The consequences of not getting enough sleep are well-known, but sometimes the problem is deeper than it seems. It’s easy to say that you need to go to bed earlier, but it’s often more difficult to implement. The issue may be your sleeping schedule. Here are proven tips on how to make your sleep schedule better!
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1. Learn about circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm is another word for our sleep schedule. It’s the time our bodies prefer to fall asleep and wake up. Normally, your circadian rhythm should match your lifestyle. However, due to a variety of reasons, it can completely fall apart. As a result of a broken circadian rhythm, you can experience depression, sleep deprivation, and slow performance.
You may think that only going to bed late and waking up late is considered to be a circadian rhythm disorder. However, the situation where a person goes to bed early in the evening and wakes up in the middle of the night without any desire to fall asleep again is also very common. Both of these disorders need to be attended to as quickly as possible through fixing your sleep schedule.
2. Avoid napping
Napping is something we only learn to appreciate when we become adults, while for children napping feels more like a chore. But, no matter how tempting a day nap may seem, it’s best to be avoided if you want to improve your circadian rhythm.
Even a short 20-minute nap can completely change the way you go to sleep in the evening, making it harder for you to fall asleep at the right time. If you are feeling sleepy in the middle of the day, try to engage in some physical activity. It will energize you and take your mind off napping.
3. Identify your problem
Most problems with sleep schedules can be divided into two categories: when you go to bed too early and when you go to bed too late. If you belong to the first category, there are some great news for you: pushing sleep away is relatively easy and you can fix your schedule within weeks. If you can’t fall asleep for a long time, you’ll have to work more to solve your problem, but it is still perfectly doable.
Read more: 10 Popular Myths About Sleep
4. Take it slow
Since it’s much harder to advance sleep than to push it away, you will need to take a careful approach to fixing your sleep schedule. If you go to bed at 12am and want to go to bed at 10pm, it can take you several months to reach your desired bedtime. The key here is to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every 5-7 days. Only then your body will effortlessly adapt to the new schedule.
5. Be consistent
If your work schedule requires you to get up at the same time every day, try to be very precise when creating your new sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time 7 days a week turns your sleeping into a routine and makes your body think it’s the new norm. Sleep consultants advise keeping the same schedule even on weekends for more consistency.
6. Create the right conditions
In order to fall asleep faster and sleep better, your body requires a few simple conditions. First, minimize your exposure to light before and during falling asleep. That includes mobile phones and other devices! Second, try not to eat or have extensive physical activity shortly before going to bed. Finally, it’s best not to drink right before sleep to avoid waking up in the middle of the night with a full bladder.
7. Try supplements
If these methods don’t bring the desired results as quickly as you hoped, the problem with your circadian rhythm may be deeper than you thought. In that case, you may benefit from sleep supplements – for example, melatonin. It has numerous health benefits, including better sleep, but you should still consult a health professional before taking it.
Read more: Improve Your Sleep Using An iPhone
Learn how your biological clock or circadian rhythm tunes physiology, metabolism and brain function. Dr. Satchin Panda’s research shows thousands of genes in every cell turn on and off at specific times of the day. This gene orchestra dictates the optimum times for everything from athletic performance, shaving, taking medicine to cramming for an exam.
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