Sleep is a very important part of our lives. We need adequate sleep to function properly.
During sleep, our bodies try to get their all-important rest, providing a much needed ‘restart’ for us to carry out our next conscious tasks and activities.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting enough sleep, 30% of adults have insomnia.
In this article, we would be discussing how to reset your sleep schedule and help get rid of insomnia.
The good news is this – a messed up sleep schedule can be corrected with a bit of good planning and adjusting some daily activities. Below are three simple steps and sleep hygiene tips to help you get back your sleep schedule and fight off insomnia.
Tips For Fixing You Sleep Schedule
1. Find out how much sleep your body needs
Discover what your body needs. You need to know how many hours of sleep your body requires every day. Also, you need to set a fixed bedtime that fits your schedule. Remember your internal clock and put that into consideration. The goal here is to eventually get into a routine that doesn’t leave you feeling sleep deprived.
Here’s a little guide on how many hours we need to sleep for every day based on our different age ranges:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
- School-age children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65 years+): 7-8 hours
2. Set a fixed bedtime
Setting a fixed bedtime is one way to ensure compliance with the number of hours you want to sleep.
For example, a young adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep. To achieve this number of sleep hours, you can try going to bed and attempting to wake up around the same time every day. You can achieve this wake time by using an alarm clock, and with time, your body will adjust and you may not even need an alarm clock anymore to wake up the time you set.
3: Adjust and fine-tune your activities
Adjust your activities in a way that they don’t interfere with your sleep time. It is understandable that sometimes, some uncontrollable situations arise, you should still try as much as possible to stick with the routine most of the time.
Doing this would be very beneficial to your body, mind and general health in the long run. For example, it is advisable that you avoid using your smartphone 30 minutes before you plan to sleep. The reason is that the bright screen can cause insomnia by affecting your body’s ability to induce sleep.
Also, as you learn and get into your routine, try to fine-tune it as much as you need to until you achieve your desired bedtime and waking time. Sticking to this routine as much as possible will eventually program your body to these times.
Maintaining A Healthy Sleep Schedule
Here are some tips for maintaining a sleep schedule that you have already started.
1. Prepare yourself for bed by either taking a warm bath or listening to some soft music. It would also be nice to have the lights dimmed or turned off.
2. Avoid using gadgets like laptops, smartphones, and tablets (for at least 30 minutes before sleeping) which emit blue light that interrupt sleep. It has been shown that they “tell your brain to still be alert”.
3. Make your mornings as bright as possible, meaning, have some bright light when you wake up followed by a healthy breakfast.
4. Include exercise in daily activities when possible, and avoid overly strenuous exercise just before bedtime. Yoga is a good alternative in the early evenings.
5. If you wish to nap during the day, keep it short, not more than 20-30 minutes. You don’t want it being too long and disrupting your night sleep, but also enough to refresh you for the remainder of the day.
6. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach with food, caffeine or alcohol.
7. Use a good mattress. Sleeping on a good mattress makes you more comfortable, hence, making you fall asleep easier.
8. It might be difficult to choose your shifts at work and maintain one shift. However, if you work the night shift, wearing glasses on your way home would help to minimize light getting into the eyes, so you can still get as much sleep as possible on getting home.
9. Spend the recommended number of hours for sleeping. Sleeping in excess or in deficit has no benefits.
An inconsistent sleep schedule does more harm than good to your mental state, mood and overall health. It has been discovered that sleep deprivation and insomnia easily affect attention and memory. Having a regular sleep schedule and good sleep hygiene practices not only improves productivity, physical and mental health but also the quality of life overall.
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