It’s a busy time of year, and I know there are all those stereotypes that are far too accurate about university students running on way less sleep than we should be getting. It can be hard to balance a social life, school, work and still finding time to get a proper amount of rest, and for a lot of people, it can be tough to get your brain to shut off when your body wants to sleep. So to help you out, here are a few ways you can get to sleep faster and for longer.
If you are going to get enough sleep, you need to plan it out based on what you have going on and what time you need to be awake the next day. If you have an early morning class, maybe it’s not the best idea to binge watch the newest season of your favourite show the night before. If you’re worried about how much work you need to get done the next day, try to write out a to-do list before bed. It can help ease your mind if you have a plan set for the next day.
Another reason that we often stay up late is our screens. Whether it’s a TV, phone or laptop, the light from the screen can trick our eyes and cause us to not feel as tired at night. Try to give yourself an hour before bed without looking at your phone or laptop, and instead trade that for a book. Reading can help to make your eyes feel tired, and it’s a good way to wind down after a long day.
Try not to eat right before bed either, and not just because it can add up to a bunch of unnecessary calories. Eating gives you energy, so eating right before bed can actually make it harder to fall asleep. If you need to, try to stick with something light. This should go without saying, but stay away from caffeine later in the day, with some studies suggesting that any after 2:00 p.m. can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.
Make sure to brush your teeth and wash up before getting into bed. Feeling clean can make falling asleep easier, and you’ll feel better when you wake up in the morning too. Once you’re in bed, adjust the lighting to your preference, make sure you have your alarm set for the right time, and get comfortable. Like I mentioned earlier, spend some time reading before bed, or if that doesn’t work, try listening to some quiet music. It might seem like common sense, but we all have that one position we’re the most comfortable sleeping in. However, if you’ve been tossing and turning trying to fall asleep lately, maybe it’s time to try something new.
Now that you’ve gotten ready for bed and you’re comfortable, it’s time to actually get to sleep. Instead of staring at the clock thinking about how much sleep you’d be able to get if you fell asleep right away, do your best to not think about anything at all. Sleep is much easier with a clear mind, so do your best to not overthink it, or even better just not think at all, and you’ll be asleep in no time. Now obviously it’s much easier said than done, but it doesn’t need to always be so difficult. The most important thing when trying to fall asleep is to not give up or get frustrated. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you try, you won’t be able to sleep. However, the more you let it get to you, the longer you’ll end up staying awake.
There are always going to be times when you have to stay up all night for an assignment, or it seems impossible to get enough sleep and still have a social life, but hopefully these tips help you the next time you’re staring at your clock watching time pass by.