It’s somewhat of a myth that sleeping means you’re being lazy. Research shows all over the place that sleeping is the best way to move information from short term to long term memory. So much magical brain activity really does happy when you sleep on those books!
Many things can negatively impact sleep. And it’s really important to maintain good sleep habits as you push your brain to its limits!! Here are a few that B&B Recommends:
- Turn off the light! Studies are showing that looking at screens late into the night impacts our sleep. Even if you are snoozing the whole time, the quality drops. Set all of your technology to night mode (where the screen turns yellow) and dim at least 2 hours before bedtime. Make sure that your bedroom is completely dark as well. Even small lights, especially blinking, can rattle your REM.
- Turn on the light! Go get some natural sunlight during the day to help with melatonin regulation. This will help keep your circadian rhythm on the right track.
- Healthy habits! This includes everything from not eating too much close to bedtime, avoiding stimulants (such as caffeine) after about 2 pm, and exercising daily.
- Get in a routine, follow your clock! You may be a night owl or a morning bird but keeping your routine consistent helps your body get used to warming up and cooling down. Try and go to bed at the same time every night.
- Don’t work in your bed! You want to have your bed be a safe, comfortable, stress-free place. Practicing being mentally alert in your bed is counterproductive to a place that is supposed to calm you down.
- Noise can also impact your sleep. Many people find they sleep better with white noise or nature sounds. There are so many apps and videos for you to try. It’s a good idea to sample a few now and figure out what works before you enter your dense study time!
- Temperature is another variable. It will depend on each person individually, but make sure that your environment is comfortable. There is also a rumor out there that sleeping with your feet outside of your blanket helps – let us know if that works for you!
- Learn how to relax. Yup, it’s a skill. This could be anything from meditation, to light yoga, to just listening to music. Incorporate this into your warm down routine.
Let us know if you have any other tricks for chasing down those Z’s and have wonderful dreams!!!
Written by Dr. Kerri Lyons