A regular sleep rhythm promotes healthy sleep and prevents sleep disorders. Time changes, night shifts or long-distance travel can disrupt your sleep rhythm and throw your internal clock out of balance. Find your ideal sleep routine now and find out what tips you can use to support a healthy sleep rhythm.
Table of contents
- Regular sleep is so important
- The perfect sleep rhythm
- Disturbances of the sleep rhythm
- Time change
- Long distance travel
- Shift work
1. That’s how important regular sleep is
Restorative sleep is essential for the body and mind. A fixed sleep rhythm and regular sleeping times are important prerequisites for a restful night and significantly promote our sleep. If you go to bed and get up at similar times in the long term, it makes it easier to fall asleep and prevents sleep disorders. Because regular sleep times correspond to our natural circadian rhythm and ensure healthy functioning of the body. The famous internal 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.
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 means that many people have regular sleeping times, at least during the week. The individually perfect sleep time and under which circumstances we really sleep well varies from person to person and basically depends on various factors - including which sleep and chronotype we belong to and what social or professional daily structure we follow.
In order to promote sleep as best as possible, it is important to establish a regular sleep rhythm and adapt it as best as possible to your personal needs.
2. The perfect sleep rhythm
How much sleep do I need? What type of sleeper am I?
Are you more of a short or long sleeper? The recommended sleep duration for adults is usually between seven and eight hours per night. While short sleepers can start the day refreshed after just five to seven hours of sleep, long sleepers need eight to nine hours of sleep at night. So that you can choose your sleeping times wisely and get enough sleep every night, it is crucial to know what amount of sleep you need. Basically, if you feel awake and rested in the morning and can work with concentration during the day even when sitting for long periods of time, you have had enough sleep.
When do I sleep best? Which chronotype am I?
Our chronotype decides at what time we fall asleep and wake up best. It is therefore advisable to adjust the sleep time to a time when we naturally feel 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 make the most of your performance in the morning with an early start to the day, while late types (owls) should make the most of their energy in the evening and sleep a little longer in the morning. Because social, social or professional obligations often force you to get up early, the owl type often suffers from fatigue or sleep disorders because it is difficult for them to fall asleep early in the evening and has to miss out on important hours of sleep in the morning.
Your ideal sleep time
If you know when and how much you sleep optimally, you can determine a rough sleep period and integrate it into your daily structure. If you e.g. b As a short sleeper, you need around 7 hours of sleep, usually get out of bed quickly in the morning and have to get up at 6 a.m., so you should regularly go to bed by 11 p.m. at the latest.
3. Sleep rhythm disorders
Smaller irregularities, such as a short night or sleeping in at the weekend, only affect our sleep rhythm for a short time and have little to no impact on the quality of sleep. It is important that we otherwise get enough sleep on a regular basis and give in to the natural pressure to sleep, because tiredness is an important signal from the body that the body and mind need to sleep and recover.
Time changes, long-distance travel or shift work, on the other hand, can intensively or permanently influence the sleep rhythm and have a negative impact on sleep, our performance and health. If the internal clock gets out of sync, we quickly suffer from difficulty falling asleep, problems staying asleep and overtiredness, which not only makes us unfocused, irritable or listless, but also damages our health in the long term. The body needs some time to get used to the new circumstances and reorient itself. So how can we react when we are forced to adjust our own sleep rhythm?
The time change and the change between summer and winter time throw the internal clock out of balance. When the clock is set back or forward, the body has to slowly get used to it and adapt, which is stressful 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: In the night from Saturday to Sunday the clocks will be turned back from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. so that it gets light earlier in the morning and gets dark quicker in the evening! And although we gain a whole hour a night and can, in principle, sleep “longer”, the change to winter also has a mini-jet lag effect on our bodies.
Tip 1: Adjust gradually
When we switch to winter time, we tend to lie awake unusually early in the morning and at the same time tire earlier in the evening. Therefore, in the days before the change, try to gradually go to bed a quarter of an hour later so that your body can slowly adapt and doesn't have to compensate for a whole hour from one day to the next.
Tip 2: Stock up on daylight
Daylight is the external clock of our internal clock. Therefore, try to consume a lot of daylight on the day of the change to support the body's adaptation. Daylight also functions as a natural alarm clock, which you should use on the day of the change to get up at 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 metabolism, hormone production and other important body functions . This way you can increase the natural sleep pressure in the evening and help you fall asleep and sleep through the night.
Long distance travel & jet lag
The famous jet lag occurs when we travel through different time zones within a few hours and find ourselves at a completely different time of day when we arrive. Our body then initially follows its 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 severe tiredness, exhaustion or mood swings during the day.
You can also find the best tips against jet lag in our sleep magazine.
Shift workers often work at times when the organism is programmed to sleep, and in turn have to sleep when the body and mind have adjusted to being awake. This creates a constant discrepancy between the internal and external clock, the negative effects of which arise not primarily from the changed sleeping and waking times, but from the frequent changes.
You can find out helpful tips on how to ensure healthy sleep despite shift changes and night work in this article.
A fixed sleep rhythm and regular sleep 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 lasting influence on the sleep rhythm and have a negative impact on sleep, our performance and our health.
Greetings and see you soon!