If you are wondering about the best time to go to bed, you need to listen to your circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are mental, psychological and behavioral changes that are governed by the body in a 24-hour clock, as per the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. These behaviors are impacted by different environmental cues, like darkness, temperature, and sunlight.
Circadian rhythms affect sleep/wake cycles, body temperature, hormone release, and other essential bodily functions. In the morning, the exposure to light makes our brain send cues to the body to raise its temperature and produce hormones, such as cortisol, which is produced in accordance with our natural circadian rhythms as well as in response to stress. This helps us stay energetic in the morning, after which the levels go down during the day.
You may think that the longer you sleep, the more rejuvenated you will feel, but that is not always true. Getting a good night’s sleep is not just limited to going to bed early. It is also about waking up at the right time as well.
The Best Time to Hit the Bed
Scientists believe the ideal time to go to sleep is between 10 PM and 11 PM. This is because the temperature of our body starts dropping during these times, along with the cortisol level. As the day starts to darken, your brain starts producing melatonin, the sleep chemical. Sleep Council experts suggest that if you feel sleepy in the evenings, you should go to bed immediately. Trying to stay awake could be harmful to both your body and your sleep patterns in the long run.
An interesting fact to note is your genetic makeup commands whether you are more comfortable going to sleep early or late. Sleeping early is against the physiology for people who usually stay up late. This is also the case with morning larks trying to stay up late. For a majority of sleepers who fall somewhere between these two types, the bedtime is usually the hour of the night when they feel the most exhausted and sleepy.
This means night owls should not try to go to bed at 8 or 9 if they are not tired, and similarly morning larks (and others in general) shouldn’t try to stay awake for long if the body is indicating that it need to rest.