Consistency is key. Don’t we hear that all the time when we’re trying to improve our habits? New diets, new hobbies, dragging yourself onto the treadmill every day even if you would rather work double overtime than exercise – staying consistent, they say, is always the most important part to building good habits. So why don’t we take that same advice to heart when it comes to the most important part of our daily routine: bedtime?
If you wake up feeling like a zombie every morning, or struggle for hours before slipping into the sweet embrace of sleep, it might be time to freshen up your sleep hygiene with a secret ingredient we like to call “consistency.” Let’s break down why consistent sleep patterns are so important, and what you can do to get your bedtime routine back on track.
Why We Need It
Our bodies crave consistency. It’s the reason why your stomach starts grumbling every day at around 11:59, and why we spend the rest of the day feeling out of whack when we skip our morning coffee and newspaper.
Routine helps us function more efficiently, and without those external cues, our bodies struggle to sync up with our intentions. Having a consistent daily routine lets your body know what to get ready for, and how to do what it needs to do even better.
When it comes to sleep schedules, everyone’s body clock is different, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when to eat or sleep or get up in the morning. What’s important is listening to your own internal rhythm when setting your sleep routine, and making a commitment not to let the stresses and concerns of the day get in the way of a restful night.
What It Does for Us
Do Monday mornings feel like the night of the living dead? Do you find yourself dozing at your desk more often than not? Yeah, those are all signs your sleep schedule is way off track. A consistent sleep schedule can be the difference between a productive day at work and a total wash, between making the most of your day off or dozing the daylight away. If you’re sleeping in three or four hours later on weekends than you do on weekdays, you’re going to spend your days off groggy and delirious, and your days on in a stupor.
A consistent sleep schedule can even affect your mood. Studies show that sleeping poorly can elevate stress and even lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. So, don’t settle for a chaotic sleep schedule! Not only will you feel better day-to-day if you change things up, it can actually make you happier in the long run.
How to Get It
So, now that you get just how important a consistent sleep schedule is, how can you achieve it?
Well, it starts with commitment. Set an alarm, mark it in your calendar, heck, even write it on your forehead if you have to! Decide on set times for going to bed and waking up and stick to it, no matter the day of the week. And no, the fact that the show you’re binging just ended on the biggest cliffhanger ever isn’t an excuse to put off bedtime.
Good habits are another key to a healthy sleep schedule. The bed is not the place for stressful activities like work, balancing your checkbook, and managing your monthly calendar. Keep that far away from your mattress, and out of the bedroom altogether if possible! You want to keep your bed mentally associated with nothing but rest and relaxation.
Finally, like we said, routine is super important for establishing better sleep, so come up with a nighttime ritual that works for you. Maybe it’s having a cup of tea before bed (just remember to stay away from caffeine) or maybe it’s reading your favourite book for 15 minutes. Whatever your ritual is, keeping it consistent is the best way to make those relaxing associations stick in your mind.
It can be a long journey to creating a consistent sleep routine, but when you’re waking up every morning upbeat, energized, and ready to seize the day, it’ll all be worth it! Of course, falling asleep and staying asleep consistently can be nearly impossible without a good mattress, no matter how carefully you’ve planned your new routine. If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it might be time to upgrade your bed. Stop by our store today to check out our selection of Beautyrest mattresses and ask our sleep experts how to revolutionize your rest!
Angela, Your Sleep Expert