How important are sleep cycle?


let’s say you’re going to sleep and you know you have 5h15 of sleep from now, is it better to wait so you have around 4h30, so 3 whole sleep cycle and you don’t wake up in the middle of your 4th, or it doesn’t really matter?

In: 9

The length of the cycles isn’t like a stopwatch, the time in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM sleep) can change depending on how tired you are.

Your endocrine system (and entire body) works in cycles. The more routine your schedule for sleep the better your body can regulate its entire self. If your organs like the brain, liver kidneys heart etc. are on the same routine everyday than it is easier for your body to to release and absorb the right amount of chemicals at the right times. Large deviations in these patterns causes the cycles of your body to overproduce and then underproduce the chemicals needed to function.

Rule of thumb: go to sleep when you first notice you are tired, that is your body’s way of telling you the chemicals are becoming balanced and its time to turn your body off to let your organs do their thing. You will notice that the times you are sleepy are at about the same times every night.

Most people have a few times throughout the night when they naturally become tired and if you stay awake past those times you will have a harder time falling asleep because your body has moved onto a different wake cycle and will take time to move back into a sleep cycle. Your endocrine system works on 20 minute feedback loops but since sleep is such a complicated cycle with many chemicals involved it can take a few hours to get back in cycle.Your natural sleep cycle can change as the year changes, as you age, diet, exercise etc.
If you FEEL tired but cannot fall asleep, try breathing incredibly slow while having some white noise in the background. If you are out of synch with your sleep schedule it may just be best to do something semi productive like shower or get ready for the next part of the day until you get tired again.