Fix Your Sleep Schedule
Most people struggle to sleep because their sleep schedule is out of sorts. It only takes a few nights of poor sleep and missed alarms to ruin a sleep schedule, leading to some very late nights and tired mornings.
Thankfully, you can fix your sleep schedule and get a good night’s rest without resorting to anything extreme like sleeping tablets.
How much sleep do you need?
To fix your sleep schedule, you need to get a minimum and maximum amount of sleep to fully energise.
Experts recommend that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep, with seven hours the minimum and eight hours a good average.
Less or more sleep than this, and you can feel groggy in the morning. Grogginess after too much sleep is caused by waking up from a deeper stage of sleep like REM, which doesn’t give your brain time to adjust.
Now that you know how much sleep you need, here’s how to fix your sleep schedule and get the shuteye you desperately need:
Go to bed at the same time every night
Without exception! Going to bed at the same time every night will tell your brain and body that you are ready to sleep.
It’s good practice to get into bed half an hour before you plan to sleep, which will give you time to relax and slow down your breathing.
Turn off the lights at the same time every night
You don’t need to switch off the lights as soon as you’re in bed, but you should switch them off at the same time every night.
Turning the lights off signals to your brain that it is time to sleep. Studies have shown that exposure to artificial light suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin. It’s recommended that you switch the lights off half an hour before sleep.
Wake up at the same time every morning
You don’t have much control over precisely when you fall asleep, but you do have control over when you wake up. This is the battleground that matters!
Waking up at the same time every morning – even when you want to sleep in – will put your body clock in a rhythm.
You will probably feel tired after waking up, but this is fine. You will start feeling better once your sleep schedule starts taking shape.
Eliminate screen time in your bedroom
Smartphones are great, but not in bed. The blue light from a smartphone (or any screen) suppresses the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Put, using your smartphone in bed stimulates your brain and keeps you up.
Blocking blue light doesn’t work either; you will still stimulate your brain with pleasurable content, releasing dopamine, the happy hormone that makes you feel alert. It is best to eliminate screen time from your bedroom altogether.
No sugary snacks two hours before bedtime
Sugary snacks and drinks consumed close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. You shouldn’t consume them within two hours of bedtime.
If you are hungry before bed, eat a food high in healthy fats like almonds or oatmeal. Avoid all processed foods and sugars.
No caffeine six hours before bedtime
Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake, and its effects last for around six hours in your body. So, no caffeine six hours before bedtime!
When we think about caffeine, we think of coffee and tea, but it can also be found in chewing gum, nuts and seeds, and chocolates.
Don’t falter on the weekends
People’s biggest mistake with their sleep schedule is faltering on weekends, which will only set you up for poor weekdays.
Once is fine, but don’t make a habit of it.
If you habitually sleep in on weekends, then you discard the number one rule of sleep schedules – waking up at the same time every day.
The trick with any sleep schedule is maintaining the cycle, so your brain and body feel tired at night, helping you fall asleep naturally.
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