Sleep is a vital part of staying healthy but most of us do not get enough of it. A reliable rule of thumb is that you need AT LEAST 8 hours and that you should be asleep by 10pm AT THE LATEST.
As a culture we get far less sleep each night than our ancestors did. Imagine how much sleep you'd get if you had no electricity? If you're imagination is not up to this task, go hiking in the mountains for a week and you'll soon realize that 10-12 hours sleep per night is the norm when you have no access to anything that requires electric power.
What about people who claim to be night owls? We have bad news for you...human beings are NOT nocturnal. We are diurnal i.e. we are active by day and sleep at night. If you adopt a nocturnal lifestyle you WILL have compromised endocrine function, poor immune function and an unhealthy GI tract. In short you are taking a short cut to the grave. If you think you "feel fine" on a nocturnal lifestyle we can guarantee you'll feel a lot better if you stopped that nonsense!
Many people have such disrupted physiology that they feel very tired in the early morning and very energetic at night. This is NOT a sign that you are a night owl...it's a sign that your body is not working normally. Get help from somebody who understands this issue. The main things you need to do in order to change this situation and get your body back on track are:
Step 1: Get up at 6-6.30am every morning and get outside immediately for 30-60mins of light exercise. This could be walking, cycling, swimming, gardening...anything that gets you outside and moving. You need to get daylight in your eyes so your pineal gland stops producing melatonin. People who feel really tired in the morning often produce melatonin after the sun is up and that is a BIG problem. They also fail to produce enough cortisol. Step 1 is to correct both of these problems. Exercise outside at 6am will do this.
Step 2: Eat 3 meals every day consisting of eggs or fish or poultry or meat PLUS veggies PLUS some added fats like avocado, butter, olive oil or coconut oil. A lot of fatigue problems and sleep disorders stem from the skipping of meals or the consumption of meals that do not contain enough protein or fat to prevent insulin spikes. If you are not eating eggs or fish or poultry or meat at all 3 meals then your blood sugar control will be poor. If you doubt this claim then measure your haemoglobin A1C. If it is 6.0 or higher you probably already have type 2 diabetes.
Step 3: Eliminate ALL caffeine and alcohol. Cut both out and see what happens to your energy levels an sleep quality. Give this at least 8 weeks! You may feel temporarily worse so stick it out for at least 8 weeks.
Step 4: Stop using computers and cell phones after 9pm. The light from the screen and the mental activity associated with the use of these devices is NOT conducive to an early bed time or a good night's sleep. This is NOT rocket science...it's common sense!
Step 5: Remove ALL electrical/electronic devices from your bedroom. TVs, cell phones, laptops, hi fi systems etc do NOT belong in your bedroom. Your bedroom is for SEX and SLEEP...that's it...nothing else. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet and free of anything that requires moving electrons to function.
Try making these changes and see what happens.