A broken body clock is one of the many, many effects of the world getting shuttered and spending most of the time at home.
With work, family, and even Zoom birthday parties all done at home, the days and hours can blur together and make it tough to get some shuteye at night. Not to mention, the stress and anxiety of the pandemic can keep the mind abuzz and unable to relax.
But it’s extremely important to maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle of at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Not only is our circadian rhythm known to affect focus and performance at work, but adequate sleep also plays a major role in maintaining peak physical and mental health.
Find out how to reset your sleeping schedule with these five tried-and-tested methods that you can start doing right at home!
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
The first step to rebooting your body clock is sticking to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day so your mind and body could slowly but surely adjust to the new routine.
Even when you are unable to doze off at the right hour, make sure you wake up early—no matter how sleepy you are! Remember, getting up late will only delay your bedtime even more in the evening. And while weekends are usually for sleeping in, try waking up not more than an hour beyond your schedule to avoid mixing up the circadian rhythm.
Use Light (or Lack of Light) to Your Advantage
Light plays a huge role in a person’s sleep schedule as it triggers the brain to halt its production of melatonin, known as the “hormone of sleep.” So if you’re finding it a chore to get going in the morning, step outside and get some vitamin D! Or at the very least, open the curtains to let the sunlight in.
As the production of melatonin is prompted by darkness, it’s also important to create a dark and cool environment in the bedroom when it’s time for slumber. Get heavier curtains to block out street lamps outside, and avoid bright lamps and blue light screens in bed.
When you’re strategic with your light exposure, keeping a sleep schedule can become a lot more manageable.
When you’re learning how to fix your body clock, working out isn’t top of mind. But exerting the body helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle and even improves the quality of your sleep.
Just make sure that you’re not working out too close to bedtime. An hour or two before hitting the sack should be fine, but any closer than that will likely overstimulate you and make it more difficult to turn in.
Avoid Eating Close to Bedtime
Midnight snacks and eating may be a pleasure, but if you’re already having trouble nodding off, it’s best not to indulge. Try eating your last meal about two to three hours before sleeping to allow the body ample time to digest it.
At night, it’s also best to avoid consuming products that could keep you up, such as caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol that’s been shown to disrupt the sleep cycle.
Set a Relaxing Nighttime Routine
Don’t expect to get to bed and fall into a deep slumber instantly. Give yourself time to wind down and create a relaxing experience at home. Stay away from stimulating activities, like watching Netflix or playing games on the cellphone. Meditation, soothing music, a comfy bed, and a cool temperature can help lull you to sleep.
Sleep deprivation and a wonky body clock can be challenging, but be patient. Beat the stress of the pandemic and find ways to be more relaxed, like a spa treatment at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas in Boracay or a refreshing day tour at the Antique Malumpati Cold Spring.
Words by Celia Nachura
Featured image via Pixabay