Healthy Mind

Sleep well, be happy

The best amount of sleep to get is typically eight hours a night, for many students it can be anywhere between one to two hours or ten to eleven hours during the day. Neither of these habits are healthy for your physical or mental well-being which is hugely important in the run up to exams or during hectic workloads in general. So what can you do to improve your sleep and your life?

Wake up at the same time every day, no matter what. This is the first step in developing a healthy sleeping pattern. We’re not talking about 12 o’clock every day, try for something reasonable like eight or nine o’clock, depending on your earliest class times or working hours.

If you feel tired and slouchy when you wake up, then go for a walk or do an activity that involves movement to wake your body up. Any lost sleep you have from the night before can be made up by taking a nap during the day, rather than just sleeping in. Take an hour or two during the day to re-energise your batteries without throwing off your sleeping pattern.

Forget about Facebook or streaming your favourite TV shows just before you go to sleep. This habit means your mind is not relaxing and is in fact being overstimulated which causes restlessness and a night of tossing and turning….the worst sleep ever. Instead, make a playlist on your ipod of soothing, slow music and listen to it while falling asleep.

Make sure not to eat any large meals before you go to bed, make dinner an early evening routine. A heavy meal takes time to digest in your stomach and could keep you up at night. Strictly avoid spicy or hot food as this leads to heart burn which is especially unpleasant at bedtime.

Night is the general time that all pesky worries and concerns start to rear their ugly head which means that going to sleep can be a challenge. Write down any worries you have before you go to bed so that you can deal with them in the morning after you’ve had a good night sleep. Always remember that everything seems better in the daylight!