Regardless of whether you are a college student or a mother of two school-going kids, keeping a regular sleep schedule is important for all.
Health experts say that sleep is an integral part of our overall well-being and even a slight irregularity can have a negative impact on our metabolism, weight and even heart health.
Importance of Having a Sleep Schedule
Having a set routine for everyday activities is very beneficial, not only for improving our time-management skills but also for our health. The human body is designed to work based on a set of routines — every organ has a clock of its own apart from the circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep-wake cycles.
So, it is up to us to do our part for the upkeep of this system that is supposed to work like clockwork, literally.
Benefits of having a routine
Once our bodies get used to a new routine, it makes it easier for the entire system to work. For instance, once we set our wake-up time, meal times, exercise routines and sleep time, the body will automatically realize when to do each activity and will prepare for it accordingly.
For instance, the digestive system knows when it is going to receive food, the body begins to relax when it is time for bed and similarly starts becoming alert as we near our wake-up alarm.
Experts show that having a set routine for all activities, including sleep, right from childhood, can be very beneficial in molding a child’s cognitive health and behavioral patterns. And, when you start training them early, it may be easier to get them accustomed to the routine faster.
These routines, once set, usually stay with a person as they age and can be beneficial in old age too because that’s when the body’s systems start slowing down naturally. Continuing the routine may help it function more efficiently than those who are not as systematic.
Many seniors often complain of sleeplessness and sleep deprivation, and studies show that following a routine might help them sleep better. A study conducted by Duke University Medical Center followed 2,000 seniors who were given sleep-tracking devices for a week.
Based on their sleep patterns and medical history, researchers found that those who kept irregular bedtimes had a greater risk of being overweight or obese, were prone to type 2 diabetes and had a higher risk of developing heart disease than those who kept regular routines. Apart from physical problems, individuals who don’t lead a systematic lifestyle also showed symptoms of emotional problems like depression.
Tips to get into a routine:
- Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends
- Keep a similar set time for going to bed too
- Set a routine for your gym or exercise
- Follow a healthy diet and eat at regular intervals
- Improve time management skills by finishing your prep work for the morning before you sleep
- Limit screen time and try to dim the lights in your room to signal to the brain that it is time to sleep
- Try to incorporate similar routines into your child’s lifestyle too
Synchronizing your everyday routine may not be as difficult as you think, follow a few simple steps, put a little effort and soon you and your body will be moving like a well-oiled machine.
Shannon-Karasik, C. (2018, September 25). How Your Bedtime Affects Your Heart And Metabolism. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/having-a-regular-bedtime-is-good-for-your-heart-health-and-metabolism
Dautovich, N. (2015, April 01). The Importance of A Healthy Sleep Routine. Retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/articles/day-in-day-out-the-importance-of-routine-in-our-daily-lives/