January 26th, 2022
Sleep is a necessary part of our day-to-day life that is often undervalued. The average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and function properly.
Every day, the sleep-wake routine is regulated by something called circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms use cues like sunlight, or darkness to trigger sleepiness within 24 hours.
Disruption of circadian rhythms in a person’s body might result in different sleep-related disorders. If you have a hard time properly regulating your sleep periods, you need to create a sleep schedule.
Sleep schedules are daily routines of fixed periods for falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. Science has shown that consistent routines drive human behavior. Therefore, it is possible to create and maintain a sleep schedule.
However, it doesn’t happen immediately. It takes a few days for the body to adjust to a new routine, so it is advisable to consistently repeat sleep patterns to avoid irregular schedules and low-quality sleep time.
Tip: It is advisable to maintain sleep schedules on days off work too, to avoid disrupting your workday schedules, too.
Creating sleep schedules would take a lot of personal determination and intentionality. Nonetheless, there are certain ways you can create a sleep schedule, and follow through consistently.
We have compiled a couple of ways you can create a sleep schedule and follow through consistently below:
1. Daily exercises
Carrying out exercises in the evenings hours before nighttime will make you more likely to fall asleep Sometimes, exercises may interfere with workout routines, but consistently carrying out these exercises regularly can condition your body to the routine you need to stabilize your sleep schedule.
2. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, etc
Consuming caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol close to bedtime, or during evenings, perhaps at hangouts, could keep you awake for longer periods than you need. Those beverages enhance brain activity and that’ll disrupt your sleep schedule.
3. Avoid regular naps
Taking naps during the day usually results in a lack of sleep at night. Daytime naps reduce stress and make it easier for you to stay awake at night. They could reduce your sleep duration. This means that taking a nap during the day can make you stay up late at night or wake up “too early.”
4. Reduce screen time
Exposure to light can stop the brain’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Darkness aids in the production of melatonin which makes you drowsy, so exposure to light will keep you alert and awake.
Reducing screen time involves putting away gadgets — computers, phones, televisions, etc, and also dimming bright lights or switching off lightbulbs.
This would help you create the perfect atmosphere for sleep and aid the effectiveness of your sleep schedule.
5. Have relaxation periods.
Stress is one of the major reasons for low sleep quality. To ensure your sleep schedule is not broken by tiredness or stress, plan periods for relaxation and ensure that you through.
In response to stress, your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone, as a sort of blaring alarm, telling you how stressed you are. Therefore, the higher the cortisol, the more awake you are. Consequently, the more conscious and awake you are, the harder it is to fall asleep.
6. Begin a nightly routine
People have pre-sleep routines like brushing, taking warm showers, reading, breathing exercises, etc. Prepare yourself for sleep with activities you can easily turn into routines.
Make these activities a routine, and your body will become conditioned to sleeping immediately after these routine activities,
Sleep schedules can only be maintained by consistency. And if you figure you may have a sleeping disorder, it is advisable to visit a community wellness center or a community health center. You can also reach out to us if you need help creating a consistent sleep schedule.