Sleep is an important part of your well-being, but if you’re a college student like me, you probably suffer from a lack of sleep or insomnia. Every time I attempt to fall asleep, my brain reminds me of every single worry in my life which is overwhelming. Here are some helpful ways for you to relax and fall asleep at night no matter how stressed and busy you are during the day.
1. Use the “Calm” app for sleep meditations and stories.
The “Calm” app is full of sleep meditations and stories that allow you to unwind and fall asleep. There is a limited free version of the app, but to unlock most of the content you have to pay around $6 a month. However, they do have a 7-day premium free trial, to begin with, so you can test it out and see if it works for you! It may seem a bit much to pay for meditations and stories to fall asleep, but they have such amazing, relaxing content that it’s worth spending the money on. Plus, they oftentimes have celebrities reading the sleep stories, even Harry Styles! Hearing Harry Styles voice as I drift off to sleep is honestly the best feeling so I would definitely recommend downloading the “Calm” app!
2. Read a book!
I know that I’m guilty of staying up watching TV or scrolling through Tik-Tok for hours when I can’t sleep. However, the light from your screen can actually cause your brain to want to stay awake which is why reading a book is a great alternative. As you keep reading, you’ll start to feel more and more exhausted and eventually drift off to sleep especially if you’re reading something kind of boring and mundane.
3. Write in a “worry” journal before bed.
A “worry” journal is pretty much explained in the title, but it is a place where you can freely express all the worries and thoughts on your mind so you don’t dwell on them before bed. A lot of times you are so busy during the day that you don’t have time to process all the anxiety and stress that you’re experiencing which is why it all comes to you at night when you are trying to rest. Simply just writing out everything that’s bothering you can free your brain of thinking about it at least until the next day.
4. Move any clocks from your view.
Do you find yourself constantly looking at either an actual clock or the one on your phone and just watching the minutes and hours tick away? It can actually stress you out more as then you start to get fed up with how long it is taking for you to fall asleep. Personally, if I have to wake up by a certain time, I tend to have a difficult time going to bed because I keep checking the time. It’s a good idea to turn your phone upside down or move your clock so you can’t see the time to help rid you of some of the anxiety that you get from checking the time.
5. Make sure your room is cold.
If it tends to get really hot in your room, it could be part of the reason why you can’t fall asleep easily. When it’s too hot, it causes you to feel more uncomfortable and keep tossing and turning. If you don’t have AC in your home, there are a lot of quiet, high-ranking fans to choose from.
6. Do some light yoga or stretching before bed.
Yoga and stretching are two options that help you in destressing and getting rid of negative thoughts. If you look on Youtube for yoga or light stretching before bed, you will find a wide variety of videos that are specifically made for people to relax and get ready for bed. After doing a light yoga class, I start to feel more positive and not so tense throughout my body.
7. Find a quality pillow and use a weighted blanket!
Sometimes you may have trouble sleeping if your pillow or blanket is not the right level of comfort for you. According to research, orthopedic pillows are people’s favorite as it supports the neck and spine which other pillows don’t. Also, weighted blankets are another way for you to become calmer and more comfortable. A weighted blanket makes you feel more supported and warm as you attempt to fall asleep.
8. Use essential oils like lavender.
The smell of essential oils has actually proven in helping people fall asleep. The smell can lessen people’s anxiety. Even just by rubbing the essential oils on your wrists or hands, you may find it has a positive effect on how quickly you fall asleep and also the quality of your sleep. You can also buy an essential oil diffuser so you can fill your room with your favorite calming scent.
9. Try taking melatonin before bed.
Melatonin is a natural sleep supplement that many people prefer over a prescribed medication. Taking melatonin can really help out a lot of people suffering from insomnia. I’ve actually noticed that when I take melatonin I rarely wake up during the night. You can buy melatonin as pills or even gummies from basically any grocery or pharmacy store.
10. Get a white noise machine or app.
It can be distracting to hear your neighbors talking loudly or their blasting music so sometimes blocking out the noise is just what you need. White noise machines or applications use calming sounds to cancel out any outside noise. Only hearing some noise like waves crashing or the leaves rustling in the wind can actually improve how quickly and effortlessly you fall asleep.
It can be hard to destress and clear your mind before bed especially as a college student when you are overwhelmed with studying and other activities. It is important to have a good sleep schedule to maintain good mental and physical health!
How do you help yourself fall asleep at night? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Caitlyn is a third-year student at UCLA. She is majoring in English. She enjoys writing, and going to hot yoga classes and, of course, binge-watching Netflix. At UCLA, Caitlyn is a feature writer for HER Campus, part of the American Cancer Society club, and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.