Getting a full night’s rest can have positive effects on everything from your concentration to your metabolism. Unfortunately, if you already have an irregular sleep schedule, it can be very hard to get your body back to a regular rhythm. Though learning how to set up a regular sleep schedule isn’t terribly difficult, having the willpower to reset your internal clock is. Here are some helpful strategies from DCH Audi Oxnard.
Set realistic goals
Before you try to change your habits, create an ideal schedule for yourself that will serve as the basis for your sleep goals. Set a wake-up time that will allow you to have a comfortable morning routine without rushing, then count back eight hours or so to set your ideal bedtime. Schedule morning and night rituals like breakfast and showers too—that way you won’t cut into your sleep time trying to finish up everything you have to do.
Rely on routine
After you have your schedule set, do your best to stick to the same night-time routine as often as possible. Having a bedtime ritual isn’t only beneficial to children—a standard routine can help your body get ready to sleep before you even lay down.
When you craft a bedtime routine, there are a few things you should avoid to make it easier for you to fall asleep. Caffeine is an obvious no-no, but there are other less well-known sleep inhibitors to steer clear from, too. According to WebMD, the light of computer screens might suppress the body’s production of melatonin, which can interfere with your sleep schedule, so try to shut the computer and TV off at least an hour before bed. Resist before-bed snacking, too—especially spicy or greasy foods that could give you heartburn.
Power through the day
Once you have all of your routines in place, the hardest part will be adjusting your body to its new schedule. If you already have irregular sleep patterns, chances are you’ll need a lot of willpower to break your habits. A common pitfall when you’re trying to develop a new sleep pattern is afternoon napping. An afternoon nap might seem like a good thing at the time, but it can keep you from falling asleep at your ideal bedtime later and ultimately contribute to your sleep deficit.
Instead of succumbing to an afternoon nap, keep a to-do list close at hand the first few days of your new sleep schedule. Try to focus on getting one task done each time you want a nap. If you absolutely must lie down, set an alarm for ten or twenty minutes, and wake up when it rings instead of reaching for the snooze button.
Consistency is key
The more regularly you follow your new sleep schedule, the easier it will become. After a week or so, you’ll probably notice that your body naturally feels more tired at your bedtime, and more awake when your alarm rings in the morning. When your body has completely acclimated to your new healthy routines, you’ll even feel more energized and awake all day long.