Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Rat Race Running
TL;DR – A sleep calculator is helpful to determine your optimal sleep and wake-up times by completing sleep cycles and avoiding waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle.
How much sleep do you get every night, on average?
If we’re honest, eight hours of sleep is almost hard to come by these days, especially with all the distractions and time-consuming activities throughout the day. The hardships of life also contribute to our sleeping difficulties.
According to a Manulife Philippines survey, we are a sleep-deprived generation and a country with an average sleep of only six and a half hours, ranking us 4th in the world’s most sleep-deprived countries.
In connection to our sleeplessness, the Philippines is also among the world’s leading users of mobile phones and social media. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Try to get 8 hours of sleep.
It is widely known that blue light coming from electronic devices like our smartphones can drastically affect our circadian rhythm, which leads to difficulties in sleeping and, in turn, less sleep.
As a result of our lack of enough sleep, our overall health can suffer in the long run. We can become physically weaker and our mental capacity faulty when we don’t get enough sleep.
The goal is to get eight hours of sleep, but with so many things keeping us busy, such as work and studies, we sometimes take rest for granted.
Remember that sleeping early is a habit, so we need to build it slowly.
Why use a sleep calculator.
I recently discovered the use of a sleep calculator by Thomas Frank from one of his YouTube videos. He mentioned that it is essential to complete sleep cycles to avoid the state of grogginess in the morning, also referred to as sleep inertia.
A typical person sleeps four to six sleep cycles, with each cycle taking about 90 mins long. The idea is that you should, as much as possible, wake up at the end of the sleep cycle. But, how would you do that, you ask? Of course, by using a sleep calculator.
There are several websites and apps that can compute your waking time or sleep time. The one that I commonly use is this. It even detects sleep cycles, sounds, and snoring.
How to use a sleep calculator?
There are usually two options. The first is to set the time you want to wake up, and the other is to set the time you want to sleep.
If you set the time you want to wake up at 6:00 AM, the site or app will recommend an optimal bedtime time for you to sleep. It will also add 15 minutes that it usually takes for adults to fall asleep. It is also recommended to complete 5-6 sleep cycles for a good night’s sleep.
The second way to use a sleep calculator is to compute the best time to wake up or set the alarm to maximize your sleep. For example, it is currently 12:58 AM. Considering complete sleep cycles, what would be the best time to wake up.
The site or app will suggest the best times to wake up, including the times to complete the 5-6 sleep cycles.
Better sleeping habits.
A full good night’s sleep is almost a difficulty for many, so as a way to pay for the sleep debt, we need to have good sleeping habits. Here are some:
- Consistent sleeping time. Sleep at the same time every day.
- Comfortable bed and pillows. Sleep using a bed where you’re comfortable and soft pillows.
- Exercise regularly. Include exercise during the day. Just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime.
- Avoid gadgets 30 mins before bed. Blue lights emitted by various electronic devices can mess up our circadian rhythm.
- Limit caffeine before bedtime. We love coffee, but it can affect our sleep if taken later in the day. You can try decaf coffees if you really can’t stop.
Sleeping is an essential part of our lives. It recharges us for the next day, clears our heads, and repairs our bodies.
Sleeping can remind us that we did a good job today. It can also tell us that though our day sucked, we still have a new day, new opportunities to be better, and new blessings that God has in store tomorrow.
Isn’t it harder to sleep when we have too much anxiety and worry about a tomorrow that often never comes? Remember that we can always ask God for peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
We can’t be intense every day to the point that we neglect sleep. Remember that sleeping is vital to anyone’s success.
So, if you want to be successful and have a happy life, sleep.
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