6 hours on Monday, 7 hours on Tuesday, 5 hours on Wednesday, 4 hours of Thursday, 8 hours on Friday, 10 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. If your sleeping schedule looks anything like this, it is high time that you start sticking to one fixed sleep schedule.
The benefits of having a fixed sleeping schedule are plenty. It not only ensures an active version of you but also reduces the risk of various chronic and serious illnesses. You might be thinking that despite the irregular schedule, getting enough sleep is what counts but unfortunately, that is not what Michael Breus, sleep specialist and author of ‘The Power of When’ has to say. According to Breus, “If I give people one piece of advice, it is to stick to one sleep schedule, period, end of story. That will be the most effective in not only helping you fall asleep but to get the good quality sleep you’re looking for.”
Your sleep patterns are regulated by your internal body clock, also known as the circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle which your body follows. A portion of your brain known as the hypothalamus controls the circadian rhythm. It regulates the periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day and is influenced by external factors such as light, darkness, physical activity, etc.
To put it in context, when it’s dark at night, the eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it is time to get tired and then the brain passes on a signal to the body to produce more melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone) and finally, your circadian rhythm cycle makes your system feel tired and sleepy.
According to sleep experts, if you sleep too much, the circadian rhythm pattern shifts. Our internal biological clock (don’t be confused, it’s just another term for circadian rhythm) is functioned over a period of time to tell the cells in our body how to regulate the energy levels on a daily basis. **Therefore, when you sleep too much, even though you are sleeping, your cells start using their energy cycle way before you wake up and that’s why when you wake up, a major chunk of your energy is already drained and all you feel like doing is going back to sleep again.
Therefore, Sticking to one fixed sleeping schedule is the key to being alert and fresh as it ensures that your circadian rhythm is in sync with your daytime and nighttime activities which will, in turn, boost your daily productivity and creativity levels.
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