Having a sleep schedule that is all over the place is just a terrible feeling.
You can't fall asleep when you normally go to bed, plus, you end up struggling to wake up at a regular time.
Eventually it all catches up to you and you end up feeling low energy, tired and not your normal self.
Today, we are going to look at tips to help reset your sleep schedule, which is determined by your body's circadian rhythm or master clock.
5 Ways to Reset Your Circadian Rhythm
1. Use Light to Reset Your Melatonin Cycle
Light is one of the most powerful signals to your circadian clock.
Have your eyes and skin exposed to natural sunlight in the morning. This tells your circadian rhythm that it is daytime and to alter your hormone cycle.
Avoid exposure to blue light in the evening time when it is naturally dark. This darkness tells your body clock that it is time to secrete melatonin and prepare your body for sleep.
Some people need to use bright light therapy in dark environments to help get this light stimulus to reset their sleep schedule.
2. Alter Your Meal Times
When we eat our meals is another strong signal to help time our circadian rhythm. According to research, our circadian rhythms, metabolism, and nutrition are intimately linked.
Try have set regular times for when you eat your meals. Also, you might find that eating breakfast near when you wake up and avoiding eating after dark might help reset your circadian rhythm.
3. Wake-Up Every Day At the Same Time
Try wake-up every day at the same time to help keep your sleep schedule. When you start allowing yourself to wake up at different times then you also end up going to bed at different times. This is what happens with social jet lag.
Ideally you want to not need to use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. However, if you d use an alarm clock keep it the same time on the weekdays and weekends to lessen the disruption to your sleep schedule.
4. Do Some Exercise
Exercising your muscles is not only good for your heart and mental health, but can also have some impact on your master and peripheral circadian clocks.
It might be possible that doing more strenuous exercise earlier in the day might make you feel more alert during the day and feel tired in the evening.
Doing harder exercise late in the day might make it harder for you to fall asleep at your normal bedtime and end up disrupting your sleep schedule.
5. Alter Your Caffeine Intake
Consuming caffeine in the form of coffee, tea or energy drinks can delay your circadian melatonin rhythm.
Some interesting research found that consuming a double espresso 3 hours before bedtime had approximately 40 min delay in the normal melatonin cycle. They estimated that this effect is the same as being exposed to light in the evening for 3 hours.
It is not only drinking caffeine too late in the day that shift your sleep cycle, but for some people drinking too much throughout the day will have a negative impact on their sleep.
Try reducing the amount of coffee that you drink or know not to drink any coffee too late in the day in order to help reset your sleep schedule.
It is possible to help reset your circadian rhythm and to fix your sleep schedule.
It may not be easy for some and for some people they might need to consult their healthcare practitioner if they are suffering insomnia or some other sleep related disorder.