How Darkness Influences Sleep
Darkness is essential to sleep. The absence of light sends a critical signal to the body that it is time to rest. Light exposure at the wrong times alters the body’s internal “sleep clock”âthe biological mechanism that regulates sleep-wake cyclesâin ways that interfere with both the quantity and quality of sleep. Melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal glad, is often known as the “sleep hormone” or the “darkness hormone.” Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to the brain that it is time for rest. This signal helps initiate the body’s physiological preparations for sleepâmuscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, body temperature drops. Melatonin levels naturally rise during the early evening as darkness falls and continue to climb throughout most of the night, before peaking at approximately 3 a.m. Levels of melatonin then fall during the early morning and remain low during much of the day. Evening light exposure inhibits the naturally timed rise of melatonin, which delays the onset of the body’s transition to sleep and sleep itself.
How Can I Fall Asleep In 10 Seconds
The military methodRelax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth.Drop your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body.Exhale, relaxing your chest.Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.More items
What Happens When We Go To Bed After Midnight
Going to bed after midnight on occasion is OKand often unavoidable . It may not always be possible to get to sleep early, or you may be up later for an event, or dealing with sick or crying kiddos. However, going to bed after midnight regularly or all the time can lead to a variety of health problems down the line.
Going to bed after midnight “can lead to chronic exhaustion and fatigue and even thyroid problems and burnout,” Ramlakhan says. According to Ramlakhan’s research and experience working in the field of sleep science, many people who go to bed later tend to oversleep the next day. This can lead to waking up with sleep inertia, or waking up in the transitional state between sleep and wake, earmarked by impaired performance, reduced vigilance, and a desire to return to sleep.
“This particular poor sleep pattern can affect your mood, as well as your physical health,” Ramlakhan adds. Therefore, going to sleep before midnight is a healthy goal to strive for. While it may not always be feasible, experts recommend getting those crucial hours of sleep before the clock hits 12 a.m. as much as possible. For concerns about falling or staying asleep, it’s important to speak to your doctor to develop a treatment plan or discuss how to modify your sleep habits.
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Final Thoughts On Going To Sleep Earlier
If you follow these tips you should have no problems with getting to sleep before midnight. It may take some time for your body to get used to this new routine, but once youre able to make it into a habit, you will reap the health benefits of getting a healthy nights sleep.
Also, you should consider creating a 30 day challenge, where you make it a mandatory rule that you get to bed at a specific time each evening. This won’t be a permanent behavior, but it will give you a chance to test drive this new routine to see if it’s something that provides value in your life.
If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our roundup of free and fun things to do at night. There might be one or two that you can incorporate in your evening routine.
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Your Next Day Is Better
If you go to sleep around 10 pm, or even earlier, you may notice that it is much easier to get up in the morning.
It is also natural to go to sleep before midnight. That is because darkness usually falls well before 8 pm. When its dark, your brain starts to produce melatonin and gives you the signal to go to sleep. This is why its more natural to go to sleep earlier, especially if the sun sets early in the area where you live.
If you need to wake up early every working day, it would be good to stay on the same sleeping schedule even on weekends, so that your internal clock is not disturbed too much.
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Get Moving Right Away
While I dont have any research to support this argument, I believe it helps to put your feet on the floor the minute you wake up. Its a recommendation I borrowed from Mike Boyle, and its worked tremendously well for my clients and me.
When your alarm goes off, one of the worst things you can do is hit snooze. Snoozing seems to increase sleep inertia.
Instead, once that alarm goes off, simply sit up and put your feet on the floor. Start shambling towards the bathroom, or anywhere else that isnt your bed.
There is something magical about movement that seems to speed up the waking process.
Myth: Your Brain Shuts Down During Sleep
The brain remains active during sleep. Its patterns of activity change during different sleep stages, and in rapid eye movement sleep, brain activity ramps up to a level that shares similarities with when youre awake.
Far from shutting down, shifts in brain activity during sleep are believed to be part of why sleep is critical to effective thinking, memory, and emotional processing.
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Study Which Observed 112 Lakh Participants Across 21 Countries For Nearly A Decade Said Early And Late Sleepers Have A Higher Risk Of Heart Attacks Strokes And Even Death
New Delhi: Sleeping early could increase incidents of heart attacks, strokes and death by nearly 9 per cent, according to a new study. Among those who slept late , the risk factor could increase by 10 per cent.
Published in the medical journal Sleep Medicine earlier this month, the study noted how early or late bedtimes could be an indicator or risk factor for adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases.
The study was conducted over a period of 9.2 years, during which time sleeping habits of 1,12,198 participants across 21 countries were recorded based on self-reported habitual time of going to bed. Those with a 10 pm bedtime or earlier were categorised as earlier sleepers, while participants who went to bed at midnight or later were termed later sleepers.
The scientists found a U-shaped association between bedtimes and the possibility of stroke, heart failure and death. Using people going to bed between 10 pm and midnight as a reference group, and after adjustment for age and sex, it was found that both earlier and later sleepers had a higher risk of adverse health outcomes.
The study recorded a total of 5,633 deaths and 5,346 major cardiovascular events over the course of 9.2 years.
Is Sleep Before Midnight Better For You
According to Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert and author of Tired But Wired: The Essential Sleep Toolkit, the hours of sleep we get before the clock strikes midnight is actually the most powerful phase we can get and it’s all to do with how our bodies respond to the changing light levels in the evening.
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Health Consequences Of Going To Bed Past Midnight
You love to say you’re a night owl, yet your body is telling a very different story. Your circadian rhythms, the routine changes in your behavioral, mental and physical functions that occur over the course of a day, are regulated by a tiny area of the brain commonly known as your ‘biological clock.’ The suprachiasmatic nucleus is shaped like a pine cone, but is about the size of a grain of rice, though it contains about 20,000 neurons.
When light enters your eye, it activates neurons in the retina that convert photons to electrical signals. These signals travel along the optic nerve to the SCN which in turn stimulates several brain regions, including the pineal gland. The pineal gland responds by switching off production of the hormone melatonin, and this makes you feel more awake. The SCN also governs your body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and changes in blood pressure. After darkness falls, the SCN signals once again and your body’s level of melatonin increases, making you feel drowsy.
This intricate and complex biological system responds daily and automatically to the rhythms of day and night. Like all biologic beings, you respond to your environment. You are a part of the whole. When you impose an artificial tempo to your day by going to bed too late, there will be real health consequences.
Type of Sleep
After you fall asleep, you cycle through 90-minutes of non-REM sleep followed by REM sleep.
The Second Night: Monday
The morning may be my work primetime, but the nights are when I crush my workouts which is why for the past two years Ive been a devote attendee of the hour-long 7:00 p.m. CrossFit class at the box around the corner from my apartment.
Lets pause and do the math here: If I wanted to take that class, Id have approximately 30 minutes after class to walk home, wrestle off my sweat-soaked sports bra and leggings, nosh on a post-workout snack potentially even dinner brush my teeth, wash my face, and fall asleep.
On top of that, Winter warns that exercising so close to bed might actually interfere with my ability to fall asleep. Our bodies natural temperature dips in the evening, which is a sign were ready for bed. But exercising at night can thwart that by heating your body up.
Thankfully, it didnt seem to be the case. I was back home in my jammies by 8:20, and with only 10 minutes to eat before my self-prescribed bedtime, I noshed on a protein bar, brushed my pearly whites, and was asleep somewhere between 8:35 p.m. and 8:38 p.m.
All was fine and well the next morning except I was ridiculously constipated. Cue the black coffee and the official ban of protein bars 10 minutes before bed. Never again.
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Healthy Ways To Fall Asleep Earlier
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Nothing good happens after midnight.
I first heard this phrase while in the military.
It was true then it is true now.
All sorts of shenanigans happen to those who stay up late, especially past midnight.
Think of the common reasons to stay up to the wee hours of the night:
- Video Games
- Watching the paint dry
Side bar: One simple health habit you can build is to drink this superfood green drink, which gives you a boost of energy and supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day.
So if you’re one of those night owls who want to increase productivity and have a happier lifestyle, then going to be earlier may be the perfect solution. In this post, we will detail 13 strategies you can use to go to sleep earlier in the evening.
Let’s get to it
So Should You Go To Sleep Before Midnight
Basically, yes. Of course, everyones situation is different, so there is no sleep schedule that would fit everyone. But if you know that you have problems with going to bed early enough, you should take strict actions. Try the tips described in this article. If you dont find any help, contact your doctor, and you will get professional help with maintaining your sleeping schedule.
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Light As A Modern Sleep Problem
For most of history, humans did not need to seek out darkness. The advent of electricity in the 20th century fundamentally changed our relationship to light and dark, and posed serious new challenges to sleep. Artificial light, inexpensive and ever-present, wreaks frequent havoc on sleep without many people even being aware of its detrimental effects. The widespread use of digital technologyâand the light emitted from all those screensâhas introduced another highly disruptive challenge to sleep.
Commit To Sleeping When Your Body Needs It
If you have been a night owl for a long time, pushing your bedtime to 10 PM won’t happen instantly. I recommend pushing your bed time 15 minutes earlier than it is now and trying that for several days. Then you can push your bedtime another 15 minutes earlier and adjusting until you get comfortable falling asleep by 10 PM.
What are you biggest obstacles to going to bed on time? Leave us a comment below!
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Why Are The Sleeping Hours Before Midnight Important
According to Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert and author of Tired But Wired: The Essential Sleep Toolkit, every cell in our body is linked to the movements of the Earth and moon, and our bodys circadian timer wants us to take clues from the celestial bodies for when it is time to go to sleep.
Theres an area in the brain called the circadian timer which helps to synchronise the movement and function of every cell in the body to the levels of light and darkness in the environment, Ramlakhan told Stylist. So as the light level drops below a certain limit, it sends a message to the pineal gland through the eyes, and then every cell in the body starts adjusting its functions.
We learn from a young age that out circadian rhythm plays an essential role in the regulation of many of our bodies systems. A
According to Ramlakhan, the 90-minute phase just before midnight is an extremely powerful phase of sleep because it is the period in which the body is replenished.
Its rejuvenated on every level physically, mentally, emotionally and, I believe, spiritually as well. Theres a lot of healing that takes place in that first phase of sleep, Ramlakhan said.
How To Get More Deep Sleep
The most important thing that you can do to increase your amount of deep sleep is to allow yourself adequate total sleep time. Often, individuals will deprive themselves of adequate total sleep. In addition to reducing deep sleep, REM sleep is also shortened.
There is some data to suggest that vigorous exercise can increase or consolidate deep sleep. Some sleep specialists recommend aerobic activities like jogging, running, and swimming. For those who are prone to insomnia, it is best to exercise earlier in the day and not before bedtime.
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Can Changing Sleep Patterns Side Effects
Researchers discovered that fluctuating amounts of sleep and irregular bedtimes and wake-up times, put people at an increased risk for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and other health problems. And for each hour of sleep variability, these risks went up by as much as 27 percent.
Why Is Deep Sleep Important
Deep sleep is important for consolidation of new memories, and is often referred to as sleep-dependent memory processing. Thus, individuals with primary insomnia will have impaired memory consolidation and wont perform as efficiently as normal patients when completing memory tasks following a period of sleep. In addition, declarative memory is improved with slow-wave sleep, and this includes both semantic and episodic memory.
A central model has been created on the assumption that long-term memory storage is promoted by interaction between the hippocampal and neocortical networks. Several studies have shown that, once subjects have been trained to learn a declarative memory task, there was a significantly higher density of human sleep spindles when compared to the non-learning control task. This occurs due to unconscious wave oscillations that make up the intracellular recordings from cortical and thalamic neurons.
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Joe Wicks Shares His Simple Tips For Pushing Through That Lockdown Tiredness
If we inflexibly believe to be the case, that stops us sleeping, she explained. When Ive worked with professional athletes one of the things I say to them is Dont even think about sleep tonight youre playing for England tomorrow, forget it.
We could have three or four hours of sleep, four or five hours of sleep, which are far more nourishing than the seven or eight. Its that depth of sleep.
Reasons You Should Go To Bed Before Midnight
Sleep. No-one on earth knows why we need it. Really. There is no scientific explanation for it. But if you do not get enough of it, then you really feel it! Despite this, with our increasingly energetic and hectic lifestyles, most of us do not hit the hay until well past midnight. There is always that last message you just have to send, or the late night movie to watch. Or how about us procrastinators who can only get things done at the last minute with the help of the midnight oil? The days of using the sun as a guide to adjust our sleep patterns are long gone.
But since most people need between eight and ten hours of sleep, in order to wake at 7am with enough sleep, we should go to bed between 9 and 11 pm! When was the last time you went to sleep at 9 pm, or even 10 pm? It just does not happen.
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