It sounds like the near-impossible dream, to be able to 1. Achieve, & 2 more importantly,and perhaps even more impossible, to be actually able to turn it all into a lifelong habit! With that said though, and according to the distinct increased numbers of doctors and the various well-being experts, the message they are all very clearly saying is that going to bed to 10 pm could transform your energy levels, metabolism and mood.
Of course, if you are looking at your own schedule and thinking this does not conform to the usual early morning rise, this theory will vary greatly. If, however, you find yourself to be like many of us, who are working in an office or a job that requires early morning starts, with the usual eight hours at work. Then I have to say that you may actually very surprised and pleasantly pleased with the results you find by going to bed at 10 pm & that this might be the best new habit you could adopt in 2019.
So why is that? For starters, when I look at the holistic approach of sleep, what I have discovered is by ensuring that you are going to sleep at approximately 10 pm “will prevent your body from getting ‘overtired,’. By avoiding this overtiredness, you prevent the situation where your body then releases cortisol, which is the stress hormone. It is when this happens, we get our “second wind”. What then happens is when you go to bed and you try to fall asleep, you toss and turn, and you find your mind starts racing due to it trying to fight & overcome the cortisol levels in your body. All this leads to is a horrendous situation which is no fun at all. The best cure for something is prevention. So, by simply preventing this from happening by ensuring yourself is in bed at the best spot of tiredness…and you guessed it, it is right around 10 p.m.
While what bedtime best compliments your schedule and lifestyle best, is indeed arguable and highly personalised, the improvements of an early regular bedtime has on our bodies stretch far beyond simply a ‘good night sleep’. I know & believe that a consistent 10 pm sleep routine will have profound positive effects on several areas of your life & mind & well-being. To just name a few, it impacts on your stress levels, hormone balance and your weight. The more interesting and fascinating are the areas of your health which you never have thought or believed were connected to your sleep cycle.
The most interesting part of this, is that if your lifestyle consists of a relatively consistent early morning rise, say 7am due to you requiring to be in a office from 9 am to 5pm, what then happens is your circadian rhythms naturally become adjusted to the light sequence of your day-to-day life. By the simple act of you being exposed to bright light in the morning, which then wakens up your system — metabolism, energy, and even stress — to the act of being able to wind down from all the day’s activities as the sky darkens in the evening and you ensure the lighting indoors becomes dimmer. What we then find is that within this type of routine, that by around 10 – 10.30 pm your body naturally begins to prepare itself for sleep by sending you tiredness signals.
Now what then happens, is we as a society have learned to ignore all these magical signals that our body is giving us, with the constant ability to engage ourselves with screens watching programs where others are “living the dream” or a thriller which “plays with your mind” meaning we then have a large tendency to ignore all these tiredness signals, remaining awake for several hours past this peak sleep time, & perfect window of opportunity of sleep. This then causes our body to begin producing cortisol. The stress hormone, keeping us up and therefore disrupting our sleep. If you have ever been or are familiar with the sensation of tossing and turning while you are in your bed, then this is exactly what has occurred. So, while you try to battle with the rise of cortisol hormone levels in your body, you frantically try to lull yourself into the state of sleep.
The knock-on effect of this exhaustion you have & will undoubtedly be suffer from, following even just that one night of troubled, distributed or simply short-lived sleep, can & does make us feel hyper-emotional the following day. With the effects of this reneging from us then craving carbs and high-fat foods which we all know is not the best for us. Finding that on general daily tasks you find yourself having a slightly askew approach to challenges and tasks that normally we would handle with calmness.
I know and certainly agree it can and will not be one of the easy habits you wish to implement in your life, however, as it’s a new year, I would ask you why not at least give it a try and see the results for yourself? As far as I see it and, in my mind, with genuinely have nothing to lose and everything to gain with a new lifestyle of well-being, balance and reconnection with the natural cycles of your sleep and energy cycles.
If you wish more help with this on a holistic gentle approach with the support, we all need at times to help keep us on track and accountable for our actions then I would love to work with you on this. This is the year that sleep will become the new fashion & not before time. So, if you find yourself longing for sleep & wonder if you truly can do this and make the changes, then I suggest you book a call with myself where I can discuss the CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques I use to ensure success and help you rewrite your sleep stories ensuring success.