We know that there are many health benefits of getting enough shuteye, and that the negative impacts of sleep deprivation can be severe. When it comes to turning off the TV or iPad, setting aside our work, and tucking in at 10 p.m., though, many of us have a tough time actually making it happen.
But when the morning alarm clock time is finite, shifting your nighttime routine to head to bed earlier can benefit your overall health and well-being by improving sleep quality and ensuring you get the recommended seven to eight hours you need. It could also have implications for your heart health: A 2009 Japanese study found that male workers who consistently went to bed before midnight had healthier coronary arteries than those who went to be after midnight, according to an ABC News report. Although the exact reasons are not yet exactly understood, sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., tells the Huffington Post that an earlier-to-bed schedule could be healthier.
"We do know that people who are night owls and shift workers do have more medical and mental health problems, but we do not know if this is just the genetic makeup of night owls or that those who stay up late have these issues," Breus says. "One reason that works for everyone is early risers get more sunlight and that helps for Vitamin D, and resetting the biological clock."
Click through the slideshow below for seven ways to hit the hay at a reasonable hour tonight -- and to develop a lasting early-to-bed habit.