It's never too late to get back on a schedule. Resetting your internal body clock for Monday's can be difficult, but we’re going to make it as easy as possible for you. With this guide, we will help you get back into a sleep routine and feel in sync each day!
Track Your Sleep
Lucky for you, there are many products out there that will track your quality of sleep for you. You can choose apps on your phone, or choose an iTouch Wearables product. The built-in sleep monitor will inform you on how many hours of sleep you had and how steady your sleep pattern is. Then, you can reflect on your results and see what you need to improve on for a higher quality rest.
Make Mornings Bright & Nights Dark
Naturally, we wake up to the sun rising and feel tired as the sun sets into darkness. The bright light tells your body when it’s morning and time to get up. To help this process, try turning on your lights as soon as your alarm goes off or opening the shades. Taking a walk in the sunshine is another healthy way to achieve this same feeling.
The same goes for at night. The dimming of lights cue your body that it’s time for sleep. Train your body to do this by eliminating any lights from your TV screen, tablet, or phone. These lights keep your brain alert and up, which you don’t want. For complete darkness, try sleeping with an eye mask to block out any external lights.
Wake Up Earlier & Sleep Earlier With No Naps
Getting into a sleep routine isn’t going to happen in just one night. Since this is a gradual process, you should set your alarm earlier and earlier each day. Start with fifteen minute increments, gradually getting to the schedule you want. What’s important with this is that you only want to set one alarm and never, EVER, hit snooze. This will only make waking up harder and ruin training your body. iTouch Wearables smart watches also have different settings with alarms to help you adjust.
Just as you’re waking up earlier, you need to learn to go to bed earlier. Start prepping your body for sleep early in the evening such as taking a warm bath, turning down the thermostat, reading a book, or listening to calm music. It’s essential to do the same activities every night along with going to bed at the same time. This will train your body that it’s almost time to fall asleep, and to wake up more refreshed.
Of course, it’s normal to feel sleepy and lethargic as your body is getting used to your new sleep routine. Nevertheless, no matter how groggy you feel, do not let yourself nap. Sleeping during the day will just make it harder to sleep during the night. Not to mention, you’ll undo the hard work you did by waking up earlier.
Workout & Stretch Daily
Exercising regularly is a great way to exert energy and ensure you sleep soundly at night and fall asleep more quickly. Try to work out in the mornings or early afternoons for 30-60 minutes, then relax with more calming hobbies in the evening. Exercising late at night can actually energize you right before you need to be in bed. Nonetheless, by doing it early, you’ll feel more alert the whole day and more tired at night when you should be asleep.
Stretching before bed and first thing in the morning is also great to add into your routine. Getting your body moving in the morning gets your heart pumping and blood flowing, making you feel more awake. Even gentle stretching releases some “feel good” chemicals, relaxing your muscles and getting rid of any tightness you may have.
Watch What & When You Eat
Sleep isn’t the only routine that follows the clock, for so does your liver, pancreas, and other organs. With their own responses to food, ensure you’re keeping them in rhythm with the same time meals every day. For example, a big late-night meal can throw them all out of routine.
Additionally, your body can become dehydrated overnight, which increases tiredness in the morning. Try drinking a big glass of cold water first thing in the morning. This will not only increase adrenaline to wake you up, but restore your hydration and energy. Eating a heart healthy breakfast full of nutrients also gives you stable energy levels throughout the day. Stay away from foods that can cause you to crash, such as sugary cereals and pastries.
Furthermore, you should avoid caffeine as you begin your new sleeping schedule. Caffeine makes it harder for you to fall asleep, along with making your sleep disruptive and uneasy. When you avoid caffeine completely, you get the deep, restorative sleep that your body needs to continue the rest of your busy schedule. If you’re a coffee-lover and can’t cut out caffeine completely, at least try to avoid it up to six hours before bedtime.