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Don’t skimp on sleep

April 22, 2015

sleepy student

Have you ever been so tired that you can barely keep your eyes open? Or how about that horrible groggy, sluggish feeling after a night of tossing and turning that no matter how much coffee you drink, doesn’t go away?

Hopefully, you don’t feel this way often. If you do, you’re probably suffering from lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. Both can be detrimental to your daily functioning and ability to pay attention and do well at school.

If you want to do something about feeling so tired (who wouldn’t?), try these tips for getting some high quality shut-eye:

  • Create a healthy sleep environment. Ensure your bedroom temperature is on the cool side and that your room is dark. You also might want to try some white-noise in the background. This could be a fan on a low setting or some soothing, soft music.
  • Exercise: Being physically active during the day can help regulate your sleep pattern. Just be sure to try and finish physical activity at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Park it. Set aside some time an hour before you head to bed to make a to-do list for the next day. This will free up your mind for the night and enhance the quality of your sleep. Just promise yourself once the list is complete, that’s it for the night!
  • Head to bed and wake up at the same time. Get in the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends (I know, this can be tough). This will help regulate your body’s internal clock, which will make it easier to get up and start the day without feeling sluggish.
  • Wind your mind and body down. Do something relaxing before you sleep. Reading a book or listening to calming music are both good winding-down activities. Try to stay away from electronic screens (laptop, smartphone) right before heading to sleep as the brightness stimulates your brain and can make you feel alert. Still not sleepy? Try drinking some warm milk or having a light snack.
  • Deep breathing. Thinking about your breathing as you lay in bed can help calm you down and reduce anxiety. Here is one breathing exercise you might want to try.
  • Reflect. Think about what you did that day, everything you accomplished and things that you’re grateful for. This will leave you feeling calm and positive as you drift off.

Want more info on sleep? Visit the National Sleep Foundation.