Getting good sleep is an important part of living a happy, healthy, and productive life. Unfortunately, over 10% of American adults are getting insufficient sleep every single night.
When you’re in a cycle of poor sleep hygiene, you might think, “I can’t figure out how to fix my sleep schedule.” You might long for better sleep but feel helpless when, night after night, you’re still tossing and turning and waking up in the morning feeling exhausted.
Improving your sleep won’t happen immediately, but there are steps you can commit to that could help over time.
Read on to learn five tips that you should try to fix your sleep schedule for good.
1. Stick to a Schedule Seven Days a Week
When you can’t seem to fall asleep or stay asleep, consistency is important. It’s tempting to stay up later on the weekends, but doing so throws your internal sleep clock off, making it harder to sleep on weekdays. If you go to bed at 10 PM on weeknights, do your best to go to bed at 10 PM on weekends, too.
2. Work Slowly Toward an Earlier Wakeup Time
If your goal is to wake up earlier without feeling groggy, make incremental changes. Making a sudden drastic change is going to leave you feeling drained all day, which can leave you feeling wired at night. Adjust your morning alarm by fifteen minutes each week, rather than an hour or two all at once.
3. Work on Your Daily Stress Levels
The relationship between stress and lack of sleep is closer than you might think. Lack of sleep can leave you more emotionally volatile, while higher stress levels can increase your chances of developing insomnia or other sleep disorders. If you’re experiencing stress, try:
- meeting with a therapist
- practicing meditation and mindfulness
- journaling about your thoughts and emotions
You can even keep a journal next to your bed to jot down stressful thoughts that keep you awake at night. Oftentimes, writing down what’s causing stress can allow you to let it go, at least temporarily.
4. Put Down Your Phone and Pick Up a Book
It’s no secret that we’re all attached to technology these days, and it’s easier than ever to bring that technology into the bedroom. The truth is that the blue light emitted by computers, tablets, and cell phones actually interferes with our internal clock, causing our brains and bodies to think it’s earlier in the day than it is. If you’re not someone who can lay down and fall asleep right away, consider spending 30 to 60 minutes before bed reading (and make sure that the book isn’t so interesting that it keeps you up).
5. Get More Exercise
Exercising in the first half of the day can help you regulate your body’s ability to release the right neurochemicals at the right times. For example, releasing serotonin early in your day through exercise can help to lower cortisol (your stress hormone) and increase serotonin. People who exercise often also tend to have better deep sleep, which is a crucial part of feeling rested in the morning.
How to Fix My Sleep Schedule: Commit to These Tips
If you’re often thinking to yourself, “I wish I knew how to fix my sleep schedule,” you’re in the right place. Use these five tips to get started. By sticking to them consistently for several weeks, you’ll start to improve your sleep and feel more rested.
Looking for more ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing? Take a look around as we talk about the latest medical news and holistic approaches to health.