How You Can Develop and Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Like most people, there is a good chance that you just don’t get as much sleep as you should. Work, social life, and the internet can all get in the way of you getting the required seven to eight hours of sleep a day. Well, although it may seem like you have a valid reason for not getting enough sleep, missing out on your shuteye could result in a lot of health problems.
While you may not realize it, sleep is responsible for a number of your bodily functions. These include prevention of disease, weight management, immunity, healing, mental acuity, and more. All this stands to reason that you need to come up with a healthy sleep schedule that you can stick to on a daily basis. Here is how you can do this:
Find the Best Time to Go to Sleep
The first thing you should do is to figure out the best time to sleep – for you. As you are probably aware, this may differ from person to person. So, you may notice that your eyelids start drooping at 9 p.m. while your partner is still wide-eyed and bushy tailed at 11 p.m. This is perfectly natural, as some people are night owls while others are morning larks.
Still, there are some rules to follow to ensure you get wholesome, uninterrupted sleep. The most important of these is that you should try to fall asleep between 9 and 12 p.m., depending on what works for you. Of course, just make sure that you are still getting at least seven hours of sleep each day.
Sleep at the Same Time – Everyday
The best way to form a habit is to do it over and over again until it becomes instinctive. This is why it might take some time for your new sleeping schedule to actually stick. So, you need to make it a point to go to bed at the same time day after day. This is true even if you don’t always feel sleepy. After a while, your body will get used to your newly appointed bedtime and it will feel more natural to go to bed at this time.
Stay Away from the Snooze Button
This is something most people are guilty of – pressing the snooze button or quietening the alarm for just a few more minutes. Now, this might help you buy yourself a little more time to squeeze in some extra sleep. However, research suggests that this may do you more harm than good. See, your body follows a specific cycle. So, when you wake up, even for a few moments, this sleep cycle is reset and then you start at the beginning. Then, a few minutes later, your alarm wakes you up again. Since you will be at the start of your sleep cycle, there is a good chance that you will feel groggy and out of touch, certainly not ready to start your day. To avoid this, make it a point to get up when you are supposed to.
Keep Your Bedroom Sacred
Since your bedroom is the most comfortable room in the whole house, it can be tempting to use it for more than just sleep. This is why a lot of people work, eat, and watch TV in their rooms. This, however, needs to stop, if you want to maintain a good sleep schedule. You need to train your brain to view your bedroom as a space that is meant for intimate activities and sleeping. The best way to do this is to stop all other activities in your room.
Yet another thing you can do is to create a proper space for sleeping. So, you may want to invest in blackout curtains or ensure that your room is kept dark all night long. You should also keep the temperature in your room nice and cool, as this facilitates sleep. Also, focus on keeping the room clean and clutter-free as this is more likely to make you feel calm and relaxed.
Prep Your Whole Day around Your Bedtime
Now, this may sound ridiculous and time-consuming but it is really worth the effort. Your goal throughout the day is to eliminate any obstacles that prevent you from falling asleep. The first thing you will need to do is to re-structure your caffeine intake. This means that you shouldn’t be drinking more than two to four cups a day, depending on your tolerance. You should also stop drinking coffee at around three o’clock so there is enough time for the caffeine to leave your system.
If you tend to work out, it is a good idea to not exercise too close to your bedtime. This allows your heart rate, breathing, and other systems to come back to normal, making it easier to fall asleep. Last but not least, you may also want to stop eating heavy meals late at night. Instead, focus on light meals that can easily be digested.
These are all of the ways you can develop and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. In turn, you will find that you are healthier, happier, and more motivated in life.