This is the best time to go to sleep according to experts

Using science to help you get the best night's sleep

Many of us struggle to determine the best time to go to sleep, leaving us feeling groggy and irritable the next day. But fear not – science is here to shed some light on this age-old question and help you establish a bedtime routine that can give you the best chance to feel rested and rejuvenated every morning.

The science of sleep: when is the ideal bedtime?

Studies have shown that there isn't an ideal bedtime; instead the best time to go to sleep varies depending on your age and individual sleep needs. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18-64 should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while older adults may require slightly less, around 7-8 hours. The best tip to help determine your optimal bedtime, consider what time you need to wake up in the morning and work backward, allowing for enough sleep to feel refreshed and alert the next day.

The importance of consistency

While finding the right bedtime is essential, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is equally important. Our bodies thrive on routine, and sticking to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time helps regulate our circadian rhythm, or internal clock. This consistency signals to our bodies when it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally feeling rested.

How to create a relaxing bedtime routine

In addition to establishing a consistent bedtime, incorporating relaxing bedtime rituals can further enhance your sleep quality by signalling to your brain that it's time to relax and wind down. Taking a hot bath before bed, for example, can help relax your muscles and prepare your body for sleep, while lighting candles can create a soothing atmosphere and are gentler on the eyes than bright overhead lights. Using a pillow spray infused with relaxing essential oils like lavender and chamomile can also promote calm, helping you drift off into a peaceful slumber, or place an essential reed diffuser by your bed.
Try these eight sleep tips to give you the best chance of getting to sleep.

Finding your perfect bedtime routine

Ultimately, the best time to go to sleep is when you feel tired and ready to rest, taking into account your individual sleep needs and daily schedule. By prioritizing consistency and incorporating relaxing bedtime rituals into your routine, you can establish healthy sleep habits that support overall well-being and leave you feeling refreshed and energized each day.

What to do if you can't get to sleep

Doing a breathwork exercise really helps me when I struggle to drift off - after a couple of rounds of Zen breath counting then next thing I know I'm waking up the next morning.
Dr Matthew Walker suggests getting out of bed if you can't sleep after 25-30 minutes. Read a book, listen to a podcast then when you feel tired try again. The idea is to only go to bed when you're tired enough to fall asleep, otherwise your brain will associate being in bed with being awake. It's certainly worth a try.
So, the next time you find yourself wondering when to go to bed, remember to listen to your body, stick to a consistent routine, and indulge in a few calming rituals to prepare yourself for a restful night's sleep. Sweet dreams!