How to Reset Your Sleep Schedule
Adequate sleep is essential to maintaining optimum physical and mental health, yet a restorative night’s rest is elusive for far too many adults. In fact, about 70 million Americans grapple with some form of chronic sleep insufficiency.¹ While many factors contribute to this epidemic, a steadfast commitment to a healthy sleep schedule may be all it takes to to reverse this restless trend.
The average adult should get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.² When our sleep cycle is delayed, decreased, or fragmented we run the risk of developing numerous health problems. Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with ailments such as diabetes, obesity, and depression. It’s also known to negatively impact memory and cognition. Although no two people’s natural sleep schedule is identical, we all require deep, restorative sleep that allows our minds to rest and our bodies to regenerate at the end of each day. Over time, many of us fall into unhealthy sleep habits that can often be tough to break. The good news is that you can literally reset your internal clock to get the sleep quality and quantity you need to thrive.
Our behavioral, mental and physical processes follow a 24-hour cycle that responds to darkness and light. Naturally occurring patterns, known as circadian rhythms, influence vital bodily functions—such as our sleep cycle, digestion, body temperature, and appetite.³-⁴ Circadian rhythms serve as our internal body clock, driven by a “master clock” called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (or SCN).³ The SCN is a cluster of nerve cells in the hypothalamus of our brain that regulates circadian rhythms for each system of the body.
The SCN manages the sleep-wake cycle by way of the light (or the lack thereof) our eyes detect. Once it receives signals about incoming light from the optic nerves, the SCN produces proteins that notify the brain it’s time to rise and shine. Dimness or absence of light induces melatonin production (the hormone that induces drowsiness), and lets our brains know that it’s time for bed.
Our circadian rhythms are vital because they work hard to ensure the processes in our body are optimized throughout the day. Circadian rhythms not only synchronize our vital systems, they help our internal body clock to sync up with our external world. When aligned, our circadian rhythms can help our bodies establish a positive sleep pattern that promotes overall wellness.
What Factors Throw Off Our Sleep Schedule?
Misalignment of our body’s internal clock can affect quality of sleep in a host of ways. Common irregular sleep patterns include sleep deprivation, broken sleep, and insomnia—to name a few. Sleep disorders are more than a nuisance. Conditions associated with sleep problems include heartburn, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, mental health issues, and neurological disorders.⁵ There’s a myriad of factors that can prevent a good night’s sleep; the following being the most common deterrents to a healthy sleep schedule:
Light is more than something that helps us take in our surroundings; it’s the essential component that drives our circadian rhythm. Once upon a time, the sun was the only source of illumination that kept the human body clock in alignment. Today, sources such as street lamps, indoor lights, and electronic devices (like cell phones, laptops and televisions) emit light that triggers the same waking mechanism that the sun does. These sources of artificial light interfere with the body’s ability to distinguish day and night; ultimately this delays the SCN’s ability to produce melatonin—the hormone we rely on to fall asleep every night.
Eating At Night
Poor dietary choices in the evening encourage negative sleep habits. Consuming certain foods or beverages too close to bedtime is hazardous to digestive health and counterproductive to the development of a healthy sleep pattern. Stimulants such as coffee or chocolate are well-known for having an adverse effect on rest. Even a cup of coffee mid-afternoon could disrupt circadian rhythms and keep your mind alert well into the night.
Jet Lag: Social & Travel
Jet lag is the byproduct of air travel across time zones that can throw the internal clock off balance. Social jet lag is similar, but rather than air travel, it’s often social and/or work obligations that misalign our circadian rhythm. The definition of social jet lag is actually based on the standard 9 to 5 work routine of going to bed later—then waking up later on the weekends than on weekdays.⁶ Social jet lag can also stem from a sporadic work schedule that is preventing the development of a consistent sleep schedule.
Mental and emotional stress present major challenges to getting a good night’s sleep, let alone to developing a healthy sleep routine. Stress and anxiety make for an unquiet mind, elevating the heart rate and causing difficulties relaxing. Poor sleep exacerbates stress, leading to excessive daytime fatigue. Learning how to keep stress under control is easier said than done, however, it is critical for programming our internal clock and regulating sleep schedule.
How Do You Reset Your Sleep Schedule?
The first step towards getting the rest your body needs begins with a commitment to practicing healthy sleep habits. This involves prioritizing better sleep hygiene practices that guarantee 7 to 9 hours of sleep, 7 days a week—as well as a consistent time when you go to bed (and wake up). Depending on your current sleep routine, you may start by making incremental changes in your sleep schedule over a period of weeks. The following suggestions can, with a sustained effort, help develop a healthy sleep schedule.
Reduce Light Exposure Before Bed
Keeping lights on before bedtime delays melatonin production which can have an adverse effect on sleep schedule. Blue light from our electronic devices in particular can interfere with this process. Using dim lighting, or enabling night mode on devices before bed, can help facilitate healthy sleep patterns. Regardless, it’s best to avoid any bright lights directly before bed.
Create A Sleep-Friendly Environment
In general, the room that you sleep in should be as dark as possible. Digital displays from alarm clocks can be covered and outdoor light from street lamps can be muted with heavy curtains. Make sure your mattress, pillows, and bedding are suited to meet your needs and allow for maximum coziness. Keeping a comfortable bedroom temperature is another key factor in getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, earplugs may aid in reducing background noise.
Be Mindful What You Consume At Night
Ideally, it’s best to wait at least 2 hours between consuming food and going to bed to allow proper digestion. It’s also best to reduce (or eliminate) alcohol and caffeine consumption in the late afternoon or evening—as they both are known to promote unhealthy sleep patterns. Natural remedies like kava, melatonin, sleep teas, and CBD sleep capsules can help you wind down and relax for a restful night’s sleep.
If naps are a part of your daily routine, it’s better to avoid long ones. Naps are a great way to recharge, but extended mid-day sleep can have an adverse effect on your nightly sleep schedule. Limit your snooze to 20-30 minutes to keep your circadian rhythm intact.
Spending your days in the sun and your nights beneath the stars is a perfect way to reset your internal clock—just remember to bring a tent!
Exercise is thought to enhance our mental and physical well-being. A regular fitness routine is associated with healthier sleep patterns.⁷ To avoid overstimulation before bed, it’s best to finish your routine at least 3 hours before hitting the hay.
Using CBD To Reset Your Sleep Schedule
In recent years, CBD has taken the holistic and alternative medicine markets by storm. Its medicinal qualities are known to impact an array of ailments, both physical and mental. In addition, CBD contains properties thought to promote relaxation and healthy sleep habits. Consuming CBD oil for sleep can assist in a good night’s rest without causing drowsiness in the morning. This is one of many ways CBD effectively can support healthy functioning of the body’s circadian rhythm.
Leveraging the combined power of CBD, CBN, and CBG, our Sleep Collection was also formulated with functional ingredients known to help get to sleep and stay asleep. Our selection includes a CBD tincture for sleep and capsules (infused with time-tested, secondary ingredients like lemon balm, passion flower, and melatonin) designed to help recover from sleep deprivation, jet lag, restlessness, and poor sleep habits.
If you’re looking to enhance the quality of your sleep, give some of our full spectrum CBD products a try. If you don’t love it, use our 90-Day Stress-Free Guarantee for store credit or a full refund—no questions asked. If you aren’t satisfied, we aren’t satisfied. Explore our wide selection of offerings, with an option to split your order into 4x interest-free payments courtesy of Sezzle. But first, check out our guide on how to determine the best CBD serving size to start your CBD journey on the right foot!