If you are going to be concerned about health, you must approach it from a holistic standpoint. So, while your bedroom home office may be equipped with a good ergonomic chair, it may be all for naught if you do not know the best time to sleep at night or the best time to wake up in the morning.
So, when should you go to sleep? When should you wake up? If you are unsure of both things, you are going to need to investigate some tips to improve your sleep. Still, the focus here is on knowing the best time to sleep and wake up depending on the age bracket you fall into, as opposed to the quality of the sleep you are getting. A modern ergonomic chair cannot negate the effects of not sleeping right.
However, before going there, here is some educational information on how the sleep cycle works and why it is important to achieve an optimal amount of sleep as much as possible.
Understanding the Sleep Cycle
While you cannot observe your sleep cycle for obvious reasons, it is a natural occurrence in humans. Everyone sleeps at some point, though variances exist, thanks to lifestyle choices, genetics, and external factors such as the amount of lighting that is present.
Any normal sleep cycle includes two distinct phases. The first is known as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, while the second is known as non-rapid eye movement or NREM sleep. Moving from one state to another is not a linear process, as your body goes back and forth throughout the time you spend sleeping.
There is a switch from one to the other about every hour and a half, and with each switch, REM stages get longer while NREM stages get shorter.
The best-case scenario is that each of these cycles occurs about four or five times. Waking up when the sleep is at its lightest tends to give up the most restful feeling. However, when the sleep is forcefully interrupted by elements, such as an alarm, you likely end up with a feeling of grogginess.
What Happens if You Do Not Get Enough Sleep?
If you know and abide by the best time to sleep and wake up, then you do not fall into this category. How would you know the difference? Well, daytime sleepiness is one of the most common occurrences in people who are not getting enough sleep at night. Additionally, such persons may experience heightened levels of forgetfulness, accidents, and irritability.
The effects go beyond these though, as several conditions are synonymous with those who do not get enough sleep consistently. At that point, you expose yourself to more severe and long-term health implications.
Some of the more severe consequences that are longer-lasting include high blood pressure, obesity, depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, your immune system is not as strong as it would be if you were getting better sleep regularly. Therefore, you are more likely to get sick often.
What Happens if You Get Too Much Sleep?
This is likely not something you expected to hear, as getting sleep has always sounded like a good thing. It is, but as is the case in many other aspects of life, too much of a good thing can sometimes become a bad thing. Another reason why you may not have heard anything on this side of the spectrum is that researchers did not previously investigate negative side effects of too much sleep as much as they did those associated with too little.
If you sit on this side of the fence, you routinely sleep over eight or nine hours. Even after getting that much sleep, you still find yourself needing naps throughout the day. Depression and irritability make a return here as side effects, and cardiovascular issues can also show up.
While there may be nothing behind your sleeping excessively, the possibility does exist that it is the result of an underlying condition. Some of these conditions are depression, Parkinson's disease, anxiety, thyroid disorders, or even asthma.
If you are sleeping beyond the natural bracket too often, it may be a sign that you should visit your doctor's office to try to identify what may be the underlying cause.
What Is the Best Time to Sleep and Wake Up for Each Age Bracket?
By now you are familiar with how the sleep cycle works and why you do not want to get too much or too little sleep. That means, it is essential to identify the best time to sleep and wake up to avoid going too far above or below the baseline regularly. Here is a simple breakdown to help you improve your sleep and remember the recommended number of hours that each age bracket should be sleeping for daily:
0 - 3-month-olds require 14 to 17 hours daily.
4 - 12-month-olds require 12 to 16 hours daily.
1 - 2-year-olds require 11 to 14 hours daily.
3 - 5-year-olds require 10 to 13 hours daily.
9 - 12-year-olds require nine to 12 hours daily.
13 - 18-year-olds require eight to 10 hours daily.
18 - 60-year-olds require at least seven hours daily.
61 - 64-year-olds require seven to nine hours daily.
Anyone 65 years or older requires seven to eight hours daily.
These numbers can guide you in deciding the best time to sleep at night and the best time to wake up in the morning in your personal life and at your bedroom home office. You may want to plan your sleep schedule in a way that allows you to go to bed early enough to achieve the period set out for your age group.
For example, most persons fall into the 18 - 60-year-old bracket. If so, it is required that you get at least seven hours per night.
So, if you need to be up by 6 AM for work, that means the latest time you can go to bed is 11 PM. This does not mean you should crawl into bed at 11 PM, as the period only speaks to the time you spend sleeping. So, you may want to consider hopping into bed at about 10:30 PM to ensure that you are fast asleep by 11.
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