You may not notice, but your body is always on a sleep-wakefulness cycle known as the circadian rhythm. This cycle is unique to each person because we all have varying needs that affect when we sleep and wake up.
What regulates the times you sleep and wake up is your internal body clock, a system that makes your body follow a natural pattern. It’s why you tend to sleep and wake up at about the same time every day.
That natural pattern is what you may call your sleep schedule.
Your body may follow an internal clock, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be interrupted.
For whatever reason, you may sleep earlier or later than you usually do. That changes your sleep schedule as your internal clock has to pick up new sleep hours depending on your priorities.
Your sleep-wakefulness cycle or circadian rhythm is affected by external cues.
Basically, the things you do, like taking an extra shift at work or pulling an all-nighter, can throw off your sleep schedule.
Many factors can cause an inconsistent sleep schedule, but it comes down to your environment, habits, state of mind, and even health.
It may seem difficult initially, but you can fix an inconsistent sleep schedule. It’s all about getting your internal clock to adjust and sync up with your new routine.
These tips will assist you in getting your sleep schedule back to normal:
Your bedtime is the primary culprit when it comes to inconsistent sleep schedules. But it’s also the most challenging aspect to change as it’s tied to other factors like work.
The best way to create a healthy bedtime is to pick a convenient and easier time to stick to. You may want to start sleeping earlier, many people would love that, but it’s not always practical.
Instead of forcing yourself to sleep earlier only to change the bedtime again because it’s not working out, try picking a convenient time, even if it’s as early as you’d like.
Humans have always relied on nature’s cues to sleep and wake up. Throughout history, people hit the hay when darkness fell and arose with daylight. Natural light is very much part of our makeup and has a major influence on our internal clock.
If it’s becoming challenging to have a consistent sleep schedule, try working around nature’s clock by going to bed not long after dark and rising with daylight.
That also means avoiding artificial lighting around bedtimes because the body naturally interprets the presence of light as a time to be awake.
Staying active during the day is actually good for you. The primary function of sleep is to put your body into a period of rest, allowing it to recharge and prepare for another day.
By being active, you signal to your body that rest is necessary if you need to function normally the next day.
However, activities after dark, especially an hour or two before bed, are a bad idea as it leaves your body stimulated. A state that doesn’t favor sleep.
Stress and anxiety have many adverse effects, and insomnia is one of them. You probably have something on your mind that is giving you sleepless nights and disrupting your sleep schedule.
Thinking about your issues until you lose sleep over them doesn’t change your situation, but it affects your sleep health.
Your GP could prescribe relief meds. Alternatively, you could give medicinal cannabis a try. Studies have found that cannabis compounds like CBD, CBG, and THC can relieve stress and anxiety.
In one of their posts, Veriheal discusses the compound Cannabigerol (CBG), which has shown potential in treating emotional disorders.
When you nap in the afternoon or later, your body may interpret that as your new bedtime, throwing off your sleep pattern. Later, when you want to sleep at the usual time, you realize you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Naps are a great way to unwind and rejuvenate, but they can interfere with your sleep schedule if you take them later in the day.
If you must nap, try having it during the first half of the day and avoid it in the afternoons, even if you feel drowsy.
Your body demands quality sleep to function normally. An inconsistent sleep schedule interferes with that natural need, which can result in harmful effects. Hopefully, our tips will help you fix your sleep schedule.