Sleep is a natural state of rest that is encouraged by the body to help repair and revitalise our mind, form and senses. A healthy sleeping pattern is something we all need as part of leading a happy, balanced and productive lifestyle.
Sleeping patterns are basically a person’s schedule of when they go to sleep and when they wake up (1). Besides the general sleeping schedule we have at night time (or whatever time you sleep), sleeping patterns also cover the naps you take during the day (if you take any). Along with daytime naps, it also covers the duration or length at which you sleep and whatever interruptions you experience during that time (1).
Sleeping patterns are important because it helps us to be able to consistently fall asleep faster. More importantly, a regular sleeping pattern helps us become more productive when we are awake (1).
There are three kinds of sleeping patterns that people follow (1).
There’s no need to fix your sleeping pattern as long as you aren’t experiencing negative effects. What’s good for some might not work as well for you, and vice versa. However, some sleeping patterns might be problematic for certain lifestyles: for example, a polyphasic sleep pattern will pose a problem if you have a 9-to-5 job. If that’s the case, then here are some tips on how to fix our sleeping patterns (2, 3, 4).
It helps to pick a sleeping and waking time and stick to it. While it might be hard at first, your body will slowly get used to it. Establishing a sleeping routine or ritual might help give your body cues on when it’s time to sleep, helping it become more consistent (2, 3, 4).
While it is true that alcohol can certainly get you sleepy, it can also cause you to wake up at night and disrupt your sleep. On the other hand, coffee and cigarettes are stimulants that are famous for keeping you awake (2, 3, 4).
If you’re trying to sleep at an earlier time at night, it helps to be more careful about taking naps during the day. While they do feel great and are very restful, they can also derail your sleeping plans during the night. If you really need to take a nap, try to keep it to within 20-30 minutes (2, 3, 4).
If you’re looking for extra help on how to fix your sleeping pattern, this herb, used in traditional medicine, is known to support better quality sleep. It's particularly helpful for individuals dealing with insomnia, as research has shown that it helps improve sleep quality, deep sleep and reduce the time taken to fall asleep (5, 6).
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Sleep is an important and critical part of a healthy lifestyle. Being more knowledgeable on how to fix your sleeping pattern can lead to a more productive and healthy you.
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*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.