Advice about sleep

Not getting enough sleep one or two nights a week isn’t dangerous, as we make up for the lack of sleep on the other nights, regardless of when you fall asleep. Are you currently in a stressful period right now? Is there anything that is particularly worrying you or are you partying more than you should? Having difficulty sleeping can also be a part of being depressed too, so it is important that you clarify the cause. Sleep problems are very common, something that almost everyone experiences at some point.

If stress is the cause, you should find out the reason to your stress. Are you falling behind in your studies, or do you feel like you are struggling to keep up? Are you doing fun things outside of your studies, or have you changed your habits recently? These can all have an effect on your sleep. Alcohol, coffee, tea and energy drinks can all have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. Irregular habits, Facebook, training and studying late into the night can affect how you fall asleep, as well as the quality of your sleep.

Below you can find some general advice and tips about sleep.

General sleep hygiene

  • Exercise and be active during the day.
  • Try to go to bed and rise at the same time every day, even on the weekend (even when you slept poorly).
  • Create an evening routine before bedtime that works for you. Your brain will learn that this behavior means is is time for you to go to sleep.
  • Make sure you get exposed to daylight during the day and dim the lights inside one hour before bedtime. Use blackout curtains or similar to make sure your bedroom is dark when it is time to sleep.
  • Turn off all screens at least on hour before going to bed and leave your cellphone outside the bedroom.
  • Make sure the temperature is cool in the bedroom.
  • Try to avoid caffeine after 1 p.m. and do not go to bed drunk. Alcohol has negative impact on sleep, for example by blocking REM sleep, which is an important part of the sleep cycle. Both nicotine and marijuana also affect sleep in a negative way.

Additional advice

  • Do not go to bed until you feel sleepy.
  • Make a to-do-list of what you need to do the next day. Planning in advance makes it easier to relax. Also, have a pad and pen next to the bed and write down if you start thinking about things you need to remember.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep get up after 15-30 minutes. Try to do some quiet, monotonous activity until you start feeling sleepy end then try and go to bed again.
  • Try to only use the bed for sleep and sex.
  • Avoid taking naps during the day. Taking naps often makes it harder to fall asleep in the evening.

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