10 TOP TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

19 Feb 2021 | Student Advice

It’s recommended that young adults (aged 18-25) should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep, but with 1 in 3 feeling they do not get enough rest, it is clear that sleeping for this long can be a struggle. Sleep deprivation can cause a whole host of issues, including but not limited to: weakened immune system, impaired decision making skills, worsened mental health and shortened attention span. In the age of Zoom lectures and Facetime dates, I for one am finding it considerably more difficult to switch off and have some time away from the screens. Previously I’d unwind by watching some Netflix or having a movie night with my flatmates, but now find spending any more time looking at a screen is the last thing I want to do. With this in mind I’ve put together a list of my top 10 tips for a good night’s sleep, no screens involved.

1. Eat well

This one may sound simple, but by making some subtle changes you could make bedtime considerably easier. I personally avoid caffeine in the afternoon and try to have my evening meal between 6:30pm and 7pm, to allow time for digestion before bed.

2. Exercise during the day

Aim to spend at least 30 minutes moving your body in whatever way feels good for you, whether that’s dancing in your kitchen or cycling in Bute Park with one of Fusion Students’ free bikes. Exercise is beneficial for all aspects of your health, both mental and physical, and can increase quality of sleep.

3. Invest in a quality pillow

Another pretty basic one, but a pillow is something which is worth investing in- Pillow preferences are deeply personal, so find one that works for you, but I believe a good pillow can transform your night’s sleep.

4. Develop a bedtime routine

My bedtime routine is the same every night, and I find it helps me wind down after whatever kind of day I’ve had. Having a consistent skincare routine can add continuity and headspace, whilst making you feel good about yourself. My recommendations are: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, Pixi Glow tonic, and Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream- the last one is an absolute winter skin saviour, especially in Cardiff.

5. Make sure your room is dark

By ensuring your room is as dark as possible, you’re making it easier to fall asleep, and to stay asleep. If necessary, investing in an eye mask is an excellent alternative- I love the Desmond and Dempsey Soleia eye mask, as it is silk, so super soft!

6. Cool it down

If you’re able to, opening a window for half an hour or so before bed helps to cool the room, and promote a drop in your body temperature, a natural part of falling asleep. This also prevents tossing and turning due to a warm room, and helps you to fall asleep more quickly.

7. Write your to-do list the night before

Try writing your to-do list for the following day before you go to sleep. I find this stops me staying awake worrying about everything I have to do the following day, and helps me wake up feeling well-rested rather than stressed.

8. Read a book

This keeps my mind away from my phone or TV, and helps me wind down ready for a good night’s sleep. I’m currently reading “Call me By Your Name” by Andre Aciman.

9. Keep it quiet

Use earplugs if there are noises that might keep you up. Everyone loves a party, but sometimes the 9am lectures get in the way, and we need our beauty sleep!

10. Avoid napping no less than three hours before your bedtime

Nothing feels better than an afternoon nap and I’m particularly guilty of occasional indulgence in them. However, naps are counter-productive when it comes to falling asleep at night. They can throw off your circadian rhythm, which tells you when to fall asleep and wake up. Instead, try to stay awake until bedtime, where you can enjoy a night of deep sleep.

I hope that these tips are of some help to you; everybody is different so maybe try a few and see what works for you! By working through the list, hopefully you’ll find something that you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve your quality of sleep! Stay happy and healthy everyone x

By Annabel Watkins

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