Do you wonder why you get sleepy at the same time every night? Sometimes, you may not need to rely on an alarm for you to wake up but your mind gets alert around the same hour in the morning. You may assume that it is a mere coincidence, but there is a lot of science behind it.
Your body follows a certain sleep pattern which controls when you sleep and when you wake up. A consistent sleep pattern is what leads to good-quality sleep. We will look at the biological processes behind sleep schedules and how you can reset it. Read on!
The scientific explanation behind sleep schedules
Though we are all given the same hours, we set individual sleep schedules considering external factors such as how many hours we need to be active during the day.
It is possible to send signals to your body while setting your sleep schedule.For instance, you can tell your mind that you still have to do one more task before going to bed and delay the onset of feeling sleepy. If you want to adjust your sleep schedule, it gets easy by sending similar body signals. Your body has a natural clock.
The body clock is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythms which are regulated by the secretion of hormones. The brain’s hypothalamus is the part that contains your body clock. It gets light information from your eye’s retina and transmits it to different parts of the brain.
One of the parts that receive this information is the gland which is responsible for releasing the hormone that causes sleep, known as melatonin. External light from the environment suppresses the release of melatonin in the body, therefore, delaying the onset of sleep.
It means that the light signals transmitted to your brain from factors such as the computer or sunlight can affect your sleep schedule. To fix your sleep schedule, you should reset the body clock.
Why is it hard to maintain a sleep schedule?
We mentioned that your body clock is the one that controls your sleep schedule. Since the body clock is sensitive to factors such as light, excess exposure interferes with your sleep schedule. If you start developing a habit of staying up too late, you can quickly lose track of your program.
Traveling to a different time zone also affects your normal routine. You may have trouble adjusting to the new sleeping period because you are going against your internal body clock. Also, taking up a night shift job when you used to work during daytime makes it hard to keep track of sleep schedule. It may also be difficult to adjust and get a consistent sleep routine.
A misaligned sleep routine can affect the quality of your sleep and cause problems when you are expected to be active. It may lead to conditions like sleep disorders, depression, diabetes or even bipolar disorder.
In the youth, it can cause delayed sleep phase syndrome which is characterized by sleeping very late and also waking up late. If you force your body to wake up early when you have this condition, you may experience sleep deprivation which can affect your productivity in daily tasks.
How can you reset your sleep schedule?
If your inconsistent sleep schedule is making you late every morning and delaying your sleep at night, you need to reset it. Start with the following
Adjust the time you go to sleep
Physicians say that it easy to delay sleep compared to advancing it.Try to scale back the time you want to sleep until you achieve the desired hour. For instance, if your body gets sleepy at around 12 pm, try to sleep at 11.45pm the first night then at 11.15 pm the next day. Do this until your body adjusts to sleeping as early as you want.
Sometimes, fatigue during the day can make you feel like napping. Do not nap but instead do some exercises. This gets rid of the feeling so that you can save it for later during the night.
Use an alarm clock
This helps you to be consistent in your sleep schedule. Most of us are in the habit of snoozing the alarm for a few more minutes. This interferes with your internal body clock. The brain expects that you wake up and sleep at relatively the same time every day. You, therefore, need to get a purpose of waking up every day so that it can inspire you to get out of bed without feeling the need to extend for some few hours.
Once you achieve a workable sleep schedule, you should be disciplined and stick to it. Avoid things that can make you stray from your routine. A single late night sleeping can destroy your progress.
Stay away from excess light
Exposing your eyes to the excess light in the evening shifts your internal clock. You can reduce circadian misalignment by minimizing the amount of light during night time. Stay away from your laptop or TV if you intend to sleep early. Keep your phone far from your reach at night so that you don’t get tempted to use it. It can make you waste useful sleeping hours and also expose your eyes to intense light.
Increase comfort in your room
Ensure that your bedroom is comfortable enough for you to boost the quality of your sleep. Determine if it time to get a new mattress and choose a good supplier such as Simba mattress. Use good quality bedding and curtains to keep your room dim and comfortable.
Regulate the room temperature and take a bath before sleeping so that you can create a relaxing routine. You can even play some soothing music so that your body can look forward to relaxing.
Use melatonin supplements
This can help you handle any sleep disorders that may interfere with your sleep routine. They can treat insomnia or delayed sleep phase syndrome. Your doctor should help you decide if your body can handle melatonin supplements well.