Catching Quality Z’s by Regulating Your Sleep-Wake Cycle
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
You’ve probably heard many times that you can sleep better if you create a regular sleep schedule and a relaxing bedtime routine, but…
How much have you heard about naturally regulating your sleep-wake cycle?
Here’s the scoop: melatonin is a naturally made hormone that aids in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. The creation of melatonin is controlled by light exposure; it is created more in the evening when it’s dark (making you tired) and less during the day when it’s light outside (allowing you to be awake and alert). Some of our regular habits, though, can disrupt our body’s natural melatonin production.
Check out some tips for how to prevent your body’s natural melatonin production from being disrupted:
Increase light exposure during the day by:
- Not wearing sunglasses unnecessarily. Allow sunlight to hit your face (not excessively, of course).
- Spending time outside during the daylight hours. Try to do things outside like eating lunch, exercising, or walking your dog.
- Allowing plenty of light into your home and place of work. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day. Try to work in front of a window if you can.
Increase melatonin production at night by:
- Turning off your television and computer if they are in your bedroom. The light from these devices can decrease melatonin production. If you’re used to watching TV or Facebooking before bed, try some other options like listening to an audio book or to the radio.
- Avoiding bright lights before bed as much as possible. Try to use low-wattage lights in your bedroom.
- Keeping your bed room as dark as possible. Use heavy curtains or shades and maybe try an eye mask.
- Using a flashlight when you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, etc.