Our body has an internal clock that enables us to fall asleep and wake. It’s called the circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm plays a crucial role if you want to fall asleep on time and stay in deep sleep.
The circadian rhythm is, in essence, our body’s timekeeper for sleep.
For example, the circadian rhythm helps our bodies to respond to environmental cues that inform our bodies to feel sleepy or awake.
Here’s the good news:
Since our body’s natural clock revolves around things we can control, we can improve our surroundings to help us fall asleep on time.
Here are a few things you can do.
1. Have a consistent sleep schedule
Remember when you were younger and your parents would tuck you in bed at a specific time each night?
Your parents were on to something. One study shows that a bedtime routine reduces problematic sleep behaviors ad helps infants and toddlers sleep faster.
But it’s not only adults that benefit from a consistent sleep schedule. For older people, sleeping on time helps to reduce insomnia, according to recent research.
Here’s the point: A regular sleeping time is an important way to cue the body to wind down.
On the weekdays, make it a point to find a time to sleep and stick to it. I go to bed around 10 pm each night and often stick to it during the workweek.
If you’re a night owl or work night shifts, you can still choose a time when you want to go to bed and stick to it.
The key is to find a time that works for you and repeat it over and over again.
This routine tends to give the body and mind a definite start and finish time for the completion of the rejuvenation process.
2. Set up your bedroom for a good night’s sleep
Your sleep environment plays a crucial role if you want to fall sleep on time at night.
The bedrooms of most people are not organized and designed to help their bodies to wind down.
Here are a few things you can do today to instantly improve your bedroom so you fall asleep faster.
Lights. Your bedroom light can affect sleep quality.
In general, stay away from blue light as it stimulates attention and energy – something you don’t need when you want to fall asleep.
If you cannot have a dark bedroom while you sleep, consider using red rights.
Red lights, unlike blue lights, can help influence your circadian rhythm and stave off melatonin. Light plays a critical role in reducing jet lag.
Sound. Most people cannot sleep in loud environments.
If that’s you, consider using white noise to block out distractions and sleep faster.
Research has shown that listening to music while sleeping can help people to sleep.
3. Unwind before bed
Unwinding is the only way to steadily prep your body and mind to relax and get it ready for bed.
You can choose to have a cold or warm shower, read or listen to music as a way to unwind before sleep.
Mobile phones, TVs, laptops, iPads all tend to be great distractions when it comes to getting ready to sleep.
At one point or another, we find ourselves playing video games, or busily scrolling through our Instagram feeds.
Don’t do this. That takes up much time than we even realize.
Turn all these off or keep them in a different room when it is time to sleep to reduce any form of distraction.
4) Avoid caffeine in the evening
The caffeine in coffee hinders the functions of a brain hormone, namely adenosine.
This, in turn, increases the production of other hormones that make you active, a study shows.
When we drink coffee or any beverage with caffeine in the mornings, it helps us stay active during the day and through our line of work.
However, if you take this a few hours before sleep, you’d likely find it difficult to sleep earlier.
And this could also mean reducing the quality of sleep we wish to have.