A tiny five-percent of the population is pre-programmed to function on three hours of sleep every night, including Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.
The majority of you need far more, though sleep experts say it’s all about the quantity of the sleep you’re getting, but the time you’re getting it. Sure, sleep quality is key too, but it’s been discovered that between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is the best time to fall asleep because it aligns well with our natural circadian rhythms.
“When it comes to bedtime, there’s a window of several hours – roughly between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. – during which your brain and body have the opportunity to get all the non-REM and REM shuteye they need to function optimally,” explains Matt Walker, the head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
But if you find yourself awake in the middle of your sleep cycle, you’ll likely feel tired regardless of how many hours you’ve already slept. A good night’s sleep consists of five to six complete 90-minute sleep cycles for the average adult to wake up feeling reinvigorated.
With most people needing at least 15 minutes to fall asleep, it’s best to go to bed around 9:45 p.m. or 11:15 p.m. if you want to be up and ready to go at 7:00 a.m.
If you’d like to try other ways to get a good night’s sleep to see what’s best for you, you can try a sleep calculator or a sleep alarm clock. Some people even take a ‘What Time Should I Go to Bed’ quiz or use apps to remind them the best times to sleep and wake up for them. Any of these methods can help your body get in sync with your natural circadian rhythms, improving your sleep and well-being.
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