Sometimes it can be hard going to the bed early. Busy work schedules, some cliffhanger moments in your favourite TV series can make you wide awake till the late hours of night.
And, the next day you might crash your bed at around 10 pm because you are really tired.
According to a recent study, this pattern might affect you in more ways than you could have imagined, reports The Independent.
Researcher found that those with regular bedtimes are more successful than those who hit the hay at a different time every night.
Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that it is as important to have a regular sleep pattern as having enough sleep.
The small study measured sleep and circadian rhythms in 61 Harvard College undergraduate students for 30 days using sleep diaries, before comparing that data to their academic performance.
The team found that the students with the least regular sleep patterns had a lower grade point average than the others.
Not only that, but those who went to bed at the same time every night, were more likely to get straight up in the morning (rather than hitting snooze) and fall asleep quicker at night.
The reason those who go to bed at different times every night struggle to fall asleep is down to irregular melatonin releases, which is the hormone that makes us want to sleep.
Your body clock (AKA circadian rhythm) gets completely confused.
Dr Andrew J. K. Phillips, lead study author and biophysicist at the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shared, “Our results indicate that going to sleep and waking up at approximately the same time is as important as the number of hours one sleeps.”
Adding, “Sleep regularity is a potentially important and modifiable factor independent from sleep duration.”
Interestingly, all the students slept for about the same amount of time, but their body clocks varied.
“We found that the body clock was shifted nearly three hours later in students with irregular schedules as compared to those who slept at more consistent times each night,” shared Dr Charles A. Czeisler, senior study author and Director of the Sleep Health Institute at the Hospital.
Czeisher concluded by saying, “For the students whose sleep and wake times were inconsistent, classes and exams that were scheduled for 9am were therefore occurring at 6am according to their body clock, at a time when performance is impaired. Ironically, they didn’t save any time because in the end they slept just as much as those on a more regular schedule.”
Source: The Tribune