We’ve all been in this situation – your alarm goes off and you wish desperately for “just a few more minutes”....CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>
Or sometimes there’s the strange phenomenon of going to bed earlier than usual but waking up feeling worse than you would after sleeping less.
While this might just appear to be a sign of general tiredness, there could be more to it than that.
Sleep experts at Hillarys have revealed that the time at which we go to bed and wake up is vitally important – due to our sleep cycles.
They suggest that you should work out the best time to hit the hay based on when you have to get up in the morning.
For this very purpose they have created an online “sleep calculator” that should help you establish a healthy sleeping pattern.
The website explains: “Getting a good night’s sleep is about more than simply going to bed early – it’s about waking up at the right time too.
“Using a formula based on the body’s natural rhythms, the sleep calculator will work out the best time for you to rise or go to sleep.
“And that means you can look forward to feeling fresh and alert … every morning.”
According to the Sleep Foundation, we experience between four and six sleep cycles during the night.
These include periods of “light sleep”, “deep sleep” and “vivid dreaming”.
Each cycle can range from around 70 to 120 minutes but will vary from person to person.
“Sleep stages are important because they allow the brain and body to recuperate and develop,” the organisation explains.
“Failure to obtain enough of both deep sleep and REM sleep may explain some of the profound consequences of insufficient sleep on thinking, emotions, and physical health.
“Sleepers who are frequently awoken during earlier stages, such as people with sleep apnoea, may struggle to properly cycle into these deeper sleep stages.”
This is where the sleep calculator comes in. It aims to help you wake up between sleep cycles – rather than right in the middle of one, helping you feel refreshed in the morning.
“Waking up mid-cycle can leave you feeling grumpy and tired; rising in between phases will help you to start the day with a smile on your face,” it says.
The calculator takes into consideration the average of 14 minutes most people take to fall asleep and works on the basis of people sleeping five or six 90 minute cycles.
You can then input the time you need to wake up and it will tell you the optimal time to go to bed.
As an example, if you need to be up by 6.10am it will tell you to go to bed by either 8.56pm, 10.26pm, 11.56pm or 1.26am.
Useful bedtimes to note:
To get up at 6am – go to bed by 8.46pm, 10.16pm, 11.46pm or 1.16am
To get up at 7am – go go to bed by 9.46pm, 11.16pm, 12.46am or 2.16am
To get up at 8am – go to bed by 10.46pm, 12.16am, 1.46am or 3.16am.