How to reset your sleep schedule: techniques and tips

There comes a time every so often when you find yourself feeling a bit more tired than usual. Maybe it’s the stress at work. Maybe it is family commitments. Perhaps you’re in a busy competition time or travelling a lot. When you’ve noticed yourself just not feeling your best, it’s time to re-assess what the issue might be. 

A lot of the time, it’s our sleep. Other priorities take over, leading you to sleep less than usual, get up earlier or maybe stay up later. If that’s impacting your well-being and productivity, it’s time for a sleep reset. In this post, we’ll cover the importance of a sound sleep schedule. We’ll also touch on tips to fix your sleep schedule. 

Why is a sleep routine important?

We are becoming more aware of the importance of sleep for our health. 

Energy levels are the thing that everyone wants to improve. Sleep boosts energy, as the body is able to produce energy molecules and optimize cognitive function. In addition, those who don’t get sufficient sleep tend to spend more energy on a daily basis. 

Sleep is connected with our overall health as well. It affects how well we fight off infections, how we think and even our heart health. Let’s also not forget about the importance of sleep for excellent mental health.

Sleep is key to our well-being, so it’s time to improve those bad sleep schedules! 

How can you adjust your sleep routine?

Wondering how to reset your sleep schedule? It might be easier than you think. Really, it’s all about slightly adjusting how you do things to improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is the collection of good habits that help you maximize sleep and find the best sleep schedule. This includes things you can do during the day to set you up for success and habits surrounding sleep. 

As with every new goal you embark on, remain patient. It can be easy to want things to work straight away. But take your time and gradually change your sleep schedule and habits. That way, you’ll be more likely to actually stick to them. Think about adding to what you already do or making small changes instead of re-writing your bedtime routine completely. 

So, what does it take to adjust your sleep routine? It involves changes to your diet, activity levels and sleep habits. Let’s take a look. 

Diet for a good night’s sleep

Can eating right help you get on a good sleep schedule? It can certainly play a role, as sleep and diet are interconnected. Some specific foods and micronutrients can help you have a restful sleep or to fall asleep.  

Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that’s received plenty of interest in sleep science. That’s because studies show that it improves sleep time and efficiency and can even make it easier to fall asleep. That’s because we use tryptophan to make serotonin, which affects sleep quality. 

You can find this amino acid in sources like: 

  • Legumes and their products – soy and tofu are great sources
  • Fish like tuna and tilapia 
  • Meats like pork and turkey 
  • Dairy foods like milk or cheese
  • Even grains like quinoa and oats

Melatonin. Our body naturally makes melatonin when the day ends. With the darkness of the evening settling in, we begin producing melatonin. As it accumulates, we start feeling sleepy. For those who need a head start or a quick sleep aid, melatonin can be a great choice. However, don’t rely on it for prolonged periods of time. 

Melatonin typically comes in supplement form. The most common form is tabs, which usually contain about 3-5 mg of melatonin. However, you can also find it in drop or gummy forms if that’s more up your street. Maxler Melatonin is an excellent way to start, as the tab is convenient to take. 

Phytonutrients. Some beneficial compounds from plants are called phytonutrients. A typical class of phytonutrients are polyphenols. These compounds seem to be associated with a night of better sleep. Taking high polyphenol supplements can promote longer sleep and a better sleep quality. 

If you’re not big on supplements, consider whole-food sources of phytonutrients. A popular option is tart cherry juice. The juice contains melatonin, the compound essential for proper sleep. Cherries tend to improve sleep length and lower the number of times one wakes up during the night. 

Magnesium. One of the micronutrients many know for supporting sleep is magnesium. Sufficient intake of this mineral supports proper nervous system function. Taking it before bed can support falling asleep. Magnesium probably works by affecting the levels of melatonin. It is especially beneficial for those under high stress. That’s because the body uses a lot of magnesium to deal with stressors, so it’s vital to replenish it. 

These foods and nutrients can help you restore sleep, especially if you struggle with falling asleep. Overall, make sure that for best results, you’re also following a healthy and balanced diet. 

Create a restful environment

Our environment and sleep are intrinsically linked. Did you know that even where you live matters for your sleep? Adults who have access to green spaces tend to have lower chances of poor sleep. 

While you can’t entirely control what happens outside of your home, you can control what happens inside your bedroom. One of the things you can control is the amount of light you get at night. Artificial light, whether from the windows or your phone’s screen, can disrupt sleep and lower melatonin production. Therefore, making your sleep environment dark is beneficial for sleep. Put your phone on sleep mode an hour or so before you go to bed. 

The same applies to noise. Make your sleeping environment as quiet as possible for better sleep quality. Temperature is also an essential factor. Our body lowers its temperature when falling asleep, so a cooler environment is well-suited for better sleep. 

However, if you’re at your wit’s end and just can’t manage falling asleep, there are valuable tools to have in your arsenal: 

  • Relaxation techniques – deep and controlled breathing can help you feel more relaxed and make it easier to fall asleep. 
  • Meditating – calming your mind is a great way to get ready to sleep. It might be especially beneficial if you tend to start overthinking when unable to sleep. 
  • Visualization techniques – with a bit of practice, you can use visualizations to help you relax and prepare for sleep

Include physical activity in your daily routine

There’s another significant factor that plays a role in sleep. That’s your daily activity level. 

Physical activity is critical for supporting sleep for a few reasons. 

First, it’s a great way to de-stress after a long day. Working out can help us forget about worries or take away a busy day’s tension. This is beneficial, as stress may affect your sleep

Regular physical activity tends to be associated with better sleep. It improves the quality of sleep and the total time you sleep. 

What type of exercise works best for this? The good thing is that anything works – movement is key. Both cardio and strength training are great options. Higher intensity seems to be more effective than mild-intensity exercise. If you can’t find the time for a structured workout, then try increasing movement throughout the day. Get a higher step count than you typically do. Spend some time dancing to your favorite songs – it all counts!

Set your alarm for the same time each day

Do you consider yourself a creature of habit? It might just be time to become one. Our body tends to work in cycles. One of the significant cycles we have is our daily sleep-wake cycle. It’s also called the circadian rhythm

The body produces hormones that wake you up and help you fall asleep. Having a consistent wake-up and sleep time allows it to optimize the process. That way, you can maximize your sleep. Go to bed at the same time each day. Do the same with your alarm clock.

What about the weekends, you might ask? Many of us tend to sleep in on the weekend or go to bed later. It’s actually termed social jetlag. While it’s not super bad, consistent social jetlag can worsen your sleep. Therefore, when you can, keep to the same routine, even on the weekends. 

Of course, do allow yourself the occasional indulgence if you require it. Just get back into the swing of things as soon as you can. 

Eat dinner a few hours before bed

Another easy technique to fix your sleep schedule can be timing your meals right. Eating too close to bedtime isn’t great. You need time to digest, so you might feel some discomfort during the night. Therefore, for optimal results, try not to eat at least 1 hour before bed, but the longer, the better. 

However, if you want a snack before bedtime, no problem. In that case, have something small and light. A protein shake can be a great option. Casein protein, for example, will serve those who would like to promote muscle recovery during the night. Alternatively, a whey shake can also work – both proteins contain tryptophan for better sleep

We hope that this collection of tips and tricks can help you create a good sleep schedule and stick to it. Improving the amount of sleep you get, as well as its quality, is essential for your well-being and health. Therefore, by adjusting what you do during the day, you can ensure a great night’s sleep. Remember to take your time forming new habits – change isn’t easy, but it’s worth it! Stay motivated and work on becoming your best self!  

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