Whether experiencing jet lag or adjusting to a new shift at work, there are situations that require you to reset your sleep schedule. It’s almost never easy, but successfully doing so can help you stay productive and keep up with the stressful demands of daily life.
Whatever your motivation may be behind resetting your sleep schedule, you need to be aware of the biological factors that directly affect it and what you need to do to make the change. This guide will help you plan out what steps to take to make a smooth transition back to your desired schedule.
1. Take Note of Your Sleep Clock
You will first need to know when your body naturally falls asleep according to your internal sleep clock. Biologically, your sleep clock is regulated by the hypothalamus, particularly in what’s scientifically referred to as the suprachiasmatic nuclei.
Everyone’s sleep clock is different and depends on their natural sleep cycle, otherwise called the circadian rhythm. This is the reason why you fall asleep and wake up at more or less the same time throughout the week.
With your sleep clock in mind, you then need to be mindful of how your body was accustomed to your former sleeping schedule. Through proper habit formation, and possibly a professional consultation, you’ll be able to adjust your sleep clock back. Be sure to consider the following external and internal factors that could be affecting your sleep:
2. Normalize Your Eating Schedule and Diet
Your eating habits, particularly the amount of food you consume and the time you eat, will affect your ability to sleep. Your body is most active when it is digesting food and making energy, so making changes to your mealtimes can help you adjust your sleeping patterns. You can start by either fasting or eating small snacks until your sleeping pattern normalizes.
As a precautionary measure, don’t drink too many caffeinated beverages during this transition, because it can cause you to have a harder time falling asleep normally or within the biological range of your sleep clock. Either drink decaffeinated coffee or a mild tea to help boost your body’s energy as you adjust to stay awake.
3. Consider Staying Awake for the Day or Night
As you don’t want to fall back on your old sleep patterns, try staying awake so that you’re able to sleep at the time you need to. This will help to reset your sleep clock gradually as you adjust to the new routine. Your sleep deprivation can then be normalized to the new sleep schedule, but take note that this takes time, depending on your body’s capacity to adjust.
4. Use Proper Lighting, Sound, and Temperature Control
Exposure to light, sounds, and proper room temperature can be your sleep clock’s friends or enemies—depending on how you use them. Since your sleep is influenced by external factors, consider closing off your bedroom to natural lighting, and keep your room dark. Have calming sounds in the background or keep out the outside noise. Then, turn your AC down to a cooler temperature. These will help you sleep better right at the time you want.
5. Study Your Medical History
Since everything has to go right for you to successfully change your sleeping schedule, there might be something internally that could also be affecting the change. If you have a history of sleeping disorders or difficulties, consider the help of a sleep specialist to help you rule them out.
By taking an informed look into your medical history and lifestyle and consulting with a professional sleep study doctor or a sleep clinic, you can more easily reset your sleeping schedule. It can also lessen any possible drawbacks that it may have on your body.
Seek Professional Sleep Clinic Advice for Proven and Effective Results
Resetting your sleep schedule may seem like a challenge if you don’t back these proven tips with check-ins at a professional sleep clinic. Instead of simply trying to integrate the tips on your own, get help changing your sleep schedule with a sleep doctor’s supervision.
Sleep Doctor in Jacksonville, FL
If you are in need of a sleep study doctor in Jacksonville to reset your sleep schedule effectively, consult with us today at Jacksonville Sleep Center. We will help you normalize your sleeping habits through our effective services in our professional sleep facility.