Sleep is a topic that affects us all. It’s important to find the best time to sleep according to science to be our most productive selves, but it can be challenging to have many obligations during the day and evening hours.
Many variables go into the art of sleeping, but there is one thing all experts agree on consistency. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, your body will adjust to your new schedule with time. However, it’s important to be mindful of how much sleep you need and when you need it the most to get the best quality rest possible.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best time to sleep according to science and some research that has been done on sleep and what time people should be getting their beauty rest if they want to wake up feeling refreshed!
Reasons why sleep is important
Getting enough sleep is beneficial in many ways. The pleasure it gives us is irreplaceable, and our bodies will thank us for it as well.
1. Reduces depression
Adrenaline and cortisol are stress hormones that contribute to depression. While sleeping well and relaxing gives the body the opportunity to produce serotonin and melanin, very little sleep increases adrenaline and cortisol production.
Substances like serotonin and melanin tend to counter the negative results stress produces and provide us with a feeling of well-being.
2. Protects the cardiovascular system
Since insomnia causes a rise in stress hormones, it is related to the previous point. In turn, this leads to an increase in both heart rate and blood pressure.
The risk of cardiovascular disease is in this sense associated with stress.
3. Enhances memory
Our brains work even when we sleep because neural connections continue to form. Sleep is divided into three phases: REM sleep, non-REM sleep, and wakefulness.
Neurons in each are working continuously. This process contributes to the formation of long-term memory by being able to restore short-term memory. Napping after studying has been shown to improve this aspect in some studies.
4. Contributes to weight loss
The appetite suppressing hormone leptin is responsible for this. Adipocytes, the fat cells that release this substance, do not release enough of it when we don’t get enough sleep.
Moreover, insomnia causes overproduction of the appetite hormone ghrelin in the stomach. In this sense, sleep deprivation is linked to obesity.
5. Enhances immunity
As we sleep, our immune systems regenerate and strengthen to fight germs and toxins that lurk in the body. Resting well will help us avoid infections, so we should rest well.
What is the best time to go to bed?
It is recommended that sleep begins between 10 P.M and 11 P.M. Cortisol levels, stress hormones as well as body temperature decrease during this time. The brain starts producing melatonin when night falls, and it is this substance that triggers sleepiness.
Scientists reported that 22:20 is the best time for sleep. Around this time, 82% of people were sleeping regularly and consistently. Furthermore, they acquired good nutrition and fitness habits. Approximately 74% of them found it keeping a healthy weight easier than ever.
It is also important to realize that a good night’s sleep directly impacts our habits: in fact, sleeping poorly or little can lead to weight gain.
Going to bed at this time allows your body about 20 minutes of deep sleep and 90 minutes of non-REM sleep before midnight arrives. It would be enough for about seven or eight hours of quality sleep, depending on what time your alarm goes off in the morning.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. The Sleep Council explains that getting into the habit of sleeping the way you want is the best approach. It is natural for some people to prefer to sleep and wake up early, while others prefer to sleep and wake up late. Sleeping after midnight isn’t necessary if you are never tired before midnight. Choosing an appropriate time is essential. Whenever you start feeling sleepy, leave right away. Routines make our bodies and minds work better.
How much should you sleep according to science?
Rest is an essential element of practically all systems that keep the body functioning. We can’t be productive at our best if we’re not getting enough sleep. Our mental, physical, and emotional health depend on the quality of our sleep.
Surely you have heard that 8 hours are recommended to be sleeping. It came from a study of a cave that Nathaniel Kleitman conducted with a student in 1938. According to their sleep analysis, they slept between eight and eight and a half hours.
The number of hours of sleep you get is linked to good health in several studies. Studies show that poor sleep patterns have a negative impact on the academic performance of students. Workplaces are no different.
Some studies indicate that those sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day have lower mortality rates than those sleeping less than 4 hours.
Sleeping an extra hour can make a real difference in how much you enjoy your life. Having slept fewer than eight hours does not equate to better health, even if you perform as expected during the day.
What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?
Negative events occur when we do not get enough sleep. Mental and emotional complications can arise due to alterations in health. We may be surprised by the severity of the consequences.
If we don’t get enough sleep, some of the following things will happen:
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes: Sleep deprivation causes less insulin to be released in the body, which regulates blood sugar levels.
- Anxiety disorders: According to researchers, insomnia can lead to anxiety and depression as a result of stress.
- Loss of sexual desire: Men who have disturbed sleep patterns may experience a loss of sexual desire. In addition to low libido, poor sleep and rest have a negative effect on sperm production.
- Cognitive disorders: Poor concentration can result in car accidents, incidents at work, and accidents at home.
- Reduces muscle growth: It is especially frustrating after thirty years of only 20% growth. Cell regeneration is impaired by little rest.
Tricks to Fall Asleep
1. Sleeping in a routine
Routines allow the body to know when it needs to rest or be active. You should keep the same sleep schedule as you keep eating schedules. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will allow your body to get used to a routine, and you will have no problem falling asleep.
Adding an infusion or a hot bath to your routine can also help. However, there are also those who cannot fall asleep without reading a few pages. The body receives this signal when all of these actions are taken.
Apart from routine, there are other factors to consider when it comes to sleep: quietness (no noise), soft lighting, a comfortable bed, and putting away technological devices before bedtime.
2. Avoid stimulants and heavy meals
It is recommended to refrain from eating large meals right before bed because they can cause heavy digestion. Caffeine can disrupt our sleep and make us feel less rested at night, so we need to avoid drinking energy drinks and coffee.
Setting aside alcohol and cigarettes before you get into bed can also help you sleep better.
It is not unusual for the body to refuse sleep when the mind is exhausted. Physical activity throughout the day is the best way to avoid this. In the case of exercising right before going to bed, however, you cause the opposite outcome: you wake up the body.
4. What do we do with naps?
It is recommended not to take naps after 3:00 p.m., according to the NHLBI. Further, to avoid waking up after a nap with hazy perceptions, a rest should ideally last 10-30 minutes to avoid interfering with our night’s sleep. However, young people are likely to have to sleep for a more extended period.
5. Blue light
It’s become common knowledge that blue light is emitted by electronic devices. Despite its nonharmful properties, it destroys sleep by activating us and teaching our brain that it’s time to work. The solution to this is simple: remove your PC, tablet, TV, and mobile device about half an hour before starting to sleep.
We hope that this article has helped you to know the best time to sleep according to science. As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of factors that can affect your natural sleep cycle so it is good for you and those around you if we have an idea of what works for us individually. Try to get at least 7 hours each night and make sure that you’re taking enough time away from screens before bedtime so that your brain can relax and prepare properly for rest.