How to Get More Sleep: Part 3 Time
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Sleep do you get enough of it? Does anyone seem like they get enough sleep these days? I know being a mom I never had the time to sleep. I thought it was just normal to sleep 4 hours a night and dealt with it. But that is so not the case if we don’t take care of our health (sleep included) then how can we take care of our children. Today I am talking about How to Get More Sleep: Part 3 Time.
How to Get More Sleep: Part 3 Time
How much time?
The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep, but there is a little more to it than that. Sleep is broken down into roughly 90 minute sleep cycles. No one person is exactly the same or even has the same cycles each night, but that is a pretty good average. I’ve even tested it many nights and sure enough when I need to get up to pee is pretty close to the end of a 90 minute cycle. You should aim to get between 5-6 of these sleep cycles per night. The thing is if you get woke during the middle of one of these cycles you will feel more tired and groggy then if you get woke between cycles (the end of one before moving past light sleeping) like I was talking about in What to Avoid-Part 2 in the series about alcohol and the movie Hangover. It is said that sleeping for longer than 9 hours per night is just as bad for you as sleeping less than 6 hours.
Instead of constantly figuring out this calculation each night of what time I should get up I found this free sleep calculator online that I have saved on my phone. It isn’t an app it is a website. It is at sleepcalculator.com All I have to do is click on what time should I wake up and it calculates the time figuring in the average time it takes most people to go to sleep which apparently is 15 minutes. I take slightly longer to fall asleep so I usually add 10 minutes to it. So far it is working perfectly because of the holistic herbs I am taking about an hour before wanting to fall asleep. The sleep calculator will also do the reverse and let you know what time you should go to sleep based on what time you want or need to wake up.
If you really want to go high tech I found this sunrise clock that wakes you up gradually by an artificial sunlight and/or natural outside sounds like birds chirping which is supposed to be less disturbing to your sleep than a regular alarm clock. I am providing my Amazon affiliate link as well if you want to check it out.
When should I sleep?
There is an optimal time to sleep which starts a few hours after it gets dark. In the Sleep Smarter book (check it out at the bottom of this blog) it was suggested getting to sleep before 11 pm (optimal was 10 pm), because you will get your best sleep between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. After that your sleep cycles get shorter and you won’t be in the longer sleep cycles or REM sleep as long. Remember I talked about REM sleep in What to Avoid-Part 2 . It is very important for memory storage also resting and recovering your body as well as your brain. You may have to adjust these times based on where you live and what season we are in too.
I know what you are thinking, “but I’m a night owl and I just get more energy after 10 pm.” Trust me I thought I was a night owl too and would work away up until 2 am sometimes feeling like it was my time. Of course I felt like crap the next day. There is a scientific reason this happens.Your body increases energy to repair and strengthen itself. So the extra rush of energy isn’t for you to stay up later, but for you to be asleep and allowing that time to rejuvenate.
If you want to have the best and most restful sleep for your health it really needs to be on a regular schedule. So going to bed at 10 pm on Monday Wednesday and Friday, yet staying up until 2 am on the rest of the night is not doing yourself any good. The same rings true for sleeping later on weekends. A lot of people feel they will just “catch up” on their sleep over the weekend and unfortunately sleep doesn’t quite work that way.
Shift workers that rotate shifts between days and nights are said to be the worst on getting good quality sleep. Next is night shift workers. My husband and son work in the glass industry and because of the heat in the plants there are 3 shifts that rotate every 3-7 days. Right now my son will work 7 days on 3rd shift have a few days off and then go to 7 days on 2nd shift and then a have a couple days off before going to 7 days on 1st shift. Night shift working is actually listed as a 1ARC2A Carcinogen by the World Health Organization so it is extremely bad for your health.
Wake up Early
It is not only recommended that you go to sleep earlier, but also that you wake earlier. Obviously if you can get to bed earlier you will usually be able to get up earlier as well. We were biologically created to be awake when the sun was out and asleep when it was dark. In the book it gave some examples like our eyesight not being good at night. Of course if you want to get yourself turned around gradually setting the alarm clock 15 minutes earlier will better for your body to adjust then to cut back by a whole hour or more.
What time do you go to bed right now? What time will you be striving to get to bed going forward?
Do you have a hard time shutting yourself down at night and would like to try something that not only works, but has no nasty side effects to your body’s health and wellness? Let me help you get the sleep you deserve with 5 Samples of my Sleepy time drink for just $10 with the link below.
Some of the ideas I have shared or will be sharing is from a book called Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. If you are interested in reading the book yourself just click on my Amazon affiliate link below.