How to Calculate Your Personal Sleep Cycle (No Watch Required)
Understanding how your sleep cycle works is essential to improving your sleep habits. Here is how you can calculate your personal sleep cycle without a watch.
Published March 1, 2023.
Our sleep affects everything in our lives, from our health and weight management to energy levels and productivity. Understanding how our sleep cycles works is essential to improving sleep habits and staying healthy.
There is no fixed bedtime that works equally well for every person. I need to find the perfect bedtime that is right for me so I can wake up feeling refreshed and energized. So how can you calculate your personal sleep cycle without any gadgets? Let's find out.
Optimize Your Sleep Cycle
A sleep calculator is a formula that we can use to plan for the quantity of sleep we want to get.
Here’s how to calculate your sleep cycle:
- Average sleep cycle: 90 minutes (shifting through light and deep sleep)
- A typical night of sleep: 5 full sleep cycles
- 5 x 90 = 450 minutes: or 7.5 hours
Start at your wake time and work back about 8 hours (allowing for the time it takes to fall asleep) to find your ideal bedtime. For example, if you need to wake up at 7 am, then count back 8 hours for your ideal bedtime, which would be 11 pm. So your lights should be out and you should be ready for sleep by that time.
You should develop a winding down routine by 11 am, dim the lights, get into bed, and meditate, pray, read books, listen to some soothing music, whatever works for you to get relaxed and sleepy so that you have fallen asleep by 11.30 pm.
If you are used to sleeping even later, you may find yourself lying awake for a while. You may need to try your new bedtime for a week at least before you get used to it, but what matters is consistency.
What If Your Cycle Is Different?
Not everyone has a perfect 90-minute sleep cycle as mentioned above, and it may take some trial and error to figure out what works for you.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Start by keeping a sleep diary or use an app to track your sleep
- Observe your body's natural rhythm, when you sleep, and when you naturally wake up without an alarm clock
- Experiment with different sleep durations (6 to 9 hours) to see which sleep duration works best for you
- Based on your observations, adjust your bedtime and wake-up time accordingly to wake up feeling rested and alert
Don't Let Sleep Issues Affect Your Day
If you struggle to fall asleep at your ideal bedtime and you really want to get more quality sleep, then you should consider taking supplements that help you relax and fall asleep, then you should consider consulting a doctor alongside doing what you can to unlock the power of a good night's rest at home. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that can affect many aspects of your life.
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey
What Are the Different Stages of Sleep Deprivation?
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey