Zzzzzzzz! Whether its 7
am or 1 pm, the blaring sound of the alarm makes us want to throw it away or shove
our heads into the pillow. The number of times we have hit the snooze button is uncountable. We don’t shy away from admitting, in fact, we even boast, that koalas are
our spirit animals, while they sleep for 22 hours straight, oblivious to our affection for them.

While irregular sleep
seems trivial and koalas make for cute comparisons, a disrupted sleep cycle is
a big concern. How much we sleep, when we sleep and how undisturbed we sleep –
everything affects the biological clock of the body.

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Physical, mental and
behavioural changes follow a 24-hour cycle in response to light and dark, that
control our sleep and wakefulness, known as circadian rhythms. The biological
clock in the body is located in a part of the brain, called the hypothalamus
that directs when it is time to doze off.

Very often, our
circadian rhythms can get off track due to pulling off all-nighters, jet lag,
travelling across time zones and many other reasons.

Here are seven simple tips to reset
your biological clock:

1.   Dark is your new friend

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By this, we don’t
intend for you to binge-watch the Netflix series ‘Dark’ sitting up late all
night. Light stops the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, in the body.
Darkness, on the other hand, induces formation of melatonin, making us feel drowsy.
Exposure to light during the day makes us alert, while turning off lights,
keeping away from glowing screens, induces sleep.

2.     Goodbye naps

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While most of us look
forward to those 30 minutes of nap that end up extending to one hour, napping
makes it difficult to get back to sleep at night. Long naps often cause
grogginess, which is the result of waking up from deep sleep. If you must nap,
try to make it less than 30 minutes.

3.     Tune out the noise 

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Our brain is awake
even as we sleep, processing minute sounds. Loud noises can hinder sound sleep.
Make sure your mobile is on ‘silent’ mode. White noise also ensures beauty
sleep, as it masks environmental noise. It can be created by fan, air
conditioner, humidifier, air purifier or white noise machine.

4.     Calm your mind

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Our body produces
more cortisol, the stress hormone, when under anxiety. The higher the cortisol,
the more our mind is alert. Building a relaxing bedtime ritual can often reduce
stress. Drive your mind towards calming activities like yoga, stretching, journaling,
drinking caffeine-free tea can make you sleep like a baby.

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5.     Just chill

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Before bedtime, our
body temperature drops to 15.19 degree Celsius to prepare itself for sleep.
Anything higher than 24 degree Celsius might disrupt your slumber.  An air conditioner or a fan during summer and
a space heater during winters could maintain the right temperature.

6.     Comfort first

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A comfortable bed is
a necessity for a long sleep. Old mattresses and pillows can cause aches and
pains, making the body stiff. Experts suggest replacing your mattresses
every 10 years and pillows every two years.

7.     Early dinner

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Shush that growling
stomach to sleep by having dinner early. Circadian rhythms are also affected by
eating habits. The last meal should be consumed two to three hours before going
to bed. Heavy meals should be avoided, along with caffeinated drinks and
alcohol. Recommended foods for a proper sleep include a combination of
carbohydrates and proteins.

So, turn off the lights, jump into your bed, and sleep like a baby.