What Time Should I Go To Bed – Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA have determined that aside from the amount of sleep that we get, developing a routine plays an important role in the quality of sleep and good sleep hygiene.
A team of researchers studied the circadian rhythms of undergraduates from Harvard College for a month. The findings revealed that those with irregular sleep-wake cycles felt the need to get more sleep and their performances at school were adversely affected. Scientists theorized that this was because their melatonin levels became erratic, which changed their sleep patterns .
What Time Should Children Go To Bed? Recommended Bedtimes For Children
Putting children to bed at the right time helps them get their much-needed sleep. Early sleep schedules are common for children, but they soon learn to stall for time. If you are worried that your child is not getting the rest they need for their overall health and well-being, here is a list of the hours of sleep each age group should get .
Sleep Schedules And Sleep Cycles Vary From Country To Country
Sleep cycles vary from one country to the next. However, an individual’s body clock may not be in sync with the place in which they are living or the job they are working. Night owls are people who function better at night rather than in the morning.
Everyone has their own specific internal clock, but some similarities emerge among the data collected. Although there are variances in sleep schedules due to time zones, light exposure, and sleep routines, one pattern appeared similar throughout many countries – women tend to sleep longer compared to men .
Children naturally fall asleep earlier, but their sleeping patterns change as they enter their teenage years. Adults often fall asleep later in the day while their morning routine remains unchanged. Elderly adults have difficulty falling asleep
Culture also plays a part in our sleep patterns. Some countries such as Spain or Mexico take advantage of siestas, a couple of hours of sleep in the afternoon. Other countries like the United States sleep in a single block of time. Siestas tend to take place in countries that experience very hot weather during the afternoon hours. This research was published in Science, the journal, using data collected by ENTRAIN, a smartphone app that monitors the sleep patterns of people across the globe .
Tips On How To Sleep Better
Our circadian rhythms tell our bodies when it is time to fall asleep. However, we often procrastinate going to sleep because of repeated interruptions, electronic devices, and never-ending to-do lists. The result is chronic sleep deficiency. There are steps that can help correct this cycle of sleep deprivation:
Set a sleep schedule
Beyond getting the required number of hours of sleep, a set routine is just as important. That means going to bed and waking at the same time seven days a week .
Turn off your smartphone and other electrical devices
Turn off your gadgets at least one hour before you go to sleep. Electronic gadgets emit blue light which disrupts melatonin production. Using these gadgets while in bed can make it difficult for you to fall asleep .
Coffee intake should be limited and ceased in the early afternoon to provide enough time to eliminate the caffeine from your body.
Move your alarm clock
If you use an alarm clock, face it away from you. Some people continually check the clock when they are in bed. Other people find that light, no matter how dim, is distracting.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Aside from following a sleep schedule, practice good sleep hygiene. This means more than choosing a restful bedtime. It is also about creating a relaxing room in which to sleep. Dim the lights to prepare your mind for sleep, and check the temperature in your room to create the optimal environment.
Read a book
If you are still wide awake after turning off your gadgets, read a book. Spending an hour reading can help you fall asleep. Many CEOs use this trick .
Meditation helps you learn to control your breathing better and release anxiety and stress as you move into a relaxed state.
Eat dinner early
Deep sleep is hard to come by if you are stuffed at bedtime. Eating dinner earlier gives your stomach time to digest the food. Avoid munching on midnight snacks as much as possible to maintain a relaxed state and lessen the possibility of acid reflux .
Avoid hitting the snooze button
Getting those extra few minutes in bed adds neither quantity nor quality to your sleep. Snoozing makes the body feel more tired and deters a good night’s sleep.
Get a good mattress
You spend a lot of time in bed. In order to get a good night’s sleep, you need to feel comfortable.
What Is The Best Time To Go To Bed
The optimal time to go to bed depends mostly on your sleep calculator. This calculates the time that you should go to sleep and the time that you should wake in order to receive the maximum benefits of rest. The sleep calculator considers the natural rhythms of your body and takes into account your sleep cycle including the extra 14 minutes that it takes your body to go into NREM sleep .
- The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long.
- A typical night of sleep includes 5 full sleep cycles.
- 90 x 5 = 450 minutes, or 7.5 hours.
- Starting with the time you wake, work back 7.5 hours to find your bedtime .
What Time Should I Go To Bed Conclusion
Granted, everyone has individual sleep needs. However, the above formula is a good place to start. Develop a calming bedtime routine before you settle into sleep. With a bit of tweaking, you may find yourself getting the best sleep you have had in a long time.
What Time Should I Go To Bed Resources:
 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Melatonin: In Depth, NCCIH thanks the following people for their technical expertise and review of this publication: Daniel Buysse, M.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Nalaka Gooneratne, M.D., M.Sc., Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Frank Scheer, Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and D. Lee Alekel, Ph.D., and John (Jack) Killen, Jr., M.D., NCCIH., May 2005.
 National Sleep Foundation; National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times, February 02, 2015.
 National Sleep Foundation; Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men.
 Harvard; Healthy Sleep, Changes in Sleep with Age.
 Time; How You Sleep Depends on Where You Live, Jeffrey Kluger, May 06, 2016.
 Inc.; 9 Things Healthy, Successful People Always Do Before Bed, Jessica Stillman, October 05, 2016.
 Health; 20 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed, Amanda MacMillan, April 08, 2015.
 Business Insider; What 13 highly successful people do right before they go to bed, Lindsay Dodgson, April 20, 2017.
 NBC News; 7 ways to actually get to bed an hour earlier, Sarah DiGiulio, June 05, 2017.
 Glamour; This is the time to go to bed if you want to wake at 7 feeling fresh AF, Alice Howarth, March 21, 2017.