The Art of Sleeping Well

As student habits are introduced to our life, sleep becomes less and less of a priority. Nights out take a prominent position in our lives, and the same applies for all-nighters right before that submission deadline you’d completely forgotten about! The thrill of a newly discovered world where sleep is for the weak presents an allure for some time, until you stumble upon the realization that sleep existed in your life for a reason. When re-evaluating one’s rapport with their sleep routine, it’s crucial to keep in mind the importance of quality over quantity…

1. Drop technology

One thing you may not know, is that cortisol levels increase and melatonin levels decrease with blue light! This can be translated into two things: firstly, that bright light is the ideal thing to wake you up in the morning… Secondly, that you should steer clear of your tech before bedtime! Although digital screens don’t emit as much blue light as natural sunlight, it’s sufficient to wake you up and allow for a lower quality sleep…

2. Mindfulness

Stress levels are high, especially with regards to student life, and the constant flow of information means that our minds can’t destress and unwind from one second to another. Taking the time to focus on yourself and clear your mind can make all the difference. If you haven’t tried it before, no need to dive into the deep end. Even five minutes of focusing on your breathing is a good starting point, and doing so on a daily basis will enable you to enjoy your sleep routine much more so than previously!

3. Bed Routine

The alternative to looking at your phone screen for the better part of an hour before closing your eyes (which, as we’ve already covered, will reduce the quality of sleep you get throughout the night significantly) is something a little more old-school. Pick up a book, or give writing a go; be it creative writing or journal entries, writing is a means of externalizing your thoughts and the ideal way to “vent” and allow for a calmer shuteye. Allow your body to fall naturally into sleep mode, with a relaxing pastime.

4. Keep Up with your schedule

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time on a daily basis is one of the hardest things to adhere to, and yet one of the most beneficial in terms of sleep. Weekends are obviously excluded from this friendly suggestion, but weekdays require a good structure in terms of setting your alarm clock in the morning, and shutting your eyes at night. A consistent sleep schedule can go a very long way, and setting your “internal clock” to certain times will induce a natural state of sleep at a certain time during the day, thus improving your sleep pattern tremendously.

5. Make the most of the sun

Your body’s circadian rhythm is essentially the scientific word that encapsulates your natural time-keeping clock. The healthiness of your circadian rhythm depends on your exposure to natural sunlight. Seeking out the sun on a daily basis will give you more energy throughout your day, as well as improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep! An added plus? More exposure to natural sunlight will reduce the amount of time you spend lying in your bed, thinking about your endless to-do list for the day ahead…

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