Wednesday, 2 August 2017

9. On Student Life + Sleep

One of the trickiest elements to student life is finding the balance between everything. For me and the many students across the country who are also night owls, perhaps the hardest things to tackle is learning your own boundaries. If you work well late at night, it can be a difficult thing to pack your laptop and know that you have done enough work to permit you a good night of sleep before the busy day in the morning.

Sleeping is the best meditation - Dalai Lama
Whilst you might end up producing some of your best work in those early hours, as a result you won’t do as well in class due to being tired if you don’t catch up on the sleep that your body needs in order to function at its best capacity.

Making sure that you have a regular wake up and sleep time can be the first step to getting your body in sync with your schedule. I also find it beneficial to make sure that I have at least half an hour of free time before I sleep, in which to read or to write in a diary – anything that doesn’t require me to scroll through emails or stare at a glaring screen. Artifical light can be a big issue for insomniacs because it tricks the body into producing melatonin, meaning you don’t feel sleepy when you should be. For this reason, avoid technology at all costs late in the evening. And whilst every student enjoys some late nights and perhaps goes through an all nighter or two in their time, remember that it is the healthier option to get the rest now. Start as you mean to go on.

Another tip would be to exercise regularly, because this will ensure that you are keeping healthy whilst also using up a lot of your energy during the day. Because of this by the time it comes to the evening, you will be tired as you should be and this will hopefully help getting into bed an easier process.

Having the organisation skills to fit exercise into your day will also help you with other general scheduling, such as with your academic work. Also, make sure you are keeping your room as neat and homely as possible. If a space feels cold it will be difficult to feel comfortable in, let alone get to sleep in! Even if it means having a few posters on the wall and making your bed in the morning, go that extra mile so that you have a mini-sanctuary in which to take refuge and relax.

As with all elements of uni life, it might just be a case of your body getting used to the new environment and work pace to begin with. But if you are struggling to get to sleep after this point, try thinking a little further as to how you can make sleeping easier. E.g. not drinking as much caffeine. With patience and time, you should begin to fall into a regular sleep pattern.

Thank-you for all your support and comments. It is a fantastic thing to be able to help answer any of your questions and to share my adventure with all of you. It makes my day every day! 

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