Humans tend to follow a consistent pattern of sleep which helps in getting the quality of sleep that we want. This sleep schedule varies in individuals according to our environments, weather, culture, etc. Anyone can fix their natural sleep pattern with the help of specific tips.
Melatonin supplements also aid us in achieving a specific sleep pattern. Many brands are producing effective melatonin gummies, such as Garden of Life, Gummies Garden, Nature’s Made, Olly, etc. These supplements provide a convenient and pleasant way to regulate your sleep schedule.
What are Natural Sleep Patterns?
Our biological clock tells us when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. It is sensitive to external forces and gets affected by our exposure to light. Our circadian rhythm regulates this biological clock. These circadian rhythms are our physical, behavioral, and mental changes. They control our body temperature and manage natural sleep patterns.
The biological clock of our body is located in the hypothalamus region of our brain. It receives information regarding external forces, like light, from the retina and sends it to the sleep hormone-secreting gland, called the pineal gland. This sleep hormone is known as melatonin which is regulated by darkness.
What Factors Disturb Our Sleep Patterns?
Many factors are responsible for misaligning our sleep patterns. They are:
- Traveling across time zones can get you jetlag and disturb your sleep patterns. Our body has to adjust itself and sleep at times that we usually spend awake back home.
- Working a night shift at jobs two or three times a week can have a toll on your sleep pattern.
- Having stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and nicotine, etc., can also affect your sleep pattern and make your sleep quality poor.
Effects of a Misaligned Natural Sleep Pattern
If your sleep pattern gets misaligned, you are in trouble. It has an adverse long-term effect on your health and well-being. Therefore it is important to regulate a misaligned sleep pattern. Following are the ways a maladjusted sleep pattern affects you:
- It damages the quality of your sleep
- It facilitates sleep disorders
- It is linked with several chronic diseases like depression, diabetes, etc.
- It can cause Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) in youth.
- It can affect a person’s productivity, and they can find it hard to focus and concentrate at school or work.
Tips for Improving Your Natural Sleep Patterns
For improving your natural sleep schedule, follow the tips mentioned below and bring your sleep pattern back on track.
Avoid Excessive Daytime Napping
Daytime naps can interfere with your sleep patterns. Avoid excessive daytime napping so that you can save your sleep drive for nighttime and sleep earlier than usual. Daytime naps chase your nighttime sleep away.
Wake Up at the Same Time Each Day
Consistency in getting up at the scheduled time each day is important in maintaining a natural sleep pattern. Use an alarm clock for punctuality and avoid the urge to sleep in. Also, be strict on yourself and not allow yourself to stay in bed, even at weekends or vacations. This way, in just a few weeks, your brain would adjust to the pattern you are trying to build and wake you up at the desired time.
Follow Your Sleep Regime Strictly
Strictly follow the schedule that you have committed yourself to. Even one late night can ruin your week’s hard work. Be predictable so that people would know that you aren’t available late at night.
Avoid Light Exposure Before Sleep Time
Studies show that light exposure before bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep. This light includes the light emitted from the television, cell phone, tablets, and other gadgets. Exposure to artificial light shifts your internal clock, and your circadian rhythm misaligns. Also, keep your room dim at bedtime.
Avoid Eating a Heavy Meal Close to Bedtime
A heavy meal close to bedtime can give you heartburn. It also leads to obesity. Your food should be well under digestion before you go to bed. Try maintaining a gap of 3 hours between your last meal and bedtime. Moreover, you should also avoid taking stimulants like caffeine or nicotine before bedtime.
Avoid Heavy Exercise Close to Bedtime
An extensive exercise routine can wake you up. If you do it close to bedtime, it will disturb your circadian rhythm and sleep pattern. Take a light, short walk after dinner to set your mood and get a bit of movement in your legs.
Take Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin supplements help people get over sleep disorders and regulate a healthy sleep schedule. These supplements are available in many forms, including pills, capsules, gummies, etc. Before you buy a melatonin supplement, take advice from your physician to not interact with any medication you are already taking.
Get a lot of Sunlight Exposure
Studies reveal that exposure to sunlight can help in readjusting your circadian rhythms. Stay outdoors and try to get maximum exposure to sunlight so that it can regulate your sleep patterns.