Five months after the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps is back on a schedule. In the pool. In the weight room. And in bed by 10:30 p.m.
“I can get to sleep earlier,” Phelps told the Associated Press. “I have no problem falling asleep now. I was completely worn out my first day back. After two hours or so of working out, I was absolutely dead. I had no problems falling asleep at 10 or 10:30 that night. It feels good to add some scheduling back to my life.”
His experience highlights one key for curing sleepless nights: You need to get on a schedule.
Your body functions best when you keep to a regular schedule. This includes going to bed and waking up at the same times every day. Yes, even on weekends.
Regular meal times should be another part of your schedule. You also should try to get some exercise at a scheduled time. It doesn’t have to be a Phelpsian workout. Even some light exercise will help.
These routine events act as “timing cues” for your body. They are signals that let your body know what time of day it is.
Another important timing cue is daylight. Letting your eyes see the bright morning light alerts your body that it is time to get moving. In contrast, the dim evening light is a signal that it is time to wind down.
Following a daily routine is one way to help you fall asleep easier at night.