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

Medically reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Gibson, PAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist Dr. Benjamin Gibson Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist linkedin_icon
Written by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2 years

This sleep calculator is designed to help you discover your ideal bedtime by optimizing your complete sleep cycles. Sleep is composed of 90-minute intervals that recur during the night (1). Rousing yourself at the end of a sleep cycle rather than in the midst of one can help you experience a more rejuvenated awakening. Therefore, employ this calculator to determine the time most suitable for you to retire to bed if you aspire to awaken feeling revitalized and alert. But if you are still questioning the significance of obtaining the proper amount of sleep, assess just how detrimental your existing sleep habits might be!

If you want to know more about our natural sleep pattern, how much sleep people need at different ages, whether 6 hours of sleep is enough, and what are considered good sleeping habits – keep scrolling to 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?

Our brains undergo a series of sleep cycles while we sleep. The average person requires 5 to 6 cycles to wake up fully refreshed in the morning. Each sleep cycle spans approximately 90 minutes and encompasses five distinct stages. The initial four stages are non-REM stages that comprise light sleep stages in stages 1 and 2 and deep sleep stages in stages 3 and 4. These are followed by the final REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage (1).

The duration of each stage fluctuates between 5 and 15 minutes. Deep sleep stages tend to be lengthier than REM sleep during the early part of the night, though this pattern reverses as the night advances. Typically, the brain transitions through stages of light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and then back to stages of light sleep and deep sleep, rather than moving linearly from stage 1 to stage 5 (1).

Light sleep stages (N1, N2) are characterized by muscle twitches and increased susceptibility to awakening. These stages mark the gradual preparation for deep sleep and are accompanied by a deceleration of brain wave activity (1).

Deep sleep stages (N3, previously subdivided into N3 and N4) are also referred to as delta sleep or slow wave sleep. Awakening someone during this stage is particularly challenging. Deep sleep is the most crucial phase for rejuvenation and significantly reduces the need for additional sleep. This is why prolonged daytime naps, which can lead to deep sleep, often result in reduced nighttime drowsiness. Additionally, growth hormones play a vital role in restoring the body and muscles during this phase (1).

The REM sleep stage (R) is where dreams occur. The brain exhibits wave patterns resembling wakefulness, with rapid eye movements while the eyes remain closed (1).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to sleep 6 hours a night?

No. A minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is generally recommended for healthy adults (2).

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

The 3-2-1 rule for sleep goes like this:
3 hours before bed: Finish eating food or drinking alcohol.
2 hours before bed: Finish your work.
1 hour before bed: Stop looking at screens, like mobile, TV, and tablets.

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 (2).

Can sleeping too much cause heart problems?

Yes, sleeping for more than 8 hours may increase the risk of heart problems in adults (2).

What is the best time to sleep and wake up?

The best time to sleep (and wake up) differs from person to person and entirely depends on one’s schedule. However, it is recommended to sleep between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 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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    1. Physiology of Sleep
    2. Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society

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    Dr. Benjamin Gibson

    Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist

    Dr. Benjamin Gibson is an award-winning multi-state licensed pharmacist and nutritionist published on PubMed. He is also a best-selling author, international podcast host, international newspaper reporter, and health coach. He has 15 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a doctorate in pharmacy. Dr. Gibson helps clients sleep better, lose weight, and get stronger bones full bio