"Early to bed, early to rise!"
"The early bird gets the worm!"
Have you heard these sayings before? Well, according to Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Makes sense, right? We all may have a general understanding of the importance of getting a good night’s rest. The more sleep you get, the better you feel. But do you know why it's essential? According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is directly related to how we perform on a daily basis and can impact our overall quality of life. That’s why, today, we are going to dig a little deeper into the benefits of getting to bed early and the many reasons it pays to ditch those night owl tendencies.
Better health for a better you
Guess what? Your body not only needs sleep but also, it loves to sleep! When your body is at rest, it’s actually working very hard to recover from the day and prep for the next day ahead. While you’re asleep, your heart rate slows, and your blood pressure drops, yielding incredible benefits to the cardiovascular system. We are giving our bodies the time it needs to regulate and repair muscle tissue, and that happens during our deepest sleep. So, your body will thank you by allowing you to wake up feeling energetic and rejuvenated.
When you are sleeping, your brain is also working on your emotions. When you get more sleep, you are gaining sharper brain function and boosting your mood. According to WebMD, “When you cut that short, you tend to have more negative emotional reactions and fewer positive ones.”
It can be hard to take full advantage of the day when you wake up feeling tired and cranky. So, with a rested body and mind, you're likely to experience a more positive mood, feelings of gratitude, and the ability to erase those stubborn self-limiting beliefs.
And we’ve all had a handful of those nights staying up late and snacking on junk food. But did you know that turning in early will not only give your body the time it needs to regulate blood sugar and boost your immune system but also help you to make better food choices throughout the day? That’s right - when you make a conscious effort to get to bed early, you are developing healthy habits to make your body’s needs a top priority.
You snooze, you lose
Are you a morning person? Or do cringe at the sound of your morning alarm? Well, it might be time to start implementing a new morning routine, starting with skipping the snooze button. When you hear your alarm, doze off after hitting snooze and then hear your alarm again, you are confusing your mind and actually making yourself more tired. Think about it, you’re waking up and falling back asleep every 5 minutes or so. Then, once you’re ready to get up, you feel like a complete zombie. Hitting snooze is one of those pesky bad habits we tend to disregard from time to time, so let’s change that! You have one shot at the day, so why not start off on the right foot? As jarring as the sound may be, think of your morning alarm as the signal to the start of a great day, full of rewarding experiences.
We handle most of life’s responsibilities during the day. We go to work, we attend meetings, appointments, and the list goes on. Our bodies function at a higher rate during daylight hours. So, when you stay up late with the lights on or crash on the couch watching TV, our bodies and minds are trying to stay up too. But this is the time when we need to let ourselves rest. So, if you can't seem to fall asleep, try turning off your mind, and the lights! That includes your smartphone too. If you’re in bed scrolling through your phone while trying to fall asleep, the bright screen is preventing you from doing just that. So, signaling your mind with darkness will help your body wind down to get the best possible sleep.
Move over morning routine, say hello to the nighttime regimen
That brings me to my next tip: establishing a nighttime routine. Morning routines are pretty standard. We wake up, brush our teeth, maybe make a pot of coffee, etc. These are the things we do to help ourselves wake up in the morning. But have you ever created a nighttime routine? Well, here are some life hacks on how to fall asleep in just a few short steps:
1. Set a nighttime alarm
Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t feel like you have to get in bed right away, but start your routine by setting some sort of reminder that it’s time to get ready for bed. Just like your morning alarm, a nighttime alarm should be set for the same time every night. When it comes to learning how to stop being a night owl, I like to follow this rule: “put it into your schedule and stick to it.” Getting used to an alert at night is one of my favorite success habits because you are adding sleep to your priority list. Soon, your sleep habits will become a part of your regular daily schedule.
2. Find a quiet and soothing activity
Use this time to truly relax. Put on some soft music or even sit and meditate, it’s up to you! Just make sure you feel calm and aren’t distracted by your surroundings. Give yourself this time to set positive affirmations and reflect on your goals. It's a great time to really get aligned with your desires. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, make this time yours.
3. Deep breaths
It’s time to get in bed and find your cozy spot. Now that you are feeling relaxed and laying face up, start taking several deep breaths in and then slowly exhale. The slow, steady breaths you take mimic the slow breathing patterns you experience while you are sleeping. Like the Law of Attraction teaches us, we create what we focus on. And if you focus on relaxing, your body will follow that lead, so you'll have a much easier time both falling and staying asleep.
Like drinking plenty of water and getting enough exercise, sleep is one of those things our bodies not only need to survive but also need to thrive. So, I hope these tips for better sleep will help you to start living your absolute best life because you deserve it! And while we are on the topic of sleep, I’d love for you to have a go at some eye-opening mind exercises you can use to uncover any hidden subconscious programming that may be keeping you for achieving your true potential. Get FREE access here! Enjoy!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.