Okay repeat after me. SLEEP. IS. IMPORTANT. Alright I understand how procrastinating until you have to pull an all nighter to finish an essay or to revise for an exam could be compelling but honestly we all know that it’s a bloody awful for you. Lack of sleep can lead to you forgetting up to 40% of what you were trying to learn. So here are some tips (some that are useful for me and some that I know help people) that will help you go to sleep, fall asleep, wake up and carry on feeling awake all day.
But first the three Golden Rules of good sleep and feeling refreshed. (Live by these rules)
1. SET A SLEEP SCHEDULE. Find out how many hours of sleep you need to feel the best (http://sleepyti.me - can help you). I usually aim for 12- 1 fall asleep and 6:30 wake up. (Obviously this changes a little around exam time usually 2am-7am as I prefer night time revising)
2. STICK TO YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE. Of course going to sleep earlier doesn’t really count but TWELVE O'CLOCK MEANS TWELVE O'CLOCK.
3. Plan your work around your sleep and not your sleep around your work.
•Making yourself go to sleep•
I know this sounds weird, but I find that sometimes I force myself to study till 3-4am even when I don’t have anything urgent on tomorrow and these are some things I do to motivate me into keeping a tighter sleep schedule.
• Start working within half an hour of returning home. (I usually use this time to get a drink and a snack) The earlier you get your work done the better. I’m a massive procrastinator but this is so crucial. Getting all nessecary work done early means you have time to do some extra studying (on whatever interests you!) so that you’re ally good when you go to bed. But most importantly it allows you free time.
• Make a task list. Personally I use a bullet journal to write down everything I have to get done before I start working as well as a couple extra things I could do (choices are important!). This way you feel a sense of accomplishment every time you cross a task off and won’t get that awful guilty feeling when you go to sleep.
• T A K E. B R E A K S. Ten minutes for every 45 minutes of work is what I do but whatever rocks your boat yah know.
• *refer to Golden Rule number two
• Falling asleep •
Ahhhh the bane of my existence. I suffer from insomnia and since pills just don’t do it for me (skin reactions and migraines etc) over the years I’ve found ways that help me get better sleep. (Also I suggest getting school bags and what your going to wear all sorted out before you fall asleep)
• Get comfortable. Buy more pillows (aka steal family members). Swap your itchy blanket. Whatever will make you feel better (whether it be lavender oil or incense) go for it.
• Try background music or nature sounds or something like that. Personally I can’t sleep with music playing in the background but whatever works for you.
• Put your work in a different room (or at least in a place you can’t see). Especially during revision time because you ain’t gonna fall asleep if all your thinking about is atomic sub shells or which history flash cards you can’t seem to memorised.
• Keep a book or a magazine next to your bed. If you can’t fall asleep or wake up during the night and know it’s going to be another hour or so before you’ll be able to get out of bed, don’t get your phone (in fact put your phone out of reach) grab a light book or magazine to read.
• Waking up •
As Shia Labeouf would say JUST DO IT.
• Put your phone out of reach. And I mean so out of reach you have to actually get out of bed to turn of the alarm. AND YOU DO NOT GO BACK TO BED ONCE THE ALARM IS OFF HELL NAH.
• You pick up the glass of cold water next to your phone (which was cleverly placed there last night) and down it. Perks? You feel refreshed and your hydrated. Cons? There are none. And no you can’t go back in to bed.
• NOW STRETCH! Touch your toes jump up and down a little whatever wakes you up. Get your body moving!
• Get dressed. Do it quickly. Yes you have to. No you can’t skive. Your tired? Refer to Golden Rule 1, 2 and 3. Haha now you can’t go back to bed because after you get dressed your going to make your bed.
• Wash your face with cold water (it’s worth it trust me), moisturise, brush those dents, and have a shower if your that kinda person.
• Now get your ALREADY PREPARED bag/ work/ whatever else you carry to school and get the hell into your kitchen. And hey look at that your basically awake (barely).
• Next! Coffee! Or tea or hot coco or milk or juice. I’m a strong advocate for coffee in the morning but drink what make you happiest. And don’t forget breakfast.
• N E V E R. M I S S. B R E A K F A S T. Love your breakfast like you love your stationary. It’s the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eat it. If your running late PLEASE REFER TO GOLDEN RULE #2. Breakfast for me is the beginning of the day. It’s when I actually start feeling really really awake.
• Feeling and Staying Awake •
• Stay hydrated! Two litres a day. Keep a mini water log in your bullet journal where you can also record when you wake up and fall asleep. Actively think about staying hydrated!
• Take classes you enjoy! That happier I am the more refreshed I feel and it works the other way around to! Your not going to feel awake if what your learning is boring to you.
• Surround yourself with company that makes you feel good about yourself and people that make you laugh.
• Don’t skip lunch. Just don’t do it. I don’t care if you’ve got an exam next class and you forgot to revise. Eat.
• Try your best in every class. Even the one you struggle in. You’ll feel more accomplished and much happier with yourself!
And finally, it doesn’t matter if you take a days rest from working hard, or even a weeks and you definitely don’t have to use any of my tips but if you do i really hope they help. I know this post makes it seem like i really have my shit together, but I don’t. If you really are having trouble with your sleep seek professional assistance. Don’t feel bad about taking a sleep pill or two, sometimes school can be too much for one person to handle and that’s totally fine. Live by Golden Rule #3 and please feel free to ask me any questions :D