Insomnia is very much real and common in the general student population. Whether it’s waking up a couple of times at night, not being able to fall asleep for a long period of time, or not having a regular sleep schedule, insomnia affects your life in many different ways. A lot of adults can develop this due to depression, mental health, lifestyle, or stress. Here are some ways I personally have found some ways to alleviate my insomnia.
- Only start your mornings with caffeine, not the afternoon.
You need caffeine to function but only in the morning. Any later will affect your sleeping activity at night. The withdrawals from caffeine can be difficult, but if you maintain it, you won’t stay awake longer than necessary. I used to drink lots of caffeine which I really think developed my insomnia along with other factors. I went from drinking it in the morning to holding a cup of matcha for the rest of the day. I like the feeling of holding it — it’s like my second arm — and it works for me as a coping mechanism. Of course, it can be different for other people. I had a lot of withdrawals but it took time to actually get where I am right now. These days, I either have a coffee every morning or every other morning.
- Stay Hydrated
This one is so important. If you stay hydrated, you’ll be more active during the day and have less need for caffeine. We don’t realize just how significant water can be, but once you start replacing caffeine with water in the afternoon, it’s game over.
- Sleep when you feel sleepy
I think that when you’re initially starting out, this is really important. I learned this from my professor in a psych lecture. When you feel sleepy, literally sleep at that moment because there is no knowing when you’ll sleep next. If you don’t, you’ll probably go back to staying awake again. It’s important not to miss that moment. For me, when I’m in that moment, I do my best to head to bed immediately. It is harder if you have a prior schedule/appointment to be at.
- Work out!
I am personally someone who doesn’t work out. However, I did a hike last weekend, and I immediately fell asleep, so it could be an effective way to feel more tired at night. I think the uphill walking was what really did it for me. For timing reference, I hiked around 11-12 p.m.
- If all else fails…
If initially these strategies aren’t working for you, although with time they will, I recommend doing something that makes you sleepy. Some people find reading books a good distraction to eventually make you fall asleep. Personally, I find myself yawning when I watch TV. I can’t watch TV for long periods of time without feeling done with it and tired.
The first four tips have 100% been my go-tos, especially for the last 3 months. They have helped me tremendously, I hope they do the same for you all. It will take time, so if you are willing to go to the lengths, try some of these tips out!
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