Changing Your Sleeping Habits: 5 Ways To Fix Your Sleep Cycle
Is your sleep causing you trouble? Maybe, you can’t sleep properly. Maybe you sleep for 7-8 hours everyday & yet feel tired throughout the day. All of this can be avoided if you fix your sleep cycle. Read on to find out how to do so.
A healthy mind and a healthy body are both required in tandem to make a person fit and fabulous. However, if the body and mind do not get the right amount of rest, it often reflects in the way anyone deals with their lifestyle.
A major problem behind cranky behavior is the amount of comfortable sleep they get. While many people just focus on the hours of sleeping, a human mind can only function with clarity and maximum productivity when good hours of deep sleep is given to both body and mind.
Being sleep deprived is a problem millennials are facing on a regular basis since once the cycle of sleep is disturbed, it automatically picks and harps on the wrong kind of pattern. Sleeping late, at off-hours, sleeping in an uncomfortable manner, or getting no sleep at all, often causes irritating minds, mood swings, depression, anxiety, bipolar, diabetes, and hormonal imbalance in a person’s body.
A bad sleeping cycle can also set the wrong eating cycle in motion, which can be a very dangerous combination to anyone’s body.
So how is it that one can reschedule their sleeping cycle and get enough sleep to start a new day with a fresh mind? The following steps can help you understand and follow it.
What Is A Sleep Cycle?
Firstly, it is very important to understand what exactly a “sleep cycle” means and what factors affect it in a good or a bad way.
Your body clock adjusts itself to the signals you give to your body. Therefore, you have to be aware of what time you set your alarm, what time you eat and what time you hit the bed. Without you knowing it, your body is taking these signs and preparing itself to relax when your brain tells you that the major chores of the day are done. Our body clock engages our bodies’ “Circadian rhythm.”
To put it mildly, circadian rhythms are basically the patterns of your behavioral, mental and physical changes, regulated by multiple factors such as the temperature of the room, hormone secretion in your body, and even the light or darkness around you.
Your body’s clock is situated in the brain’s part called, “suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)”, which basically receives information from the retina in your eye, which tells how much light is there around you. SCN then sends information to other parts of your brain, which releases the sleep signaling hormone, melatonin.
This is the reason why, if you constantly watching something on your phone, television, or in bright light, your mind will feel more active. It is because the retina is sending signals that there is a lot of light around you, which means that the time to release the sleep hormones has not arrived yet.
It is important to remember here, that light is just one of the factors which can affect your brain’s sleep signal pattern.
However, if given a thorough examination, a poor sleep cycle can be rectified.
How To Fix Your Sleep Cycle?
1. Correct Your Bedtime But Be Patient With It
You might not realize during which process you have thrown your sleep cycle off balance but once you do, you can dedicate yourself to correct it.
One way to do it, it slowly reversing your misleading sleep pattern.
For instance, your regular bedtime was 10 pm but now you have pushed that sleep cycle to 2 A.M. One way to correct it is to slowly and gradually reverse that. If you try to sleep again at 10 pm instantly, you may fall flat on the ground. But from the next day, aim at falling asleep by 1.45 am.
Try setting your schedule and gradually going back 15 minutes further if the first task is achieved. This can be a slow process but well, it is always slow and steady who wins the race!
2. Say No To Nap Time
Sometimes, after a long day at work can tire your mind and body and the first thing you want to do after coming back home is taking a quick nap. While it may look like an instant fix to shaking off that tiredness, it can affect your sleep cycle. Your brain is accustomed to being fresh when you wake up. A small nap can throw you off balance in that regard.
It will make you fresh and active when you wake up after a small nap and getting in the state of sleep again can be difficult. There are multiple exercises that you can do to push away the tiredness temporarily, which lures you to nap.
This way, when the right time comes to hit the sack, your body will be tired from a long day at work and you can take a deep sleep in one go.
3. Avoid Exposure To Light Before You Sleep
As explained initially in this article, the exposure of light can really trick your brain into delaying the sleep signals. It is advised by experts to give your brain the right amount of comfortable light around you which relaxes you as opposed to the ones which alert you.
4. Avoid Excessive Eating Or Exercising Close To Bedtime
Working out or eating can both make your brain very active and attentive.
While exercising release hormones in the body which makes you happy or active, eating close to sleep can cause heartburn.
Both these options put your body in a very non-relaxed state. The whole idea is to understand that to sleep on time, your body needs to feel calm and relaxed. Any state of discomfort can alert the mind to stay up until everything calms down.
5. Do Not Stick To A Rigorous Sleep Pattern
This can be complicated to understand but those who find it really difficult to sleep during their weekends will relate better.
Your mind is following a pattern. You wake up at 8 am, do your chores, go to work where your body gets tired and worn out, you come back, feed yourself, and after some time sleep.
However, on weekends, when you don’t have to go to work and get your body tired, your mind gets confused signals. Your body doesn’t get tired, your mind is not worn out since you are in a comfortable space. This eventually trickles down to your sleep cycle, because the pattern is not the same as compared to the weekdays.
So, in order to not let your brain dictate your sleep, try not to be very strict with whatever time you wake up on weekdays.
Now, we do not suggest that you make drastic changes and get late for work but a difference of 30 minutes here and there can be incorporated into your lifestyle.
This way, when you have to sleep on Sunday night, you don’t have to panic about not getting sleep on time and waking up late.
Your brain will be accustomed to waking you up at different timings. Hence the wear and tear and ‘Monday blues’ will not affect you drastically.
While all of the above can be helpful in setting your sleep time back on track, it is important to consult your doctor if you have more intense sleeping issues & get on any medication that cures sleep disorders.
Treatments such as light or sound therapy are also considered a good option for people struggling with sleep but it is best when it comes from a certified professional.
We hope the information here helps you fix your sleep cycle & you sleep well from now on!
December 24, 2019 Sam Bell