I hate being told what time I “should” go to bed so that I “get enough hours” and don’t feel “so tired” the next day and act all “grumpy.”
First of all, I’m not grumpy, that’s just my personality. And second of all, there’s no way I would feel happy in life if I had to be asleep by 8 p.m. for a good ten hours every day. It’s just not me.
However, an alternate way of measuring sleep and determining good sleep is to readjust your sleep cycle, rather than your sleep hours.
Cr: via skipprichard
Sleep is a huge topic in talks of health and well-being, and everyone can agree on one thing: you definitely need it. Between advice on spending less time with tech before bed, keeping the room cold, and not snacking before sleeping, there are many home remedies to help you get the perfect night’s sleep. After all, apparently everyone needs those hours.
But what if we shifted the focus from hours to cycles?
Cr: ILYAORESHKOV VIA GETTY IMAGES
I’ve noticed many times (okay, every weekend) that when I sleep in and spend a good 10 hours asleep, I don’t feel that much more energised than when I come back home from the club mid-week at 3 something a.m. and wake up at 9 something a.m. the morning after (technically it’s the same morning but you get it). Judging by those gentle findings, it can’t just be down to the sheer hours that determine a good snooze, and more importantly, a good start to the day.
And it’s not just me who has that feeling. Recent research has shown that the precise times we go to bed and the times our alarms wake us up the next day can have a strong effect on how well we sleep and how good we feel upon rising. Not just because of the quantity of shut-eye hours we bagged, but also because of the quality of said shut-eye hours. This is because our body goes through sleep cycles during the night (REM and non-REM for those in the know), and thereby waking up just in the middle of the cycle can be pretty annoying for body and brain, and also groggy old morning you.
What if, then, we could make sure we always wake up at the end of a cycle/start of a new one?
Cr: via Memecenter
Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes, so you could probably calculate your ideal wake up time based on when you go to sleep (allowing for extra time to actually fall asleep). If you have places to be and people to see, you could also use it to calculate the ideal time to go to bed.
Or, if you’re feeling a little lazy and not so mathematical, you can use a Sleep Calculator. Simply input the time you need to wake up, and they’ll tell you what time you should go to bed tonight. Alternatively, click the ‘I’m sleepy right now’ button and they’ll tell you when to rise from those feathers.
Or, if you’re even moreso lazy, Apple devices on iOS 10 and above can also use the Bedtime feature in the clock app, which works by the same principle.
Either way, it’s a handy trick to try if you’re tired of feeling tired and want to shake that nickname of ‘GrumpyPants’ at your office.
As for me… I need to get going. I’m off to catch a great cycle of Zzzs in 3, 2, 1…
Psst… And while we’re on great sleep – do you know why you wake up at the best part of your dream?