While you’re going about the business of juggling classes, assignments and your demanding social life, it’s easy to neglect the importance of a good night’s rest. You don’t want to find yourself in a disorganised pit of exhaustion and anxiety, though, so do your best to stay on top of your game by making use of these handy tips.
The routine, the whole routine, nothing but the routine!
This may come as a bit of a shock, but your bedtime routine starts the minute you wake up. How? Well, firstly, start by waking up at the same time every day. This may be a bit difficult in the beginning, but it’ll help you feel more energised and you’ll be less tempted to rely on the sugar (or caffeine) high throughout the day. Once you’ve got this down, you can practice going to sleep at the same time daily. A sleep alarm half an hour before bed really helps with this as it gives you time to mentally and physically prep yourself for bed. Regulating your sleep pattern makes it unlikely for you to get less or more sleep than what is required daily (7 or 8 hours) and you’ll be able to focus in all your classes without the unbearable morning yawn storm and afternoon energy dip.
You’ve heard this one before, but exercise really does improve sleep quality. Exercise requires movement and exertion, so you’re going to feel physically tired at the end of the day, which will make it easier to fall asleep. What’s more, exercise increases serotonin (sleep hormone) levels, which helps you stay asleep. The trick is to get your workout at least 2 hours before your bedtime so that the energy rush you get immediately afterwards doesn’t make it difficult for you to fall asleep. The best part is you don’t have to do heavy exercise to see results - some light jogging, jumping-jacks, brisk walking, or anything else you enjoy, will make all the difference. Help is also available on various websites if you need a few pointers on effective workout techniques.
Readers are leaders (cringe)
You might find it annoying, but this cliché is true in a lot of ways. Factoring a few minutes of reading into your daily routine can make it much easier to fall asleep. Plus, your brain sorts information into long and short-term memory while you’re asleep, so it’s a good idea to read through the day’s notes before you go to bed.
Get off the phone!
This should’ve been the first point but you wouldn’t have read the rest of the article so we’ve left it for last. Your smartphone may be the most happening hub of entertainment, but it’s also a big distraction when you’re trying to fall asleep. ‘One last text’ often turns into a 3 hour Twitter fest and while those may be lots of fun, you always regret them in the morning. The best thing to do is to forget it exists thirty minutes before your bedtime - just make sure it’s close enough for you to hear your alarm the next day.
Contrary to what ‘team no sleep’ have been tweeting, sleep is probably one of the most important parts of excelling in school since a well-rested mind is better able to concentrate and remember information. It’s in your best interest, then, to make sure you invest enough sleep to cope with the daily demands of being a student.