Best time for waking up


What is the best time to get up in the morning? Do you wonder like me if you would be more productive if you got up earlier or went to bed earlier? My wake up time is dictated by the school run and making sure my kids have eaten a proper breakfast. I don’t lie in at the weekend either as my kids have football and tennis. But, I’m not great at going to bed regularly at the same time every night. Sometimes I stay up too late watching TV and sometimes I go to bed just after the kids. But is this bad for me?

I’ve had a look around and tried to answer all the questions you and I might have on the best time for waking up and going to sleep ...

  1. What time does the average person wake up in the morning?
  2. Should I wake up at the same time everyday?
  3. Sleep calculator
  4. Should you get up as soon as you wake up?
  5. What is your circadian rhythm?
  6. What are sleep cycles?
  7. Best time to wake up to be successful
  8. The ideal time to wake up if you’re a teenager or student
  9. The best time for everything

What time does the average person wake up in the morning?
Apparently, the average Brit wakes up around 6.47am, though they tend to roll over and go back to sleep before finally rising at 7.12am! That’s around the time I wake up but I definitely wouldn’t be able to get the kids off to school by 8am if I stayed in bed for another 20 minutes or so!

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Should I wake up at the same time everyday?
From all accounts I’ve seen, the answer seems to be is yes. There are apparently lots of benefits to waking up at the same time everyday like improving your night’s sleep and helping cure insomnia. Waking up at the same time each day should also make it easier to wake up and fall asleep, make you less tired in the morning, improve your alertness and short-term memory, reduce any irritability, improve your immune system, and increase your performance at both work and behind the wheel!

Wow! Seems like something we should definitely all be doing. And the best time to wake up on weekends … yes, unfortunately it is the same time as your week day routine!

Try this sleep calculator to see when you should go to bed and when you should wake up:

sleepcalculator.com

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Should you get up as soon as you wake up? 

Again, the answer seems to be yes, you should get up shortly after you wake up rather than lying in bed for longer. So, don’t hit the snooze button, it will confuse your body clock (your circadian rhythm). If you do fall back to sleep, you will feel groggier and more tired when you do eventually get up. And you will probably also then have to rush to get ready on time. That’s no way to start your day!

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What is your circadian rhythm?
Your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle is the internal system that in humans regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over roughly a 24 hour cycle. Light, time and melatonin (the hormone that causes drowsiness and controls body temperature) are the three key elements that impact your circadian rhythm.

Much research shows that the best sleeping time is from 10pm to 4am. When you disrupt your circadian rhythm with irregular sleep and wake times, jet lag, daylight savings time changes or by staying up late, you can feel really out of sorts and less able to concentrate.

It can change as you get older so you should pay attention to your body and be aware of when you feel alert and when you feel drowsy. Good sleep habits are important to get in place. You’ll sleep better and feel better generally.

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What are sleep cycles?
There are five stages of sleep in each sleep cycle. We go through 4 stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and 1 stage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Each sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes so we can have several sleep cycles each night.

Stage 1 is light sleep increasing to deep sleep by Stage 4. Stage 5 is REM sleep which is when our bodies restore themselves, healing from the activities of the day, and when our memory consolidates and renews, helping us to remember and learn. Our dreams our most vivid during REM sleep!

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Best time to wake up to be successful
Most successful people are notoriously early risers. Research shows that 90% of executives wake up before 6am on weekdays and nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday actually begins.

Our most famous UK entrepreneur Richard Branson rises with the sun at 5:45am to exercise and then has breakfast before getting down to work. Seems a bit early to me. I’m happy with my 6.45 alarm call!

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The ideal time to wake up if you’re a teenager or student
My eldest is about to turn 13 so I have been wondering if his sleep patterns will change? Apparently during adolescence, biological sleep patterns do change and both waking and sleeping times gradually get later. However, teens still need 8 to 10 hours sleep a night which many fail to get. Teens often to have irregular sleep patterns which is not good for their body clocks and can result in them not getting enough sleep.

Lack of sleep can decrease their ability to concentrate on school work and make them more forgetful. It can also leave them prone to pimples, acne and other skin conditions. Poor things! Best to encourage sensible bedtimes and wake up times then! Check out these sleep tips for teenagers:

NHS sleep tips for teenagers

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The best time for...

  • Waking up - 7am ish is when your melatonin production stops.

  • Sex - Around 9am when your sex hormone production peaks.

  • Challenging meeting - 10am ish when your mental alertness is at its peak.

  • Driving lesson - Around 2.30pm is when your motor coordination is best.

  • Exercise - Approx 5pm is the time of greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength.

 

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