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Getting to Sleep: A Routine for Night Owls

When I came to college, I thought I would be pulling all-nighters all the time and just staying up late like college students supposedly do. The rumor that all college students don’t get enough sleep, however, is misleading.

During my freshman year, my bedtime was around 11 p.m., except for the occasional nights I stayed up.

In my sophomore year, my bedtime was around 10:30 p.m., except for the occasional nights I stayed up.

My junior year…I don’t think I’ve gone to bed early once, except when something is wrong with me physically or emotionally.

There are so many things I now have to think about, reflect about, stress about, etc. I have more bills now and am trying to decide if I want to go to law school right after graduating. Not to mention, now that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting so many parts of normal day life including my ability to go to school, pay bills, and interact with people, there are so many things to keep me up at night.

I don’t want it to stay this way because I enjoy sleeping. It’s one of my favorite things to do, to be honest. I’ve explored some ways to get to sleep earlier than 3 a.m. (ahem). Here are a few tips on how to wind down and go to sleep when you’re ready.

Electronics

If you find that you spend most of the time, you’re up at night messing with your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. this is a sign to put it down! Aim for putting them away 25 to 30 minutes before bed to allow yourself time to wind down and hopefully fall asleep without distraction.

Meditating

In the time that you’ve put your electronics down, maybe try meditating. Meditating is different for everyone. You can focus on your breathing, a thought, prayer, whatever you want (except things that stress you) and use them as a way to go to sleep.

Sound

It may be too quiet! Some people need constant sound to go to sleep so maybe think about buying something like an Echo Dot to play music or sounds while you sleep. You could, also, try keeping a fan or your tv on.

Cuddle Buddy

Hang onto something. Whether it be a pillow or a bear or swaddling yourself within the covers. Sometimes people just need to feel like they’re being cuddled. I recommend a weighted blanket if you really love the feeling.

Naps

Try not to take long naps throughout the day. This will help you sleep better at night because your body will actually be tired come nighttime instead of already rested.

Temperature

Temperature is very important! Some people like to be warm when sleeping, some people like to be cold. Find out what works for you! Personally, I like an in-between where I can cuddle into 3 covers but not be too cold.

Tea/Medicinal Remedies

The first things I would recommend are tea or melatonin because they are both natural remedies. If you go the tea route, drink it an hour or two before bed. Chamomile and Lavender are two good teas that help aid sleep. As for melatonin, you can find it in a dissolvent form, gummy form, and more from your local Walmart or Target! There are other supposedly natural remedies like ZzzQuil which are apparently drug-free, this too can be found at Walmart or Target.

The second thing I would recommend is that if you find that you have actual insomnia or can’t go to sleep for other reasons, that probably means it’s time to consult with your doctor and see what options you have such as sleeping pills, a breathing machine, etc.

I, personally, love cuddle buddy, putting my electronics down before bed, and temperature. I feel like those things get me to sleep faster than anything! There you have it, collegiettes, a few tips on getting to sleep at night.

Zeairah Webb

George Mason University '21

Zeairah is a senior at George Mason University. She spends most of her time reading, doing homework, and watching Netflix. Her favorite color is yellow and her favorite animals are dogs. She is double majoring in marketing and management with a minor in journalism with hopes of one day studying intellectual property law. She aspires to be many things such as a legal consultant/attorney, a creative director for Disney, or a travel/lifestyle writer for a magazine.
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