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1. Set An Alarm
As crazy as it sounds, it seriously helps! It is much harder to sleep if you’re worried about making sure that you wake up on time. There are some apps that will monitor your sleep stages and wake you up at the best possible time within a window that you selected.
Set your alarm for the time that you need to get up, and get up immediately. Hitting snooze tricks your body into thinking that you don’t need to get up, and we all know that isn’t true! This can make you feel tired throughout your entire day and is often responsible for early morning nausea.
Caffeine keeps you awake which is something you already know. You should try not to have caffeine too late in the day as this can disturb your sleep. However, having some caffeine right before a short nap can make you more refreshed when you wake up!
Even the slightest bit of light can disrupt your sleep, whether it is from your cell phone, the streetlight outside, or a digital alarm clock. Making sure that your room is completely dark will ensure that your body is producing the sleep hormones it needs to for you to get the best rest possible.
As tempting as it is to sit in bed and have a snack while binging on Stranger Things, or work on the paper you have due next week, it’s sabotaging your snooze. You should reserve your bed for only sleep and intimacy, that way you help create a stress-free atmosphere in your bed.
Taking your showers at night will help you wind down and signal the end of your day, and the hot water will warm your body up. When it is time to sleep, your heart rate slows, and your body cools down. Hot showers make your body cool more rapidly, which will help bring on sleep.
Are you the type of person who sits in bed and continuously calculates the 6 hours 37 minutes and 8 seconds you have to sleep if you fall asleep right now? The more you think about it, the harder it will be for you to actually get there because you keep berating yourself for being awake. The stress hormones this creates inhibit sleep.
Aromatherapy works. You can purchase cheap oils and diffusers at Wal-Mart, so you don’t have to make a massive investment to start! You can also use lavender scented detergents on your bedsheets, or just spritz your room with a lavender air freshener at bedtime, instant relaxation!
Eating dinner at the same time, exercising at the same time, and going to sleep at the same time will help you to sleep better. Your body will pick up cues throughout your day and evening as to when to start producing sleep hormones. It will also help you wake up on time! No more being late to class.
10. Start A Routine
The term ‘winding down’ needs to become your best friend. You should come up with a bedtime routine that includes a shower, powering down your electronics, and finding something relaxing to do. Doing so regularly will set the tone for your evening and let your body know it’s bedtime.
Night time is not the time to turn up. Studies show that classical music or some kind of neutral sounds like white noise or rain are best for sleeping. Music that has lyrics, or songs that you like very much, it releases dopamine in the brain which has been shown to inhibit sleep.
Counting sheep is undoubtedly boring, but science has long debunked the fact that it helps you to fall asleep at all. In fact, it could possibly do the opposite because the scene you’re imagining isn’t a peaceful one, and you’d be engaging the part of your brain that deals with math, which actually wakes you up.
As much as you check your phone throughout the day, even needlessly, you can see how much it takes away from what you’re trying to do at that moment. So, it’s not hard to see that keeping your phone too close to you might result in it getting in the way of your Z’s.
14. Make Your Bed
When you get up every day, there are two emotions that you bounce between. You either want to crawl back into bed or get as far away as possible, so it doesn’t tempt you. But, making your bed when you get up is a signal you can start your day. Also, coming home to a bed already made and comfortable for you can help you fall asleep with ease.
If you’re someone who finds that your lower back is sore when you wake up, this is just for you. A simple way to relieve pressure on your lower back is to prop your knees up slightly to straighten out your spine without straining your legs either.
This reflects another piece of advice, using your bed just for sleep and sex. If you lie in bed awake, it will make your brain think that’s okay, and it isn’t! If you get up right when you wake up, even in the middle of the night, you’ll keep that in your mind. Also, getting up helps you see how tired you still are and makes getting back to sleep easier. Just avoid your electronics if possible!
Eating too late at night is terrible for sleep because of the way it affects blood sugar. Your blood sugar will spike, which would make you tired; however, you’re likely to experience a crash in your sugar as you’re sleeping, and that will raise the stress hormones in your blood (cortisol), and result in less than restful sleep.
18. Upgrade Your Mattress
When you are getting ready to move into your dorm, the most significant investment you can make to boost your success is investing in a new mattress. For one thing, making payments on one can help build your credit. Most importantly, mattresses can wear out and can lead to back problems, poor sleep, and in turn, poor academic performance.
Alcohol is a depressant, and it will make you hungry and tired. The thing about drinking and sleep is that it will disrupt your sleep homeostasis. As you sober up throughout the night, your body will back out of deep sleep, and this makes it easier for you to wake up and can cause you to get less sleep.
At 11 PM, your body is going to give you a surge of cortisol in an effort to keep you awake. This stress hormone makes it so you don’t produce as much of the sleep hormone melatonin. To combat this, you can make sure that you get to bed before 11 PM.
Or, think with your feet. You should use your feet to regulate your temperature throughout the night. If you find yourself to be too cold most of the time, make sure that you wear socks to bed. If you’re too hot but need covers on your body to be comfortable, just stick your feet out of your blankets.
22. Don’t Move
When you start to fall asleep, if you’re someone that it takes a while, you may notice that just as you begin to drift off that you will get the urge to change positions even though you’re comfortable. You may also get a random light itch that’s not unbearable but isn’t pleasant either. This is your body ‘checking’ if you are awake, and you will be able to drift off faster if you just stay still.
Sleeping too much can make you tired throughout your entire day, and sleeping too little will do the same, but can also lead to other symptoms like overeating and headaches. You will function better, fall asleep easier, and sleep better if you know exactly how much you need and strive to reach that goal every night.
24. Try A Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercises are a great tool to help you to fall asleep. Some experts claim that using them can help you fall asleep in just one minute! Inhale four counts, hold for seven, and exhale for eight. This gives you something to focus on while helping you to relax.
Who doesn’t love to sleep in a cold room? There is actually a scientific reason for it, when your temperature drops, this signals to your body that it is time to sleep. It also helps your body to produce more sleep hormones as well, and the feeling of snuggling into your covers secures you and makes you comfortable.
Regulating your circadian rhythm is one of the biggest things that you can do to make sure that you get your best sleep possible. Making sure that you see the sunlight right when you wake up will ensure you’re getting vitamin D and it will wake your body up. Doing this will start your rhythm correctly and help you sleep better at night.
If you’re truly struggling with sleep, a natural sleep aid can be a great help. Make sure that you’re careful so as not to sleep too late into the next day; you can do this by taking them early enough that you can get a full eight hours. You can try valerian root, melatonin supplements, CBD, or kava kava.
Sleeping on your stomach takes a massive toll on your neck and back, which can create problems through the night and into the next day. Sleeping on your stomach can also lead to long-term posture problems, and the tension it builds can inhibit your ability to fall asleep.
Keeping your spine straight is extremely important when it comes to getting good sleep. “Sleeping wrong” is one of the biggest causes of aches and pains throughout the day. Sleeping with proper alignment keeps you asleep and lets you feel better during your waking hours.
30. Try An Ice Pack
Putting an ice pack on the back of your neck will help you fall asleep by dropping your body temperature. Cooling yourself off, as you read earlier, is a vital player in your path to the perfect slumber.
Sleep debt may be an unfamiliar term, but it’s very real. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will have to make up for it eventually, and this is called a sleep debt. So, if you know that you need 9 hours of sleep every night, but you only get 7 for a few nights, you will need to get that rest back in the long run.
Eating too close to bedtime will throw you off, but you shouldn’t try to fall asleep on an empty stomach. If you know you need something to eat, it’s best to eat food that you know will help you in the long run. Bananas are full of magnesium and can lead to better rest.
If you’re a worrier, one thing that you can always do is make a list of the things you need to do or remember that you’re worried about before laying down to go to sleep at night. If you have that information all in one place, there is nothing to stress about.
34. Make A Done List
Reflecting on positive things that you have done throughout your day is a great way to start settling down. It will put you in a more positive mood and can make falling asleep easier because it allows you to end on a high note, so to speak.
You should make studying part of your ritual for winding down in the evenings. This will help you retain information better as you’re able to ‘sleep on it.’ Additionally, reading over your notes or textbooks helps cut out some of that screen time.