Sleep is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for good health. But in a hectic time when most people feel like they’re in a constant race to beat deadlines, the nights are often spent tossing and turning due to stress and unhealthy habits. Without a sleep schedule to help your body know when it’s time to hit the hay, it can be harder to achieve sweet dreams after a long day’s work.
Keeping a sleep schedule will help keep your body in a healthy circadian rhythm, which is essential to feeling well-rested and energized. With that in mind, how do you ensure you can get your sleep routine back on track?
Ways to Stay on Top of Your Sleep Schedule
Tip #1: Adjust Your Bedtime Routine According to Your Lifestyle
As our obligations change, so does the way we fit sleep into our schedules. If you have a new baby, or you start a new job far from home, sleep may not be your first priority. Often, your changes in lifestyle mean you need to sleep at odd hours to accommodate for family, work, or other obligations.
Remember to work your sleep schedule into your days. If you must work an odd shift, make sure you have time to get home and get to bed at a reasonable hour, or use day time naps to prepare for a night shift. If you have a baby or child that requires a lot of attention, make sure you take advantage of the hours when they are asleep by resting yourself.
The key is to structure your day to allow for sleep without sacrificing your daily life.
Tip #2: Utilize Naps Carefully, Try Not to Rely On Them
Naps are enticing, especially if you’re tired from a lack of sleep. It’s true that a midday nap can feel like a much-needed break. However, naps can throw off your circadian rhythm, taking away from your nighttime sleep.
While there is some evidence that biphasic (sleeping at two different times over 24 hours) sleep schedules work well for humans, it does affect individuals differently. If you are going to utilize naps, keep them under 1 hour and make sure they are not too close to your usual bedtime. Try to space out your sleep schedule to accommodate both your nighttime and daytime activities. If daytime sleepiness hits, you can also try to take a quick exercise break as physical activity can pump you up and chase away the lethargic feeling.
Tip #3: Avoid Sleeping In, and Wake Up at the Same Time, Even on Weekends
You’re exhausted after a late night out, so it’s tempting to roll in late on Sunday morning. Or, you may make a habit of waking up late on the weekends to make up for lost sleep during the busy work week. However, this is the worst thing you can do to your body.
If you’re running on a sleep deficit, weekend sleep-in can make it that much harder to get to bed early during the week. On top of that, your body will be out of rhythm with the sleep schedule you’re used to, and you’ll be even more tired. Instead, do what you can to get to bed earlier during the week. While some people are natural night owls, our jobs usually do not allow this.
The Bottom Line: Why You Should Have a Strict Sleep Schedule
Your body likes predictability. It helps your body know when it’s time to wake up and when you should try to sleep. If you have a rigid work schedule, it’s important that you find a way to stick to the same sleep schedule.
Though it can be difficult to stick to a sleep schedule, it’s important to do so for your health. You may not be able to control your sleep schedule 100 percent of the time but knowing how to get your day and night times organized is a crucial step to feeling refreshed and feeling well-rested.
How Can We Help You?
Sleep Better Live Better houses Dr. Muir and her qualified sleep team to help thousands of clients get better sleep. With their practices, they are determined to improve the sleep hygiene of every individual to ensure that they maximize their rest and get sleep solutions made just for them.
If you’re curious to learn more, speak to our sleep specialists today!