The Art of Sleeping
Start writing a post
Community

The Art of Sleeping

Tips for Some Shuteye

30
The Art of Sleeping

Amidst the rush of work, academics, extracurriculars, and just life in general, many of us feel as if we don't have enough time.

And because of this time crunch pressure, many of us give up on the idea of getting the full recommended 7 hours of sleep each night.

We're constantly tired and stressed, which might even be a factor in our lack of sleep. There are some of us who find it easy to fall asleep, while the rest of us find ourselves lying mindlessly in bed for hours. It's frustrating enough not being able to sleep. It feels like a waste of time that could be spent trying to catch some shuteye or finishing up that reading assignment for your GE class.

We've gone through nights where sleep comes within minutes of lying down, but there have also been nights where we'll find ourselves lying in bed aimlessly wide awake.

The transition from the state of wakefulness to sleep is referred to as "sleep onset latency," or SOL. Through numerous studies, it's found that those who suffer from insomnia believe it takes them about 40 minutes to fall asleep, when in actuality, EEG readings have consistently found that they actually fall asleep within about 26 minutes.

It goes to show that we tend to overestimate the time it takes for us to fall asleep, especially when we are trapped in the state of wakefulness when desperately trying to fall asleep. However, through extensive research, scientists have found that the process of falling asleep is more dynamic and complicated than we imagined.

While some people find it easier to nod off than others, experts have found that rather than having an innate ability to doze off, it comes down to helpful bedtime habits and conditioning. Genetics don't have a clear role in determining if you are "good at sleeping" or not. There has been research associating anxiety with insomnia. Women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder and experience insomnia compared to men.

And while being anxious does lead to lower sleep quality, poor bedtime routines and habits are the most common causes of a restless night. We have the ability to "teach ourselves how to be good sleepers." You have to give your brain time to slow down before you are able to tuck into bed.

But what does it mean to "slow down your mind?"

Avoid emotional interactions. This could be arguing with a friend or partner, or even browsing through your phone, especially social media. Your phones and social media are designed to keep you on it as long as possible. They want your attention. When you check that notification, your brain releases dopamine, otherwise known as the reward or feel-good hormone. This plus the blue light of the screen keeps you on your phone wide awake. Blue light is emitted during the day, subconsciously telling your brain it's day time. As day turns into night, there is less blue light, which tells your biological clock that it's night time, or "time to go to sleep." So because your phone and social media is mind-stimulating, it creates prolonged sleep onset. It's like a sleep repellent. If what you are engaged with before going to bed makes you feel anxious, or emotionally excited, it's going to stall your ability to drift into the dream state.

So what can we do to get a good night's rest?

Meditate. Yeah, I know. That sounds like something moms would say, so let's not call it that. Let's just say it's a couple minutes before bedtime dedicated to a sitdown (or lie down, whatever you prefer) and just focus on breathing. Clear everything from your head. You probably went about your day without allowing yourself to process things, so when you finally get that time before falling asleep, your brain is going to take that time to organize. The child in you might want to laugh at how wack it may seem, but once you get over that, it really does help you let go of the constant rush of thoughts in your head. Meditating comes in many forms. Exercising, especially running, carrying out house chores like doing the dishes, vacuuming, or folding laundry are all ways to give your brain a break and allow for some productive mind-wandering.

Reading before bed sounds cliché, but it doesn't involve much visual stimulation and doesn't require much light. It's an "alone activity." We are constantly bombarded with stimulants and information throughout the day. Just giving yourself some time during the evening to let your mind wander and contemplate your day can improve the quality of your sleep. Unless you are completely drained, sleepiness won't be able to overpower your brain's reorganization.

Sleeping and waking at the same time each day can help set our biological clocks. Taking a simple stroll gives you that silence that your mind needs to think about your day. But of all the things we can do to improve our sleep quality, instead of wasting our time staring at the ceiling in bed, taking time to wind down can go a long way. So...good night and sweet dreams!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

118933

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

4198

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

27056

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

9146

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

4539

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

3748
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

2272

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments