The more hectic and unpredictable my days are, the more I see the need and recognize the importance of having a solid night routine in college. It is easy to skip out on what you have set aside or simply never put together a nightly routine. School gets busy, and next thing you know you no longer know if you have had water within that day or where in the world your retainer is because you haven't seen it in months.
Studies have shown that people that have a strong nighttime routine fall asleep faster, sleep better, are generally healthier, and tend to be more attentive and have better memories the following morning. There are plenty of guides on the internet telling you what and what not to do as you get ready for bed, but ultimately you have to figure out what is best for you and your ability to rest.
My night starts at different times each night just depending on how much I have to get done that evening and when actually get home to my apartment. I often laugh because I know it is time to get ready for bed when my dog stops sitting with me and following me around and leaves to get in bed to sleep. Many aspects of my routine are focused on getting my mind and body to relax so I am actually able to fall asleep. These include journaling, taking my medication, light yoga or stretching, and listening and doing meditations as I fall asleep.
I also keep a notebook or paper next to my bed so that if I become anxious about something or remember a specific detail you may forget once morning rolls around. I am able to write it down and then recognize that I have acknowledged the thoughts that were brought to the front of my brain, and then dismiss them knowing that I did everything I could do in that moment. Also reminding yourself that you can't work at full capacity without sleeping well.
I think that it is important to find a routine that works for you. Routines allow you to feel in control, which would help if you were experiencing anxiety before bed, feeling like things were falling apart. I encourage you to look at what you do before bed. What are some positive aspects? How about the negative aspects? Are you giving yourself time to unwind? Are you watching videos on your phone for an hour after getting in bed? Are you kept awake with your brain running a million miles a minute? By looking at what works and what doesn't, you'll be able to tweak and experiment with your routine, making great strides to getting better and more restful sleep. Be kind to yourself and give your body the rest it needs and deserves after the long day that it carried you through.
(Full disclosure, the more I thought about sleep while writing this, the more tired I got and I think I may have dozed off three times during the writing process)