Why your bedtime matters

See video summary below or read through the article for the video highlights and a deeper dive into why consistent sleep schedules matter and what can help you fall asleep faster and experience more quality sleep!

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

Do you find it difficult to stick to a consistent bedtime? Or find yourself saying each morning “I need to go to bed earlier tonight”?

Sleep is so critical and it’s value is often underrated in our culture that glorifies busyness. It’s almost a badge of honour to say that you can survive on little sleep or that you are “productive” into the wee hours of the morning. But did you know that short sleep duration is associated with cognitive impairments, increased risk of obesity, increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and risk of psychiatric disorders (3)? 

Whether you are a night owl or a morning person, heading to bed at a consistent time can help you fall asleep faster and have a better sleep (4). Who doesn’t want that?

Why does a consistent bedtime work? For one thing, it trains your brain to fall asleep. A consistent bedtime and wind down routine helps your body and brain remember “oh yeah, this means it’s sleepy time!” And a bedtime routine doesn’t need to be long or complicated, it can be as simple as washing your face and brushing your teeth. If you want to get fancy there are all sorts of things you can add to your routine, such as:

  • Essential oils in a diffuser (lavender is a good one for sleep)
  • Gentle stretching
  • Wind down yoga
  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Journalling

What’s helpful for me

Personally my bedtime routine includes stretching while listening to calming music, diffusing essential oils, wearing an eye mask and listening to a short meditation/podcast once in bed. I don’t do this every single night but it does happen most nights, allowing for a consistent pattern that I enjoy following. It has made a big difference in my ability to fall asleep and feel much more energetic in the morning.

Light can make a difference

If you’re finding that your sleep rhythm isn’t working for you, consider your light exposure. You may have heard the term “circadian rhythm”, which is the 24 hour wake/sleep cycle that your body moves through, with cortisol rising in the morning to wake you up and melatonin rising in the evening to help you fall asleep. If you are not getting exposure to natural light in the morning (generally between 6-8:30 am), this can greatly affect your circadian rhythm and reduce the quality of your sleep. And if you are exposed to blue light close to bedtime, this can also disrupt melatonin production and reduce sleepiness (4).

Sources of blue light

Blue light comes from the sun, but it also is emitted from fluorescent lights, LEDs, fluorescent compact lights, TVs, computers and smartphones. If you are using electronic devices before bedtime, this light is making it harder for you to fall asleep. If you must use electronics before bed, wear blue light blocking glasses to help protect your melatonin levels and increase sleepiness. It also helps to dim lights as it gets closer to bedtime (PS this works for kids too!). 

Sleep is so critical and yet many of us just fall into bed, hoping to fall asleep quickly (and stay asleep). As discussed in an article from Examine.com, there are 5 research-backed  approaches/tools that could help you sleep better:

  1. Consistent sleep schedule – helps with falling asleep faster and sleeping better
  2. Exercise – daytime exercise appears to improve sleep, especially in times of stress
  3. Lavender – helps with relaxation, could improve sleep quality
  4. Melatonin – oral melatonin can help if other adjustments haven’t
  5. Magnesium – lack of magnesium can hinder sleep (eat magnesium rich foods to help with this – nuts, leafy greens, legumes, seeds and whole grains)

The article also outlines 5 research-backed factors that can hurt your ability to sleep, as well as reduce your quality of sleep. These include:

  1. Light – exposure to blue light in the evening reduces melatonin levels
  2. Noise – sudden noises or distracting sounds keep you awake
  3. Heat – temperatures above core body temperature make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep
  4. Alcohol – induces sleepiness but decreases quality of sleep
  5. Caffeine – caffeine too close to bedtime (generally within 6 hours) can reduce sleepiness and also reduce quality of sleep

If you’d like the full run down on all of the 10 factors listed above, check out the entire article here.

Quality sleep is crucial

Sleep is critical for our immune function, hormone production, hormone regulation, brain health, memory and more! Sleep deprivation has even been reported as one of the causes of infertility (2)! A lack of sleep creates a stress response in your body, activating internal alarm bells and resulting in your sympathetic nervous system kicking in (that fight or flight reaction). This is ok once in a while, but continual activation of your stress response can lead to chronic low grade stress, inflammation and increased risk of developing chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune conditions (1).   

Do your best to protect your sleep and maintain a consistent bedtime when you can – catching up on the weekend does not make up for weekly sleep deficits!

And if you’re looking for more energy, getting your sleep routine in order and having quality sleep each night will make a huge difference! Sleep is one of the five things that I focus on in my free guide “5 Easy Ways to Increase Energy”.  By heading to bed just 15 minutes earlier than usual, you can start shifting to an earlier bedtime incrementally without feeling like it’s a major overhaul. It’s small shifts over time that can lead to big impacts later on (see my post on healthy habits for more on this). 

Looking for more tips to increase energy? Click here to access my FREE guide!

Oh, and go to bed on time, okay? 

NOTE: If nothing seems to be helping you sleep, it’s wise to see your doctor to determine if sleep apnea or a sleep disorder is part of the problem. 


  1. Cohen, S., et al. “Chronic Stress, Glucocorticoid Receptor Resistance, Inflammation, and Disease Risk.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 109, no. 16, 2 Apr. 2012, pp. 5995–5999., doi:10.1073/pnas.1118355109. 
  2. Lateef, Olubodun Michael, and Michael Olawale Akintubosun. “Sleep and Reproductive Health.” Journal of Circadian Rhythms, vol. 18, no. 1, 23 Mar. 2020, doi:10.5334/jcr.190. 
  3. Phillips, Andrew J. K., et al. “Irregular Sleep/Wake Patterns Are Associated with Poorer Academic Performance and Delayed Circadian and Sleep/Wake Timing.” Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 12 June 2017, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03171-4. 
  4. Rafi, Zad. “Ten Tips for Better Sleep.” Examine.com, 5 Aug. 2020, examine.com/nutrition/ten-tips-for-better-sleep/.
  5. Touzet, Sandrine, et al. “Relationship between Sleep and Secretion of Gonadotropin and Ovarian Hormones in Women with Normal Cycles.” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 77, no. 4, 1 Apr. 2002, pp. 738–744., doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(01)03254-x.


Vertical Head Shot with Salad

Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! Are you over 40? Chances are you’re in your menopause transition, which means you may be experiencing mood swings, exhaustion, irritability, hot flashes, anxiety and cycle changes… If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated, I got you! There is a better way to make this time of life a time to thrive, not just survive! Check out this page to see for yourself!

Recent Posts