You’ve spent too many nights staying up late studying for that exam coming up, or your kid has been sick, which means your sleep schedule is completely out of whack. By the time you can hit the hay, the sun is almost rising, and you’re debating whether it’s worth getting at least a few minutes of sleep. If you’ve told yourself to pull an all-nighter to fix your sleep schedule, you may want to rethink that idea.

Understanding Your Sleep Clock

What is a sleep clock? It’s that internal, biological alarm that sends signals to our body when it’s time for us to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up for the day. Also more formally known as the circadian rhythm. This is why the majority of us get tired around the same time at night and wake up generally about the same time. When you keep with a consistent sleep schedule, your body’s circadian rhythm automatically adjusts. On the contrary, your sleep clock can become broken if you begin to ignore your body signals more regularly. Factors that can affect your sleep clock are work, hormones, travel, stress, and let’s be honest, is that one more Netflix episode really worth it? Before you stay up all night to fix your sleep schedule, you’ll want to know how it will affect your body first.

How an All-Nighter Affects Sleep

Dark circles, bags under the eyes, constant yawning, and a struggle to keep your eyes open can all be expected when you pull an all-nighter to fix your sleep schedule. But, beyond the more obvious, short-term effects on your body, staying up all night can have long term effects on your body. Sleep is a valuable asset and gives your body the time to reboot and restore. When you go against your circadian rhythm, your body does not produce hormones correctly, which can result in weight gain. Your body primarily filters glucose when you sleep, so when you frequently stay up all night to fix your sleep schedule, the long-term health risks could be diabetes or, in more serious cases, kidney failure.

Healthy Ways to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

Hopefully, by now, you understand that you should not pull an all-nighter to fix your sleep schedule. So, what’s the healthiest option for you and your body? We recommend you follow these tips, and your sleep schedule will gradually be back to normal.

  • Control Lighting – Keep your mornings bright and your nights dark that means avoiding electronics at night as well.
  • Watch Your Meals – Try not to eat right before bed, especially a large meal. If you’re hungry, opt for a light snack that’s low in sugar but high in protein.
  • Get Some Exercise – Exercise naturally releases energy, making you feel tired. Avoid any strenuous activity right before bed, but if you’re feeling active, try yoga or stretching.
  • Limit Caffeine – Do your best to avoid caffeine after lunch.
  • Practice Healthy Sleep – Most of all, be strict and consistent on your sleep schedule.

Sleep Doctor in Jacksonville, FL

The best thing you can do for your body to get your sleep clock back on track is practicing healthy sleep hygiene and routine. If you’ve tried every tip in the book, but nothing seems to get you back to your normal circadian rhythm, it may be time to see a sleep specialist. At Jacksonville Sleep Center, we take an individualized approach to your health and quality of life. Get the undivided attention you need with the highest form of sleep assessments and treatments, so you can get back to enjoying your life. Contact us today, and you’ll be well on your way to sound sleep.