If you’re one of those people who identify as ‘hardcore night owl,’ I can see how an argument to get you to go sleep earlier is going to be a bit hard to roll with. But give me five minutes to convince you and see what happens. Trust.
Let’s start with the basic facts we know about sleep. First, sleep is needed so you don’t die. It keeps you well rested and helps your body regenerate. Your actual cells are working to push out toxins while you sleep [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-90598/What-happens-body-youre-asleep.html.] Neat, right? Sleep is also pretty fun. Who doesn’t like crawling into nice, cool sheets at the end of a long day?
But for some reason, 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep at night [https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html.] Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. All of these risks and yet a third of us can’t prioritize our sleep? What exactly is going on?
I’m going to be a bit Judgy McJudgerson here for a second and say there is (almost) absolutely no legit reason to not be getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. The people that get a free pass in my book are moms with toddlers, expecting mothers, people with insomnia or other illnesses that affect sleep, people with partners who snore like trains, and actual small children.
Everybody else, get your stuff together and pull up a pillow because I’m going to give you one piece of advice that might help you get your sleep life in gear.
Go to sleep an hour earlier than your usual time and work up from there.
It’s such a basic fix, but one that can be done easily. Let’s say you know that if you want to feel chipper in the morning, you have to be in bed by midnight. But then the late night television starts calling your name, or maybe you get lost in a good book (No? That’s just me?) Instead, set an alarm and vow to hit the sack at 11pm the next night. Keep adding an hour earlier each night or so. If you feel refreshed in the morning, you’ll know you’ve hit your ideal bedtime.
Now, you might be thinking, but it’s so easy to ignore my alarm. Or, but I keep getting distracted by things and I do my best thinking/work late at night, anyway.
I’m not here to ruin your life if you’re a modern-day Mozart who only finds inspiration by the light of the moon. You do you. But for goodness sake, stop complaining about being tired and miserable because you don’t prioritize your wellness. Phone tempting you late at night? Put it away or hide it somewhere not near your bed. Find ways to wind down an hour early in the evening. Toughen up.
Because if you don’t, you’re only hurting yourself. And sleep is such an easy-to-manage component of our health and overall wellness.
Take charge of your sleep life. Your health and happiness might depend on it.