Dr. Ramlakhan describes the optimal amount of sleep we should sleep before midnight to feel rested and refreshed. In addition to regulating the circadian rhythm, sleeping before midnight can affect our overall well-being when we are awake. Sleeping before midnight helps ensure that there are enough hours of light exposure during the day to regulate melatonin production, says Rohrscheib.
Not getting up early enough in the morning and not exposing yourself to the sun you need to maintain your circadian rhythm is associated with difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and can affect your health. The reason you should sleep before midnight is because your sleep quality changes. As the night continues and the later you go to sleep, the more your sleep structure (also known as sleep architecture) alters. Any degree of sleep deprivation is serious, it not only affects how you feel and think every day, but it can also be dangerous.
Lack of sleep can muddy the brain, impair cognitive function, and put you at greater risk of injuring yourself or others. The best way to avoid this, of course, is to get a good night's sleep. And one of the best ways to do that is to go to bed steadily before midnight. Your sleep cycle is made up of multiple stages of NREM sleep (non-rapid eye movement sleep) and REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep).
Just know that if you don't get enough sleep (again, usually 7-9 hours of sleep a night) you're creating sleep debt. The human sleep cycle consists of four stages divided into two types, sleep with non-rapid eye movements and sleep with rapid eye movements. This is true even for night owls, sleeping deeper and more restful every night is key to ensuring you're at your best every day, no matter your chronotype. Sleep hygiene, also known as sleep routine, is another important factor that can determine whether you sleep well or poorly.
This is significant, because some research has suggested that non-REM sleep is deeper and more restorative than lighter, sleep-infused REM sleep, although Walker says both offer significant benefits. That's unfortunate news for night shift workers, bartenders, and others with unconventional sleep-wake routines, because they can't sleep efficiently at odd hours of the day or night, Walker says. The finding was that late bedtime and late waking up are associated with unfavorable activity and a weight status profile, regardless of age, sex, household income, geographical remoteness and sleep duration. The circadian rhythm is an internal clock that controls your sleep-wake cycle and prepares you to sleep every night and wake up every morning.
The quality of sleep changes as the night goes by, and going to sleep later alters the structure of sleep. But because there are so many myths about sleep that are being released today, it's often hard to know what we should believe.