

Feeling better in the moment can be as simple as focusing on the good rather than the bad.

You can do this by asking yourself (or sharing with a loved one):

  • The best part of my day was…
  • What went well today?
  • What am I proud of myself for today?

No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, there are always from your day that you can appreciate. 

High-value people make the most of the benefits of cultivating gratitude so that they can reframe their entire mindset and teach themselves to go looking for the good.

That may be reaching out to loved ones or those who have helped you out during the day, just to say thanks and let them know they’re appreciated.

Or you might just want to mentally note what you feel most grateful for in that moment.

Either way, you end your day on a feel-good high.

4) They wind down in the right way

We’ve already established that deciding you want to be the best version of yourself takes commitment.

Sometimes that means sacrificing what’s easy in favor of what ultimately serves you the most.

What makes that even harder to do is that psychology says we’re hardwired to opt for instant gratification.

As Professor Shahram Heshmat puts it:

“There is psychological discomfort associated with self-denial. From an evolutionary perspective, our instinct is to seize the reward at hand, and resisting this instinct is hard. Evolution has given people and other animals a strong desire for immediate rewards.

In prehistoric human environments the availability of food was uncertain. Like other animals, humans would survive and reproduce if they had a strong tendency to grab the smaller, immediate reward and skip the larger but delayed reward.”

In modern-day society, the immediate reward may look like grabbing a beer, vegging out in front of the TV, and scrolling through social media.

These may offer a short-term dopamine hit, but they aren’t healthy ways to wind down after a long hard day.

The things that are better for us before bed we can resist doing as they feel like more effort.

We’re talking about:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Stretching or gentle exercise
  • Meditating
  • Turning off screens and reading a book or listening to music

The fact is that it may demand some discipline to choose nourishing nighttime practices over lazy habits.

5) They prioritize sleep quality over quantity

It’s one of the most basic physiological processes for human survival.

We’re frequently told about the importance of getting enough sleep for both our body and our mind.

But here’s a fact that we don’t always appreciate:

Research has proven that sleep quality is superior to sleep quantity.

That means it’s not all about how much time you spend in bed. What matters more is the quality of the rest you are getting.

The truth is, that although it’s recommended we aim for between 7-9 hours a night, the amount we all need may vary widely.

Some of the world’s most successful people claim to need just a few hours of kip, whilst others swear by a minimum of 8 hours.

Getting better sleep can be enhanced by so-called sleep hygiene.

It’s a behavioral and environmental practice developed to help you fall asleep faster and have deeper more restful sleep when you do.

It involves being mindful of things like:

  • What we eat and drink before bed
  • Sticking to the same bedtime
  • Removing electronics from your bedroom
  • Only going to bed when you’re tired
  • Managing light exposure
  • Creating a comfortable and calming environment to sleep in

Psychologists say that mentally function we rely on getting good sleep to help us regulate emotions and improve our moods. That’s why high-value people know it’s not something they can overlook.

Being high-value is about effort over perfection

We’ve looked at some of the most beneficial things to do before bed when you want to step into the best version of yourself.

Yet it’s important to recognize that whilst you cultivate more supportive habits it’s okay to cut yourself some slack.

Bedtime routines are there to make us feel better. But if you use it as another rigid set of rules to beat yourself up over, it can end up doing more harm than good.

High-value people take their self-growth seriously, but they know that an important part of that is patience and kindness towards themselves.

Be prepared to experiment and see what works for you. So why not Introduce some of these bedtime habits and see the benefits for yourself!

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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