As an adult, you may not have someone telling you when to go to bed, but according to sleep experts and health professionals, you might need someone to hold you accountable to a bedtime.
Getting a good night’s rest has been shown to have serious health benefits, and it’s not just the quality of your sleep that matters – it’s how much you’re getting.
That’s where knowing your ideal bedtime comes into play. As the one thing that you can truly control when it comes to sleep, choosing the right time to turn in plays a crucial role in your health and well-being.
But how do you know the best time to hit the hay in order to make sure that you’re not just getting enough sleep, but the high-quality sleep that you need and deserve?
This formula for calculating your ideal bedtime is based on the time that you need to wake up, and it can make a big difference in your sleep cycle and how you feel throughout the day.
The average sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes, and the typical night of sleep includes about 5 of those cycles. That means that the ideal length of time spent asleep is 7 ½ hours.
To discover the time that you should get to bed, just follow this formula: Starting at the time you need to wake up, count backwards 7 ½ hours.
For example: If you need to be up and at ‘em by 7 a.m. to make it to work on time, you would count backwards 7 ½ hours, and your ideal bedtime would be 11:30 p.m.
That’s it. Pretty simple, huh?
Of course, this is based on the fact that you are in bed, with the lights out and ready to fall asleep at that time. No laying in bed and checking Facebook or sending emails. That would be cheating!
You may find that this calculation needs some adjustment based on your individual sleep cycle, but give it a trial run of about a week. You’ll know that you’ve hit the right bedtime for you when you start to wake up naturally about 10 minutes before your alarm goes off.
If after the trial week, you find yourself still sleeping through your alarm, simply set your bedtime back in 10-minute increments until you reach the goal of waking up naturally before the alarm rouses you.
Quality is also important when it comes to your sleep, and you may find that making a few easy adjustments can help you to get better sleep while you’re also getting more of it.
The first step is making sure that you have a supportive place to sleep. Sometimes, fixing your sleep inefficiency is as simple as switching mattresses
If you’ve had your current mattress for more than 8 years, you find yourself unable to get into a comfortable sleeping position, or you’re tossing and turning throughout the night, it might be time for an upgrade.
Gel memory foam mattresses are renowned for the comfort and support that they offer most sleepers, and can be found for very reasonable prices. There are even memory foam mattresses that can be purchased online, which saves you the time and hassle of traditional mattress shopping!
Another easy fix to make sure that you’re getting good quality sleep is to dim the lights and ban the electronics when it’s drawing near to your ideal bedtime. Studies have shown that making those changes have significantly improved the participants’ quality of sleep.
By calculating the right bedtime for you, and making a few changes to your sleeping routine, you will find that the time you spend in bed has become more efficient and effective than ever.