Sleep Cycle Calculator: What Time to Go to Bed and Wake Up

By Sindhu Koganti image Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh linkedin_icon Specialty: Ingredients & Nutrition Experience: 6 years

Sindhu Koganti is a Certified Health and Nutrition Life Coach and has over 6 years of experience in writing on health and wellness topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from more

, BTech (Biotechnology), Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh  • 

This sleep calculator will help you find the best bedtime for you, by maximizing your full sleep cycles. Sleep consists of 90-minutes-long sequences, repeated throughout the night. You’ll wake up feeling better if you wake up at the end of a cycle, rather than in the middle of it, so use this calculator to find out what time you should go to sleep if you want to wake up refreshed and alert. And if you are still wondering how important it is to get the right amount of sleep, check how deadly your current sleeping routine is!

If you’re interested in how much sleep we need at different ages, whether 6 hours of sleep is enough, what our natural sleep pattern is and what are good sleep habits – keep scrolling and you’ll find the answer.

What time should I go to sleep?



To wake up at : you should go to bed at:

6 cycles, 9h of sleep

Recommended for long-sleepers
5 cycles, 7h30m of sleep

Recommended for average-sleepers
4 cycles, 6h of sleep

Recommended for short-sleepers
3 cycles, 4h30m of sleep

2 cycles, 3h of sleep

1 cycle, 1h30m of sleep

What are sleep cycles and stages of sleep?

While sleeping, our brains go through several sleep cycles. An average person needs 5-6 cycles to feel fully regenerated in the morning. One sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes and consists of 5 stages: the first four stages are non-REM stages, where stage 1 and 2 are known as light sleep stages, stage 3 (and 4 in the previous definition) are deep sleep stages, and the last one is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

The duration of each stage oscillates between 5 and 15 minutes. Early in the night, stages of deep sleep are longer than REM sleep, but this swaps round as the night progresses. People’s brains usually don’t go from stages 1 to 5, but rather: stages of light sleep, stages of deep sleep, REM, and then back to stages of light sleep and stages of deep sleep.

Light sleep stages (N1, N2) are characterized by muscle contractions and being woke easily. Your body is preparing, slowly, for deep sleep, with your brain waves becoming slower.

Deep sleep stages (N3, previously divided into N3 and N4) are also known as delta sleep or slow wave sleep. It’s very hard to wake someone during this stage. It’s also the most important sleep stage as it refreshes you the most and reduces your need for sleep. That’s why if you nap for too long during the day (entering deep sleep) you don’t feel as sleepy that night. Also, during this stage, your body and muscles are being restored by growth hormones.

REM sleep stage (R) is where dreams happen. Your brain imitates waves just as if you were awake, with your eyes moving rapidly but still closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to sleep 6 hours a night?

No. A minimum of 7 – 8 hours of sleep is generally recommended for healthy adults.

What is the 3-2-1 rule for sleep?

The 3-2-1 rule for sleep goes like this:
3 hours before bed: No more food or alcohol.
2 hours before bed: No more work.
1 hour before bed: No more screen time.

Is 5 hours of sleep enough?

No, 5 hours of sleep is considered very minimal and may impact one’s health negatively. A minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is required for healthy adults.

Can sleeping too much cause heart problems?

Yes, sleeping for more than 8 hours may increase the risk of heart problems in adults.

What is the best time to sleep and wake up?

The best time to sleep (and wake up) varies from person to person and entirely depends on one’s schedule. However, it is recommended to sleep between 11 pm and 6 am to ensure one gets adequate sleep.

Is sleep more important than exercise?

Although both sleep and exercise have their own benefits, sleep helps the body regenerate. Hence, adequate sleep is more important than exercise.

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