How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule in 2021
Welcome to this post, How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule!
It’s the middle of the night and you’re in bed watching Netflix with your eyes wide open. As soon as the episode ends, you check the time and realized that it’s hours past midnight. Making the right decision to stop watching and go to bed, you lay down in an attempt to fall asleep. However, no matter how hard you try, your mind is still awake.
After what feels like years, you finally fall asleep with a look of peacefulness on your face. You stay this way for a long time. The sun rises, yet you are still asleep. Your parents have woken up and started their daily routine, however, you are still asleep. Most people have already had their breakfast by now, but you are fast asleep in bed.
The clock strikes noon and your eyes suddenly widen, blinded by the sunlight coming from outside. Taking note of the time, you jump out of bed, rubbing your eyes because you are still tired. The day starts with you in a tired state of mind, making you lazy and unproductive throughout the whole day. And as the moon comes up again, the same story starts.
This is how most teenagers start and end their day. However, if you compare the nightly routines of teenagers vs. successful people, they would be close opposites. Would I have said that they are watching Netflix until hours past midnight? No. In fact, successful people sleep early. Would I have said that they wake up at noon? Of course not. They wake up early, ranging from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. And lastly, would I have said that they are lazy and unproductive throughout the day? Definitely not. Successful people are always energetic and productive!
If you are one of those teenagers who share a similar nightly routine, you’ve come to the right place! As a teenager living in the 21st century, I understand that social media, Netflix, and more, can be addicting. However, it is also important to understand what these things are making us lose. These things can cost us our sleep, our energy, our productivity, and more importantly, our determination and will-power. However, continue reading this blog to find out more about how to fix your sleep schedule, including the importance of having a set sleep routine, examples of those routines, how to create that routine, and tips to maintain it!
The Importance of a Sleep Routine/Schedule
Many teenagers don’t realize the importance of sleep, which is why they may choose to stay up all night. Hopefully, after understanding the health effects lack of sleep has, you will be willing to start a better sleep routine!
To start off with the physical effects, an irregular sleep system causes a weakened immune system, poor athletic performance, weight gain, and an increased risk of injuries. (childnexus) The mental health effects include trouble concentrating, mood swings, hyperactivity, nervousness, depression, and aggressive behavior. It limits your ability to learn, which is a necessary ingredient for success. All of these may contribute to poor academic performance, which is part of learning. (uclahealth)
You may wonder how this relates to success, and here’s the answer: You can’t be successful if you don’t take care of yourself. Imagine if you were tired, lazy, and couldn’t concentrate all the time. Do you think you can be successful if you don’t change yourself? Of course not. And the first step in taking care of yourself is getting enough sleeping and having a proper sleeping schedule.
Moreover, according to businessinsider, a good sleep schedule will make you a more productive and energetic person.
“Lack of sleep can hurt your health, as well as your ability to lead your team effectively. You may realize that sleep is key to productivity, but research also points to its importance for leaders.” Other points mentioned in that article include, “Team leaders’ lack of sleep could even diminish their perceived charisma in the eyes of their employees, according to another study by Barnes, along with Cristiano L. Guarana, Shazia Nauman, and Dejun Tony Kong, published in May 2016. ‘A good night’s sleep is important for every system in our bodies, from our brains, to how we’re motivated, to how we deal with stress, all the way down to our immune response — which is very relevant right now,’ said Ben Simon.”
By waking up early, you can get a head-start on your work and you will be more likely to finish it. Also, since there are no distractions in the morning (kids yelling, phone notifications, etc.), you can focus on your work and nothing else. Lastly, waking up early gives you a “winner’s mindset.” Just by knowing that you are accomplishing something while many others are still asleep, this boosts your confidence. “Success comes to those who have the will-power to win over their snooze button.”
If you’re motivated enough now, scroll down to see examples of good sleep schedules, how to fix yours’, and tips to maintain it!
Examples of Good Sleep Schedules
As said in an earlier blog on the daily routines of successful people, two habits listed were getting enough sleep and waking up early. There are many successful people who have a set sleeping schedule which they stick to every day. Some of them include Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Tim Cook, and many others.
Bill Gates typically goes to bed around 12 a.m. and wakes up at 7 a.m., sleeping for a total of 7 hours. According to Seattle Times, Bill Gates said, “I like to get seven hours of sleep. Even though it’s fun to stay up all night, maybe taking a red-eye flight, if I have to be creative I need seven hours. I can give a speech without much sleep, I can do parts of my job that way, but in thinking creatively, I’m not much good without seven hours.” Jeff Bezos sleeps for a total of 8 hours, saying that “Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority. For me, that’s the needed amount to feel energized and excited.” (Business Insider)
Michelle Obama, former first president, also gets a start on her day early with a full 9 hours of sleep. She goes to bed around 9:30 to 10 p.m., then wakes up at 4:30 a.m and starts her day with a workout. According to HuffPost, Obama stated, “I get up so early. During the school year, I’m getting up early enough, oftentimes, to work out before the kids even get up so that I can get my ‘me time’ and my head together. Five o’clock, sometimes 4:30 a.m.”
Lastly, Tim Cook, rises at 3:45 a.m., starting his day by checking his email. He likes to go to bed at 8:45 p.m., to get 7 hours of shut-eye. According to Axios, Cook mentioned, “I like to take the first hour and go through user comments and things like this that sort of focus on the external people that are so important to us. And then I go to the gym and work out for an hour because it keeps my stress at bay.”
To sum it up, successful people have a strict nightly routine which they abide by all the time. As many have claimed, it helps them focus and be more productive. Hopefully, these people have inspired you to also create a sleep schedule like theirs. But, you don’t have to start by waking up at 3:45 a.m.!
How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule
Now that you know the importance of a sleep schedule and that many successful people also have one, it’s time for you to create one as well!
As a reminder, in order to create a healthy sleep schedule, you’re going to have to get used to waking up early. And in order to wake up early, you’re going to have to sleep early. Everybody has different preferences for how many hours they want to sleep. For teenagers aged 14-17, the recommended hours of sleeping is 8-10. For young adults aged 18-25, it is recommended to sleep for 7-9 hours. It is important to create the routine based on your sleeping preferences, as you shouldn’t sacrifice your health for a routine. For example, if you want to sleep for 9 hours and you are 14 years old, maybe sleep at 10 p.m. and wake up at 7 a.m.
In order to fall asleep early, here is what you should do:
- Do not nap in the evening. By napping in the evening, it will be even harder for you to fall asleep at night because you will not be tired.
- Avoid light, coming from devices, outdoors, etc., prior to going to bed. “When you’re exposed to light, your brain stops producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This makes you feel awake and alert.” (Healthline)
- Limit caffeine towards the later part of the day. “The most obvious effect of the stimulant is that it can make it hard for you to fall asleep.” (Sleep education)
- Avoid eating, especially foods that are high in sugar, right before going to bed. “A late dinner can delay sleep, so eat your last meal two to three hours before bed. This will give your body enough time to digest the meal.” (Healthline)
- Avoid working out in the night; you should definitely work out because it makes one tired, but if you work out in the night, you may overstimulate your body. “Exercise also helps you sleep better by promoting melatonin production.” (Healthline)
- Try relaxing before going to bed; play soft music, take a warm shower, meditate, yoga, avoid loud noises, etc. “Creating a relaxing bedtime ritual may reduce stress and its negative effects on sleep” (Healthline)
- Keep the room temperature cool. “A cool bedroom temperature — between 60 and 67°F (15 to 19°C) — will help you feel comfortable and doze off.” (Healthline)
Now that you know how to fall asleep early, here’s how to wake up early:
- Don’t make drastic changes; “Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Get used to this for a few days. Then cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.” (zenhabits)
- Put your alarm clock on the other side of your room. If it’s right next to your bed, you’ll shut it off or hit snooze. (zenhabits)
- Get out of the bedroom as soon as you hit the alarm button. “Don’t allow yourself to rationalize going back to bed. Just force yourself to go out of the room.” (zenhabits)
- Do not rationalize. ” If you allow your brain to talk you out of getting up early, you’ll never do it. Don’t make getting back in bed an option.” (zenhabits)
- Remind yourself why you decided to wake up earlier. “A solid and well-thought-out morning routine can be nourishing for both the mind and body and places you into a position to be more productive and effective throughout your day…” (zenhabits)
Tips to Maintain Your New Sleep Schedule
Now that you know how to sleep and wake up early, you’re not going to just use it for one day. Sleeping and waking up early should be your new routine, as it helps you become a more productive and efficient person in life.
For one, you should reward yourself for waking up early. After all, it’s not easy to have the will-power to get up and start your day instead of sleeping in for the sake of your pleasure. According to zenhabits, “Yes, it might seem at first that you’re forcing yourself to do something hard, but if you make it pleasurable, soon you will look forward to waking up early.”
Next, you should allow yourself to sleep in once in a while. Even though I previously stated that you shouldn’t rationalize, it is important to also give your body and mind what it wants. As long as you don’t make it a regular habit, it is nice to sleep in once in a while. (zenhabits) Even though there are two days of the weekend, maybe only sleep in on Saturday or Sunday. By doing this, you won’t get used to sleeping in all the time, but you also won’t be forcing yourself to do something every day.
“Wake up early every day so that while others are dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.” – Hal Elrod
Take it from me, it is definitely hard to wake up in the morning when you could relax and sleep. However, if you push yourself, you can do anything, including fixing your sleep routine. Check out this video on 9 secrets to actually waking up early. And if that doesn’t help, just buy this alarm on Amazon that has wheels so that if you want to stop the alarm, you’ll have to chase it and get out of your room!
You’re only halfway done for your goal to fix your sleep routine. You now know why it’s important to sleep and wake up early, examples of sleep routines, how to create one, and how to maintain one. The next part is to start this routine. Start sleeping early so that you are better prepared for the day coming. Start waking up early so that you are working hard while others are still sleeping. By this, you are making a difference in yourself, your mindset, and your future. Good luck on your journey to becoming a more productive person!
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