It is important to have a good body clock, or circadian rhythm, to improve your quality of sleep and to ensure that your sleep is structured.
For the most part, sleep will be affected by your lifestyle and according to the NHSIn ‘order to get to sleep the “body clock” needs to know it’s time to sleep.’
While sleep can be affected by a whole range of things, here are just a few key areas that might help you improve your quality of sleep.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center, drinking caffeine “can keep you awake late into the evening.”
Cutting down on caffeine, which is a stimulant will allow you to wind down more easily. The NHS recommendation is that you should avoid caffeine for about six hours before you go to bed.
They add that it may be worth trying decaffeinated drinks and that it may be normal if you experience headaches, this is apparently normal and should “last no more than a few days.”
Reduce alcohol intake
Much like caffeine, alcohol will not help you sleep. While it is a depressant, and has the opposite effect to caffeine, it still has an impact on quality of sleep.
According to the NHS, this is because “it is likely to wake you up early as its effect wears off.”
Remove bedroom clock
It is also recommended that you remove your bedroom clock when struggling to sleep, or at the very least turn it away from you.
In the NHS ‘Self-Management advice to improve sleep’ guide, the bedroom clock is highlighted as an issue as it “emphasises the problem and raises anxiety levels.”
Exercise in the mornings
Exercising in the mornings could be beneficial as there are strong links between it and a good night’s sleep.
However the time of day that you exercise can be up to the individual according to behavioral sleep medicine psychologist Alicia Roth, PhD.
“Some people exercise in the morning because it makes them feel more energetic,” says Dr. Roth. “For others, it makes them tired, so they save it for after work.”
Establish a wind-down routine
During the evenings you should consider establishing a wind down routine, as NHS guidance says “It is important to relax in the hour or two before bedtime”
The way that you wind down is up to you, but generally you should reduce screen time and relax to the best of your ability.
Other ways that you can improve your body clock and sleeping routine is as follows:
- Get up at the same time every day. in order to reset your body clock
- If you sleep in the day, you decrease the drive to sleep at night. Resist any temptation to nap.
- Keep the bedroom for sleep only.
This guidance comes from the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh teaching hospitals – part of the NHS Foundation Trust.
If none of these methods are effective, you can contact a professional for further guidance.
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.