The Sleep Association highlights the importance of getting into a routine when it comes to your bedtime habits. And many, many psychologists will agree. Sleep routines promote better sleep and higher quality rest. The bottom line is - your body enjoys a routine, and knowing what is coming next can help it to prepare itself for certain tasks and activities. Routine also allows your body to get into something called the ‘circadian rhythm’, which is vital in keeping your body and mind healthy… let us explain more…
What is the circadian rhythm?
The circadian rhythm is a reference to your body clock. Your body clock determines when you are awake and alert, and when you are sleepy or totally asleep. The mismanagement of this rhythm can cause drowsiness, confusion, physical ailments, nausea, and even cardiovascular problems.
Driven by neurotransmitters, the circadian rhythm helps every part of your body to function properly - your digestive system, your hormone activity, your temperature - everything. Have you ever noticed how poor quality sleep can lead to an upset tummy? They are very much linked, and it has everything to do with your body being unable to regulate properly due to a disrupted circadian rhythm.
So how does your body know when it’s day and night? Simple. It reacts to light. When it is bright outside, your circadian rhythm determines that it is daytime and the opposite is also true for night time. But this is where it can get confusing. Imagine it’s night time, but the sun is still out - your body isn’t quite sure what to do. You might find that, no matter how tired you are, the sun or bright light simply doesn’t allow you to sleep because your circadian rhythm is telling you its daytime. This highlights the importance of dimming lights or using black out blinds if it is a particularly bright day.
Night workers also find it hard to regulate their sleep due to this very issue. In theory, they should be able to get into the habit of working all night and sleeping all day, right? Wrong. The lights during the day can play utter havoc with the circadian rhythm and cause a night worker chronic insomnia as a result.
So, as a rule of thumb:
● Always make sure your room is dark
● Always put away bright screen such as iphone screens before bed
● Avoid trying to sleep in the day
Why rhythm is important
Aside from helping the circadian rhythm, keeping a general sleep routine is considered ‘good sleep hygiene’. As already mentioned, our bodies enjoy routine (and so do our minds).
Here are some tips sleep experts recommend you follow to optimise your rest time.
● Always go to bed at the same time (except for rare occasions)
● Try to wake up at the same time, even on weekends
● Don’t look at your phone before bed
● Give yourself time to relax and unwind before bed and try to get into a routine with this (e.g. take a bath at 7pm, read a book at 8pm, get ready for bed at 9pm, lights out at 9.30).
● Avoid taking naps in the day, as this can ruin the rhythm and make it harder to go to bed later at night.
● Minimise night time distractions (turn off phone, close the windows, make sure the kids are properly settled)
● Avoid alcohol, as this can cause you to wake up in the night more often
● If you do have a bad night's sleep, try to keep the same rhythm the next night
● Make sure your bed is only there to sleep in, not to work in or watch TV in
● Make sure your bed is comfortable and ergonomically designed so that you wake less, which we will address now.
Waking Less Due To Ergonomics
An ergonomic bed can help you to wake up less during the night, and therefore will help you to adhere to a sleep schedule. As already mentioned, keeping this sleep schedule will then promote better wakefulness in the day and help you to avoid some of the common problems associated with lack of sleep.
That’s why we are proud to tell you about the Adjustable Bed Base EB01 available at Flexispot. This incredible bed is perfect for anyone who wants to maintain a good sleep cycle without waking regularly with aches and pains. It is fully customisable, with the back of the bed able to adjust up to 60 degrees. This means you can read in bed without having to stack pillows behind you, which only causes neck and back ache. You can also combine two Twin XL beds to form a Split King Bed, which means that you and your partner can adjust your sides of the bed differently, according to your preferences.
Talk to us today about adjustable beds or any other furniture that might help you become more comfortable at home. You can get in touch with us via the website.