Having a sleep schedule is key to ensuring you get quality rest every night. However, we understand that you have many different priorities and sometimes you can’t get to bed at the same time every night. Whether you’re a parent, a business person, or you’ve just started your own business, there are a million reasons why you may not have a dedicated sleep schedule.
Unfortunately, not having a good sleep schedule means you probably aren’t getting the sleep you need to feel well-rested the next day. If you keep waking up in the middle of the night or can’t seem to fall asleep at night, there’s something wrong with your sleep schedule. Here are tips to build the best nightly routine to fix your sleep schedule.
Understanding sleep can help you build better nighttime habits. As you may already know, your sleep is regulated by something called a circadian rhythm, also known as your body’s internal clock, that informs your body and mind about when it’s time to start winding down.
If your circadian rhythm gets disrupted, you can lose out on quality sleep, which can ultimately impact every aspect of your life, including your mental and physical wellbeing. Most adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours, but everyone is different. Many people function perfectly fine for six hours, while others might need ten hours of sleep to feel their best. When you sleep, your mind has cycles that range from light sleep or deep REM sleep, and each cycle lasts around 90 minutes.
You may have heard about the REM phase because it’s the phase of sleep when you’re able to dream. Waking up during the middle of deep sleep can cause you to feel tired all day long, so it’s essential to get the right number of hours of sleep each night to prevent yourself from waking up at the wrong time.
Uncover Sleep Disruptors
Everything from anxiety to working out too late at night can disrupt your sleep cycle. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out what’s causing you to get less sleep or lower quality sleep. If you can’t figure out the cause of your sleep disruptions, consider any changes you’ve had in your life lately. For example, if you were assigned a new project at work, it might be causing you to stress even when you don’t realize it. While you can’t change your job duties, you can start to figure out ways to manage your stress better.
When trying to teach yourself to go to bed at the same time every night, it can be difficult to help your mind wind down. You can use sleep vitamins and supplements to support better sleep and help you wind down at the end of the night. For example, melatonin is available in supplement form to help with sleep problems, so you can use it to help start training your mind when it’s time to start winding down.
Consider Your Mattress
Mattresses are a common culprit when it comes to poor sleep quality. If you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re waking up with aches and pains, consider the last time you purchased a new mattress. Mattresses should be replaced every seven to ten years, depending on the material they’re made of and how often they’re used. However, if you have a spring mattress, you may have to replace it more often as the springs get worn or break.
If you find your mattress is no longer comfortable, consider getting a new one that can help support your body’s proper alignment to ensure you don’t wake up with aches and pains or have poor sleep quality.
Have a Routine
Nighttime routines can help you calm down before bed so when you finally hit the sheets you can fall right asleep. If you’ve ever tried to go to bed after spending a night out with friends, you may find you still have energy from all the mental and physical stimulation you had. Having a routine, which can consist of a nightly beauty routine, brushing your teeth, and even preparing your sheets, can help you train your mind that it’s time to start getting tired. A routine is not only great for your sleep but can also help improve your satisfaction in life.
When you have a cold or flu, you may have difficulty falling asleep for many reasons, including a stuffy nose. However, being in overall good health can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night because it allows your body to function properly. Engaging in healthy habits, including eating fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise can help you feel more alert during the day while promoting better sleep at night.
If you enjoy a mid-afternoon nap, it could be causing you to stay up later at night. When you nap, your body gets a second jolt of energy, which can keep you up for hours at night. By changing your sleep schedule, you may feel tired during the day. However, in this case, being tired is a good thing because it means you’ll be able to fall asleep faster when it’s finally time for bed.
Stop Checking Your Phone
The last thing many people do before falling asleep is check their phones for notifications, texts, emails, or anything they might have missed on social media. However, your phone emits blue light, which can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. If you’ve ever gotten ready for bed and decided to check your phone only to find yourself awake at three in the morning, you know what we’re talking about. Instead of checking your phone before bed, check it for the final time a few hours before bed to prevent any distractions that can disrupt your sleep.
Not everyone needs a long nightly routine to fix their sleep schedule; some people just need to make a few lifestyle changes that can reduce the time it takes for them to fall asleep at night. Meanwhile, others might need to start winding down a few hours before their bedtime to ensure they can fall asleep and get a full night’s rest.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, or financial tips. During her free time she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.