How To Find The Best Mattress For Your Needs
As we mentioned above, your bedroom should be a sleep haven. However, adequate sleep can be hard to find if you are resting on a bed that is too firm or too soft for your needs.
Your body type and sleeping position can help determine the firmness level right for you. Below, we break down how to choose the right mattress based on your body type and preferred sleep style.
Exercise At The Right Time
If you want to be able to fall asleep at the right time every night, then you need to be active at the right hours during your day. Adding exercise to your day can help you go to bed on time without causing you to toss and turn in bed. Just make sure to time your exercise regime several hours before sleeping.
Maintain A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to resetting your sleep schedule . Regular sleep patterns help recalibrate your body clock and promote circadian alignment . Hereâs how to keep it consistent:Â;
- Aim for a wake and bedtime that account for your sleep need and sync with your circadian rhythm.Â;
- Gradually shift your sleep patterns to help your body acclimatize to the new schedule. To illustrate, if you’re a night owl trying to wake up early, bring forward your sleep schedule by half an hour every few days.
- Stick to your new sleep schedule every single day, even on the weekends.
To help you fall asleep faster and sleep through the night, align your new sleep schedule with your Melatonin Window â you can view it on your energy schedule in the RISE app. Knowing your optimal window of time for falling asleep helps you plan your day ahead to hit the sack at your biological bedtime.
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Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm
Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm
Simply put, your bodys natural cycle is a feedback loop. Your genes are activated, triggering the creation of certain proteins. When those protein levels reach a certain threshold during the day, the genes are switched off. Then, those proteins are degraded and broken back down. The genes turn back on, and the cycle restarts itself. Usually, this entire process takes about 24 hours. The term circadian comes from the Latin terms circa, or about, and diem, or day. there is a whole branch of science that is dedicated to the study of the circadian rhythm, in fact – it is known as chronobiology.
This discipline extends far beyond humans, too. All creatures are governed by daily cycles, responding to both light and darkness. They are found even in the worlds tiniest microbes. Sometimes referred to as your biological clock, your circadian rhythm impacts just about every organ and every tissue. There are similar genes that govern these processes in creatures like fruit flies, fungi, mice, and more. Your biological clock and your circadian rhythm are not one and the same, but closely related – your biological clock produces your circadian rhythms and influences their timing. Natural factors within the body produce their own circadian rhythms. That said, there are certain signals from the environment that can impact your rhythms, most notably, daylight.
Tips To Help You Sleep
If youre not sleeping once in a while, dont worry about it, Drake said. I want to emphasize that one bad night now and then is nothing to worry about.
For serious sleeplessness, Hardin and Drake recommend whats called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. This is a structured, evidence-based program guided by a sleep therapist that helps you relearn how to sleep. The goal is to help you replace thoughts and behaviors that hurt your sleep with new behaviors and thinking that will help you sleep well.
But there are a number of things people can do on their own. It starts with taking steps to fight the stress of COVID fatigue. Here are more sleep tips:
- Keep a normal daily routine:If youre working from home, keep the same schedule as if you were going to work, Hardin said. Dont sleep in or stay up late. When that alarm rings, as painful as is, get up.And give yourself a break during the day, just as you would in the office. Take a lunch break or go for a walk or just get outside.
- Create and keep a going-to-bed routine:Slow down at the end of your day, Drake said. Begin turning down the lights about a half hour before bed. Bright lights will keep your brain from producing natural melatonin .
- Get some exercise during the day: It reduces stress and keeps our bodies in their normal rhythms. Its best, however, to finish the exercise a few hours before bedtime to give your body time to cool down and slow down.
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How To Reset Sleep Schedule Disruptions: When To Seek Help
If you regularly feel drowsy during the day, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. When youve made changes to sleep habits and hygiene, and youre still not sleeping, it might be time to consult a sleep specialist.
Falling asleep immediately when you lay down is a sign of sleep deprivation. Nodding off during conversations also indicates you are dangerously sleep-deprived.
Sleep deprivation is dangerous because it can cause microsleeps or brief periods of sleep that a person doesnt notice. These can take place while driving, bathing, or in another precarious situation that could lead to injury.
Broken Routines Fuel Coronasomnia
As if all the COVID fatigue and anxiety were not enough, theres another reason for coronasomnia: Our normal routines have been ripped apart. On one hand, our lives have gotten too routine. We can barely go out. We dont go to movies, restaurants, bars and pubs or many of the other places that casually connected us to people.
As human beings, we need some stimulation. We need some variety in our activities, Drake said. When our lives become so repetitive, the lack of stimulation and activities contributes to poor sleep.
On the other hand, many people working at home have gotten out of their normal daily routines, which also affects sleep.
Were supposed to be up in the daytime and sleeping at night, but a lot of people are working and sleeping all these weird hours, Hardin said. Their circadian rhythms get out of whack. Those regulate every cell in your body. They affect your eating, digestion, immune response and sleep. Once the master clock gets disrupted, everything else breaks down.
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Adjust To A New Time Zone
For upcoming trips to faraway lands, you can set your biological clock in advance of your departure date. That way, when you arrive at your destination, youre already acclimated and ready to have fun .
To do this successfully, start shifting your bedtime a few days before your trip. For example, if youre going somewhere thats three hours ahead of your local time, go to bed an hour earlier each night for three consecutive nights. When you arrive at your destination, youll be on local time!
Want to see more? Check out our tips on how to prevent jet lag.
Your Sleep Schedule And Weight
Researchers at Brigham Young University found that less than 6.5 hours of sleep per night is linked to having a higher level of body fat. High quality sleep is linked to lower body fat along with a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Therefore, maintaining a regular bedtime and wakeup time could keep you slim.;;
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Cardiac Rhythm & Sleep
Homeostasis refers to the steadiness of internal, physical, and chemical conditions in every living being. The cardiac rhythms work closely to this process, regulating sleepiness & wakefulness 24 hours. Light does influence the sleep-wake cycle, and thats why you experience different amounts of energy throughout the day.
Learn About Sleep Cycles
Educate yourself about sleep. Its a basic human function, sure, but its still complicated and knowledge is power.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has a handy guide on sleep stages here, but to make it simple, there are two kinds of sleep: rapid eye movement sleep and non-REM sleep. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after you fall asleep, and non-REM sleep is broken up into three distinct categories. The short period when you shift from wakefulness to sleep is a non-REM sleep, as is the light sleep before you enter deeper sleep. One deep-sleep period falls into non-REM sleep, and thats the one you need to feel refreshed in the morning. It occurs in longer periods through the first half of the night.
What do you do with this information, which isnt even relevant or actionable when youre conscious? Well, you make a plan when you are awake to maximise the time spent in each cycle.
One easy and admittedly modern way to figure out your unique sleeping habits is to invest in a wearable. Devices like the Apple Watch can track your sleep patterns, but be warned: Overnight wear means youll need to charge in the morning, so you have to prioritise whether you want the wearable to measure your sleeping information or your waking movements. For a few weeks, while youre starting your new sleep routine, opt for the former.
Thats all very high-tech and fun, but you can also measure your sleeping success the old-fashioned way.
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Breaking Down Your Circadian Rhythm
Mattress and Your Sleep Environment Can Help Circadian Rhythm
As with any other type of rhythm, a circadian rhythm is one that has a strong, repeated pattern that reoccurs on a regular basis. In order for a rhythm to be considered a circadian rhythm, it must meet three specific criteria. For instance, a circadian rhythm must have a period of duration that lasts about 24 hours. This can be in constant light, in constant darkness, or in a; combination of the two. It also must be entrainable, or able to be rest by certain stimuli.
If that confuses you, think about the times in which you may have experienced jet lag. You didnt suffer from jet lag forever, did you? Admittedly, it might feel like you did! However, you will recover from jet lag once you reach a new time zone and you are regularly exposed to stimuli like light and noise. Finally, a circadian rhythm will not be affected by your temperature.
Regardless of where temperature changes – inside of you or externally – it should not affect your circadian rhythm. This is what differentiates us from reptiles, after all. With those three criteria in mind, know that your circadian rhythm affects a variety of factors in your daily functioning. It can influence when you wake up, what time you go to sleep, how much sleep you get, and more.
Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle
Get Right With The Light
One of the best ways to fix your sleep schedule is to plan your exposure to light.
When youre exposed to light, your brain stops producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This makes you feel awake and alert.
Darkness tells your brain to make more melatonin, so you feel drowsy.
In the morning, exposing yourself to light can help you wake up. Try opening the curtains, taking a walk, or relaxing on the porch.
At night, prime yourself for sleep by turning off or dimming bright lights. You should also avoid glowing electronic screens from computers, smartphones, or television, as they can stimulate your brain for several hours.
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How Can You Have A Healthier Sleep Cycle
While you dont have full control of your sleep cycle, you can take steps to improve your chances of having a healthy progression through each sleep stage.
A key step is to focus on improving your sleep hygiene, which refers to your sleep environment and sleep-related habits. Achieving a more consistent sleep schedule, getting natural daylight exposure, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and eliminating noise and light disruptions can help you get uninterrupted sleep and promote proper alignment of your circadian rhythm.
If you find that you have excessive daytime sleepiness or otherwise suspect that you might have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, its important to talk with a doctor who can most appropriately guide your care. Addressing underlying issues may pave the way for more complete and restorative sleep cycles.
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Create An Ideal Sleeping Environment
The electronic devices arent the only things that need to be banished from the bedroom. You should also get rid of any light sources, so get darker curtains, and if you have an alarm clock with a bright digital display, turn it away from the bed, so its not shining on you while you sleep. Keep the bedroom at an ideal sleeping temperature, which experts agree is between 60 and 68 degrees.
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Track Your Sleep With Apple Watch
With the Sleep app on Apple;Watch, you can create bedtime schedules to help you meet your sleep goals. Wear your watch to bed, and Apple;Watch can track your sleep. When you wake up, open the Sleep app to learn how much sleep you got and see your sleep trends over the past 14 days.
If your Apple;Watch is charged less than 30 percent before you go to bed, youre prompted to charge it. In the morning, just glance at the greeting to see how much charge remains.
You can create multiple schedulesfor example, one for weekdays and another for weekends. For each schedule, you can set up the following:
A sleep goal
What time you want to go to bed and wake up
An alarm sound to wake you up
When to turn on sleep mode, which limits distractions before you go to bed and protects your sleep after youre in bed
Sleep tracking, which uses your motion to detect sleep when Apple;Watch is in sleep mode and worn to bed
Tip: To exit sleep mode, first turn the Digital Crown to unlock. Then swipe up to open Control Center and tap .
Culprits Of Circadian Misalignment That Upset Your Sleep Schedule
As much as your circadian rhythm tries to guide your sleep schedule, life and other factors often get in the way, causing circadian misalignment. Working against your internal clock not only leads to a high sleep debt but also predisposes you to lower energy levels during the day and even chronic health risks over time. Below, we share the top causes behind circadian misalignment that are upsetting your sleep schedule.
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See The Morning Light
;Until artificial lighting was invented, most people awoke with the sun and fell asleep when it got dark naturally. Now that our evenings are artificially illuminated, we tend to stay up later than we probably should. Consequently, many people block out the morning sun with blackout curtains and shutters, further separating themselves from the suns natural patterns.;If youre trying to reset your sleep schedule, you should consider letting the morning sun in. Sunlight can trigger a daily reset for your circadian clock and acts as a natural cue for when to wake up. Over time, your internal clock should sync up with this cue and make waking up with the sun a breeze.;Tip: Go to bed soon after the sun sets and open the curtains for morning sunlight.
How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule
First step to fix your sleep: Get your body clock back on track.
Theres a reason we tend to feel sleepy around the same time each night and why, if we dont set an alarm, we tend to wake up at the same time in the mornings. As long as were not pulling all-nighters or traveling across several time zones, our bodies tend to want to follow consistent sleep patterns .
Our sleep schedules do vary from person to person, depending in large part on the environmental cues we give our bodies when we set our alarms, when we are most active during the day, when we eat, and when we let ourselves hit the pillow.;
And because our sleep schedules depend on the signals we send our bodies such as its not time to go to bed yet, theres another episode of;The Crown;queued up on Netflix I should watch that means we can send our bodies signals to adjust our sleep schedules, too. Just because youre in a rut of going to bed at 2 a.m. doesnt mean you cant change that!
If you do want to get your sleep schedule back on track, youre going to need to reset your body clock. Our body clocks regulate our bodies circadian rhythms the patterns of physical, mental, and behavioral changes, including sleep patterns, regulated by body temperature, hormone secretion, and external factors like light and darkness according to the National Institutes of Health.
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As I am a Muslim and I fast during the month of Ramadan, I discovered the relationship between fasting and sleep pattern changes myself, later I searched the web and found many articles on it. This method certainly works. Today I am fasting for 16 hours to adjust sleep timing, I shall report the results.
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