Washington: We know that there are many health benefits of getting enough sleep, and that the negative impacts of sleep deprivation can be severe.
But many of us have a tough time actually making it happen by following earlier-to-bed schedules.
People who are night owls and shift workers do have more medical and mental health problems, but it`s not clear if this is just the genetic makeup of night owls or that those who stay up late have these issues, Michael Breus, Ph.D., said.
A reason, according to him, that works for everyone is early risers get more sunlight and that helps for Vitamin D, and resetting the biological clock.
Breus has suggested seven ways to get to bed earlier tonight and to develop a lasting early-to-bed habit.
Set an electronic curfew: Keep technology out of your bed, and turn off all devices at least an hour before bedtime, Breus said.
Keep a worry journal: Set aside time during the evening to create a to-do list, fill in your calendar with upcoming events, or write down any thoughts that are causing you worry. This may clear your mind of clutter and help you ease into sleep, Breus suggests.
Breus says he calls this technique a worry journal and note that it is very effective.
Set an alarm at night: Setting an alarm to remind you when to go to bed is very helpful, said Dr. Breus.
Leave work at the office: Set a time in the evening to power off-and leave your email for the next morning, Dr. Breus advices.
It may also boost productivity at work, he added.
Exercise earlier in the day: Those who exercise early in the day rather than at night may enjoy the best quality sleep-and find it easier to shift their bedtime and waking times earlier, Dr. Breus asserted.
Start a routine: Setting up a routine and sticking to it every night will train your body to anticipate sleep at that time, he suggested.
Go to bed when you`re tired: Do not push yourself to stay up later when the body feels tired. This might result in a temporary energy boost, but you won`t feel so good the next day, Dr. Breus stated.