Your sleep affects your happiness levels, stress levels and yes, even your fat levels!
You might be thinking… “I just have too many things to do to sleep more”.
…Or, “I'll just substitute caffeine for sleep”, or even worse, “Sleeping pills can help me more than any natural method could”.
If you struggle with getting enough sleep and are frustrated to the point that you've stopped trying, listen to this.
We have been there. Whether it's your mind keeping you awake or aches and pains preventing you from drifting off, it can be a helpless feeling.
Keep reading for 6 tips that can change your life– all by fixing your sleep schedule.
You have nothing to lose but full nights of sleep. So read on!
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #1:
Settle In and Cage Your Monkey Mind.
For some people, going to sleep is incredibly challenging because of all the thoughts they have rambling about in their head.
Sometimes called “monkey mind,” it can be maddening when all you want to do is get a good nights sleep!
Well, stop monkeying around. 😉
If you suffer from a rambling mind, there are steps you can take.
Try keeping a journal next to your bed.
Before you sleep, write down everything you're thinking about. This isn't time to focus on your penmanship or to be a poet.
You don't need to go back to read these thoughts… they're just simply a means to an end.
All you need to be doing is writing down sentences or words that encompass what is rattling around in your brain.
The reason why this is so helpful is that it allows your brain to have the thoughts, create action with them by writing them down, and then file them away.
Sound simple? Well, sometimes the best solutions are.
Pick up a journal and a free-flowing pen and write up a storm the next time you're staring at the ceiling thinking about your to-do list.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #2:
No Blue Light 30-Minutes Before Sleep.
No, this isn't some futuristic gibberish. Some people are truly sensitive to the blue light that electronics emit.
How does blue light affect your sleep, you wonder? Here's the answer.
Our bodies are programmed to wake up and sleep according to the sun.
But now that we have lights and all kinds of electronic distractions (phones, tablets, computers, televisions), the sun can't tell us when to sleep and when to wake anymore!
This causes issues for many. The blue light from your electronics tricks you into thinking that the sun is still out.
It triggers your body to be more alert, productive and reactive, rather than allowing you to relax.
If you still want to stick to your bedtime routine of watching Netflix before dozing off, you can. You just need to make a slight adjustment.
Try turning off electronics 30 minutes before you want to fall asleep.
Take those 30 minutes to read a book, journal, or listen to a podcast. Anything that doesn't expose your eyes to blue light.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #3:
Set Caffeine Parameters Depending On Sensitivity.
I know, many of us love our caffeine.
The sound of it getting brewed in the morning, the aroma that helps your eyes open, and the jolt that launches you into the day.
The thought of doing away with it is unthinkable for many of us.
Luckily, I'm not telling you that you have to give up your piping hot cup of Joe.
If you are someone who happens to be particularly sensitive to caffeine, it is important that you impose a timeframe for drinking coffee.
In general, drinking coffee after 2pm puts you at risk for falling asleep later. Try limiting yourself to one to two cups in the morning hours.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #4:
Have a Set Bedtime, Like When You Were a Kid.
Turns out, your mother was probably right. Going to bed on time, or around the same time every night, can help your body reach a natural rhythm.
Your body has hormones that help ease you to sleep.
Melatonin is the main hormone and is triggered when it becomes dark.
But hormones have a tough time regulating your internal clock if you're sleeping and waking at all different times.
That's why setting a time for you to go to bed every night is important.
You're encouraging your sleep hormones to get into a regular schedule, which helps you fall asleep easier!
It can be difficult to keep to a stringent bedtime as a busy father. Emergencies come up, and it can be hard to plan ahead.
But the best thing you can do is aim for a certain time every night.
As you continue to shoot for this goal, you'll find it gets easier and easier to get your tasks done before your bedtime.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #5:
Find The Most Comfortable Temperature For Your Room.
What's the temperature like at your house?
The ideal temperature to fall asleep is between 60 and 67 degrees.
Sounds chilly… doesn't it? The reason why it helps your body to fall asleep in a colder room is because your body actually chills itself in order to initiate sleep.
A colder room helps mimic this natural process, which helps you fall asleep faster.
If you don't have an A/C unit that you can manipulate in your house, try bringing a couple of quiet fans into your bedroom.
Sometimes the white noise is an additional help in falling asleep.
How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule – Step #6:
Control The Amount Of Light In Your Room.
Last but not least, the seemingly no-brainer. Your room shouldn't be full of light when you're trying to fall asleep!
Don't use overhead lights when you're winding down for bedtime.
Dimmer lights can be really helpful in setting the mood for sleep.
For those who are especially sensitive to light, it can be a good idea to invest in blackout curtains.
These prevent the early morning sunlight from beaming through and disrupting your well-earned sleep too early.
Conclusion: Conquer Your Sleep Cycle.
Sleep is something that should be a given.
Our bodies rely on this time to heal and prepare for the day ahead, so it really is a big setback when you aren't getting enough of it.
Not to mention, it's extremely challenging to provide support to your family when the lack of sleep makes you a little grumpy. We've all been there.
Fortunately, there are dozens of benefits of a good night's sleep.
Share your best methods to get more sleep in the comments below!
At the Fit Father Project, we are a community that sticks together.
Hope you enjoyed this article and can finally catch some ZZZs.
P.S. If you haven't seen my FREE 1-Day Meal Plan for Men over 40, I highly recommend you click here to get a free copy sent directly to your email. Remember: nutrition is a core foundation of weight loss for men over 40.
Small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information about how to fix your sleep schedule. Thanks for reading!