(HealthyResearch.com) – Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health, even though there may be conflicting information about how much sleep we need. But for some people, falling and staying asleep can be difficult. The keys seem to be centered around when we fall asleep and how we maintain the rhythms our bodies get used to. And there may be even more reasons we should strive to sleep before a certain time each night.
What is The 90-Minute Phase?
The pre-midnight phase, or the hour and a half before midnight, is referred to as the 90-minute phase. This period lets the brain reorganize and prepare to recharge itself. It’s also a time when adrenaline levels reduce. According to Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Tired But Wired: The Essential Sleep Toolkit, this pre-midnight time frame helps replenish and rejuvenate us spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally, allowing an optimal time for healing.
But what about those who work 3rd shift or simply go to bed in the wee hours of the morning? For those of us who by profession or choice are true night owls, the “90-minute phase” applies to the first hour-and-a-half when we would normally go to sleep. Ideally, to be most effective, that should be at approximately the same time each night.
Follow Your Body’s Circadian Rhythm
Everyone develops a sleep pattern that ebbs and flows as they grow older. It’s our bodies’ natural time to fall asleep and wake up, referred to as the circadian rhythm. We each have one; it’s the natural physiological process of every living being, including animals.
The rhythm is controlled by the body’s internal clock, but it’s also influenced by external factors like light and temperature fluctuations. By paying attention to our circadian rhythms and listening to our natural sleep/wake prompts, we can have better quality, more restful sleep by understanding when we should go to bed.
How Much Sleep Should I Get?
There is no single answer to this question. The Mayo Clinic explains that, on average, adults should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. But this may fluctuate based on your circadian rhythm.
If you feel well and stay healthy only getting 5 hours of sleep, that’s ok. Don’t stress about it. But if you feel sleep-deprived or if there is an underlying health condition keeping you from a restful sleep, make adjustments and seek medical assistance.
Make Sure Your Environment is Inviting
While getting that 90 minutes of sleep just before midnight may be the ticket to a good night’s rest, make sure your room is also conducive to sleep.
- Install light canceling blinds or curtains.
- Avoid blue light, such as TV or phones just before sleep.
- Adjust the room temperature to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Sleep.org.
- Replace worn-out mattresses at least every 10 years.
It’s important to have a comfortable and serene room designed just for relaxing. This will make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
No matter what cards life deals you, good or bad, you should always be able to count on a good night’s sleep to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. Scheduling the right time to fall asleep may be the ultimate answer in getting the right amount of shut-eye each night. Your body will tell you when it’s time for bed if you pay attention. You may already hold the key to the perfect night’s rest.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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