Looking for a place to start your Sleep self-improvement journey?
Did you know that by simply going to bed and rising at the same time daily (Sleep Rhythm) you might be able to gain significant benefits? Sound too good to be true? Well, there's science behind those possibilities.
Based On SleepWatch Data
Why Sleep Rhythm?
Sleep Rhythm is a common weak-point in our sleep habits. Many of us want to improve sleep habits, but many of us are forced to wake up at a time dictated by our daily agenda. Whether it is getting the kids ready for school or getting ready for work, we tend to be slaves to the (hopefully silent) morning alarm. It doesn’t care whether you are in deep sleep or light sleep. If we have less control over what time we wake up, can we control what time we go to bed? How many out there have alarms to tell us what time to go to sleep? The Apple Watch has many features and Apple Watch health has come a long way, but by itself doesn’t promote the best sleep habits. Add SleepWatch to your self-improvement sleep journey and see how far you can go.
As shown in our previous blog, many who go to bed early and wake up early (larks), tend to have more regular Sleep Rhythm than those who go to bed late and wake up late (owls) by about 7 percentage points. In this graph, Sleep Rhythm is on the up/down Y axis, while larks are on the left and owls on the right. This data suggests to us that we as a society have a greater propensity to achieve better Sleep Rhythm if we get to bed earlier.
Further, we found that those who go to bed earlier are 40% more likely to report feeling more rested upon waking. In this graph the higher on the up/down Y axis the more rested, while larks (who get to bed earlier) are on the left and owls are on the right.
The SleepWatch Sleep Rhythm Widget
The SleepWatch Sleep Rhythm widget will give you an estimate of how regular your sleep times are over the previous 7 days. If the regularity of our sleep gets out of whack, it has negative implications for waking function, mood, daytime sleepiness and how long it takes us to fall asleep. If we want to avoid those negative implications, we can strive to improve the regularity of our sleep, which the Sleep Rhythm widget was designed to help with. For those of us who are not getting enough sleep, our bedtime might be a good place to start.
On the other hand, if you consistently go to bed at the same time but vary when you wake up, that may also disrupt your Sleep Rhythm. At SleepWatch, we consider a Sleep Rhythm result less than 65% as an area for improvement and a result of 80% or greater as good.
If you enjoy your sleep and the many health benefits of getting enough (quantity & quality), try to maintain a higher Sleep Rhythm. After you master Sleep Rhythm, consider setting your sights on Sleeping Heart Rate Dip next. We hope to write about about that widget in the near future.
Maintaining a more regular rhythm of sleep on a day-to-day basis is a bastion of Sleep Hygiene and is shown by science to be associated with:
- Better Waking Mental Function
- More Positive Mood
- Better Self-Reported Sleep Quality
- Less Daytime Sleepiness
- Shorter Time to Fall Asleep
- “Indeed, stability of the bedtime and rise-time is considered to be key for proper entrainment of the circadian system and, as such, structured sleep schedules are a central target of behavioral treatments for insomnia.”