Ten Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

As human beings, sleep is critical for our health and wellness. As students, it’s even more important because it affects our motivation, productivity and focus, which are all things we need to thrive in school. Yet, students seem to constantly treat sleep as if it was optional — pulling all-nighters or only getting a couple of hours of sleep each night. 

How much sleep do you actually need? Though the exact amount depends on your body and needs, university students should be getting about seven to nine hours of sleep. There is no one way to get a perfect sleep, and methods may not work every time or for everyone. But, here are a few ideas you can implement to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

 

  1. 1. Wind down before bed

    If you try to sleep immediately after a hardcore studying session, chances are it's not going to work very well. Your brain and body need time to transition from work or school to sleep mode. 

  2. 2. Have a real routine

    Aside from taking some time to relax before bed, you should have an actual bedtime routine. It can consist of a variety of things, such as calming tea, doing a face mask, or reading. In addition to the basics like washing your face and brushing your teeth, pick a couple of things that will help you ease into sleep.

  3. 3. No caffeine in the afternoon

    Caffeine, as most of us know, keeps us awake and alert. This is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here. So, by reducing your caffeine intake in the early afternoon, it'll be easier to fall asleep at night.

  4. 4. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time

    Consistency is really important. When you have consistent sleep and wake up times for an extended period of time, you are basically training your brain. Your body will eventually fall asleep and wake up more naturally.

  5. 5. Change your lighting

    Dimming the lights as your bedtime approaches lets your body know it's time to start winding down. It is also recommended to reduce exposure to blue light — that is, the light from your electronics — in the evening, because it delays melatonin production, which is the hormone that tells your body it's time to sleep. According to Harvard medical school research, red light is the least harmful to sleep hormones. So, to counter the negative effects of blue light, you can get blue-light-blocking glasses, install a red light bulb in your room, and stay away from screens at night. Some phones even have a night light option that reduces the amount of blue on your screen automatically at a preset time.

  6. 6. Sleep in darkness

    As mentioned above, light can have a negative impact on the way you sleep. So, try getting blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out excess light in your room.

  7. 7. Meditate

    There are tons of studies out there on the benefits of meditation. Here's one of them. Researchers say that meditation slows your mind down and helps you focus your thoughts. Even practicing for two to five minutes each day could help with sleep, as well as with focus and discipline.

  8. 8. Use essential oils

    Aromatherapy is very beneficial for sleep. Calming scents like lavender and chamomile are excellent to help you relax. You can get essential oils that are skin safe or use an essential oil diffuser.

  9. 9. Don't look at your phone right before going to bed

    Looking at your phone before bed makes it hard for your body to start winding down and getting sleepy. The bright screen is basically telling your body to stay away, so you can see how that would be counterproductive.

  10. 10. Drink calming tea

    Drinking a non-caffeinated calming herbal tea, such as chamomile, can help you ease into sleep.

These are some practical tips you can implement in your everyday life to help get the good night's sleep we all need.