There are two types of winter-breakers; the ones who use the time off responsibly by catching up on much needed rest, and the ones who, like me, completely ruin their sleep schedule by spending all night on Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, phone calls or whatever their release of choice is.
Oh look, 4:37am already??? Where’d the time go?
Despite what category you fall into, the brewing of a new semester means new priorities; as such, authentic rest should also be prioritized as a means of carrying out this semester with optimal focus and confidence. I was always someone who struggled with getting enough sleep, and even when I’d get my full eight hours, I would sometimes lack that feeling of “quality rest”, thus feeling unprepared to start my day; which would then reflect my daily performance.
If you struggle in department Zzz, I would love to share my amateur tips that have helped me on nights where I just can’t fall asleep or wake up with that “restful night” feeling we all crave 🙂
1. Putting your sheets in the dryer before bed
I thrive in cozy environments. Putting my bed sheets in the dryer for a few minutes before bed on nights where I need a little extra comfort has really helped me, especially during these colder months. Using this method has me out like a light (aye), especially when I add a dryer sheet to be extra 😉
2. The count down
This is my go-to method after being in bed for an hour or so, still staring at the ceiling while overwhelmed by ceaseless stressful thoughts; when I start counting down from 100, either in my head or out loud, I usually don’t make it to 1 before I’m asleep. This is particularly helpful for my fellow overthinkers as the only thing we’re thinking about is the next number as we slowly clear our mind of the day’s stresses.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
I know some of us can relate to waking up in the middle of the night and immediately grabbing our phones/devices, I sure am guilty of this. To counter this entirely, I tend to place my phone out of reach of my bed so that I’m not as tempted to grab for it if I happen to wake up. Likewise, if I am already cozy in bed and forget to toss my phone, I delete my frequently used apps like Instagram before falling asleep to avoid scrolling when I should be snoring!
4. The Sleep Shield
Another practise that tends to relax me is covering my eyes with the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt. Unlike the typical eye masks for sleep, simply using the sleeve of a shirt to cover my eyes is my preference as it’s more breathable and less restricting around my head. As the light of day begins to peek through my blinds, it no longer distracts me from my rest, and if I wake up during the night, I find that I fall asleep easier if my eyes are already covered. (recommended materials for shirts would be silk, light fleece or very light/flexible cotton, as we want to avoid materials that are harsh on the skin/eyelashes)
5. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is known for its relaxing aroma that improves sleep quality and alleviates mild insomnia and restlessness (Forbes, 2019). Applying a few drops of this to my pillow before bed has really aided in easing all tension and stress, which is the perfect environment for quality sleep.
6. We all need a lullaby sometimes
If you prefer to sleep with your phone near you, I’d recommend trying out relaxing instrumentals on YouTube to slowly drift you off to sleep, rain instrumentals help me out on occasion!
Whatever the hindrance between you and quality sleep may be, I hope at least one of these personal tips will be of help to you as we gear up for a great semester!
P.S. If you’re looking for some very helpful tips on becoming a successful morning person, head over to Paolina’s Blog titled “How to Be a Better Morning Person” when it releases this Thursday February 4th!
Lavender Oil Fact: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannecroteau/2019/07/25/the-best-essential-oils-for-sleep/?sh=237a5dfd1df3
Youtube search results for “relaxing sleeping instrumentals”:
Youtube search results for a peaceful rain instrumental: