Whether you just got back from a trip across the globe or your routine is out of whack, your body’s internal clock is affected. Your personal sleep schedule stays on track with circadian rhythms — biological activity regulated by body temperature, hormones and other external factors like light and darkness.
So what can you do when your internal clock isn’t working in your favor? Good news: You can reset your internal clock just like you reset your alarm each night. Here are the steps you can take to do so.
Adjust your bedtime
Want to start falling asleep by 10 p.m.? Slowly scale back your bedtime until you reach your desired hour. For example, if you’re falling asleep at 1 a.m., go to bed a half hour earlier each night, until you’re ready for bed at 10.
Say no to naps
While sometimes a nap can help you stay refreshed and alert, this is not always the case. Naps are never as good as actually getting a real night’s sleep. Even the shortest cat nap can interfere when you’re trying to sleep during the evening.
Wake up early
Letting yourself sleep in may feel like a decadent treat, but it’s best to wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. Having a set sleep schedule is essential for healthy sleep, so be strict with yourself. Even after you’ve made progress, one late night or morning can set you back.
Try light therapy
The same lights used to treat seasonal affective disorder can help you feel more awake in the morning. Check out some of the lamps available here, and don’t forget to consult with your doctor.
Changing your sleep schedule may seem like a daunting task, but if you take the right steps, your circadian rhythms will be leaving you feeling well rested in no time.