How to Fix a Messed Up Sleep Cycle

Updated November 21, 2016

If your sleep patterns are lousy, you are never going to feel rested and will be operating at far less than 100 per cent during the daytime hours. Take the bull by the horns and determine what is disrupting your sleep, and then make an effort to remedy it.

Establish a time to go to bed and a time to wake up and do this every day, even on weekends. Also establish a set routine such as taking a bath, followed by reading a book and then turning out the lights and going to bed. Try not to vary from the routine.

Do not nap, advises If you have to nap, do not sleep any longer than 25 minutes.

Get up if you can't fall asleep. Do not lie in bed, awake, for more than 15 minutes. Do something that is not stimulating, such as washing dishes. Now try to go back to bed.

Refrain from using your bed as your office or the place where you watch TV or talk on the phone. Only use your bed for sleeping and sex.

Avoid staying in bed more than your regular 7 or 8 hours, even if you haven't slept well. Get up.

Resist drinking coffee or other caffeine products before going to bed. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it can also have the reverse effect and serve as a stimulant, waking you up in the middle of the night. Nicotine is also a stimulant and will keep you awake.

Prepare your bedroom. It shouldn't be too hot. A room that is cool will help you sleep better than a warm one. Bathing right before you go to bed raises your core temperature. As your temperature cools off, this signals your body that it is time to go to sleep.

Remove clocks or anything in the room that are sources of lights and which may wake you or keep you awake.

Refrain from engaging in invigorating activities right before you go to bed, because this will make it more difficult for you to relax.

Consider listening to soothing music as you try to fall asleep or engage in visual imagery or deep breathing, which are relaxation techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Cool, dark, quiet bedroom
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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.