Aug 07, 2019 08:06 AM EDT
Night owls often get to bed by midnight, so they find it extra hard to wake up early in the morning. It has become a lifestyle for one that when they have to wake up early in the morning, they just can't. However, a new study reveals that tweaking the habits a little bit can turn their night owl problems into a morning person routine. In a matter of three weeks, a person can put themselves to bed early without taking drastic measures or any drugs involved.
Shifting to an early morning schedule helps the mind think clearly, not to mention that it will allow people to have sharper minds in the morning. Waking up early in the morning also helps improve one's mood. Although some people say that choosing to sleep early is where it all begins, the results of this new research says that one's sleeping patterns in more complicated than that.
Sleeping habits are greatly influenced by factors that are beyond one's control like genetics. And given that poor sleeping can impact one's overall health and wellbeing, finding a good way to reset the body clock could go a long way.
A group of researchers from the UK and Australia studied 22 healthy volunteers, all of whom have been identified as late sleepers. On the average, their nights end at 2:30 in the morning and they wake up at around 10 in the morning. For three weeks, half of the volunteers were asked to go to bed three hours earlier than usual and to wake up three hours earlier too. The researchers gave them relatively easy techniques to improve their sleeping habits. It included the avoidance to light exposure at night and get as much sunlight as they can in the morning.
For their food, they were required to eat breakfast as soon as they wake up, eat lunch at the same time everyday and to have early dinner too. They were also asked to do their exercise in the morning rather than in the afternoon or at night. The participants were also asked to avoid any form of caffeinated drinks after 3pm.
By the end of the study, the experimental group slept two hours earlier than they normally did and they enjoyed noticeable healthy benefits. Their reaction to the cognitive test in the morning also improved. The participants also reported that they felt less depressed, stressed or sleepy in the morning.
"Our research only proves that a non-pharmacological intervention can turn night owls into productive morning people. They also found themselves more equipped to manipulate their peak performance at par with what the real world demands," said Elise Facer-Childs, lead author of the study. She is a sleep researcher for the Turner Institute of the Brain and Mental Health of Monash University in Australia.
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