You’re probably used to sleeping at night and waking up early in the morning, but what happens when your routine changes? You may be assigned to do the night shift at work, or you’ve just become a new parent and your baby is a fussy one.
Whatever the case, most people have a difficult time adjusting to a different sleep schedule immediately. In fact, most would need a day or two just to recuperate! Battling sleep during the day (or night) or tossing and turning when you’re supposed to be sleeping can lead you to feel groggy during the time you’re supposed to awake. Then, of course, there are the side effects of not getting enough sleep, such as moodiness, headaches, and an increase in your stress levels, among many others.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry, we might just have the solution. Your body needs to adjust because of your circadian rhythm.
What is the circadian rhythm?
Think of the circadian rhythm as your internal alarm clock. It regulates your sleep-wake cycle and tells your body when to sleep and when to wake up. If you’re used to sleeping at nighttime and then having to find yourself working during that period instead, then you may find yourself battling shuteye and having to take a nap or two.
However, there are instances when you just have to make do with the time you have and try your best to sleep. In this case, here’s what you can do to reset your circadian rhythm:
- Take a warm shower – Your body temperature should typically wind down at least two hours before you go to sleep. If you’re sleeping on a different schedule, then you can take a warm bath or shower to mimic this. Your body would then be prepped for sleep, as it normally would if you would be following your normal routines.
- Don’t use your gadgets on bed – While you may be tempted to watch a short video or two, or even just to check out more images on Instagram, canoodling with your gadget won’t help you fall asleep. These electronic devices emit blue light, which only tends to make you feel more awake. If you must, then put your phone in night mode so that the backlight would be warmer.
- Skip naps – Assuming that you’re suddenly assigned to work the night shift, and then you have to report for the day shift in the next two days, and then try to skip napping during daytime following your night shift. Trying to stay awake when you’re supposed to be awake will help your body adjust faster.
- Try to establish a routine – While you may be unable to control when you fall asleep, then you can force your body to function when you need it. Even though you didn’t get enough sleep, try to get up when you’re supposed to get up and prepare for work. This way, you will set the tone for your body and it would be forced to adjust later on.
Use relaxation techniques – Each one of us requires a different relaxation method to help us fall asleep, but try out the popular ones: listen to relaxing music, meditate, and even follow breathing techniques. These things should help you settle down and feel sleepier, prepping you for sleep.
There you have it. With these tips, you’ll hopefully be on your way to reconquering your circadian rhythm.