Uclosomethings like me may want to change the way we sleep.
In the U.S., that means waking up early and going to bed early.
But there’s also evidence that getting up earlier can have benefits beyond that.
We don’t just want to wake up early, we want to go to bed later.
In a new study in The Lancet, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Harvard University analyzed how early waking up and going back to bed can influence sleep patterns.
The team looked at how people who woke up at 3:00 a.m. and went to bed at 9:30 p.m., and those who stayed up later and went back to sleep at 4:00 p.n., all went to sleep earlier than those who woke at 2:00 or 3:30 a.M.
They also saw sleep onset times rise and fall with time of wakefulness, with people who went to the gym at 4 p.M., or to the office at 2 p.S. for an hour, having longer sleep.
The researchers suggest waking up at the right time might make the difference between a good night’s sleep and one that’s a little more groggy.
Here’s how it works: First, the team collected data on the types of foods people eat before bedtime, as well as the time of day.
They found that those who wake up earlier and went earlier to bed were less likely to eat a high-fat breakfast, and more likely to get a high carb snack or snack before bed.
Then, they looked at the types and amounts of stimulants people take before bed, which included caffeine, alcohol, or both.
They saw that people who were early to bed tended to have lower levels of stimulant use, and were less active, on average, at night.
These findings suggest that even when people have a healthy sleep schedule, they still wake up at different times to make sure they’re getting enough sleep, and that the time you wake up in the morning may be different from the time your body goes to sleep.
These effects of waking up earlier are already known to impact our sleep, but the study is the first to quantify them.
The next step in this research will be to look at how early and how late people go to sleep, to see if it’s associated with different sleep quality.
“It’s a really exciting paper, and it really helps us understand how sleep is important,” says Elizabeth R. Fuchs, a sleep scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), which funded the research.
The authors also looked at a study published in November in the Journal of the American College of Sleep Medicine, which found that people with high-quality sleep were more likely than others to report a more pleasant wakeup experience.
“That’s what we really wanted to know, and we’re excited to be able to do that,” says Fuchs.
“The big thing is that this is just the first piece of the puzzle.
We know that early waking can affect our sleep and make us more alert, and this study tells us that that’s not just true for some people, but for some different populations.”
Sleep researchers are also excited by this study.
“We’re hoping to do more research in this area,” says Dr. Jennifer A. Fung, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the NINDS.
“And we hope this will help us figure out more about how people respond to sleep and how sleep affects health.”
Sleep researcher Fuchs says it’s exciting to see people waking up before they go to the bathroom, or even going to sleep on a Sunday morning.
“You have to wake your brain up early to go for a jog or to do yoga.
I’m excited to see more of this,” she says.
“I hope this is going to inspire more people to wake in the middle of the night, and then go back to their bed at a certain time.”