With the frenetic pace of modern day life, it is often difficult to manage a proper sleep schedule. Arguably, never before has quality sleep been more important. It is often overlooked that a consistent and quality sleep schedule can be vital for you to function optimally in today’s world. To perform, we need to rest, otherwise, we are tired and not firing on all cylinders.
Your sleeping habits should be considerate of the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Your internal clock is responsible for regulating many of your body’s basic functions and you should treat it with respect. Listen to how you feel when you start to streamline your sleep schedule and adjust accordingly. It won’t take long for you to figure out a schedule that works for you and you can experience what it is to be truly rested.
Continue reading to learn how you can schedule your sleep schedule so that you are operating at your very best.
One of the most important things you can do to ease yourself into a restful sleep schedule is to keep proper light hygiene in the hours before bedtime. It is well-regarded advice to avoid your exposure to screens, including television, computer, and smartphones, at least an hour before you plan to sleep. Dim your interior lights in the evening to encourage your body to naturally settle into feeling tired. In your bedroom, filter out any unwanted light that might be creeping in through your windows. For those who are extra light sensitive, an eye mask can provide a feeling of complete darkness.
Manage Midnight Snacking
Research shows that food consumption is highly linked with the rhythm of sleep. That old folk wisdom that eating spicy foods before bed can lead to bizarre dreams is at least half true. Eating too close to bedtime can interfere with your body’s sleep schedule. By all means, if you are extremely hungry you should eat a small snack. Being hungry can also interfere with the quality of your sleep. However, when you can, avoid eating large meals at least two hours before you plan to call it a night.
Sleep in Your Bedroom
It is important that your brain associates physically being in the bed with sleeping. Don’t spend too much time doing work while lying in bed. This can help you adjust to quickly falling asleep through conditional triggers. It can also help to declutter your bedroom and remove any office-related materials like your laptop or television. Quality bedding and a comfortable mattress are also important to ensure you drift off easily.
Before bed, it can help to relax and unwind after the stresses of the day are over. Let go of your thoughts and feelings by writing in a journal. Read some light material to take your mind off of things. Try some simple meditation focusing on relaxing different parts of your body. Take a bath and let the warm water make you sleepy. When in bed, focus on your breathing and count your breaths until you lose count and drift off. Each of these things, or a combination, can help to get you in the proper mental space to have a truly restful sleep.
It is called a sleep schedule for a reason, so you should try to pick a time when you want to go to sleep (and wake up) and stick with it. Although it isn’t always possible for shift workers, try to match your internal clock with the natural light of the morning and evening. Take your time to gradually adjust your bedtime until you find an hour that works for you. Most importantly, don’t hit the snooze button in the morning. Instead, get up at your scheduled time so that you will be able to fall asleep when you plan to in the evening without any issues.
Enjoy the Benefits
Quality sleep and a regular sleep schedule are the cornerstones of good health. Being properly rested can help you achieve a healthier body weight, give you improved concentration, and can aid in reducing stress. Make your sleep schedule a priority and reap the benefits of feeling properly rested throughout the day.