Sleeping enough hours is hard. Sleeping properly – even harder. Having a definite, well-measured sleeping schedule is actually the hardest.
For most people (at least of those I’ve personally met), college time has been the hardest to have a sleeping schedule on. A lot of factors play into it – college times are in a way less rigorous and exhausting than high school or a job; this is the age to party, drink and have fun, supposedly; the Internet encourages you to have friends all over the world and your time difference ends up being seven hours… yada yada yada.
How to bring back something so fragile you have already destroyed? Start with these few simple steps.
1. Figure out what’s not letting you sleep at night
Is it getting too many naps? Force yourself through one napless, sleepless day, and you’ll pass out at night like a baby.
Is it waking up too late? Set an alarm.
Is it not hearing the alarm? Set several, all a couple of minutes apart, all with different ringtones. I promise it works.
Basically, just ask yourself why. The solution will be clear once you set out a reason, and that will help endlessly in fixing your sleeping schedule.
2. Stop snoozing
Literally. Stop snoozing your alarm. That’s one of the best pieces of advice you can find on any sleep related issues.
Snoozing is just denying the inevitable while also not letting your body wake up properly when it should. Don’t mess up its tempo.
3. Get helpers
They’re different for everyone. Some people burn lavender incense sticks. Others – drink chamomile tea. Some listen to ASMR.
Regardless of what it is, a sleep helper is always good if you can’t sleep at night; they help you relax and unwind. Nothing will fix your sleeping schedule if you simply just can’t fall asleep.
4. Put your phone down
Yes, it’s an overused piece of advice, but it’s still valid.
Phone screens are bright, and most often people use their phones before bed to scroll through Twitter/Instagram or to chat with other people.
That is too much stimulation for a brain that needs to fall asleep. Let it rest. And let your eyes rest, too.
5. Get into all of your imaginary scenarios
Whatever things you like to daydream about – remember them now and daydream yourself to sleep and sleeping schedule improvements. It doesn’t matter what the daydream is about, as long as it makes you happy. Is it about dating Aragorn? Or maybe getting your dream job?
Whatever it is – go for it. Occupy your mind with anything other than conscious efforts to fall asleep.
6. Get more physically active
Sometimes, the sleeping schedule won’t fix itself because either our brains are overloaded, or our bodies are underloaded.
Considering the current education/office work environment, it is usually both of these combined.
So tire your body out. That doesn’t mean you should immediately get into CrossFit (but hey, why not if you’re feeling it?) – just get a gym prescription, run for half-an-hour or walk home from work instead of taking the time.
Every slight increase in the lacking activity will tire you out way more, and, therefore, lull you to sleep.
7. Drink decaf
Not only does caffeine mess with your sleep as is, but it also often makes people more stressed and jittery. The more stressed you are, the harder it is for your body to relax. The harder it is to relax, the longer your sleeping schedule will stay messed up. Pretty logical.
8. Stop eating foods that are high in carbs before bed
This is not a drill! Carbohydrates are known to give random, powerful, short energy boosts that are often followed by even more exhaustion – basically sugar highs.
The issue with it is that when your body is overly exhausted, it has a hard time relaxing. So don’t give it broken crutches.
9. Plan your day out
Having a definite schedule, in general, will absolutely help with having a better sleeping schedule, too. Not only are you more rational with energy and actions this way, but it also helps your body stay focused and in a certain rhythm.
10. See a professional if nothing helps at all
If there really isn’t any discernible reason as to why you can’t sleep at all, seek help. Insomnia is not something that should be ignored; it leads to migraines, lack of concentration, irritability, anxiety and a lot of other nasty stuff.
If you can’t sleep properly no matter what you do, you most likely need help – and there is nothing wrong with that. You’d see a doctor if something else in your body was glitching, wouldn’t you?