Establishing a Sleep Schedule

How to Get Yourself into a Regular, Healthy Sleep Schedule

How well you function during the day is a direct reflection on how well you slept during the night. Unfortunately, many of us do not get the number of hours of sleep our body needs. Stress, insomnia or an irregular work schedule can quickly put you into sleep deficit, but these five tips can help you establish and healthy sleep schedule and sleep better.

Establish a routine sleep schedule

We all have a natural biological sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. By getting the hours you sleep in synch with it, you’ll get the very best sleep. To do that, ensure you go to sleep and get up around the same times every day– even on your day of rests. A 15 minute modification in either time can toss your body clock off. If you are getting sufficient sleep, you must naturally get up without requiring an alarm.

Take full advantage of melatonin production

Maximize melatonin production

Our body naturally produces the hormone melatonin which helps us go to sleep. The production of it is controlled by exposure to light. During the day when it is light out a minimal amount is produced. During the hours of darkness, the maximum amount is produced, thus making us tired and able to fall asleep.

To maximize the amount of melatonin your body produces, minimize the amount of time you are exposed to light, like from the TV or computer monitor, before going to bed. Instead, listen to soothing music or read a book.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly

The conditions in your bedroom can make it easier to drop off to sleep or harder. Peaceful, cool and comfort are the keys. If it is noisy outside, think about using earplugs or a white noise device to drown out the noise. We sleep better if the temperature level in our bedroom is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.

Make sure you have sufficient room in bed. If you can’t extend or turn over easily, then think about purchasing a larger bed.

Watch what you eat or drink before going to bed

Stay away from big meals within 3 hours of going to bed. If you are hungry, eat something light and small, like half a turkey sandwich or a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal. Also avoid alcohol before going to bed. While many people think it will help them sleep better, the opposite is actually true. While it does help you fall asleep faster, you’ll be more likely to wake up during the night.

Reduce stress

If you are still wound up from the day at work when you go to bed, you have a harder time getting to sleep. While your body may be tired, your mind will still be wide awake. Find ways to reduce your stress level before going to bed. Meditation, yoga, reading a book, listening to soothing music can all work to reduce your stress level so you can get to sleep faster.

Use these tips to help you establish a consistent sleep schedule and sleep better. You’ll feel more refreshed in the morning and better ready to handle whatever comes your way during the day.

a Regular, Healthy Sleep Schedule

How well you function during the day is a direct reflection on how well you slept during the night. Unfortunately, many of us do not get the number of hours of sleep our body needs. Stress, insomnia or an irregular work schedule can quickly put you into sleep deficit, but these five tips can help you establish and healthy sleep schedule and sleep better.

Establish a routine sleep schedule

We all have a natural biological sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. By getting the hours you sleep in synch with it, you’ll get the best sleep. To do that, make sure you go to bed and get up around the same times each day – even on your days off. A 15 minute change in either time can throw your circadian rhythm off. If you are getting enough sleep, you should naturally wake up without needing an alarm.

Maximize melatonin production

Our body naturally produces the hormone melatonin which helps us go to sleep. The production of it is controlled by exposure to light. During the day when it is light out a minimal amount is produced. During the hours of darkness, the maximum amount is produced, thus making us tired and able to fall asleep.

To maximize the amount of melatonin your body produces, minimize the amount of time you are exposed to light, like from the TV or computer monitor, before going to bed. Instead, listen to soothing music or read a book.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly

The conditions in your bedroom can make it easier to fall asleep or harder. Quiet, cool and comfort are the keys. If it is noisy outside, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out the noise. We sleep better if the temperature in our bedroom is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.

Make sure you have enough room in bed. If you can’t stretch out or turn over comfortably, then think about investing in a larger bed.

Watch what you eat or drink before going to bed

Stay away from big meals within 3 hours of going to bed. If you are hungry, eat something light and small, like half a turkey sandwich or a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal. Also avoid alcohol before going to bed. While many people think it will help them sleep better, the opposite is actually true. While it does help you fall asleep faster, you’ll be more likely to wake up during the night.

Reduce stress

If you are still wound up from the day at work when you go to bed, you have a harder time getting to sleep. While your body may be tired, your mind will still be wide awake. Find ways to reduce your stress level before going to bed. Meditation, yoga, reading a book, listening to soothing music can all work to reduce your stress level so you can get to sleep faster.

Use these tips to help you establish a consistent sleep schedule and sleep better. You’ll feel more refreshed in the morning and better ready to handle whatever comes your way during the day.