A consistent sleep schedule is as incredibly important as are, good nutrition and physical exercise for our well-being.
But, the demands of our modern lifestyles have left many of us feeling overwhelmed and stuck, unable to effortlessly fall or stay asleep during the night.
Which has unfortunately led to chronic diseases becoming increasingly linked to sleep deprivation.
Have you tried everything to help you switch off at night, but nothing seems to work long term?
In this article I am going to share with you 5 proven sleep hacks―according to America’s most trusted expert on sleep―Dr Michael Breus, to help you create a life-transformative sleep schedule.
But before you set out to create a sleep schedule, it is advisable to first seek medical evaluation, if your sleeping problems are chronic, to rule out any underlying medical conditions that might be causing your sleeping disorder.
When you are ready, follow the 5-step sleep schedule action plan below, to start falling asleep easier and waking up feeling refreshed and fully alert in the morning.
1. Stick To A Consistent Sleep Schedule
It is important that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even during weekends!
And even more important than when you go to bed, is when you get up.
So plan to wake up at the same time every morning, no matter what time you go to bed.
Dr. Michael Breus says, each person has an individual preferred sleep schedule based on their personal circadian rhythm, also known as a chronotype.
Apparently, it is a myth that we all need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
And according to your chronotype, which you can learn more about here you might indeed need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to function optimally during the day, but you might also be one of those people who need less than 8 hours of sleep each night.
Knowing your chronotype, will help you greatly in creating an efficient sleep schedule suitable for you.
2. Give The Sun A High-Five Every Morning
Light is the key control of our day-night cycle, influencing everything from our body temperature to our metabolism and sleep.
It controls our brains, bodies, and hormones, helping us stay awake during the day and informing our bodies when it is time to unwind and get ready to sleep in the evening.
To sleep better at night, Dr. Breus suggests that you expose yourself to sunlight as early as possible in the morning for at least 15 minutes.
Step outside or open your curtains and sit close to a window with the light in your face.
And try to take as many breaks outside as often as you can during the day.
If necessary, use a light therapy lamp, especially in the short winter months.
3. Stop Caffeine By 2pm
If you are sensitive to caffeine, even a single cup of coffee taken a few hours before bedtime can leave you feeling jittery and undermine the quality of your sleep.
It can take up to 6 hours for caffeine from a single cup of coffee to leave your body.
And even if you’re the kind of person who can fall asleep easily after taking caffeine close to your bedtime, Dr. Breus says your sleep quality will still be undermined as seen in research.
So to consolidate your new sleep schedule, try to stop your caffeine intake at least 6 hours before your bedtime.
4. Stop Drinking Alcohol 3 Hours Before Bedtime
A glass of wine (or similar) taken before bedtime, might make you feel drowsy at first, but as the night progresses you will sleep less soundly and wake up feeling fatigued in the morning.
It takes your body one hour to completely get rid of one drink, so if you take two drinks before bedtime, it will take 2 hours for the alcohol to leave your system.
For a healthy sleep schedule and heightened focus during the day, Dr. Breus advises that you stop drinking alcohol at least 3 hours before your bedtime.
5. Exercise Regularly
Research has shown that regular moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get.
Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the body gets a chance to rejuvenate itself.
Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep, and thus a very important component to include in your sleep schedule implementation.
However, when you exercise it has an impact on your sleep and according to Dr. Breus’s 5-action sleep schedule plan, you should try to stop exercising 4 hours before bedtime to ensure that you get that much needed effortless slumber for your optimal overall function.
To learn more about how Dr. Micheal Breus’s 5-action sleep plan can help transform your sleep patterns, and to receive a discounted offer for Mindvalley’s Life-changing Sleep Quest, click on this link and kick start your sleep schedule transformational journey.
And please share with us any other tips below, that our readers might find beneficial in their creation of a healthy sleep schedule.