Most sleep experts stress the importance of treating sleep like a habit. Getting into a good bedtime routine is a good way to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Here, we show you how:
Stick to your sleep window:
Your regular wake-up-go-to-bed routine is known as your “sleep window”. For example, if you regularly go to bed at 10pm and get up at 7am, then this is your sleep window.
For some people, especially shift workers, setting a sleep window is also going to be tricky, however, for most of us it should be doable.
The really hard part of having a sleep window is sticking to it, particularly at weekends. The temptation will be to sleep in, especially if you have had a late night. However, if you are serious about wanting to sort out your sleep, then you are going to have to resist this temptation. The idea that you can catch up, over the weekend, on poor sleep during the week is a total myth.
Part of the problem with a long weekend lie-in is that you will mess up your circadian rhythms, which are so important for driving the urge to sleep.
The other problem is that if you get up on Sunday at 10am, and then head to bed and try to sleep at 11pm, you may struggle because you will have a reduced sleep drive. You’ve been awake for three hours less than during the week, so there will be much less of an adenosine build-up in your brain urging you to go to sleep.
Obviously, there are nights when you will want to go out on the town but the critical thing is that once you decide the time that you are going to get up in the morning, you stick to it.