The benefits of going to bed early are beyond imagination. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise” were the words uttered by Benjamin Franklin – and he was absolutely right. Getting enough sleep has a lot of proven health benefits. Scientists have learned more and more as they’ve gained a better understanding of the role of sleep.

Despite this, however, most Americans are falling short on getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. Clearly though, not everyone who fails to log enough shut eye actually has trouble sleeping. Plenty of us are just staying up too late or putting off bedtime in favor of other activities.

When we were children, the adults always urged us to hit the bed early. If we questioned, they would explain how sleep helps kids to grow physically and improve mentally. Then why did they (and now we) never follow the same routine? We might have thought adults are stronger and whatnot. But it’s nothing like that. Adults simply have more duties to fulfill and less time for themselves. But moving your bedtime up even by only 60 minutes could have huge benefits for your body, your mood, and your relationships.

The benefits of going to bed early – backed by science


You feel less stressed

Forget post-jog endorphins: an extra hour of sleep provides the ultimate mood boost. In a recent survey of more than 700 respondents aged 17 to 79, those who identified as early risers reported feeling happier and healthier than their night owl counterparts. Researchers say that when you skip out on the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, exhaustion can create a wide array of negative impacts on the brain, including depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

You might worry less

Compared to people who turn in early, those who go to bed very late are more likely to be overwhelmed with repetitive negative thoughts, found one study published late last year. The findings suggest that sleep disruption could actually be linked to the development of pessimistic thoughts. On the bright side? Psychologists suggest that focusing on good sleep habits can help. Sure, going to bed early won’t get rid of whatever problems you’re dealing with — but now, we know that it really may help to put them in perspective.

You protect the heart

Sufficient sleep puts our bodies at ease and lowers blood pressure. It’s crucial, considering how many people suffer heart attacks and, consequently, strokes due to the high pressure of the blood in their veins. As high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, sleep could improve the quality of your life or even save it. This doesn’t seem too wild a claim as heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, and in the US someone gets a stroke every 40 seconds.

You reduce the risk of diseases

Hitting the sack early could be a preventative measure for life-threatening diseases such as cancer. The World Health Organization has officially classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen as it interferes with our circadian rhythm (otherwise known as the body clock). The Ivy League Harvard Medical School stated that good quality sleep reduces the risk of chronic life-threatening diseases.

Going to bed early improves memory

Sleep statistics show that 7 out of 10 college students don’t get adequate sleep, however sleep has proven itself to be an excellent memory aid. Both animal and human studies have uncovered that good quality sleep, for the right amount of time (seven-eight hours), has a positive impact on both learning and memory. First, an alert mind helps to acquire and absorb information while awake. Sleep deprivation results in a struggle to focus and shorten attention span. There’s a mounting body of research that sleep helps us to process and retain information long-term, which is fundamental for learning new stuff.

Missing sleep increases your risk for Alzheimer’s

Losing sleep for just one night can cause a 5 percent increase in your chance of developing Alzheimer’s, according to the NIH. The reason is an increase in the protein beta-amyloid, which can clump to form plaque in the thalamus and hippocampus regions of the brain (the parts that are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s). The more sleep you get, the less risk you face.

Sleeping early is better for your sleep schedule

Going to bed earlier can regulate your sleep schedule. Once you figure out your body’s set “sleep need” amount, you’ll be able to awaken naturally at just the right time every morning—no more feeling groggy as you’re running late to work.

You may control your weight

There’s a stack of evidence that sleep is the crucial ingredient when it comes to weight management – sleep stops pounds being piled on. For decades scientists and doctors have explained that insufficient sleep affects the secretion of cortisol (a hormone that regulates appetite) and the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This means if you’re sleep deprived, the higher the risk for weight gain or diseases like type 2 diabetes.