5 Habits You Need to Improve Your Sleep Schedule

If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up with no energy, the habits you have before sleep could be to blame. Easy changes can build up to a more peaceful and purposeful night routine that gets you ready for bed and helps you wake up prepared to take on the day. Here are 5 easy switches that can turn into the habits you need for a better sleep schedule!

  1. 1. Create a Night Routine

    If you are familiar with beauty, fashion, and lifestyle YouTubers, you probably know a thing or two about morning and night routines. They may look unrealistic, highly edited, and maybe out of your price range. A night routine does not have to be perfect by any means. Having a set of things you do every night will give you a sense of normalcy that is associated with winding down and preparing to go to sleep. Your nighttime routine could be something as simple as washing your face and brushing your teeth or as detailed as a 12 step skincare routine. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but having some routine that you do every night will give you a clear defining point of bedtime rather than just jumping in bed right after doing something and your mind may not be prepared for sleep yet. This is also a perfect way to do something that you know you need to do every day! If there's a designated time for something like flossing, you can set aside 5 minutes every night. This makes it harder to forget, too!

  2. 2. Utilize Your Bedtime App

    If you have an iPhone, your alarm app will already have a bedtime feature woven in as a separate tab similar to a stopwatch, timer, alarm, and world clock. The difference between a normal alarm and the bedtime feature is the schedule and analysis that your phone automatically provides. All you have to do is choose a time when you want or need to wake up. Even if you don’t have a class or a reason to wake up at a certain time some days, staying consistent will help your circadian rhythm. This will help improve your mood and energy throughout the day. When you go into the bedtime app, the cycle of sleep will show you what time you should go to bed depending on your wake-up time. If you want to wake up at 7:00 AM and have a bedtime of 11:00 PM you are getting 8 hours of sleep. If 8 hours is the basis for your bedtime and alarm, you can just move the sleep period and the app will come up with a bedtime and alarm that gives you the 8 hours you desire. When 11:00 PM comes, or whichever time you choose for your bedtime, your phone will automatically turn on Do Not Disturb which will help you will preventing disruptions while you are sleep but also help decrease distractions before you go to sleep. Once you have used the app for a few nights, you can monitor your sleep analysis showing how long you slept every night. This app can be connected to other sleeping apps which can more accurately assess your sleep patterns if you are still having trouble sleeping.

  3. 3. Get Off Your Phone Before Bed

    Woman staring at phone at night

    If you still have your phone set to give you a notification every week about your screen time, you may know you spend a large chunk of your day on your phone. Even if you don’t get a screen time report, you can easily look back and think how long you spend just looking at your phone. For some people it starts with the alarm, then they scroll through social media for thirty minutes before actually getting out of bed, they text throughout the day, may go on Instagram for procrastination, watch Netflix during lunch, the list goes on and on. If you are on TikTok a lot, your mind may be singing different TikTok songs right when you need to be asleep. When your phone gives your reminder that your bedtime is coming up, go ahead and put your phone on the charger and then don’t touch it for the rest of the night. This gives you some separation that you have not had all day. Getting off your phone way before bedtime prevents any last-minute social media notifications and prevents you from falling down the deep hole of endless scrolling which will lead you to look at your clock realizing your bedtime was 2 hours ago. 

  4. 4. Read a Chapter or a Few pages from a Book 

    If you put your phone away before bed, but you still feel like you need something to do before going to bed, try reading. For some people, reading always puts them to sleep, which is the point. Even though digital books are more common now, the whole point is to to stay off the phone! If a book is a really interesting story, you may pass your bedtime again. If you find that you have little time to read books for pleasure because of schoolwork or other obligations, reading before bed gives you the time to read again.

  5. 5. Place Your Phone Across the Room

    while charger and cord lying on top of leather bag

    After you set your phone alarm and get off of your phone to do your night routine and read, make sure your phone is placed in another part of the room. This will not only help prevent distractions but will also help you wake up in the morning by limiting the snoozes. Getting out of bed to turn off the alarm will get your body moving more than rolling over to grab your phone on the nightstand. If you find yourself memorizing where you put your phone so that you can mindlessly get up with your eyes closed and snooze… it is time to move your phone again.

Remember, habits take some time before they come naturally to you, but making these small changes will make a difference in how you sleep and feel when you wake up!