We all need to sleep. It’s so important for our health and wellness! Yet, it seems like most people don’t have a regular sleep schedule. This can lead to sleeping issues, and ultimately, health problems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even shares that insufficient sleep is a widespread problem. Most adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep. It can make everyday activities, like driving a car, more dangerous.1
The solution? An earlier bedtime. It can improve not just your sleeping habits, but your health as well. Here are seven reasons why you should hit the hay early.
7 Benefits Of Sleeping Early
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1. Healthy Sleep Schedule
Going to sleep early benefits your biological clock. After all, our bodies are made to be sleepy between midnight and 7 A.M. This is due to the natural release of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep patterns. It’s also triggered by your brain’s needs.
An early bedtime is a nice gesture for your biological clock. It allows nature to take its course, letting your body rest and rise when it should. The result is a better, healthier sleep schedule.2
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2. Less Blue Light Exposure
Your biological clock or circadian rhythm will also benefit from the less blue light exposure. This is the light that electronic and certain lightbulbs give off. It can mess with your internal system and make your sleep habits even worse.
But when you sleep early, you can avoid too much blue light. It’ll offer protection from obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Researchers think that this is due to the lower level of inflammation and stress in the body.3
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3. More Sun Exposure
Benefits of early sleep include lots of natural sunlight. This will make you the most alert, thanks to your biological clock. It’s exactly why we sleep at night instead of the daytime.4
You’ll also get a good dose of vitamin D. This nutrient is called the “sunshine vitamin” because your skin can only make it from sunlight. It’s necessary for proper calcium absorption and therefore, healthy bones.
Vitamin D is also needed for mental health. There’s a reason why seasonal-effective disorder happens in the winter – because there’s less sun. Common symptoms are sadness, irritability, and social isolation. So even when it’s not winter, adequate sunlight is key.5
When you sleep early, you’ll be more likely to wake up early, which exposes you to more sun.
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Because of your biological clock, your body is made to operate during the day. Early sleep lets you get the most out of it. Again, your body is made to be more alert during daylight.6
Your productivity will extend beyond work or school, too. You’ll be more likely to find time to exercise. Who wants to break a sweat at midnight, anyway? It’s an outcome that will greatly improve your health.
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5. Weight Loss
Health benefits of sleeping early include better eating habits. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating after dinner or before bedtime isn’t the healthiest. You’re more likely to choose unnecessary calories from convenient, quick foods.
Having a better sleep schedule will also help your eating schedule. There’s a greater chance of consuming breakfast and regular meals. The outcome? Better weight management.7
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6. Healthy Heart
An early bedtime also helps your heart. It’s able to rest because you’re getting better sleep. While you’re snoozing, your heart rate and blood pressure dip. This encourages cardiovascular health and keeps heart disease at bay.
Sleep also positively controls proteins that affect your heart. It also decreases levels of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. This lets your blood pressure fall during sleep, which then protects your heart.
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7. Stronger Immunity
When you go to bed early and get more sleep, your immunity thrives. It gives the body a chance to build up cytokines, which are proteins that strengthen the immune system. Cytokines make sure other cells are ready to fight when you get sick. So, the more you sleep, the healthier you’ll be.8
To start sleeping early, avoid caffeine past 2 P.M. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual to do after dinner. This can include yoga stretches, listening to soft music, or writing in a journal.
|↑1||Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Problem. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑2, ↑4, ↑8||Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑3||Blue light has a dark side. Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School.|
|↑5||Vitamin D. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑6||Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑7||5 Tips to Curb Your Late-Night Snacking. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.|