Our body is like a machine, as it works like one and follows certain rules. If you make your body work under a certain routine every day, it will be bound to follow that routine all by yourself if you don’t take the initiative to alter it. From waking up to going to sleep, your body tends to follow a certain pattern that you made your body adapt to. It is known as the body clock or circadian rhythm.
If you feel like your circadian rhythm has fallen out of place, or is following a system that’s not benefiting you, you should try and fix it. Your internal body clock rotates between both sleep and also wakefulness throughout the course of a day. This is the circadian rhythm of the body, which is responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycles. This internal clock is located in the hypothalamus, which is a part of your brain. This part responds to external stimuli that tell your body the time to go to sleep.
The circadian rhythm of your body can get skewed at times because of reasons like- jet lag, working in night shifts, moving across different time zones, and also any all-nighters that you might pull. And you can take different measures in order to improve the situation. So, if you feel like you should change your sleeping schedule, or in other words, circadian rhythm, you can try maintaining the following things-
Eating Early and Avoiding Certain Foods
Your body clock responds quite quickly to your eating habits. If you have dinner very late at night, it can affect your sleep badly. So, you should eat the last meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed, as this three-hour time period gives the body time to digest the food properly. Also, if you eat dinner at the same time every day, your body will get used to a routine and will be scheduled to go to sleep when required.
What you eat also matters in this case. Heavy foods that are high in fat take a long time to digest. These foods can highly disrupt your sleeping routine. If you feel hungry late at night, you should try eating a very small snack instead of something really heavy. The best foods for inducing sleep are a combination of carbs and protein.
Avoiding caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or any energy drinks is a must. Coffee and these drinks are all stimulants, and they take hours to wear off. So if you are to consume caffeine, make sure that you do it no later than evening. You should also avoid alcohol before going to bed. While alcohol has the potential to make you feel drowsy, in reality, it can also disrupt the circadian rhythm of your body and make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Keeping It Regular
In order to fix your sleeping schedule, it really helps if you make a schedule for going to bed every night. Choose an ideal time for you to go to bed, and also choose one for waking up. Make sure that you stick to those times every day, even on off days and weekends. Once you make a schedule and stick to it, the internal body clock of your body will develop a new routine very quickly. As time progresses, you will be able to fall asleep and wake up without facing too many problems.
Getting Enough Comfort
A comfortable bed is easily the best sleeping environment, which will provide for a proper good night’s sleep. Old mattresses and pillows can cause pains and aches making it very difficult to get proper quality sleep.
It is normally recommended to change your mattress after a period of 10 years and to change pillows every couple of years. Make sure that you feel comfortable in the mattress that you are going to sleep on. If the bed is not comfortable and well adjusted to your particular needs, you will very obviously face problems sleeping. If you wake up feeling stiff continuously, try getting a new mattress immediately and a new pillow too. While the firmness of your mattress is completely a personal choice, if the mattress happens to be saggy or if the pillows are too lumpy, then you need to immediately address these issues and get new ones.
Getting Enough Light Into Your System
A very good way to fix the sleeping schedule is to plan how much exposure to light you get every day. When you are exposed to light, the brain, as a result, stops producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. This has the effect of making you feel completely awake and alert.
On the other hand, darkness signals your brain to make much more melatonin, and you feel drowsy as a result. You can try making sure that you get enough exposure to the light early in the morning. This can help you wake up in the morning.
You can try things like opening up the curtains or taking a walk, but these options are sometimes not very feasible or practical or take a long time to have a proper effect. In such cases, you might want to consider getting a light therapy device. Light therapy for sleep works by mimicking the natural light that is found in nature. Light therapy has almost no side effects, and it has recently become very popular due to its numerous benefits. It can also help with sleeping problems. If you expose your body to the bright light daily in the morning, it will work on a cellular level in your body to produce the necessary hormones to provide energy and get on with the day. Then your melatonin will come back at night naturally, and you can have a good sleep then.
If you can maintain these properly, then you will be able to fix your circadian rhythm properly, if it needs fixing in the first place.
Featured image source