What is a Sleep Cycle Calculator? | PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

What is a Sleep Cycle Calculator?

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep daily. Sleep affects quality of life and your physical and mental health. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM), insufficient sleep has even been linked to various chronic diseases, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

Furthermore, JCSM also reports that sleeping less than seven hours each night may cause the following:

  • Diminished performance
  • Elevated risk of accidents
  • Impaired immune function
  • Increased number of errors
  • More pain

Even so, nearly 35.3 percent of adults report getting seven hours or less of sleep daily on average, according to the American Sleep Association. This is why it’s important for you to learn as much about your sleep cycles and the amount of sleep you get each night.

Sleep cycle calculators can help with that.

What are Sleep Cycles?

Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D. in an article in Psychology Today tells us that the average person experiences four to six 90-minute sleep cycles in a night. Most of the first two to three sleep cycles involve deep non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It is during the final two to three cycles of sleep when REM sleep primarily occurs.

Here’s where things get interesting. The timing of your sleep has a lot to do with the amount of REM sleep you get as well. One reason for this is that sleep in the earlier hours of the night, between the house of 11:00 pm and 3:00 am, produces more NREM sleep than REM sleep, which occurs between the hours of 3:00 am and 7:00 am when REM sleep primarily occurs. People who sleep during these hours experience more productive sleep than those who sleep more hours during the evening.

You still need seven hours of sleep each night to get optimal productivity out of your sleep. But if you must skimp on sleep, it is better to do so by staying up later, than by getting up earlier. At least, that is the case for most people.

Of course, it is best to learn more about your specific sleep cycles and when you are getting your most productive sleep. Then you can make decisions about when your best time for sleeping and skimping, when necessary, may be.

Again, sleep cycle calculators can help with this important task.

What are Sleep Cycle Calculators?

Sleep cycle calculators are tools that help you learn more about the quality and quantity of sleep you’re getting. The goal is to use this information to learn important things about maximizing your sleep to get better quality from the little sleep you get. In other words, sleep cycle calculators are tools you can use to help you sleep more efficiently.

Today you can use a variety of tools to help you understand the sleep you’re currently getting. Some of them can even make recommendations to help you set sleep goals and achieve sleep that is more productive. Some may even be able to eliminate things like tossing and turning, allowing you to fall asleep faster and make the best use of the time you spend in bed each night.

These tools include:

  • Fitness bands, like the Fitbit.
  • Apple watches (various apps).
  • Sleep Shepherd headband.

These devices only require that you wear them while sleeping to help you learn essential information about your sleep quality, periods of deep, REM sleep, wakefulness throughout the night, how long it takes you to get to sleep, and how many times you wake up during the night.

One of the most important things sleep cycle calculators do for the average person is to help you decide the best time for you to go to sleep at night. Because most people have a set time they must get up each day, learning when to go to sleep can help you enjoy sleep that is more productive.

Benefits of Using a Sleep Cycle Calculator

You might be wondering why you might need to invest in a sleep cycle calculator. You may even believe that you’re getting the most productive sleep possible night after night. But, once you optimize your sleep, you will learn how beneficial getting the right amount and kind of sleep really is.

Some of the benefits you can experience by using a sleep cycle calculator, to optimize your sleep each night, are as follows:

  • Less pain and inflammation
  • Immune system boost
  • Improved focus and mental clarity
  • Energizes you throughout your day
  • Fewer accidents (auto accidents, trips, falls, etc.)
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better skin
  • Faster healing
  • Increased libido

Getting an adequate amount of sleep, night after night, allows your body to refuel and repair itself, while giving your brain an opportunity to recharge.

It may not sound like that big of a deal until you experience the difference for yourself. Many U.S. adults have been running on empty for years. It’s your new normal, so you have no idea how much of a difference consistently getting adequate sleep can make. Once you experience the difference in cognitive functioning, reasoning, and physical health, you will understand what you’ve been missing. Perhaps one of the most surprising benefits to many people who have suffered chronic sleep deprivation, are the mood benefits that come about as a result of suddenly getting enough sleep.

For those who use a sleep cycle calculator to optimize their sleep, it is likely to be a life changing experience. Once you experience this for yourself — just like sleeping on a natural latex mattress, you are sure to wonder how you’ve made it so long with such little sleep and poor sleep quality.

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