Going to Sleep at 9pm Is For Everyone – Here’s Why! Hear Me Out…

Going to Sleep at 9pm Is For Everyone – Here’s Why! Hear Me Out…

If you’re a die-hard night owl, going to sleep at 9pm probably isn’t what you want to hear and you’re probably tired of self-proclaimed early birds yammering on about what is the best time to wake up and go to sleep. However, sticking to a 9pm bedtime has been a game changer for me – that’s the honest truth.

So that means I’m going to make my case for the fact that 9pm is the ideal bedtime. You don’t need to be asleep at 9pm, but I do definitely think you should be in bed relaxing and possibly listening to an audiobook (no blue light-emitting electronics or TV, though). Most nights, I’m usually asleep and drifting off to dreamland by 9:30pm or so.

going to sleep at 9pm - beneficial for everyone
See this clock striking 9 pm? That’s your new bedtime!

FYI – I do have a blog post about how to wake up early if you sleep late once in a while, but I don’t recommend those sleep hacks on a daily basis. Stick with the tried and true: Early to bed, early to rise.

Let’s talk about why this old proverb credited to our early rising buddy, Benjamin Franklin, should be considered an indisputable truth. To quote him fully:

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise - Benjamin Franklin - going to sleep at 9pm

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Benjamin Franklin

9pm applies to everyone – not just kids and seniors. 🙂

Why Should You Be Going to Sleep at 9pm? Why not 10pm or 8pm?

OK, let’s back up for a second. Your bedtime does not have to be 9:00pm on the dot. You might want it to be a different time due to summer and it still being light outside at 9pm, for example.

That’s fine… go to sleep at 9:30pm or 10pm. Just make sure that whatever time you choose is considered an early bedtime for you and that you get your 7 to 9 hours of shuteye every night. Find a schedule that works for you, but I highly recommend you never go to sleep past 10pm.

What About an Earlier 8pm Bedtime?

A lot of people find that they get sleepy earlier than 9pm when they make waking up early a part of their life. That’s completely normal and it doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to a life of early bird specials, Golden Girls reruns, and prune juice. What it actually means is that your circadian rhythm is working properly.

In fact, I wrote a whole blog post addressing the question – is going to bed at 8pm too early? It’s one of my more popular posts, so do know you’re not alone if you want to go to sleep at 8pm.

Why You Should Aim to Go to Sleep at 9pm

These are the 3 main reasons why I believe you should be going to sleep by 9pm. They might surprise you, but hopefully not. Here they are:

1. Your Body Craves An Early 9pm Bedtime

I’ve learned that if I stop the senseless chatter in my head and block out unwanted external distractions, I can listen closely and respond to what my body needs. Several others I know who practice mindfulness say the same thing.

Going to bed early and waking up early is almost always one of those things the body desperately tries to communicate to us. The message will come to us loud and clear if we stop the chatter and just listen.

How do I know all this?

tent camping - going to sleep at 9pm

I recently spent a weekend tent camping at Yosemite with no access to electronic devices. (Okay, fine… I’ll admit I kept my smartphone and extra batteries inside my backpack in case of an emergency, but I didn’t need to use it that week.)

I guarantee, by the end of the week, you will start getting sleepy shortly after the sun sets. The lack of smartphone-induced blue light will cause you to fall asleep faster and better than ever.

yosemite camping - reset circadian rhythm naturally - going to sleep at 9pm
Camping at a beautiful place like Yosemite National Park can help reset your circadian rhythm naturally. You, too, can start reaping the benefits of going to sleep at 9pm with a reset.

What’s that about blue light and electronics, you might be asking? You might’ve heard the spiel before: The light emitted from your smartphone, tablet, TV, and computer (which, mind you, is blindingly bright at night) essentially delays your body’s production of melatonin.

Melatonin, of course, is that amazing hormone produced in the pineal gland that initiates a strong feeling of sleepiness in the absence of light. You don’t need to take a supplement to produce enough melatonin – you simply need to turn off your electronics and artificial lighting an hour before bedtime.

Long story short, if we’d just quit it with the self-sabotaging electronic devices and let nature take its course, most of us wouldn’t have trouble sleeping and would be going to sleep at 9pm with no qualms.

Assuming you don’t have too much on your mind, the week-long camping trip sans electronic devices works like a charm to reset your circadian rhythm and reset your bedtime to 9pm-ish.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

Now, I do realize most of us can’t take a week-long camping trip (or maybe, rather, we tell ourselves that we can’t?), but what about a weekend trip under the stars without the smartphone constantly in our hands? That’s doable. I recommend you do it.

nature intended us to go to sleep at 9pm

2. Going to Sleep at 9pm is What Nature Intended

If you allow the sun and moon to start to dictating your bedtime and wake-up time, you will fully realize this early to bed, early to rise schedule is what nature intended.

This is similar to my point in #1, but a bit different. This point is about the physical evidence provided to us by nature.

For example, think back to the days before smartphones, computers, and even TV’s, radios, and modern electricity existed. I know it’s hard to imagine but try.

Most people back then typically went to bed early when it got dark (probably around 9pm most nights, depending on location and season) and woke up early (probably 5 or 6am, on average). After all, I suspect it was quite difficult to do any outdoor work that most peoples’ livelihood revolved around after sunset. They had no choice but to work on nature’s light-dark schedule and adapt to it.

Nature has sent us a very obvious message. The logic is so blatantly simple that even cavemen innately understood it: Go to sleep when it’s dark, awaken when there’s light. Hunting, gathering, and life itself depended on it.

I know this light dependence isn’t necessary anymore and we have a choice now. Responsibilities aside, we can sleep and wake up whenever we want, but what I’m pointing out is that early 9pm-ish bedtimes are what nature intended for us. This early schedule what we gravitate toward when we remove modern amenities and get back to basics.

have more time - going to sleep at 9pm

3. A 9pm Bedtime Makes You Feel Like You Have More Time

I know, I know. Technically, no one can ever have more time because everyone can only have 24 hours available in a given day.

However, as someone who consistently hits the sack around 9pm and wakes up at 5:30am, I can tell you it definitely feels like I have more time.

I think this phenomenon stems from this shifting of my schedule earlier by going to sleep at 9pm and waking up at 5:30am allows me to rush around less, enjoy more, and act on my ambitions and hobby-related pursuits more.

At 5:30am, I feel as though I’m waking up because I want to, and therefore, doing the things I want to do. There is always plenty of time during the rest of the day to do the things I have to do, but I get to take care of me first.

Because I get up at 5:30am, I usually get quite tired when 9pm rolls around. The cycle of a proper bedtime and wake-up time keeps itself in check so that I don’t really have to think about it anymore – I just follow what my body wants.

And my body wants me to be going to sleep at 9pm.


going to sleep at 9pm caveat

A Small Caveat About Going to Sleep at 9pm

Before I wrap up this blog post, lemme just warn you about something that frustrated me a little bit when I first started going to bed at 9pm. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine at first.

The camping trip made a 9pm bedtime easy during that week, but when I got back home and slipped back into my normal life with plenty of access to electricity and electronic devices, I developed what you might call… performance anxiety.

Unintentionally, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be in bed by 9:00 pm sharp and be asleep by 9:30pm so that I could clock my 8 hours and be up by 5:30am.

As you can probably guess, that didn’t turn out too well.

I ended up stirring up another bout of insomnia. I had to take a step back for a while, relax, and take a gentler approach. I eased into my early bedtime routine and learned a few other things along the way to make the 9pm change easier and more sustainable long-term.

For example, I learned that I was deficient in magnesium and that magnesium, being one of the essential “calming electrolytes”, is an important part of the sleep equation that most people never consider.

I started taking this awesome, affordable magnesium supplement and saw my insomnia start to dimish within days. I literally changed nothing else other than taking a good quality magnesium glycinate supplement.

The difference was like night and day for me. I started out taking 2 tablets twice per day, but now that I’ve eliminated my magnesium deficiency, I cut back the dosage to 1 tablet twice per day.

After seeing an improvement in my sleep from the magnesium supplement and successfully training myself to wake up early (that is, to not resist waking up when the alarm goes off), I conducted an experiment to find out if I actually needed 8 hours of sleep per night. As it turned out, I didn’t.

I learned how to sleep less and have more energy by finding my personal sleep sweet spot. I thrive on 7.5 hours per night.

It really pays to take the time to do things the right way. Finding the best bedtime and wake-up time for yourself is no exception.

If I had just blindly continued going to sleep at 9pm, I would’ve continued to be frustrated with my insomnia and eventually would have given up waking up early altogether.

That would have been a shame because now that I’m easily falling asleep and waking up early, I know that making the extra effort to make it all work was worth the hassle.

Going to bed early and getting up early is one of the best all-around decisions I’ve ever made. My sleep quality, energy levels, productivity, and life satisfaction are higher than ever. Going to sleep at 9pm comes highly recommended!

I'm the owner of WhyGetUpEarly.com and an enthusiastic early riser. Let's discuss why that is... and maybe I can make you a believer in magical mornings as well!

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