People tend to get the sleep their body needs when it aligns with their social, family, and professional lives. Their commitments and responsibilities dictate when they need to wake up. However, the times they go to bed depend on two things – evening activities and personal preference.
Most people get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, but how they get this amount is tricky. For example, a wake-up time of 4 a.m. means going to bed no later than 9 p.m. (as this gives you the minimum of seven hours). Don’t take this as gospel just a starting point to how much sleep your body needs.
Remember, some people have much energy in the morning (they are known as larks) while other people have more power in the evening (they are known as night owls). Moreover, then you have those that fall between the two. What you are is based on the circadian rhythm – the 24-hour clock that controls your alertness, sleepiness and the other assorted bodily functions.
There is no one-size-fits-all routine that can meet everybody’s needs. For your own sanity, you need to ensure your sleep times are matched with the physiological rhythms that allow you to get the seven to nine hours of recommended sleep every night.
You’ll need to experiment here on what is the best time to go to bed in correlation to your wake up time.
For example, if you find yourself consistently waking up after 7.5 hours of sleep, this may be the optimal sleep amount for your body. So, if you need to wake up at 5 a.m., that would mean that your bedtime would need to be no later than 9:30 p.m. If you’re waking up about 30 minutes before the alarm goes off, move the bedtime back 30 minutes.
If you’re in bed and unable to get to sleep after 20 minutes, it could be that your body is telling you you’re going to bed too soon. If you’re having issues staying awake until the set bedtime, you need to move the bedtime to something earlier.
Once you know how much sleep your body needs – to wake up rejuvenated to face the day – and the hours in which to make that happen, you need to ensure consistency here. Hence, it ensures that the internal clock stays the same. By doing that, you make it easier on yourself to fall asleep and stay that way.
When you get high-quality sleep, you feel ready to face the day ahead of you and can function at your optimum.