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How to create the perfect bedtime routine

Ah, the crisp fall air has settled in and university classes are in full swing. While the cooler weather might make you want to curl up under some blankies with a cup of tea, the steady stream of assignments and midterms might be stealing from your restful hours. As someone who juggles a full course load, a part-time job, extracurricular activities, and maintains some semblance of a social life, I can attest to the fact that no matter how busy you are, you can––and should––work to ensure you recharge at the end of the day. I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for creating a nighttime routine.

1. Aim for a consistent bedtime. 

Now, I understand that assignments and midterms can sneak up and before you know it you’ve pulled three 2 am study sessions in a row, but I have found that it is always better for me to go to bed than work into the wee hours of the night. Picking a consistent bedtime to aim for not only helps me walk away from my coursework but it also helps synchronize my body’s internal clock. When I do consistently go to bed at the same time, and wake up at the same time, I feel more energized and ready to take on the day.

2. Put away the screens at least an hour before bed.

This is one that I still struggle with, as so much of our world as students revolves around technology. However, putting away your screens before you’re ready to go to bed will give your eyes a rest from the blue light of your devices and ultimately give you a better night’s sleep.

  1. Have a bath (or shower) to clean away the stress and dirt of the day.

I am a big fan of baths. Add  some essential oils or bath salts and I am instantly soothed. This is my favourite way to wind down after a busy day and get myself into a cozy bedtime mood.

3. Drink a cup of herbal tea.

When I don’t have time for a bath, this is my next relaxation go-to. A cup of warm tea, a cozy blanket and I’m all ready to let go of the stress of the day.

4. Do some gentle stretching.

While a lot of university stress is emotional, the daily grind can put a lot of physical stress on your muscles and joints too. I find doing some gentle stretches before bed helps to work out any of the knots that I might have gotten while sitting for most of the day.

5. Journal any thoughts that might be keeping you awake.

Do you ever lie awake at night with the same annoying thought running through your brain over and over? Or maybe your mind is just a superhighway racing from thought A to thought B. Well, instead of just lying there and letting your brain run wild, write out what’s bothering you. I always find that once I put my thoughts down on paper they become less anxiety-inducing.

6. Read a book.

It can be hard to go straight from being active and doing work to falling asleep; reading a book is a great way to transition from your busy day to your restful night.

7. Put on a podcast or white  noise.

If you’re like me and you find that the still quiet of the night is, well, a little too still and quiet; try putting on a podcast or listening to some white noise. Just remember to set a sleep timer so your phone isn’t playing the entire time.

Even if you adopt just one or two of these ideas into your nighttime routine, I guarantee you’ll feel more rested. If you have a favourite sleep, tip let me know! Until next time…. sweet dreams.

Kate is a linguistics major at the University of Victoria. Although she is only 22 years old, Kate is truly a granny at heart. She could not imagine a world in which sweaters, dogs, coffee, and brunch did not exist. In her spare time Kate likes to create inspirational quotes to live by. Her quote of the moment is "Life is a party and I have the streamers!"
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