How to Turn Your Sleep Habits Around

Posted by Darian Dozier on May 18, 2022 4:01:00 PM

How to Turn Your Sleep Schedule Around

Has your sleep been turned upside down? Or maybe you've never gotten good sleep. Either way, it's essential to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Without it, you put yourself at risk for sleep deprivation, which leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, mood dysregulation, trouble concentrating and memory problems. Here are some ways to turn your sleep habits around, or maybe even develop them, so you can get optimal sleep. 

Develop a sleep hygiene 

Sleep hygiene is the routine that you develop in order to go to bed. If you don't have a routine, then you probably just fall into bed whenever you feel tired, or whenever you're finished with whatever you were doing late at night. 

However, your brain needs to be trained on when it's time to go to sleep. Sleep training is not just for babies, but all ages need a solid routine of when it is time to go to bed. 

Begin writing out some wind down activities that you can do to get ready for bed. This list can include reading, spending time with family, taking a bath or shower, getting ready for the next day, meditating, stretching, etc. Whatever calms you down without creating problems going to sleep. 

You should avoid working out or eating too late, being exposed to a lot of blue light, and anything that can increase your heart rate to the point where you can't sleep. 

Eat a balanced diet 

Your diet plays a bigger role in your sleep than you would think. A proper diet enhances digestion so you are not kept awake by any gas or obnoxious/painful bowel movements. Balanced diets also help ensure that you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients to help you get the proper sleep you need. Some foods may even enhance sleep by including precursors for hormones that can help you sleep (e.g. melatonin). 

If you are lactose intolerant, then you want to avoid dairy,or take lactase pills. This will reduce the chance that you will have an upset stomach throughout the night. Also, you want to avoid a diet high in sugars. That can cause a spike and crash in your blood sugar throughout the night, increasing your risk for developing diabetes and other glycemic disorders. 

Carbonated drinks, overeating and undereating can also cause disrupted sleeping, as well as alcohol. All of these can interrupt your sleep, either by causing indigestion, bloating and discomfort, hunger, or interrupted sleep patterns, respectively. 

Exercise regularly 

Exercise is a great way to get your sleep back on track. It provides a routine for your brain and body to follow. It also helps to regulate your blood pressure and excitable hormones in your body, so by the time you're ready to go to bed, your body is in a physical state optimal for sleep. 

Create an optimal sleeping environment 

When you sleep, you should be in a cool, dark, silent room. Any exposure to light or sound can interrupt your sleep. Also, sleeping in a too warm room can lead to night sweating and discomfort that stops you from getting to sleep. Throughout the night, your body temperature drops, and it's important to have a room that reflects this change. 

Aside from those characteristics, your sleeping environment should be comfortable. From the sheets, to the pillows, to the mattress,your bed should be a comfortable haven that encourages sleep. The colors of the walls of your room can also make a difference. Cool tones help to prepare you body and brain for sleep while loud, warm tones can interrupt sleep. Also, make sure that your room is comfortable. Clean rooms with furniture spaced to where the space doesn't feel tight and claustrophobic is ideal for amazing sleep. 

Prioritize sleep 

When you make sleep a priority, then you actually can get some. If your schedule is thrown off, or if you never have had a good sleep schedule, it's probably because sleep has fallen off the priority list. Sleep has become something that you'll do if you have time, and if not...oh well. 

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Countless nights of sleeplessness can negatively impact your overall health. Therefore, you must give it that level of priority in order to avoid those health impacts. Place it in your schedule as a non-negotiable and schedule everything else around it. You cannot easily repay a sleep debt, so treat it as if that's a loan you're not trying to take. 

Make sleep a family event 

It's so much easier to get good sleep when the whole family is on the same page. It's also easier for you to convince your kids to have a good sleep schedule when you follow a similar schedule. There should be a routine that the whole family follows and a time when everyone goes to bed and wakes up in the morning.

It's important to establish a routine and have the same sleep and wake times everyday, even on the weekend and vacation. Occasionally there will be days when you cannot follow the sleep schedule, and that's okay. But just make the effort to continue to get everyone on the same page, and by improving your children and spouse's sleep, then maybe you can get some good sleep as well. 


If you are having immense trouble getting to sleep, then your issue may be further underlying than a poor routine. Click the orange button below to take a free online sleep test and then speak with a sleep health professional at our facilities as soon as possible! 


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