Better Sleep Hygiene This Semester

The shift from the holidays and the return to class is challenging. We all went from not knowing what day it is to having to follow a rigid schedule. It is not an easy task, especially when you get used to sleeping late and waking up in the afternoon. However, what we are NOT going to do, is allow our sleep pattern to hinder our potential this semester. Here are the simple ways in which you can have a better sleep hygiene this semester


Try going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday

It is an old, but efficient trick. The belief is that it takes three weeks to develop a lasting habit. Using that logic, you can conclude that it is possible to train your body to sleep and wake up at the same time and that the training will result in naturally waking up and sleeping at those set hours. If you follow a sleeping schedule, you ensure that you get eight hours of proper sleep a night. It is tempting to sleep later when we have later classes, but it actually does not benefit us in the long run. Personally, I do not believe it matters how early or how late you go to bed - as long as you have your eight hours of sleep and do not start your morning  agitated from running out of time to get ready.


Do not keep devices close to your bed at night

Turn off your notifications (or switch to night mode) on your phone and try placing it as far as possible from your bed as possible. Phone, iPads, laptops and other devices are very tempting to click on mid-night, especially if you hear a few notification sounds. Not only is the exposure to the light from your phone detrimental to your sleep; harmless check-ups can turn into twenty-minute scrolling sessions. Also, if you have your morning alarm on your phone, it is harder to snooze from a few meters away than if it is right next to your bed. You will physically have to get up to click the snooze button and after the effort, you will be already awaken (and won’t have any excuses to crawl back into bed!).


Try having a bedtime routine

You can find amazing articles or YouTube videos about various bedtime routines. Having a routine sets the tone for the night and eases your body into the next step: sleeping. Most routines involve letting go of electronic devices, a little self-care action (book reading, mask, journal, yoga, etc.) and preparing for the upcoming day.


Edited by: Amanda Cloutier-Santos