Are you having trouble feeling tired and falling asleep at the right time? Are you groggy and sleepy when you’re supposed to be working or spending time with your loved ones? If the answer to either of those questions are yes, your internal clock may be off.
Your internal clock, also known as the circadian clock, is regulated by thousands of neurons in your brain. These neurons sense the presence of light and send signals to the rest of your brain to “wake” it up.
Once your body gets into a certain rhythm, or a circadian rhythm, it’s difficult to break it. Even if you travel to another time zone where the sun rises or sets earlier, you will likely have problems adjusting your sleep schedule to that zone’s day/night cycle.
Another reason you might want to reset your internal clock is to get used to a new work or school schedule. People who are not used to staying up all night, for example, struggle to switch from a day shift to working at night or the early morning. In this case, it’s beneficial for them to change their sleep hours so that they are better able to function during nocturnal hours.
Below are 5 tips for how to reset your internal clock.
We know it’s hard, but sometimes you just have to resist the urge to go to sleep at the time you’re used to. Make yourself stay awake longer so that when it’s time for you to go to bed on your new schedule, you’re tired and ready to catch some z’s. If you find yourself struggling to make it, consume enough caffeine to get you to the finish line.
If you need to start sleeping during the day so you can stay up all night, hang black out curtains in your bedroom. Remember that your circadian clock responds to light, so to sleep during the day you need to block out as much sun as possible.
Another way your internal clock operates is through your appetite. Move your meals around so that they match your new sleep schedule. For example, if you need to stay awake all night, adjust your meals so that you eat your “breakfast” in the evening, when you would traditionally eat dinner.
Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally. When your exposure to light increases, your melatonin levels decrease to help you wake up as part of the natural sleep-wake cycle. To help change your internal clock, take a melatonin supplement during the time of day you need to go to sleep.
Keeping your room cool and your bed comfortable always helps you sleep, no matter what time of day it is. You won’t sleep at all, even if you’re tired, if your mattress and pillow are not supportive. Consider purchasing an Ecoden memory foam pillow, as it supports your neck and head, improving blood floor and thus supporting a better night’s (or day’s) sleep.
You can learn more about the Ecoden pillow and purchase your own here.