Sleep Better: Get on a (Regular) Schedule #30DaysofGOOD

If you're not feeling rested, it might be because your circadian rhythm is confused. Today's tip for better sleep: get on a schedule.

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for May? Sleep better.

One of the most important tips for getting better sleep is to simply get yourself on a consistent schedule. Going to bed and waking up at different hours every night disrupts your circadian rhythm, which makes it harder to fall asleep and negatively affects the quality of sleep. It isn't enough to get the recommended eight hours of sleep if you're not getting it during roughly the same hours every night.

Ideally, you want to get in bed within the same 15-minute window every night. So set a bedtime and stick to it, allowing yourself about eight hours to sleep before you have to be up. Tempted to stay up partying, watching movies, or noodling around online on the weekend? Don't. Stick to your weekday sleep schedule. Scientists tell us that getting off schedule by even an hour or two can mean worse sleep, while keeping a consistent schedule makes us more productive.

Want to get caught up on this month's challenge? Read our introductory post and add suggestions for the GOOD Sleep Music Playlist.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Pragmagraphr