Hour by hour – the best time to do everything- from eating breakfast to when to sleep | The Sun

IT can be a challenge to keep to a tight schedule and know exactly what you should be doing when.

But research has revealed the hour-by-hour best times to do everything you need to during your day.

It includes when to eat, when to workout and, importantly, when to take a well-earned nap.

Wake up an hour earlier than normal

A study last year by researchers from  the University of Colorado, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University found a 23 per cent fall in the risk of depression when people wake up an hour earlier than usual.

7.11am – breakfast

This is the ideal time to start eating, the University of Murcia found.

Although the exact time of when to eat will of course be dependent on what time you get up.

Dietician Kim Larson, from Seattle, US, has previously said it is best to eat within two hours of waking.

8am – work out if you're a woman

Women who exercise between 6am and 8am burn more fat than those who workout between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, research published in May found.

But this is not the same for men, who should wait until the evening to get moving.

9am – have a coffee

Your brain does not need coffee as soon as you wake up!

Cortisol levels will peak first thing and spring you into being awake. It is best to wait a little bit until cortisol drops again.

That way you will be getting your caffeine boost when you most need it, and when it will be most effective.

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11am-12pm – do most important work

Your alertness levels will be peaking at this time, so best crack on with stuff you really have to get done now.

That is the view of Prof Christopher Barnes, who specialises in organisational behaviour.

He has spent much of his career studying circadian rhythms looking for productivity hacks.

We are most alert within an hour or so of noon and 6pm.

12.38pm – have lunch

Eating late, after 3pm, is bad, the University of Murcia found.

Its research suggests the best time to eat is at 12.38pm precisely.

Afternoon – more work, but be careful

Workers should get up from their desk every hour and walk for two minutes to avoid dying prematurely by 33 per cent, scientists found in 2015.

Make sure to take regular screen breaks too – look away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

3pm – time for a quick nap

Siestas should be timed for when your energy levels drop and you feel less productive, Prof Barnes found.

And naps become increasingly important as we age as they help us reach the desired eight hours sleep time a day when our night-time snoozing is more disturbed.

5pm – dinner time

The later we eat, the worse our body clocks become, 2018 research published in the Cell Metabolism Journal found.

This is especially true as we age. The study authors wrote: “This age-dependent deterioration of the circadian clock parallels our increased risk for metabolic diseases, heart diseases, cancer and dementia."

And we shouldn't be eating and drinking less than three hours before bed

6.30pm – workout if you're a man

Men's strength increases after morning and evening workouts, but the evening brings added benefits.

It includes lower systolic blood pressure and fatigue. Fat burning is also stimulated more than in the morning.

9pm – switch off phone

The big brains at Harvard University found that sleep deficiency can be worsened if light-emitting devices are used immediately before bed.

It can also disrupt the body clock, which can negatively impact performance, health and safety,

10pm – go to sleep

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Sleeping earlier than 10pm and later than 11pm were associated with increased cardiovascular risk, UK research found in November.

But consistency is the most important thing – so stick to whichever routine you pick.

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