The Optimized Gentleman

What Time Should Most Men Go to Bed At Night?

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Sleep influences various aspects of a man’s life. This includes your productivity, concentration, social and emotional intelligence, calorie regulation, protein synthesis, and immune system function, just to name a few. So considering the right time that most men should hit the hay is of utmost importance.

So in this article, we cover all you need to know about adopting and maintaining an optimal sleep schedule. We urge you to read the entire post, as the information we’re about to share can be completely life-changing for the ambitious, Optimized Gentleman.

The Short Answer:
What Time Should Most Men “Hit the Hay”?

In an ideal daily routine, you should hit the sack between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. on most nights. The more your sleep pattern is adapted to the sun, the better your sleep quality will be. This helps you wake up early and smash your purpose and goals, maintain optimal health, and feel the freshest.

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Note – the exact time you should hit the hay is governed by the amount of sleep you need, and the time at which you intend to wake up.

Having said that, it’s not hard to see why adopting and maintaining a proper sleep schedule is vital to your overall health and well-being.

Misguidedly, most guys put more emphasis on the NUMBER of hours they should sleep, than WHEN they ought to hit the hay. And then, they wonder why they feel as if they got hit by a truck the next morning.

If you’re still confused on that, we’ve put together an article uncovering how many hours most men should sleep at night here. Let’s jump into the ideal bedtime specifics for most guys:

The Circadian Rhythm & How It Works

The circadian rhythm is basically the body’s internal clock. It governs your natural bedtime and wake time which, in turn, influences your overall daytime performance.

Adopting and maintaining a stable sleep schedule helps establish an optimal circadian rhythm. This further helps you get to bed with ease, and wake up naturally before your alarm clock chimes.

If you work irregular shifts, you’ll find it challenging to maintain a stable sleep schedule. This oftentimes throws off your circadian rhythm, increasing your daytime sleepiness.

When trying to establish a proper sleep schedule, it’s important to keep in mind the window of time, which our bodies and brains enjoy as much REM and non-REM shuteye as they need to function efficiently. This window is between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m.

According to sleep experts, going to sleep at 10 P.M. and waking up at 6 a.m. is the most ideal sleep schedule, in relation to mimicking our natural circadian rhythms.

Another thing you ought to keep in mind is that, for the average adult, a good night’s sleep is composed of five or six 90-minute sleep cycles.

Waking up halfway through a sleep cycle will make you feel groggy, no matter how many hours of sleep you got. So, it’s not just about quantity; quality’s vital, too.

Setting Up an Optimal Bedtime

Like we just mentioned, you need five or six 90-minute sleep cycles, to wake up refreshed and ready to take the world by storm. You also need at least 15 minutes to fall asleep (more is better).

This means if you intend to wake up at 7 a.m., you should hit the hay at 9:45 p.m. (5 cycles) or 11:15 p.m. (6 cycles). If you’re having a difficult time calculating your optimal bedtime, we suggest using a sleep calculator, or consider using sleep trackers for more accuracy.

What if you’re a night owl hustler, though? Do you still need to sleep early?

In this case, you might feel more energized and refreshed in the morning if you sleep around 12:45 a.m. It’s all about experimenting, as sleep tends to vary from one person to another.

How Much Sleep Is Recommended?

While we covered this question in a recent article, tackling how many hours of sleep you need as a man… Here’s a short recap:

The amount of sleep you need, to ensure waking up energized and refreshed, varies based on genetics and age. Generally speaking, the average man requires at least seven hours of sleep to function properly.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, the advised range of sleep per age group is as follows:

  • 0-3 Months: 14-17 hours
  • 3-12 Months: 12-16 hours
  • 1-2 Years: 11-14 hours
  • 3-5 Years: 10-13 hours
  • 6-12 Years: 9-12 hours
  • 13-18 Years: 8-10 hours
  • 18-60 Years: 7-9 hours
  • 61-64 Years: 7-9 hours
  • 65+ Years: 7-8 hours

What Defines Good Sleep Quality?

Apart from waking up refreshed and energized, there are a few characteristics you should consider, when trying to gauge the quality of your sleep.

Good sleep quality is defined by falling asleep quickly after hitting the hay.

To be more specific, if you fall asleep within 30 minutes or less after “head hits pillow” then you’re off to a good start! To add, good sleep quality is defined by uninterruptedness.

Put differently, to get a good night’s sleep, you shouldn’t wake up more than once per night. Further, if you do wake up, you should be able to fall back asleep within 20 minutes or so.

Good quality sleep is also defined by the ability to sleep for the recommended number of hours for your age group. For example, if you’re 30 years old, you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

The 18-60 gap is pretty general advice, as you can see. But the younger you are, generally the more sleep you need to rebuild your energy, balance hormones, and conduct biologically restorative processes.

Lastly, good quality sleep is oftentimes associated with a stable bedtime and wake-up time. You may never need to wake up to an alarm clock, if you’re able to maintain a proper sleep schedule.

Side-Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Daytime sleepiness is a clear indicator you’re not getting enough sleep per night. It’s also highly likely you experience irritability or forgetfulness if you don’t get enough sleep.

What happens to your body when it’s deprived of good-quality sleep on a regular basis, though?

It can become prone to sickness, abnormalities, hypertension (high blood pressure), irritability, brain fog, diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease, in more extreme cases!

What’s more, when an individual is deprived of sleep for an extended time, they’re likely to experience depression and other serious mental health problems.

Does Oversleeping Have Side-Effects?

While not as dangerous to our brains and bodies as sleep deprivation… oversleeping has its own set of side-effects.

Oversleeping is defined by the need to sleep more than 8-9 hours on a regular basis. Further, it’s associated with excessive napping.

The general side-effects of sleeping too much on a regular basis include grogginess, irritability, depression, and cardiovascular issues.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind, oversleeping might be associated with underlying health problems. For instance – anxiety, sleep apnea, depression, asthma, diabetes, or a thyroid disorder.

When You Should See a Doctor

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, or you find it hard to stay asleep throughout the night, you might be looking at an underlying health problem that’s causing such insomnia.

If you’re getting enough sleep, but somehow wake up tired and groggy every morning, this too can be viewed as a symptom of an underlying health issue – like obstructive sleep apnea.

Either way, it’s strongly advised that you visit a doctor so that they can recommend a suitable treatment for your case if this is your experience.

Related Men’s Bedtime Questions

What Can I Do to Improve the Quality of My Sleep?

Some of our best tips you can implement to improve the quality of your sleep include:

  • Increasing bright light (sun) exposure throughout the day,
  • Limiting blue light exposure – starting in the evening,
  • Limiting caffeine consumption – especially late in the day,
  • Reducing the number & duration of daytime naps,
  • Consume supplements containing melatonin before bed,
  • Invest in a comfortable bed, mattress & pillows,
  • Exercise on a regular basis – but not before bedtime,
  • Don’t eat or drink any liquids before bedtime,
  • Meditate to relax, clear your mind, and slow your breathing before bed,

How Can I Fall Asleep Faster?

The “military method” is probably one of the most effective methods of reducing the time required to fall asleep. The steps are as follows:

1. Relax your facial muscles, including the ones inside your mouth,

2. Drop your hands & shoulders completely to release all tension,

3. Relax the rest of your body, including your legs, calves & thighs,

4. Take deep breaths & exhale slowly to relax your chest, then

5. Start imagining relaxing scenes for 10 seconds to clear your mind fully

Why Can’t I Sleep, Even Though I’m Tired?

If you’re finding it hard to sleep even though you’ve had a tiring day, your circadian rhythm may be off-balance. It might also be the result of poor napping habits, depression, anxiety, blue light exposure, poor diet, and excessive caffeine consumption.

In fact, we wrote an entire article, addressing this very concern. If you can’t sleep, but you know you’re tired? Read here, to figure out how to put this issue to bed – pun intended!

Remember to start implementing these tips, one by one, so you can see a positive compounded effect on your nightly sleep cycles!

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