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  • by Nicola Boulton August 17, 2022 5 min read


    Sleep is an activity to keep your muscles relaxed, your mind at ease, and your body free from tension. For various reasons, most people cannot get a good night's sleep. Rising costs of living have driven people to work like machines, literally. To improve their lives and those of their loved ones, they've opted to make the ultimate sacrifice: sleep for some extra cash. And while such an outrageous decision may make economical sense (to them at least), it proves detrimental in the long term.

    Failing to get a good night's sleep can continuously cause fatigue, a decrease in cognitive function, and a rise in anxiety levels which may lead to depression. There are no qualms that your sleep schedule can be fixed. It is not some miracle that works immediately. The efficacy of these techniques takes time, commitment, and precision, to ensure that you get your sleep schedule back on track. We shall delve deeper into what causes sleep, what derails it, and how to fix your sleep schedule, naturally.

    What Causes You To Sleep?

    You might be curious as to why it's more common for you to fall asleep at night. It may seem like our bodies have natural "clocks" that trigger our brain to fall asleep at a particular time of the night. Furthermore, it is easier to fall asleep once you've switched off the lights. According to  Nutt et al. (2022), there are two hemispheres in the brain, and the pineal gland lies between them. The pineal gland is stimulated to secrete melatonin hormone, which triggers the brain to retire to sleep at night. The circadian rhythm usually maintains the melatonin hormone in the brain.

    The body has a sort of "master clock," located in the brain's hypothalamus. The retina, located in the eye, sends a light transmission to the hypothalamus, which leads to the suppression of melatonin. It is why falling asleep is more difficult when lights are on. Higher melatonin levels drastically reduce brain waves, characterized by higher amplitudes and lower frequencies. Deep sleep aids in restoring body and brain cells, rejuvenating the muscles, and removing toxic substances by facilitating smoother homeostatic processes.

    Why Do People Have Irregular Sleep Schedules?

    As mentioned, sleep is an important part of our daily regimen. It helps rejuvenate brain cells and ease muscle tension, helping us remain energized the following day. Unsurprisingly, many people cannot get a good night's sleep. Several reasons could be responsible for this. The major advancements in technology have made people "addicted" to gadgets. It's safe to say that some have even become zombies, spending several hours of the day glued to their screens, seeking to be entertained by playing games, watching sports, and films. Kids spend countless hours glued to their tablets and phones in the wee hours of the night, depriving them of their sleep, causing them to wake up tired and unable to engage in school activities properly.

    According to DelRosso et al. (2021), there has been a significant rise in the number of children experiencing restless sleep. Blue light is emitted by technological gadgets such as phones, TVs, and computers. According to Tosini et al. (2016), exposure to blue light can damage body cells and incorrectly trigger melatonin production. Thus, irregular melatonin production further interferes with the circadian rhythm, causing it to become "incompetent" in regulating the secretion of the melatonin hormone.

    Our bodies seem to have master clocks that trigger our brains to sleep. Therefore, the type of light individuals are exposed to during the day and the night influences our sleep quality. Maximum exposure to sunlight enriches us with vitamin D, which helps in synthesizing calcium and magnesium that strengthens our bones and teeth. When you wake up, it is advisable to expose yourself to sunlight since it helps reset your circadian rhythm so that your body naturally retires to sleep at night. Additionally, some people like to travel across countries; whether work-related or simply for leisure, traveling can be a fun experience. However, different countries have different time zones. Therefore, people tend to stay up a lot more often than they are supposed to, which causes our "master clocks" to keep rescheduling and resetting since we are training our bodies to sleep at different times than our internal clocks require us to.

    Some people experience the opposite; they retire to sleep extremely late and wake up extremely late or experience delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). DSPS interferes with the circadian rhythm since a person is unable to fall asleep at their preferred time and is also unable to wake up at their preferred time. This major shift in the workings of the circadian rhythm often proves disastrous since it leads to inhibited cognitive function, fatigue, and sometimes even depression. Speaking of depression, higher anxiety and mood disorders usually interfere with a person's sleep quality. According to Demirci et al. (2015), a person remains unnecessarily active when stressed due to the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone. Anxiety and stress negatively impact a person's mental state, depriving them of quality sleep.

    How To Naturally Fix Your Sleep Schedule

    There are several natural techniques that you can use to fix your sleep schedule:

    Maximize Your Exposure To Sunlight

    Alternatively, you can use a bright light if you cannot get some sunlight in your area. Exposure to bright light helps reset your circadian rhythm, which further helps in triggering melatonin at the appropriate time during the night. The time it would take to fall asleep would be reduced by 83%. Give it a try and see the breathtaking results.

    Minimize Your Exposure To Blue Light At Night.

    It is recommendable to switch off devices such as TVs, phones, and laptops at least 2 hours before bedtime. It ensures that light information is not passed to the hypothalamus through the retina, which would otherwise suppress the secretion of the melatonin hormone.

    Ensure Your Room Has A Cool, Dark Environment

    Keeping the room dark further triggers the secretion of melatonin, which alerts the brain to fall asleep at night. Moreover, keeping your windows open allows cool air to ventilate your room properly and rejuvenate its aura, which aids in easing body tension and relaxing the mind.

    Try Having A Relaxing Shower

    A relaxing shower 2-3 hours before bedtime can help your nighttime schedule properly. Moreover, play some relaxing music. This combination relaxes the mind and eases tension in the muscles.

    Consider What You Eat Before Bedtime

    You'd want to avoid foods and drinks that contain nicotine, caffeine, acidic substances, or high quantities of sugar. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, while acidic foods may cause heartburn and interfere with your sleep schedule.


    Sleep is an important part of our health. Quality sleep enables us to remain focused while performing our tasks. Furthermore, cognitive function is improved, as well as a rise in testosterone levels in men. However, poor sleep can lead to higher anxiety levels, inhibited cognitive function, depression, and mood disorders. Be patient. It takes time to properly adjust your sleep schedule in the right direction, although this depends on the factor affecting your sleep schedule. For example, if you are shifting between different time zones, it may take a day per time zone or up to two weeks to adjust properly. With the right discipline, you can adjust your sleep schedule the right way.


    DelRosso, L. M., Picchietti, D. L., Spruyt, K., Bruni, O., Garcia-Borreguero, D., Kotagal, S., ... & International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. (2021). Restless sleep in children: A systematic review. Sleep medicine reviews56, 101406.

    Demirci, K., Akgönül, M., & Akpinar, A. (2015). Relationship of smartphone use severity with sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in university students. Journal of behavioral addictions4(2), 85-92.

    Nutt, D., Wilson, S., & Paterson, L. (2022). Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience.

    Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular Vision22, 61–72.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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