Adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night for both their physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s crucial that they obtain sufficient sleep every night.
Developing a sound sleep schedule is one of the best methods to encourage regular sleep. The mind and body get used to a routine that includes lots of high-quality sleep by adhering to a regular schedule and good sleeping practices.
Unfortunately, a lot of things can mess up a sleep schedule. When that occurs, bedtimes and wake-up hours might change drastically, and a person may alternate between having nights where they sleep too much and too little. This kind of inconsistent sleep can be resolved by learning how to reset your sleep schedule.
Why Is a Sleep Schedule Important?
Humans are sometimes referred to as “creatures of habit”1 because we develop distinct behavioural patterns via repeated exposure to particular cues and actions. Routines may make many elements of daily living, including sleeping, almost automatic.
It’s simpler to consistently obtain the sleep you require when you actively cultivate a good sleep pattern. By establishing routines and cues that encourage sleep, it becomes normal to do so and to sleep through the night. As the practice is repeated more often, it becomes stronger, resulting in more consistent sleep patterns over time.
What is circadian rhythm?
Your sleep cycle is primarily influenced by your circadian rhythm. A 24-hour cycle is a feature of the body’s biological clock. The complex balancing act between sleep and wakefulness must be managed by circadian rhythm3, which makes us alert or sleepy when it’s appropriate.
How Can a Sleep Schedule Get Disrupted?
Numerous factors can disrupt circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, including jet lag, shift work, artificial light exposure, advanced or delayed sleep timing, fluctuating sleep hours, caffeine and energy drinks and stress and emotional disruptions.
How to fix your sleep cycle?
A good sleep routine consists of several different components. Creating a regular sleep routine is a good place to start, but there are other things you can do to get the rest you require
For your sleep regimen to be successful, good sleep hygiene is crucial. Making sure that your daily routines and sleeping environment are beneficial to sleep is a vital component of good sleep hygiene:
Daily exposure to natural light can help your body’s internal clock become more synchronized7 because daylight has such a significant impact on your circadian rhythm.
Reduce artificial lighting at night Leaving the lights on all night can make it difficult for your body to go from awake to asleep. To reduce the brightness of interior lighting, try using a dimmer or a low-wattage lamp.
Reduce screen time in the evening Cell phones and other gadgets generate blue light, which can interfere with circadian timing and are sources of excessive mental stimulation. Try to avoid using your phone, tablet, or laptop for at least an hour before bed to avoid the detrimental effects of screen time on sleep.
Become physically active Regular exercise is important for your heart health as well as your sleep. You don’t have to be a triathlon to reap these advantages; even modest exercise like taking a stroll can be healthy and provide you with plenty of exposure to natural light. If you’re going to exercise vigorously, attempt to finish at least an hour before going to bed.
Establish a bedtime routine Routines can benefit psychologically from consistent inputs. Because of this, make an effort to follow the same routine every night before bed, such as lowering the lights, reading quietly or stretching, donning pajamas, and brushing your teeth.
Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine Both substances can interfere with a regular sleep schedule. As the night wears on, alcohol makes you tired but disrupts your sleep cycle, making you more prone to awakenings and poorer-quality sleep. Caffeine keeps you restless and awake and might remain in your system, making it difficult to get to sleep at night. So it’s recommended to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon and evening.
If you’re facing significant trouble sleeping, discuss the best method to fix your sleep schedule with your primary care doctor. A doctor may advise therapies to change your sleep schedule depending on the reasons behind your sleep problems.