Do you stay up late at weekends but in bed by 9pm during the week? It’s no wonder that even with enough sleep you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Read what happens in the body when you really go to bed at the same time every day.
Hardly anyone goes to bed at exactly the same time on Monday as on a Friday evening. If you want to keep your body healthy for a long time, you should do just that.
Researchers have found that people who always go to bed and wake up at the same time are more productive and successful during the day.
On some days, however, sleep is simply too short. There can be various reasons for this. It’s easy to lose track of the time when you’re streaming or eating with friends.
This often leads to a persistent tiredness that persists even if you go to bed earlier the next day.
Regular bedtime makes you more productive
Researchers from Birmingham published a study in which they observed the sleep habits of 61 Harvard students. The students kept a sleep diary for four weeks.
The result: Those participants with an irregular sleep rhythm had a lower grade point average than those who always went to bed at the same time. Not only did the students perform better, they also had fewer problems falling asleep and getting up.
The amazing thing about this result is that both groups had about the same number of hours of sleep. Only the bedtimes were different.
Lead author of the study, Andrew JK Philips, emphasizes: “Our results suggest that going to bed and waking up at the same time is just as important as the number of hours you sleep.”
This is how you sleep better
Some nights it’s hard to fall asleep for no apparent reason. A possible reason for this can be different bedtimes. If you go to bed at 10 p.m. one day and only after midnight the next day, your internal clock will get out of step.
Going to bed consistently at a set time instead helps the body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm. In this way, the body knows, independently of external influences, that sleeping is announced at a certain time. Then it also starts to produce the sleep hormone melatonin in good time.
More sleep – more energy in everyday life
You are more efficient if you always go to bed at the same time. You don’t have to be in bed exactly to the second. It’s just about not having too much fluctuation in bedtime.
An irregular sleep pattern messes up the release of melatonin. But if you always go to bed at the same time, you ensure a regulated release of the sleep hormone and can sleep deeper and more restfully, which in turn leads to more energy in everyday life.
You feel more balanced
Another study, in which students also kept a sleep diary, found that those who had a regular sleep pattern were happier.
On the other hand, those who went to bed at very irregular times are more unbalanced and unhappier overall.
Less stress and better immune system
So going to bed at the same time leads to better and more restful sleep. Those who sleep better are less stressed.
People with regular bedtimes have been shown to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the study, people who are genetically predisposed to cardiovascular disease also minimize their risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack by going to bed at the same time.
Because an irregular sleep rhythm also means that we are more stressed, have higher blood pressure and are more susceptible to diseases overall.
Why do we sleep better when we go to bed at the same time?
The researchers believe that the reason why people with irregular bedtimes have trouble falling asleep is a disordered release of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that is supposed to make you sleepy.
In people with irregular sleep patterns, melatonin release occurs up to 2.6 hours later than in those who go to bed and wake up at more or less the same time.
If you always go to bed at the same time, your body can adjust better to sleep and stimulate melatonin production.