How to reset your sleep cycle
In a previous blog, we explored why it is important to get enough sleep, how much sleep is enough and what a typical sleep cycle is. Today we look at how to reset your sleep cycle …
Each of us has our own circadian cycle – the internal biological process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. Following consistent sleep patterns is key to getting the high quality sleep you need.
For now though, here are our top ten tips for getting your sleep cycle back on track.
1. Adjust your bedtime, but be patient
Generally, it’s easier to go to sleep later than earlier. So, if you’re aiming to go to sleep earlier, try slowly scaling back your bedtime by 15 minutes each night until you are at the bedtime you want to be at.
2. Do not nap, even if you feel tired
Try exercising instead. Keep the need to sleep for later.
3. Do not sleep in
Being consistent is important in maintaining a functioning sleep schedule. Get up at the same time each morning. If you struggle with this, change your state of mind, find a reason to look forward to tomorrow with a sense of purpose.
4. Be strict about sticking to your sleep schedule
Once you have reached a workable bedtime and a consistent wake-up time, don’t allow yourself to deviate off the path. Even one late night can ruin progress. If you do – and, let’s face it, life does come along and present you with opportunities sometimes, the sooner you take action to get back on track, the better.
5. Avoid exposure to light before you want to sleep
Reducing household light exposure before bedtime is a simple and effective step towards reducing circadian misalignment. When possible, bright and outdoor light close to bedtime, including light from screens, and keep your surroundings dim at night.
6. Avoid eating or exercising too close to bedtime
Exercise can wake you up and food can give you heartburn, which could keep you up. Avoid stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
7. Set the mood and create a relaxing bedtime routine
Focus on taking a warm bath and playing some relaxing music before bedtime. Make sure your bed is comfortable and your room is dark and cool.