How to Fix Your Post-Summer Sleep Schedule | ProHealthSpot.com | @ProHealthSpotSummer is all about slowing down, using more vacation days, and planning long weekend escapes. Now that Fall is in swing, it’s time to get back to business and reset your body’s internal clock.

 

Having trouble waking up in the morning? Get your zzz’s back on track tonight with these sleep pattern tweaks.

 

Set a daily bedtime and wake time

Adjusting your routine is key for creating better sleep habits. It’s easier to fall asleep and rise when you stick to a consistent schedule. This means hitting the hay and waking up at the same times every day – including weekends! Going to bed late will make you feel drowsy the next morning, and sleeping in on weekends will make rising early on Monday that much harder.

 

Create a pre-sleep routine

Signal to your mind and body that it’s time to unwind from the day’s stress by establishing a nightly routine. Be sure to put away all tech at least one hour before bedtime. Make a few relaxing activities part of your bedtime ritual, such as reading a book, taking a hot shower, listening to soothing music, or doing yoga.

 

Get your fitness on regularly

Cubicle dwellers spend eight or more hours a day sitting at their desks, plus additional time commuting. Exercise will help you sleep more soundly by reducing workday anxiety and making you physically tired. Improve your slumber by taking up a cardio routine or group fitness class at least four times per week.

 

Workout at the right time

While exercise is important, so is the time of day you do it. The earlier you can fit your sweat session into your schedule, the better. However, if you prefer to exercise in the evenings, schedule your session so it ends at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Otherwise, your post-workout high could prevent you from falling asleep.

 

Avoid afternoon caffeine fixes

Feeling that 3 pm slump? Skip the caffeine. Hitting up the coffee machine for an energy boost now could increase your chances of sleeplessness at bedtime. Instead, power through the slump and get a full night’s rest so you’ll feel refreshed (and less reliant on caffeine) tomorrow.

 

Grab some fresh air

Being cooped up indoors during the work day affects your natural sleep patterns. Exposure to sunlight is key to regulating your sleep/wake cycle. Go outside and feel the sun on your skin for at least 30 minutes a day. A few great ways to get your daily dose of sunshine: eating lunch al fresco, taking a noon-hour power walk, or moving your mid-morning coffee break to the courtyard.

 

Prepare a slumber-friendly space

Make sure your bedroom is reserved for bedtime activities only. Start by creating a cool, dark and quiet environment, which will help you sleep more peacefully. Invest in a good mattress and set of pillows. Avoid doing work or paying bills from the comfort of your bed. Remove electronic distractions, like a TV, cell phone, laptop or tablet. Keep your alarm clock facing away so the light doesn’t mess with your circadian rhythms and you’re not tempted to check the time. Block out bright street lights with a sleep mask, or tune out noisy street traffic with ear plugs.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

What are your tips for getting a good night’s sleep? Share your sleepy time ideas in the comments below.