It might sound near-impossible to achieve and perhaps, even more, to turn into a lifelong habit, but according to a rising number of doctors and well-being experts, going to bed to 10 pm could transform your energy levels, metabolism and mood.
Of course, if your schedule does not conform to the usual early morning rise, this theory will vary. But if you are, like many of us, working in an office or a job that requires early morning starts and roughly eight hours at work, going to bed at 10 pm might be the best new habit you could adopt in 2019.
So why is that? For starters, according to Dr. Ellen Vora, a holistic psychiatrist, going to sleep at approximately 10 pm “will prevent your body from getting ‘overtired,’ when you release the stress hormone cortisol and hit a second wind of energy. When you try to push against cortisol to fall asleep, you toss and turn and your mind races. No fun. Prevent this by swooping yourself to bed at the sweet spot of tiredness, right around 10 p.m.”
While what bedtime compliments your schedule and lifestyle best is indeed arguable and highly personalised, according to Vora, the improvements an early regular bedtime has on our bodies stretch far beyond simply a ‘good night sleep’. Vera argues that a consistent 10 pm sleep routine will have palpable positive effects on your stress levels, your hormone balance, your weight, and even areas of your health you never thought were connected to your sleep cycle.
The thing is that if your lifestyle sports a relatively consistent early morning rise and a 9 to 6 in the office, then naturally your circadian rhythms become adjusted to the light sequence of your day-to-day. You will be exposed to bright light in the morning, which will wake up your system — metabolism, energy, and even stress — and you will be winding down from a day of activities in the evening as the sky darkens and lights indoors become dimmer. Within this type of routine, your body naturally begins to prepare itself for sleep, sending you tiredness signals around 10 – 10:30 pm.
However, our tendency is to ignore these tiredness signals and remain awake for several hours past this peak sleep time, causing our body to begin producing cortisol, our stress hormone and therefore keep us up and disrupt our sleep. If you are familiar with the sensation of tossing and turning in bed then this is precisely what happens when you try to battle with the rise of cortisol hormone levels in your body as you try to lull yourself into sleep.
Exhaustion following even one night of troubled or distributed or simply short-lived sleep can make us feel hyper-emotional the following day, crave carbs and high-fat foods and generally have a slightly skewed approach to challenges and tasks that we might otherwise handle with calmness.
It certainly will not be an easy habit to implement, but as it’s a new year, why not at least try it and see the results for yourself. As far as we see it, there is nothing to lose and a new lifestyle of well-being, balance and reconnection with the natural cycles of your sleep and energy cycles to gain.