Try These Tips on How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

Do you ever wonder how to fix your sleep schedule? Our interconnected and globalized world wreaks havoc with our daily schedules. These fast-paced lifestyles of the 21st century can seriously compromise our ability to get good sleep and rest.

What is worse than lying in bed, exhausted from a hard day, and not being able to sleep? How do you calm your mind, release the stresses in your life, and relax?

Being able to get a great night’s sleep is fundamental to our ability to lead productive lives as human beings. There are many strategies that we can use not only to get into better routines but also to improve the quality of our sleep.

It’s essential to understand the science behind sleep. That knowledge can help us learn how to fix our sleep schedule.

Understanding the Science of Sleep

The human brain is a complex organ that is responsible for regulating the chemicals that enable our ability to sleep and also to transition through the different stages of sleep. The average adult needs between 6.5 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

The hypothalamus, a deep network of cells within the brain, determines how we sleep. It works in conjunction with the brain stem in determining when we fall asleep and when we wake up.

It’s essential to recognize that cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, and even food affect this cellular structure within the brain, therefore changing sleep patterns.

Melatonin, a hormone, is secreted by the pineal gland, and it’s only released when the brain recognizes an absence of light. The discharge of melatonin signals to the mind that you are ready for some shut-eye.

There are two stages of sleep, REM and non-REM sleep. The latter type is a dreamless state, while the former is a deeper form of sleep that involves dreaming. The majority of our rest occurs in the non-REM stage, and our body transitions through these two types of sleep during a regular sleep period.

How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

Given this knowledge of sleep science, you may be wondering how to fix your sleep schedule and improve the quality of your sleep.

There are many habits that you can adjust and techniques that you can use, in your everyday life, that will enable you to accomplish this.

Regular sleep times

By getting into a routine of going to bed every night at approximately the same time and getting up at roughly the same time, we can train the body’s circadian rhythm. A regular schedule means that this biological predisposition for a dependable sleep cycle can be satisfied.

There’s an inclination to sleep in on the weekend, and it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone adheres to a strict schedule every day of the year.

However, maintaining regular bedtimes will benefit your well-being in the long term.

Screen time

Technology is omnipresent in our society, but it is affecting the quality of your sleep. The amount of time that you spend in front of a digital screen can be correlated to your sleep issues.

If you’ve been wondering how to fix your sleep schedule, you may want to consider cutting down on screen time.

The blue light from a digital screen represses the ability of the body to release melatonin. This suppression of melatonin means that your REM sleep will be affected and you’ll have a more difficult time falling asleep.

It is challenging to resist the urge to use your phone or watch television before bedtime. However, the quality of your sleep will improve if you do so.

Timing of meals

The body needs food to fuel it through the night. It needs fluids to hydrate it. However, if you eat too close to bedtime, your body won’t have time to digest the food, and you will still be activated.

Also, if you drink too many fluids, you’ll probably wake up in the night needing to use the bathroom. Try and find a compromise between the time that you eat and the time that you sleep.

Medication

It’s essential to discuss with your doctor the prescription medications that you’re taking. Many medicines can cause side effects that affect our daily ability to sleep.

If you’re looking for how to fix your sleep schedule, be sure to understand the range of possible reactions to the medications that you’ve been prescribed.

Some medications can cause insomnia, a sleep disorder, that has repercussions in all aspects of daily life. Some medicines cause daytime drowsiness, and this leads to napping during the day, which, in turn, affects our ability to sleep at night.

Also, some medications can cause an increase in appetite, so if taken before bed, it may cause you to eat, which can affect sleep.

Exercise schedule

Exercise is essential for a healthy body and mind. Also, it helps with sleep. The issue is not with activity. The problem is at what time you choose to exercise and the intensity level you do so.

Each person will react differently to exercise before sleep. Some people may be able to tolerate working out closer to bedtime than others.

However, a general rule of thumb is to keep moderate exercise to a few hours before going to bed.

High-intensity training just before bed will hinder your ability to calm your body down in time for rest.

Smoking, drinking, caffeine

When you’re looking for tips on how to fix your sleep schedule, remember that smoking cigarettes and cannabis affect sleep.

Nicotine is a substance whose addictive properties cause us to sleep less deeply. Consequently, a smoker doesn’t cycle into REM sleep in the same way as a non-smoker does.

Although research is inconclusive and ongoing, there’s data to suggest that while cannabis may help short-term sleep function, it negatively affects it in the long term. As the body develops a tolerance for marijuana, the dosage necessary for sedation will also, thus creating a dependence.

Alcohol is a depressant that inhibits the ability of the body to achieve REM sleep. Additionally, caffeine is a stimulant, that excites the brain and makes it difficult to shut down.

Drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages negatively impacts the ability of the mind to relax. Moderation is the key to the consumption of any of these products.

Music, temperature, and comfort

It’s vital to have healthy habits before bed that will trigger messages to the body, that it’s time to sleep. Three major changes can be made to our bedroom environment to establish a good routine. These are our musical selections, our temperature control, and our bedroom organization.

Loud, abrasive music before bed will excite the mind and disturb sleep. Try listening to calm, relaxing melodies such as ocean waves or summer rain from a sound machine to create a calm atmosphere for rest.

Also, a stifling, hot bedroom temperature makes resting difficult. A well-ventilated, cool bedroom is ideal for signaling to the brain that it’s time to relax. It’s not always easy in the summer months to have a cool bedroom.

Not everyone has access to air-conditioning. However, if available, fans can have a significant impact on room temperature.

Furthermore, a dirty and disorganized room is not conducive to a restful night. A comfortable bed, clean sheets, and a neat, orderly arrangement will increase comfort levels and induce sleep.

Random Nights of Sleeplessness

We have discussed how to fix your sleep schedule. Indeed, while this advice will help improve that routine, it’s a frustrating reality that most people will have random nights of sleeplessness. These are a few essential tips to employ when these times happen.

Don’t lie in bed

Lying in bed, frantically trying to get to sleep, can become an exercise in desperation. Get up and change your environment. Do you live in a house?

Consider walking to the basement or kitchen for a temporary change of scenery. Do you live in an apartment? If you feel comfortable, walk down the corridor of your floor a couple of times to get some space.

Breathe

Deep breathing is a strategy that reduces stress levels. Practicing breathing skills can act as both a distraction and a calming influence which can help cycle us back into a state of sleep.

Read a book

Getting up and reading a book for a short time can give your brain a break from the annoyance of lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Have a glass of water, stay hydrated, and read.

Take 15 minutes to half-an-hour to breathe, read, and focus on something other than sleep.

Chronic Issues

Sleep disorders are recurring issues such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. They cause significant interruption to the normal sleep process.

If you think that you’re experiencing any of these problems, consult your physician, as there are more comprehensive ways of assisting you than are listed in this article.

It’s hard to know how to fix your sleep schedule when you are dealing with recurring issues. It can be challenging to know what to do, and many over-the-counter products boast of being a fantastic cure for your problems.

However, be sure to always talk with a doctor before taking any herbal or magic pill remedy.

Sweet Dreams

Deep, restorative sleep improves our ability to both live and enjoy our lives. Being tired all the time from a lack of rest makes every aspect of living difficult.

Given that everyone has occasional bouts of sleeplessness, these tips are designed to assist on those nights and to help to improve your routine.

Some of these tips may be more difficult than others to achieve, depending on circumstances.

For example, it’s difficult to be motivated to exercise if one is experiencing the exhaustion inherent in lack of sleep.

It’s not easy to quit smoking when you’re in the throes of addiction. It’s hard to adjust medication timing when it is necessary to take medicine.

However, sometimes, a little can go a long way. Try increasing activity levels just a bit, or reducing the amount of time spent on devices. Also, attempting to cut down on smoking or even trying to quit altogether would be of great benefit.

Any number of these hints regarding how to fix your sleep schedule can help if good quality sleep is eluding you.

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