Going to bed and waking up early can be a difficult task for a lot of people. I think that it can be difficult for people for many reasons. First and foremost, people simply have too much to get done in one day. When you have been at work all day thinking about things that you want or need to get done at home, it can be difficult to come home, eat dinner, and go to bed. However, staying up late and getting up early is just not good for your body. In order for your muscles to recover from exercise, it is important that you get the proper amount of sleep. In my opinion, the proper amount of sleep would be anywhere from 7 to 9 hours. The reason for this 2 hour range is because some people simply do not need as much sleep as others.
Now, a lot of people might ask why one could not go to bed later and simply wake up later. This is a very legitimate question and for a long time I followed this logic as well. However, in recent years, I have found many reasons that oppose this line of thinking. First off, most jobs do not allow the option of sleeping in late. Along with this, most jobs force you to be quick in your thinking at early hours of the morning. For example, many people have meetings that start at 8 or 9 in the morning. How can you be quick and sharp in your thinking if you are not accustomed to waking up at early hours of the morning? Whether you want to accept it or not, our bodies are creatures of habit. This is why it is so important to get into a routine. You will be surprised how much better and sharper you will feel once you get into a solid routine and sleeping pattern.
Another reason this form of thinking is not a good one to fall into is because it is not good for your mind to work all the way up to the point you go to bed. If you are staying up late working on different things and looking at the computer, your mind is not able to completely relax when it is time to go to bed. It can also cause a lot of difficulties when trying to fall asleep. This is why I encourage you to save your work for either the office or the weekend. Now, I understand that this is not always possible due to time restraints or just simply not having enough time to get all of your work done. If this is the case, I encourage you to put aside at least 30 minutes before bed for your mind to decompress. This will allow your body to take advantage of all the sleep you allow it to have.
The last reason I will give for this often asked question is that most people who go to bed late are usually not able to go to bed at a consistent time. For example, I do not meet too many people who consistently go to bed at 12 or 1 am. On the flip side of this, I do meet a lot of people who are consistently able to go to bed at say 9:30 or 10. I think this is caused by 2 major reasons. First off, people who go to work can only stay up and sleep in late on the weekends. During the week, they are forced to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier for work. Second, when going to bed at late hours of the night consistently, there are bound to be those days that just wear you out and you are forced to go to bed earlier.
On top of all this, people who go to bed later are more likely to eat right before bed. This is because most people eat dinner between 6 and 8 p.m. If you are staying up until 12 or 1 am, it is very likely that you will be hungry again around the time you are going to sleep. This can cause problems because it can be very hard to go to sleep when your mind is telling you it is hungry and it is not good to eat right before you go to bed because your body has a harder time properly digesting your food.
In conclusion, I encourage you to not only go to bed and wake up earlier, but also to get your body into a routine. Of course there are always going to be those nights when you just have to stay up later or you just want to stay up a little later. However, getting into a sleep routine can really help with daily activities and overall health as well as making a world of difference in meeting both your exercise and your dietary goals. It can be hard at first but start out slow. For example, if you are going to bed at 11 or 12, start by consistently going to bed at 11 and then slowly move the time back. You will also notice a big mental difference in your daily activities. Your mind will be both sharper and quicker. I also encourage you to maintain your routine through the weekend. This can be hard at first as well because you are tired from your past week, but push through because you will quickly notice your body beginning to feel more and more energized. Lastly, I encourage you to write down the times you are going to bed and waking up and the amount of hours you slept that night. Along with this, write down how you felt throughout the day. I am more than willing to bet that over time you will see the positive changes that sleep can have on your body!