Improving your sleep consistency is a quick win anyone can do today to starting living a better life tomorrow.
Sleep Consistency relates to how consistent you are with the sleep/wake cycle. Formally known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm dictates when you should naturally wake and fall asleep.
Maintaining a consistent circadian rhythm (going to bed and waking up as close to the same time each day) improves your overall sleep quality allowing your body to perform better the next day.
To find your circadian rhythm simply go to bed when you feel tired and naturally wakeup in the morning without using any alarms. Doing this over several days you will find out when your body wants to be asleep.
The health benefits of sleep consistency are:
- More REM sleep (mentally restorative)
- Increase deep sleep (physically restorative)
- Lower your resting heart rate
- Higher HRV (heart rate variability)
- Fall asleep faster
By improving in all of the above areas you will find your overall health & fitness ultimately benefits as your body is recovering from your daily workouts and well-being is its best possible state.
Handling disruptions to the circadian rhythm can be challenging for us all. Shift work with frequently changing hours, jet lag from time zone changes, choosing to stay up late all can throw off the rhythm which negatively impacts your overall health.
It’s good to note that averaging the recommended amount of sleep each night is not the same of getting the right amount of sleep (at the same sleep/wake times) each night. The key is the consistency of falling and waking at the same time each day rather than the amount of sleep you are getting.
So if you feel you could improve your sleep then try to fall asleep when you’re tired and get up once you naturally awake in the morning.
Having trouble getting to sleep? well thats another conversation.