By Amy Xu
Although many know the importance of getting enough sleep, most post-secondary students tend to neglect it to fulfill other priorities such as studies, social life, and work. However, it is a no-brainer that sleep is essential and should not be placed behind other tasks as lack of sleep can be detrimental to your everyday quality of life such as mood, cognitive performance (including learning and memory), and general physical health. As exam season is approaching, awareness on getting enough sleep should be emphasized, especially when we know university/college students often limit sleep and have reduced quality of sleep due to stress and anxiety.
Here are some personal tips for better sleeping:
1. Sleeping Schedule
Setting a strict sleeping schedule will prevent irregular sleeping patterns by regulating
your body’s biological sleep-wake cycles.
2. Pre-Bedtime Routine
Refrain from participating in activities that will induce excitement, anxiety, and stress
before bed and allow yourself some time to relax. For instance, meditating or listening
to calming music may help with relaxation and calming the mind before sleeping.
3. Sleeping Environment
Make sure that your environment / bedroom is optimal for sleeping conditions such as
checking for distractions that may disrupt you. Consider investing in a high-quality
mattress and pillows that will allow for optimal comfort and support.
4. Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks
Caffeine is a well-known factor that contributes to your inability to fall asleep and
should be avoided. In addition, I’ve heard that alcohol, cigarettes, and spicy foods can
also reduce sleep quality – so it is advised not to consume any of these before bed.
5. Use Essential Oils
Consider getting into aromatherapy – using essential oils such as lavender in diffusers or
as pillow sprays can help calm and relax you before and during sleep (I personally find
that it helps with anxiety too!).
Overall, assessing and revising current bedtime habits to optimize sleep is one step closer
towards engaging in a healthier lifestyle!