If you want to remain healthy and productive at work, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of a good sleep rest. Sleeping enough is as good as eating food to your satisfaction. It is as important as breathing. Perhaps you already know that, but your busy and unique schedule won’t allow you to have a consistent sleep.
Today you get out of work late, and so you sleep late while on weekends, you decide to reward yourself for being such as a hardworking citizen with a few extra hours of sleep. In short, you don’t have a sleep routine. But now you are here because you’ve not been getting it right and would like to fix it and get maximum sleep benefits without sacrificing your daily productivity.
You are in the right place. Within the next couple of minutes, you’ll have known the best time for you to sleep and the most appropriate wake-up time.
What Sleep Experts Say
According to Shawn Stevenson, a renown sleep expert, the natural circadian rhythm of a human’s body responds in a particular way to the rising and the falling of the sun. Upon waking up in the morning, the exposure to the sun sends a message to your brain, informing it that it’s time to make the rest of your body active. As a result, your temperature rises, and the metabolism level increases. In the evening, upon seeing the night’s darkness approaching, your mind tells your body to increase your melatonin level, which remains high throughout the night. This makes it easy for you to fall and remain asleep throughout the night until morning when you wake up to the sunlight, and the cycle continues.
As for adolescents, their case might be a bit different as compared to children and healthy adults as their blood melatonin levels take longer to increase. As such, they find it difficult to fall asleep early. When they go to sleep early, the other people fall asleep within a few minutes, but for them, they might spend about an hour rolling and trying to relax enough to get an eye-shut. So, when the ideal bedtime approaches, they are advised to keep off possible relaxation distractors such as electricity light and blue light from electronic devices. When they do that, they’ll get enough relaxation that will help them slip into sleep easily and quickly upon going to bed.
So, the easiest way to maintain a hassle-free sleep pattern is to align your sleep routine to nature’s rhythm, particularly the rising and the setting of the sun. Considering this, scientists recommend going to bed at around 10 pm and waking up at about 6.am. This is the optimal sleep schedule.
Your ideal time to sleep
If you go to bed two hours before or after 10 pm, that is, anywhere between 8 pm and midnight, in a normal situation, you are supposed to fall asleep easily and get enough restorative as well as dream-rich sleep. You’ll experience the strongest sleep drive as from 2 am to 4 am. Failure to sleep enough at this time will make your daytime hours the following day less productive. This is because you’ll be struggling to resist to fall asleep, especially from 1 pm to 3 pm when you’ll be experiencing an extremely strong sleeping urge.
Do you want to know your specific ideal bedtime from the 8 pm to 12 am optimal window? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that. This is because the perfect bedtime varies from one person to another, depending on genetics. Some people are naturally oriented to getting sleep later at night and these are the ones who are likely to fall asleep faster as from 10 pm to 12 am as compared to the early hours of the recommended bedtime window. On the other hand, other people naturally tend to feel sleepy as early as 8 pm.
If you are naturally an early sleeper, you can set your bedtime to be somewhere between 8pm and 10 pm. Then set your wake up time to be at least 7 hours after your bedtime. So, if you schedule 8 pm as your bedtime, that means that the earliest time for you to wake up with a well refreshed is about 3 am. For ultimate relaxation, you can sleep one to two hours more to wake up at 4 am to 5 am.
If you go to bed early, say 8 pm, and always find yourself struggling for a long time trying to fall asleep, you can try to establish the exact time that you actually slip into sleep. You can use a sleep app to track the time and try to sleep then to see if you’ll sleep better.
Unless there are unnatural sleep distractors that are responsible for your late sleep, difficulty in falling asleep before 10 pm could be an indication that you are a naturally a ‘night owl’. In that case, sleeping early might not add any value to your sleep quality and quantity. So, there’s no need to force yourself sleep early. Keep yourself busy with some activities (you could watch a movie, catch up with loved ones, complete unfinished day’s work…) until you naturally start feeling sleepy.
If 11 pm approaches and you still feel much alert without any sign of falling asleep soon, you can dim the lights in your room and minimize the volume of the noisy electronic gadgets and avoid exposure to sleep-disruptive blue light, so that your mind can relax well and get ready to send you to slumber land.
No matter how late-sleeper you are naturally, it’s not healthy to go to stay up later than 12 am. If you do, you increase your risks of developing psychological problems such as depression or seasonal affective disorder. According to scientists who were studying the effects of late sleeping on Japanese workers found out that the employees who stayed late past 12 am felt depressed and were negative about their lives.
It’s very important to maintain a healthy sleep routine, not only for your health but also to make yourself satisfactorily productive at work. With the information you’ve got here, you should be able to establish the best time for you to sleep.