Ways to Develop Sleep Schedule

14 Simple Ways to Improve or Develop Your Sleep Routine

"11pm: I think I'll go to bed early tonight

3am: lol"

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We've all been there. Whether it's a result of work, college, travel, overthinking, or countless other reasons attributable to continual sleep deprivation, a multitude of people experience the torment of over exhaustion. While several causes may underlie a struggle or inability to get enough sleep, sometimes our habits surrounding our sleeping patterns (or, more appropriately, lack thereof) exaggerate and greatly contribute to our sleeping schedules' demise. While developing and maintaining a proper sleeping schedule is no feasible task, it is immensely important to our health. The state of our skin, mind, blood pressure, proneness to medical conditions, and numerous other aspects of the body's health are at risk when we don't get enough sleep. If a lack of sleep results from a matter of lifestyle, it may be time to address the issue at hand and try to develop some beneficial habits to bring on some sleepiness at night! Here are 12 simple ways to improve or develop a healthier sleep routine*:

Before Bed:

1. No phone 2 hours before bed.

Gilles Lambert

I'm guilty of this one myself. Sometimes, we use our phone to help wind down after a long day and get ready for bed. I even put my phone screen setting on night-time mode so the light is easier on my eyes. The fact of the matter is, using your phone before bed simply keeps your mind awake. The light is too much for your eyes, your mind doesn't really begin to wind down, and sometimes you lose track of time and scroll much longer on Twitter or Instagram than you expected. Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb", plug it in to charge it, set your alarm for the next day, and step away from it.

2. If you use your phone as an alarm, use the "Bedtime" option on your phone.

Priscilla Du Preez

Okay, I know I just said to step away from your phone (and I still mean that!). But this feature on the phone really does help me out, I think. The alarms are much more pleasant so you are able to wake up much more peacefully rather than abruptly and suddenly. You're reminded an hour or two before you should go to bed in order to get a certain amount of hours of sleep. Your phone automatically goes on "Do Not Disturb" during your allotted sleeping time. As a morning alarm system, I appreciate it much more than simply setting a loud phone alarm!

3. Read a book before bed.

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So, I'll admit, this doesn't always work. In fact, in the past, sometimes reading a really good book has been the reason I haven't fallen asleep at a reasonable hour (I have Harry Potter, The Shining, Misery, and The Lord of The Rings to thank for that). If your sleeping problems are much more complex as well, then this option may not solve the problem at hand entirely. Still, I find reading book before bed incredibly relaxing, and sometimes I do find myself slipping into fatigue as I flip each page. It's a much better option than using your phone before bed as well. Try to read a physical copy of a book (rather than on a tablet or kindle), and avoid choosing a school textbook.

4. Limit your caffeine intake past 12pm.

Lex Sirikiat

I, again, am guilty of this one. Anyone who knows me knows I drink far too many cups of black tea well into the night (I even drank quite a few cups of coffee a day last semester, which...was just all around a terrible idea). This definitely does not help my issues with falling asleep. If you drink coffee, try to limit the amount of cups you drink a day, and try not to have any past 12pm. If you're a tea drinker, switch to herbal throughout the day. If you're just looking to warm up a bit, try drinking hot water with lemon, mint, or simply on its own. I know it sounds weird, but I've grown to actually like it quite a bit!

5. Speaking of tea...

Miti

Drink chamomile tea before bed. Just one cup is all you need!

6. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

Bruno Nascimento

Yeah, I'm not wild about this one either. But I do find that after I workout, I sleep better. I'll still struggle to fall asleep, but when my body is tired, I'll at least be in bed earlier, which promotes my mind to get ready for bed sooner. Plus, it's important to exercise for various reasons other than a better sleep. Bonus!

7. Listen to calming music.

Daniel Gaffey

I like to listen to certain movie soundtracks (yes, it's nerdy, I know), but you can listen to anything you find calming to lull you to sleep! Youtube is always a go-to.

8. Drink cinnamon milk.

Levi Guzman

Warm milk is a classic remedy for a lack of sleepiness. This Pinterest recipe simply amps it up! I personally don't drink milk, but I might have to suck it up sometime and give this a try. You can find the recipe here!

9. Curl up with your pet!

Adam Grabek

My dog's sleepiness is contagious. Sometimes all you need to relax is your best friend!

10. Don't bring your school work to bed.

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This was somewhat discussed in #3; however, I felt it was important enough to make the list on its own, as I tend to struggle with this one the most. I always bring my textbooks or school readings to bed with me, hoping that reading them before I go to bed will hit two birds with one stone: promote sleepiness while simultaneously internalizing important information. Neither is really true, unfortunately. All it does is stress me out, and I certainly don't remember as much as I'd like. Do yourself a favor, and keep your bed strictly for sleeping.

After you wake up:

11. Let in some natural light.

Eduard Miltaru

After waking up, my roommate and I like to open the shades and let in natural sunlight to help wake us up. It certainly helps to uplift the atmosphere in our room as well and break up that awful fluorescent lighting all dorms seem to have. Seriously, why?

12. Don't hit snooze!

Benjamin Voros

Those extra 5-10 minutes in the morning of sleep you think you're getting? Nah, they're just making you late and throwing off your sleep schedule.

13. Listen to music.

Mark Solarski

Listening to energetic music while I get ready always helps prepare me for the day and start me off in a more positive mindset. It doesn't fix everything, but it certainly makes the process of getting ready more enjoyable.

14. Plan/eat a good breakfast.

Flipboard

For the tenth time, yeah, I'm guilty of not doing this too. Still, on the days I do eat breakfast, I find mornings and the rest of my days much better. A "good" breakfast can be taken any way depending on the day you're having; sometimes, I need to treat myself to pancakes or something a bit more unhealthy to jumpstart my day and put me in a good mood. Other mornings, I need fresh fruit or some other healthy option to boost my day. Whatever you choose, please make sure you eat a good breakfast for yourself! Treat yourself well.

There you have it!! Hopefully adopting some of these tips into your sleep routine helps you to develop or improve your current sleeping habits. Please take care of yourself and seek help from a professional if you think you may need it!

*Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional. These are simply some tips I find helpful or plan on trying myself to get a better sleeping schedule.

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4 Apps To Waste Time On Instead Of Studying

"Just one quick game," you said 45 minutes ago.

OliviaAM
OliviaAM
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It's finals season, which means it's time to look for anything else to do but study for finals. Here are 4 apps that can quickly turn from "just gonna mess around on this real quick" into wasting a huge chunk of your time.

1. Episode

Eventually, you see enough ads for this that you just have to download it and see what it's about. The great thing about this game is that there are so many different possibilities- but the fact that you have to pay money to access most of the features is kind of a turn-off.

2. Bitlife

There are so many different things to do in this game. It doesn't seem time-consuming until you're on your 16th life and you realize it's been 45 minutes since you started playing.

3. Tik-Tok (or YouTube compilations of Tik-Toks)

It's hard to find Tik-Tok compilations that are actually worth watching, but you've got a better shot if you search for Tik-Toks that have "Vine energy". People are finally starting to weed out the good ones, it seems.

4. The Sims 4

You can now get The Sims 4 for free on Origin, so why not take advantage of it? (And yes, it's not really an "app", but it's a great way to waste time not studying). The offer's good through May 28th, and if you ask me it's definitely worth it. Think about all the possibilities for after you're done with your finals and can actually get really into playing this game.

What are your favorite time-wasting apps?

OliviaAM
OliviaAM

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Why You Should Go To The Barre

Keep your head high and your heels even higher!

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After going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to try a barre class, last month I finally decided to. And let me tell you, it is one of the best decisions I have made for not only myself but my body! I tried my first class at Barre N9ne in Andover, Massachusetts (with multiple location in Woburn, Somerville, and Danvers), and I truly don't think I could have found a better studio. From the moment you walk into the studio there is a great vibe and the instructors are so informative and caring. If you are in the area, I highly recommend Barre N9ne!

It Is A Full Hour To Yourself

My favorite part of barre is it is an hour to myself. No phone, no distractions, just working to improve myself with each set. When I go to the gym whether I am lifting weights or running on the treadmill at some point I am on my phone responding to a text or changing the song I am listening to. During barre, I don't even think about who texted me or what email I have to respond to. It is complete me time.

The BEST Core Workout

During barre, your core is engaged the entire time. Then, at the end of the workout there is 5-7 minutes of actual core workouts. This makes it one of the best core workouts because instead of just focusing on your core for a few minutes, you are engaging it throughout the class and then additionally at the end.

You Will Gain Strength and Definition 

A typical barre class is a full body workout and over time you will gain strength and see definition. It takes about 5 classes to start seeing results. By strengthening each muscle group, you are not only gaining definition you are also strengthening all muscles (even the ones that are often underused and underdeveloped).

You Will Become More Flexible 

After each muscle group worked on, you will stretch. This is something that is often overlooked because people don't want to take the time to stretch during a workout and save it until the end, or even not at all. The amount of stretching done in a barre class will improve your range of motion and help to reduce any risk of injuries.

Mind Body Connection

During class you will often hear your instructor say to "focus on the mind body connection". But, what is it? Well, when you focus your attention on the muscle you are working, you tend to work harder and more effectively. This then gives you faster results. When you then focus on that muscle group and stop focusing on all the background noise of your stressful day, or what you have to do after class, or that big test next week, you are really able to focus in and have the best workout.

Your Muscles Will Shake (In A Good Way)

Barre utilizes micro movements. Meaning, since you preform many reps of the same movement involving specific muscles in barre, you are then working your muscles to exhaustion. When your muscles are exhausted, they start to shake. If you aren't shaking, work harder!

Through every pulse, squeeze, and tuck enjoy your time during barre. I hope you give barre classes a try because I know I don't regret it and I know you won't either.

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