You’re probably reading this blog because you want to experience the luxury of getting enough sleep at night, or you simply want to fall asleep at the same time the rest of the world does.
Lucky for you, this guide may be the answer to your prayers.
There are a lot of different techniques to condition your body to follow a strict sleeping schedule. The most effective and important ones will be discussed below. However, it’s worth noting that following a guide needs discipline and patience. A healthy sleeping schedule won’t happen overnight.
Follow the steps correctly, and the guide below should be the answer to your prayers.
Keep a Consistent Sleeping Schedule
Be consistent with the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up, even if it’s on your day off or you’re on vacation.
You’re conditioning your body to get used to a natural sleeping schedule, and eventually, you won’t have to force yourself to fall asleep or use an alarm to jolt yourself awake—your body does it for you.
It’s essential that you choose an appropriate hour for bedtime; just because you feel sleepy at 1:00 AM, doesn’t mean you consistently sleep during this time. If you usually do feel sleepy at 1:00 AM, gradually condition yourself to fall asleep at 12:00 AM, then 11:00 PM, and so on, until you reach an appropriate and desirable time for sleeping.
To determine your wake-up time, allow for at least 7 hours of sleep to ensure you get enough rest. Once you’ve adequately conditioned your body, you’ll naturally doze off and wake up without any external help.
Only Take 20-minute Naps
It might be tempting to listen to your body when it’s begging for 3 hour-long naps. However, it is imperative to be strict and set the alarm for 20 minutes; avoid hitting that snooze button.
Studies show that naps longer than 20 minutes leave you feeling groggy after you wake up. This is because 20 minutes is more than enough time for your body to enter deep sleep—a state where your body slows down.
Deep sleep requires at least 7 hours of sleeping time, or else you’ll risk feeling more exhausted than you were before you fell asleep—all thanks to grogginess. Moreover, this grogginess sticks with you for up to an hour, making you less productive than you hoped for.
Therefore, should you plan to get a few minutes of shut-eye, keep it short—only about 20 minutes. Waking up after a 20-minute nap will make you feel well-rested and energized without unwanted grogginess.
No Sleeping Beyond 3PM
Continuing from the previous point, an afternoon nap should be done before 3PM. Anything past 3PM will only ruin your sleep schedule.
Since naps give you energy, getting a 20-minute nap after 3PM may make you too energetic during dinner time and keep you awake way past your bedtime. You’re not only ruining your designated sleeping time, but you’ll potentially lose precious hours of shut-eye.
Don’t sleep past 3PM; you want to maintain your progress, so be disciplined.
Avoid Bright Screens 30-Minutes Before Bedtime
Stop scrolling through your social media accounts and turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes before your designated sleeping time. Devices such as your TV, cellphone, or laptop emit blue light that blocks melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy.
Additionally, we know just how addictive mindless scrolling can be because we’ve all done it before.
What starts off as just one video leads to another and another until you no longer notice how many videos you’ve finished. Before you know it, you’re way past your scheduled sleeping time, with only a few hours left to doze off.
So, to lessen exposure to blue light and avoid the addictive scrolling, force yourself to put away all devices or at least keep them far from arm’s reach.
Only Drink Coffee in the Morning
There’s a reason why people drink coffee at night; it’s probably because they plan to pull an all-nighter. You might have done this as a student or as an employee chasing a deadline.
If that’s not your reason, it’s better to stick to drinking coffee in the morning.
It’s a well-known fact that coffee has enough caffeine to keep you alert for 4 to 6 hours—hence, the popularity of morning coffee runs. Drinking coffee at night will only make you toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning, even if your body is already begging to fall asleep.
Schedule your coffee fixes before 2:00 PM to allow time for your body to mellow down before bedtime. That way, you’re energized during the hours that you need to be and tired enough right before you sleep.