Can't seem to sleep at night? Eilis Walsh gives you her top tips to ensure you get your 8 hours a night.
We all know how starting a new semester goes: you make a fruitless attempt at reversing the horrific sleeping pattern you now have, which entails staying up to all hours of the morning and sleeping late into the day.
Changing this is a lot harder than you think. Scientific research has proven that lack of sleep will kill you faster than lack of food.
Now, I don’t think very many of us are this low on sleep but you really should consider attempting to get a decent sleep every night.
Having a good night’s sleep makes you less likely to be involved in a car crash, you’ll remain focused throughout the day and you won’t feel drained in the middle of the day.
So I’ve decided to do some research and show you some tips to get a good night’s sleep.
Put away the phone
Yes and the laptop too. Your brain is extremely active when you’re watching a screen, talking to someone on social media or even just reading words on the screen.
Try putting the phone away an hour before sleep and read a book for a while. I can almost guarantee you will become groggy in no time. For me, this works wonders.
Regulate your body temperature
This will depend on the time of the year. In winter it might be a good idea to have a warm shower before bed. If you’re comfortable, you will sleep quicker.
During the summer when some nights are too warm to sleep with a duvet on, I recommend having a cool bath or shower.
Again, this will regulate your body temperature and cool yourself down. Another tip I have learned is to run hot/cold water on your wrists. This supposedly will cool/heat your blood, which in turn moves all around the body.
Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed
My mother has repeated this to me many times over the years. Obviously you will have to digest this meal and your body will keep you awake as it breaks down the food.
Food will also give you energy so you’ll be raring to go in the middle of the night which is not helpful. Have a light snack instead.
Exert yourself throughout the day
Yes that means trying to get some exercise during the day. Walking, running or cycling will burn calories, yes, but it will also use up your energy.
So by the time you’re ready to sleep you’ll drop to sleep as soon as you hit the pillow.
Create a routine
When I say routine I mean trying to sleep at the same time. If you sleep early one night and really late the next your body will be totally out of sync. Your body clock will be totally confused and you’ll find yourself wide awake at night and groggy during the day.
I would suggest setting a time to sleep and try sticking to it. At least until your body gets used to a routine, it’ll be easier to settle at night.
Do not worry
When I was younger I worried about not sleeping on time. This will do you no good and you will end up stressing yourself out more. I know from experience that stressing about sleep or just stressing about life in general will keep you up.
Stress will put your body on high alert and you won’t able to calm down and settle. Try taking deep breaths, ones that fill your lungs fully. You’ll gradually feel your heart rate settling and you’ll be in a calmer state.
Do not give yourself lie ins
Impossible though it may seem, giving yourself that extra ten minutes will actually make you sleepier and it’s the reason why you’ll be groggy for the rest of the day. Resist if you can!
Battle that sleepy feeling and roll yourself out of bed. It’ll do you the world of good!
Getting a good night’s sleep will improve so many things: your memory, your mood, your attention span, your immune system.
Honestly you will feel much better overall if you get a good night’s sleep. According to experts, 17 to 25 year olds are recommended to get from between seven – nine hours of sleep if possible. Try some of these tips and see if they benefit you in any way.