How to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

How to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

Arianne Cendon-Ruisanchez, Editor

Many Immaculata-La Salle students have seriously messed up their sleep schedules. The combination of virtual school (where students can sleep a little longer than before) and Spring Break has completely thrown off most ILS students.

For nearly ten days during Spring Break, students went to sleep at times where they would usually be waking up to go to school! However, one must rest assured that every problem comes with a solution.

One of the best ways to fix your sleep schedule is to plan your exposure to light.

When you’re exposed to light, your brain stops producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This makes you feel awake and alert. Darkness tells your brain to make more melatonin, so you feel drowsy.

In the morning, exposing yourself to light can help you wake up. Try opening the curtains, taking a walk, or relaxing on the porch.

At night, prime yourself for sleep by turning off or dimming bright lights. You should also avoid glowing electronic screens from computers, smartphones, or television, since they can stimulate your brain for several hours.

It is also extremely important to skip taking naps in the daytime! Napping can make it difficult to go back to sleep at night. Long naps might also cause grogginess, which is the result of waking up from deep sleep. If you must nap, aim for less than 30 minutes. It’s also best to nap before 3 p.m. so your nighttime sleep isn’t disrupted.

Another sleeping hack is creating a relaxing bedtime ritual that may reduce stress and its negative effects on sleep. Focus on calming activities, such as yoga, stretching, journaling, or deep breathing.

Keep in mind that your eating habits also have an immense effect on the time you fall asleep. A late dinner can delay sleep, so eat your last meal two to three hours before bed. This will give your body enough time to digest the meal. Eating dinner around the same time each day will also get your body used to a routine.

It matters what you eat, too. Heavy, high-fat meals might disrupt sleep because they take a while to digest. If you’re hungry, eat a light snack. The best foods for sleep include a combination of carbs and protein, such as wheat toast and almond butter.

Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, or energy drinks. As a stimulant, caffeine takes several hours to wear off, so have your last cup before mid-afternoon.

By following these tips, ILS students should get their sleeping schedule back on track in the blink of an eye.