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Does Time Of Sleep Matter As Much As The Duration Of Sleep? Read What Experts Say

Does Time Of Sleep Matter As Much As The Duration Of Sleep?

Every morning, if you feel you'd give anything to sleep more, you’re not alone. 

Almost 89% of the UK’s population feels the same, regardless of how long they sleep.

When you dig deeper into their sleep patterns, you can find that almost 44% are night owls, with a whopping 11% sleeping after 1 am.

Of these, most people get a good 7 hours every night but still feel exhausted in the morning. 

Could your sleep timing be the reason, as opposed to inadequate sleep duration? Let's find out.

What’s an Ideal Sleep Duration, and How Do You Know If You’ve Had Restful Sleep?

Considering all variables, sleep scientists have come up with an ideal sleep duration for all age groups.


Sleep Duration (in hours)







Young Adults




Older Adults


You know you’ve had a soul-soothing sleep when you wake up in the morning and 

  • You’re refreshed
  • You can think, learn and remember information clearly
  • Your emotions are balanced, you aren’t irritable, gloomy or unhinged
  • You’re agile, you don’t feel any discomfort in your body

Science says this is possible only when you get to doze off at a proper sleep time, spend a healthy duration in all sleep stages and maintain sleep consistency (sleeping without interruption at any stage) where muscles repair, tissues grow, wastes are flushed and other essential processes occur without hindrance or overload.

Does It Matter When You Fall Asleep, As Long As You Meet The Ideal Sleep Duration?

Absolutely. Your bedtime and the time you take to sleep after you hit the bed decide how well you sleep.

By sleeping every hour later than healthy bedtime, you lose 14-33 minutes of quality sleep that night. 

It’s surprising to note that women are more likely than men to take longer to fall asleep.

We lose 50 calories/hour when we sleep at the right time, and that’s why medical professionals advise proper sleep timing as part of the weight loss or fitness journey. 

Why Do You Feel Drowsy After a Night of Sleeping Late or Inadequate Sleep?

The misalignment between your body clock and life/social clock can significantly reduce sleep quality and make you feel drowsy, or groggy all day, even if you sleep for a long time. 

This is because your body clock follows the sun. It requires you to sleep and relax when it’s pitch dark.

As the day progresses, adenosine, a molecule crucial to our sleep-wake cycle, accumulates in the brain. If our waking period is long, adenosine levels hit their peak. 

As the night falls, the adenosine levels are maxed out, they signal to the brain that it’s time to rest. 

For these molecules to dissipate, you need to sleep well. If you don’t, there’s less time available for adenosine to get consumed and some of it remains in the brain. 

Until you clear that residual adenosine, you’re going to feel sleepy throughout the day.

Woes of Sleeping Earlier or Later, and Why Should Find a Sweet Spot for Sleep

Sleeping late starts an avalanche of health risks. Here are a few.

Makes You Susceptible to Health Risks

A consistently misaligned body and social clock means a weakened immune system, increased inflammation and impaired glucose regulation. 

Regardless of getting 7 or less hours, if you sleep at midnight or later, you’re at a 25% higher risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases

Studies also show that late bedtimes and rising times over the years present a clear risk of congestive heart failure

With late sleeping, you’re likely to witness short sleep durations and frequent disturbances which seriously impair the healing that goes on in your body. 

Increased Weight and BMI

Later bedtime is associated with unhealthy eating, which results in higher BMI, waist circumference, and body fat % in adults, but adolescents predominantly. 

Late sleepers consume at least 248 extra calories per day compared to normal sleepers. 

Rises Blood Pressure

Sleep deprivation causes an imbalance in the sympathetic nervous system that controls the fight or flight response. 

This leads to debilitating anxiety, stress, mood swings, and higher blood pressure, which is why we tend to be emotionally volatile when we sleep late or are sleep deprived. 

Best Sleep Time

Research has proven that the best time to sleep is between 10 pm - 11 pm and wake up at 6.30 am, to heal the body completely, and take on the day with full energy and rigor.

How to Fall Asleep Faster

An easy yet surefire way to get yourself to sleep faster and earlier is to have a luxuriously comfortable mattress to sleep on. One that’s airy, cushiony, supportive and firm. 

The UK’s first and only smartGRID mattresses of HiGRID - The Sleep Company have all these ergonomic properties and a lot more, that are specifically designed to make you so comfortable that you sleep instantly, and effortlessly. 

Get these soft and firm mattresses for 45% off and sleep deep.

Vasantha Priya

Vasantha Priya

Vasantha Priya is a freelance content writer by day and a poet by night. She specialises in research-backed, long-form content for B2B & B2C brands. Vasantha strikes a chord with readers and drives action by establishing trust, thought leadership and authenticity. Apart from writing, she’s an English tutor and OD consultant. She also has an undying love for chocolates and sunsets.

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