Sleep Cycle: How to Reset Yours

People who exercise report getting better quality sleep, as well as having improved energy and a cheerier mood. “That all helps when you’re getting up earlier in the morning,” says Jo Lichten, PhD, RDN, author of Reboot: How to Power Up Your Energy, Focus, and Productivity. Also, Dr. Lichten says taking movement breaks every 90 minutes or so while at your desk during the day will also help with that groggy feeling that you have until your body adjusts to the morning schedule.

 

Soak in natural light during your daytime hours by spending time in the sunshine. This light exposure will can assist your body in adapting to a new sleep pattern. If you’re unable to be outside during daytime hours, consider using indoor bright lights or investing in a light box for a light boost.

 

When traveling, try to mentally adapt your new time zone, instead of reminding yourself and others what time zone your body is reacting to, says Karen Nourizadeh, meditation guru and instructor at Pure Yoga in New York. “Even though there is a discrepancy, if you continue to think or speak of that discrepancy, you are reinforcing that there is a deficit or negative effect on you or your sleep patterns.”

 

Your body will appreciate a sleep schedule it can get used to. “Go to bed at the same time and do the same activities every night before bed,” Heidi Connolly, MD, chief of pediatric sleep medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center told webmd.com. “Your body is getting a cue that it’s time to fall asleep.” Here are eight little changes you can make now for a better night’s sleep tonight.

 

Circadian rhythms are influenced by your environment. This includes light exposure, which adjusts your body clock and suppresses the release of melatonin, a natural hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep, according to Charles Czeisler, director of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School. That’s one reason people find it easier to get up in the summer, when the sun rises earlier, he explains.