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How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule? Here Are 6 Top Tips From Einstein
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule? Here are 6 top tips from Einstein
By: Josephene Ilena Ginting
E I N T S E I N
Community Contributor (USA)
Josephene Ilena Ginting is a poetry and physics enthusiast who listens to alternative/rock music and likes to code and make puns. Also reads psychology and philosophy for fun.
Computer Science / Astronomy / Philosophy / Aesthetics
The E I N T S E I N Blog, Designer for Guac magazine, DJ in training for WVBR (93.5 FM)
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule? Here are 6 top tips from Einstein
We’ve all been there. You’ve been pushing back your bedtime for an entire week and now you feel exhausted and you don’t think you can function as well as you normally could. You just want to get enough sleep again, but how?
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule tip 1: Make small changes
It’s a lot easier to push back your bedtime than to push it forward — but it’s not impossible.
You just have to take it step by step. Go to sleep 15-30 minutes earlier every night until you reach your desired bedtime.
You could try going to sleep much earlier than your regular time, but according to that doesn’t usually work out.
If you’re waking up later than you want to, you might also want to try waking up 15 minutes earlier each morning until you get up at the desired time.
I remember there was a week this semester when I went to sleep at 1am for several days in a row (I usually sleep at 11).
I was sleep deprived and exhausted and I tried to sleep at 8 to catch up on lost sleep, but I couldn’t.
I just laid in my bed for an hour until I gave up trying to sleep and decided to work on some homework until I felt sleepy again.
What I should’ve done was go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until I could go to sleep at 11 again.
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule Tip 2: Adjust exposure to sunlight
Exposure to adequate amounts of sunlight is key to helping our bodies maintain their circadian rhythm, which is the process that regulates our energy levels during the day and tells us when to be awake and when to go to sleep.
Sunlight helps our body produce optimal levels of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy at night. Studies have shown that people get better quality sleep in the summer because there is a greater exposure to light.
That being said, you should expose yourself to more light during the day to get better sleep at night. This might mean waking up earlier so you don’t miss hours of sunlight in the morning.
At night, you should reduce your exposure to any sort of light – both natural and artificial – so that your body knows it’s time to not be awake. I personally turn down the lights (and only have my fairy lights on) after 10:30 pm. When you’re trying to get back into your desired sleep schedule, you could aim to turn down the lights 30 minutes before your desired bedtime for that day.
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule Tip 3: Don’t eat too close to bedtime
You should wait for 2 – 3 hours between dinner/your last meal and bedtime. I would talk about how studies show that eating too close to bedtime can possibly damage your health, e.g. causing reflux when you’re lying down, but that’s all been said before. The only thing I’d like to reiterate is that you sleep better when you wait after you eat. But as for my own logic on why you shouldn’t go to sleep when you’re full…
When you wait a few hours after you’ve had your last meal, before you go to bed, you won’t go to bed full, meaning that in the morning, you’re likely to be hungry. I don’t know about you, but I can’t go back to sleep when I’m, like, starving, so being hungry when I wake up causes me to resist sleeping in.
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule Tip 4: Don’t sleep in
You would think that sleeping in is, in fact, good for catching up on sleep. In reality, it doesn’t make you stop sleeping late, since you’d probably still spend the same amount of time awake. Instead, once you wake up, you should stay up, and don’t go back to sleep. You’re likely to get sleepy at an earlier time, and this will help you push forward your bedtime.
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule Tip 5: Resist napping
Resisting naps also has a similar logic to not sleeping in. If you take a nap, you’ll feel more energetic and night, and you might not be able to fall asleep as soon as you wanted to. If you resist taking a nap, however, you’ll be more tired at night, and you’ll fall asleep more easily.
How to Fix your Sleep Schedule Tip 6: Be strict with yourself
Finally, the key to having a good, consistent sleep schedule is to be strict with yourself. Don’t let yourself stay up for just 5 more minutes because you still have a ‘small’ task to take care of. When it’s time to end the day, end the day.
Maybe it’s hard for you to be strict with yourself since you can’t justify going to sleep over completing whatever task or responsibility you have left. Well, here’s my logic:
You could stay up 5 more minutes and risk extending that to a few hours or so in an attempt to finish something. There’s no guarantee that you’ll finish it, and you might just lose all those precious hours of sleep for nothing since you’ll wake up in the morning tired and unable to effectively do the task you wanted to do; or
You could stop everything you’re doing and sleep on it. You wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and clear-headed and ready to tackle on your tasks for the day. You find a new way to think about the task you were stuck on, and you finally solve it in less than half an hour.
I do realize that this only applies if the task isn’t super urgent. Let’s say you have a project due 11:59 PM and you’re rushing to finish that. In this case, the core problem is probably something else: an inability to manage your time, or procrastination. If that’s the case, you might want to check out my posts on how to beat procrastination and how to create an efficient (revision) schedule. The latter post is tailored for exam preparation, but the main ideas are the same for general scheduling (there’s a recap at the bottom if you just want to know the main ideas).
Additionally, you might wanna check out my post on my night routine.
And that’s all I have for you today! Hope this was helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop me an ask or message me.
Have an awesome day 🙂
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