We all know how hard it can be to fall asleep sometimes. Those restless hours of tossing and turning in bed, willing you mind to please sleep, please sleep. Add exam stress to the mix and getting a good night’s sleep can seem practically impossible. But no worries, here are our top tips to getting a good night’s sleep, so you can feel good in the morning, revise to the best of your ability, and ace your exams like you know you deserve to!
Ever heard the phrase you shouldn’t eat before bed? It’s true. For most things. Yes, you should avoid sugar and caffeine. So drinking a red bull or a cup of coffee, or eating a bag of Haribo: Minion edition before hitting the sack probably isn’t sensible. But if you’re feeling thirsty and need something a little more substantial than a glass of water, try a natural tea, or a hot chocolate sweetened with honey. They work wonders.
2) Ditch the Phone
Yes, we know it’s very exciting that your best friend just got back from her holiday to Santorini and you just have to take a look at her photos. Yes, we understand that the new Taylor Swift video is out tonight, and you just have to be one of the first people to view it. And we accept that you forgot to send that important email to your boss that should have been sent earlier. But using your phone and laptop before going to sleep might overstimulate your brain, making it tougher for you to sleep. So turn it off, put it in a drawer and don’t touch it until the sun rises
3) Bubble Bath
Professionals recommend taking a bath for 20 to 30 minutes a couple of hours before sleeping. Your temperature dips a couple of hours before sleeping, so bathing helps raise your temperature. The rapid cool-down after your bath will relax you and is more likely to put you in a deep sleep. So invest in a quality bubble bath, a lovely scented candle and a nice woolly dressing gown to step into afterwards
4) A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Result of Cleaning:
… To this
Let’s call the ‘spoonful of sugar’ having a tidy and the ‘medicine’ a good night’s sleep. Believe it or not, a spot of cleaning before bed can be very therapeutic and can help you fall into an easy sleep. A tidy room means a tidy mind, and a tidy mind means more sleep. So tonight before you go to bed, organise your revision into a pile and make your bed. And if you do nothing else, tidy up those bottles from last night’s pre-drinks. If nothing prevents a good night’s sleep it’s that delightful smell of a mix of leftover vodka, tequila, jaeger and Worcester sauce.
5) Pleasant Aromas
Take a moment to consider your favourite scents. Honey, vanilla, lavender, mint. Now imagine smelling them moments before you fall into an easy sleep. Invest in a sleep spray, spray it on your pillow, and you can! They come in a variety of scents and can be bought in most major supermarkets. Febreze has released a ‘Sleep Serenity Bedding Spray’ in scents such as Lavender, Milk and Honey, and Jasmine.
6) And they lived happily ever after…
Try reading an easy, relaxing and funny book before you to sleep. Reading makes you feel tired and sends signals to your mind, telling it it’s time to sleep. But try and avoid Stephen King and ghost stories, if you don’t want to get nightmares!
7) Listening to Music
For some people, listening to ambient sounds such as the ocean, rain forest or rain helps them relax enough to fall into an easy sleep. Or popping on a podcast or listening to the radio. Do what works for you, but make sure to either listen through speakers or remember to take your headphones off before you sleep to avoid the risk of ear damage.
8) Meditation and Relaxation
Meditation can help relax your body and clear you mind. Tensing and untensing each part of your body, trying different breathing techniques, and visualising yourself lying on a quiet, clean beach on the Seychelles are all technique that can help you sleep- it works for me every time! Equally, focus on a rhyme or chant, such as counting sheep or Hey Diddle Diddle. By doing this, you’re training your mind to forget all those mundane anxieties keeping you awake at night.
9) Dream Diary
Professor Trelawney may have been as mad as a Hatter, but keeping a dream and sleep journal isn’t such a bad idea. Write about the day’s events before you go to bed, and in the morning write about how well you slept and the dreams you experienced. If you’ve experienced sleeping problems for a while, you might start noticing patterns to help you identify the cause.
10) Keep to a Routine
You can help your body recognize when it is time to sleep by sticking to a routine. Take a bath, lay your clothes on your bed, and listen to wave sounds, repeating this routine every night, and soon your brain will be in sleep-mode before we can say ‘good night’! By following these ten simple steps, you’ll soon be in the land of cows jumping over moons and dishes running away with spoons! Any techniques you use to help you sleep at night which we’ve forgotten? We’d love to hear them! So post them in a comment below, and share your good night’s sleep advice with other sleep-deprived students!
Love, Meg and the SGO xxx
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