College Advice Blog

Feb 3, 2012

4 Quick Ways to a Good Night's Rest

Sleep—you may think that because you're young, you're invincible and don't need it; but if you continue to run on empty, eventually your body will break down. A good 8 hours of sleep each night will give you the strength and energy you need to be more productive as well as allow you to perform better on tests. It will also help keep your immunity in tip top shape—getting sick can be really inconvenient, especially around mid-terms and finals weeks. That said, it's highly important that your body recharges during the night. But if you have a difficult time unwinding and suffer from a slight case of insomnia, try these simple tricks below to get a better night's rest.
1. Create a Night Ritual

One of the easiest ways to fall asleep around the same time each night is to create a ritual. After a short while, your body will send signals to your brain telling it that it's time for bed. So each and every night, do a couple of things in the exact order: take a shower, wash your face, floss your teeth, put on your "comfortable pajamas" whatever. Just like you condition your body to wake up around the same time each morning, you can also condition your body to go to sleep around the same time too.
2. Take an Afternoon Nap
Many experts say that taking naps can actually contribute to your insomnia since it can throw off your sleeping pattern, but a study suggests that as long as you nap between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., not only will you have no trouble falling asleep at a decent hour, but you'll also perform better on tests. How so? Researchers say that napping helps protect "brain circuits" from being over used which can help college students perform better come test time; anotherstudy even suggests that a short 12-minute nap can boost memory as well. In short: if your schedule permits, try to squeeze in a short, mid-day nap.
3. Change Location
For many, not being able to fall asleep is more of a psychological thing: they associate the bed with their inability to sleep. Thus laying in the bed for an hour trying to force yourself to get some shut eye isn't going to work. Instead, you should move to a different room to relieve some of the pressure. Go to the living room or do your night ritual all over again. Slowly but surely you'll get sleepy. The trick is to not try and over stimulate your mind—this will keep you awake. So avoid turning on bright lights or even checking your social networking accounts—research suggests that checking social networking sites before bed can reactive the brain and make you more alert than before.
4. Do Some Light Reading
Lastly, read a book. The trick here is to NOT choose a book that is going to keep you interested. Rather, you want something that can easily bore you and put you straight to sleep. Try a textbook! You might just be able to get a few short sentences of studying in before you fall asleep. 
About The Author
Angelita Williams writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita dot williams7 at gmail dot com.

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