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If you’re one of the 50 to 70 million people out there who suffers from sleep issues, you’re probably already well-aware of how finicky our bodies are with regard to rest. One early-morning flight or sleepless night and you’re off your routine for days, even weeks. But is there a way to get back on track? Indeed, there are some minor yet meaningful changes you can make to realign and get back into that good-sleep groove. Here are a few of our favorite ways to start over on a new schedule.
1. Stay Consistent — Sleep schedules get out of whack because something knocks them off track, whether it be jet lag or a night of anxiety. But keeping your bedtime the same every night and waking up the same time every day is the best way to help ensure that your body stays on schedule. We know this isn’t always possible or realistic, but as long as you keep it in the back of your mind as a general rule, you’ll be much less likely to get off track in the future.
2. Trick Your Body — If you have for some reason fallen out of a consistent sleep schedule and are failing to get to sleep at the right time, one great way to get back on it is to trick your body into getting to sleep earlier so you rise earlier. This will help you hit the “reset” button on your sleep routine so you can start fresh in the morning.
a. Hit the hay with a sleep mask. Light is one of the body’s key signifiers that it’s time to go to bed or wake up. You can trick your body into thinking it’s nighttime even during the day by wearing a weighted eye mask to block out light and help you relax. This will help you get to bed when the rest of the world is still awake and stay asleep before it’s time to rise.
b. Keep the curtains closed. We often think getting up earlier is better for sleep, but that’s not always true, especially if you rise with the sun. Sleeping after dawn can help you get your recommended daily amount of sleep, so drawing the blinds or wearing a sleep mask can help.
c. Try melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone produced by the body. It’s released by the pineal gland to help control the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Studies have shown that taking a melatonin supplement before bed may help you get to sleep faster, so it’s a good option to try if you want to reset by getting to bed earlier.
3. Quiet the Anxiety — While insomnia happens for a variety of reasons, one of the most common is anxiety, stress and racing thoughts. The problem? Anxiety and stress cause lack of sleep, but lack of sleep causes anxiety and stress. It’s a vicious cycle that’s tough to break from. Finding ways to calm your anxiety, whether it be snuggling up with a weighted throw blanket or seeking out professional therapy, is a great way to help set yourself up for better rest.4. Create a Desirable Sleep Environment — The best way to fix your sleep schedule? Make yourself want to go to sleep! One of the easiest ways to do this is to design a dream-inducing bedroom with all serene bells and whistles. We’re not saying you should go out and spend thousands on new bedding and pillows, but definitely make sure everything in your bedroom is serving the purpose of helping you get high-quality sleep. Choose luxury bedding that helps keep you cool and comfy all night.
We all know that staying on a consistent sleep schedule is crucial to our health and wellness, from helping us focus on a daily basis to staving off disease in the long-term. But getting off schedule from time to time is inevitable and it happens to everyone. Just make sure to keep some of these tricks in your back pocket the next time you get out of the groove.