How to Go to Sleep Earlier: Your Complete Guide to Building the Habit

We'll tell you all you need to know about how to go to sleep earlier and give some tips, tricks, and tools that promote sleep.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 11, 2022
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Do you often plan to go to bed earlier and then stay up until midnight? “Today, I’m going to bed earlier!” – that’s often easier said than done.

Some people find it extremely difficult to go to bed early, even when they don’t feel particularly rested in the morning and know they need to change their sleeping habits.

In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to go to sleep earlier. In addition, tips, tricks, and tools that promote sleep will be revealed. Read on to find them out!

What Is Your Sleep-Wake Cycle and Biological Clock?

How to Go to Sleep Earlier: Your Complete Guide to Building the Habit

The sleep-wake cycle is the regular alternation between periods of wakefulness and sleep. It’s always of the same duration and always at the same time. Thus, the human being, a diurnal animal, is in a period of wakefulness during the day and sleep at night.

On the other hand, the biological clock, also known as the internal clock, is the set of biochemical and physiological mechanisms that allow the rhythmic activity of the organism. The internal clock is regulated for one day, thanks to external stimuli (day-night alternation). The light serves to synchronize the internal clock and controls the circadian rhythm.

That’s why individuals in conditions close to darkness with no sunlight will  have a drift in their circadian rhythm Trusted Source Light and the circadian rhythm: The key to a good night's sleep? The cycle of sleep and wakefulness is one of the key human behaviours. We spend about a third of our lives asleep and cannot survive without it. When asleep, our brain memorises and processes information. Our body clears toxins and repairs itself, allowing us to function properly when awake. www.bbc.com  with about 30 minutes added to their 24-hour biological clock for each day this happens, according to researchers. In humans, it is the hypothalamus that controls the body’s circadian rhythm.

Light can vary the secretion of a hormone called melatonin.  Melatonin secretion Trusted Source MELATONIN: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews Learn more about MELATONIN uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain MELATONIN. www.webmd.com  follows a circadian rhythm: it increases at the end of the day to promote sleep and decreases in the morning.

The core of the brain ensures all inner clocks adapt to the light-dark rhythm of the environment. It compensates for differences between inside and outside time. This is important when we change time zones, for example, on a flight to the other side of the world. However, jet lag Trusted Source Jet Lag: What is it, Symptoms, How Long Does it Last & Treatment Jet lag happens when flying across time zones disrupts your natural sleep rhythms. Learn how long jet lag lasts and how to manage this common issue. my.clevelandclinic.org lasts for a few days to weeks.

Is It Better to Be a Night Owl or Early Bird?

Being an early riser is perfect for starting the day without a rush. Being a night owl is ideal when you want to enjoy your evening. But if you force yourself to stay awake when you need to go to bed, it’s a bad idea: you risk upsetting your biological clock.

Early riser or night owl, it doesn’t matter! The important thing is to respect your chronotype.

We may say that it is damaging to your health to go to bed late. However, not being able to sleep a wink when you try to go to bed early is not a solution, just like lying in bed in the morning when you no longer feel the need to sleep. So, the best advice we can give you is to listen to yourself!

Will You Need Less Hours to Restore When You Go to Bed Earlier?

Although no research can give us an accurate answer, however, logically, early sleepers tend to need less sleep time to get fully recharged.

A similar analogy is a case where a smartphone battery takes 2 hours to fully charge from 0%. So, for example, if you decide to charge it at 25%, the total charge time will be less than when the battery is flat.

Early sleepers are not usually as spent as late sleepers at the point of sleep. So it’s common to see these sleepers wake up around 4 am to 6 am.

On the other hand, late sleepers tend to be exhausted during sleep. Therefore, to get fully recharged, they may need more sleeping hours. But that’s not to mean night owls get all the required sleep time as they tend to get aroused from sleep earlier due to the morning activities (traffic noise, noise from the kids or neighbors, etc.).

How to Make Yourself Go to Sleep Earlier

To outsmart yourself and get to bed earlier starting from tonight, it is advisable to follow the tips below.

#1: Establish a Sleep Routine

First, you must set a sleep schedule establishing the time to sleep and wake. And this should be no longer than eight hours.

Whether it’s a hot shower, a cup of tea, or slipping into your pajamas: It is essential to create fixed anchor points in the evening that condition the body to prepare for sleep.

#2: Avoid Bright Lights

How to Go to Sleep Earlier: Your Complete Guide to Building the Habit

We all know it: Stop looking at your cell phone or screen in bed! This is because of the light, which can have a negative effect on falling asleep. If you want to change the rhythm, you have to be strong now and put your phone down.

This applies above all to smartphones or tablets. If you stay glued to your cell phone until just before you go to sleep or even in bed, you could have trouble falling asleep.

Televisions, computers, mobile phones, or other illuminants irradiate us with blue light. This switches the organism to daytime operation and wakefulness because it reduces the release of the sleep hormone known as melatonin.

The result is problems falling asleep. If you can’t keep your hands off your smartphone, you should put the device in a special Eye Care mode. Android users can use apps (CF.lumen or Twilight); for this, iPhone users can put the phone into night shift mode.

#3: No Afternoon Naps

Even if it’s tempting, taking a nap in the afternoon that’s too long can mess up your sleep schedule. Because it’s not possible to “sleep in advance,” napping often results in a shift in bedtime and, as a result, fatigue for the day ahead.

Instead of lying down in the afternoon, you can recharge your batteries with targeted meditation exercises or a walk in the fresh air. If you have to take a cat nap, it should not exceed 30 minutes.

#4: Plan Your Daily Activities Well

The faster or slower the stimulating substance is broken down depending on how much caffeine you normally consume. That means: 1 to 2-cup people should limit their consumption to mid-morning.

Meanwhile, caffeine junkies can still munch on a cup in the afternoon. But five hours before sleep at the latest is the end. If you can’t do without tea beverages, you should take herbal tea. The best-selling tea sampler on the market, the Bigelow Herbal Tea, for example, can even bring about sweet dreams, and the best of all, it is caffeine-free.

#5: Use the Right Bedding Accessories

Add a mattress topper if you can’t afford to change your bed. Ensure you’re combining the bed with suitable pillows and blankets. Weighted blankets  can decrease insomnia Trusted Source Weighted blankets can decrease insomnia severity: Randomized, controlled trial finds that weighted blankets are safe and effective -- ScienceDaily Weighted blankets are a safe and effective intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to researchers who found that insomnia patients with psychiatric disorders experienced reduced insomnia severity, improved sleep and less daytime sleepiness when sleeping with a weighted chain blanket. www.sciencedaily.com , according to researchers. In addition, you can use the best weighted blankets for managing sleep disorders.

#6: Take Melatonin Supplements

How to Go to Sleep Earlier: Your Complete Guide to Building the Habit

If your body system isn’t producing enough melatonin hormones that can bring about sleep, you can supplement it. Melatonin supplements are sold online and in pharmacies that can help you sleep healthily. For example, the Natrol Melatonin Tablets are best for those finding it hard to fall asleep because they dissolve faster and help you fall asleep faster and for longer.

How to Make an Early Bedtime a Habit?

Changing a habit can be difficult. But with time, persistence, and strategy, you can program yourself to sleep earlier.

#1: Set a Sleep Time

Establish a time when you want to be in bed and stick to that internal agreement. If you have a specific time in mind, you can consciously end the day and plan your evening accordingly.

#2: Set Your Morning Routine

What does the morning routine have to do with going to bed early? A lot! Try to stick to this time every day. You may also plan to get up a maximum of two hours after this time on weekends. If you have no problems waking up but still like checking your cell phone, you can set your alarm half an hour earlier.

#3: Slowly Approach the Goal

Because unfortunately, you can’t just snap your fingers and suddenly you’re sleeping like a baby at 10 pm. Your body, your psyche – you have to get used to it. And that takes time. Therefore, it is advisable to approach the goal slowly.

For example, you normally go to bed at around 2 a.m. but would like to start sleeping earlier. So go to bed 15 minutes earlier the first day, half an hour the next, and so on.

#4: Have Patience and Stick with It

Have you ever tried to become more athletic? Then you know how long it can take to get used to the new routine. Why should it be any different from the sleep rhythm? And yes, it’s frustrating when you’re lying in bed and can’t fall asleep at the desired time. But don’t chalk that up as a defeat. Keep at it and take baby steps (see point “Slowly Approach the Goal”).

The video below teaches how to fall asleep fast and sleep better.

Tools and Technologies Promoting Sleep

Fortunately, today there are objects to help you sleep better naturally, without resorting to drugs.

White Noise Device

In reality, white noise hides among the noises of our environment. The best white noise machines emit monotonous and continuous sound in a specific range of frequencies, covering all other noises. White noise has a relaxing effect on our brain because just as white light saturates our field of vision, white noise saturates our auditory system. All the sounds that make up white noise are part of the same spectrum. When listening to white noise, thoughts are lost in a steady hum.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Are you the type that can’t do without using a smartphone or computer or watching TV before bed? Anti-blue glasses can help protect us from the effects of blue lights on the sleep cycle. These glasses effectively filter blue light to protect the eyes at night and help you fall asleep faster.

Earbuds

How to Go to Sleep Earlier: Your Complete Guide to Building the Habit

There are earbuds, shaped like earplugs, designed to shield outside noise while emitting soothing sounds. One of the best of these earbuds is the Bose Sleepbuds headphones. Designed in soft silicone, they adapt perfectly to the shape of the ears: they are comfortable to wear and stay in place all night long!

Pillow Speakers

Meanwhile, those who can’t have earbuds in their ears, with or without music while asleep, can try pillow speakers. Pillow speakers are music players designed to fit into and out of a pillow. They produce low-volume background noise that promotes sleep.

Final Thoughts

Now we’ve shown you how to go to sleep earlier and hope you can manage your sleep and wake cycle better. Even without an alarm clock, our body knows whether it is time to work or sleep. Billions of small biological clocks tick inside it, and they set the pace by which we live.

Turning night into day – that’s harder than you think. Jet-lagged travelers feel it, as do shift workers. But even people who want to sleep before a trip know the problem: it is not that easy to trick our inner rhythm.

This is due to our biological clock: the body’s clock mechanism cannot be reset overnight. Instead, we are designed to rest at night when the sun is down and the lights are off. This ensures we can be active during the day.

You can often influence your sleep-wake cycle with just a few changes. However, it is essential to stick to regular sleeping and waking times: How many hours of sleep do you need? Without this basic habit, even the best tips and tricks are useless.

References

1.
Light and the circadian rhythm: The key to a good night's sleep?
The cycle of sleep and wakefulness is one of the key human behaviours. We spend about a third of our lives asleep and cannot survive without it. When asleep, our brain memorises and processes information. Our body clears toxins and repairs itself, allowing us to function properly when awake.
2.
MELATONIN: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
Learn more about MELATONIN uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain MELATONIN.
3.
Jet Lag: What is it, Symptoms, How Long Does it Last & Treatment
Jet lag happens when flying across time zones disrupts your natural sleep rhythms. Learn how long jet lag lasts and how to manage this common issue.
4.
Weighted blankets can decrease insomnia severity: Randomized, controlled trial finds that weighted blankets are safe and effective -- ScienceDaily
Weighted blankets are a safe and effective intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to researchers who found that insomnia patients with psychiatric disorders experienced reduced insomnia severity, improved sleep and less daytime sleepiness when sleeping with a weighted chain blanket.
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