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How can I fix my sleep schedule?

This question is frequently asked by people who are suffering from an odd sleeping schedule.

In this article, we will go through 12 tips that can help you fix your sleeping habits.

Now let’s jump into the blog!

Did you ever notice why we feel sleepy at the same time every day?

Why we feel hungry around the same time throughout our routine?

Did you ever ponder on the fact that all human beings had a routine or schedule?

Your Routine can be effective or ineffective but still, you follow it or try to follow it.

The point is that, by following the same routine day in and day out our body becomes immune to that routine and tends to follow it without even knowing.

The sleeping schedule is a part of our routine and we follow it unintentionally as it had become a habit to sleep late.

Changing your sleeping habits is not an easy job.

This is why you need to read this article and try the tips or techniques that suit you the most to fix your sleep schedule.

Whether you are a night owl who wants to become a morning bird or a student whose vacation had just ended or an employee who had been assigned to do night shifts.

Hopefully! This article will help with how you can fix your sleep schedule?

Are You in Command of your Sleep?

Sleep schedules or sleep habits may vary from person to person.

The difference in sleep schedule is because of our routine preferences, job timings, and activities that we perform during the night hours.

As discussed above, we all follow some sort of routine.

The nervous system which is responsible for sending signals from the brain to other parts of your body is responsible for telling you things like when you need to eat, and when you are most active during the day, and finally when you feel tired and need to go to bed.

To strengthen the above statement consider this example. When you are working overnight or studying for an exam you force your brain and body to stay awake although your nervous system had transmitted signals to your body that you are tired and need to go to bed.

This is perfect evidence that if you force your brain, you can break the sleep routine and by doing the same practice day by day you can fix your sleep schedule as per your preference.

Our Internal Body Clock

By the way, do you know that there is a built-in body clock inside the human brain?

The desire to sleep comes from this clock.

Consider the example, that you are reading a book and your nervous system signals you that you are tired and need to go to bed. You force your brain by giving signals to your brain as “I will first finish this chapter and then go to bed.” This means that you have pushed your body clock 30 minutes ahead just by telling your brain that first let me finish this chapter then I will go to sleep. This implies that just because you have a habit of sleeping at 2 a.m. doesn’t mean that you cannot change it.

It is quite simple if you want to fix your sleeping schedule? You have to first reset your body clock.

Where is the body clock situated?

The body clock is placed inside your brain in a part called Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This part receives light information from the human eyes and then send it to the human brain where SCN processes the information and releases sleep signaling hormones called melatonin.

Melatonin and Desire to Sleep?

The release of Melatonin(Def) is responsible for initiating sleep desire. Melatonin is released when you sleep under dim lighting or in a dark room.

Bright lighting in a room, glowing screen of cell phones or laptops are key problems that can affect the release of Melatonin from your brain.

This is the reason, it is suggested to finish the use of laptops or mobile phones 30 minutes before going to bed. (1)

On the other hand, our sleep schedule also gets affected when traveling especially through different time zones.

Things that affect Sleep Schedule

As our body clock is set as per our resident time zone and while traveling from one time zone to another our internal body clock gets disturbed as we are now scheduling our activities as per the official time of the new time zone. In this case, we end up staying up much later than our usual sleeping time.

Similarly, the people who do rotating jobs are prone to suffer from continuously varying sleeping schedules and such people usually had difficulties with sleep as their body clock gets confused between different sleep schedules that they are following night in and night out.

Why you should Fix Your Sleep Schedule?

It is very difficult to carry a disturbed body clock as it directly affects our level of productivity throughout the routine.

Misalignment in sleep schedule not only disturbs our sleeping pattern but it eventually led us towards various chronic health issues in the long run. Diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression, obesity, sleep disorder, and seasonal affective disorder are among the most common chronic health issues caused due to prolonged disturbed body clock and sleep schedule.

Prolonged misalignment in sleep schedule can itself be considered as a sleep disorder.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 percent of adults in USA are facing advance sleep disorder which implies that they go to bed at about 6 to 9 p.m. and wake up at about 1 or 5 a.m. (2)

On the other hand, it had been established by the Cleveland Clinic that young people experience the opposite. They are prone to be affected from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). DSPS can be defined as going to bed extremely late and waking up late. According to Cleveland Clinic, about 15 percent of teenagers are affected by Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). (3)

12 Tips How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

But remember being patient as patience is the key of accomplishing anything.

If you are following a specific sleep schedule for quite some time and now aiming towards changing it, it is quite difficult.

But we have cracked the code and compiled 12 tips that will help you in getting answers to the question, how to fix your sleep schedule?

 Now let’s jump into the 12 tips on how to fix your sleep schedule. 

1. Try to go to bed a bit early

Try it slowly by decreasing your bedtime gradually until you achieve the desired bedtime. It is highly recommended to take consultancy from a physician if you are facing problems in planning and executing this strategy.

Rafael Pelayo, MD, professor at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and the Stanford University School of Medicine in California said that:

“it is quite easy to advance your sleep time but it is very difficult to reduce it.”

This implies that going to bed 1 hour late is easy but going to bed 1 hour early is quite difficult.

In light of this statement Mr. Rafael Pelayo, suggested us to move slowly and decrease your sleep time gradually with small increments. In easy words, start by going to sleep 15 minutes earlier for a week and start adding 15 minutes every two to three days until you achieve the desired sleeping time.

2. Do not take a cheat nap even if you are exhausted

Taking cheat naps at non-appropriate timings damages your sleep timing at night. To overcome the feeling of exhaustion, Rafael Pelayo suggested scheduling activities like playing video games, going to a walk or doing exercise when you feel drowsy at an inappropriate time.

3. Establish a reason or purpose that will encourage you to get out of bed

To wake up early or at an appropriate time, you need to set an alarm and the alarm should be loud enough that it wakes you up and force you out of bed even if you don’t want to.

In this case, alarm are the reasons, purposes, and desires that drive you out of bed.

These purposes can be; a morning cardio session to stay healthy, desire to attend a meeting, desire to get to work on time, desire to do exercise to loss those extra pounds, desire to complete the final stage of some video game, and many more reasons that you can think of that would encourage you to jump out of bed early in the morning.

Mr. Rafael Pelayo professor at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic had an opinion that the body clock in the human brain needs instructions to act upon and those instructions should be the reasons or activities that you enjoy and that forces you out of bed even when you don’t want to.

4. Strictly follow your Sleep Schedule.

Once you have reached an appropriate bedtime and the most suitable wake-up time, strictly sticking to that sleep schedule is the most critical part of the process of sleeping schedule fixes.

My advice to you is to be consistent and even stubborn when it comes to sticking to your sleeping schedule.

Don’t overthrow the sleep schedule for even one night as one night is enough to ruin all your efforts that you had done for weeks to achieve the desired sleep schedule.

5. Avoid exposure to light during bedtime

Our internal body clock is light-sensitive according to research that was published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in June 2014.

The research concluded that getting expose to evening light can shift your body clock to later schedule(4) and the study authors recommended that by reducing the household light before going to bed is an effective way to reduce circadian misalignment, which means that while going to bed it is recommended to avoid bright and outdoor light along with the use of bright screen devices like Television, smartphone, and laptop.

It is highly advised to keep your surroundings dim while you are trying to go to sleep. You can also wear a soft and breathable sleep mask or eye mask to get rid of unwanted light as you sleep.

6. Avoid exercising close to bedtime.

Exercising is an activity that overstimulates our body.

Exercising increases the level of physiological or nervous activities in our body and if you try to sleep immediately after exercising the increased level of nervous activities keeps you awake or makes it difficult for you to sleep.

7. Avoid dinner, tea or coffee close to bedtime.

Eating food responds to your circadian rhythm and can keep your mind awake.

On the other hand, eating just before you sleep makes you feel full that can affect your sleep quality.

It is advised to eat your last meal two to three hours before bedtime as this will give your body enough time to digest food.

Mr. Rafael Pelayo, explains that eating food can give you heartburn.

Heartburn is a burning feeling in your chest or throat. When you ate food just before sleeping, you are likely to feel heartburns that may disturb you while you are trying to sleep.

Rafael Pelayo also added that it highly recommended by the sleep experts to avoid the use of tea, coffee, and cigarettes just before you sleep as they contain caffeine and nicotine which can force you to stay awake despite your desire to sleep.

8. Set a calm and relaxing bedtime routine.

God had created nighttime for relaxing and to recover from the fatigue and tiredness that your body had gone through while following the routine activities.

It is highly recommended to do activities that make you feel relaxed before going to sleep like; reading books, playing with your kids, taking a relaxing bath, taking a refreshing bedtime tea, and listening to some relaxing music.

Making such activities part of your pre-sleeping routine increases the quality of sleep and will eventually help you in setting an effective sleep schedule.

We highly recommend the use of bedtime teas as it helps you to fall asleep and be more alert and productive the Next Day.

9. Make sure your bed is comfy and cozy.

The main idea of falling asleep is to feel relaxed and comfy.

It is recommended to use a comfortable mattress , mattress pads or toppers and pillow at the time of sleeping. It also recommended to use bed-sheets having cozy and comfy texture as it puts a cherry on the top of your sleeping experience.

Making your bed comfy and cozy will help you in improving your sleep cycles. It is very important to feel relaxed and comfortable thought out the night.

10. Use Melatonin Sleeping aid tablets and Gummies with doctors’ consent.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps our body to sleep.

Melatonin is made by our body’s pineal gland that is located above the middle part of our brain. During the day time pineal gland is inactive. As the sun goes down and darkness spreads Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) turns on pineal gland and the pineal gland starts making melatonin that is then released into the blood.

As the night passes the level of melatonin in blood starts to increase and it is usually from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. the level of melatonin become so high that your body began to feel drowsy and less alert.

When a person had problems in sleeping or had a disturbed sleep schedule, he or she can take melatonin from external sources like tablets and chewable gummies after taking consultation and recommendations from a doctor.

11. Set a relaxing and peaceful bedroom environment.

It is a universal fact that the environment we live in has an overall effect on our activities. This is the sole reason why people prefer to study at the library because the library maintains a quiet and peaceful environment that is well suited for studying or for reading books.

To fix your sleep schedule it is recommended that you set up a peaceful, quiet and mild environment inside your bedroom especially during the sleeping hours. By setting a peaceful, quiet and mild environment we mean that:

  • Keep your bedroom light low or dim during the sleeping hours.
  • Keep your room warm and cozy in winters and cool and comfy in summers.
  • Keep your environment clean from loud noises while you are trying to sleep. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, this might affect your sleep. However, you can use ear plugs and sleeping headphones while sleeping if you want to avoid loud sounds at night.
  • White Noise helps you in falling asleep. The soothing noise of the fan, air conditioner, humidifier, air purifier, are examples of white noises. You can also buy White Noise Machine if you want to create a soothing and mind noise artificially.
  • Keep your cell phone silent during bedtime.

12. Set up an appointment with your health care provider.

If all the above tips are not working for you and if your sleep schedule is still affecting your daily routine, job, and other responsibilities. We highly recommend you, take the consent of your healthcare provider. Tell your doctor all the issues that you are facing with your sleep schedule.

The quality of sleep that you get highly affects your productivity throughout the day and to some extent, low-quality sleep also makes your body and mind prone to several healthcare problems.

Habitually being affected with sleep disorder can do a lot of damage to your mental health. If your healthcare provider doesn’t have the expertise to help you, he/she might refer you to some sleep specialist who can help you.

There are a lot of sleep experts in the USA that might help you in setting and implementing a road-map that can help you in fixing your sleep schedule.

Go For it, I know you can fix your sleep schedule

While pushing your sleep routine on track don’t get upset if you don’t get result instantly.

As we have mentioned many times in this article. Fixing your sleep schedule is not an easy task but it’s not impossible.

Many People have tried fixing their sleep schedule and it can be achieved, but with discipline and determination.

Here are 12 tips that can help you in fixing your sleep schedule

  • Try to go to bed a bit early.
  • Do not take a cheat nap even if you are exhausted.
  • Establish a reason or purpose that will encourage you to get out of bed.
  • Strictly follow your sleep schedule.
  • During bedtime, avoid exposure to light.
  • Avoid exercising close to bedtime.
  • Avoid dinner, tea or coffee close to bedtime.
  • Set a calm and relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Make sure your bed is comfy and cozy.
  • Use Melatonin Sleeping aid tablets and Gummies with doctors’ consent.
  • Set a relaxing and peaceful bedroom environment.
  • Set up an appointment with your health care provider.

Hopefully, after reading this blog you have had got answers to the question, how to fix your sleep schedule?

Don’t forget to tell us about your experiences in the comment section also tell us which tip you prefer the most.

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