The ideal sleep rhythm

A regular sleep rhythm promotes healthy sleep and prevents sleep disorders. Time changes, night shifts or long-distance travel can disturb the sleep rhythm and throw the internal clock out of balance. Find your ideal sleep routine now and find out which tips you can use to support a healthy sleep rhythm.

Table of Contents

  1. Regular sleep is so important
  2. The perfect sleep rhythm
  3. Sleep rhythm disorders
    1. Time change
    2. Long-distance travel
    3. shift work
  4. Conclusion

    Regular sleep is so important

    Refreshing sleep is essential for body & mind. A solid sleep rhythm and regular sleeping times are important prerequisites for a restful night and promote our sleep significantly. Going to bed and getting up at similar times over the long term makes it easier to fall asleep and prevents insomnia. Because regular sleep times correspond to our natural circadian rhythm and ensure a healthy functioning of the body. The famous inner clock is based on the natural daily routine and, among other things, by regulating the hormones cortisol and melatonin, ensures that we tire in the evening, fall asleep and wake up again in the morning.

    Schlaf-Wach-Rhythmus / Cortisol-Melatonin-Haushalt

    What time we go to bed in the evening and what time we get up in the morning also determines the quality of sleep and is particularly influenced by our job, family life or our habits. This results in regular sleeping times for many people, at least during the week. The individually perfect sleeping time and under what circumstances we sleep really well differs from person to person and basically depends on various factors - including which sleep and chronotypes we belong to and which social or professional daily structure we follow.

    In order to promote sleep in the best possible way, it is important to establish a regular sleep rhythm and adapt it as well as possible to personal needs.

    The perfect sleep rhythm

    How much sleep do I need or what sleep type am I?

    Are you more of a sleeper or sleeper? The recommended amount of sleep for adults is usually between seven and eight hours a night. While short sleepers can start the day refreshed after five to seven hours of sleep, late risers need eight to nine hours of sleep. So that you can choose your sleeping times sensibly and get enough sleep every night, it is crucial to know how much sleep you need. Basically, the following applies: If you feel awake and rested in the morning and can concentrate on your work during the day even if you are sitting for a long time, you have slept enough.

    When do I sleep best or which chronotype am I?

    Our chronotype decides when we best fall asleep and wake up. Therefore, it is advisable to adjust the sleeping time to a time when we are naturally tired and to set the alarm clock in the morning to a time when we wake up and become active anyway. As a lark, you should go to bed earlier and use your abilities in the morning with an early start to the day, while late types (owls) should savor the energy in the evening and sleep a little longer in the morning. Because social, social or professional obligations often force them to get up early, the owl type often suffers from tiredness or sleep disorders, since it is difficult for them to fall asleep early in the evening and they have to do without important hours of sleep in the morning.

    Your ideal sleep time

    If you know when and how much you ideally sleep, you can determine a rough sleep period and integrate it into your daily structure. For example, if you need about 7 hours of sleep as a short sleeper, usually get out of bed quickly in the morning and have to get up at 6 a.m., you should therefore regularly go to bed by 11 p.m. at the latest.

    Sleep rhythm disorders

    Minor irregularities, such as a short night's sleep or sleeping late at the weekend, only affect our sleep rhythm in the short term and have little or no impact on the quality of sleep. It is important that we get enough sleep on a regular basis and give in to the natural sleep pressure, because tiredness is an important endogenous signal that body and mind need to sleep and recover.

    Schlafstörungen durch Zeitumstellung, Schichtarbeit, Jetlag

    Time changes, long-distance travel or shift work, on the other hand, can have an intensive or permanent influence on the sleep rhythm and have a negative effect on sleep, our performance and health. If our internal clock gets out of sync, we quickly suffer from difficulties falling asleep, problems sleeping through the night and overtiredness, which not only make us unfocused, irritable or listless, but also damage our health in the long term. The body needs some time to get used to the new circumstances and to reorient itself. So how can we react when we are forced to adjust our own sleep patterns?

    Time change

    The time change and the change between summer and winter time unbalance the internal clock. If the clock is set back or forward, the body has to slowly get used to it and adapt, which is a burden for many people and leads to fatigue, sleep disorders, concentration problems and depressive moods, especially in the first few days after the change can.

    It's that time again right now: On the night from Saturday to Sunday, the clocks are turned back from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. so that it gets light earlier in the morning and dark faster in the evening! And although we gain a whole hour at night and can therefore sleep "longer" in principle, the change to winter time also has a mini-jetlag effect on our bodies.

    Tageslicht am Morgen, Zeitumstellung, früh aufwachen

    Tip 1: Adjust gradually
    When we switch to wintertime, we tend to wake up unusually early in the morning and at the same time get tired earlier in the evening. Therefore, try to go to bed a quarter of an hour later in the days before the change, so that your body can slowly adapt and does not have to compensate for a whole hour from one day to the next.

    Tip 2: Fill up with daylight
    Daylight is the external clock generator of our inner clock. Therefore, try to consume a lot of daylight on the day of the change to support the adjustment of the body. In addition, the daylight also works as a natural alarm clock that you should use on the day of the change to get up with the new time - even if that means starting the day a little earlier than usual.

    Tip 3: Activity and exercise during the day
    Sufficient exercise in the fresh air gets the circulation going and has a beneficial effect on the metabolism, hormone production and other important bodily functions . In this way you can increase the natural sleep pressure in the evening and support falling asleep and restful sleep.

    Long-distance travel & jet lag

    The famous Jetlag occurs when we travel through different time zones within a few hours and find ourselves at the destination at a completely different time of day.Our body then initially follows the usual sleep rhythm and needs some time to adapt. As a result of jet lag, we usually find it difficult to fall asleep in the evening or wake up particularly early in the morning and suffer from pronounced tiredness, exhaustion or mood swings during the day.

    You can also find the best tips against jet lag in our sleep magazine.

    shift work

    Shift workers often work at times when the body is programmed for sleep and need to sleep when the body and mind have adjusted to being awake. This creates a constant discrepancy between the inner and outer clock, the negative effects of which are not primarily caused by the changed sleeping and waking times, but by the frequent change.

    You can find out helpful tips on how to ensure healthy sleep despite shift changes and night work in this article.

    Conclusion

    • A fixed sleeping rhythm and regular sleeping times are important prerequisites for a restful night and promote our sleep.
    • Time changes, long-distance travel or shift work, on the other hand, can have an intensive or permanent influence on the sleep rhythm and have a negative effect on sleep, our performance and health.

    Greetings and see you soon!

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