Neuroscientist reveals simple formula to pinpoint the exact time you should be going to sleep | The Sun

THE “ideal bedtime” is six to seven hours after your afternoon dip in energy, a neuroscientist claims.

Having a strict bedtime is something most parents stick to religiously with their children.

But many adults pay less attention to their own sleep patterns, going to bed much later than might be good for them.

Now, Dr Andrew Huberman, of Stanford University, has revealed when might be the best time to get some shuteye.

Writing on twitter, he said: “Is your afternoon dip in energy (however mild or severe) occurring at 2:30pm, 3pm? Xpm? Note that for a few days.

“Assuming no major changes in night time sleep or eating an especially large lunch etc, chances are good your ideal bedtime is six to seven hours after that dip.”

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Sleep patterns are controlled by the circadian cycle — the body’s natural clock.

The term refers to the physiological changes that happen to make you feel more alert or drowsy.

For example, in the morning, the body releases hormones that wake you up in response to sunlight.

But as the day goes on, you start releasing other chemicals that can lead to feeling tired, known as the postprandial dip.

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Dr Huberman believes the key to knowing when to sleep can be found by monitoring when this dip occurs, as it gives an indication of how far along you are on your sleep-wake cycle.

If you start to feel tired around 3pm, you should aim to fall asleep between 9pm and 10pm, according to his theory.

Max Kirsten, a sleep expert at the Hypnotherapy NLP Wellbeing Clinic in London, told The Sun your ideal bedtime could depend on whether you’re an early bird or a night owl.

He said: “Ideally go to bed seven to eight hours before you need to wake up in the morning — ideally the same time each night as regularity is a key. 

“As we’re not all same, our sleep requirements will vary according to our sleep chronotype. 

“Morning people AM’ers are up early but need to go to bed much earlier. PM’ers are better mid-morning and go to bed later because of this. 

“You can’t change your chronotype, but the world is geared towards the AM’ers wake sleep pattern. 

“Learn to listen to your body. Natural sleep happens without stimulants. Alcohol, caffeine, blue light from electronics and screens at night all erode sleep quality.”

Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep is vital to support your brain and stay healthy.

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But some 7.8million Brits have been found to survive on dangerously low levels of sleep of under five hours.

Research suggests not getting enough kip can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, and can also play havoc with your metabolism and hormones.

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