Improving Sleep Wake Cycle - My Fit Brain

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Sleep wake Cycle

We all have an inner scheduler, hardwired into us called the circadian clock, it helps to fall asleep each night and wake up the next morning. Everyone’s sleep pattern depends on their daytime engagements. Our daily routines – what we eat and drink, how we schedule our days, and how we choose to spend our evenings – can significantly impact our quality of sleep. Even a few slight adjustments can mean the difference between sound sleep and a restless night. Making simple but important changes to your daytime routine and bedtime habits can have a profound impact on how well you sleep, leaving you feeling mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long. Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night.

Short term goals:

  • To explore your sleep patterns

  • Write a journal of daily stressors, maintain a sleep diary to monitor the quality and quantity of sleep

  • Keeping a record of naps

  • Some relaxation exercises

Long term goals:

  • Re-establish a restful and peaceful sleep pattern

  • To feel more refreshed and energetic during wakeful hours

  • Committing yourself to better sleep and a good routine

  • Review on sleep hygiene

Creating an action plan by working on one step at a time then moving on to the next to build lasting habits and to improve your sleep patterns by personalizing the plan to fit your bodily needs and flexibility in the process. Starting off with week 1, focusing on how you will accomplish the target behavior, identifying as what contributes to your odd sleeping hours, improving the sleep environment, and groundwork by self-reflection to provide a foundation. Make a commitment to go to bed earlier. Exposing to morning sunlight and getting rid of the alarm clock. Week 2 goal is to make sure to eat breakfast every day and to keep a record form. Week 3: Create a relaxing buffer zone and going to bed when you feel sleepy. Week 4: Remove electronics from the bedroom. Develop a sleep routine: not to watch TV, social media near the time when you fall asleep. To calculate your sleep needs; traditionally 8 hours of sleep. Before going to bed, write down all the things that worry you in a journal and think of ways to deal with them effectively. During the day, be more active. Reduce caffeine intake and daytime naps. In addition, exercises and relaxation techniques to help improve sleep. Commitment to make good sleep a priority and be consistent in your sleep hygiene approach based on the following parameters. Sleep environment, Bedtime, Relaxation exercise, Wake up time, Natural light exposure, Breakfast, Workout, Avoiding naps, Avoiding caffeine intake, Quality of sleep

As an individual, you will feel little change in yourself by setting a scheduled routine, engaging in activities, gym/workout, having breakfast, Meditation App, and also Lumosity App for fun and active mind games/ cognitive puzzles. As you will go through your diary journal and sleep tracker, you will realize that this target behavior as a personal change worked for you effectively by assigning smaller tasks and steps. It’s that you have to keep a track of your progress in order to get going and to be consistent to achieve the desired results.  Also, a reality checks as what fits in best for you. 

Specific techniques and approaches for improved sleep schedule:

  • Behavioral therapy to help build an association between bedroom, sleep, and daily activities. (reinforcement and punishment)

  • Recommendations on good “sleep hygiene” to promote sound sleep.

  • Relaxation techniques- meditation, mindfulness, exercises. (Meditation App)

  • Self-care

  • Sleep journal to track your progress

  • Lumosity App for fun and active mind games/ cognitive puzzles

  • Sleep cycle App- to have sleep analysis, sleep statistics, daily sleep graphs and sleep notes.

  • Being gentle and flexible to self.

List of recommended readings and articles for effective sleep schedule:

  • Improving sleep- A guide to a good night’s rest. (Harvard Medical School Special Health Report).

  • Healthy sleep tips – Including ideal room temperature, noise, and light control. (National Sleep Foundation). Sleep and your lifestyle, sleep tools, and tips. 

  • 5 foods that help you sleep- Food relates directly to serotonin, a key hormone that helps promote healthy sleep. (Cleveland Clinic). Embrace whole-grain breads, cereals, peanut butter and nuts, warm milk, and fresh basil.

  • Stressless; sleep more- Tips for reducing stress to promote better sleep, including the use of acupressure. (UCLA)

Training your body to change a behavior takes a certain amount of mental power and discipline. But once you do that you will feel healthier, more refreshed and energetic with this new energy- to be more productive. Also, much about self-care by engaging yourself in a mindless activity- favorite web series, cafes, and treating yourself as reinforcement after weekly accomplishments. You will definitely progress well by setting weekly goals, sleep trackers, and journal entry. Positive reinforcement on achieving weekly goals and no treat to self as negative reinforcement.

Wishing you personal growth and adaptive behavior change practices!!


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