Recent studies have shown that about one third of students have insufficient sleep (less than 6.5 hours), and almost two thirds have a perception of not getting enough sleep. Lack of quality sleep can come from a variety of factors – such as trying to balance a study/work/social life balance, living in a share home, and of course – assessment time for example. However, sleep deficiency is a risk for poor physical health, emotional distress, and academic underperformance. So how can you improve your sleep? We recommend building a bedtime routine.
Having a good bedtime routine can help get you the recommended amount of sleep each night, and promote mindfulness and relaxing before bed – which is helpful if you’re someone who can’t fall asleep easily, or if you’re cramming your latest assessment right before bed. By having a good night’s sleep, you can improve your overall health, mood, productivity, and energy levels. Here are some of our top tips for you to help build a bedtime routine!
Set your bedtime
Dedicating your set bedtime is a good start to knowing when you want to head to bed, and when you should start your routine. By having regular bed and wake up times, having a consistent sleep routine can help train your brain to naturally feel tired when it’s closer to bedtime.
Make your bedtime routine start from anywhere between 30 minutes – 2 hours before bedtime.
Have an evening ritual
Create a routine that is relaxing for you to wind down with. Some things you could add into your evening ritual are:
- Have a cup of tea
- Have a warm shower/bath
- Read a book
- Do some yoga
- Listen to some music
- Drawings or colouring
- Spend time with family, house mates, partner or pets
Have a comfy, relaxing bedroom space
Are you someone who studies or works in bed? Or likes to watch a bit of TV in your room?
Creating boundaries by separating your study/work or media time from your bedroom is a great way to keep your bedroom as a calm, relaxing space – rather than somewhere where a lot of productivity and media happens. Try and keep your room free from clutter and have ambient lighting in your room to wind down rather than harsh overhead lighting.
Reduce exposure to electronics
Wind down your night by putting down the screens before bedtime. Using your phone or looking at a screen can trigger your brain to stay active and awake, which can make it harder to rest before bed. Even if you find yourself waiting to fall asleep, don’t look at the clock and do something peaceful until you feel drowsy.
Write your to-do list or journal
Ever feel like your thoughts are buzzing around just before bedtime? Write them down!
Journaling has shown to help improve mental health by reducing stress and helps to put your thoughts and emotions together. It’s a great way to address any feelings without fear of judgement or punishment, and avoids bottling up your emotions.
Alternatively, writing your to-do list can help you put your thoughts and ideas about things you need to do, which can help you feel less worried before bed.
Try out a bedtime routine for a better quality sleep!