The best way to ensure that you maintain a sufficient amount of sleep today is to sleep at the same time every day. Your Circadian Rhythms (natural sleep patterns) can distort themselves if you fall asleep at differing times each night. If you miss the time that you usually fall asleep, it is harder to fall asleep because you lost that level of drowsiness that would have made it more comfortable in the first place. On the weekends, I like to stay up later than school nights to spend more time speaking with my friends. Since we are all human, it makes sense why some people would want to do this, and if you are not having trouble sleeping, do not worry about changing any current patterns you have. Although, if you want to improve your sleep performance or make it easier to fall asleep, keep the same sleep times every day of the week.

I know many people that feel they have to take constant naps each day. If this is something that you experience, it is most likely because you did not spend enough time sleeping, which is most beneficial for you. While people respond to this phenomenon by drinking coffee, caffeine, at a late enough time, prevents you from falling asleep and restricts the amount of time you spend in REM sleep. When you have these naps, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and find it almost impossible to fall back asleep because you are not tired. I encourage you to try waiting until at least a time past 9 o’clock before falling asleep to ensure that you are exhausted enough to sleep through the entire night (on school nights I fall asleep at 10:30 each day). Melatonin (as I have mentioned before) may be an excellent jumpstart for you as you learn how to sleep throughout the night.

One tip that people give is to test a time to fall asleep and see what your natural wake up time is. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up, I suggest having an earlier bedtime so that external factors, such as an alarm, do not interfere with necessary cycles of your sleep. Sleep is crucial to recover muscles, especially with muscular dystrophy impacting recovery, it is essential to wake up naturally as you have ensured optimal rejuvenation throughout your rest. School and work interfere with this process, so you need to work your way around it if you want to live your healthiest lifestyle.

Suppose you have trouble falling asleep each day. In that case, I recommend that you do more physical activities or spend more time “exercising your brain” with learning new information and utilizing your brain in any context. I make sure to exercise at least three to four times a day and find that I am tired by the time I sleep. I make sure to read, play solitaire, and do any academic work to exhaust my brain. Drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day improves sleep patterns as hydration helps recovery on all fronts and makes it easier for you to relax. I try to drink at least 4 liters of water or 16 cups throughout the day( close to the recommended amount). Another method is doing things that you find fun as it makes you feel happier and diminishes stress that reduces the amount of time it takes to sleep. As many people with muscular dystrophy have night braces, it is vital to feeling tired as you sleep, preventing you from laying in bed without sleeping