How to Restore Our Sleep Cycle

Pandemic has a huge impact on the sleep pattern of the people around the world. Some of them are tossing side to side to get a proper sleep during night time, other stay long awake but unable to regulate their usual pattern. Many experts also suggested that these days people often faces troubled sleep, with many going to bed far later and sleeping longer than usual.

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Our sleep schedules do vary from person to person, depending in large part on the environmental causes. Because according to our circadian clock , that control our sleep schedules are sensitive to light like things like how much sunlight we’re exposed to throughout the day and what types of light we’re exposed to at night affect our sleep schedules. It’s really a huge problem, having a disrupted sleep schedule can result in deteriorating sleep pattern. But this will led to severe health ailments linked to several chronic health problems, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorders etc.

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But there are some suggested ways to get our disrupted sleep back on track:

  • A proper bed time routine: Try to stick to a schedule of sleep, like keeping your sleep-wake cycle the same. Our bodies have a circadian rhythm and walking up at different times disrupts it. The less you deviate from your normal bed and wake up times, the better you sleep. To get to sleep earlier, even doctors recommends going slowly and in small increments, adjusting no more than 15 minutes earlier every two to three days.
  • A touch of nature: Get a good amount of sunlight every morning. It serves an important purpose: it shuts down the release of melatonin, this hormone promotes sleep. Aim to get at least 15 minutes of sunlight every morning.

      Image: NPR

  • Cut off caffeine before sleep: Caffeine has a half-life of six to eight hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours. That means if you drink coffee at 4 pm, you’ll still have a quarter of the caffeine floating around in your brain at 4 am.
  • Limit your drinking habit: Alcohol suppresses REM sleep cause sleep disruptions. If you drink alcohol, limit that to two drinks or stop the intake at least three hours before bed.
  • Limit the screen timings: Avoid screen timings just before going to bed. As blue light of mobile screen interfere with sleep habits by sending wrong signals to stay awake. But many of us do it anyway. Avoid screen time before 2 hours of going to bed.
  • Journaling: You can’t get a proper sleep if something is bothering you, it’s always better to pen down your worries in a diary. Making this a habit can lessen your worries. Sit down with a blank piece of paper one to two hours before bed each night. Writing down your thoughts, especially anything that is bothering you. It will help you to schedule your activities and calm your mind.
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Meditation and Music: Meditation eases your woes by giving a direction to your thoughts. To get a proper sleep one should practice this 10 minutes daily routine. On the other hand, music calms mind and listening to a relaxing one will help to achieve sleep.

  • Avoid sleeping at day time: To promote better sleep one should avoid day time nap, so as to get a better sleep at night.
  • Environment: Make a good sleeping environment like switching off unnecessary lights and put on the curtains to prevent the entry of noise and lights. Take a warm bath and play some relaxing music, for instance. Make sure your bed is comfortable, the room is dark, and the temperature is not too warm.

These are the ways which enable us regain our disturbed sleep pattern. Sleep, itself promotes body healing. So, this is advised to get a proper 7-8 hours of sleep during night time.

Image: PBS