Having an improper sleep schedule can make you feel dizzy and tired all day. Hence, it is of utmost importance to follow a strict sleep schedule that keeps you active and healthy. But this seems impossible when you are awake till 3 am and look for ways to get a good night’s sleep. Remember that following some good sleeping habits can make a massive difference in your life and improve your sleep schedule.
Some researchers have found a variety of habits and practices known as ‘sleep hygiene’ that help you maximize your sleep hours. These habits even help people suffering from jet lag, shift work, or insomnia. In this article, you will find eight effective ways to improve your sleep schedule, so ensure you follow them for a better and healthy lifestyle.
- Transform your room into a sleep-inducing environment:
Your surrounding environment can impact your sleep quality. For instance, a dark, quiet, and cool environment can help you sleep better compared to a room filled with lights and disturbing sounds. Thus, to create such an environment, you need to lower the noise disturbance in your room by closing all the windows and doors. You can also use blackout shades, heavy curtains, or an eye mask to block even the smallest rays of light.
Besides, maintain a comfortable and cool temperature in the range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit along with a well-ventilated room. Also, keep your room equipped with a comfortable mattress and pillows for a good night’s sleep. Moreover, if you have pets that disturb you during sleep, make sure to keep them in a different room so both of you can sleep peacefully and comfortably. You can also keep your laptops and TVs outside your sleeping room as it helps strengthen the mental association between your room and sleep.
- Avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other chemicals to improve your sleep schedule:
Many of you might be addicted to coffee, alcohol, or nicotine, but all of these items are bad for your sleep. The caffeine is a stimulant that may keep you awake so ensure you avoid consuming it through coffee, tea, cola, pain reliever, or chocolate for at least four to six hours before bedtime. In the same way, you should avoid smoking or consuming tobacco products too close to your bedtime.
Sometimes people may feel sleepy after drinking alcohol, but after certain hours, it acts as a stimulant and decreases the quality of your sleep later at night. Hence, it is better to limit your alcohol consumption to at most one or two drinks per day and avoid drinking it within three to four hours of bedtime. Doing this would not only improve your sleep schedule but also make your body fit and healthy.
- Go to bed when you are tired:
Don’t ever try to sleep forcefully because, in the end, you will end up feeling frustrated and awake late at night. So if you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes of lying down, you must get out of bed and relax for a while. You can indulge in any simple or peaceful activity like reading, listening to music, or anything else until you feel tired enough to sleep.
- Avoid being a night time clock watcher:
Most of you might intend to watch the clock in your bedroom while you are struggling to fall asleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night. This can increase the stress on your eyes and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Hence, make sure you turn your clock’s face away from you or avoid watching it repeatedly. As said before, if you aren’t able to sleep within 20 minutes of lying in bed, then get up and do some activity until you feel like sleeping. Also, ensure you keep the lights dim as bright light can lead to loss of sleep. When you feel your eyelids drooping, you can return to bed and sleep peacefully.
- Keep your evening meal light and healthy:
If you eat a pizza right before going to bed, then it may hamper your sleep schedule. Thus, make sure you finish dinner with a light and healthy food several hours before bedtime. Also, try to avoid food that causes indigestion and discomfort at night. Further, if you get hungry at night, you can eat dairy food as it doesn’t disturb your sleep and helps improve your sleep schedule.
- Exercise early in the morning to improve your sleep schedule:
Exercising has many benefits, and one of them is that it improves your sleep schedule. But remember that it would help only if you exercise at the right time and, i.e., in the early morning. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete cortisol, which is a stress hormone. It helps activate an alerting mechanism in your brain, which is fine unless you are trying to sleep peacefully. So ensure you exercise early in the morning or at least three to four hours before bedtime to improve your sleep schedule.
- Make a soothing pre-sleep routine:
You must be able to ease the transition from your wake-up time to sleep time with a certain amount of relaxing activities. These activities should be done at least an hour before bed to relax the body. You can take a bath as the rise and fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness in the body, read a novel, or practice relaxation exercises.
Besides, you need to avoid stressful or stimulating activities, like discussing emotional issues or doing work. Indulging in physically and psychologically stressful activities can lead the body to secrete the stress hormones like cortisol that are associated with increasing the mind’s alertness. If you face any such stressful thoughts while going to bed, then try to put them into words to make yourself feel relaxed and sorted.
- Avoid taking in-between naps:
Many people have a habit of taking small naps in the afternoon. However, this becomes problematic because the day naps decrease sleep drive. So if you feel tired and need to take a small nap, then ensure you do it before 5 pm and keep it short.
We hope these eight effective ways will help you improve your sleep schedule and make you active and healthy for a lifetime.