Sleeping Tips: 7 Ways To Get To Bed Earlier Tonight

June 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

We know that there are many health benefits of getting enough shuteye, and that the negative impacts of sleep deprivation can be severe. When it comes to turning off the TV or iPad, setting aside our work, and tucking in at 10 p.m., though, many of us have a tough time actually making it happen.

But when the morning alarm clock time is finite, shifting your nighttime routine to head to bed earlier can benefit your overall health and well-being by improving sleep quality and ensuring you get the recommended seven to eight hours you need. It could also have implications for your heart health: A 2009 Japanese study found that male workers who consistently went to bed before midnight had healthier coronary arteries than those who went to be after midnight, according to an ABC News report. Although the exact reasons are not yet exactly understood, sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., tells the Huffington Post that an earlier-to-bed schedule could be healthier.

“We do know that people who are night owls and shift workers do have more medical and mental health problems, but we do not know if this is just the genetic makeup of night owls or that those who stay up late have these issues,” Breus says. “One reason that works for everyone is early risers get more sunlight and that helps for Vitamin D, and resetting the biological clock.”

Click through the slideshow below for seven ways to hit the hay at a reasonable hour tonight — and to develop a lasting early-to-bed habit.

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  • Set An Electronic Curfew

    A a href=”” target=”_blank”National Sleep Foundation poll/a found that 95 percent of Americans use electronic devices within an hour of going to sleep at least a few nights a week — and their sleep may be suffering because of it. Make a rule to keep technology out of your bed, and turn off all devices at least an hour before bedtime, Breus suggests. Exposure to bright artificial lighting can make it more difficult to fall asleep, and you may spend more time on the devices than you intended, thereby pushing back your bedtime.

    “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour, making it more difficult to fall asleep,” a href=”” target=”_blank”Charles Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., told Reuters in 2011/a. “Light-emitting screens are in heavy use within the pivotal hour before sleep.”

  • Keep A Worry Journal

    Many of us lie in bed tossing and turning because our minds are still very much awake, tallying all the things we still need to do. Set aside time during the evening to create a to-do list, fill in your calendar with upcoming events, or write down any thoughts that are causing you worry, Breus suggests. Clearing your mind of clutter before bed can help you ease into sleep.

    “I call this technique a worry journal,” Breus says. “It is very effective.”

  • Set An Alarm — At Night

    Bedtimes aren’t just for kids! Decide on and stick to a regular bedtime — one that will allow you as much sleep as you need to feel your best. If it helps, set an alarm clock in your bedroom or an alert on your phone to remind you 15 minutes prior to your tuck-in time.

    “Setting an alarm to remind you when to go to bed is very helpful,” says Dr. Breus.

  • Leave Work At The Office

    Unsurprisingly, the use of communication technology before bedtime can lead to inadequate sleep during the week, a href=”” target=”_blank”according to a National Sleep Foundation survey/a. With the growth of 24/7 connectivity, increasing numbers of American workers are working into their evenings and weekends, completing unfinished projects and sending emails from their smartphones. a href=”” target=”_blank”According to a survey by Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow/a, 90 percent of managers put in 50 or more hours of work per week, and 62 percent check their smartphone before going to bed. Set a time in the evening to power off — and leave your email for the next morning. You may even find that it boosts your productivity.

    “We’re trying to find a way to change the way people work,” a href=”” target=”_blank”Perlow, author of Sleeping With Your Smart Phone, told Inc/a.

  • Exercise Earlier In The Day

    Exercise and sleep are two pillars of health that go hand-in-hand. According to a a href=”” target=”_blank”National Sleep Foundation poll/a, exercisers report better sleep than non-exercisers. And those who exercise early in the day rather than at night may enjoy the best quality sleep — and find it easier to shift their bedtime and waking times earlier. Working out a href=”” target=”_blank”at least four hours/a before you hit the hay can help you to feel naturally tired at the end of the day, and to fall asleep faster. Moving your workout to the morning or afternoon, instead of after work or dinner, will also free up time in the evening.

  • Start A Routine

    Getting ready for bed earlier in the evening — washing up, putting on pajamas, and unwinding with restful activities — could help put the body into a state of calm.

    “It is amazing to me how many parents will have set patterns for their children (e.g. bath, pajamas, three picture books, a quick back scratch and then lights out/parents exit), but none for themselves,” Chris Winter, M.D., medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center, a href=”” target=”_blank”told HuffPost in April/a. Setting up a routine and sticking to it every night will train your body to anticipate sleep at that time.

  • Go To Bed When You’re Tired

    Pushing yourself to stay up later when the body feels tired might result in a temporary energy boost, but you won’t feel so good the next day if you wait for a late-night burst of energy.

    “Go to bed when you are tired,” Breus says. “Do not push through and catch your second wind — it will keep you up for three hours.”

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