5 Lifestyle changes to make to fix a bad sleep pattern
If improving your bad sleep pattern is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but didn’t know where to start, look no further. Right here is how you’ll learn to reset your bad sleep cycle.
But first, let’s take a look at how bad sleeping patterns can disrupt your life (and what you can do to fix them).
What is a bad sleep pattern?
Our sleep is controlled by an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm, a daily cycle that prompts our body when it’s time to sleep, eat, and wake up. What influences your circadian rhythm is the light and darkness in your surroundings and internal memory that is genetically programmed.
When we ignore our body’s internal cues to sleep, we disrupt the natural pattern of sleep which should take place, and the results are usually a disrupted sleeping schedule or a new sleeping pattern that may not be good for you.
Another indication that your sleep cycle has been disturbed is if you’re diagnosed with a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, where you snore, and your breathing abruptly stops.
During the 5 stages of sleep, you can lose some sleep in between the phases, or you wake up during light or deep sleep which can lead to feeling unbalanced, groggy, and even mentally fatigued. A bad sleeping pattern can cause you to feel sleepy at odd hours and affect your ability to concentrate and focus on tasks because you haven’t had a good night’s rest.
How to fix bad sleep patterns
Here are some of the ways you can fix your bad sleeping pattern, get your body clock back in sync, and improve your sleep health.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it difficult for you to drift off into sleep while alcohol is a sedative that could cause you to wake up, disturbing your rest. Instead, follow a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, stay hydrated and get some exercise to improve your quality of sleep.
2. Avoid screen time
Limit interaction with mobile devices, TV, radio and other electronic gadgets. The light from these devices, known as blue light, can make it an uphill battle to fall asleep. So, it’s best to read a book or listen to soothing music instead.
3. Keep a consistent bedtime schedule
Sleeping at the same time every night and aiming to wake up at the same time every morning creates a sound routine for your body to get accustomed to. This routine gets wired into your sleep pattern, and you are then able to be well-rested, rejuvenated and alert during the day because you had a good night’s sleep.
Ideally, your room should be dark, quiet and cool. Create a relaxed environment for yourself by opting for comfortable bedding and keeping laptops and work out of the bedroom. This should help to improve your sleep pattern.
The pineal gland, in the brain, releases a hormone, melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. This hormone keeps the body in check, signalling that it’s time to sleep at the end of the day. This is why yawning and heavy eyelids are key signals that your body wants to rest in the evening.
How to track your sleep
There are several sleep trackers in the form of a ring or watch, which can accurately measure how much sleep you are getting and how much time you spend in each stage of sleep. The devices are strapped onto your wrist or hand and as you sleep, digitally take note of the rhythm of your sleep, your breathing, and heart rate.
All this information is stored, and you can check it once you wake up to see how your sleep patterns fare or compare to your sleep cycles on a specific day or over an extended time.