We all vaguely know that having good sleeping habits is important, but are the only benefits of having a sleep schedule to simply get more sleep? While feeling more rested is probably the most notable effect, there are many more long-term benefits to forming good sleep habits such as healthy body composition and a lower risk of heart disease.
The reason these are affected so much is that a consistent sleep schedule helps maintain our body’s internal clock, scientifically our circadian rhythm. This directly affects heart rate, blood pressure, better immune function, and increased performance. People who get better sleep often experience positive day-to-day things such as; reduced stress, better mood, and better interactions.
The when we go to sleep isn’t as important as thewhat we do to get ready to sleep. Rather than have a set time to go to sleep and wake up every day, it’s more important to find a good routine to start winding down when you’re getting ready to sleep. This will help us mentally get ready to sleep, which will help us feel more rested when we wake. Things we can do to form a nightly routine to wind down could include;
avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep,
not watching the clock at night,
limiting exposure to light,
avoid eating, talking on the phone, or reading in bed,
Avoid using computers or smartphones, watching TV, or playing video games at bedtime
It can usually take 7 to 10 days for a new sleep schedule to take effect, don’t fret if you don’t see immediate results! Long-term work has long-term rewards, here’s to feeling better rested!