Here’s why you should consider going to bed before midnight. (Photo: Getty Images)
I’m going to take a wild guess that you already know that sleep affects how well you function. You’re also probably aware that sleep quality is part of the equation (not just quantity).
But the truth is, the time you go to bed, what you do in the hours before going to bed, and what you do when you wake up ALL have a big impact on your rest, according to wellness expert Shawn Stevenson. Shawn has studied the optimal methods for maximizing the quality of your sleep, and has looked at how everything from the set-up of your bedroom to how much water you drink during the day can affect your ZZs.
And considering Shawn’s wealth of knowledge on sleep, it stands to reason that he knows a thing or two about bedtimes. I asked Shawn if there is a golden bedtime for everyone, and his response was two-fold: One, everyone’s body IS different, so it’s most important to listen to what works best for you. But if you haven’t tried going to bed before midnight, give it a chance. We are biological beings affected by the sun’s patterns, so if we go to bed with the sun and wake up with it, we’re working with our natural circadian rhythm. In fact, the closer we can get to the sun’s patterns, the better our energy is. He recommends a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. sleep schedule (noting that it’s OK to be a little flexible with those times). Give it a try.
He offered some other tips for setting yourself up for a good night’s rest:
Stop looking at electronic device screens two hours before you want to fall asleep. (If that’s not going to happen, you can get some cool shades to block the blue light that keeps you up.)
Work out early in the day (even if it’s just a 10-minute set of ab exercises when you wake up).
Pay attention to what you’re eating in the second half of the day: Avoid caffeine, sugar, and dairy.
If you change your sleep habits (one at a time if need be), you’ll start to see changes in your sleep quality quickly. Better sleep creates better energy to carry you through your day. And who doesn’t need more of that?
Want to know more of Shawn’s tips for optimizing your daily habits and routines? You can listen to my full interview with him here:
For more information and links to the resources Shawn recommends, click here.
ABOUT LEWIS HOWES: Lewis is a pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur who hosts the top-ranked podcast The School of Greatness. He interviews the best and brightest minds in health, entrepreneurship, relationships and lifestyle. Follow Lewis on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.