With busy modern lifestyles comes the need to plan out our time accurately so that everything happens as it should do. Whether we are aware of it or not we are constantly planning and adjusting our weekly schedule to meet the demands upon it. There is however one important thing that we give very little thought to and almost certainly don’t plan – our sleep.
Perhaps we take it for granted that if we go to bed at our usual time, all will be fine. However, there are real drawbacks to not getting enough sleep, so ensuring that we get enough sleep is really important. This blog, written in association with SleepyPeople.com looks at the human sleep cycle and how to plan your sleep.
Why Plan My Sleep?
Getting the right amount of sleep makes a huge difference to how well we perform. So just as we’d plan ahead of an important business meeting, it’s equally as important to plan the amount of sleep we’ll need for the day ahead or to recover from the one that has just passed. With a little knowledge of the sleep cycle, we can plan the times of day when it’s best to go to bed and wake up in order for us to get out of bed raring to go and ready for the day ahead.
The Human Sleep Cycle
There are four stages of sleep that make up a human sleep cycle, with each full cycle of sleep lasting around 90 minutes. Broadly speaking these stages of sleep can be categorised into Non REM sleep and REM Sleep. A sleep cycle starts with Non REM sleep and ends with REM Sleep. If we remain asleep after completing a sleep cycle we repeat stages of sleep into another sleep cycle..
It is recommended to complete each sleep cycle if we are to wake up feeling refreshed. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle will leave us feeling groggy and disorientated, so it can be helpful to plan your wake up time around the completion of a sleep cycle.
There’s a handy website out there http://sleep-calculator.com/ which will help you work out the best times to wake up based on 90 minute sleep cycles. The website will suggest the ideal bed time based on the time you want to wake up, the ideal time to set your alarm based on the time you want to go to bed and it even has wake up times if you want to take a power nap.
So the next time you have to be on an early morning flight and need to wake up feeling well rested and raring to go, give the Sleep Calculator a try.
image supplied by morguefile.com – royalty free for use with modification.