Overly stressed? Working odd shifts? Tossing and turning when you crave sleep? Learn how to restart sleep cycle naturally with these easy tricks!
It is estimated that fifty to seventy million Americans have sleeping issues. This is reported by the CDC. Oftentimes, it is not your fault.
Stress runs our life. It is usually unavoidable. Issues come up. Conflicts arise. New schedules appear. We get sick. Any of these factors and more.
There are certain tricks that can be done to restart sleep cycle naturally. Some are easier than others. I will try and categorize each of the different methods depending on certain types of issues. Some may work better than others dependent on your lifestyle. Below are suggestions on how to restart sleep cycle naturally.
How to Restart Sleep Cycle Naturally
Issue One: Work with your body’s clockwork.
Our bodies are creatures of habit. They like patterns. The body runs on a twenty-four hour clock. This clock is scientifically known as a circadian rhythm. It works with the light and day and goes through 2 natural cycles that repeat every twenty-four hours.
During hours of dark your body is inclined to rest. During hours of light it is programmed to work. The pattern begins with a peak in the morning. A midday crash. A late afternoon spike. Finally a crash for bed time.
Tips to reset your body’s clock:
- Try waking up and falling asleep at the same time. This will help program your body to become “tired” at certain times and “alert” at other times. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends and staying out too late on non work days. This will only further mess with your clock.
- Be wary of napping. If you decide to take a nap do not let it extend past two or three o’clock. This will push your rhythms later and put you to sleep later.
Issue Two: Regulate your exposure to light
NOTE: This problem may be hard to fix for those people who are stuck working third shift.
How does sleep come about? Your body naturally creates a compound known as melatonin. Melatonin is naturally secreted during hours of darkness, and not so much during hours of light. This is what gives your body the feeling of “sleepiness”. This is why many of feel tired at the office. The lack of exposure to natural sunlight causes the secretion of melatonin.
How to restart your sleeping patterns with this issue?
- Have as much exposure to natural sunlight during the day as you can. Even opening the blinds can make the world of a difference.
- During the night there are several factors. For one: no bright lights two hours before falling asleep. This means no TV, cell phones, computer, tablets, etc. This messes with your brain and its ability to secrete melatonin.
- Of course, keep your room as dark as possible. The more darkness, the easier it is for the body to make melatonin.
Issue Three: Exercise
Exercise is critical to maintaining a good night’s sleep. This will not happen overnight. You need to develop an exercise regiment that sticks for a long period of time. What are the benefits of exercise? It allows your body to stay in the deep stages of sleep longer. Exercise also boosts metabolism, boosts core temperature, and boosts hormones.
Try the following:
- If possible exercise early in the morning. This will get you going. It will keep you awake and alert when you need it most at work or in school.
- Do not exercise right before bed. Even if you think that five mile run will “wear” you out you are wrong. The boost to your bodily functions will keep you wide awake when you want to sleep. A good rule of thumb is leave at a minimum three hours between exercise and bed.
Issue Four: Eating the wrong foods
This one is critical. Many people do not understand the consequences of their diet on their sleep patterns. Learn the effects of that food and beverages have with respect to sleep. Caffeine obviously boosts mental cognitive skills. Large meals boost metabolism and digestion. High liquid counts fill your bladder.
Ideas to avoid restless nights:
- Save the coffee and Red Bull for that crash you experience during the day. The caffeine will be in your body for awhile and will keep your mind alert, even if you do not feel it moving around.
- Do not drink liquor or other fluids leading up to your expected sleep. You will certainly wake up having to urinate if you drink a lot of water. Drinking alcohol messes with the chemical balances in your brain preventing a solid night’s rest.
Hopefully, you have gained a few tips to reset sleep cycle naturally. I have suffered from all of these sleep issues at some point in my life. When I was working long hours, it messed up my sleeping schedule. Even when I wanted to sleep in my body was programmed to wake up by a certain time. Naps are another thing have killed me time and time again. Every time I take a nap around 11 or 12 I am okay to go to bed that night. However, when I nap toward the latter afternoon I find myself restless and reaching for the melatonin.
Light certainly affects your body’s sleep cycle, so make a small investment to get good curtains or blinds to keep out the light. This has been very beneficial to me during my days in college. The exercise one is big too. We all live busy lives. It is part of being human. But, try and work out, go for a run, or lift earlier rather than later. There have been too many times that I lift at night (the only time after work or classes) that I have time. Trust me, it kept me up during the wee hours of the night.
Remember that you shouldn’t drink a lot before bed. It may get you “drowsy” when taking the right amount but you will not have quality sleep. Good luck and happy sleeping! Hope this helped you learn how to restart sleep cycle naturally! If all else fails, you can try a natural sleep aid like melatonin or chamomile.