Establishing a regular sleep schedule, and sticking to it, is essential when you're trying to achieve better sleep. If your bedtime fluctuates significantly (e.g. 9:30pm one night; 12:30am the next; 2am on weekends), your health can suffer.
Setting a regular schedule for sleeping helps your body and brain get used to falling asleep and waking up at a fixed time each day. This type of conditioning is a vital part of achieving better quality sleep that will benefit your physical and emotional well-being.
Your internal body clock is set by the natural rhythms of day and night, light and dark. If you make the effort to go to bed and get up at the same time each day you're reinforcing your body's natural response to these rhythms.
To prepare for sleep, you can also use lower levels of artificial illumination - like dimmer switches or table lamps as your light source - in the two hours leading up to your bedtime.
Make sure your bedroom is completely dark for sleep. Consider using light-blocking blinds or curtains on your windows. Or, buy a good sleep mask to wear at night.
Then in the morning, be sure to get a good dose of bright light as soon as possible after awakening. Natural light, particularly bright sunlight, is optimal - but any bright light source will help.
Also, exposure to bright light at the same time each morning will reinforce your body's internal clock, further helping to you feel sleepy at the same time every night.
Choosing a Regular Bedtime for Your Sleep Schedule
Select a time to go to bed that accommodates your lifestyle and allows you to get at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. The key to success is to stick with the same time for sleep every night. It could take several weeks for your body to fully adjust to the new routine.
If you're persistent and patient, you'll soon find that your body and brain is conditioned for a set bedtime and you will begin to feel sleepy as that hour approaches.
You'll be ready to fall asleep naturally, and your quality of sleep will improve. In addition, you will wake up at the expected time feeling more rested, refreshed and ready to take on the wo
Whatever sleep schedule you determine is best suited for you, the key to success is to stick with it.
It could take several weeks for your body to fully adjust to the new routine, so it's important to be realistic and not expect overnight miracles.
If you're persistent and patient, you'll soon find that your brain knows' 10pm is bedtime, and your body begins to feel sleepy as that hour approaches. You'll be ready to fall asleep naturally, and your quality of sleep will be much improved.