The fundamental question of what is the best time to go to bed has long been a conundrum and opinions vary wildly. Does “early to bed, early to rise” truly make you healthy, wealthy, and wise?
Time writer Markham Heid relies on Dr. Matt Walker, head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley who reveals; “The time of night when you sleep makes a significant difference in terms of the structure and quality of your sleep.”
Walker says sleep quality does change as the night wears on. “The time of night when you sleep makes a significant difference in terms of the structure and quality of your sleep,” he explains in the Time article. “The ratio of non- REM to REM sleep changes.”
“What does this have to do with the perfect bedtime?” asks Heid. “The shift from non-REM to REM sleep happens at certain times of the night regardless of when you go to bed, Walker says. So if you hit the sack very late—at, say, 3 AM—your sleep will tilt toward lighter, REM-heavy sleep. And that reduction in deep, restorative sleep may leave you groggy and blunt-minded the next day.”
Dr. Allison Siebern, associate director of the Insomnia & Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Stanford University, adds that “For people who are night owls, going to bed very early goes against their physiology, and the same is true for “morning larks” who try to stay up late. For either type of person—as well as for the vast majority of sleepers who fall somewhere in between—the best bedtime is the hour of the evening when they feel most sleepy