Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may have to work at home. But working at home can disrupt our sleep schedules. We may go to bed late at night and wake up late as well. Gradually, insomnia came. And you may feel sleepy during the day or sleepless all night. You find that your energy is also getting worse. The fundamental reason is the irregular work and rest time that leads to the disorder of the biological clock. If you're looking for ways to fix your sleep schedule, you shouldn't miss this article. Let's fix your sleep schedule together so you can get better sleep quality.
1. What exactly is a sleep schedule or so-called biological clock?
“All human behavior is the result of adapting to the rotation of the earth”, said Colin Stephenson Pittendrigh, a British-born biologist. Organisms must adapt to the environment to survive and evolve. The rotation of the earth causes periodic changes in light, temperature, magnetic field, etc., which is the fundamental reason for the circadian rhythm of various organisms on the earth. For humans, the body's inherent circadian rhythm is regulated by a complex network of circadian clock genes and their proteins. They integrate light, diet, temperature, and humidity information in the environment, adjust instructions, and help the human body adapt to the life of "work at sunrise and rest at sunset".
2. What happens when the sleep schedule or biological clock is disturbed?
If the sleep schedule (biological clock) is not synchronized with the objective work and rest time, your body will have health problems. For example, the jet lag is one of the obvious manifestations of the temporary disruption of the biological clock.
If it is only a few days of irregular work and rest, your body can adjust it, and it will not have much impact on health. Because even ordinary people, affected by work/rest time, they may go to bed late and get up late on one or two days each week. However, if you don’t get enough sleep for a long time and your sleep schedule is disordered, it will have a great impact on your health. You will have the following problems:
- Find it harder and harder to concentrate, your memory gets worse;
- Your body's immunity is weakened, you get colds more often;
- Your metabolism is reduced, which can lead to obesity that can make it difficult to lose weight;
In addition, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, tumors will also be higher than that of people with regular work and rest time. Many young people think that their health is not as good as they used to be, but they rarely realize that it is actually the reason for the disorder of the sleep schedule or biological clock.
3. How to fix your time schedule?
- Get rid of smartphone and computer before bed
With the popularity of smartphones and computers, the blue light emitted by electronic product screens will reduce the body's secretion of melatonin, increase neural excitability, and delay your sleep time.
Get rid of computers, tablets, mobile phones and TVs early, not only because you will be using them until late at night, but more importantly, to reduce blue light from interfering with sleep rhythms. If we use mobile phones and tablets at night, it will prolong the time we fall asleep, reduce REM sleep, and still feel sleepy even after waking up.
At the same time, by adjusting the bedroom lighting, temperature, etc., to create a good sleeping environment. People with sleep procrastination habits should take their mobile phones, tablets, etc. out of the bedroom, without being disturbed by blue light, and go to sleep naturally.
- Establish a reasonable and regular sleep schedule
Sleep time needed vary from person to person, but generally, the time required for adult ranges from 6 to 10 hours. Assuming that the wake-up time for work in the morning is 7:30, according to personal sleep time requirements (take an average of 8 hours as an example), it is almost going to bed around 11:00 in the evening.
The first thing to do in the morning after waking up should be to open the curtains or blinds to get sunlight. Let the eyes transmit the light signal to the brain, and the body will realize that it is time to wake up. Whether at work or on vacation, maintain a regular schedule. Do this every day without changing sleep-wake patterns too often. In this way, we will naturally feel sleepy and want to sleep when we should go to bed, and will naturally wake up when we should get up for work.
- Get adequate sunlight exposure during the day
Our bodies receive a lot of light, which makes us more awake during the day and sleep better at night. If you are sleepy until late at night, spending two hours a day in bright sunlight can advance your biological clock by one hour.
People who are often troubled by early awakenings, on the contrary, they cannot receive sunlight at 6 or 7 in the morning. Instead, be in bright light in the afternoon and evening, and draw thick curtains when sleeping to prevent outside light from interfering with sleep.
If you want to fix your sleep schedule, for those of you who have reversed work and rest time, poor sleep, and want to live a healthy life, our advice is: reduce the factors that interfere with sleep, maintain a regular work and rest time schedule, and get more exposure to sunlight during the day. They will all effectively help you fix your sleep schedule.