How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

There is a reason why we feel sleepy around the same time each night and why we wake up around the same time every morning even if we don’t set an alarm.

This happens because our bodies follow certain sleep patterns. Our internal clock tends to rotate between sleep and wakefulness throughout the day and responds to external cues that tell your body it’s time to wake up or go to sleep.

When it’s functioning normally, it sends our bodies signals to wake in the morning and sleep in the evening. However, sometimes your internal clock can fall out of sync due to various reasons: traveling, shift work, busy schedule, etc. which can throw your regular sleep schedule out of order.

This will affect your sleep quality and make it difficult for you to fall asleep and wake up when you are supposed to. It can leave you sleep deprived or cause a “jet lag” which can further affect your moods and overall performance.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to fix your sleep schedule and reset your internal clock and below we are going to mention some of them. Last updated Aug 27, 2020 @ 8:39 pm

Tips for Fixing Your Sleep Schedule

Here are a few ways that can help you adjust your sleep schedule and fix your sleep patterns:

Regulate Your Exposure to Light

One of the ways to fix your sleep schedule is to regulate your exposure to light.

Light stimulates wakefulness and stops your brain from producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. Darkness, on the other hand, stimulates your brain to produce melatonin, which helps you fall asleep easier.

So, you should try to avoid prolonged exposure to bright lights before sleep. Dim the lights in your bedroom close to bedtime and avoid using phones, laptops, tablets and other devices that emit blue and bright lights.

In the morning, however, you should expose yourself to light so you can wake up easier. Try opening the curtains, relaxing on the porch or taking a walk.

Avoid Naps during the Day

Another way to fix your sleep schedule is to avoid long and frequent naps during the day.

Napping can make it difficult for you to go to bed and fall asleep at night and can interfere with your sleep. Long naps can also cause grogginess as the result of waking up from deep sleep.

If you feel like napping, you can try exercising instead. This will chase away the sleepiness and help you fall asleep easier when it is the right time. But, if you can’t help yourself and you have to take a nap, it shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes so your nighttime sleep won’t be disturbed.

Exercise Regularly

Besides exercises can help you wake up when you feel sleepy, exercising regularly every day can also help you get a better night’s sleep.

Exercising promotes better sleep by promoting the production of melatonin. Thirty minutes of moderate exercising every day or every other day may help you improve the quality of your sleep during the night.

But, you should avoid exercising close to bedtime and do it at least 2 hours before going to sleep.

Regulate Your Eating Habits

Your internal clock can also be affected by your eating habits. This is why you should avoid late dinners as they can cause digestive problems and delay your sleep.

Eat your last meal at least two hours before going to bed. You should also avoid eating spicy and sugary foods late in the night. If you are hungry, you can have a light snack such as a piece of fruit, wheat toast, cereal meal, etc.

Besides this, you should also avoid drinking coffee and tea containing too much caffeine before bedtime. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and can keep you awake at night.

The same goes for alcohol. It can make you sleepy initially, but it can interfere with your sleep later in the night and also cause your throat muscles to relax too much and lead to sleep apnea and snoring.

 Practice Relaxing Activities

When you are too stressed or anxious, your body produces more cortisol, also known as stress hormone. High levels of cortisol can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and it will keep you awake at night.

Creating relaxing bedtime rituals and performing some calming activities may help you reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep.

You can try doing stretching exercises or practice yoga and meditation. You can also perform light breathing exercises or write a journal, etc.

Avoid Noise

For many people a quiet sleep environment is crucial for a good night’s rest.

As your brain continues to process sounds even after you fall asleep, loud and distracting noises can make it difficult for you to stay asleep or fall asleep in the first place.

This is why you should avoid noise and turn off your TV before going to sleep and set your mobile phone to silent setting.

But, if you live in a noisy neighborhood, white noise can help you get better sleep. It is a soothing and steady sound that comes from some home devices such as air conditioners, fans, humidifiers, etc. and that can help you mask other environmental noises.

You can also try to wear ear plugs to block outside sounds.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment

The most important thing for creating a comfortable sleeping environment is a comfortable and supportive mattress.

Old and lumpy or sagging mattresses can cause aches and pains and make it difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Therefore, you should have a quality mattress and good pillows that will provide you with the right amount of comfort and support that you need for a comfortable and pain-free night’s sleep.

Experts suggest replacing your mattress at least every 10 years and pillows every two years. So, if it is time for you to get a new mattress and pillows, you should make sure to get the best for your needs.

Also, to make things more comfortable, you should keep the temperature of your room somewhere between 60 and 67°F. This will help you feel comfortable and fall asleep easier.

Stick to a Regular Sleep Routine

If you want to fix your sleep schedule, you should make one first and stick to the sleep routine you create. Choose your sleep and wake up time and stick to them every day, even on weekends.

Following a regular sleep routine, can help you reset your internal clock and solve your sleep problems. Over time, you will be able to fall asleep and wake up with ease.

Conclusion

A regular sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up approximately at the same time every day.

Sometimes certain activities can mess up with your sleep schedule and affect the quality of your sleep. Fortunately, there are some ways that can help you get back on trail and we have mentioned some of them above.

We hope our article will help you figure out what’s the best for your sleep and fix your sleep schedule.

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