2 Four pre-midnight sleeps per week
THE OLD-FASHIONED SAYING THAT AN HOUR BEFORE MIDNIGHT IS WORTH TWO AFTER? There’s a lot of sense in this as your best quality of sleep is obtained when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest point
(this is usually between 10pm and 5am). Therefore, even if you get seven to nine hours sleep, going to bed late is likely to lead to a large amount of your sleep being highly inefficient.
The phase before midnight is the one when levels of stress hormones start to drop off and we get a substantial hit of deep sleep and our shortest phase of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This phase is deeply nourishing and restorative, plus the good news is it can also be anti-ageing. If you struggle with this one because you’re a bit of a night owl, start to get into the habit of reducing stimulation and becoming quiet and restful during this time. You don’t have to be fast asleep by 10pm, but just head up to bed a bit earlier, start to power down and get ready to rest. Over time you will start to notice that you’re feeling relaxed, drowsy and actually looking forward to getting into bed. This is a strategy that I recommend even for clients with a longstanding history of insomnia and they often start to see a difference within seven to ten days.