Constantly tired? Don’t have time for those extra five hours of sleep your yawns seem to be begging for? Are your eyelids so heavy you have to staple them open to survive Monday’s 8 a.m.?
It’s true, there never seems to be enough hours in the day, for sleep, class, homework, social activities, Netflix, the list goes on! As college students, we often take advantage of our youth and push ourselves past the brink of what’s been deemed possible. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to keep going on like this forever, so here are some natural ways to better your sleep cycle without extending it.
Yes, this adjustment may be painful at first, relinquishing your wake-up warning and extra few minutes under the covers, but bear with us, the change will prove worth it.
As soon as the alarm goes off, our sleep cycles are disrupted, making any following slumber less restful. Hitting the snooze and going back to sleep affects cognition, quality of sleep, and actually results in us being more tired for the rest of the day!
Keep it dark and quiet
Seems obvious, right? As simple as it sounds, there are a lot of people who do not take their sleep environment seriously. The easiest way to ensure quality sleep is a dark, quite room. So, before drifting off, make sure to turn off all the lights!
If your neighbors motto is “Turn Down for What” and sound proves to be a problem, try a sound machine. Don’t have a sound machine? No worries, there’s an app for that! Find what soothes you – white noise, rain, the ocean, washing machines – and listen to it as you drift out of consciousness.
We too are addicted to lurking Chrissy Teigen on Instagram, but for the sake of a good nights sleep, and ultimately our health, we must vow to put away all electronics a half hour prior to going to bed.
It’s been proven that the blue-light radiating from our phone and computer screens disrupts our natural patterns of sleep. So, from now on, try curling up at night with a good book!
No late-night snacking
Late night snacking is not only correlated with weight-gain but also insomnia. To avoid these dreaded side effects, stop eating three hours before going to bed.
In need of a nibble to keep you going through your late night study session? Try yogurt or popcorn, as they are both easy on digestion and won’t have any profound effects on your quality of sleep.
For those of you who struggle to gracefully slip into slumber, don’t jump straight to your medicine cabinet for sleeping pills, rather, try some of these natural supplements.
Our favorite way to prepare for bedtime is quite literally a cup of tea! Try a soothing chamomile or a sleepy-time, herbal blend.
If you’re still finding it difficult to sleep, consider investing in some essential oils, specifically, lavender, which is a natural sleep aid. Apply the oil to the soles of your feet, top of your pillow, or put a few drops in a diffuser for a natural, aromatherapeutic cure to restless sleep.
Our final natural hack for insomnia is stretching! Stretching helps relax the body and mind for a solid nights rest, not to mention it will simultaneously improve your flexibility! Try one or all of these stretches before going to bed tonight:
- Standing forward bend
- Seated meditation
- Seated forward bend
- Cat and cow (back arches)
Adapting these habits into your nightly routine will improve your quality of sleep, leaving you more rested without stealing away time from your day!