Our Sleep Clock is of multiple biological mechanisms which manage the cycle of wakefulness as well as tiredness. Our sleep clock is led by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) present in the hypothalamus gland. This cycle is also described as the circadian rhythm. The optimal functioning of this rhythm indicates you will get sleepy during the evening almost around the same time, and wake early in the morning around the same time, each day. The body’s sleep clock function is controlled by a combination of many external factors such as sunrise/sunset and temperature. Few internal factors like hormones, neurotransmitters, and genes also take part in controlling our sleep cycle. The sleep clock is also influenced by your behaviour such as, delaying sleep or activity levels. Here are a few smart ways to adjust sleep schedules and fix its patterns to help maintain a normal lifestyle.
1. Manipulate Lighting
Studies suggest that managing light exposure may help reset the clock, especially for disturbances caused by jet lag. The light remains a crucial focus of treatment providers and is often a feature of treatment for sleep phase disorders. The daily cycles of lightness and darkness are a sign that acts on the mechanisms of your body clock. Retinal ganglion cells are present in your eyes. These cells detect light cycles and transfer information directly to your SCN. Basically, it means you should follow the Earth’s natural reminders. Expose yourself to the bright and natural sunlight throughout the day. In the evening, start dimming your lights. Make your bedroom being virtually black and devoid of any screens or less.
2. Fast, Then Normalise Meal Times
Digestion and metabolism also play a critical role in wakefulness and sleepiness. When you eat and what you eat can help you reset your sleep clock. Circadian rhythms shifts to match food availability. Researchers have suggested that fasting for more than 16 hrs could help reset sleep clocks and counter the effects of jet lag when travelling. For non-jet lag sleep clock issues, you could try a 16-hour fast as well. Once your sleep cycle is back on track, adhere to regular breakfast and dinner times to help support harmonious circadian rhythms. Have your dinner at least a couple of hours before bed, and a filling breakfast soon after waking. You can also buy Melatonin tablets. It helps to adjust the body's internal clock. Melatonin Tablets are best for the jet lag, for adjusting your sleep-wake cycles if your daily work schedule changes.
3. Pull An All-Nighter
One approach to reverse the temporary sleep clock delay is to stay up one full day until the next routine bedtime. This method is necessarily planned sleep deprivation, so it is better done under a physician's supervision.
4. Take Gradual Steps
For most people, a slow and gradual approach is best to help achieve long term results. Small changes can also be more natural on you physically and mentally, particularly if you don’t have days to recover from the shortage of sleep. Try to adjust your schedule by no more than 30 minutes every day, and remain at every phase until your body catches up to the changes made. Once you are sleeping and waking at fitting times, don’t forget to maintain a steady schedule every day of the week.