Our bodies naturally want to follow a consistent sleep schedule. Most of us rise around the same time every morning and feel tired at the same time in the evening. Unfortunately, disruptions can lead to poor sleep and an unusual sleep schedule. Traveling across time zones, shift work, children, and schedule changes can have a serious impact on our sleep habits. Going back to school after summer break or returning to the office after the pandemic may also be causing sleep issues in your household. Looking to get back on track? Here are our tips for following a schedule that promotes restful and wonderful sleep.
What Is the Best Sleep Schedule?
When we discuss sleep habits, it’s difficult to box everyone into one strict sleep schedule. We’ve all heard of night owls vs. early birds, right? This is because everyone is different when it comes to what type of sleep schedule works for them. Experts believe there are genetic and biological factors that influence sleep habits as well. Even your age has an impact on your sleeping patterns. For example, teenagers often sleep longer and later into the morning, while seniors are usually up with the sunrise.
That said, most of our bodies want to follow an internal clock that is influenced by environmental factors. This includes sunrise and sunset, as well as the temperature. Following these cues is the easiest way to have a circadian rhythm that promotes healthy sleep. If that isn’t possible for you, it’s important to still follow a few principles:
- Maintain a consistent schedule
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night
- Align as closely as you can with nighttime hours
By following these guidelines, you can get the rest you need to power through your daily tasks and live a healthy lifestyle.
How Do I Fix My Sleep Cycle?
If you’re ready to alter your sleep schedule, now is the time! Fortunately, there are plenty of changes you can make during the day to promote healthy nighttime sleep. Here are five ways to fix your sleep cycle and make it stick.
1. Stay on a schedule
While it doesn’t have to be precise, it’s best to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. These changes can take time, so try to start slowly. If your current bedtime is 11:00 p.m., but you’d rather go to sleep at 10:00 p.m., consider moving it back by just 15 minutes every couple of days.
Likewise, it’s important to wake up at the same time every day. No snoozing! Being consistent will help it become natural for your circadian rhythm. Try to find something to look forward to that will help you out of bed. Maybe it’s that perfect cup of coffee or a hot shower. Whatever it is, don’t sleep in when your alarm goes off.
It’s important to note that you should also avoid napping as this can make it difficult to fall asleep on time at night.
2. Limit caffeine
Try not to reach for another cup of coffee when you start to feel afternoon fatigue. Caffeine stays in your system longer than you may think. According to experts, half of it is still in your body six hours after consumption. With this in mind, try to avoid caffeine altogether in the afternoon and evening.
3. Get some exercise
Time to get moving! We all know that exercise is great for your heart and overall health, but it also has an effect on how well you sleep. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood is beneficial. If you can, opt for outdoor exercise. Natural light aids your circadian rhythm in a restorative way.
For those who enjoy more strenuous forms of exercise, be sure to finish with at least an hour to spare before bedtime. This will allow your heart rate and body to cool down.
4. Eat early
Much like exercise, it’s best to finish dinner early. In order to give yourself plenty of time to digest, eat your last meal two to three hours before bedtime.
On that note, what you eat can play a part as well. Heavy, high-fat meals take longer for your body to digest. Try to stick to a combination of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy carbs.
5. Start a nightly ritual
There is a strong psychological component to falling asleep. A nightly routine can provide your mind with cues that it’s time to relax and prepare for rest. With that in mind, try to follow the same sequence of steps before you go to bed.
For example, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, and quietly read before you turn off the lights. This will send a signal to your brain that it’s time to get some sleep.
How Can I Improve My Sleep Schedule?
You’ve put in the work and your sleep schedule is finally where you want it to be. What now? Practicing great sleep hygiene will help you stay on track. By creating an environment that promotes sleep, you’ll be on your way to enjoying consistent rest and relaxation.
Here are a few tips to make your bedroom a better place for sleep.
Keep it cool and dark
There’s a reason we sleep during the night. Darkness is essential to falling asleep and staying asleep. With this in mind, get blackout shades that create a perfectly dark environment.
Next, check the thermostat. While every person is different, it’s generally best to sleep in a cool room. Research suggests that temperature is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting great sleep. How cool should it be? Somewhere around 65 degrees is the sweet spot for most people.
Drown out the noise
Because your brain continues to process sounds while you’re asleep, it’s important to eliminate any noise. Turn your phone on “silent” mode and keep the TV off, preferably outside of the bedroom altogether.
If you live in a noisy neighborhood, consider using a white noise machine. You can achieve this same type of effect using a fan, air conditioner, or humidifier. This will provide a constant, soothing sound that masks any outside noise.
Use calming scents
Studies show that certain scents like lavender can help calm the nervous system. Whether you spritz it on your pillow or use a diffuser for essential oils, it’s worth a try! You may find that it helps you relax and fall asleep faster.
Find the right mattress for your sleep style
Whether you like to sleep on your back, side, or stomach, there is a perfect mattress for you. Your body type and sleep style will determine the best type of foundation to help you get great sleep.
At Bedding Plus, we carry a wide selection of brands and models. Here are some of the most common types of mattresses:
- Innerspring: A firm surface with metal coils, suitable for a variety of sleep styles
- Memory foam: Pressure point relief and body contouring for full body support
- Hybrid: A combination of traditional metal coils and memory foam technology for balanced support
- Latex: Softness, breathability, and conformity that still provides some bounce
- Air: Adjustable air-chambered mattress that can be controlled with a simple remote
Indulge in high-quality bedding accessories
Think beyond your mattress with indulgent sleep accessories. From soft sheets to comforting weighted blankets, every detail matters when it comes to getting rest.
Further, your pillow is an incredibly important component of your bedding. After all, this is where you rest your head every night. Try different technologies to find the support you need.
At Bedding Plus, we even sell cutting-edge CBD pillows that allow you to absorb cannabidiol directly through your skin. Research suggests this may help people regulate stress, pain, and mood.
We All Need To #sleepbetter
Are you desperately searching for ways to get better sleep? You’re not alone. At Bedding Plus, we have helped countless people find sleep products that are optimal for quality rest. Whether you need a more supportive mattress or softer sheets, you’ll find all of the sleep accessories you need in our stores and online.
Our goal is to help you #sleepbetter! Visit the friendly Bedding Plus team at one of our conveniently located stores to find your perfect mattress. We provide delivery and set up, as well as interest-free financing for up to 60 months. Even better? We offer a 365-night comfort guarantee on qualifying purchases.
Have a question about our products? Send us a message and one of our associates will be in touch as soon as possible.