Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day
June 9, 2020
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day might sound like a drag, but a consistent sleep schedule has many health benefits. You will learn to love it after it becomes a habit. It takes 40 days to form a new habit and if you can stick to a consistent sleep schedule for that long, you will find yourself feeling better both physically and mentally.
What is your circadian rhythm?
Your circadian rhythm, or biological clock, regulates your body’s day and night processes over 24 hours. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day reinforces your circadian rhythm and helps your body run efficiently. A consistent sleep routine helps productivity and wellbeing and can improve your biological, mental and emotional health.
Why is it bad to disrupt your body clock?
An inconsistent sleep schedule disturbs your internal clock and when your sleep schedule is erratic for a long time you put yourself at risk for various problems. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, anxiety and mood disorders, irritability, slow reaction times and heart disease.
Research suggests that disrupting your circadian rhythms increases your heart disease risk and ages your heart faster. Interestingly, this may be more important for men. Women were found to be somewhat protected from heart disease due to their ovarian hormones even when their sleep was disrupted. But both women and men should make sure to have a consistent sleep schedule to help protect them from other health issues.
The benefits of having a regular sleep schedule
Sleep deprivation leads to irritation and an unhappy mood. Research suggests there is a connection between circadian rhythm disruption and mood disorders. This can be seen in situations where jet lag, shift work, or being exposed to artificial light at night disrupts the biological clock.
Productivity and concentration
Being well-rested helps you concentrate and positively affects your learning and memory. Not getting enough sleep affects short term memory, alertness, and your ability to focus. It is a well-known fact that fatigue is a common cause of human error. Routine can also help with motivation and can increase productivity by making it easier to get your tasks done.
A consistent sleep schedule has a direct effect on your immune system and sleep might help your body conserve the resources it uses for its immune response.
Digestion and regularity
Your circadian rhythm keeps your metabolism and digestion in check. Your thyroid gland and hormones function properly and trigger enzymes and hunger when they should. Healthy digestion promotes regularity, as does eating meals at the same time every day.
If you go to sleep at the same time every day, it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep because your brain will release melatonin at the same time every day.
Tips for helping maintain a consistent sleep schedule:
Exercise regularly but not right before bed.
Do not nap close to your bedtime.
Avoid caffeine before bed.
Create a calming bedtime routine.
Eat and drink enough but not too much before bed.
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable.
Do not watch the clock when you have a hard time falling asleep.
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