When I was a kid, my dad used to say, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Now, I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but it does appear as though it is partially correct, at least according to a study I came across recently.
What part is correct? Well, it turns out that the earlier you go to sleep every night, the less likely you are to worry—which can be a real boost to your overall health, especially during the busy holiday season.
It’s not uncommon for people who fall asleep later to spend time worrying. I know there have been nights when I’ve been laying in bed, stressing about work, finances, or other personal matters. There have also been times when I find myself going to bed later because I’ve been up late working or trying to relax in front of the television, delaying my bedtime as I hold on to see what will happen at the end of the show.
Well, this new research I found shows that the later you’re awake, the more worrying you’ll do. This can carry over into your daily attitude and overall outlook, creating negative feelings, pessimistic thoughts, and added pressure throughout your day. This can lead to you feeling like you have less control over your life and your future, which are symptoms common in individuals with anxiety and depression.
The results I’m talking about come from a very small sample size of 100 young adults. They each completed two questionnaires to measure how much they worried, ruminated, or obsessed over things, which are three gauges of repetitive negative thinking. They were also asked if they were more morning or night people. It turned out that the participants who went to bed earlier were much less inclined to worry than those who were night owls.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is highly recommended. In fact, getting less sleep is linked to a number of health issues, like depression, obesity, and heart disease. But this new study indicates that what time you fall asleep might impact your health, too.
My main recommendation is to go to bed when you’re tired and try to limit distractions when you’re in bed. Leave your phone to charge in another room and don’t watch television for an hour before bed. You can always record the programs you’ll miss or catch reruns of them the next day!
It may not make you wealthy or wise, but it seems that going to bed early can make you healthy. To start, try hitting the sack just 30 minutes earlier than you usually would tonight and see if you notice a difference over time.
Source for Today’s Article:
Nota, J.A. and Coles, M.E., “Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking,” Cognitive Therapy and Research 2014; DOI:10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7.