No one wants to wake up early on weekends, but ultimately for better sleep, you should be waking up and falling asleep at roughly the same time everyday. It’s not always easy to start and stick to a schedule, but there are a few sleep tricks to help you keep a consistent sleep schedule while also improving sleep hygiene.
Set a bedtime
Chances are, you wake up at roughly the same time each morning for work or class. You may be tempted to stay up later on weekends and consequently wake up later, but you must pick a specific time to wake up and fall asleep. Setting an alarm each morning seems obvious, but make sure to set an alarm at night as well. Once you repeat this long enough, eventually your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm, will grow accustomed to the new bedtime. This will eventually lead to you falling asleep and waking up at the same time daily without even thinking about it.
Make a bedtime routine
You have a morning routine to help you wake up in the morning, and the same should go for nighttime. To improve sleep, think of some activities to do before bed that relax you and help to power down your body. Whether it’s a cup of sleepy time tea with your favorite book or doing a simple activity like a puzzle, these activities when repeated nightly signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
Take a warm bath
While this isn’t an activity that has to be done nightly, it can be particularly useful if you’re experiencing insomnia. Soaking in a warm bath before bed relaxes your body and mind. When your body is at a warmer temperature, it can be easier to fall and stay asleep. The best part about this trick to sleep better is that you actually want to do it. Throw in some scented bath salts, put on soothing music, and you’ll begin to unwind in no time.
Meditation can seem intimidating for beginners, but there’s really no right or wrong way to meditate. Simply taking time before bed to shut down your mind and try to put to sleep racing thoughts will make it easier to put yourself to sleep. There are many free apps available to guide you through meditation. The Eight app actually features recorded meditation sessions to listen to before falling asleep each night.
Turn your lights off at the same time nightly
Look, even as adults some of us still like to leave every bright light in the house on after having watched a scary movie at night. Yet those bright lights make your body and brain more alert, making it harder to fall asleep at the same time every night. To signal to your body that it’s time for bed, dim the lights or turn them off completely at the same time every night. It can be hard to remember to do this every night, but luckily there are products that can do it for you automatically. You can connect the Eight sleep tracker with Hue lights to automatically dim lights and/or shut them off at a certain time each night.
Use a sleep tracker
To sleep better and keep a consistent sleep schedule, there’s no better tool than a sleep tracker. Sleep trackers analyze how well you slept the night before, what time you fell asleep and woke up, and much more. Many sleep trackers like Eight’s smart cover track your sleep accurately and automatically each night. Having this information and important tips to improve your sleep schedule readily available makes it easier to keep a regular sleep schedule.
The most important thing to remember is that change doesn’t happen overnight. You can start by adjusting your bedtime slightly each night (10 or 20 minute intervals) until you eventually reach your desired bedtime. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is a challenge at first, but in the end it will lead to you sleeping better and waking up feeling rested and ready for the day.