Ahh! Still can't believe it's 2016. WOO. I love the new year.
Anyways....the last few weeks have been lovely. I've been home from school, with my family in Michigan. It's been delightfully lazy and relaxing but I've quickly realized that I have a large problem--I've ruined my sleep cycle.
Maybe you can sympathize with this. Whether it's due to work or classes or just preference, you probably usually have some sort of a sleep routine (hopefully). Really, it's a healthy habit to have. The more consistently we go to bed and get up at the same time, the more rested and healthy we are overall.
But I know that at least for me, winter break can wreak havoc on that carefully constructed routine. During the semester, I got in bed around 10pm, read or watched a little TV, fell asleep between 10:45 and 11:15 most nights and woke up at 7:15am. It really was quite lovely. I rarely felt drowsy at all during my 8am classes and I was perfectly ready to sleep at the same time every night. And best of all, I naturally woke up without an alarm between 7:30 and 8 on Saturday mornings.
Thanks to winter break though, I've been going to bed anywhere between 10pm and 1am and I've been waking up between 8:30 and 11am. 11am. I am not a fan of this. Maybe you're in the same boat + you're ready to get your sleep cycle back on track.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
If you look at my current sleep habits above, I'm getting at least 8 hours a night, sometimes even way more. So in theory, I should be feeling rested and at my peak. But...I'm not. And I started wondering why + did a little research.
You've probably heard of your "circadian rhythm", which is basically like a clock inside your body that regulates everything inside you that corresponds with your day, which encompasses a lot more than you think. Your circadian rhythm is in charge of how rested you feel, how productive you are, a lot of the hormones your body produces and your brain activity.
That's a big deal! So when our bodies don't have a consistent sleep schedule off of which to build our circadian rhythm, we get out of whack in a lot of ways. Even if I'm getting eight hours of sleep every night, moving my bedtime around actually ends up affecting my mood and my productivity.
SO WHAT NOW?
I'll tell you! Over the next few weeks, I'll be taking various sleep strategies--mostly ones you've probably heard before but I'm sure some are new. I'll be focusing on three main areas: getting up with an alarm, falling asleep quickly, and knowing when and how to take quality naps. In the next week, I'll take a look at that first idea--getting up with an alarm. I'll be testing a few different alarm apps and some strategies recommended by sleep experts and reporting my results right here on the blog.
Join me! I won't be hosting an official link-up (but if you want to join a link-up, check out #BeBold2016!) but you can write your own related post and leave it in the comments or just come read my post. I'll be posting every other Tuesday. Here's the schedule of topics.
January 19: Waking Up (with an alarm clock or otherwise!)
February 2: Falling Asleep
February 16: Taking Naps
How do you maintain a good sleep schedule? Any tricks I need to try?