Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock, it makes you feel full of energy when you wake up in the morning and sleepy at 11 pm. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is vital to your overall health and wellbeing.
If your internal rhythm is out of wack from traveling, medication, unusual work/study schedule, it can be re-tuned and reset. Here, we go into why a healthy sleep schedule is important and tips on resetting circadian rhythm.
Your sleep schedule is regulated by the hormone, melatonin
What Is a Sleep Schedule and Why Is it Important?
Your sleep schedule is regulated by the hormone, melatonin. As day turns to night, your body releases the sleepy hormone into your system to alert you that it’s almost time to call it a day and hit the hay. Conversely, the bright sunlight in the morning tells your body it’s time to get out of bed and prepare for the day ahead.
A consistent sleep schedule is important because rest and recuperation are vital to your physical health and well being. Sleep deprivation can lead to mental health issues or physical health problems. Sleep is when your body repairs itself, stores memories, and replenishes your immune system. A lack of sleep or distorted sleep schedule, upsets the delicate sleep/repair balance, leading to dis-ease.
Sleep deprivation is known to cause heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and many mental health issues that can severely impact your quality of life
Your Sleep Schedule and Mental Health
Sleep deprivation is known to cause heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and many mental health issues that can severely impact your quality of life. A prolonged lack of sleep can also exacerbate these issues so you’re trapped in a vicious circle.
Stress can also play a role in sleep deprivation, tossing and turning issues over in your mind at night can have you tossing and turning in bed as you struggle to fall asleep. Your day time activities suffer as you’ve not had adequate rest the night before, leading to more stress and more restless nights. However, it is possible to gain relief again if you reset sleep schedule.
Your Sleep Schedule and Weight
Researchers at Brigham Young University found that less than 6.5 hours of sleep per night is linked to having a higher level of body fat. High quality sleep is linked to lower body fat along with a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Therefore, maintaining a regular bedtime and wakeup time could keep you slim.
Your Sleep Schedule and Period
Many women report a disturbed sleep pattern around ovulation and menstruation as hormones fluctuate. A study by the Sleep Foundation found that 30% of women reported disturbed sleep during menstruation and 23% in the week before menstruation. Along with lack of sleep, physical symptoms of headaches, depression, tender breasts, cramps, and nausea were felt by many. Two in 10 felt this lack of sleep impacted their daily activities and half of the participants reported feeling moody, angry or sad from a bad night’s sleep.
What Is a Healthy Sleep Schedule?
A healthy sleep schedule consists of;
- Going to bed at roughly the same time every night
- Falling asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed
- Enjoying 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep
- Waking up in the morning feeling rested and happy
- Feeling energized throughout the day
The best way to reset sleep schedule If you work at night and sleep during the day is to keep a regular bedtime and wake time, put blackout blinds or curtains in your bedroom. A dark bedroom is pivotal in resetting sleep schedule.
Don’t know how much sleep you need? Check out our REM Sleep Calculator here.
Why Do I Have a Messed Up Sleep Schedule?
There are many instances when you’ll hear your loved ones say ‘my sleep schedule is so messed up, I’m hardly sleeping’. They could be a student, cramming for an important test, an engrossed gamer, or shift worker. There are also times when illness and medication play a role in a messed up sleep schedule.
Traveling to another time zone can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule too, along with stressful workdays and an impending project. Life can throw so much at you that your rest is disturbed and the only resolution is to reset sleep cycle.
the best way to reset sleep schedule is to set a regular bedtime and waketime
How to Reset Your Sleep Schedule
It’s tempting to throw your body down after work but that’s the worst thing you can do. By avoiding that cat nap, you’ll reset body clock by not sleeping until bedtime. Unfortunately, that after work snooze will have you staring at the ceiling all night. Resist the lure of the nap and to help reset sleep schedule.
Stick to Going to Bed and Waking Up at the Same Time
If sleep is evading you, the best way to reset sleep schedule is to set a regular bedtime and waketime. Going to bed at the same time every night (even on your days off) helps your internal body clock recalibrate. The first few nights may be challenging but you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get used to a new sleep schedule.
Avoid Eating Right Before Bed
If you’re about to get into bed and realize you’re peckish, eat a small banana or small bowl of oats. The digestion process requires energy, sleeping while your body is digesting a big meal could promote acid reflux or heartburn.
Create a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime ritual could be taking a hot shower, listening to relaxing music, reading a book, or writing in your journal. A chill activity that soothes your mind and body before bed aids a more satisfying night’s sleep.
Use Bright Lights in the Morning
Bright light in the morning alerts your body to rise and shine. If you need to get up before the sun, a dawn simulator alarm clock could give you that much-needed boost in the morning. Open your curtains a little before bed so the morning light can stream in.
Caffeine is a stimulant and therefore best not taken in the evening. If you’re craving a hot drink, herbal tea with a little honey is soothing and tasty.
Invest in a Comfortable Mattress
A comfortable mattress and pillow are crucial to your sleep comfort. Choose a pressure relieving mattress that will align the spine and cradle the sensitive hip and shoulder areas. If your mattress is almost ten years old or it’s impossible to find a comfortable sleep position, consider upgrading your mattress to initiate a new era of sleep hygiene and comfort.
How to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule for Travel
Traveling to a different time zone can disrupt your internal body clock and give you the dreaded jet lag. Follow these tips to make the transition easier.
- Adjust your sleep schedule a few days before traveling to match your destination time zone
- When traveling, drink lots of water and don’t sleep on the plane
- Set your watch to destination time as soon as you board
- Melatonin can be used to help you sleep if you’re struggling the first few nights
- Bring your own pillow and sleep mask
How to Adjust to a New Sleep Schedule: Tips
If you’re having a difficult time, suffering insomnia and not finding adequate rest, the best way to reset sleep schedule is to;
- Don’t take naps, push through and wait until bedtime
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime, opt for herbal tea
- Find a nighttime routine that makes you feel relaxed; reading, journaling, hot bath, or listening to music
- Consider upgrading your mattress to a more pressure relieving and comfortable alternative
The healthiest option for resetting circadian rhythm is to keep a consistent bed/wake time. A reset sleep cycle all nighter is to be avoided as this is not a healthy approach to resetting your internal clock. Your quality of sleep affects every aspect of your life, including your health. Therefore, a restful night is crucial to your physical health and mental wellbeing.
How to Reset Your Sleep Schedule
Resetting your sleep schedule is easily done. Keep a consistent bedtime every night, even if you don’t feel tired and get out of bed at the same time every morning, even if you feel sleepy. The first few days may be challenging but you’ll soon adjust to the new routine and will have more restful sleep for it.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule in One Night
A reset sleep cycle all nighter is not the best way to fix a troubled sleep schedule. A more healthy approach is to start going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Avoid day time naps and enjoy some exercise every day to help you sleep better at night.
How to Reset Your Internal Clock
Resetting sleep schedule healthily is best done by amending any bad sleep hygiene habits. Avoid using electronics in the bedroom, enjoy a good book or some relaxing music before bed, avoid caffeine in the evening, and go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
How to Reset Your Body Clock Fast
To reset your body clock fast, avoid day time naps, go to bed at the same time every night and clean up your sleep hygiene. Enjoy a hot shower before bed, write in your journal, or read a book, keep electronic devices out of your bedroom and get out of bed the same time every morning.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night you can easily get your internal body clock back on track. Start by enjoying some gentle exercise every day, go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunchtime, drink herbal tea instead, and keep electronics out of the bedroom.