Inspiring Sleep Tips From People at the Top of Their Fields

Athletes and CEOs share their go-to sleep Microsteps.

Getty Images / 
Kevin C. Cox
Getty Images / Kevin C. Cox

Sleep is the ultimate keystone habit. When we are our rested, recharged selves, we are in the strongest position to build and sustain the habits that allow us to truly thrive — not only personally, but professionally.

And yet, many of us carry the limiting belief that we can either get the sleep we need or we can succeed at work — but we can’t do both. 

In fact, getting the sleep we need makes it possible for us to show up as our best selves. Here, some of the highest-performing people in sports, entertainment, business, and beyond share their go-to sleep Microsteps. Which of these will you try?

Turn down the lights in your home when it’s nearing bedtime

“A couple hours before bed, I start to slow down, power down, and turn the lights down to help slowly lower my cortisol. I’m very protective of this sleep ritual, no matter where I am in the world.”

—Tiffany Cruikshank, bestselling author and founder of Yoga Medicine 

Turn off all your electronic devices a half hour before you go to sleep

“If there’s a T.V. in your bedroom, consider putting it somewhere else. It’s a bedroom, not a tech cave. My wife doesn’t even allow cell phones near the bed when we sleep.” 

—Tom Brady, NFL quarterback and Super Bowl champion 

Take a midday nap

“My days are split between very early mornings and evening events, so I really try to energize with afternoon naps. But never longer than 30 to 35 minutes; anything longer than that is a problem.” 

—Tamron Hall, broadcast journalist and talk show host 

Before bed, read a few pages from an inspiring book

“I try to fill the last couple of minutes before I close my eyes with something nourishing, whether it’s a book I keep on my bedside table, or something that I read that’s uplifting.” 

—Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of “The TODAY Show” and “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna”

When you can’t fall asleep, breathe deeply and think about what you’re grateful for

“Lying awake in bed and mulling over your to-do list can be distressing. Personally, when I wake up too early, I breathe deeply and slowly and take those predawn moments to relax and think about what I am grateful for… Try closing your eyes and placing your attention on joyful, calming thoughts, whether that’s family, friends, pets, nature, or a favorite vacation spot.” 

—Shelly Ibach, CEO of Sleep Number and Thrive Global’s sleep editor-at-large 

Adapted from “Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps,” by Marina Khidekel and the editors of Thrive Global. Learn more and pre-order your copy here.

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