Will going to bed early tonight make ou healthier tomorrow? There are so many studies on sleep with different suggestions. The age-old advice to get 8 hours of sleep is still heard today. There is a lot of research around circadian rhythms, which in part tell us we should sleep in 90-minute intervals- which means 8 hours of sleep would be incorrect and disrupt our rhythm. The actual number would be 7.5 or 9. Check out this article more detail on the stages of our circadian rhythms.
However many hours you sleep, let’s consider the benefits of actually going to bed earlier tonight and every night. There are many benefits from going to bed early. People who get up at seven who think going to bed at midnight is good would probably benefit from going to bed at half ten and getting up slightly earlier. Read on for 7 of the top benefits of going to bed early tonight and every night.
Studies have shown that those people who stay up after midnight are much more likely to develop heart conditions later on in life. This arterial stiffening was not found in those who got into bed a few hours earlier.
2. Weight Loss
People who stay up later are more likely to visit the fridge for a midnight snack or two. Eating this late at night means that your body doesn’t have enough time to burn off the extra calories that are consumed and when you go to sleep your body will just store all of it. Eating this late also makes you more likely to skip breakfast which, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Our bodies operate best when we go 7 hours without eating in the evening.
3. Better Sleep
The later you stay up, the more likely you are to develop insomnia. This is due to the artificial light that we use at night such as lamps, tablets, phones or TVs. This light reduces the production of melatonin which is what we need to get a good night’s sleep.
4. More Productive Mornings
The earlier you get to bed, the earlier you are likely to get up in the morning. This means that you will be able to do more in the morning before you have to go to work – such as work out or take some time to yourself before the busy day ahead. Studies have also shown that morning is the best time for brain activity regardless if you are a “morning” or “night” person.
5. Less Drinking
The later you stay up, the more likely you are to be tempted out for a few drinks with friends. If you know you want to be in bed earlier then you are far more likely to decline the offer of ‘just one more’ in order to get to bed at a reasonable time. Less drinking on a regular basis will benefit you in so many ways.
6. More Energy
Sleeping at night means you are more likely to get a deeper REM sleep which we all know is the phase of sleep that refreshes and rest us. Sleeping later in the day means you won’t get this REM sleep as much, leaving you feeling like you haven’t slept the next day.
7. Less Caffeine Intake
Speaking of feeling more awake the following day, getting to bed earlier will mean you’re less likely to reach for the coffee the following morning. As we now consume more caffeine than ever before, and excessive consumption of coffee can lead to other health problems, cutting back on your morning coffee can only be a good thing.
Now that you know the benefits lets talk about tips for going to bed early.
Tips for going to bed early include the following
Set an alarm
Set an alarm to remind you of your intention, to go to bed early tonight. This will help you to stop show binging, getting lost in Facebook or other time wasters at night.
Shut down electronics
Study after study after study has shown that light given off by electronics affects the quality of our sleep. The studies show that the blue light that LED screens give-off, can slow or halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain that it’s time for bed. Electronics should be shut down at least 30 minutes before bed. The earlier the better.
Avoid Caffeine and alcohol
Drinking caffeine or alcohol can affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that occurs about 90 minutes after we fall asleep
Start some deep breathing and relaxing techniques to get the ball rolling, before you goto bed. Not only will this relax you but start the bedtime process.
How early to unplug before bed, depends on how much time you need to wind down. Certainly, you will benefit from at least 30 minutes and feel much better with one hour.
If you aren’t getting to bed before midnight then you should think about these benefits and tips for getting to bed early. Think again about going to bed early tonight and reap the benefits tomorrow.