What successful people do before going to bed

Sleep advocate Huffington recommends banning iPads, Kindles, laptops, and any other electronics from the bedroom to unwind.

Instead, she likes to read the old-fashioned way, "real books."

Michael Lewis prefers to write between the hours of 7 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Author Robert Boynton asked Lewis about his ideal writing routine, as recorded in the book "The New New Journalism":

"Left to my own devices, with no family, I'd start writing at 7 p.m. and stop at 4 a.m.," says Lewis. "That is the way I used to write. I liked to get ahead of everybody. I'd think to myself, 'I'm starting tomorrow's workday, tonight!' Late nights are wonderfully tranquil. No phone calls, no interruptions. I like the feeling of knowing that nobody is trying to reach me."

Former Googler Keval Desai works at night, so he can concentrate.

Desai, a former Google product director and current partner at InterWest Partners, says that staying up is a habit of his. Desai tells Lydia Dishman at Fast Company that he likes to pick one project per night and doesn't go to bed until the project is done.

"During the day most of my time is spent in meetings with entrepreneurs, and the only time I can find alone to do work that requires some concentration is when the rest of the household is asleep," he says.

Kate White, former Cosmo editor-in-chief, likes to write while standing up in the kitchen.

As a magazine editor, White preferred to work on her fiction writing in the early morning hours and switch to magazine editing and blogging at night.

"My craziest trick is that I regularly do my work standing up at a rolling butcher block counter in my kitchen. If I were to work sitting down, I’d fall asleep," White told Dishman at Fast Company. "I know it sounds awful, but I think of it as if I’m tending bar in the evening — a bar of ideas. And I always keep the kitchen TV on so it doesn’t seem too lonely. I drink several espressos at night, which really helps."

Bill Gates reads for an hour before bed, no matter what time he gets home.


he Microsoft billionaire told the Seattle Times: "I read an hour almost every night. It's part of falling asleep."

He enjoys "deeply informative and beautifully written" books (in June he released a list of six books he recommends) and his reading topics range from healthcare to climate change to business and politics.

Gates says he considers himself a very fast reader, despite never taking a speed-reading course.

Vera Wang uses this "peaceful" time to look over materials her staffers send her.

"My bedroom is my sanctuary," the fashion designer told Fortune in 2006. "It's like a refuge, and it's where I do a fair amount of designing — at least conceptually if not literally."

She said staffers send her stuff at home, "and I always read it at night — the only time when seven people aren't coming to me at once," Fortune reported.

Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne walks every evening right before bed.

ascoigne takes a 20-minute walk every evening to allow total disengagement from his work before turning off the lights.

"This is a wind down period, and allows me to evaluate the day’s work, think about the greater challenges, gradually stop thinking about work, and reach a state of tiredness," he writes in a blog post.

Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, writes down three things he wants to accomplish the next day.

Before retiring for the night, Chenault says he likes to write down the top three things he wants to accomplish the next day. This helps him prioritize first thing the next morning..

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