Don Wright is chief strategic officer for Wright Creative Branding & Labels. He and his wife, Shelley, have two daughters, Kailyn and Anna Grace. In his free time, Wright enjoys skiing, surfing, mountain biking, music, friends and travel.
BedTimes: Tell us about your bedtime routine.
Don Wright: Almost every night before I get into bed, I tend to play three or four songs on my ukulele — usually a couple of old favorites and one or two new songs I am working on. It’s a soothing way to eliminate the noise of the day and focus on something creative and pretty. I also do a short stretching routine every night, just to get the songs out of my head.
BT: What do you avoid before bed?
DW: I avoid caffeine for obvious reasons. I love my coffee in the morning, but no caffeine after lunch. I also never go to bed upset. No matter what is happening, I focus on all the good stuff before bed. It helps keep the dreams happy.
BT: How many hours of sleep do you typically get?
DW: Honestly, I think I average at least 8 ½ to nine hours per night. I’m not a morning person as a general rule, so my wife, Shelley, and I get in bed fairly early, fall asleep fast and wake up slowly. It’s a gift.
BT: Pets in the bed — yay or nay?
DW: It’s not a problem — I have had big dogs and little dogs in my life. It’s very comforting, like having a little sentinel watching in the night. I currently don’t have a pet because of a fairly robust travel schedule, but we look forward to having another one in the near future.
BT: Barefoot or socks?
DW: Mostly barefoot, but sometimes socks in the winter. If my feet are cold, I will put some on, so I don’t bother my wife when I get in bed. Shelley appreciates it.
BT: What’s on your nightstand?
DW: A phone charger, phone on silent, big glass of water, TV remote. There’s always a book I intend to read, but they rarely get finished. Also a note pad for middle-of-the-night ideas.
BT: Are you a napper?
DW: Not generally. Sometimes. It depends on the day and what’s in store for the evening. If I have had a hectic day at work, and/or I cannot get on my bicycle for some exercise to recharge, I will grab a power nap for 30 minutes before going out for dinner or whatever.
BT: What are your best sleep tips?
DW: Keep it cool — AC low, fan in the winter to move the air around. Great sheets, good pillow. I love a big down comforter. Minimal clothing. Brush teeth, wash face, hold my wife close and tell her she is loved. Works every time.
BT: What are your secrets for getting a good night’s sleep while traveling?
DW: My No. 1 tip — call the front desk and tell them to come fix the AC. Many hotels have a nighttime setting that makes the AC shut off during the late, late hours. They have an override code that keeps the AC running and the air moving all night. I always ask. Also, nothing teaches you how important a good mattress is to the sleep equation than traveling. I always look at the hotel label to see what I am sleeping on. I also try to adjust to the local time quickly. Advil PM is a great way to get adjusted.
BT: Is there anything else you would like to share?
DW: My wife and I live in a very old house. Built in 1917. On the side of a mountain. It is cold and drafty, to say the least. We joke that in the winter months, we are like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, hanging out in bed. Literally, we can sometimes spend a good portion of our evening in the bedroom in bed watching TV, reading, playing my ukulele. So, when we say a good mattress is important, we mean it.