If you’re a die-hard night owl, going to sleep at
So that means I’m going to make my case for the fact that
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
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
That’s fine… go to sleep at
What About an Earlier
A lot of people find that they get sleepy earlier than
In fact, I wrote a whole blog post addressing the question – is going to bed at
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
The camping trip made a
Unintentionally, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be in bed by 9:00 pm sharp and be asleep by
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
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