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How can you reset your sleep schedule fast?
Getting out of your sleep schedule can have serious effects on your mood, focus, and overall health.
Working night shifts, suffering from jet lag, or going out to late-night parties will affect your sleep schedule, causing you to feel groggy, irritated, and less productive.
Sleep is one of the most important parts of our lives. After all, it does take up about a third of our lives!
So resetting it after a broken schedule is a must if you want to feel good again.
But how can you do it quickly and avoid as much trouble as possible?
This article will give you 10 tips on how you can reset your sleep schedule fast and get back on track!
The Sleep Hormone
Let’s first talk a bit about the sleep hormone.
Melatonin is a powerful hormone that your brain produces to regulate your sleep cycle and helps bring on the sleep state.
The more melatonin your brain produces, the sleepier you become.
Different factors and activities will increase or decrease your levels of melatonin.
To reset your sleep schedule it’s important to know what makes your brain produce melatonin, and avoid what stops it, so you have an easier time falling asleep.
So what should you do?
Here are the 10 tips to reset your sleep schedule fast!
1. Plan Light and Darkness
According to Healthline, one of the best ways to reset your sleep schedule is to plan your exposure to light and darkness.
Your body’s internal clock is set by cues like light and darkness to tell the brain whether it’s day or night. Basically when to be awake and when to sleep.
How is this affecting melatonin?
Light decreases and darkness increases the production of melatonin.
To help you wake up in the morning, expose yourself to as much light as possible to decrease your levels of melatonin.
- Turn on all your lamps
- Open up your curtains
- Go out for a walk to get some daylight
To help you prepare for sleep at night, expose yourself to as much darkness as possible (no depressive pun intended).
Cut down on light at night to increase your levels of melatonin.
- Turn off, or dim all your lights at least an hour before bedtime
- Minimize your exposure to screens
By doing this, you’ll tell your brain it’s time to sleep.
2. Reset with Exercise
Use exercise to reset your body’s internal clock.
Most of your muscles are linked to your biological clock. When you work out, your muscles respond by adjusting your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal process in your body that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Both aerobic exercise (cardio) and resistance exercise (lifting weights) has been shown to have positive effects on sleep.
30 minutes of aerobic exercise can for example improve your sleep quality that same night. But you will of course get the best results if you exercise regularly, at least 3-4 times a week.
Also, an important part is the timing of the exercise.
Try to avoid intense exercise 1-2 hours before bedtime.
This may instead overstimulate your body, reduce your sleep quality and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Instead of exercising in the evening, after work or studies, you can try to do it before in the morning. Check out this article if you want to learn more about how to start exercising in the morning. And reset your sleep schedule as soon as you wake up!
3. Take Time to Relax
End your day with some form of relaxation to help you sleep better.
Relaxation is the last step in my 3-step evening routine process which you can read more about here.
Relaxation is important because your body produces more cortisol when you worry, feel stressed, or anxious. High levels of cortisol will make you more awake, will weaken your immune system, and also create more “brain fog”.
Before going to bed, practice some relaxation to reduce your stress and get better sleep.
Some examples to relax:
- Do a breathing technique
- Listen to some calming music
- Listen to a sleep meditation
- Go for a short walk
- Have a cup of caffeine-free tea
4. No Noise
Disturbing noises of traffic, neighbors, beeping phones, or barking dogs can easily disrupt your sleep.
You should remove noise from your bedroom as much as possible to fall asleep fast and stay that way.
Some tips to avoid disturbing noise:
- Turn off your phone or set it in silent mode.
- Close all windows to remove as much outdoor noise as possible.
- Listen to a brown noise video to block out other disturbing noises. Brown noise a low-frequency sound, perfect for sleep, insomnia, and relaxation.
- Use ear-plugs (my favorite).
5. Keep it Cool
When your body prepares for sleep its temperature drops.
From a study made by the National Institutes of Health, the temperature of the room you sleep in is one of the most important factors for getting high quality of sleep.
A bedroom temperature of 15 to 19℃ will help you feel comfortable and higher your chances of quality sleep.
Whereas temperatures below 12℃, or higher than 24℃ might lower your sleep.
Open up your windows, use a fan or adjust your thermostat to achieve a perfect sleep temperature.
As a last bonus tip here, hang up damp towels in your bedroom to lower the temperature. This might sound a bit weird but it’s a thermodynamics thing that basically explains that the water from the damp towels will evaporate and cause a cooling effect to your bedroom.
6. Time Meals & Caffeine
Your circadian rhythm is also affected by your eating habits.
Give your body enough time to digest your meals. For example, avoid a late-night dinner as this can delay your ability to fall asleep.
Eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime, to be on the safe side.
What you eat is equally important here. Meals with high levels of fat takes more time to digest and can further delay and disrupt your sleep.
Also, caffeine, as you probably know, will make you feel more awake. So avoid it after lunch.
Why you may ask?
Well, let’s look at the numbers…
Caffeine has a half-life of about 5-6 hours.
This means that once you get a dose of caffeine into your system, it takes about 5-6 hours for your body to break down half of that dose.
So, if you have a cup of coffee (about 100 mg of caffeine) as an afternoon delight at 3 pm, you’ll still have about 50 mg left in your body between 8 and 9 pm.
The caffeine that’s still in your body will affect your ability to fall asleep.
Make sure to give your body enough time to digest the food and have your coffee before lunch to make your sleep as good as possible.
7. Save the Bed
Your bed should only be used for sleep and one more thing…
Save the bed from watching Netflix, studying, working, gaming, social media, and practically any other activity.
You must associate your bed as a place where you sleep, and not as your office or entertainment hub.
Teach your body that once it enters the bed, it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep.
What about reading in bed?
Personally, I enjoy reading before going to bed. And from my own experience, reading a book before bed is not as disrupting as using my phone.
In the ideal case, you should read at a different place (like your sofa or chair), to save the bed.
But I know this can be impractical and I guess you should try different ways to find what works best for you.
If you’re used to reading in your bed before sleep and have no trouble falling asleep afterward, then no worries.
On the other hand, if you’re having trouble and still enjoy reading, try it at a different place and save the bed for sleeping.
8. Go Low-Tech
The infamous blue-light from screens is said to decrease your levels of melatonin and in that way disrupt your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep.
But its effect on sleep is, according to Dr. Cahthy Goldstein, blown out of proportion.
She advises turning down the brightness and avoiding hours of aimless scrolling to improve your sleep, instead of compensating with any blue-light filter.
The main reason for going low-tech before bedtime is to remove distractions from your mind.
If I happen to use my phone right before bed it’s not to check social media or respond to texts.
I turn off all notifications, put it in silent mode, and listen to a sleep meditation or similar to unwind and relax, without looking at the screen.
So, make sure to save yourself from tech in the evening to get the best possible sleep!
9. Set a Schedule
Maybe not the hottest tips out there, but by setting a sleep schedule you will teach your body’s internal clock when it’s bedtime and when it’s wake-up time.
So, pick a time to go to bed and a time to wake up.
Simple as that!
Most of us need about 7-9 hours of sleep to feel rested.
Also, make time to fall asleep.
Once I’m in bed, it sometimes takes up to 30 minutes before I’m actually able to fall asleep. Make sure to take that “transition phase” into account when you set your bed- and wake-up time.
And then the hardest part…
When you’ve picked your times, stick to them!
Of course, you can allow yourself to be flexible with a couple of hours, especially on weekends.
But the fact remains: if you stay consistent, your circadian rhythm will adapt and you will fall asleep and wake up when you want!
10. Get help
If you try the tips above and still are struggling to reset your sleep schedule, don’t hesitate to get help from your doctor.
Sleep is serious!
And not getting enough can cause serious health issues for you.
You shouldn’t have to suffer from a lack of sleep, there is help to get.
Reach out to medical professionals to get the sleep you need and deserve!
Here are 10 tips we covered in this article to reset your sleep schedule fast and get back on track:
- Plan Light and Darkness
- Reset with Exercise
- Take Time to Relax
- No Noise
- Keep it Cool
- Time Meals & Caffeine
- Save the Bed
- Go Low-Tech
- Set a Schedule
- Get help
Wake up with excitement!
The last tip in this article to reset your sleep schedule is having an exciting morning routine.
A morning routine that you’ll look forward to when you wake up, helps you to get out of bed, and for that reason, helps you get back on track after a broken sleep schedule.
So how do you create an exciting morning routine?
Keep calm, we got you covered!
We’ve put together a free 7-Day Morning Routine Guide where you will learn a simple 3-step process to make the most out of your mornings and create a solid foundation for the rest of your day.
This guide is a summary of our favorite morning habits that we have seen the most benefits from.
Click here to learn more about the 7-Day Morning Routine Guide.
I wish you a good night’s sleep!
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