I honestly think there is a little bit of a night owl in all of us. Afterall, as evening falls and our day winds down it is often the only time we have a little time to ourselves. And so we often try to drag out the moment and find ourselves up later than planned.
Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, staying up later and cutting into your required 7 to 9 hours sleep each night can result in more than just a groggy morning. If you are an earlier riser regardless of your bedtime, you aren’t going to reap the benefits of that habit if you have acquired a sleep debt. Making a habit of getting to sleep early has just as many benefits of rising early, and getting some early shut eye is something you should consider.
Getting to sleep earlier is directly related to a longer, more restful night’s sleep- and the benefits of sleeping early from it may make you think twice about staying up later than you should.
A lack of sleep can result in an increase of depression and anxiety. Getting to bed early helps ensure you get the 7 to 9 hours recommended for a proper night’s sleep and allows you to wake feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Plus, you are less likely to be overwhelmed with negative thoughts as your brain continues to problem solve while you sleep, which is why many things often seem better the next morning.
Sleep loss affects how you think, and waking feeling groggy and struggling to focus can cause some major productivity issues throughout the day. Sleep debt also leads to problems with basic cognition which will adversely affect both how well you can concentrate on tasks as well as short term memory. Overtime this can cause problems with problem solving as well as creativity. Your brain works on memory storage and problem solving, which can help you stay more on task and apply a sharper mind towards your work.
While you sleep your body is undergoing some pretty complex processes to help support your overall health. This also influences how well you heal and are able to stave off your exposure to germs that cause sicknesses. A healthy body is better able to fight off infection and keep you from getting sick in the first place.
If you have suffered an injury of any sort, your body is also needs this time to help repair cellular damage and soft tissues. When you don't get enough sleep your body will be working overtime, resulting in more tired you.
Even if you aren’t an early bird, if you have gotten enough sleep your alarm clock may feel as if it is going off even earlier than it should be. Adults who get the recommended amount of sleep are able to rise more easily with a clearer mind and more energy due to the rejuvenation sleep provides. Getting into bed at a decent time will help with this.
As mentioned, when we sleep our brain is still busy processing the days events. This includes your experiences which are stored away and consolidated for you to reflect back upon. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep, or interrupted sleep, may also interrupt this process and incorrectly store, or not store your memories at all- causing you to either fail to recall certain events, or even remember them incorrectly.
As we sleep our body drops in both temperature and blood pressure to allow for an increase in oxygen rich blood to circulate through your body. This promotes healing of soft tissues and muscle growth, as well as directly affecting heart health. People who get less than 6 hours of sleep are often found to have a higher incidence of inflammatory proteins found within their blood which suggests it hasn’t been able to properly pass through the body.
Obviously with all this power of healing sleep produces, you are going to be more on top of your game. Athletes who get the proper amount of sleep have better reaction times, more energy, and are better able to recover from intense workouts and injury.
Those elevated inflammatory proteins mentioned in #6 also affect how well your heart functions. Heart disease has been directly tied to poor overall body health and maintenance, often caused by our bodies inability to heal. Since sleep is such an important part of overall healing process, when you aren’t getting into bed for enough shut eye this adversely affects how much time your body has to revive each night. Overtime this can add up and begin to manifest itself negatively in your overall health.
Sleep heals! This also refers to your appearance, and we aren’t just talking about the bags under your eyes that may show up with a lack of sleep. Studies show that skin may age prematurely and recover less quickly from sun exposure when you aren’t catching enough zzz’s. This most likely has to do with poor circulation affected by your body’s attempts to heal itself through the night.
Not getting enough sleep adversely affects the hormones that control how full you feel, as well as those that trigger your body’s need to eat. When these get confused you may overeat without ever receiving the signals that indicate you are full. The hormone that controls metabolism is also affected and may not function properly.
Obviously we have established that a proper night’s rest is good for you both physically and mentally, so obviously you are going to do better in school if you take advantage of what sleep can do for you. Ignore all those suggestions that teenagers can stay up later than their younger counterparts. The average teen needs at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep, only slightly less than the average adult, with younger school age children needing 10 to 11 hours in order to function properly. Many times people allow their children to stay up later as they get older, but if they are not allowed to sleep in later, then this is playing a very negative role in their overall academic performance.
From athletes, to students, and high powered executives- your attention span will be sharper and more focused with the correct amount of sleep. This attention to details in the workplace, classroom, at home, and on the road helps reduce accidents and increase overall productivity. Many of the most successful people in business attribute their attention to detail and planning to getting to sleep early and greeting the next day ready to work.
With an increase in attention comes safer driving practices. Vehicular and industrial accidents are more likely to occur when you receive only 5 to 6 hours of shut eye- with up to 6,000 deaths per year attributed drivers who have made a mistake on the road due to a lack of sleep.
Eating later in the evening may not cause weight gain, but undigested food left in your stomach can cause heartburn due to an increase in acid that is working to breakdown your last meal. We also have a tendency to choose foods with a higher sugar and fat content later at night due to meal simplicity, which increases your chances of acid reflux which causes heartburn.
Who doesn’t like a good romp between the sheets? But if you are like most adults, by the end of the day you are ready to crawl under the covers and just sleep. Getting enough sleep on a regular basis not only helps you bounce back from any lulls you may experience during the day, it also keeps your body functioning correctly so you can look forward to any amorous events before bed.
All The Amazing Health Benefits of Sleep
Why Sleeping on Your Back is a Good Idea
Waking Up Early and Your Health: Creating Healthy Life Choices
The Health Benefits of Napping
Why Drinking Peppermint Tea Before Bed is a Good Idea
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
Summer Travel with a CPAP Machine
The Truth About Passion Flowers Improving Sleep Quality