Can early to bed and early to rise really make you healthy?
This is a very familiar adage from Ben Franklin, an American polymath and a leading founder of the United States. Well, there is more truth to the saying. Waking up early prepares you for the day. After a quality night’s sleep, your cognitive potential is at the peak and so is your energy level.
Early to bed and early to rise is a kind of having a better control of your life’s steering wheel. The early hours are peaceful – free from commotion. Your thought process doesn’t get distracted. You can foresee the future better with an undisturbed mind. This helps to intercept the likely issues coming your way and devise means to resolve them.
It makes you proactive and aborts problems at the source that they do not come your way altogether. Fresh morning air cleanses your system and you have more time in early tranquil hours to exercise. Blood flow to organs and brain is triggered, making you mentally and physically more productive.
The impact of poor sleep and a wrong late sleep cycle on the national scale:
According to a 2016 Rand Study, poor sleep pattern accompanied by anxiety is hitting industrial leaders and entrepreneurs in the US. In terms of money and work hours lost, this translates into over 400 billion USD and 1.23 million days of productive time.
Early risers and late night workers find themselves in tumbleweed of failed coordination. There are people who believe in ‘early to bed and early to rise’ theory. But the number of night owls is on the rise too. Society is seeing more of digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers and late night net browsers.
The rationale behind the adage early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise:
Helps you handle negativities of life better:
Keeping awake late night will give a highway to the issues to crowd your mind. Real life issues that you faced through the day would deposit inside your brain firmer if you are not asleep quick enough. This will eventually plant seeds of pessimism in you. Early to bed and early to rise makes you more practical, helps you stop brooding and brings out the troubleshooter in you.
However, healthy sleeping habits are inculcated during childhood. But it is never too late. You can get an early cycle of 6-9 hours of healthy sleep pattern to deal with life’s darker aspects. A full night’s sleep will bring sufficient rest to your grey matter. It helps you start the day with a positive interpretation of what lies ahead.
Increases your probability of triumph:
Scientific research explored the sleep myths. The validity of ‘early to bed and early to rise ‘ making a winner out of you in life’s continued battle faced acid test. Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany had significant observations in early rising habits.
Morning people, according to him, scored well in schools. Decent grades in school got them landed in prestigious colleges, enhancing the chances of better job openings. They have a disciplined sleep cycle, wake early and take advantage of calm morning hours to plan and study.
They build this habit in their system and by default hit bed and wake up regularly in the same hours. The circadian rhythm of the body is kept intact which is conducive to entire sleep quality. This is a vital factor having a say in functioning of your brain.
Enhancement in thought potential makes the early risers proactive. They are better at executive decisions and are great performers at the professional level. Consequently, their career graph shows a rapid rise culminating in success.
Early risers are more popular:
Early risers are more enduring, amicable and pleasant. They are upright and methodical and always lend you a helping hand. They are more disciplined and show interest in many areas. These qualities in character go a long way, helping them cut a niche among others. They are the leaders and team managers and the positive traits lead them to success in projects and endeavors leading to promotions, material gains and honors.
Quality sleep keeps you healthy:
It is no longer sleep myth that sufficient sleep is required for mental and physical wellness. In the current competitive scenario, you cannot afford the luxury of falling sick. If you are sick, someone is going to beat you to the punch. A good sleep fortifies our immune system. Chance of falling sick goes slim. Quality sleep also implies early to bed and early to rise.
If you are a late riser because you have gone to bed late, there is hardly any quality sleep involved. You are setting your biological clock against the natural cycle. Sun had woken up much ahead of you and you are still in bed. Late rising compels you to either skip breakfast or eat whatever you get to avoid being late for office.
There is no planned food intake. You get hungry soon and binge on whatever unhealthy street food you get. Early rising helps you not to miss out on the physical workout schedule which a healthy lifestyle. Also, it is a free and potent antidepressant.
Early to bed and early to rise makes you happier and your life less stressful:
If you leave bed late, you are left with less effective time to finish your work that queues up in a row. You got to finish them in a rush, where the correctness of your delivery is not guaranteed. Mistakes pile up, adding stress to your life. If you are an early riser, you have the required time to analyze your work.
You set priorities and deliver them with a stable and rational mind. The prick of hurry is not there to disrupt your thought process. A study carried out by Dr. Joerg Huber of Roehampton University in London inferred that early risers tend to be healthier and happier. They also have a lower body mass index.
Early to bed and early to rise makes you less procrastinating:
A study conducted in 2008 revealed early risers have a far lesser inclination towards deferring an action which has urgency. They make use of early morning hours for a decision and don’t wait for the last moment’s dilly dallies.
Sleep gives you a fresh look:
Scientific research has gone to great lengths to find out the impact of quality sleep on your appearance. A study carried out by the University of Stockholm found a tired and poor look drive prospective customers away from you.
A satisfying sleep that is achieved when you hit the bed early with a worry-free mind gives you a refreshing look. It makes a winner out of you. People find you more likable and trustworthy and your deals are won.
Steps to optimize your unique biological clock (chronotype) and maximize productivity by ‘early to bed and early to rise’ regime:
Program your day around your energy.
Energy is your prized resource. Energy levels have peak and slump. Catch the peak for planning for later delivery, results will be better. Try to be an early riser to make most of energy level that is at the peak in early morning. This is how you set your specific chronotype.
Have a sleep routine:
Early to bed has its advantages, but going to bed too early may cut into your productive waking hours. Set a cut off time for work, including dinner. Once you are in bed, ensure total darkness to facilitate good sleep.
Maintain the same hours for going to bed and waking up so that your biological clock is not thrown off its routine. If you think you are going to bed too early for a day out of necessity, tune the rhythm to your body’s requirements.
All is not bad with night owls:
While early to bed and early to rise has its merits, there are examples of brilliant night owls, creative, humorous and super intelligent. Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Albert Einstein are only two examples among many!
Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Many Health and Mental Problems
If you enjoy quality sleep, it is possible to be an early riser. Denying normal circadian rhythm of the body does more harm than good even though it makes you feel good about your productivity. Irregular sleep patterns and not following the circadian rhythm are main reasons behind most cases of sleep deprivation. Add to it the daily stressful schedule. Interrupted sleep is another big problem when you have to wake up often from your restful sleep.
Sleep is essential if you want to maintain good health and physical fitness. However, many times this does not happen, as for instance parents with infants have to wake up frequently at night to attend to the baby and leaves most parents feeling drained. However, experts believe that such interrupted sleep has harmful effects and can be compared to not going for sleep altogether.
Results of Interrupted Sleep
Recent research shows that interrupted sleep is directly linked to reduced cognitive abilities, negative moods as well as shortened attention. Apart from nursing mothers, other people facing similar problem include doctor working at night and tend to get many calls over the night resulting in disruption of sleep.
Even if the wake ups are for relatively small periods such as 5-10 minutes, they are sufficient to break natural sleep rhythm we have. Parents especially have to wake up several times during the night and such sleep disturbance may result in anger towards infant child followed by feeling of guilt.
Study on Students
This study was conducted on students and sleep patterns they had were monitored in their homes using devices similar to wrist watches to detect times when they were awake or asleep. The students were allowed to sleep normally for 8 hours in the night and then on one night they had to receive phone calls 4 times during the night, every time instructed to finish a computer task which took only about 10 minutes and then go back to sleep again.
The next morning these students were given a computer task to evaluate their attention and alertness levels, plus complete a questionnaire for determining their mood. The analysis revealed that their attention was compromised and mood was negative because of the disruption in sleep the previous night.
Interesting Facts about Sleep Deprivation
- If you have less sleep then it can result in weight gain. The benefit of sleep is that it assists in regulating appetite hormones and if you are not getting proper sleep then you start to eat more, resulting in weight gain.
- Sleep required varies from person to person depending on brain’s needs of a person. Some people only need about 6 hours of sleep while there are others who cannot do without at least 8 hours of good sleep.
- Obstructive sleep apnea results in more problems if not treated on time. It can result in increasing the chances of a heart attack by two to three times. The loss of attention also increases possibilities of a car accident by as much as 15 times.
- It is not easy to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea with main target being overweight and older people, but this problem may affect young people as well. Around 24% of all men and 9% of women are affected by this problem; with 64% of people over the age of sixty-five have this problem. Interestingly enough, around 80% of such patients are never diagnosed.
- Some people think that their sleep breaks, as they have to go to washroom. However, chances are higher that your sleep breaks because of obstruction in breathing. If you are regularly going to washroom 2 or more times during the night then it increase your chances of death because of breathing obstruction by as much as 50%.
- If you are doing shift work then you will certainly have disrupted sleep and it can work as a carcinogen proving to be quite damaging for the body.
How to fall asleep
Good sleep is the most important requirement for a healthy life. It also affects our activities of the next day. However, our hectic schedules along with unhealthy food habits bring hindrance to our sleep. We also find ourselves moody and lethargic throughout the day, if we haven’t slept well. Though most people rely on sleeping pills and other forms of medication, it is not advisable to continue them forever. Here are some basic tips to fall asleep.
Complexity level: Basic
Time required: 15-20 minutes
- Have a healthy diet:Do not drink coffee or alcohol before your sleeping time. These drinks stimulate your body and make it hard for you to sleep.You can try avoiding coffee in the evenings as it has a long effect to eliminate sleep. Chocolates, cola, and cigarettes too can prevent you from getting a good sleep. Instead of coffee, you can try a health drink which does not affect your sleep. Chamomile tea is a good drink which can be a substitute for coffee. Drink plenty of fresh water as it will boost the performance of your kidneys and eliminate toxins inside your body, thus keeping your digestive system intact and not making you suffer and prevent your sleep. Fruits and vegetables, rich in carbohydrates, are good to help you sleep. Milk is a well known sleep inducer. It is also good to drink tart cherry.
- Meditate before going to sleep: Most of us are unable to sleep as we are too stressed out. Meditation is a good remedy to relax your body. The stress hormones hinder your sleep, if you go to bed with worries. Keep your mind at rest and do not brood over your problems before you sleep. Meditation controls your mind from wandering and ensures that you have a peaceful sleep. Yoga and psychotherapy too are good for reducing stress level.
- Practice good sleeping habits: Make it a habit to go to bed at a regular time. Decide the fixed number of hours you want to sleep and wake in the morning accordingly. It is better to go to bed before 10 PM as you get a sound sleep immediately. However, if your body is not accustomed to sleep so early, slowly change the habit. Make sure you are feeling sleepy while going to bed; otherwise you can spend the might tossing and thinking. Also choose a convenient position to sleep with clean bedsheets and comfortable pillows.
- Exercise every day: Exercise is not only good for your body, it also helps you sleep better. It improves mental alertness. Exercising also strains your body and you would look forward to sleep. Ensure not to exercise close to your bed time.
Frequently asked questions:
- How can I stop worrying about getting enough sleep?
People who face sleeping problems tend to think too much about sleep. You can divert your attention by listening to music or reading a book before you feel sleepy. Most important, keep your mind at rest and do not worry about the tasks for the next day.
- How can I plan my meals?
The size of the meal should come down as the day progresses. You can have a hearty and splendid meal as your breakfast, a medium one for your lunch, and a mild one for your dinner.
- Do oil massage twice a week.
- Do breathing exercises regularly.
Things to watch out for:
Always attempt to get a good sleep the natural way. Avoid taking medication without the prescription of the doctor. Though it might help you in the short run, it will create problems in the course of time.