Tuning your clock.
Practice Makes Perfect
Getting onto a regular sleep schedule is the fastest way to get in a groove with your ticker. Set bedtime alarms on your phone (but don’t stare at it once you’ve turned off the beeper — see below) to gently nudge you toward the bed. Consistent, regular wake up times are important too. It’s nice to sleep in on the weekends, but do so at your own risk. And clear your brunch plans, a lazy Sunday awaits.
A regimented sleep routine is crucial, but staring at the ceiling all night long isn’t helping anyone. We’ve talked at length about how diet, stress, and activity can affect sleep, but the right mattress, pillows, and bedding can go the distance in your race to catch that clock.
Early Sweat vs. Late Sweat
Exercise keeps your body and mind pumping away, but when you work out can also affect your circadian rhythms. Get your heart rate up in the morning if you’re struggling to fully wake up, and hit the gym in the afternoon if you need a pick me up for a long evening ahead.
Go Outside More
Playing inside is fun, but would it kill you to take it outside for a bit? Take a hike, ride a bike, or ditch the car and take a stroll on a quick errand down the street. Sunlight does wonders for keeping us tuned and a little fresh air never hurt anybody.
Turn Off Those Screens
Many devices now feature nighttime modes, shifting the screen color to a reddish cast that doesn’t fry your bedtime brain, but the science is young and there’s not a ton of data to back it up. For our money, we say ditch your phone, tablet, or laptop, read a book, magazine, or newspaper, and fire up some healthy sleep habits.