A Regular Bedtime is Key…
Sure, going to bed on time is important—you’re more likely to log enough sleep when you stick to a nightly schedule. But it turns out the time you rise in the morning might have even more impact. “Aiming to go to sleep on time is smart—the body loves regularity,” says Fitbit sleep advisor Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. “But it’s a consistent wake-up time that sets your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep cycles and ensures you hit all the sleep stages your body needs,” explains Grandner.
Join in the Movement to #ChokeCancer: A Letter to the Nigerian Government to #FixRadiotherapy & Make National Health a Priority
…But a Regular Wake Up Time is Even More Important
Switching up your wake up time—say, by sleeping a couple hours later on a Saturday morning—has the same effect on your body as flying across the country and changing time zones. Which explains why weekend sleep-ins don’t always leave you feeling refreshed. “Jet lag throws off your circadian rhythm,” says Grandner, “and it can take your body awhile to get back in sync.”
Need help getting your circadian rhythm back on track? Stop hitting the snooze button and wake up at the same time each morning. “Getting bright light early in the morning, and avoiding it in the evening, also helps to reset your sleep-wake cycles,” says Grandner.
To ensure you’re going to bed and waking up at a consistent time every day, consider setting a Sleep Goal in the Fitbit app. Once you identify the number of hours that feels right for you, you’ll be able to create a bedtime reminder as well as set a personalized wake-up time, complete with a silent alarm to help ease you out of slumber. And pretty soon, your regular morning habit will be contributing to a healthier, happier you.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.