Doctor’s explanation about what bedtime is best goes viral

doctor's explanation about what bedtime is best goes viral

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We all know by now that getting eight hours of sleep each night is what we ought to be striving for. But with busy social lives and even busier work lives – not to mention piles of life admin, too – it’s not always easy to get to bed at 10pm to make sure you’ve had eight hours of shut-eye before your 6am alarm.

For that reason, many of us will have found ourselves heading to bed later and getting up later, especially if you work from home and can roll out of bed at 8:59am. hey who really cares if you’re on a Zoom call in your PJs!? As it turns out though, getting eight hours of sleep only counts if you head to bed at the right time, according to one doctor on TikTok.

Dr Karan Raj’s TikTok opens with a stitched clip from another user who says: “This is your reminder that getting eight hours of sleep but going to bed at 2am and waking up at 10am is not the same as going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am.”

“What time you choose to go to bed can actually affect your sleep quality,” Dr Raj replies in agreement. “Your sleep is broken down into 90 minute cycles during which your brain moves from non rapid eye movement [REM] sleep to rapid eye movement sleep,” he explains.

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“Although the 90 minute sleep cycles remain constant throughout the night, the ratio of non REM sleep to REM sleep changes throughout,” Dr Raj adds. “The early part of the night is dominated by the deeper, more restorative, non rapid eye movement sleep but as you get towards daybreak you get more of the lightened dream infusion rapid eye movement sleep.”

Because of that, Dr Raj explains, “If you go to bed super late like two or three o’clock in the morning, your sleep will be more REM heavy and you’ll have less of the deeper, non REM sleep. This can leave you feeling groggy.”

Put simply then, if you head to bed earlier rather than later, you’ll have plenty of restorative sleep. But if your head hits the pillow in the wee hours, you’re more likely to have a dream-packed sleep with less of that restorative goodness!

The expert ends his video by pointing out that this is why it “sucks” to be a shift worker with a “sh*tty” sleep pattern.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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