As easy as it may sound, getting a full night of sleep can prove to be more difficult than you might think. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 hours a night, a figure that 59% of Americans fail to meet. Whether you are having difficulty getting up in the morning, staying up late, or have just been busy, it can be easy to fall into an unhealthy sleeping schedule. Irregular sleeping schedules can increase your risk of more severe health conditions down the road, and negatively impact your digestion. If you have fallen into an unhealthy sleeping schedule, use these tips to help get you back on track.

Adjust Your Bedtime

If you want to know how to reset your sleeping schedule, the answer is simple. The most effective way to do this is by adjusting the time you go to sleep. Instead of jumping straight into a new sleeping schedule, try to ease into it slowly. It is much easier to get used to staying up late than it is to go to bed earlier, so give yourself some time to adjust. If your goal is to go to bed four hours earlier than usual, start with just one hour and work your way up. 

Do Not Sleep In

We all know how tempting it can be to hit the snooze button a few times before we get out of bed in the morning. Though a few minutes of extra sleep might seem harmless, developing a habit of sleeping in can warp your sleep schedule over time. The brain expects us to wake up at about the same time every day, and sleeping in can disrupt that pattern.

No Napping!

Just like sleeping in, napping can disrupt your brain’s typical sleep cycle patterns. Though afternoon naps can feel almost irresistible, you’ll regret it that night when you are laying in bed staring at the ceiling. Some experts recommend scheduling exercises around the time you start feeling sleepy every afternoon. This will help rid your body of sleepiness and get your body ready to sleep well that night. 

Things to Avoid Before Bed

Avoiding things like alcohol, light exposure, and exercising before bed can help you improve your chances of getting a good night of rest. Exposure to light in the evening can confuse your brain into thinking it is still daytime and that you need to stay awake. Though exercising during the day can help you sleep better, having a nightly workout can keep your body and brain alert, preventing you from getting to sleep on time. 

Consistency Is Key

Consistency is the key to healthy sleeping patterns. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day keeps your circadian rhythm on track. Breaking this cycle even for one night can disrupt this pattern and cause you to have sleeping troubles until it can stabilize again. Having a regular bedtime and morning routine can help you get in the habit of falling asleep and waking up intentionally and on time. 

Discover How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule with the Jacksonville Sleep Clinic

If you need help getting your sleep schedule back on track, visit us at the Jacksonville Sleep Center. Our board-certified sleep physicians are ready to help you tackle and treat your sleep problems. Sleep Clinician and Medical Director of Jacksonville Sleep Clinic, Dr. Nassar, and partner Dr. Festic specialize in a wide array of sleep conditions and can provide you with the best experience possible. Call and schedule an appointment today to get your sleep schedule back on track.