Top Ten Ways to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

For people who are thrown off from the regular sleeping pattern, or constantly struggle to sleep in a daily basis, or had pulled an all-nighter, changing your sleep schedule can be a hassle for some first, but it is best to stick to our regular sleeping patterns, as sleeping late in the long term could lead to increased health issues and risks, especially for those who don't gain enough sleep. This doesn't only apply to people who have general insomnia or troubles with sleep, but also to those who travel regularly. Although everyone's sleep schedules are different, this depends on what routine they are living in. If you are a night owl willing to revert to their original sleep schedule, try considering one of these tips said below.
The Top Ten
1 Exercise

Exercise is perhaps the most important and one of the main keys if you want to regulate to your desired sleep schedule. It doesn't have to be stressful nor too light. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise such as jogging can be just enough for the day, although an hour or two is more preferred. You are more likely to feel tired and sleep earlier so on. Doing this near bedtime however, can cause the opposite effects, as you are most likely to be energized rather than being tired.

2 Get rid of distractions

Unless you are living on an area where there is constant noise pollution or other distracting stimuli and you can't really avoid it. But if you have certain surrounding things that you find that triggers stimuli, especially your phone next to your bed, definitely move it away to the corner, or put it in another room if possible. You are more likely to use your phone or whatever objects if it's nearer on your reach, thus making your sleep schedule worse.

3 Avoid napping

If you nap on a daily basis, especially on the afternoon, that may be causing your sleep schedule to become haywire. If that's the case, the solution is simple; try to avoid naps throughout the day, whether tired or not. As you take naps, you will usually find it more harder to sleep on the night. Although this might be hard to avoid for some people, it's generally worth it in the long run.

4 Change your eating habits

It's not only what time you fast, or you have lunch, but it's also what foods do you eat. If you often tend to eat sugary or fast foods, or other certain foods you find that they are interrupting your sleep, you can try cutting those foods off from your diet. Also, once you have slept and woke up in your desired time, make sure you eat a breakfast. As long as you time your meals precisely and consistently, you should have a consistent sleep schedule.

5 Cut off the caffeine

Caffeine drinks such as coffee and soda can keep you up for hours at night, especially if you drink coffee in bad timing such as night. Mid or late morning is generally the best time if you still want to drink coffee while regulating your sleep.

6 Stop using electronics

This is the most common cause of why your sleep schedule is unstable. With the light turned on in the night, melatonin stops producing in your body, thus making it more difficult to sleep. The blue light coming from the screen can strain your eyes, mess with your sleep schedule, and body clock. In average, teens and adults spend 7 hours at their electronics on a daily basis. Try at least putting off your phone for two hours or even more before bed, and if possible read a book before going to sleep.

7 Take melatonin

Melatonin is a natural hormone your brain produces to balance your sleep-wake cycle. For those with insomnia and/or who are constantly stressed at night, this is very effective as it can generally improve the quality of your sleep and it's best used in a moderate dose when you're about to sleep.

8 Stick to your desired time

Once you have slept in your desired time, do not wake up the same time as you usually do previously. You could wake up a bit earlier, for more balance in your sleep schedule. If you do wake up earlier than usual, stick to that time until your body eventually adjusts to your new sleep schedule. Do not change your desired sleep schedule, as that could possibly mess up your sleep schedule again, unless it's absolutely necessary. An alarm clock is recommended if you're having trouble sticking with your schedule.

9 Less sugar in your diet

This goes practically the same as the "change your eating habits" item. Sugar is also the main cause of difficulty of sleeping as sugar tends to make you hyperactive, especially in younger kids. Eating sugar can be fine in moderation in a daily basis, but if that is the case of an unstable sleep schedule, try cutting your intake a bit. If you do tend to eat common sweets—donuts, chocolate, etc. right before bedtime, try eating those desserts at least an hour earlier or better cutting them off as a whole.

10 Try getting rid of stress

Stress is another factor that can affect the way you sleep. If something tends to bother you during your sleep, try filtering it out as possible. In the case you're stressed because of difficulty going to sleep, try getting out of bed and consider doing mindful activities such as reading a book. Practicing relaxing techniques and meditation can also come effective to regulating your sleeping patterns.

The Contenders
11 Set your clock one hour ahead, each day until you reach your desired time

This may be an odd method of resetting your sleep schedule, but this suits best for extreme night owls whose schedules are way off the boundaries. How this works, is that you sleep in your usual time but one hour forward, each day until you reach the desired schedule. Let's say you want to sleep at 8:30 PM, but your time clock is 4:00 AM, so if you are on that sleep schedule, shift to 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM and so on until you reach your desired time. This process might last more than a week depending on your usual schedule and the desired time you want to sleep. While this may require patience, it is worth it. Don't do this unless you have nothing important (such as work) to do.

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