Sticking to a constant sleep routine is one of the main practices of proper sleep hygiene. By going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, your body will be able to adhere to its circadian rhythm. This means that you will be alert when you are supposed to and sleepy when it’s the right time to go to bed.
Having a fluctuating sleep pattern negatively affects your sleep quality yet it is something that happens quite often. You find that even if you promised yourself that you would be asleep at a certain time, there is always one thing or another that prevents you from doing so. Without further ado here are ways that can help you maintain your sleep schedule.
Construct A Suitable Bedtime Routine
You probably had a bedtime routine when you were younger and if you are a parent, you no doubt have one for your child. It’s not just important for the little ones. When you have a bedtime routine, your body adapts to it and then starts to wind down at a particular time.
Constructing it entails having some before-bed relaxing activities that will help your brain relax and you will be ready to sleep. Some of these activities include taking a warm bath, reading a book, journaling just to name a few. However, it’s important to make sure that you finish doing them right before your set time to sleep for them not to ruin your overall sleep schedule.
Having a bedtime routine is one thing. Constantly following it is another task. Always make sure you stick to that which you formulated. If it happens that there is something that is hindering you from doing so, try and adjust it so that your biological clock is not affected.
Check On Your Sleep Environment
How conducive is your sleep environment? This is an aspect that so many people overlook but the truth is it makes a great impact on your sleep schedule maintenance. For you to have a perfect sleep environment, there a number of things you have to pay close attention to.
- The lights in your room: Ideally, sleep doctors recommend that you should switch off your bedroom lights when you go to bed. This is because according to your biological clock (the circadian rhythm), your brain is set to unwind when there is darkness. It produces a chemical called melatonin that induces you to sleep. The levels always decrease during the day and increase at night. So when you are exposed to light during bedtime hours, your brain automatically reduces the levels of melatonin which keeps you alert.
- Your room temperature: Having the perfect temperature in room is very important. According to experts, when you sleep your body temperature settles at a certain point. Therefore, if your bedroom’s temperature is higher or lower than that, you will have trouble falling asleep. You may wonder how to ensure that. It is recommended that 60 to 70 degrees is most suitable temperature. Having blankets and bed sheets that do not keep you too warm or not give you enough warmth is also advisable. Your clothing should also be comfortable enough.
- How comfortable your bed is. It is very obvious that if your bed is not comfortable, no matter how early you settle down to sleep, you will still have trouble falling asleep. Your bed’s comfort ability depends on the quality of your mattress and pillows. Having a mattress like the purple medium foam one that has a little bit of everything is recommended. The mattress has to be firm enough to support your body posture when sleeping and it still has to be comfortable. Your pillows should be firm enough to support your head but still be comfortable for your neck.
Have A Constant Dinnertime
Making sure that you have dinner at the same time every night makes a huge impact on sleep routine. This is because it keeps your body in line and it knows when to tone it down. It is very important that you have your dinner early preferably two to three hours before bedtime. By doing so, it gives your digestive system ample time to perform its duties. This will prevent you from having stomach upsets when you go to bed.
Reducing your level of fluid intake right before sleeping is also key. You will not go through the trouble of frequently visiting the bathroom which disrupts your sleep. Avoid taking caffeinated beverages shortly before bed. Caffeine will keep you alert for hours making it hard for you to stick to your sleep schedule.
Do Not Spend The Better Part Of Your Weekend In Bed
It’s something so many people do. You worked hard during the week and you deserve a day or two in bed. However hard it may seem, spending almost a whole Saturday or Sunday in bed might not be the best idea.
While it doesn’t hurt to extend your sleeping time, overdoing it can mess up your sleeping schedule. Your sleep-wake up time during the weekend is different from weekdays, so your body will have a hard time trying to stick to a constant sleep routine.
A Little Bit Of Exercise Is Not Bad
You are tired from a whole day’s work, so why exercise? Studies have shown that engaging in light exercises like yoga before bed improves your circadian rhythm and relaxes your brain making you feel sleepy. When you exercise, your body uses its stored energy, which leaves you tired and you’ll want to go straight to bed right after.
Exercise is known to only increase your sleep quantity but also improve its quality. It does so by making you spend majority of bedtime in deep sleep which is the most important sleep for your body.
Now that you have known the importance of a sleeping schedule, you definitely make it a point to have one. It doesn’t stop there. Making it a habit is the essential part. With these tips, you will comfortably be able to maintain a constant sleep routine.