Do you feel like you’re constantly waking up feeling groggy and fatigued, even after a full night’s rest? The average person will fall asleep when they feel tired at night. Then they usually wake up in the morning for a specific obligation such as work or school. Irregular schedules impact our sleep and throw off the healthy, normal rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at routine intervals. It works best when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed when it is dark at night and waking up at the same time every day. Going days or weeks without consistency in your sleep schedule can drastically affect your health. Here are a few simple tips to reboot your circadian rhythm and take control of your sleep cycle.
Flip That Switch
The cycle of sunset and sunrise control your circadian rhythm. Artificial light can affect this natural pattern, however there are methods to manipulating it in a positive manner. As soon as you get up in the morning, be sure to turn the lights on. On the contrary, when the sun starts to set in the evening and as you wind down, dim your lights to keep your rooms as dark as possible. Light from screens should be fully eliminated.
Consistency is Key
Practice sleep hygiene! A consistent sleep schedule is one of the most effective methods at having a restful night’s sleep. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time, even on the weekends, will help you get into a consistent routine. Waking up late on the weekends causes “social jet lag” and can be associated with poor health, mood and intense fatigue.
Eat an Early Dinner
Our bodies run on a food clock, similar to the circadian rhythm. By eating an early dinner, you can allow yourself to essentially fast for 12-16 hours and trick your body into thinking it’s time to sleep.
A healthy sleep schedule is the first step to a restful night sleep. These simple tips can change your habits for the better.
Written by GUADS intern Lindsey with contributions from eightsleep.com.