The Best Time to Go to Sleep and When to Wake Up

We’ve all heard the phrase “early to bed, early to rise,” but does it really help our sleep to go to bed earlier? One thing is for sure: Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control found that more than one in three Americans are sleep deprived. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that typical adults require seven hours of sleep per night in order to prevent dangerous health problems and loss of productivity. There are several reasons why we aren’t getting the sleep we need, but one reason centers around the advancement in technology that keeps us glued to our screens and staying up way past the recommended time to sleep.

So when should we hit the hay? There isn’t necessarily a universal time that is best for everyone to go to sleep. Everyone’s schedules are different and your sleep schedule should match up to your unique needs. We know that adults should receive at least seven hours of sleep each night in order to feel well-rested, but it doesn’t stop there. Some people require more sleep, depending on their health, activity level, or other factors.

“It really depends on your schedule,” said Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Richard A. Parisi, MD of TPMG Lung and Sleep Specialists at Williamsburg. “So, if you begin your day at 6:00 am, then the right time to go to bed is around 11:00 pm.”

The most important signal that tells your brain it’s time to be awake is light exposure. In a perfect world, if we had no work, school, daycare, or other obligations, the best time to go to sleep would be sunset and the best time to wake up would be sunrise. Back before the technological revolution, people had a much more natural sleep schedule; they would sleep longer and wake with the sun. Now, with the interference of technology and our daily schedule, we’ve had to adjust.

Sometimes going to bed at the right time won’t fix our sleep problems. One of the biggest concerns in our society today is undiagnosed sleep disorders. For example, studies show that sleep apnea affects approximately 20 percent of American adults; however, 90 percent of those cases remain undiagnosed.

“If you’re having difficulty getting adequate sleep at night, it’s very helpful to discuss that with your physician and seek evaluation by a sleep specialist if it continues to be a problem,” said Dr. Parisi. Many different forms of insomnia can be treated with changes in sleep habits, medications, or alterations of other things that can interfere with sleep.

There are many ways to promote good sleep habits at home. One of the most important things is to be consistent with your sleep schedule. That means getting up at the same time each morning and reinforcing a regular bedtime. Try to avoid screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed as it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Instead, try listening to music, reading, or relaxing before bed to destress and clear your mind. Your bedroom environment should also be dark, cool, and quiet.

If you’re having difficulty falling and staying asleep for more than three months, without improvement from changes to your sleep hygiene, it may be time to consult a TPMG physician or sleep specialist. If you experience excessive sleepiness during the day that impacts your ability to function, you also might want to visit a physician. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for your body and mind. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, not getting enough sleep increases your risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and could even impact your life expectancy.

“Most adults will have difficulty falling or staying asleep at one point in their life and it does improve if it’s addressed in a systematic way,” said Dr. Parisi. Don’t let sleepless nights win. Consult a TPMG Sleep Specialist to learn how to get more fulfilling and restful sleep.

Gale Pearson

About Richard A. Parisi, MD

Richard A. Parisi, MD, is a fellowship trained, board certified physician with over 30 years of experience in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, and Sleep Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a unique honor that recognizes special competency in sleep medicine and significant contributions to the field. Dr. Parisi has many years of experience in the field of sleep medicine, with a special interest in sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other sleep-related disorders. He always strives to be a good listener while developing treatment plans in partnership with his patients.

Dr. Parisi sees patients starting at 13 years of age to adults and is accepting new patients.

Blog Categories

Find a Provider

Generic filters
Accepting New Patients
Related Posts
What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer Screenings

What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer Screenings

For many people, taking a diagnostic exam can be a daunting undertaking, especially when it concerns lung cancer or even the suspicion of lung cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, one in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, lung cancer is the number one leading cause of cancer [...]

The Importance of Adequate Sleep in Your Teen’s Health

The Importance of Adequate Sleep in Your Teen’s Health

Ever wonder why your teenager is habitually grouchy when they come home from school? Rather than just a bad day, it could be a lack of sleep. Most teenagers are not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, which can lead to many health and behavior problems. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends [...]

Welcome Dr. Subramanian Malaisamy, Dr. Amit Patel, Dr. Anil Patel and Dr. Rutul Shah!

Welcome Dr. Subramanian Malaisamy, Dr. Amit Patel, Dr. Anil Patel and Dr. Rutul Shah!

TPMG is excited to announce the addition of our newest group of pulmonologists and sleep health physicians. Please welcome: Subramanian Malaisamy, MD, MRCP (Pulmonology) Amit Patel, MD, FCCP (Pulmonology and Sleep Health) Anil Patel, MD (Pulmonology) Rutul Shah, MD (Pulmonology and Sleep Health) The doctors will begin seeing patients at Lung and Sleep Specialists at [...]