T Nation

Cool Tip 1/31/06


Ian King says, "Get as many hours of sleep before midnight as you can. There's a belief that an hour before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight."

I have a lot of respect for what Ian has to say. And I find this particularly interesting. Does anyone know of any research to back this claim up or what the magic is before the stroke of midnight?


As far as I know, this holds true for people who usually keep normal hours due to normal hormonal rhythms.

For instance, a person who normally works a 9-5 job will experience lower sleep quality on weekends if he trys to stay up till 3 and wake up at noon.

The people I know who work really weird shifts seem to do just fine once they get acclimated.

If anyone has any more detailed info, though, I'd be happy to hear it too.



I won't pretend I have any scientific evidence to back it up or deny it (first time I heard this, so I didn't have time to research), but one thing I know for sure: even if the statement is "true", what your BODY thinks is midnight is not necessarily the same as the next guy -- so it will vary from person to person, and depend on things like daylight, activity and temperature.

So what I do know is that you cannot rely solely on your watch to tell you when you should sleep.


Paul Chek recommends getting to bed by 10pm, something to do with circadian rythms IIRC.


What about people in different time zone or what about when you travel another country which is 6 hours ahead. Your 'midnight' is suddenly 6 am their time.


Supposedly the leaking in of sunlight in the morning makes a difference in hormone response even if you're sleeping soundly for another four hours.


I think the statement needs to be qualified or clarified. I'm having a hard time believing that, all else being equal, sleeping from 8pm to midnight is as effective as sleeping from midnight to 8am.


I don't have any scientific data to back it up, but I aleays feel better, have better workouts etc., when I'm in the sack at 10:00.

Sometimes a nap in the middle of the day don't hurt either :wink: