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How to: Combat Sleepless Nights

As students, we know that getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Let’s face it, a night out or even just having a few hours of fun with your flat mates is much more appealing than getting the recommended eight hours of sleep. However, not being able to sleep can become really frustrating, especially when you’ve had weeks of sleepless nights or have an important event the next day. So, here are few tips which will hopefully help.

 

1.      Get into a routine

Being a student with a busy social and night life can make having a fixed time to go to sleep impossible.  However, it really does help: firstly, try having at least a few nights a week with a consistent time of when you go to sleep. Also, having a routine before going to sleep can be important too. For example, going into your room half an hour before going to sleep so you can read, listen to music and generally just chill, makes you more relaxed and ready for those recommended eight hours.

2.      Accessorize your sleep!

An eye mask and ear plugs aren’t just handy on long haul flights; they can banish the negative effects from having too much light in the bedroom, and can cancel out the noise from the party next door. It’s amazing the difference two items can make, so if you really are struggling to sleep because the crack in the curtains means light is streaming in or there are constantly loud noises coming from the kitchen, now is the time to invest in those vital sleep accessories.

3.      Drink up (just not the alcohol)

Swapping vodka for hot chocolate probably sounds completely unheard of for some students, but where some may find that alcohol is the key for a great night out, others may find that a hot drink is  key to a great night’s sleep. Tea and hot chocolate are perfect, but perhaps avoid coffee (the caffeine might have the opposite effect).

 

4.      Make it comfy

Is your bedroom somewhere you feel happy and safe? If you don’t enjoy being in your room, you probably won’t want to sleep in there either. Make your bedroom a place you feel secure in by making it your own- add photos, posters, postcards or whatever you like to brighten it up. But also, more specifically, is your bed somewhere you are happy sleeping in?  If your mattress is unbearably uncomfortable, it won’t make falling asleep very easy, so buying a mattress topper could help.

5.      Worry not

It’s hard to drift off into sleep when your mind is preoccupied, especially if you are lying awake worrying about how you can’t sleep, making you become even more stressed and agitated. It’s easier said than done, but try to switch off your thoughts and relax. If that doesn’t work, try writing down the things that are bothering you. But, if you still can’t sleep, getting up and doing something else can often be better than stressing about being awake.

6.      Switch it off!

As unpopular as this tip may be, tearing ourselves away from technology could be the key to a decent sleep. Being addicted can mean that whilst you’ve watched two TV series in one night (although impressive), you have missed the opportunity to get some precious sleep. Admittedly, suggesting a self- imposed ‘technology curfew’ is stupidly unrealistic, but try refraining from staring at a screen all night.  It works!

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