Getting the correct amount of sleep each night is extremely important for everyone. This is because sleeping is crucial as it is the time when the body rests and repairs itself. Everyone knows the feeling of waking up after a good night’s sleep and feeling refreshed and raring to go. Most people can also relate to waking up after a poor night’s sleep and feeling cranky and really unmotivated. So a good night’s sleep is vital for your well-being.
But there are difficulties when it comes to being able to get the ideal amount of sleep. The main problem is that due to the structure of modern life, controlling the time that you spend sleeping is an issue. This is because the time that you wake up is completely socially determined.
People have to wake up at specific times due to commitments such as work, going to study or dropping the kids off somewhere. This means that even if you calculate how much sleep you need, there’s no point in doing it because your wake up time will compromise the length of sleep that you have. This is wrong.
Although the time that you wake up may be fixed you are still in control of what time you go to sleep. Because of this you can calculate the ideal amount of sleep that your body needs and set a time when you need to go to sleep that allows you to get the full amount of sleep that you need.
Calculating the amount of sleep that you need is not difficult to do. There are charts available that give you a rough idea of how long you should sleep for, for example.
- Infants: 14-15 hours
- Toddlers: 12-14 hours
- School Children: 10-11 hours
- Adults: 7-9 hours
However the amount of sleep a person needs is unique, it varies between individuals. Determining the correct amount of sleep you need isn’t as simple as just going off the average of the category you belong to.
But how do you calculate your individual ideal sleeping time?
The first thing that you need to do is test for how many hours of sleep that you need naturally. To do this you need a day where it doesn’t matter what time you wake, preferably a weekend or a day when you have nothing on. All you need to do is go to sleep when you are tired, note the time that you go to sleep and then note the time when you wake up and work out how many hours you have slept for.
The next thing you need to do is minus the time that you sleep for naturally from the time you set your morning alarm for. So if you wake up each morning at 6am and need 7 hours sleep then you need to be in bed by 11pm the night before. One thing you need to consider is that the time that you need to go to sleep, is the time that you should be in bed. It isn’t the time that you should start getting ready for bed. You should carry out any of your pre-bed rituals so that you can be tucked up in bed at that time.
Guest post written by David V., consultant at Zen Bedrooms.
Photo: Alan Cleaver