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Many factors influence how we sleep.
When our sleep cycle gets disrupted, it can be hard to pinpoint the cause -- and it’s quite possible that there is more than one reason. A broken sleep cycle is basically our circadian rhythm off track.
The circadian rhythm -- or our internal clock -- is a 24-hour cycle for waking and sleeping. W Here are four basic steps to fixing a broken circadian rhythm.
1. Stick to the Schedule.
Because your sleep cycle is out of whack, sleeping at your normal bedtime may be difficult. Try anyway. To get back on the schedule you’re used to, you may need to work harder to sleep. Try different techniques to feel tired including dimming the lights, changing the room temperature, and using essential oils that promote relaxation.
2. Spend Time Outside!
Sleep experts recommend sunlight exposure to improve sleep. Sunlight triggers the body to produce the hormone serotonin, which helps you calm down and focus. Closer to bedtime, the serotonin in the body converts to melatonin, which controls your sleeping and waking cycle. Some say morning sunlight is best because it also helps the skin.
3. Let’s Get Physical, Physical!
Around 20-30 minutes of exercise each day will help you sleep better. Studies show a correlation between daily 20-minute exercise and better sleep. Go for a walk or run early in the day to get your dose of morning sunlight and exercise.
4. You are What You Eat!
The things you eat and drink can have a positive or negative effect on how you sleep. You may want to watch caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon, so it does not affect your sleep. Avoid a big meal before bed because big meals require the body to work hard to digest during sleep. Try to eat a smaller and healthier snack before bed such as yogurt or fruit.