Apparently it’s not the length of hours of sleep you need that matters, it’s our bedtime routine that matters, claim researchers.
It’s not only babies and school children that require a sleep regime it’s us, adults too!
We stress about whether we’re getting adequate sleep but recent study revealed that that’s not the point.
The crucial part to focus on is what time we go to bed and what time we rise every day rather than do we sleep eight hours a night.
The age doesn’t play part
Babies, children as well as adults need a set bed time routine because the brain and the body function so much better.
Why set bedtime routine important?
Not having an established sleep regime in the evening and in the morning can interfere with the delicate biological rhythm
that controls everything in our body from heart, weight, immune functions or even getting diseases like diabetes, and cancer.
When you are having a late night on Saturday it’s far better for you to stick to the time you’d normally get up during the week rather than having a lie in till midday.
“The body craves routine — it would love to go to bed and get up at the same time every single day,”
says Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert who has researched sleep patterns for 35 years.
With appropriate sleep routine you’ll give your body better chances to rest and digest the information from the day.
Here is an example
If you go to bed at 10.30pm and you are start preparing for your bed time rituals a half an hour before
you’ll fall asleep faster because your body will expect that as you give it the signs.
“That’s why some people swear Horlicks helps them sleep,” says Dr Stanley.
“It’s nothing to do with a magic ingredient in the drink, but it’s the 30-minute ritual of getting it ready
and drinking it that sends signals to your body it will be time to go to bed soon.”
Others speak highly of chamomile tea as it has a relaxing effect, helping them to slow down their brain and memory,
a recent research at the University of Northumbria revealed.
On the opposite side, in the morning the brain wants some signs beforehand it’s time to wake up.
“Research has found that the body and brain make preparations for waking up 90 minutes before we actually wake up,” says Dr Stanley.
“So if it knows what time that will be, it can squeeze as much good-quality sleep into that time as it can, regardless of the total number of hours.
In fact, having a fixed wake-up time is probably the most powerful and effective change you can make to improve your sleep quality.”
What is the issue a Sunday lie-in?
The problem with irregular sleep pattern is such that it messes up our circadian rhythm – our 24-hour body clock, and that creates what the scientists call “social jet lag”.
When we get up at midday on Sunday, we don’t do much during the day as the body is feeling off, we can’t fall asleep in the evening, and the next day,
Monday morning we are woken up by a noisy alarm clock and are forced to get up. Usually we feel groggy and tired that day.
Have you felt like this on a Monday morning?
It’s summer time, change your clock!
It actually doesn’t take a lot to toss out the rhythm.
With the recent clocks change – going forward by an hour, it can take as long as three days to recover from the change and get used to it.
Everything is shifted, but what affects us the most is the times we eat.
I wonder each what the point is! There is a baker in the Czech Republic who has been campaigning for years to stop it. No success yet. Maybe if there is more of us….
Has the clock change affected you?
The perfect time to wake up
Another really interesting study done by a University of Westminster in 2015.
We have the tendency naturally rise at 7.18. People aged 18 to 55 used the Sleep Cycle app. The perfect wake-up time of 7.22am.
We are pretty close to that.
Just curious, who is waking up at 7.20 AM?
I must admit this time works the very best for me too.
What’s more, the Sleep Cycle study revealed that the majority of us have a lie in at the weekend and getting up roughly at 8.35am.
Although, the scientists don’t recommend to change the sleep pattern your body is used to by too much.
They recommend staying in bed 30 to maximum 45 minutes longer.
Who suffers the most?
A huge risk – and this is extreme, experience shift workers who have severely interrupted circadian rhythm as a study shown.
These people are more vulnerable to diabetes, cardiac arrest, weight and memory issues.
More scientific research has been done to proof that social jet lag is related to type 2 diabetes, obesity and weight gain as well as sudden death.
It might not be only shift workers who struggle.
Professor Mary Carskadon, a world authority on circadian rhythms, from Brown University in Rhode Island said:
“There’s interesting data emerging — for example about the lining of the intestines showing long-term changes, and changes to bones
— the kinds of things we never would have attributed to pushing our rhythms around. It seems the more we go away from a routine alignment,
the more we march towards a path that can lead to illness.”
But how do I know?
Well, Professor Carskadon adds:
“Some people are resilient, but others are more vulnerable. The problem is, you don’t know which one you are.”
I add to that, deep down you probably do know. You body tells you and it’s your choice to go to bed or fiddle on the computer.
Replying to everyone on Facebook or other things that are not urgent can wait if you choose to be your priority.
You either become a slave to modern lifestyle or follow your self-care habits.
Teenagers just love sleeping?
Young adults like teenagers have a real issue since the huge re-wiring in their brain goes on.
From the age of puberty the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormonal agent, is pushed later into the evening.
Therefore they require at the very least 9 hours rest a night — which is difficult to wake up for college in the morning.
“They are losing so much sleep during the week they need to catch up at the weekend, so it’s like they are constantly jet-lagged,” says Professor Carskadon.
Research has shown that, even when teenagers are given a modest lie-in until 9.30-10am, their circadian rhythm falls off course by 45 minutes over one weekend.
For the youth the scenario is well defined – they require precise sleep regime in the evening as well in the morning in order to function well.
Is it a light at the end of the tunnel for you and your kid(s)?
Having issues with your child being hyper active?
An Australian research of 2,000 kids aged 5 to 10 revealed that a youngster with a 60-minute difference in going to beds throughout the week
was two times as more likely to show hyper-activity and also have more difficulties regulating their feelings and moods,
as those with the very same bedtime. Youngsters with a two-hour distinction were 6 times as most likely.
Pick correct bedtime
When picking a bedtime for your child bear in mind that the initial first third of the night’s rest is most crucial as it consists of the highest level of slow-wave sleep,
it’s is the deep rest that rejuvenates us.
“As it progresses through the night, sleep becomes less important and more flexible, particularly after six hours,” says Jim Horne, emeritus professor of psychophysiology at the University of Loughborough.
Not ideal but can be done
We could fall asleep at 2am every evening and still get quality rest.
Our body clocks developed when natural light was the only synchroniser, so there is a gap between 8pm to 12 o’clock at night
when the mind and the body could gain the appropriate proportion of deep, non-REM rest to Rapid Eye Movement (dream) sleep.
“The best advice is to go to bed when you are sleepy and not to try to push through it.
If you do that for a week, and fix a wake-up time for the same time every one of those days, you will get a sense of the right bedtime for you,” says Dr Stanley.
What is the bedtime in the UK?
The typical weekday time when we are going to bed in the UK is 11.45 pm.
A Finnish research of 2,000 individuals released last month located that owls were much more likely to consume fatty as well as high-sugar foods, workout less and had worse quality sleep compared to larks (normally very early wakers).
When you analyze your sleep times and how much and what you eat, does it ring true for you?
I work so hard but I still push myself to go to the gym why am I not losing any weight?
A London based personal trainer Harry Jameson has many clients with a busy, high-pressured jobs and he asks them about their sleep.
When they reveal they actually work on their computers till 1 am and at 6 am their children wake them up.
So it’s not just eating habits and working out but also adjusting the bedtime that helps to shift a few pounds/kilos down – by 50%!
“Sleep is a key factor for good health, mental health and weight management,”
“That’s why we all need a proper bedtime and wake-up time seven days a week.”
Have you been struggling with sleep?
Have you been trying all kinds of things to help you with your weight and you really want to fit in your skinny jeans again and look fabulous this summer?
Contact me for a FREE half an hour consultation today!
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