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What is the Best Time to Sleep for Good Health

September 29, 2020

What is the Best Time to Sleep for Good Health

We all need sleep to refresh and reboot. However, sleep quality and the duration of sleep affects us when we wake up and in the longer term our health quality. So, what is the best time to sleep for good health? However, there is no fixed time to go to bed as we are all different and it applies to different age groups and genetics.

What Happens When You Go To Bed Later

Research showed that individuals who described themselves as “evening” people - meaning they tend to go to bed late - had more negative, intrusive thoughts and rumination than those who went to bed earlier and are “morning” people. Another study found that Japanese workers who went to bed later showed more depressive symptoms compared to those who went to bed earlier. Going to bed earlier was also found to ward off mental illness.

However, researchers from Harvard found out it is not so much later sleep that has an effect on health but rather it is irregular sleep patterns that is associated with poorer performance and productivity. The key here is keeping a steady sleep schedule.

Results of Sleep Deprivation

Young adults and adults could suffer from sleep debt, which is the accumulated amount of sleep loss from insufficient sleep. For example, if you need eight hours of sleep but only obtained six hours, you will have a two hour sleep debt for that particular night. Sleeping more than ten hours the next day to make up for your sleep debt may be beneficial. Sleep deprivation is associated with various negative health outcomes such as heart disease, obesity, and depression.

The Time to Sleep

The best time to sleep based on your needs. Young adults to adults (age 18 to 64 years) need about seven to nine hours of sleep per day while older adults (65+ years) require about seven to nine hours per day. Teenagers need about eight to ten hours. If you need to wake up at 7 a.m. then all you need to count backwards to know your optimal sleep time. If you are an adult then sleeping from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. would meet your body’s natural circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm mimics the sun’s rising and falling. Lie on the bed fifteen minutes before to give your body time to fall asleep. Do this for a week or ten days and you would start being able to naturally wake up a few minutes before your alarm sounds. Learn more about Sleep Matters at SingHealth Singapore.

If You Find it Hard to Fall Asleep

Telling yourself that you need to fall asleep at a fixed time may cause you to have insomnia. So, do not tell or force your mind to sleep at a certain time. Instead, develop a sleep routine such as doing light stretching such as restorative or yin yoga. Or you can pick up a book (avoid picking thrillers and horrors) or meditate before bed time.

Last but not least, your bed sheets and bedding accessories are also part of the conditions of a good sleep. Learn to pick bedding for a restful sleep.

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