Isn’t it really frustrating when your sleep schedule won’t become normal, no matter how hard you try?
I have been struggling with the same thing almost for a long time. One night I would never sleep, other night I would sleep 16 hours. Sometimes 4 hours of sleep made me fresh and sometimes 14 hours of sleep made me tired.
Without regular sleep days would be so messed up and no infinite amounts of coffee or tea works. And then comes that pounding headache. Ugh!
So 3 weeks ago, I decided to put a lot of efforts on that matter and I have got better!
If you are having the same problems and want to fix your sleep schedule, you are in the right place
First things first,
Why would that sleep schedule get off track?
This is an obvious answer. Our body clocks which control our sleep schedule, are sensitive a lot of things. Some of the things that affect our sleep schedules are:
• Amount of time we are exposed to light
• The level of sound we hear
• Amount and nutrients of food we eat
• Naps in the afternoon
• Temperature of the place where you sleep
• Medication intake
• Stress levels
• Exposure to blue light from screens
Back to the point, we will have to check on these things to get a good sleep. Take care of whatever you can control and those beyond control will fall into right place automatically.
(Psst! If you are here to know how to sleep well. That’s another blog post. This is about the first stage of fixing the sleep schedules)
So when I researched about this initially all I got was the same reduce screen time, reduce caffeine, get good exercise, have your room temperature at a good level etc. But with a little more digging I found one good solution.
There are some websites that claim that pulling an all nighter would fix your sleep schedule. It would but not permanently. Besides it affects your body glucose levels, which isn’t good. Also you would have mood swings. It is better to say it as roller coaster ride than a simple swing.
Additionally, all nighter would put you in sleep debt. Apparently, for every hour of sleep you lose, you need 4 hours of extra sleep to compensate it. So that amount of sleep you have to compensate will hit you sooner. I wouldn’t recommend this method.
What is the better solution now?
The 16-hour fast
According to Harvard researcher Clifford Saper, a 16-hour fast works best to fix sleep schedule and it worked for me!
How to do the 16-hour fast?
It’s pretty simple,
- Fix the time you want to wake up.
- Now count back 16-hours.
- And you stop eating at that time. Yes, no more chips, no more secret visits to fridge. Just water.
- When you are 8 hours into fasting, go to bed for your pretty sleep
I needed to wake up at 4 AM. That meant I have to stop eating at 12 noon. Yes, I was sad to not eat for 16 hours, but hey, it was totally worth the effort. I stopped eating at 12 and after 8 hours of grumbling, cursing and complaining I went to bed. I made sure to sleep as soon as possible, no checking mobile, no thinking random and stupid stuff. I relaxed my whole body and kept my eyes tight shut and there was no option but to sleep.
Did I wake up at 4 AM?
It was not 4 AM, but it was 4:30 AM. But this was almost miraculous. Because I am the kind of girl who doesn’t snooze the alarm, nah, that’s for kids. I wake up switch off the alarm and then sleep more for hours. But after this fast I woke up at 4:30 AM even without an alarm clock.
Then I suggested this to my friend, just to make sure I am not a super being who was able to pull this off. Apparently, she did have some trouble waking up (That doesn’t mean I am a super being) After a week, I asked her to try again, but this time with an alarm clock. When the alarm clock went off at the morning, she was able to wake up without feeling groggy. Yasss! That’s success!
Now that I am up, what next?
It was also said by the researcher that you should have a healthy breakfast once you wake up and expose yourself to sunlight. So I sat down by a window and ate a breakfast.
I didn’t feel sleepy, tired or yawn an infinite times the whole day. Instead, it was a fresh amazing day with a good amount of energy.
One thing you should keep in mind is to be reasonable. If, you have been waking up at 11 AM for the past 3 months, and then all of a sudden, you want to wake up at 4 AM results won’t be as good as expected. I used to wake up at 7 so I fixed my time as 4. Gradually reduce the time. Try the fast two more times and it would definitely work. If, you need to light to wake up try investing in a sun lamp.
This 16 hour fast method is also said to cure jet lags.
Have you tried any other methods to fix your sleep schedule? If so, what were the results?
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