Studies have found that irregular and disturbed sleep can affect the overall health of a person.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2021. It has since been updated.
Sleep might seem like a small part of our lives, but in reality, it is as important as consuming healthy food and exercising. It has the power to make or break your day. You might have experienced its effects yourself. On the days you slept well, you must've noticed that you woke up fresh and happy. But on the days that you had less or disturbed sleep, you woke up wishing the whole world would leave you alone.
According to the Sleep Doctor, poor sleep can be the reason for weight gain. It can also lead to an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 27%. What is this syndrome you ask? It is the condition that increases the risk of heart disease. Dr. Michael Breus says, "If your bedtime varied between 60 to 90 minutes on average, you have a 14% greater chance of developing metabolic syndrome; when your bedtime varies by 90 minutes or more, your risk is 58% of developing metabolic syndrome."
So can this condition be avoided with a proper sleep schedule? Absolutely. Listed below are some of the other benefits of going to bed at the same time.
Sleeping on time during weekdays and staying up late only during weekends can spoil the body clock. This leads to a condition termed social jet lag. According to researcher Till Roenneberg, the shift in sleep schedule leads to social jet lag, and with every hour that passes by "the risk of being overweight or obese rises about 33%," as per WebMD. What does obesity do? Increases risk of cardiovascular diseases.
According to a study conducted by the University of Arizona in June 2017, it was found that irregular sleep placed more stress on the body that led to higher rates of heart disease linked with social jet lag.
Tossing and turning, scrolling through our phone is pretty usual for us to fall asleep. According to a study conducted in 2005, a minor shift in the sleep pattern from irregular to regular helps cut down the average 45 minutes of sleep latency to nine. Sleep latency is the term used to describe the period of time taken to fall asleep.
In another research conducted on college students in Taiwan in 2009, it was found that irregular sleep not only left the students with fewer hours of sleep but it also increased their sleep latency from an average of about 14 minutes up to 24.
In a study conducted in 2016 at the University of Pittsburgh, it was found that women with irregular sleep patterns showed higher rates of metabolic problems. The proper functioning of metabolism is important for the body cells to change food into energy, needed for all the bodily functions to work.
It was also found that women with irregular sleep schedule showed an increased risk of diabetes due to higher levels of insulin resistance as the body stopped responding to insulin in the way it should.
According to Wakefit, we usually end up taking naps when our night's sleep is disturbed. Feeling lethargic and irritated the next day is quite obvious. However, all of this can be avoided by sleeping at the same time every day. Not only will this reduce your nap times but will also help you be more productive throughout the day.
As soon as you start sleeping on time, you'll automatically get a night of better sleep. Better sleep will lead to fewer naps in the morning or noon which will make you procrastinate less, and work more. The whole day of work will obviously make your mind and body tired, so what would you do? Yes, sleep. Soon this would become a pattern forestalling chances of insomnia.
By now we're aware that a night of good and undisturbed sleep plays a major role in how our next day turns out. From small naps to a rested and peaceful sleep, it's all linked to our mood and wellbeing. Irregularity in sleep can lead to a decrease in the happiness ratio. We don't want that, right?
In a study conducted by the MIT scientists in June 2017, college students were asked to monitor their sleep and journal their mood for a month. It was found that the more sleep-deprived they were, the more unhappy they found themselves for the entire day. They also felt irritated and unhealthy.
College students are young and are assumed to be healthy. If a little irregularity in their sleep can affect them in this way, we can imagine how it would be for those over 25.