How to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule


How to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

It is possible to retrain your body to crave an earlier bedtime and morning wake-up.

There is a reason why we typically feel sleepy at the same time each night and why, if we don't use an alarm, we usually awaken at the same time each morning. Our bodies tend to want to adhere to regular sleep schedules, which is important for getting the high-quality sleep we require. This is true as long as we aren't staying up all night or traveling across several time zones.

Individual differences in our sleep patterns can be attributed in large part to the environmental cues we give our bodies, such as when we set our alarms, when we are most active during the day, when we eat, and when we allow ourselves to fall asleep.

We can send our bodies signals to change our sleep schedules because our bodies respond to the signals, we give them ("It's not time to go to bed yet; there's another episode of [insert whatever show you're currently bingeing here] queued up!"). just because you have a habit of going to bed at two in the morning. m. doesn't mean you can't do something about it!

You'll need to reset your body clock if you actually want to get your sleep schedule back on track. Our body clocks control our circadian rhythms, which are patterns of physiological, psychological, and behavioral changes, including sleep patterns, that are influenced by body temperature, hormone secretion, and environmental factors like light and darkness.

According to Rochelle Zozula, PhD, a sleep specialist and owner of Sleep Services International in Bridgewater, New Jersey, our body's master clock is situated in a region of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which receives light information from the retina in the eye and sends the information to other parts of the brain, including the gland that releases the sleep-signaling hormone melatonin. Light inhibits the melatonin production, which is crucial for the onset of sleep, according to her.

This means that the light signals you send to your brain, whether they come from natural light or from glowing computer and smartphone screens, are some of the key factors that can either keep your sleep schedule on track, get it back on track, or significantly throw it off.


The Reasons Why Our Sleep Schedules Diverge

Our body clocks, which regulate our sleep cycles, are light-sensitive, so factors like how much sunlight we receive during the day and the types of light we are exposed to at night have an impact on our sleep patterns.

As a result of our bodies' internal clocks telling us to sleep at different times than we are asking them to, activities like crossing time zones or staying up much later than usual can also disrupt our sleep patterns.

Additionally, because their body clocks operate on a different schedule than what they're allowing their bodies to follow, people who work rotating shifts, such as truck drivers or overnight workers, frequently struggle to get enough sleep.

It's problematic because over time, that misalignment has been found to be linked to several chronic health issues, including sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder, among others. On a daily basis, having a misaligned body clock and sleep schedule can lead to poor sleep quality (and you not getting the sleep you need) the Privacy Statement and the Conditions of Use.

Even having a seriously off-kilter body clock and sleep schedule is regarded as a sleep disorder. Adults who have advanced sleep phase disorder, which causes them to go to bed early starting at 6 p.m., make up about 1% of the population. m. to 9 p. m. between 1 and 2 a.m., and get up early. m. and 5 a. m.

Others, particularly younger individuals, may experience the opposite, known as delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), which is characterized by extremely late bedtimes and early rises. It may affect up to 15% of teenagers, according to estimates.

According to Zozula, DSPS is a circadian rhythm disorder that causes people to be unable to go to sleep at the time they would like to (typically several hours later) and to wake up at the time they would like. "A person with DSPS may be forced to wake up earlier than usual and defy their natural circadian tendency due to the person's daytime obligations. This may result in persistent sleep deprivation, subpar work, and depression.


12 Tips for Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule

Here are 12 strategies to help you get some shut-eye again.


1. Get the Light Just Right

Planning your exposure to light is one of the best ways to improve your sleep pattern.

The hormone that helps you sleep, melatonin, is stopped by light exposure in the brain. You become awake and alert as a result of this.

You feel sleepy because darkness signals your brain to produce more melatonin.

Exposing yourself to light in the morning can aid in waking up. Consider opening the curtains, going for a stroll, or lounging on the porch.

Prepare for sleep at night by turning off or dimmering bright lights. As glowing electronic screens from computers, smartphones, or televisions can stimulate your brain for several hours, you should avoid using them.


2. Relaxation is a Good Thing

You may sleep better if you schedule some downtime.

Your body produces more cortisol, the stress hormone, when you're anxious or under stress. You feel more awake when your cortisol levels are higher.

By establishing a calming bedtime routine, stress and its detrimental effects on sleep may be lessened.

Put your attention on relaxing activities like:

• Consuming Caffeine-free Tea

• Flexibility

• In-depth Inhalation

• Mindfulness

• Writing in a Journal

• Yoga


3. Take No Naps

Avoid taking daytime naps if your sleep schedule is off. It may be challenging to fall asleep again at night after a nap.  Long naps may also result in drowsiness because you're waking up from a deep sleep.

If you must nap, try to keep it to under 30 minutes. Preferably, you should nap before 3 p.m. m. so as not to disturb your sleep at night.


4. Exercise Regularly

Exercise regularly is one way to rewind your biological clock.

Your biological clock is connected to the majority of your tissues, including skeletal muscle. Therefore, muscle responds to exercise by bringing your circadian rhythm into alignment.

By encouraging the production of melatonin, exercise also improves your quality of sleep.

Exercise for 30 minutes that is moderately aerobic may help you sleep better that night. But consistent exercise will yield the best results. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five times a week at the very least.

Exercise in the evening may overstimulate your body, so keep that in mind. If you want to work out at night, do it at least one to two hours before bed.


5. Prevent Noise

For a restful night's sleep, a quiet bedroom is a necessity.

Even as you sleep, your brain is still processing sounds. It may be challenging to fall or stay asleep if there are loud, disturbing noises.

Keep your television out of the bedroom and turn it off before bed to eliminate loud noises. Use the "silent" setting on your phone or turn it off.

White noise can improve your ability to sleep if you live in a busy area.

White noise is a calming, steady sound that blocks out background noise. Utilizing a will allow you to make white noise.

• A humidifier

• A noise-generating device

• Air cleaner

• An air conditioner

• Earplugs are another option for muting outside noise

• Fan


6. Remain Calm

Your body temperature decreases just before bedtime as a sleep preparation.

You'll feel more at ease and fall asleep in a bedroom that is cool, between 60 and 67°F (15 and 19°C).

One study from the National Institutes of Health found that one of the most crucial elements in getting quality sleep is the temperature of the bedroom.

You should set your thermostat to a temperature between 54°F (12°C) and 75°F (24°C) to avoid having trouble sleeping.

In addition, you can use a space heater in colder weather or an air conditioner or fan in warmer weather. In addition, they produce white noise, which is a bonus.


7. Be at Ease

The ideal sleeping space for a restful night's sleep is a comfortable bed.

It can be challenging to get a good night's sleep if your pillow and mattress are too old.

Generally speaking, experts advise changing your pillows and mattress every two years and every ten years, respectively.

Additionally, if you experience morning stiffness or prefer to sleep in a bed away from home, you should purchase a new mattress or pillow.

You decide how firm you want your pillows and mattresses to be. However, it's time for a replacement if your mattress is sagging and your pillows are lumpy.


8. Eat Breakfast

Your eating habits affect your circadian rhythm as well. Eat your last meal two to three hours prior to going to bed as a late dinner can keep you up all night. Your body will have ample time to digest the meal as a result.

Your body will become accustomed to a routine if you eat dinner at roughly the same time each day.

What you eat is important, too. Because they take a while to digest, heavy, high-fat meals may make it difficult to fall asleep.

Eat a small snack if you're hungry. Carbohydrates and protein together with carbohydrates like wheat toast and almond butter make for the best sleep-inducing foods.

Try to stay away from caffeinated beverages like energy drinks, coffee, and tea. Have your final cup of coffee before midday because caffeine is a stimulant that takes several hours to leave your system.

It's also best to avoid alcohol right before bed. While a nightcap may make you feel sleepy, alcohol actually throws off your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep.


9. Continually Do It

Making a schedule first is beneficial if you want to improve your sleep.

Decide on a time for bed and waking up. Even on weekends and holiday days, keep to these hours. Attempt to limit how late you stay up or how long you snooze.

Your internal clock can learn a new routine by adhering to a set schedule. You'll eventually be able to do both effortlessly.


10. Attempt Fasting

Your body's internal clock recognizes when you eat and digest food as being awake. That's because there are connections between circadian rhythm and metabolism.

While fasting, on the other hand, puts your body on "standby" so that it can heal itself. Fasting is a typical aspect of sleep.

Consider skipping meals right before bed. Fasting can aid in falling asleep because it naturally occurs while you sleep.

Furthermore, even while you sleep, your body continues to burn calories. You're more likely to wake up hungry if you fast before bed. This might encourage you to get up earlier, then over the following few days, go back to your regular sleeping hours.

But keep in mind that eating right before bed can keep you awake. If you aren't already hungry, fasting might be beneficial.


11. Think About Melatonin

As was already mentioned, the hormone melatonin controls your sleep cycle.

The pineal gland in the brain produces melatonin normally, but it can also be purchased as a supplement. People with jet lag or insomnia frequently use it as a sleep aid because it can promote relaxation.

Melatonin is generally regarded as safe when taken at the recommended dosage. The directions must always be followed.

The following are possible side effects.

• A headache

• Lightheadedness

• Nausea

• Sleepiness

Consult your doctor before using melatonin if you're taking any other medications or have any other medical issues.


12. Consult Your Physician

Occasionally experiencing sleep issues is common.

Usually, altering your habits or behaviors will allow you to get back into your routine. Visit your doctor, though, if your sleep issues don't improve.

Untreated sleep disorders may exist in you. In that case, a sleep expert can direct you toward the right course of action.


Final Thought

Work shifts, all-nighters, and jet lag can disrupt your sleep cycle. Thankfully, maintaining a good sleep routine can help you get back on track.

Avoid bright lights and large meals right before bed. Make sure the space where you sleep is peaceful, quiet, and cool. Stay active throughout the day and avoid taking naps to improve your quality of sleep.

Visit your physician if you are still having trouble falling asleep.

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