Through the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives it can be difficult to maintain a solid, healthy sleep schedule. An inadequate nights sleep can leave us feeling cranky, lethargic and out of focus. According to a study performed by the Harvard Medical school, research suggests that a healthy sleep schedule plays an optimum role in memory and mood balance. Inadequate sleep can disrupt our moods, judgement and perception of the world around us.
So, if you find yourself falling into the habit of insufficient rest, here are some factors to be mindful of when trying to get your slumber back on track. Securing a dark sanctuary for your rest can be helpful in sleeping an additional few hours. According to the Harvard study, light exposure is the number one outside factor that can disrupt rest. Sure, it seems obvious, it’s why we sleep at night, right? But by securing a dark, cozy nook for slumber by eliminating all excess light, such as light from windows and hallways, it can help avoid unwanted rays from seeping into your eyelids and prolong the dream state even further.
Trouble Sleeping May Involve Many Factors
Another factor that can imbalance a sleep schedule is stress. People who can experience high levels of stress, anxiety or depression find it more difficult to have sleep deeply, according to the Harvard research. Despite demands and pressures from the outside world that can cause stress, it’s important to tune inward and offer yourself time to relax before bed. Allowing an hour or so of relaxation time before bed can help to quiet the mind, soften the body and ease your way into a long, peaceful sleep.
Also, when trying to keep a solid sleep schedule its helpful to avoid outside substances that alter the natural balance of the body such as caffeine (even in small doses), alcohol, and nicotine.
One thing is for sure, when trying to maintain a healthy sleep schedule it’s important to be calculated about it. Schedules are set in place to maintain a specific order. This is also the case for your sleep. Below are five factors to keep in mind when trying to get your sleep cycle back on track.
Firstly, set a regular bedtime. Going to sleep at the same time every night helps to regulate your body, and choosing a time when you are most tired helps prevent tossing and turning throughout the night. Secondly, try and wake up at the same time each morning. If your body is fully rested you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you’re in need of an alarm clock to wake up, you might have to make your bedtime earlier. Also, napping to make up for lost sleep can help your energy levels. Taking a day time nap rather than over sleeping helps keep your sleep routine on track. However, over napping can cause insomnia, which will disrupt your sleep pattern and leave you back at square one. Lastly, avoid drowsiness after dinner. If you find yourself getting sleepy before your bedtime, it’s helpful to get off the couch and do some mildly stimulating activities to avoid falling asleep before intended. Activities can include washing the dishes, making a phone call, or preparing clothes for the next day. Succumbing to drowsiness and falling asleep before your bed time can leave you waking up in middle of the night and have difficulty falling back to sleep.
Daily routine is extremely important when trying to regulate your sleep schedule. Your mental and physical state throughout the day can affect the way you rest at night. Honor your body, secure a dark place for sleep, pick a decent bedtime and prepare yourself for ample sleep in order to feel fully energized and fully you.