9 Ways to Reset Your Body Clock For Better Sleep

Last Updated: 12 Jun 2020
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With patience and discipline, it’s possible to adjust your sleep schedule to meet the demands of the workaday world. Some advice from sleep experts:

#1 Be consistent

It’s extremely important to wake up and go to bed at the same time, even on the weekend. If you’re naturally a night owl, try moving your bedtime forward gradually—20 to 30 minutes per week.

#2 Make time to wind down

Starting winding down 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Dim the lights, listen to relaxing music, take a bath, meditate—find whatever works for you.

#3 Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary

Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and as cool as possible without being uncomfortable—between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.5 to 21 degrees Celsius).

#4 No electronics

Leave your phone, tablet and laptop outside the bedroom. If you have to get on the computer near bedtime, filter out the screen’s blue light (which interferes with the “sleep hormone” melatonin) by wearing orange-tinted glasses or even regular sunglasses.

#5 Don’t watch the clock

If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, don’t watch the clock—that will only make you anxious. Instead, get out of bed and do something physically and mentally unstimulating, like reading a boring book.

#6 No more snooze

When it’s time to get up in the morning, don’t hit the snooze button. Open the curtains, make the bed, go outside, talk to a friend. Morning light helps set the body’s internal clock.

#7 Take short naps

If you’re tired during the day, it’s OK to nap as long as you keep it brief and early in the day. Long naps can throw off your night’s sleep.

#8 Recognize your sleep-related triggers

If you know that exercising at night leaves you buzzing, exercise in the morning instead.

#9 Watch what you eat

Be aware that alcohol and certain drugs can interfere with sleep.

Read More:
Bipolar, Your Body Clock and Better Sleep
Notes For Night Owls: 3 Tips To Help You Work Around Insomnia

Printed as “A field guide to 40 winks,” Fall 2016

About the author
Donna Jackel specializes in mental health, animal welfare and social justice issues. She earned a bachelors degree in journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. For 15 years, Donna was a staff reporter at the Democrat and Chronicle, a daily newspaper in Rochester, NY, where she still lives. As a freelancer, in addition to contributing to bp Magazine and esperanza, Donna’s work has appeared in ReWire, The Progressive, Lilith, Texas Monthly, Yes! Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Bark Magazine, CityLab, Leap Magazine and other national publications. A story Donna wrote about her mother’s (Marie Rogers) service in the British Air Force during World War II was included in the antholog, Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Board Before Rosie Started Riveting (copyright 2017). In 2019, Donna won an honorable mention in health writing from the American Society of Journalists & Authors for a feature story she wrote for The Progressive about college students who were denied transgender hormone therapy. When Donna isn’t working, she can be found hanging out with her Lab, Bear, horseback riding or catching a movie at the Little Theatre. Her work can be seen at donnajackel.com.
1 Comment
  1. I heard of context known as good sleep hygiene – as a prep or guideline for using when you are getting ready for bed. As applied to being bi-polar, I find, that I utilize that concept throughout any given day as a lead in for getting a really great night’s sleep. Being well rested often means the inverse of having following through with “good sleep hygiene” throughout the day or daily regime, as a lead into sleep/sleeping as it were or so. Best, Todd. – Bi Polar 1 Disorder, ‘Vermont. 9/28.

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