A good sleeping pattern is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, there are a lot of ways that can end up getting disrupted. Stress could keep you awake and staring at the ceiling each night, a trip abroad might throw your internal clock out of balance, even a party could cause sleep deprivation issues.
So what do you do if, for any reason, you’re suddenly not getting the consistently high quality of sleep that your body needs? The good news is that there are various steps people can take to get their sleep schedule routine back on track.
- Get Plenty of Natural Light
One of the easiest and most effective ways to fix any sleep schedule is to improve the when and how of your exposure to sunlight. When you expose your eyes to natural light, your brain stops producing the hormone responsible for sleep, melatonin. Darkness tells your brain that it’s almost time for sleep, which means that it begins to produce melatonin and other hormones. However, light can help with producing cortisol – the stuff that keeps you focused.
Going outside for a walk in the sun first thing in the morning is a great way to get your sleep cycle on track. It can mean that you get some much-needed exercise too!
- Learn How to Relax
Sometimes, you need to work hard at creating a perfect environment for sleep. If you’re struggling with stress at work or you’re having a hard time with your relationships, then learning some relaxation techniques could help you a lot.
Try adding a session of yoga into your daily routine or use an app on your phone to go through a guided period of meditation. Even just taking a hot bath or drinking a relaxing non-caffeinated tea could make a huge difference.
- Avoid Taking Naps
If your sleep schedule is problematic, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to take a nap during the day to help rid of your tiredness. However, napping can make it even more difficult to get back into a healthy routine.
Long naps are more likely to cause grogginess, which means that you still struggle to get through the rest of your day. If you can’t avoid taking a nap, try making sure that you only sleep for about 20 minutes at a time. This should help to stop you from entering the deeper stages of sleep.
- Get Plenty of Exercises
Another great way to reset your internal clock is to improve the amount of exercise you get into your routine. All of the muscular tissue throughout your body is linked to your biological clock. That means working out supports the development of healthy circadian rhythm.
Exercise also improves your chances of a good night’s sleep by increasing melatonin production during the evening. Just remember, it’s a good idea to avoid any exercise that will get your heart pumping too hard when you’re close to your bedtime, as this could make it even harder to sleep.
- Plan When to Eat
Finally, remember that your circadian rhythm also responds to when you eat. Eating a large meal too close to your bedtime can make it harder for you to fall asleep because your body is busy digesting. Because of this, it’s essential to eat your last meal of the day at least a few hours before you go to bed. Eating dinner at the same time every day will also help you to develop a routine.
Also, heavy and high-fat meals can disrupt sleep more because they take longer to digest. If you’re hungry before bed, make sure that you stick to light snacks, and avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.