Creating Your Sleep Schedule – Tips To Getting a Good Night’s Rest

creating sleep schedule

There’s nothing like getting a good night’s rest, and the best way to achieve this is by creating a sleep schedule (and sticking to it). There’s no doubting the importance of sleep. But sleep isn’t as simple as closing your eyes and drifting off.

If you’ve got an irregular sleep schedule, it will effect your waking hours.

There are a whole bunch of strategies to help you create a sleep schedule. You don’t have to do all of them at once. Start with three items and then add others as you go along. It will take some time for you to get used to it, but it’s worthwhile.

Different Phases of Sleep

Just as there are different types of rest, there are also different types (or phases) of sleep. To feel truly refreshed, it’s necessary to prioritise deep rest. 

Sleep comprises distinct phases: Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM). NREM has three stages: drowsiness to light sleep (Stage 1), light sleep to deeper relaxation (Stage 2), and deep restorative sleep (Stage 3). REM, where vivid dreams occur, is vital for cognitive function and emotional processing.

These phases cycle throughout the night and are all important.

good night's sleep

How to Fix a Sleep Schedule

Struggling to sleep is one of the overlooked behavioral symptoms of anxiety and a good sleep schedule is a great way to address it. A good night’s rest can make a massive difference in your daily life and your mental health. Having a sleep schedule can do wonders for your body and mind. Here are some strategies to help you fix your sleep schedule and get the rest you need.

Set a time to go to bed

Going to bed at the same time every day and maintaining a good sleeping schedule is necessary for a good night’s sleep.

Our bodies have an internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep-wake cycles. Going to sleep at consistent times helps synchronize this rhythm. An irregular sleep schedule can disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to sleep problems, daytime fatigue, and low mood.

Having a sleep schedule reinforces a balanced sleep pattern, enhancing both the quality and quantity of restorative sleep. Sleep consistency not only supports better sleep health but also contributes to a more energized and focused daily life.

Quiet the house

Quiet is essential for sleep so turn off your computer and your TV. Noise disruptions during sleep can fragment sleep cycles and hinder deep sleep stages,

A quiet environment fosters a calming environment that encourages relaxation. A serene setting minimizes disturbances, allowing your body to unwind and your mind to drift into restful sleep.

Reduce fluid intake in the evening

Minimizing liquids before bed prevents nighttime awakenings due to trips to the bathroom. It ensures uninterrupted sleep by reducing the likelihood of disruptions caused by a full bladder.

Reduce alcoholic beverages in the late evening

Avoid alcohol before sleep as it disrupts sleep patterns. While it might induce drowsiness initially, alcohol impairs sleep quality by fragmenting sleep cycles. It also reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is vital for restoration.

Additionally, it can lead to frequent awakenings, snoring, and worsening sleep disorders. Not ideal for your healthy sleeping schedule.

Darken and cool the bedroom

Darkness signals your body to produce melatonin, aiding sleep onset and depth. Cooler temperatures, around 60-67°F (15-19°C), align with the body’s natural cooling during sleep.

The combination of darkness and cool temperatures fosters an ideal environment conducive for a night of restorative sleep.

trouble sleeping

No bed buddies

As much as you might not want to, for a proper night’s rest, you should remove kids and pets from your bed.

This is because their movements and sounds can disturb your sleep, and wake you up. If you’ve got a cat, I’m sure you’re familiar with their late-night antics that can startle you awake.

I’d never be able to get rid of bed buddies, but I do cherish my undisturbed nights while I’m away from home.

Park your ideas.

If your mind is active late in the evening, place a notepad and pen next to your bed so you can let all your thoughts out before you settle in for sleep.

If you’re really stressed about things you have to do in the morning, make yourself a to-do list.

Relax, meditate or read a book before bed

Activities like relaxing, meditating or reading help to unwind your mind, reducing stress and anxiety that can hinder sleep. Engaging in calming practices creates a transition between the day’s busyness and restful sleep, promoting a peaceful and uninterrupted night’s rest.

You could even try a session of Yoga Nidra before bed.

tips creating a sleep schedule

Avoid checking e-mails or messages before bed

Avoiding e-mails and messages before bed is crucial for quality sleep. The blue light emitted by screens suppresses melatonin, disrupting your circadian rhythm.

Additionally, engaging with work-related matters stimulates your mind, making it harder to unwind. Rather prioritize relaxation activities to promote restful sleep and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Stay in bed

It may be tempting, but rather don’t get out of bed. Even if you experience occasional difficulty falling asleep, staying in bed helps maintain the association between bed and sleep.

If you cannot sleep, close your eyes and relax

If you’re struggling to sleep, closing your eyes and relaxing is helpful. While it may not guarantee immediate sleep, this practice promotes a calmer state of mind.

It also reduces anxiety about not sleeping, which can exacerbate insomnia. Focusing on relaxation minimizes the pressure to sleep, increasing the likelihood of eventually drifting into slumber.

However, if your anxiety is spiking late at night, it might be worth trying some sensory regulation activities

Set a wake time, and stay in bed until then

Setting a consistent wake time and remaining in bed until then is vital for regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. This practice reinforces your internal clock, promoting better sleep quality over time.

Avoid the temptation to snooze or rise earlier, as it helps maintain a steady sleep routine, enhancing your overall sleep patterns

did you sleep well

Eliminate naps

Napping disrupts your body’s sleep drive and can make it harder to fall asleep at night. It can lead to shallow sleep, nighttime awakenings, and difficulty reaching deep sleep stages.

If naps are needed, limit them to power naps of fewer than 20 minutes.

Avoid caffeine in the late afternoons or evenings

Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep onset and quality. It takes hours to wear off, so consuming it close to bedtime disrupts your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

I always have trouble falling asleep if I have a glass of Coke in the evenings.

Exercise during the day

Engaging in daytime exercise improves sleep quality. Physical activity raises body temperature, followed by a drop during sleep that aids relaxation. I always sleep better after I’ve attended a yoga class,

Regular exercise also reduces stress and anxiety (which are common sleep disruptors). However, avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.

sleep schedule

Did You Sleep Well?

Check in with yourself after adding these new strategies. Did you notice a difference? Did you sleep well? Do some work better than others?

If you’re curious about the quality of your sleep, you could get a sleep app which will give you a variety of data regarding the quality of your sleep. Alternatively, you could also use the iPhone sleeping schedule function.

Sleep is the Best Medicine

Sleep is nature’s most powerful remedy. During slumber, your body repairs tissues, consolidates memories, regulates your nervous system and balances hormones.

Adequate sleep boosts immune function, cognitive sharpness, and emotional well-being. It’s an essential time for the brain to detoxify and recharge.

Sleep schedules are extremely important when it comes to mastering your anxiety. Without quality sleep, everything becomes a lot more challenging.

tips to falling asleep

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