Reset Your Sleep Schedule With These 10 Expert-Approved Strategies
Even if you keep yourself to a strict bedtime each night, there’s so much more to maintaining a good sleep schedule and achieving healthier sleep habits. Sleep patterns play a crucial role in how well-rested you may feel, especially over time — despite hitting a consistent amount of sleep every night (even within your recommended range), you can still find yourself feeling unprepared for busy schedules in the day ahead if you’re stuck in a late-night rut.
Sleep hygiene, or the collective steps to ensure you’re enjoying your best sleep on a regular basis, can look and feel very different for each individual based on one’s lifestyle. This usually depends on when you may need to be up and active or working, as well as when you eat meals; translating to a different sleep schedule and subsequent habits. In any case, your body is often relying on cues surrounding these daily routines in order to regulate what’s known as your internal circadian rhythm. Nestled in a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, your circadian rhythm is largely governed by the environment you’re in or by other cues in your surroundings, like a gradual shift from light to dark.
But issues involving hormones, body temperatures and metabolic influences may also impact your circadian cycle, even after just one night’s worth of disruptions or significant changes.
There are a few ways you can work to reverse any disturbance to your sleep schedule and be extra considerate of your circadian rhythm to set yourself up for better sleep tonight. Try troubleshooting your sleep schedule by doing a reset; follow along as we highlight proven tricks and tips for getting back to a good night’s sleep.
How to reset your sleep schedule:
If you’re trying to improve your sleep hygiene but don’t know where to start, try working your way through this list of proven tactics before moving on to other resources available to you.
Taking time to wind down in the hours leading up to sleep is indeed important. But often people who are experiencing disruptions to their sleep routine are in the midst of an overbearing schedule that extends throughout the entire day and into the evening. If you’re having trouble staying asleep at night, it may be due to a condition known as hyperarousal, explains Jade Wu, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University.
“It’s basically because your body and mind are too revved up,” she says. “The problem may be what you’re doing, or failing to do, during the day. You must make sure you have time to rest, instead of being on the go all day long.”
Being busy, either physically or through mental exhaustion, is an easy way to tire yourself out — but if you’re not building in periods of time to allow yourself to rest, this may lead to disrupted sleep functions later in the evening. This is especially true for people who are working right up until their bedtime; simply shutting off a computer or stopping chores and making a beeline for a dark bedroom doesn’t ensure immediate sleep.
A crucial tip is to be comfortable. An old mattress or a pillow can cause body aches, making it difficult to sleep well. Usually, you should change your mattress every ten years . If your mattress is saggy and pillows are lumpy, it’s time to get the new ones. Invest in good-quality beds or look for hybrid mattresses to experience enhanced comfort.
8. Eat Your Meals on Time
Your eating time also affects your sleep cycle. A late dinner can delay your sleep. Consider eating two or three hours before sleeping so that your body gets enough time to digest the meal.
9. Stick to a Routine
To build the best sleep schedule, it’s essential to follow a similar bedtime routine every day. Sleep and wake up at the same time and stick to that time every day, even on weekends .
By following a regular schedule or not changing sleep patterns, your internal body clock can develop a new routine . The first few days can be difficult, but you will sleep and wake up with ease after some days. It is the best way to reset a sleep schedule.
10. Visit a Doctor
Don’t panic if nothing works for you and still can’t go to sleep. Visiting a doctor may be the right answer sometimes. There are chances that you have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. If this is the case, a doctor will tell you how to fix a bad sleep schedule.
While trying to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, or if you’re trying to fall asleep earlier to reset your rhythm, it’s important to optimize your sleeping arrangements. This means creating a comfortable, relaxing environment in your bedroom. It also means making sure your mattress and bedding are comfortable.
Your body will typically regulate its daily rhythm based on factors like light exposure, meals and exercise as well as temperature and hormone levels. These indicators help your body know when it’s time to sleep at night and when to be awake during the day.
However, these rhythms can get thrown off course, resulting in symptoms that are less than desirable. Jet lag is one example of your circadian rhythm getting disturbed by travel, but your daily rhythm can be thrown off by night shifts and sleep disorders as well.
When should you be worried that your circadian rhythm is off? You should consider rectifying your sleep schedule if you’re unable to sleep when the sun sets and wake when the sun rises. You may want to consider seeing a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
There are many things that can mess with your sleep schedule. Luckily, practicing good sleep hygiene can help get you back on track. If you remember to stick to a schedule, avoid stimulants and heavy meals before bed, and stay active during the day, you should be able to sleep better at night.
You should also make sure your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet and cool. A Casper Original Mattress could be one step toward an improved sleep environment, because they’re built to trap heat and help you stay cool and comfortable while you’re sleeping. Set yourself up for success by choosing ultra-comfortable bedding too!