Does it matter what time I go to sleep?

For most people going to bed earlier and wake up early in the morning is the best option. This pattern aligns with our biological tendencies to adapt our sleep pattern with the sun.

Is there an optimal time to go to bed?

The optimal time to go to sleep is between 8:00 pm, and 12:00 am. That’s a huge window of time, but it is best to get to sleep sometime within the optimal range. Experiment with slight variations in that range while being mindful of your predetermined wake-up time to see what works best for you. Once you come up with the optimal time to go to sleep, it’s essential to stay consistent. Keeping to the same sleep schedule will keep your body’s internal clock on schedule. A regular sleep schedule will make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep every night and get excellent quality shuteye that will help you feel and function well.

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What is the best time to go to sleep and wake up?

Before you can determine the best time to go to sleep and wake up, you need to know that most adults need eight to nine hours of sleep. If you need to wake up at 6:00 am, you can count backward eight hours and set a bedtime for 10:00 pm. Knowing what time you need to wake up is a good starting point. There are also individual variations when it comes to calculating the best hours for sleep.

If you are a night owl, you might struggle with going to sleep at 10:00 pm, but a morning person will struggle to stay awake past 10:00 pm. The best time to go to sleep and wake up has a lot to do with your individual internal clock. Your circadian clock regulates your 24-hour clock that regulates alertness, sleepiness, and various bodily functions.

Is there a standard time to go to sleep and wake up that should work for everyone?

There is no one size fits all time to go to sleep and wake up. We all have different internal clocks and professional and family commitments. The smartest thing to do is to match your sleep times to your circadian rhythm and get the eight to nine hours of sleep every night.

What time should I go to bed?

The exact time you should go to bed depends on what time in the morning you need to wake up. For example, if you are 25-years old and you want to wake up at 7:00 am, you should go to bed by 9:45. That is going to give your body six sleep cycles during the night.

What is the sleep cycle?

Sleep cycles repeat every 90 to 110 minutes, and they are a critical part of sleep. Your sleep cycle consists of different sleep phases.

There are two main types of sleep:

  • REM sleep – REM is short for “rapid eye movement.” When we are in a deep sleep our eyes move back and forth quickly while our eyelids stay closed. Humans only dream during the REM phases of sleep.
  • non-REM sleep.

Is it better to go to sleep when it is dark outside?

Darkness is critical to sleep. You are sleepier after sundown because the absence of light sends a crucial signal to the body that it is time to rest. Light exposure has the opposite effect. It can alter your body’s internal “sleep clock”—the biological mechanism that regulates sleep-wake cycles.

The darkness hormone or sleep hormone called Melatonin is produced in the brain’s pineal gland. Melatonin helps you fall asleep by sending a signal to the brain that it is time for rest. Melatonin triggers your body’s physiological preparations for sleep—feelings of drowsiness increase, muscles begin to relax, body temperature lowers.

Melatonin levels typically increase during the early evening as the sun sets falls and continues to climb throughout most of the night. Your melatonin levels peak around 3 am. Melatonin levels decrease during the early morning and remain low during the day. Evening light exposure can impede the naturally timed boost in melatonin levels, which suspends the onset of the body’s transition to sleep.

What if I am a night owl, but I have to wake up early in the morning?

If you are a night owl but have to wake up early in the morning, you might need to put those adaptive skills to work. If you really have to wake up early in the morning, you need to get there gradually. Goal number one is to feel sleepy earlier in the evening. The only way to do that is to wake up much earlier than usual. The first few days will be the most difficult, but it will become easier. After days of waking up early, you will also get sleepy earlier in the evenings.

The bottom line is that you need to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Set a bedtime and wake up time that allows you to sleep as many hours as you need but still wake up at the time you must.