It is possible to slide into an uncomfortable sleeping schedule that leaves you struggling to fall asleep on time or get out of bed in the morning. Regardless of your problem, you need to take practical steps to restore yourself to a healthy sleeping pattern and allow your body to get the rest it needs.
Below are some of the tips you can use:
Change Your Bedtime Gradually
If the main goal is to sleep earlier than usual, the best way is to gradually scale back the time you go to bed until you come to your ideal time. This is because, according to Rafael Pelayo, MD, clinical professor at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, it is generally easier to delay sleep time than to bring it forward. This means it is easier to stay up for an extra hour each time than to retire to bed earlier. However, you will need to be patient with yourself or seek the necessary guidance from a physician as you make these adjustments.
If you want to sleep earlier, Dr. Pelayo advises taking it slowly and in small increases while also avoiding adjusting more than 15 minutes earlier than every two or three days. In addition, you should not nap, as this will leave you feeling tired or disrupt your sleep when you need it most. According to Pelayo, exercising is considered better than taking a nap. Physical exercise helps drive out sleepiness until later, when you can then sleep without interruptions.
Consistency Is Key
It would be best if you did not sleep in; seek to wake up at the same time every day. Ensure you have a fixed time to get up if you are to enjoy an effective sleep schedule. It is best to invest in a dependable alarm clock and avoid the snooze button all the time. Pelayo notes that the clocks in our heads require some form of instructions to achieve this consistency. The human mind expects us to wake up around the same time each day, regardless of whether we are on holiday or travelling across time zones. Altering the time we wake up sends the wrong instructions to the brain and puts it off its rhythm.
Once you’ve mastered a good sleeping and waking pattern, stick to it as closely as possible. This is because a single late night is enough to interrupt the real progress you could have achieved. To put it another way, predictability is critical for quality sleep.
Exposure To Light
It is best to avoid exposing your eyes to light before you go to sleep. According to research, exposure to evening light significantly alters your body clock, forcing it to use a different pattern. Ideally, when the light reaches the brain, it alerts you to wake up. To sleep earlier, avoid exposing yourself to bright and outdoor lights (including light from devices like computers, TV screens, and mobile phones) and keep the light in your room extremely low.
Do Not Exercise Close To Bedtime
Daytime activity has been known to help people sleep better. Nonetheless, working out too close to bedtime can affect your sleep pattern. Physical exercise makes sleeping harder by keeping the brain and the body active and increasing the rate of blood flow and body temperature. According to research, evening exercises can boost your sleep quality, provided the exercise is not done within the hour just before bedtime.
However, an individual’s body type may determine how one responds to physical workouts. if you must work late in the evening, consider doing low-to-medium intensity exercises to maintain low body activity and allow your body to cool down more quickly at the end of the exercise session.
Avoid Eating Heavy Meals Just Before Bedtime
It would be best if you avoided snacks with high sugar levels to prevent raising your blood sugar levels. Also, do not take caffeine, nicotine, and other similar forms of body stimulants. Equally, foods with a lot of spices or acid may cause heartburn or acid reflux and stop you from sleeping well at night. If you need to eat anything, consider taking a small snack such as kiwis, tart cherries, or similar foods that improve your sleeping pattern.
Ensure You Relax Well Before Bedtime
Look for ways to unwind before you go to bed. Some of the most effective ways to relax include taking a warm bath, listening to good music, or any other activity that helps you relax. Additionally, ensure your bed is comfy, your bedroom is dark, and the temperature is ideal. The sleeping conditions must be suitable to make you look forward to sleep. Discover which mattress to buy at Mattress Firm. According to Pelayo, sleeping should not be a difficult task for anyone.
Enjoy Enough Sunlight
Exposure to natural light is good for the body. When you are exposed to sunlight or any bright light, your brain gets the message that it is time to wake up, which sets the pace for the rest of the day. It also enables your body to feel sleepy when the time to go to bed has reached. However, you can always use the special indoor light if you cannot go outside or there is no sunlight getting to you.
Consult Your Healthcare Professional
We cannot downplay the importance of sleep in our everyday and long-term health; a lack of enough sleep causes many health issues. Indeed, you need the right solution if your sleep schedule disrupts your work. Moreover, it is best to consult a medical expert if the above tips have not helped you adjust comfortably. Luckily, there are healthcare providers available to help you sleep better. Your healthcare provider can refer you to a sleep specialist if they do not offer such medical help.