It’s been a long day and your brain and body are both exhausted. You are very much looking forward to snuggling up in your warm, comfortable bed and resting your weary soul. Only, time is ticking on and you are lying awake with your mind racing and bizarrely, you can’t get comfortable.
You would think that we don’t need tips on how to sleep. For goodness sake, it’s the most natural thing in the world! However, our modern lives don’t always serve us well and as such we may need a little nudge in the direction of better decisions before bed.
Sleep Tips for Students
Alcohol and nicotine
We know not to throw back an espresso before bed, but did you know that both nicotine and alcohol can impact our sleep?
Nicotine sets off a chain of events in the brain and body, not least of which is to stimulate your adrenal gland. Adrenaline and sleep? Not so much.
Alcohol may make you pass out (not advised, obviously) but generally doesn’t equal a good night’s rest. Studies have shown that after a few drinks you are less likely to get to the important REM stage of sleep where your body gets involved with filing your thoughts and fixing your body, so you wake up feeling just as tired.
Eating and drinking
It’s recommended that we stop eating 2-3 hours before bed. This allows the food in our stomach to reach our intestines and we are less likely to suffer from heartburn or discomfort from a bellyful of food.
Logic dictates that a pint of water before bed will have us up in the night to empty our bladder, so avoid drinking close to bedtime too.
Lighting and electronics
Our bodies release ‘go to sleep’ chemicals when the sun goes down. If we are in a brightly lit room or we are staring at a flickering screen then we are, inadvertently, keeping ourselves awake.
Our bedroom should be dark and free from screens to give us the best chance of falling (and staying) asleep.
If possible, it’s recommended by the sleep foundation that we have a good routine, going to bed and waking at the same time each day. Training our body to adhere to this rhythm will aid us in shutting down when we need to and getting a good night’s rest.
Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow students which can aid in good quality sleep?