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We all have different sleep patterns, and almost anyone can improve theirs. So lets begin with the three keys to better sleep which might work for an average person.
The first is a healthy life style. Youre more likely to sleep well if you feed healthily, exert, and have day for a good social and/ or family life. Good nutrition and food habits benefit all bodily functions, including sleep and health; exert helps reduce stress; and good relationships do the same while also improving mood, and enabling relaxation before sleep.
The second key is the length of hour you sleep, with about eight hours a night being a good quantity for the average person. Dont be surprised if you sleep less though. Most working people in modern society are sleep deprived by an hour or two each day. But six hours of sleep is too little. Sleep matters more than we realise, so attaining time to sleep for about eight hours is good advice for almost everyone.
The third key is the time you try to go to sleep( if you think of change work and the problems this causes people, its obvious that this is important ). Most people have two different day patterns one during the working week, the other for weekends and holidays. Its no astonish that holiday timing is better for sleep. As a rule of thumb, waking at 8am and going to sleep at midnight is about right for the average person.
You may need to adjust these timings if youre different from the norm. Some of us are morning kinds( naturally getting up and going to sleep earlier) and others are evening types( naturally get up and going to sleep later ). These kinds are formally known as chronotypes. To find out if you are a morning type( lark) or evening kind( owl) its worth appearing up the MCTQ short questionnaire. This is probably the best way for a morning person to find out accurately if they are an extreme early, very early, early, slightly early or normal type and find appropriate sleep timings( the same applies for evening types ).
These timings are given in the MCTQ results: the average person aftermaths at 8-9am and goes to sleep at midnight to 1am. In contrast, some extreme early types wake at 5am and go to sleep at 9pm. This shows the huge discrepancies between chronotypes that occur naturally in a large population. These differences can affect many people. For instance, some moderate late forms would wake up at 11 am and go to sleep at 3am, if allowed to adhere to their natural rhythms, and this group makes up more than 5% of the population.
Of course, these MCTQ timings are not rigid regulations, only a rough measure of times to guide you to understanding your own sleep better. They might also help you understand people in your family. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults whose sleep patterns can alter to dramatically afterwards times.