The quantity of sleep you receive has an impact on everything from your weight and metabolism, to your cognitive function and mood.
Medically reviewed by Dr K on 1st June 2022.
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How to Calculate the Appropriate Time to Sleep
How much sleep did you get the night before? What about the previous night? How much sleep do you really require?
Keeping track of your sleep routine may not be a grave concern for you, but obtaining enough sleep is essential for your health in a number of ways.
You may be unaware, but the quantity of sleep you receive has an impact on everything from your weight and metabolism, to your cognitive function and mood.
Wake-up time is a constant for many individuals. What time you go to bed, on the other hand, varies based on your social life, job schedule, family commitments, the latest Netflix programme, or just when you begin to feel weary.
But if you know what time you have to get up and how much sleep you need to operate well, all you have to do is figure out what time to go to bed.
We’ll show you how to determine the ideal time to go to bed based on your wake-up time and natural sleep cycles in this post.
We’ll also examine how your sleep cycles function and how sleep affects your health.
Source - Casper
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The amount of sleep you need varies throughout your life. A newborn may need up to 17 hours of sleep each day, but an older adult only requires 7 hours of sleep per night.
However, age-based advice is just that: a suggestion based on studies about how much sleep you may need for better health as your body’s requirements evolve.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following general sleep recommendations for various age groups:
Even within the same age range, everyone’s sleep requirements vary.
Some individuals may need at least 9 hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed, but others in the same age range may think that 7 hours of sleep is plenty.
The most important question is how you feel when you obtain different amounts of sleep. Here are some things to consider when assessing your individual sleep requirements:
- Do you feel rested after 7 hours of sleep, or do you need at least 8 or 9?
- Are you having any daytime drowsiness?
- Are you dependent on caffeine to get you going throughout the day?
- If you sleep with someone else, have they noticed you having any sleeping issues?
Sleep Deprivation Signs
Sleep deprivation is a genuine issue for some people, particularly as jobs and other stresses mount. Sleep deprivation may have an impact on many of your body’s systems and restorative activities.
You might also be getting too little sleep as a result of:
- obstructive sleep apnea
- chronic pain
- other conditions
Some signs you may not be getting enough sleep include:
- you’re drowsy during the day
- you’re more irritable or moody
- you’re less productive and focused
- your appetite has increased
- your judgement and decision-making isn’t what it usually is
- your skin is affected (dark undereye circles, dull complexion, droopy corners of the mouth)
According to 2020 sleep research, sleep deprivation quadrupled the chances of making place keeping mistakes and tripled the number of concentration lapses.
Sleep and mental health are inextricably linked, with sleep disturbances exacerbating depression and anxiety. One of the most crucial aspects of our overall health is our ability to sleep.
Bedtimes are based on:
- your wake-up time
- completing five or six 90-minute sleep cycles
- allowing 15 minutes to fall asleep
Different Stages Of Sleep
When you sleep, your brain and body go through many sleep cycles. Each cycle consists of four unique stages.
- The first three stages are part of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
- The last stage is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
The NREM stages were formerly labelled as 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM. It is now commonly categorised as follows:
- N1 (formerly stage 1): The initial stage of sleep, which occurs between being awake and going asleep.
- N2 (formerly stage 2): At this point, you become conscious of your surroundings and begin to fall asleep. Your body temperature decreases slowly, and your breathing and heart rate return to normal.
- N3 (formerly stages 3 and 4): This is the deepest and most restorative sleep stage, during which your breathing slows, your blood pressure lowers, your muscles relax, hormones are released, healing happens, and your body re-energises.
- REM: The last stage of the sleep cycle. It accounts for around 25% of your sleep cycle. This is the time of day when your brain is most active and dreams occur. During this stage, your eyes travel quickly back and forth under your eyelids. When you wake up, REM sleep helps to improve your mental and physical efficiency.
Each cycle takes around 90 minutes to complete. You’d get 7.5 hours of sleep each night if you could finish five cycles per night. Six complete cycles equal around 9 hours of sleep.
Ideally, you should awaken towards the completion of a sleep cycle rather than in the midst of one. When you wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, you normally feel more refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep is essential for numerous reasons. A good night’s sleep:
- controls the release of hormones that govern your appetite, metabolism, development, and healing.
- boosts brain function, concentration, focus, and productivity
- reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke
- helps with weight management
- maintains your immune system
- lowers your risk for chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- improves athletic performance, reaction time, and speed
- may lower your risk of depression
Tips To Sleep Better
To improve your sleep health, consider the following tips.
During the day
- Exercise on a regular basis, but aim to plan your exercises at least a couple of hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime may cause sleep disruption.
- During the day, increase your exposure to sunshine or strong lighting. This may aid in the maintenance of your body’s circadian rhythms, which influence your sleep-wake cycle.
- Avoid taking extended naps, particularly late in the afternoon.
- Try to wake up at the same time each day.
- In the evening, limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. These substances have the ability to destabilise your sleep or make falling asleep difficult.
- Turn off gadgets at least 30 minutes before going to bed. The light emitted by these gadgets might excite your brain, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Begin a calming habit before night, such as taking a warm bath or listening to peaceful music.
- Reduce the brightness of the lights just before bedtime to let your brain recognise that it is time to sleep.
- Reduce the temperature in your bedroom. The optimal sleeping temperature is 65°F (18.3°C).
- When you’re in bed, avoid gazing at monitors like the TV, your laptop, or your phone.
- Once in bed, read a book or listen to white noise to calm you down.
- Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and concentrate on slow, even breathing.
- If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and go to another room. Read a book or listen to music until you’re exhausted, then go to bed.
The Bottom Line
A sleep calculator can help you figure out what time to go to bed depending on your wake-up time if you’re looking for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
You should ideally wake up towards the end of your sleep cycle when you are most likely to feel refreshed.
A good night’s sleep is critical to overall wellness. If you’re experiencing difficulties falling or staying asleep, speak with your doctor. They may assist in determining whether there is an underlying reason.