But First, Sleep

But First, Sleep

Sleep is like a best friend; start giving that relationship the attention it needs.

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Sleep always seems to be the first priority to be pushed aside when things come up. Whether you procrastinate on homework, watch "just one more episode", or decide to go out late most nights, sleep is frequently disregarded for its importance. Especially during the academic year, students are highly known for having horrible sleep patterns. It's time to fix that!

The main issue that is causing people to have negative relationships with sleep is because sleep is not prioritized and is not always considered as important as other things when it is extremely important! Sleep has so many health benefits, just look it! There is so much to be gained from a good night's sleep! And if you don't look after it, well you're going to start missing out on those benefits! Prioritizing good sleep is the self-love we all could use more of!

Not to mention, having a good relationship with sleep just makes you feel better in general! It literally is a best friend because it helps you get what's best for you and wants you to be well.

The easiest way to start bettering your sleep is to try to get 7-9 hours each night. Some of you probably just went "I got three hours of sleep last night and that was a good night," but no matter what you think about functioning on minimal hours of sleep you know you could and should be doing better. Make time for your sleep. Know what amount of sleep makes you feel the best. I know people had to use the word "bedtime" but that's the key - set yourself an "unofficial bedtime." Forget the negative, "child-like" connotations and recognize that "unofficial bedtime" just means you are being aware and putting yourself and your sleep first. Even though you may not be tired at that time some nights, get your body into a routine. That way your sleep clock will naturally adapt and your circadian rhythms will start to match your schedule.

It's no fun being half-awake every day or worrying about falling asleep in class. Don't put yourself in that situation and just prioritize what your body needs from sleep. Personally, I can tell a huge difference from going to bed even just an hour later! Or if I stay up late one night I may not feel it the next day but it'll hit me for a few days after that. I don't know about you, but I like feeling well-rested and motivated to start the day, or at least feel like I had a good, deep sleep last night.

It's time to start making your sleep time worth it!

I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels like they don't always sleep good. This past month I could tell I had not been sleeping the best I could be. I always felt exhausted and worn out and overwhelmed. Even though I had been getting a good quantity of sleep, it wasn't necessarily a good quality of sleep (which is almost more important, in my opinion). So, even though I had been sleeping decent amounts, I never thought my sleep would be the cause of me becoming constantly stressed to the point where I had this breaking point of "feeling weird" mentally and physically and I didn't know where this unexplainable feeling was coming from.

I decided to try to switch something up and see if it made a difference. I always give myself time at the end of each day to chill and separate myself from academic stresses. And I had commonly filled that time watching episode after episode of whatever tv-show was holding my attention at the time. Now I still watch tv shows or movies to relax a bit after a long day, but I decided I would restrict myself from watching them the hour before I go to bed to see if it made a difference. Instead, I've been reading in that time and let me just say it's made all the difference. Not only am I prioritizing time to leisure read and am getting through books I've been wanting to read for months but "never have the time," but it has also helped me prepare my body and mind to get ready to sleep. Reading is said to naturally raise the melatonin levels in your brain, a hormone that is commonly used to help insomnia.

After just a week of changing what I do before I go to bed, I can honestly say I'm beginning to sleep better. I feel more ready to sleep at the end of the day, I don't wake up in the middle of the night as much, and in the morning I feel like I've had a deep sleep and am ready to attack the day.

Finding a routine that promotes a better night's rest for you is one of the best changes you can make! It can be as simple as putting your phone aside for the last half hour before going to bed. Avoiding electronics and technology before sleeping is one of the biggest factors for sleeping well. The light emitted from your phone or computer or television actually prevent you from naturally becoming tired and prohibits your body from preparing itself to sleep.

Another small tip that helps you start improving your sleep is to workout regularly. Looking back, I always slept the best during my sports seasons because I was on a consistent schedule and was working out daily. Simply, your body is tired from exercising which contributes to you feeling more in need of sleep and allows you to fully appreciate being able to completely rest at the end of the day. Sleep is essential for repairing muscles, so if you're working out but not getting sufficient sleep you could be susceptible to injuring yourself from not letting your muscles repair themselves. Making the most of your day allows you to make the most of your sleep at night. Don't run yourself out and load your day unhealthily, but fill your day so by the end of the day you feel content relaxing and ready to put your body and mind at peace.

Long story short: prioritize sleep, allow your mind to unwind, challenge your mind and body during the day and let it rest at night. There are so many natural ways to improve your sleep before talk of supplements needs to be brought up. Take a warm shower at night, stretch, meditate, find a good temperature your body likes to sleep in (ideal is 65-69 degrees), don't nap during the day, and get yourself into a routine. All these things can go a long way in terms of preparing yourself to sleep.

Your sleep wants to love you, so give it reasons to and love your sleep back just as much. No more "I'm not tired when I should go to bed, but then I never want to get out of bed in the morning." Once you can start conquering those past nights of inefficient sleep, you are able to start conquering your days!

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Note To Self: Stop Procrastinating Because It's Never Worth It

I always tell myself this is the last time and that next time I'll have it finished before the due date but it never happens!

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Let me tell you a little something about myself, I usually get what needs to get done, done. But the process behind it is way more hectic than it needs to be.

For example, during finals week I had two papers due, I was aware of it all quarter and told myself I would finish them early so I wouldn't be stressing the night before. Yet here I am, finishing my papers the morning of.

I don't know why this happens every time. I tell myself it's because I work better under pressure, but we all know that is just a lame excuse.

The thing is, when you leave things for last minute you can't enjoy anything. I might be procrastinating and watching Netflix but trust me that paper is always in the back of my head. Yeah, I'll go out with friends but I know I should be at home.

If you're anything like me you understand the struggle. But I am determined to do better. There were days when I actually felt productive and did things on time. It's just going to take some practice and discipline.

So if you're tired of procrastinating and want to do things differently, I'm here to tell you that I'm right there with you on that. We can do this.

Here are some tips on how you can be more productive by yours truly when my life was more put together, aka when we had just started the quarter.

Good luck ya'll, let's say goodbye to the procrastinating days together!

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