The Scientific Benefits of Skipping a Night Out

The Case for Skipping a Night Out
Photo: Urban Outfitters

There's a reason canceled plans are so meme-able: People can definitely relate to the relief of getting a quiet night at home. But if you're looking for a readymade excuse the next time you feel the urge to stay in, we're here to help—because psychologically speaking, skipping a night out can be hugely beneficial, especially when life is particularly hectic. (Hold the guilt.)

"I like a night out with friends as much as anyone, but I'm also a big proponent of choosing to stay in sometimes," says sleep expert Kelsey Down. "Anyone who has been feeling heightened stress at work or in other areas of their lives may especially benefit from a night in. Taking some quiet alone time to care for yourself, however you like to do that, will help reduce stress and will offer you a chance to recharge in a way that's just not as easy when you're around a lot of noise and people and chaos."

Aside from allowing yourself a psychological breather from everything going on in your life, there are some other obvious health benefits to foregoing a late night as well. The opportunity to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep is a big one—even just one night of sleep deprivation can lead to heightened cortisol levels, which affect our appetite, stress, and even skin. Plus, if you typically drink when you're out with friends, skipping a night of alcohol can help regulate your blood sugar and hormone levels. (You're also all but guaranteed to avoid a rough morning.)

Now that you have some (extremely valid!) excuses for skipping out, it's time to make the most of your precious few hours of "me" time.