What to Do on Sleepless Nights

As a person with anxiety, bouts of insomnia are common for me. Nothing is more frustrating than getting into bed at midnight, ready for a full eight hours of sleep, and not passing out until 3 a.m. My close friends have gotten too many late night texts from me with links to funny videos that it’s embarrassing. To try and avoid the awkward “you up?” texts, I’ve looked up sleeping tips more than a few times. Typical advice includes setting a routine and staying away from bright screens for at least an hour before bed. College students, however, don’t always have the luxury of being able to set a bedtime. Homework can also keep us on our laptops right up until we crawl into bed. So I’ve compiled some ways I’ve dealt with sleepless nights in the hopes that other people can find a new coping mechanism.

Heated Blankets

    I bought one of these because my apartment is freezing, but quickly found that the heat was super relaxing. It’s just like taking a blanket fresh out of the dryer, except it last for hours! The warmth is soothing and will help make you sleepy. This is the one I have from Target, but there are plenty of other options out there. If you're not looking to invest in this, you can always take a warm shower to relax.

 

A Warm Cup of Tea

    Sleepytime tea has its name for a reason. Pick up a box to have on hand for those rough nights of tossing and turning. The warm drink is just as soothing as the heated blanket, but has the extra help from sleep-promoting ingredients. If you want to branch out to other brands of tea, look for herbal options and make sure you’re getting caffeine-free.    

 

Sleep-Aids

When I was in high school and was desperate to have a good night's sleep, I would take melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that already exists in the body that controls sleep cycles and the supplement gives the body an extra boost. I’m not saying this is the best option, but it’s still there. ZzzQuil is another sleep-aid alternative. Consult your doctor if you’re having enough trouble sleeping that you’re looking to supplements or aids for help. Only a professional will be able to tell you the right dosage and what type of aid is right for you.

 

Try a New Pillow

Sometimes changing out pillows can be a nice way of making your bed more comfortable and can help relax your body to be ready to sleep. I have at least two different types of pillows in bed at all times and switch between them depending on the type of head support I need. It also helps when I’ve been laying on the same pillow for two hours and I want something new. My dad just bought me this My Pillow (as seen on TV) and I love it since it’s very malleable.

 

Get Out of Bed

When I’ve been tossing and turning for three hours, I get up and walk around my house. It helps to stretch my limbs and tire myself out. I’ll often read a book at my desk or do the dishes that I’ve been procrastinating.

 

My insomnia is infrequent and I’m usually able to function the next day with a cup of coffee. However, if you’re experiencing frequent/constant insomnia that is interrupting your life, please consult a doctor or a sleep specialist for help. College is hard and sleep is important for keeping us healthy. Get some sleep lovelies!

 

Allyson Jesse is a senior at Augustana College studying English and Creative Writing. She enjoys poetry too much for her own good and spends her free time finding symbolism in everyday objects. Bunnies are by far her favorite animal and her most far-fetched dream is to own a bunny farm one day. More realistically, she hopes that after college she will be able to work in the magazine realm where she can inspire people to add more creativity to their lives.

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