If you’re the typical sleeper, you’ll find it hard to get up in the morning. Instead, you’ll cognitively shuffle through the bedside table to reach for the snooze button when the alarm goes off. Conversely, you’ll find it almost impossible to fall asleep at night. If this happens, the chances are that your sleeping routine is out of balance, and your internal body clock is disrupted.
Why Does a Sleep Routine Matter?
As humans, we all function better on a routine. Whether it’s getting up and going to bed at fixed times or having fixed hours of sleep or doing a specific day’s work in a specific time, patterns keep our body clock on balance and adapt us to particular actions.
A good sleep routine fosters consistency in sleeping habits, enabling high-quality and stable sleep. Habits that make it easier to sleep also quicken the sleeping process. This way, you won’t have to count the sheep on the ceiling before sleep knocks you out. A good sleep routine also synchronizes your internal clock, known as the Circadian Rhythm, so that your body produces sleep hormones at the right time you’re scheduled for bed.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
Circadian rhythm is a mental, physical, and behavioral change following a 24-hour clock cycle, and it immensely influences your sleeping routine and habits. It also helps your body balance the ideal time to stay awake and switch to sleep mode faster.
The circadian rhythm synchronizes your surroundings to your internal body timers and is more psychological. Exposure to ambient natural light during the day programs your brain to stay awake, and the opposite is true when the light recedes. Therefore, a well contemporized circadian rhythm influences high-quality sleep, which often knocks you out in no time once you get on the bed.
Why Do Our Sleep Schedules Get Off Track?
A significant shift in daily behavior affects sleep tremendously and gets it off track. Thus, it deranges our sleeping routine and thwarts balancing the time to wake up and resist snoozing off your alarm. Here is why your sleep schedule gets thrown off track.
Stress invokes thoughts that keep your mind active and racy at the time you need to sleep. Therefore, you keep turning and tossing over the bed, hoping that it stops and you fall asleep. Stress solicits elevated brain activity, and sleep usually takes an eternity before it knocks you out.
Caffeine and Energy Drinks
Caffeine and energy drinks are active stimulants that keep your body hyper. Taking them right when you’re scheduled for bed will counter the sleep process and throw your sleep schedule off-track.
Scurrying across different time zones affects your circadian rhythm. Your internal body clock is forced to re-align with varying time zones and consequently disorients your average sleep balance. This disruption is common in most pilots traveling across countries with varied time zones.
If your boss keeps rescheduling your work shifts in a way that forces you to work interchangeably during the day and night, then it’s likely that your sleep schedule is disrupted. This disarrangement impedes your regular sleep routine and puts it off balance.
Inconsistent Sleep Hours
Having no ideal time to go to bed every day or a fixed time for waking up misaligns your sleeping routine. Fluctuating sleep hours is usually a result of unplanned activities that keep you up late into the night and way longer in bed past wake-up time.
Artificial Light Exposure
A highly lit ambiance disrupts your circadian rhythm, which keeps you awake. The body is programmed to keep off sleep in the presence of light, and if you manage to, it would likely be bumpier. Artificial lighting emanates from your table lamps and electronic gadgets that you might be using late into the night.
The choices you make that keep you up late in the night throw off your sleep routine. Choosing to binge-watch or study in the wee hours of the night keeps you up and disrupts your sleeping routine.
How to Adjust Your Sleep Routine
Consistency and discipline are the fundamental principles to help you reset your sleep routine. Setting up fixed times to go to bed and wake up – and stick to it – will play an essential role in adjusting your sleeping routine. Here are ways to adapt and reset your sleeping routine.
1. Cut Down on Caffeine and Energy Drinks
Caffeine is an active stimulant that escalates your brain and nervous system. Besides, it increases your cortisol and adrenaline circulation in your body. Energy drinks also hyper your body activity and entices you to engage in other involving activities. Sleeping in this sense feels irrelevant and forestalls your attempts to fall asleep. Therefore, try to time your coffee and tea routines at least six hours before your bedtime.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercises load your body with fatigue, such that you become drowsy faster and fall asleep. However, plan exercise routines long before bedtime because they increase your body activity and keep sleep at bay. If convenient, do light exercises, including stretching and yoga, before sleeping.
3. Initiate Soothing Sleeping Surroundings
Enticing surroundings help you fall asleep faster according to your sleep routine. If you find it hard to sleep, dim, or completely put off the lights, listen to soothing classical Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing” and sleep on a clean, cozy bed and pillows. However, don’t let this pacifying ambiance persuade you to snooze your alarm when it goes off in the morning.
4. Expose Yourself to Natural Light
If you want to adjust and maintain your sleep routine, you also need to wake up effortlessly. Do this by making your morning bright by opening your window to allow sufficient light, or go for a short morning run to expose yourself to sunlight. This technique will trick your internal clock into adjusting to daylight faster.
5. Resist Electronics
Electronics keep you up late into the night and disrupt your sleeping routine. If possible, keep them off your bedroom, as more challenging as it is. Electronics emit blue light that misaligns your sleeping routine are also detrimental to the health of your eyes.
6. Avoid Long Naps During the Day
Somnologists suggest that you sleep for less than thirty minutes if it forces you to do so during the day. Sleeping for extended periods registers in your brain that you’ve rested enough for the day, and it can be a challenge falling asleep at night. Eventually, it will disrupt your sleeping routine.
7. Stick to One Shift
If convenient, ask your boss to give you regular work shifts to program your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep routine. Randomly alternating day and night shifts disrupt your internal body clock and disorient your sleeping schedule.
Resetting your sleeping routine isn’t entirely rocketry but feasible. With discipline and consistency, re-tuning your daily habits to fit in adjustments in your sleeping schedule is possible.