Improving your sleep is not just about getting more shuteye every night. As experts say, regular sleep is necessary, as it allows the body to stick with its circadian rhythm, enabling our systems to function at their best. Getting regular sleep, however, can get tricky at first, as it will require you to follow a strict schedule. It gets easier after a while, though, because as soon as your circadian clock falls into step, you’ll find yourself falling asleep at around the same time nightly.
To make the most out of your efforts in improving your sleep, figuring out the best time to go to bed may be of great help. Again, as regular sleep is most ideal for your circadian rhythm, learning when you should start dozing off every night can guarantee better results, as studies show that the time of night also affects the quality of one’s sleep. In an article for Time magazine, Dr. Matt Walker, the University of California, Berkeley head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, notes that as the night wears on, the quality of sleep also changes.
Basically, sleep is categorized in two types of cycles: the non-REM and the REM sleep. The non-REM sleep, which is more desired for its restorative abilities, as well as for offering deeper slumber, usually occurs during the earlier hours of the night. This allows the sleeper to get rest and recharged right away, just in case the sleeper needs to get an early start in the morning. The REM (or rapid eye movement) sleep, on the other hand, is lighter and dream-infused, as well as designed to cater to our mental health. It also takes place later in the night, as the wee hours of the morning rolls in.
This means, that if you sleep before midnight, chances are, you’ll be getting more non-REM sleep and get more rest. If you’re more of a late night person, though, and you like sleeping right before the day breaks, you may still find yourself exhausted even after a few hours of shuteye, as the shift from non to REM sleep takes place at a specific time of the night, regardless of whatever time you’ve decided to hit the sack.
The best bedtime is right around 8pm to 12 midnight, according to experts. This gives you a great chance of getting enough deep sleep for optimal functioning. However, as there are still different types of people, forcing yourself to sleep before 10 if you’re a night owl may not work at your advantage, while sleeping past 11 may be harmful for morning larks. So, it should depend on your personality and lifestyle what the best bed time is for you, as long as it falls right inside the 8pm-12am window.
According to another expert, Dr. Allison Siebern, associate director of the Insomnia & Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Stanford University, the best bed time for you is still around the time when you’re usually the sleepiest. You can also count back to get 8 hours to determine the time when you should hit the sack from the time you usually have to wake up. So, if you normally wake up at 6:30 am, hitting the hay at around 10pm will be ideal, as long as you also already feel sleepy around that time.
Dr. Siebern also notes that your ideal bed time changes as you age. However, once you’ve already mastered having a healthy sleeping schedule, adjusting wouldn’t be that hard. You just need to be consistent, as well as observant to your body’s needs.
By learning the perfect bed time for you will help you get started in achieving a healthier sleep hygiene. Pair it with a high quality Salem mattress, and you’re off to improve your health amazingly.