Getting regular sleep is a goal for everybody – or at least it should be. Though there are millions of people who are struggling with insomnia, sleep disorders, and sleep deprivation, but there are many more who aren’t in dire need of help as much as they simply need an adjustment – the opportunity to resync their systems. Though there are plenty of medical treatments and protocols that are available to help those who are in serious need, the truth is that there are also some down and dirty tricks that can help those of us who just need a reset to get ourselves back into a regular sleep schedule. Some people simply take sleeping pills for a day or two after finding themselves struggling with a few nights of rough sleep, but there are non-medicated ways to accomplish the same thing. Here are just a few minor changes you can make in your schedule that will provide those with minor sleep disruptions to get back into the swing of things.
- Adjust the time your alarm is set to. If you’re waking up feeling groggy, and tempted to hit the snooze alarm, there’s a good chance that you’re trying to wake up when you’re in a deep sleep cycle rather than in a lighter sleep phase. There are apps that can detect the phase of sleep that you’re on, allowing you to set a range of times between which you need to wake and automatically detecting the lightest sleep phase, but you can also just move your alarm clock time back or forward by about ten or fifteen minutes and accomplish the same thing. You may need to move it a couple of times to achieve success, but you’ll hit it soon enough – and when you do you’ll find yourself feeling much more refreshed when you wake up.
- Keep a regular schedule seven days a week. That means that even on weekends and holidays you need to be waking up and going to bed at the same time. If you’re super tired and want to treat yourself to an extra half hour on Saturday or Sunday, and have a social event Friday or Saturday that keep you out a little late, go ahead, but don’t go beyond that hour or else you’re essentially putting yourself into jet lag without even having the chance to travel.
- Pay attention to your body and sleep based on that schedule. There’s a big difference between feeling like you need rest and having that feeling where you just can’t keep your eyes open. Learning your body’s cues is valuable, and will mean that when you do put yourself to sleep you’re much more likely to fall asleep.
- Stop taking naps. Sure, there’s plenty of evidence that naps can be extremely helpful to those who are suffering from sleep deprivation, but if you’re just trying to get yourself back on your normal sleep schedule, they’re the kiss of death because they reduce your need for sleep at night. Power through that tired feeling WITHOUT drinking caffeine, and after a day or two of being really sleepy your exhaustion will carry you through to a good night of sleep, and back into your normal routine.