As the end of term is upon us and deadlines are imminent, lack of sleep can become an increasing problem. Infact, a survey in 2006 indicated that more and more people are sleeping for less than 6 hours a night, with sleep difficulties affecting 75% of people a couple of nights a week. A restful night’s sleep is vital for your health and wellbeing, not only does it facilitate learning as it allows for memory consolidation to take place, it keeps your metabolism ticking over and allows the immune system to function efficiently. Infact, an article on the BBC a couple of days ago reports a study published in The Journal of Neurosceince linking lack of sleep with the permanent loss of brain cells! We’re here to help at HCX in order to ward off any nasty sleep-related consequences with a list of 7 things you can do to help you get to sleep and stay asleep as the Easter crunch approaches.
1. Set yourself a regular bedtime
Setting a time that you go to bed each night allows your body to get into rhythm. Creating a cycle makes your body naturally prepare itself for sleep! It’s important that you try and stick to the same rhythm over the weekends, which could be handy if you’re preparing for deadlines and not hitting the town very much. Living in a student house can make this trickier as everyone will be working to different schedules, however
2. Use relaxation techniques to help yourself wind down before bed
Listening to relaxing music, learning some deep breathing exercises and having a bath before turning in for the night can help you to relax. Lighting candles as you’re getting ready for bed (being careful to blow them out before you actually get into bed!) can help the production of melatonin, a natural sleep inducing hormone and aid a restful night sleep.
Exercise is right up there on a list of sleep deprivation cures! Not only does it boost your endorphin levels, making you feel great, it physically tires your muscles, preparing you for the restful night ahead. If you find that exercising in the evening keeps you awake, switch up your routine and opt for a morning workout, setting you up for a productive day and a sleep filled night.
4. Write a to do list
If you find that you lie awake running through things you need to do the next day in your head when you get into bed then this is definitely one for you! Having a pen and paper by your bed means that if you are lying awake planning your time you can jot it down on a bit of paper and de clutter your brain. Committing your plans to paper in this way can help boost deep sleep by up to a huge 60%!
5. Control the conditions of your room.
Most people sleep best in a room which is slightly cool, around 18 degrees Celcius – perfect for students keeping an eye on their heating bills! Making sure that your room is dark, quiet, tidy and smelling fresh is also proven to have a positive impact on your sleep!
6. Eat and drink sensibly!
Making sure that you get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables is a tried and tested remedy as far as setting your body up for the night ahead is concerned, it also helps your immune system stay strong, filling your body with essential nutrients and vegetables. Having a milky drink before bed can make you slightly drowsy – whilst cutting out alcohol before bed is a good idea as despite helping some people to nod off, it reduces your sleep quality. Cutting back your caffeine intake throughout the day can also pay dividends at letting you drift off to sleep at night.
7. Swap TV for a book.
Tempting as it is to reach for your laptop and catch up on an episode of your favourite TV show, reading a book or magazine can help you to wind down much more before turning the lights off for the night. Light from the computer screen infact supresses the production of melatonin, your vital sleep hormone, and can actually stimulate your mind rather than relaxing it.
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