HOW TO RESET YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE WHEN YOUR ROUTINE GOES OUT THE WINDOW
By Molly Apel
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy
For many people, their sleep schedule depends on their daily routine. But if your new quarantine routine doesn’t include a reason to leave the house, you might sleep in until 8:58 a.m. and wake up just in time for your 9 a.m. Zoom call. Enter: the need to reset your sleep schedule.
To get quality sleep, you need to follow a regular cadence. That was easier when places were open and the days didn’t just bleed into each other. It’s understandably more difficult now. If you’re wondering how to reset your sleep schedule for your body’s best sleep, read on.
YOUR BODY WANTS A REGULAR SLEEP SCHEDULE
Your body has its own unique circadian rhythm. This rhythm is a pattern of ramping up your alertness and energy when you wake, and cycling down those systems at the end of the day.
To power down at night, your body gets used to releasing melatonin at the same time every day. Melatonin is a hormone that signals to your body it’s time to prepare for bed. Melatonin takes its cues from the amount of light present in your environment so when the sun goes down, the flow of melatonin gradually begins to ready your body for sleep.
Ever notice it can be hard to get to sleep on Sunday night? Some people attribute this to work-related stress, but it has more to do with how late you stayed up Friday and Saturday night. Those late nights upset your regular sleep pattern. This is a big reason to stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO ADJUST YOUR SLEEP PATTERN
Imagine this — the reason you might have trouble falling asleep and waking up is that you’re not listening to your body’s natural cues.
Below, we’ll dig into a few foundational tips to reset your sleep schedule. Before you do anything else, you need to cover your bases — stop drinking caffeine within a few hours of bedtime, limit blue light before bed and take steps to manage your stress so you can drift off more easily.
Inconsistent sleep schedules can cause restless sleep — when you find yourself waking several times in the night. This waking doesn’t allow you to enter the deep stages of sleep where your body does its best regenerative work.
The thing is, you’ll have to experiment to find what consistency looks like for you. Now’s the perfect time to do it.
People are hardwired to be more alert, productive and engaged at different times of the day. You know this is true if you’ve ever struggled to become a morning person (not everyone is), or if you shut down as soon as the clock hits 9 p.m.
The secret? Your sleep chronotype. Learn how to identify your sleep chronotype and adjust your schedule to match your body’s needs.
HOW TO RESET YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE
If you don’t prioritize a sleep schedule you definitely won’t get your best sleep. These tips make it easy to optimize your sleep to your Bulletproof rhythm.
- Discover your sleep chronotype: This will determine your body’s optimal sleep schedule. Get the details on sleep chronotypes.
- Start gradually: Have you been going to bed too late or sleeping in too late? Begin shifting your sleep schedule a few minutes every day over the next several weeks.
- Stick to a bedtime routine: Just like you have a morning routine to start your day, you should have a bedtime routine to wind down and cue to your mind and body that it’s time to sleep. Revisit your current routine and consider what you could adjust that would help you get to sleep when you need to.
- Reserve your bedroom for sleeping: Keep your computer and TV out of the bedroom so it becomes a sacred space for sleeping. You’ll be less likely to find yourself at 3 a.m. playing video games wishing you had gone to sleep three hours earlier.
- Don’t eat or workout too late: Avoid caffeine, big meals and intense workouts too close to bedtime. If you’ve been working later and pushing your dinner and exercise routines back a few hours, that’s going to push your body’s wind-down time later into the evening.
- Try supplements for sleep: There are non-habit-forming supplements for sleep that promote relaxation so falling asleep is easier. Sleep Mode delivers plant-based melatonin, stress-beating amino acids and Brain Octane MCT oil to fuel cellular recovery during sleep. For best results, take it 30 minutes before bed.
- Manage your stress: Your body can’t unwind if you’re wired. Take steps to manage stress throughout the day: try these self-care ideas to support overall wellness, and add supplements for stress to your routine like Zen Mode.
SAMPLE ROUTINE TO FIX YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE
Here’s a sample routine to start creating a better sleep schedule — feel free to make this routine your own:
- During the day: Hit these two goals: get some sunshine and exercise. One caveat: Avoid working out too close to bedtime.
- Afternoon: Switch to decaf. Even if you tolerate caffeine well, it can linger in your system up to six hours and interfere with sleep quality.
- Evening: Stop eating about two hours before bed. If you’re feeling snacky, try a soothing and nourishing tea like Sleepytime Tonic or Cardamom Ginger Bone Marrow Broth.
- Two hours before bed: Dim the lights, including your electronics. Bright light signals to your body that it’s still daytime. Learn more about the problem with blue light.
- One hour before bed: Do something soothing, like journaling, meditation, reading a book or a gentle yoga session.
- 30 minutes before bed: Now’s the time to take Sleep Mode or hop on an acupressure mat to stimulate relaxation.
- Lights out: And really, lights out. Sleep in a cool, dark room, like you’re a bear in a cave.
Looking for more tips to help you get better shut-eye? Find out how to sleep better with more science-backed sleep tips.