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Step-by-Step Guide: Fixing Network Connection Problems

Having trouble with your network connection? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Network connection problems can be frustrating, but with a systematic approach, you can troubleshoot and fix them. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of fixing network connection problems so that you can get back online in no time.

Check Physical Connections

The first step in fixing network connection problems is to check your physical connections. Ensure that all cables are securely plugged in and that there are no loose or damaged cables. Start by checking the Ethernet cable connecting your computer or router to the modem. If it’s loose, simply reinsert it into the appropriate ports. If the cable is damaged, consider replacing it.

Next, examine the power cables for your modem and router. Make sure they are securely connected to power outlets and that there is power running to both devices. If necessary, try plugging them into different outlets or using a different power cable.

Once you’ve checked all physical connections, restart your modem and router by turning them off for about 30 seconds and then turning them back on. This simple step often resolves many network connection issues.

Troubleshoot Your Network Settings

If checking physical connections didn’t solve your network connection problem, it’s time to move on to troubleshooting your network settings.

Start by checking if your Wi-Fi is turned on if you’re using a wireless connection. Look for the Wi-Fi icon on your device’s taskbar or system tray and ensure it’s enabled. If not, click on it and select “Enable Wi-Fi.”

Next, check if you are connected to the correct network. Sometimes devices may automatically connect to other available networks without user intervention. Open your device’s Wi-Fi settings and choose the correct network from the list of available options.

If you’re still experiencing issues, try forgetting the network and reconnecting to it. In your device’s Wi-Fi settings, locate the network you’re having trouble with and select “Forget” or “Disconnect.” Then, reconnect by entering the network password if prompted.

If you’re using a wired Ethernet connection, check your network adapter settings. Open the Network and Sharing Center on your computer and click on “Change adapter settings.” Right-click on your Ethernet adapter and select “Properties.” Make sure that all necessary protocols are enabled and that there are no conflicting settings.

Update Network Drivers

Outdated or incompatible network drivers can also cause network connection problems. To ensure that this isn’t the case, it’s important to update your network drivers regularly.

Start by identifying the manufacturer and model of your network adapter. You can usually find this information in the Device Manager on Windows or in System Information on macOS.

Once you have this information, visit the manufacturer’s website to download the latest drivers for your specific model. Look for a support or downloads section on their website.

Download the appropriate driver package for your operating system version and install it following the provided instructions. After installation, restart your computer to apply the changes.

Contact Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

If all else fails, it may be time to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance. They can help diagnose any issues with their network infrastructure or troubleshoot specific problems related to your account.

Before contacting them, gather as much information as possible about your issue. Note down any error messages you’ve encountered or any specific circumstances under which the problem occurs. This will help them diagnose and resolve the problem more efficiently.

Call their customer support hotline or use their online support channels to report the issue. Be patient during this process as they may need time to investigate and provide a solution.

In conclusion, fixing network connection problems may require checking physical connections, troubleshooting network settings, updating network drivers, or contacting your ISP. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any network connection problem that comes your way. Remember to stay calm and patient throughout the process, and soon enough, you’ll be back online and connected with the digital world.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


how to fix my sleeping problems

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How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

First step to fix your sleep: Get your body clock back on track.

Kristen Stewart

There’s a reason we tend to feel sleepy around the same time each night — and why, if we don’t set an alarm, we tend to wake up at the same time in the mornings. As long as we’re not pulling all-nighters or traveling across several time zones, our bodies tend to want to follow consistent sleep patterns, which is key for getting the high-quality sleep we need.

And because our sleep schedules depend on the signals we send our bodies (“It’s not time to go to bed yet — there’s another episode of [insert whatever show you’re currently bingeing here] queued up!”), that means we can send our bodies signals to adjust our sleep schedules, too. Just because you’re in a rut of going to bed at 2 a.m. doesn’t mean you can’t change that!

Our body’s master clock is located in a part of the brain’s hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which receives light information from the retina in the eye and sends the information to other parts of the brain, including the gland that releases the sleep-signaling hormone  melatonin , says Rochelle Zozula, PhD, a sleep specialist and owner of Sleep Services International in Bridgewater, New Jersey. “Light suppresses that production of melatonin, which is directly involved in sleep initiation,” she says.

That means the light signals you send your brain, whether from sunlight or a glowing computer and cell phone screens, are some of the key factors that can either keep your sleep schedule on track, get it back on track, or throw it off significantly.

Is Screen Time Before Bed Messing With Your Sleep?

Is Screen Time Before Bed Messing With Your Sleep?

Next up video playing in 10 seconds

Why our sleep schedules get off track.

Additionally, things like traveling across time zones or staying up a lot later than usual can throw off sleep patterns, because we’re asking our bodies to sleep at different times than our bodies’ internal clocks are telling us to sleep.

It’s problematic, not only because having a misaligned body clock and sleep schedule on a day-to-day basis can result in poor sleep quality (and you not getting the sleep you need), but over time, that misalignment has been found to be linked to several chronic health problems, such as  sleep disorders , obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder, among others.

“DSPS is a circadian rhythm disorder associated with an inability to fall asleep at the individual’s desired time [typically several hours later] and an inability to wake up at the desired time,” says Dr. Zozula. “Due to the individual’s daytime obligations, a person with DSPS may be forced to wake up earlier and go against their natural circadian tendency.” This can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, poor performance, and depression.

Tips for Resetting Your Sleep Schedule

If you have fallen into a sleep schedule that’s not working for you, because you’re having trouble getting up in the morning, staying up later than you want, or whatever the case, what can you do? Try taking these steps to get your sleep patterns on the track that works for you:

  • Adjust your bedtime, but be patient.  If you’re aiming to go to sleep earlier, try slowly scaling back your bedtime until you are at the desired hour. Often you may need help from a physician with this. “As a general rule, it’s easier to push away sleep than to advance sleep,” says  Rafael Pelayo, MD , clinical professor at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. “So you could stay up later an hour at a time, but going to bed earlier is hard to do.” To get to sleep earlier, Dr. Pelayo recommends going slowly and in small increments, adjusting no more than 15 minutes earlier every two or three days.
  • Do not nap, even if you feel tired.  Napping can interfere with going to sleep at night. Pelayo recommends scheduling exercise when you feel like napping. “The exercise will chase away the sleepiness. Then you can save up that drive to sleep for later,” he says.
  • Do not sleep in, and get up at the same time each day.  Being consistent is important in maintaining a functioning sleep schedule. Get a good alarm clock and don’t hit snooze. “The clock in your head needs instructions,” says Pelayo. The brain expects that people more or less wake up at the same time every day — and either doing so or not serves up those instructions to the brain. “The idea of weekends or travel across time zones is foreign to how the brain works. That’s what throws it off,” he says. Once you’re in a good pattern when it comes to bed and wake times, stick to it as best you can. Even one late night can disrupt the progress you’ve made, Pelayo says. Predictability is key.
  • Set the mood and create a relaxing bedtime routine.  Take a warm bath and play some relaxing music, or do something else you find relaxing. Make sure that your bed is comfortable, the room is dark, and the temperature is not too warm. “You want to look forward to sleeping. Going to sleep should not be a chore,” adds Pelayo.

How long it will likely take to reset your clock depends on what’s causing you to be off. If you’re simply adjusting after being in a different time zone, “the rule of thumb is that it usually takes one day per time zone,” Pelayo says. “But some people take two weeks to adjust if it’s a really long trip.”

For people with a condition like DSPS, getting back on track depends on how long the pattern has been entrenched. “We tell people to wait one or two months,” says Pelayo. “If people have had poor sleep for years, they’re surprised when they start getting better. And when you’re surprised about your sleep getting better, that wakes you up, because you’re not sure it’s going to keep working. It takes maybe two months for the novelty of sleeping well to wear off.”

Changing your sleep schedule (particularly if you have delayed sleep phase syndrome) isn’t easy, but with the proper discipline it can be done. “Don’t get upset with yourself, because it just makes the problem worse,” Pelayo says. “Know that sleep will come eventually.”

With additional reporting by Deb Shapiro and Carmen Chai.

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

Everyday Health follows strict sourcing guidelines to ensure the accuracy of its content, outlined in our editorial policy . We use only trustworthy sources, including peer-reviewed studies, board-certified medical experts, patients with lived experience, and information from top institutions.

  • What Is the Sleep-Wake Cycle? Sleep.org . March 12, 2021.
  • Circadian Rhythms. National Institute of General Medical Sciences . September 9, 2021.
  • What Is Shift Work? Sleep Foundation . October 16, 2020.
  • Sleep Disorders. Sleep Foundation . December 1, 2020.
  • Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD) in Children and Adolescents. Cleveland Clinic . January 20, 2020.
  • Burgess HJ, Molina TA. Home Lighting Before Usual Bedtime Impacts Circadian Timing: A Field Study. Photochemistry and Photobiology . January 19, 2014.
  • Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . August 13, 2019.
  • Myllymäki T, Kyröläinen H, Savolainen K, et al. Effects of Vigorous Late-Night Exercise on Sleep Quality and Cardiac Autonomic Activity. Journal of Sleep Research . March 2011.
  • Stutz J, Eiholzer R, Spengler C. Effects of Evening Exercise on Sleep in Healthy Participants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine . February 2019.
  • Healthy Bedtime Snacks to Eat Before Sleep. Sleep Foundation . October 1, 2021.
  • Does a Bad Night’s Sleep Affect Your Health? Cleveland Clinic . October 28, 2021.
  • How the Timing of Light Exposure Could Be Affecting Your Health. Michigan Health . August 6, 2020.

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Jul 10 How to fix your sleep schedule: 7 ways to reset your routine 


Understand how to reset your sleep schedule. Plus, learn the benefits of meditation for sleep, and strategies to get your sleep routine back on track.

We all know how important sleep is. Not just for our physical health but for our mental health and emotional wellbeing too. Yet in a world that never sleeps, it’s not always easy to get the zzz’s we know we all need to keep us functioning and thriving in the way we want to. We get it. 

Quantity of sleep is only one piece of the sleep puzzle. Quality is another. And one of the best ways to achieve both quantity and quality sleep is to develop a consistent sleep routine — one that easily nudges your body and mind toward deep rest.

Why does your sleep routine matter?

Maybe you work night shifts, or your family situation means you can only get your work done in the early hours of the morning while everyone sleeps. Perhaps you’re up late watching tv, or you live on a noisy street and are constantly woken up in the middle of the night by traffic. Whatever the reason, erratic sleep timings or lack of consistent sleep can cause a whole host of issues including daytime sleepiness, mood swings, impaired memory, and reduced cognitive function.

A good sleep routine is the foundation for overall health, boosting your immune system, aiding muscle recovery, regulating appetite, and promoting mental wellbeing. When you prioritize sleep, you’re essentially prioritizing yourself. 

What’s messing with your sleep cycle?

Understanding what’s causing disruption to your sleep schedule can be key to crafting a personalized plan to overcome it. Some common external and internal factors that might mess up your sleep cycle include:

External factors  

Irregular work shifts

Exposure to blue light (we see you doomscrolling)

Sleep environment (too noisy, too warm, too light etc.)

Family circumstances (you have young children or look after older parents)

Internal factors  

Stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues

Circadian rhythm disorders

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

Painful conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic headaches

Snoring, and/or Sleep Disorders such as Sleep Apnea

And there are many more! By recognizing these factors, you can identify potential hurdles to better sleep . Remember, seeking help and discussing these issues with a professional is okay. After all, good sleep isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity.

7 techniques to get your sleep schedule back on track

If your sleep schedule has been inconsistent or disrupted for a while, the prospect of trying to get your sleep rhythms back on track can feel overwhelming. And while it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, altering your sleep habits can be a positive and empowering experience that’s well worth the effort. Here are seven practice strategies to help you get your sleep routine back into shape again so you’re getting the rest you need.

1. Consistency is key

Our bodies are wired to function best with routines. Establishing a fixed bedtime and wake-up time can help reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. This practice allows the body to predict and prepare for sleep, making it easier to nod off at night and wake up in the morning. Yes, the temptation to sleep in or stay up late on weekends might be strong but try to resist. Sticking to your sleep schedule consistently can work wonders for your sleep health.

2. Sleep duration matters

While you’re establishing a sleep routine, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. The golden number for most adults is 7 to 9 hours each night. If you find you’re consistently getting only 5 hours of sleep, you risk building a sleep debt, which can lead to chronic fatigue, irritability, and other health complications. Remember, it’s not just about the hours spent in bed, it's the quality of sleep that counts too.

3. Create a sleep-friendly environment

Think about your sleep environment for a moment. Use your senses to figure out if it’s truly conducive to a good night’s rest. Pay attention to factors like noise, light, and temperature. A quiet, dark, and cool environment can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. Invest in blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine if needed. Your mattress and pillows should be comfortable and supportive. Your bedroom should signal to your body that it’s time to rest.

4. Be mindful of screen time

Most of us find it hard not to scroll our phones before bed. The problem is that the blue light emitted from devices like smartphones and laptops can inhibit the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to switch off your devices at least an hour before bedtime. If you must use them, consider enabling night mode or blue-light-blocking glasses.

5. Move your body

Regular exercise can help you sleep better. It helps reduce stress and tires you out, making it easier to fall asleep. However, timing is crucial. Working out too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect, keeping you awake. Aim to finish vigorous activity at least 3 hours before your planned bedtime.

6. Watch your diet

You already know that what you eat and drink can influence how well you sleep, but what to do about it? Limit caffeine and alcohol, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. While alcohol might initially make you sleepy, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night. A heavy meal before bed can also lead to discomfort and indigestion, hindering sleep.

7. Wind down with relaxation techniques

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your nighttime routine can help prepare your body and mind for sleep. This could include reading, listening to calming music, taking a warm bath, or practicing mindfulness meditation. These sorts of activities can help you transition from the hustle and bustle of the day to a more peaceful, sleep-ready state.

Remember, improving your sleep schedule is a process. There may be setbacks, but don’t be discouraged. Every step you take towards better sleep will lead to better health and quality of life. 

How meditation helps reset your body clock and improve your sleep 

Meditation is a powerful tool when it comes to sleep. It helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, your internal body clock, which prepares the body and mind for sleep. How? When we meditate, we guide our busy minds into a state of stillness and awareness. This can significantly reduce stress, one of the key disruptors of sleep. When stress levels fall, our minds become less cluttered, creating a mental environment more conducive to sleep. 

In fact, various studies have shown that regular meditation can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. One reason is that meditation encourages the production of melatonin , your body’s natural sleep hormone. Meditating before bed can effectively cue your body that it’s time to rest.

Meditation also plays a crucial role in enhancing sleep quality. During meditation, your brain produces theta waves typically present during deep sleep. So, by meditating, you’re effectively training your brain for the type of activity it needs to perform during sleep.

Meditation for sleep

There are various meditation techniques to support better sleep, but guided sleep meditations and relaxation exercises are great starting points. What’s helpful about guided meditations for sleep is that they provide an easy framework you can follow, especially if you’re new to meditation.

Guided sleep meditations generally involve an instructor or narrator talking you through a visualization, relaxation, breathing, and/or mindfulness exercise — all carefully designed to relax the body and soothe the mind. This technique can be particularly beneficial if you struggle to ‘switch off’ your thoughts at night. Relaxation exercises typically involve focusing on different parts of your body, tensing them then relaxing them one by one. It’s like giving each part of your body a ‘good night’ massage.

Incorporating meditation into your bedtime routine can be a game-changer for your sleep schedule. With practice, you might find it easier to transition from the wakefulness of your day to the restful state needed for a good night’s sleep. 

To get your started, here are a few of our favorite sleep meditations:

When It’s Hard To Fall Asleep with Prof Megan Reitz

Softly Back to Sleep with Jerome Flynn

Soothing the Body for Rest with Dr. Eric Lopez, Ph.D

Soften Into Sleep with Chibs Okereke

Your sleep schedule questions, answered

How long does it take to adjust to a new sleep schedule?

Adjusting to a new sleep schedule varies from person to person. Generally, it might take a few days to a couple of weeks. Remember, consistency is key here. Stick with your new schedule, even on weekends, and try to be patient. Your body needs time to adjust to the new routine.

How does sleep deprivation affect your sleep schedule?

Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. It can disrupt your body’s internal clock, making it harder to fall asleep and wake up when you want to. Over time, it can lead to a buildup of ‘sleep debt,’ resulting in chronic fatigue and other health complications. That’s why it’s important to prioritize getting enough quality sleep as many nights as you can.

What are the consequences of a bad sleep schedule?

A disrupted sleep schedule can have a ripple effect on your physical and mental health. It can lead to chronic fatigue, mood swings, decreased productivity, and impaired cognitive function. Over time, it can also increase the risk of developing health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Sleep is crucial to your overall wellbeing, so try to prioritize it. However, we do all go through periods of bad sleep. That’s normal. Just try to ensure those periods are limited and don’t become the norm. 

We have a lot of power to educate ourselves about sleep, but if sleep issues persist or you find yourself struggling with insomnia, please reach out to a healthcare professional. 

Sleep is vital to our health, and everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. The Calm app puts the tools to sleep and feel better in your back pocket, with personalized content to manage stress and anxiety, get sounder sleep, and feel more present in your life. Calm your mind. Change your life.

how to fix my sleeping problems

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Reset Your Sleep Schedule With These 10 Expert-Approved Strategies

A majority of these proven tactics can start helping you enjoy better sleep hygiene — starting tonight.

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Sleep hygiene, or the collective steps to ensure you're enjoying your best sleep on a regular basis, can look and feel very different for each individual based on one's lifestyle. This usually depends on when you may need to be up and active or working, as well as when you eat meals; translating to a different sleep schedule and subsequent habits. In any case, your body is often relying on cues surrounding these daily routines in order to regulate what's known as your internal circadian rhythm . Nestled in a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus , your circadian rhythm is largely governed by the environment you're in or by other cues in your surroundings, like a gradual shift from light to dark .

But issues involving hormones, body temperatures and metabolic influences may also impact your circadian cycle, even after just one night's worth of disruptions or significant changes.

There are a few ways you can work to reverse any disturbance to your sleep schedule and be extra considerate of your circadian rhythm to set yourself up for better sleep tonight. Try troubleshooting your sleep schedule by doing a reset; follow along as we highlight proven tricks and tips for getting back to a good night's sleep.

How to reset your sleep schedule:

If you're trying to improve your sleep hygiene but don't know where to start, try working your way through this list of proven tactics before moving on to other resources available to you.

1. Build-in pockets of break times during your day — especially before bed.

Taking time to wind down in the hours leading up to sleep is indeed important. But often people who are experiencing disruptions to their sleep routine are in the midst of an overbearing schedule that extends throughout the entire day and into the evening. If you're having trouble staying asleep at night, it may be due to a condition known as hyperarousal , explains Jade Wu, Ph.D. , a clinical psychologist in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University .

"It's basically because your body and mind are too revved up," she says. "The problem may be what you're doing, or failing to do, during the day. You must make sure you have time to rest, instead of being on the go all day long."

Being busy, either physically or through mental exhaustion , is an easy way to tire yourself out — but if you're not building in periods of time to allow yourself to rest, this may lead to disrupted sleep functions later in the evening. This is especially true for people who are working right up until their bedtime; simply shutting off a computer or stopping chores and making a beeline for a dark bedroom doesn't ensure immediate sleep.

2. Practice a soothing function prior to bed.

It goes hand in hand with scheduling breaks throughout your day, but offsetting stress and cortisol in your body (the hormone that stress produces) is essential to set yourself up for a mindset that's conducive to sleep. If you can tell that the day's stress is following you into your bedroom at night, Wu advises focusing on a relaxing ritual in the hour before you lay down to signal to your brain that it's time to shut down for the evening.

The activity can be something of your choice, and it can be as simple as zoning out over a favorite show or scrolling through a social media feed — as long as you're putting boundaries in to ensure you're not self-sabotaging your bedtime . Sleep specialists have long advocated for meditation or journaling during this time, or even something physical that can be practiced easily in your quarters, like yoga or stretching exercises . Whatever you choose to do, be sure to consistently practice it within the hour you plan to turn off your lights and put your head on the pillow; building this routine may help guide your circadian rhythm over time.

"Make sure to have some dedicated time to process your thoughts, too, or else they'll be pent up and ready to disrupt you during the night," Wu adds. "If you're prone to overthinking or worry during the night, get out of your head and into your body with mindful breathing or another exercise beforehand."

3. Monitor what you eat and drink at night.

Your metabolism has a direct impact on your body's internal clock, says Rebecca Robbins, Ph.D. , a sleep medicine instructor at Harvard Medical School and sleep expert to Oura . Some of the things you consume at night may be obvious culprits for keeping you awake: Caffeinated beverages and sugary sweets , which stimulate you and keep you up later than you may intend. Spicy or acidic foods may also trigger acid reflux or heartburn which may keep you up longer than you'd like.

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant and may seem like it helps you get to sleep, but research confirms that booze before bed may reduce the quality of your sleep by impairing your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep . Alongside a heavy meal late in the day, these kinds of dietary choices may impact you over time — and definitely impacts sleep quality if you have a temporary disruption in routine.

Stick to decaffeinated teas and other soothing beverages, and try reaching for a portion-controlled unprocessed snack if you're hungry before bed; fresh fruit or even a dose of lean protein can help lull you to sleep. There is a wide range of foods that you can incorporate into your end-of-day routine which promotes better sleep if your snacking habits are impeding bedtime.

4. Invest in an air purifier and air conditioning as necessary.

Many people may already know that sleeping hot is one surefire way to damper the quality of your sleep and set yourself up for tossing and turning during the night. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) review suggested that temperatures higher than 75°F in your bedroom overnight (as well as below 54°F in cooler months) may prompt you to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the night.

But temperature and a good air conditioner isn't the only factor to consider when it comes to the air inside your bedroom. Poor ventilation and air quality may impact your lungs and overall sleep quality, especially if you have pets or share your bedroom with more than one person.

"If you have a small bedroom and share it with other humans or animals consistently, the air quality may not be ideal for good quality sleep," Wu says, adding that humans' oxygen saturation levels drop significantly as breathing becomes more shallow during certain stages of sleep. "Keep doors and windows open if possible to keep the air flowing."

5. Limit your exposure to light in the hours before bed.

Whether it's light emitted from an electronic device or if you're someone who needs to sleep during the day to work at night, you need to curtail your exposure to light in order to stimulate your body into a good period of sleep.

For most, this means dimming or turning off lights in your home and in your bedroom; doing so may prompt your circadian rhythm to communicate to your brain to produce melatonin , a sleep hormone that makes you feel naturally tired and drowsy. This includes light produced by electronic screens, from television and computers to smartphones that you may wish to use while lying in bed.

On the flip side, you'll harness natural light and other devices in your home to help you feel more awake when you need to be — a key regulatory function of the circadian rhythm. "When we spend all day indoors, we don't get enough broad-spectrum light exposure, which makes it harder for our circadian clocks to function," Wu explains. "At least half an hour of outdoor light during the day can improve sleep quality."

6. Try sleeping a bit longer.

If you're frequently fighting to drag yourself out of bed in the morning despite sticking to a strict bedtime, this could be your body's way of signaling that you're just not getting enough sleep. "If you are falling short of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep for adults, you might consider trying to build in a bit more time into your routine by adjusting your bedtime slowly," Robbins advises.

You may need to adjust your sleep habits on a seasonal basis , too, due to the limited amount of sunshine that most experience during the winter. This is especially true if you're experiencing what's known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) , which is much more common and goes undiagnosed in many individuals with mild cases.

"Our brain is less able to understand when it should be tired and when it should be alert [during the winter]," she adds. "If this is an issue for you, try to get outside and into the light when the sun is up to help train your brain to understand appropriate sleep and wake times."

7. Don't categorize your sleep routine between weekdays and weekends.

Sticking to a strict schedule and good habits during the weekday and then slacking off on weekends may seem innate for some; after all, you don't have to wake up when you're not at work or in school. But doing this on a cycle can easily damage your quality of sleep and make it impossible to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, due to a phenomenon that sleep experts call " social jetlag."

"When we sleep and rise at very different times on workdays versus days off, it's like we're traveling multiple time zones throughout the week and getting jetlagged," Wu says. "This confuses our circadian clocks, making our sleep quality and daytime functioning worse."

If you're finding that you're having a lot of trouble getting to sleep or are feeling particularly restless on Sunday , Monday or Tuesday , social jetlag is likely a root cause — and a key indicator you'll need to maintain a recurrent wake-up time each morning to avoid the issue. Organizing your sleep schedule around a consistent wake-up time rather than a consistent bedtime will ensure your circadian rhythm helps you truly feel sleepy at the end of the day rather than tossing and turning in bed.

8. Avoid getting into bed when you don't feel sleepy.

This is also true for someone who frequently wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. Consistently using your bed to signal your brain that it's time to sleep — rather than simply lounging, eating a meal, binging shows or doomscrolling — can become part of a routine that helps those who frequently are tossing and turning from becoming frustrated and being unable to sleep.

"If you toss and turn after getting back into bed, start over again — get out of your bed and only get back when you actually feel tired," Robbins advises, adding that people can also use this tactic if they have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Setting boundaries in your bedroom to truly delegate sleeping to your bed on its own can be very helpful if you can't seem to find a solution for tossing and turning on end. Don't try to adhere to a bedtime by begrudgingly laying in bed if you feel alert and awake; try other techniques listed in this guide to calm down, and feel out your circadian clock to really know when you're ready to lay down and hit the pillow.

9. Skip naps and hold out for your bedtime.

Taking a power nap seems like a good solution if you've recently experienced an interruption in your sleeping routine — whether it's traveling into another time zone or simply because you've been sleeping poorly at home recently. But napping can inevitably cause you to feel more tired and groggy than you did before in most cases, as it only takes between 60 and 90 minutes for your body to slip into REM sleep , and waking up from that prematurely contributes to this sensation.

To avoid impacting your circadian rhythm, try avoiding naps altogether — if you can't skip a nap for whatever reason, be sure to keep it to 30 minutes or less and make it as early in the day as possible. Doing so may leave your circadian clock better positioned for a regular bedtime later, as Mayo Clinic officials have noted.

10. Don't quit your current sleep habits cold turkey.

This may sound counterintuitive, but you can't expect results overnight — adopt all of these techniques and new objectives on a rolling basis, as abruptly changing your sleeping habits can easily lead to more disaster before any growth. One key aspect to think about is an adjusted bedtime; it's very easy to dip into sleeping time than it is to make more of it, so be easy on yourself at first.

Both Robbins and Wu, alongside many other sleep experts, advise easing into a new, optimized bedtime by training yourself to get into bed earlier in 15-minute increments every three days. If you have a sleep routine already, including wind-down activities, bumping these up too can help impact your circadian rhythm naturally over time.

Temporary issues that may be impacting your sleep schedule:

A disruption in your sleep schedule and subsequent quality of rest can be expected due to a myriad of lifestyle choices, most of which you can immediately address by using some of the tactics we've highlighted in the sections above.

You should expect that your sleep schedule will be impacted due to issues like:

  • Pulling an all-nighter
  • Traveling through multiple time zones on long-haul trips
  • Jet lag on extended trips
  • Temporary evening work shifts
  • Light pollution at home
  • Temporary illness as well as stress and anxiety

While it's normal for your sleep schedule to be temporarily disrupted or impaired due to these issues, there may be other root causes behind declining sleep quality that you'll need help addressing. Since having an inconsistent sleep schedule often quickly leads to poor sleep, chronic health issues or lifestyle choices that are leading you to experience sleep disruption should be addressed with your healthcare provider. Without working to reverse these chronic disruptions, research suggests that poor sleep quality and an impacted circadian rhythm can lead to depression , other sleep disorders , seasonal affective disorder (known as SAD), as well as physical drawbacks like an increased risk of obesity and diabetes .

Sleep can easily be impacted by lifestyle choices that you may need help from a doctor in managing in the long run; namely, proper nutrition, sustained exercise and stress management, explains Ali Rodriguez, M.D. , an Arizona-based OB-GYN and women's health expert to health technology brand Oura . "A lot of people don't realize that exercise, for example, helps our sleep; moving your body for at least 30 minutes five days a week contributes to better sleep," Dr. Rodriguez says.

Mental health may also come into play and require a helping hand, Robbins adds. "Managing stress across the day is important and can help with sleep; research suggests those who practice meditation and mindfulness get better sleep and take a bit less time to fall asleep than those without these skills," she says.

When it's time to see a doctor : One key indicator is a chronic toss-and-turn that lasts for more than 30 minutes. If you've experienced this issue almost every night during the week and have done so for more than 3 months, it's time to seek out medical input . This time frame remains true for most sleep issues, like chronically waking up in the middle of the night — or having trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

Dr. Rodriguez stresses checking in with your healthcare provider is also crucial when you can no longer get through essential tasks within your daily routine. Given that current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures peg more than 70 million Americans as being influenced by underlying sleep disorders, some of which may silently impact circadian rhythms, there may be an issue that requires medical attention before you're able to truly enjoy a good night's sleep.

Headshot of Zee Krstic

Zee Krstic is a health editor for Good Housekeeping , where he covers health and nutrition news, decodes diet and fitness trends and reviews the best products in the wellness aisle. Prior to joining GH in 2019, Zee fostered a nutrition background as an editor at Cooking Light and is continually developing his grasp of holistic health through collaboration with leading academic experts and clinical care providers. He has written about food and dining for Time , among other publications.

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Three ways to fix sleep issues when nothing else works

Some well-known interventions are not a great fit for everyone. instead, try these tips..

how to fix my sleeping problems

Lisa Strauss, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the Boston area. She specializes in sleep disorders.

“You’re not going to make me get out of bed when I can’t sleep, are you?” asked my patient, a mother and researcher who had been suffering from insomnia for about a year. As a psychologist who treats insomnia, I have heard some version of this refrain many times.

She had tried some of the standard interventions — including this one to get out of bed. Unfortunately, it increased her anxiety and did not quell her racing thoughts at night. By the time she came to see me, she had begun using sleeping pills a few times per week.

The behavioral strategies typically prescribed for insomnia have a strong evidence base but are not a great fit for everyone. They can leave people frustrated, desperate, skeptical and anxious.

The problem is not necessarily with the techniques. Some people may need to implement them differently — perhaps in a more relaxed, less goal-oriented way, or in combination rather than as singular interventions.

Popular advice can also be misguided at times. For example, the admonition not to read in bed removes an important bridge to sleep for many people with insomnia — one they may have used successfully for years. The common behavioral approaches also may not target the overthinking at night that insomnia patients often struggle with.

While insomnia is related to anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges, it can also exacerbate and even cause psychiatric symptoms. Treating the insomnia, in many cases, need not depend on treating any underlying psychiatric condition, and can benefit not just sleep but also mental health .

There are several reasons we lie awake — from sleep apnea to iron deficiency to trauma to circadian issues to the dog’s jumping on the bed. Many of these issues require help from a physician.

For others, I offer these cognitive and behavioral interventions that have helped my patients, including the researcher who was able to reduce her use of sleeping pills substantially:

Think of sleep as a bodily function. If you were about to sneeze and someone said, “Bless you,” too soon, the urge may suddenly have dissipated. Or if you’ve ever had to suppress a sneeze in a hushed setting, you’ve probably been able to do it. But make yourself sneeze? Impossible.

Sexual function is similar: Biological drive and action are important but not enough. You need to put your mind on the right things and take it off performance.

Sleep also is easily derailed by self-consciousness and is impervious to effort because it lends itself to performance anxiety. We pressure ourselves to sleep well because of real or perceived high stakes, and consequently we get in its way.

Once you understand that sleep is a bodily function, it is easier to let go of trying to control it. In the late evenings, many of my patients are tired but determined quality-control engineers who anxiously monitor their environments, behaviors and level of sleepiness. Their in-bed regimens are just as conscientious, and in the mornings, they check their sleep data on apps. It is work, not rest.

Contrast their approach with the comforting rituals we use to help children fall asleep. They feel enveloped in love and safe. Sleep naturally overtakes them when their bodies are ready.

Adults can reclaim this natural relationship to sleep and learn to get out of its way. Recognize that it is not your job but your body’s job to sleep. Approach your sleep habits in a relaxed, flexible and curious manner.

Compress your sleep window. When we adopt an unrealistically lengthy period for sleep (falling asleep at 10 p.m. and waking at 8 a.m., for example), it can lead to interrupted sleep, light sleep and protracted wakeful periods.

Pizza dough provides a useful analogy. Roll it out onto too large a surface and it will be thin and holey. Roll it out over a small area and it will be nice and deep.

People are prone to longer sleep windows when they are on a more relaxed schedule, for instance when they are working from home or are retired. Or they may fall into a self-perpetuating pattern of rising late or falling asleep early to compensate for waking at night. Also, our capacity for sleep may diminish with stress, anxiety, late caffeine, lengthy naps, changes in health, medications and so on.

Try to remediate the factors that are stealing your sleep. But even if you can’t, it is important to match your sleep duration to your actual rather than wished-for capacity for good sleep.

When you experiment with compressing your sleep window, try not to feel too anxious. This is not the often-prescribed, stricter and potentially more anxiety-provoking technique known as “ sleep restriction ,” which initially constrains the time in bed to the average number of hours slept.

Try your new schedule for at least eight nights in a row, then fine-tune with further or less compression, and implement flexibly. For many people, roughly seven hours makes for a nice, thick pizza.

Take mental selfies. If you live with insomnia, you probably know how the mind can be at night. It steers us through our regrets, anxieties, problems and to-do lists. We would do better if we were to face our problems during the day, wind down at night and wait until drowsy to come to bed.

We also could use the selfie setting. Redirect your focus from the subject of your overthinking to the fact that you are overthinking. Exercise this self-awareness gently, nonjudgmentally and repeatedly — as often as you can catch yourself overthinking.

Then try directing your attention to a “soothing distractor” such as a peaceful book, audio book or lecture series (on a generous timer). A good soothing distractor can be better than the familiar techniques people tend to turn to at night, such as muscle relaxation and visualizations. These otherwise excellent approaches may not last long enough on a bad night or may be too goal-oriented or insufficiently distracting. You can still use them as needed once you are already feeling sleepy or for rapid calming.

If your chosen distractor keeps you awake, try something else. Make sure any light exposure is very dim and tilted toward the red end of the spectrum. You can start out in bed if you like.

The ideas offered here are not intended as a comprehensive guide to improved sleep. But I hope that they help you to feel optimistic and encouraged, and that they give you a fresh start.

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What is a sleep disorder?

Signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder, types of common sleep disorders, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, tracking your symptoms, self-help for sleep disorders, when to call a doctor, sleep disorders and problems: types, causes, treatment.

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea can impact your sleep at night and how you feel during the day. Recognizing the symptoms of a sleep problem is the first step to getting help.

how to fix my sleeping problems

A sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep. Many of us occasionally experience difficulties sleeping. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. However, if you regularly  have problems getting to sleep at night, wake up feeling exhausted, or feel sleepy during the day, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders cause more than just daytime sleepiness. They can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health, including your mood, energy, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can lead to weight gain, car accidents, impaired job performance, memory problems, and strained relationships. If you want to feel your best, stay healthy, and perform up to your potential, quality sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

Speak to a Licensed Therapist

BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.

Frequently having trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience. You sleep badly at night, which leaves you feeling dead-tired in the morning and whatever energy you have quickly drains throughout the day. But then, no matter how exhausted you feel at night, you still have trouble sleeping. And so the cycle begins again. But you don’t have to live with a sleeping problem. There are many things you can do to identify the underlying causes of your sleep disorder and improve your sleep, health, and quality of life.

Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, so how can you tell whether your difficulty is just a minor, passing annoyance or a sign of a more serious sleep disorder or  underlying medical condition ?

Start by scrutinizing your symptoms, looking especially for the telltale daytime signs of sleep deprivation .

Is it a sleep disorder?

  • Feel irritable or sleepy during the day?
  • Have difficulty staying awake when sitting still, watching television or reading?
  • Fall asleep or feel very tired while driving?
  • Have difficulty concentrating?
  • Often get told by others that you look tired?
  • React slowly?
  • Have trouble controlling your emotions?
  • Feel like you have to take a nap almost every day?
  • Require caffeinated beverages to keep yourself going?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms on a regular basis, you may be dealing with a sleep disorder. The more you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a sleep disorder.

Insomnia , the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, can be caused by stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Whatever the cause of your insomnia, improving your sleep hygiene, revising your daytime habits, and learning to relax will help cure most cases of insomnia without relying on sleep specialists or turning to prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common (and treatable) sleep disorder in which your breathing temporarily stops during sleep, awakening you frequently. If you have sleep apnea you may not remember these awakenings, but you'll likely feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in your productivity. Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, so see a doctor right away and learn how to help yourself.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs (or arms) at night. The urge to move occurs when you're resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations. There are plenty of ways to help manage and relieve symptoms, though, including self-help remedies you can use at home.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. It is caused by a dysfunction of the brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking. If you have narcolepsy, you may have “sleep attacks” in the middle of talking, working, or even driving. Although no cure yet exists, a combination of treatments can help control symptoms and enable you to enjoy many normal activities.

We all have an internal biological clock that regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythms . Light is the primary cue that influences circadian rhythms. At night, when there is less light, your brain triggers the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. When the sun comes up in the morning, the brain tells the body that it's time to wake up.

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted or thrown off, you may feel groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times. Circadian rhythms have been linked to a variety of sleeping problems and sleep disorders, as well as depression, bipolar disorder, and  seasonal affective disorder (the winter blues).

Shift work sleep disorder

Shift work sleep disorder occurs when your work schedule and your biological clock are out of sync. In our 24-hour society, many people have to work night shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts. These schedules force you to work when your body is telling you to go to sleep, and sleep when your body is signaling you to wake.

While some people adjust better than others to the demands of shift work, most shift workers get less quality sleep than their daytime counterparts. As a result of sleep deprivation, you may struggle with sleepiness and mental lethargy on the job. This cuts into your productivity and puts you at risk of injury.

[Read: Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms, Causes, and Effects]

To reduce the impact of shift work on your sleep:

  • Take regular breaks and minimize the frequency of shift changes.
  • When changing shifts, request a shift that's later, rather than earlier as it's easier to adjust forward in time, rather than backward.
  • Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle by increasing light exposure at work (use bright lights) and limiting light exposure when it's time to sleep. Avoid TV and computer screens, and use blackout shades or heavy curtains to block out daylight in your bedroom.
  • Consider taking  melatonin when it's time for you to sleep.

Delayed sleep phase disorder

Delayed sleep phase disorder is a condition where your biological clock is significantly delayed. As a result, you go to sleep and wake up much later than other people. This is more than just a preference for staying up late or being a night owl, but rather a disorder that makes it difficult for you to keep normal hours—to make it to morning classes, get the kids to school on time, or keep a 9-to-5 job.

  • People with delayed sleep phase disorder are unable to get to sleep earlier than 2 to 6 a.m., no matter how hard they try.
  • When allowed to keep their own hours (such as during a school break or vacation), they fall into a regular sleep schedule.
  • Delayed sleep phase disorder is most common in teenagers, and many teens will eventually grow out of it.
  • For those who continue to struggle with a biological clock that is out of sync, treatments such as light therapy and chronotherapy can help. To learn more, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a local sleep clinic.

Jet lag is a temporary disruption in circadian rhythms that occurs when you travel across time zones. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, stomach problems, and insomnia. Symptoms are more pronounced the longer the flight and flying east tends to cause worse jet lag than flying west.

In general, it usually takes one day per time zone crossed to adjust to the local time. So, if you flew from Los Angeles to New York, crossing three time zones, your jet lag should be gone within three days.

The first step to overcoming a sleep disorder or problem is identifying and carefully tracking your symptoms and sleep patterns.

Keep a sleep diary

A sleep diary can pinpoint day and nighttime habits that may contribute to your problems at night. Keeping a record of your sleep patterns and problems will also prove helpful if you eventually need to see a sleep doctor.

Your sleep diary should include:

  • What time you went to bed and woke up.
  • Total sleep hours and perceived quality of your sleep.
  • A record of time you spent awake and what you did (“got up, had a glass of milk, and meditated” for example).
  • Types and amount of food, liquids, caffeine, or alcohol you consumed before bed, and times of consumption.
  • Your feelings and moods before bed (happy, sad, stressed, anxious).
  • Any drugs or medications taken, including dose and time of consumption.

The details can be important, revealing how certain behaviors can be ruining your chance for a good night's sleep. After keeping the diary for a week, for example, you might notice that when you have more than one glass of wine in the evening, you wake up during the night.

Download or print HelpGuide's sleep diary (PDF) .

While some sleep disorders may require a visit to the doctor,  you can improve many sleeping problems on your own .

Manage your daytime habits. Regardless of your sleep problems, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, getting regular exercise, limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, and managing stress will translate into better sleep over the long term.

Improve your sleep environment . Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, and your bed is comfortable. The incline of an adjustable bed may offer some relief from snoring or sleep apnea.

Develop a relaxing bedtime routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Avoid heavy meals and too many fluids late at night, take a warm bath, read, or listen to soothing music to unwind. Turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime.

Get back to sleep when you wake up at night. Whether you have a sleep disorder or not, it's normal to wake briefly during the night. If you're having trouble getting back to sleep, try focusing on your breathing, meditating, or practicing another relaxation technique. Make a note of anything that's worrying you and resolve to postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve.

If you've tried a variety of self-help remedies without success, schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist or ask your family doctor for a referral to a sleep clinic, especially if:

  • Your main sleep problem is daytime sleepiness and self-help hasn't improved your symptoms.
  • You or your bed partner gasps, chokes, or stops breathing during sleep.
  • You sometimes fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while talking, walking, or eating.

Provide your doctor with as much supporting information as possible, including information from your sleep diary.

What to expect at a sleep clinic or center

A specialist will observe your sleep patterns, brain waves, heart rate, rapid eye movements and more using monitoring devices attached to your body. While sleeping with a bunch of wires attached to you might seem difficult, most patients find they get used to it quickly.

The sleep specialist will then design a treatment program if necessary. A sleep center can also provide you with equipment to monitor your activities (awake and asleep) at home.

Find a sleep center

Use the sleep center locator  to find a sleep center near you. (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)

Find  sleep clinics, centres, and specialists . (UK Health Centre)

Find a  sleep clinic or treatment provider . (Canada Sleep Society)

Find a  list of sleep clinics . (Sleep Disorders Australia)

More Information

  • Improving Sleep - A guide to a good night’s rest. (Harvard Medical School Special Health Report)
  • Problem Sleepiness - Including symptoms, causes, and link to common sleep disorders. (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health)
  • Sleep-Wake Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . American Psychiatric Association. Link
  • Blume, C., Garbazza, C., & Spitschan, M. (2019). Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. Somnologie , 23(3), 147–156. Link
  • Jet Lag | Travelers’ Health | CDC . (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from Link
  • Narcolepsy | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from Link
  • Nesbitt, A. D. (2018). Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder. Journal of Thoracic Disease , 10(S1), S103–S111. Link
  • Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from Link
  • Schwartz, J. R. L., & Roth, T. (2006). Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Burden of Illness and Approaches to Management. Drugs , 66(18), 2357–2370. Link
  • Sleep Apnea | MedlinePlus . (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from Link

More in Sleep

Sleep paralysis.

Causes, symptoms, and treatment of this parasomnia

how to fix my sleeping problems

The causes of insomnia, and what to do when you can’t sleep

how to fix my sleeping problems

Sleep Apnea

Symptoms, causes, self-help, and treatment options

how to fix my sleeping problems

Sleep Deprivation

How lack of sleep can damage your health

how to fix my sleeping problems

Circadian rhythms, sleep stages, and sleep architecture

how to fix my sleeping problems

There may be a medical reason for your sleepless nights

how to fix my sleeping problems

Exploring your sleep needs and the different stages of sleep

how to fix my sleeping problems

What to know about prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids

how to fix my sleeping problems

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