Four tips for a better sleep

Quick advice to help you improve your rest heading into exams

A good night's sleep is essential.
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We’ve all been here: you have an important day of exam prep to do tomorrow, but you just can’t fall asleep.  

You know you need to get to sleep because you have a busy day ahead, but you can’t get comfortable. Despite repeatedly reminding yourself that you must fall asleep, your mind keeps playing out random situations or annoying songs until you eventually drift off into a restless snooze. 
 
The next morning, you still have work to do—but now you have to do it with a foggy, sleep-deprived brain. 
 
If this resonates, you’re in the right place. Getting a good night’s sleep is something I’ve struggled with on and off throughout university. Over time, I’ve come up with a list of things that, when practised consistently, help me settle down and rest. 
 
Keep your phone outside your bedroom 
 
We all know that looking at your phone before you go to bed is bad for sleep
 
For most of my life, I kept my phone in my room and was fairly good at not looking at it right before going to bed. Some days, however, I would get pulled down an internet rabbit hole. When I eventually pulled myself back to reality, I’d have an ominous feeling that I was about to have a terrible sleep. 
 
Now I put my phone in the kitchen before I go to sleep. This eliminates any temptation to look at my phone and signals to my brain that it’s time to put my busy life away and relax. 
 
Pro tip: Whenever I tell people that I don’t keep my phone in my room they ask, “Well how do you know what time it is and what do you do for an alarm?” Simple: get a clock. 
 
Create and stick to a wind-down routine 
 
When done consistently, a wind-down routine tells your body it’s time to go to bed soon. I like to do this after I put my phone away so I can completely dedicate my time to relaxing. 
 
Your wind-down routine can be anything as long as it’s relaxing. Personally, I like to read and write in my journal in my living room. 
 
Not doing either of these activities in my bed is important, because then as soon as I get in my bed for the night, I’m relaxed and my body knows that it’s time to sleep. 
 
Make your bed 
 
There’s something satisfying about getting into a made bed before going to sleep. No matter how many unchecked boxes are on my to-do list is, when my bed is made, I feel like I’m a productive person who has earned their right to relax and sleep. 
 
Don’t listen to music that hypes you up 
 
I enjoy listening to fun music when I brush my teeth. However, my choice of music would be more appropriate for pre-ing before going to a club than getting ready to shut my brain off for the night. 
 
Whenever I do this, I always regret it when I get in bed and can’t get my brain to quiet down and stop replaying songs. If you’re going to listen to music before going to bed, listen to things that help you wind down rather than pump you up.
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