Understanding the best sleeping schedule for your body’s natural rhythms
Everybody can appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, 7.5 million of us Brits sleep for less than five hours per night, while many others struggle to establish healthy sleep patterns. If you are in either of these...
Everybody can appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, 7.5 million of us Brits sleep for less than five hours per night, while many others struggle to establish healthy sleep patterns. If you are in either of these categories, timing sleep to your natural rhythms could be the secret weapon in the battle against restless nights.
What are natural rhythms?
Circadian rhythms, more commonly referred to as natural rhythms, essentially relate to your internal body clock and the various cycles that occur during a 24-hour process. The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most significant, not least because your sleep patterns can influence virtually every other natural cycle that affects your body.
Natural rhythms ensure that the body can complete various daily processes in an optimised manner. So, when sleep patterns are aligned with your natural rhythms, you will enjoy a better quality of rest. This can manifest in many ways, such as;
• Falling asleep with greater ease
• Reaching your REM phases with better consistency
• Waking up at the desired times rather than at 3 AM
• Benefiting from improved cortisol regulation
• Waking up with boosted energy levels
When sleep is aligned with natural rhythms, you will unlock restorative rest and increased daytime activity. Furthermore, this can promote improved overall circadian rhythms, which may deliver a range of benefits from increased energy levels all the way to combatting depression and dementia.
Conversely, when natural rhythms are out of sync with your sleep patterns, a fragmented quality of sleep is likely to follow. Sadly, this will prevent optimised function during the waking hours too.
How to time your sleep to natural rhythms
The body’s natural rhythms can be influenced by various triggers, with daylight being the most obvious. During the night-time your body produces melatonin, therefore you could ask for supplements to support the body’s natural production with a view to enhancing your sleep patterns.
Other tips that can help reset your natural cycles and align them with your sleep pattern include;
• Be more active in the morning and try to get outside to gain sunlight exposure
• Spend less time at night on digital screens that produce artificial light
• Relax in the evenings to help your body prepare for bed
• Limit your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake as the day progresses
Crucially, you must also find a comfortable mattress that actively helps you stay asleep. A pocket-sprung mattress with the right firmness level will serve you well. Meanwhile, it is important to choose this style over memory foam mattresses if you are a hot sleeper. Poor temperature regulation will cause you to wake up in the night, which is far from ideal. Having two duvets of varying tog ratings can be very useful too.
When you combine a comfortable sleeping environment with winning daily routines, which should be followed with consistency, you won’t go far wrong. Aligning your sleep patterns with your natural cycles is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health and happiness. Start today, and you could notice the difference within days.