As a college student, I know the struggles of sleep and finding a way to busy myself so I don't fall asleep in a lecture. It's hard to get a good night sleep when there's so much to worry about and deadlines hanging over your head, especially in midterms and finals weeks.
But here are a few things that I have found to help me that I can still manage as a college student with a job as well. Hopefully, my night time habits will help you out as well and help you to wake up more refreshed and ready to take on the day without those 12 cups of coffee.
1. Make your bed before crawling inGiphy
I don't know about everyone else but when I climb into bed and my blankets are already messy I can't seem to get comfortable. Even if you don't tuck everything snugly, its still much more nicer climbing into a nicely made bed.
2. Put down the phone
It's a well know fact that blue light kills sleep hormones! So listen to the scientists and doctors or whoever! Plug your phone in to charge and lay it face down across the room.
Trust me, it helps a lot. Your phone doesn't need to be your new teddy bear and you'll survive not looking at Facebook for an hour or more before you finally go to sleep.
3. Stop napping!!Giphy
A 20 minute power nap once or maybe twice a day, but long naps are not good for a good nights sleep. Too short a nap is not good either, both will only make you more tired, causing you to want to take another nap.
4. Snuggle a pillow
This can help in so many ways whether its a pillow, significant other, or stuffed animal. Finding a comfy position is hard, but wrapping your arms and legs around a pillow is a given comfy position. It can also help with any back pain!
5. Cover or turn away digital alarm clockGiphy
No need to destroy it. But the light of the numbers can keep you up and when you're already having a hard time getting some sleep, who doesn't constantly check the clock? Avoid reckless sleeping by not giving yourself the choice to keep looking at it.
6. Find a pillow that's just right.
The right pillow makes a big difference! Too fluffy of a pillow isn't good for your neck and to flat a pillow isn't good either. If you sleep on your side make sure that your nose is lined up with your spine!
7. Try to set a schedule.
I know its hard as a student when you have something due at midnight that you've procrastinated on all day and you have to get up for an early class. But it's easy to set an 11 o'clock bed time for yourself by convincing yourself the assignment is due at 10:59 instead.
Then take the earliest time you ever have to get up, even if it's 6:00 am for a work shift, and start trying to get up at that time. It sounds rough but it makes for a better night sleep if you can set your body clock.
8. No more mid-day caffieneGiphy
And this doesn't just mean coffee, it means CAFFEINE. A cup of coffee in the morning is just fine but try to avoid caffeine the rest of the day because believe it or not it affects how you sleep at night. That includes even the small amounts in chocolate.
9. Don't eat heavy before bedGiphy
Don't eat your dinner right before you go to bed. If you get hungry between dinner and bed time, then eat a light snack, nothing too heavy or you'll overload your digestive system.
10. Don't consume too much alcohol before bedGiphy
Not only will you wake up with a nasty hangover but it may also make for restless sleep. A serving size of wine is just fine but too much can keep you up.
11. Think before you drinkGiphy
This time, I'm not talking alcohol. If you want to lower the odds of having to take a midnight bathroom break, don't drink anything within two hours of bed time.
12. Dim the lightsGiphy
Dim them around your home 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Lower light levels signal your brain to make melatonin, the hormone that brings on sleep.
13. Save the bed for sleep
Don't be on the computer doing homework or other stuff, there are desks, tables, and couches for that. The bed should be like a place where you can curl up whether alone or with another. So save the bed for sleep and sex.
14. Remember: beds are for people.
I know they're your little fuzzball but as most pet owners know, its hard to disturb your sleeping fur baby. This causes you to have to find a position that works for them but maybe not for you, causing the uncomfortable position to cost you sleep.
Snuggling up with your pup or kitty may sound appealing but they really have no concept of personal space or how much space to allow you. And you'll go to bed so worried about disturbing them that you'll do everything in your power not to, causing you to be stressed and stiffen up, both not good for those extra Zs.
15. Free your mindGiphy
As I mentioned above, stress is not good for sleep. Once you crawl into bed, take a deep breath and think only happy thoughts. Forget about all you have to do and what you should be doing now. Just let everything go, and sleep.