Adulting being a real struggle is already an understatement. Responsibilities and errands are always right at your face. Heck, even getting a night of sleep is now a struggle! Catching a good zzz may be a little too difficult for some – especially with the heat of the summer season! Now that school is out, many students find it weird to keep the usual early-to-bed-early-to-rise schedule. So here we are to give you some tips on how to establish your sleep routine for another day full of work.
1. Manipulate lighting
Research suggests that manipulating light exposure may help reset the body clock, particularly for disturbances caused by jet lag. The light remains a key focus of researchers and is often a point of treatment for sleep phase disorders (Osmun, 2014). Essentially, this means you should follow earth’s natural cues. Expose yourself to natural sunlight and bright light in the morning and throughout the day. Start dimming lights in the evening as the sun winds down, with your bedroom being virtually black and devoid of any screens or LEDs.
2. Fast, then normalize meal times.
Digestion and metabolism also play a role in wakefulness and sleepiness. When you eat, and to some extent, what you eat, can help you reset your sleep clock. Once your sleep is back on track, stick to regular breakfast and dinner times to help support consistent circadian rhythms, with about 12 hours between breakfast and dinner. Eat dinner at least a few hours before bed, and a filling breakfast shortly after waking. Some research also shows that saturated fats in meat and dairy may be bad to eat near bedtime, so sticking with leaner fare for dinner and eating heavier meals earlier in the day might be better.
3. Maintain a strict and consistent sleep schedule.
If you happen to find yourself groggy at around 10 PM, then you must make it a habit to sleep by that hour. This will set your mind and body to automatically settle down by this time. This way, you won’t have to struggle by 11 PM or later than that.
4. Avoid electronics, bright lights and stress in the hours before bed.
Before your assigned bedtime, say 10 PM, you should be avoiding the use of gadgets, bright lights, and loud noises by 9 PM. This will set your body that you are about to take a rest.
5. Limit caffeine after lunch.
Now we are guilty of this. For all coffee lovers out there, your cup of coffee may be the one to blame for having difficulty in sleeping. Avoid caffeine consumption after lunch, as it will keep you awake late at night. Chances are, it will be very late that it will make you groggy the next morning.
6. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.
Keeping your room dark and cozy will prevent you from any stimulating activities and noises. It will also spare you from disturbing thoughts right before you sleep. A quiet room is a good start.
7. Don’t stress about not sleeping – think in positive terms.
This is true in most cases. Most of us think that we do not deserve a good night of sleep and rest because there are still a lot of things unfinished. Think of it this way- you NEED to sleep for you to function properly the next day. Sleep is one of the many things to do to make you productive. Think positively!