When is the best time to go to bed? A rule surprises

Deepak Gupta February 3, 2022
Updated 2022/02/03 at 5:23 PM

If you don’t have a fixed rule for this, you may be wondering when is the best time to go to sleep. In fact, there are various approaches that assume either a minimum duration or a fixed time that is always the same. If that is too inflexible for you, you can use the following method to calculate which time really suits you.

When should you go to sleep? This method gives several answers

According to science, healthy sleep is especially important for one thing, your heart. So you should not only pay attention to the well-known rule of eight hours of sleep. According to some experts, when you go to sleep also has an influence on your physical well-being. As far as the European Society of Cardiology is concerned the best time between 10pm and 11pm. This should at least reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

However, what is not taken into account is the time when you have to get up. For someone who gets out of bed very early, for example, 11 p.m. can be a lot too late for a really restful sleep.

A sleep calculator can help here. By entering the moment you got up, it calculates exactly when you should go to sleep. An example of this is the ‘Sleep Calculator’ (aside) from Hillarys, a UK manufacturer and retailer of bespoke blinds, shutters, curtains and awnings.

“A good night’s sleep is about more than just going to bed early — it’s also about getting up at the right time. Using a formula based on the body’s natural rhythm, Sleep Calculator will work out the best time for you to get up or go to sleep.”

Sleep Calculator, Hillarys

This is how the calculation works

When you should go to bed can be calculated on the website as well as the right time to get up if you are currently tired. In the first option you specify what time you want to wake up. You can enter the hour and the corresponding number of minutes. If you then click on “When should I go to bed?”, you will be given several possible times.

Example of calculating when you should go to sleep

  • Stand up: at 6:15 in the morning
  • Go to sleep: 21:01, 22:31 or 00:01, 01:31

Why are there multiple times to go to bed? The reasons are just below. The makers behind the Sleep Calculator explain that most people need an average of 14 minutes to fall asleep.

In addition, sleep is counted in different cycles. Each of them should last roughly 90 minutes, so that you go through about five to six of them per night. This theory is also scientifically supported. Accordingly, a person initially moves through four stages (according to the spectrum):

  • Stage 1: Transition from awake to asleep
  • Stage 2: Time to fall asleep
  • Stage 3 and 4: slow wave sleep

All four stages together are referred to as “NREM sleep”, i.e. “non-REM sleep”, during which there is little to no dream content. Phase 5 would then be the deep sleep phase (REM).

Waking up during any of the various stages can leave you feeling tired and in a bad mood, according to Sleep Calculator. Getting up between cycles, on the other hand, helps to start the day better. Accordingly, the calculation would be done targeting a point in time between cycles.

More tips for good sleep

If you are less concerned about when to go to sleep, you can pay attention to other things. For example, apart from the well-known eight hours, there is another scientific answer to how long you should sleep. If your goal is to increase the quality, you can take a bath for better sleep. But beware: Here, too, the period of time is crucial.

Sources: Spectrum, European Society of Cardiology, Sleep Calculator

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