In a world of busy schedules, it’s acceptable and sometimes encouraged to sacrifice sleep in order to get work done. This is not okay! A consistent lack of sleep can have negative effects on your health. Dorm living can make getting enough sleep especially tricky. My roommate used to lay in bed for nearly two hours before she fell asleep! Whether or not you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours per night there are some things you can do to make sure the sleep you are getting is truly restful.
#1 Get into a routine
Routines are important. When you are exhausted from the day, it’s super tempting to just flop into bed. Taking the twenty minutes to wash your face and prep for the next day will make a huge impact on your morning. Packing your backpack and picking out your outfit will help you to start off a new day on the right foot.
#2 Change your environment
If you are a light sleeper like me, all it takes is one loud noise or a roommate flicking on a light to wake you up. When you are going to bed, make sure your room is quiet and dark. If you share a room invest in a sleeping mask!! (Here is the one I use and love!) This makes things easier for you and your roommate. They don’t have to get ready for bed in the dark and you won’t get woken up. I also have a hard time falling asleep when people are loud. Let’s face it, not everyone respects quiet hours. I’ve found it helpful to have a fan blowing next to my bed. The noise of the fan drowns out the other people in the dorm.
#3 Avoid electronics
This is super important! At least on hour before bed, stay away from your computer, TV, phone, e-reader, and any other electronic device you own. They emit high frequency light that messes with your brain and keeps you awake longer. If you absolutely must finish that paper before bed, use an app such as f.lux to convert the light to a lower energy wave. This will reduce the light’s impact on your sleep.
#4 Learn to love lavender
This tip is a bit unconventional but, it really helps. I’m a big fan of essential oils and have been a member of Young Living since May 2015. Trust me when I say it’s worth the hype. Diffusing lavender into our room has helped me and my roommate get a much more restful sleep in the dorm. A word of warning: be careful of the supplier. There are different levels of quality surrounding essential oils. Be sure to get them from a supplier whose quality you trust. (I am obviously biased toward Young Living but, there are a few other companies out there that offer high quality.)
If you have a hard time falling asleep, there are some techniques you can try to help you relax before bed. A lot of the time the worries of the day and long list of things to do tomorrow will race through your head. Keep a notebook by your bed to write down whatever is on your mind and commit to checking it each morning. This way you can stop focusing on the chaos and give yourself permission to go to sleep. If the stress of the day is still bothering you, you can meditate before bed. You may also find it helpful to get into bed and tense all of your muscles. Then, slowly relax them starting from your head and moving toward your feet. This will help your body to let go of all the stress you’ve been holding onto.
Follow these techniques and you are well on your way to a good night’s sleep! Happy dreaming!
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