We’re here, students, it’s officially crunch time. Yes, while we’ve all enjoyed coasting since mid-term season ended, the dreaded end-of-the-semester is finally here, bringing with it a deluge of assignments, projects, and final exams.
But don’t stress out. Well, actually, do stress a little because mild anxiety is the only thing that can beat out procrastination, just don’t lose sight of what’s important.
You’re no doubt compelled to spend hours and hours studying throughout the end of the semester. And you’ll probably have to, but that doesn’t mean you should be staying up all night study working yourself to the brink of exhaustion.
No matter how much work you may have, you shouldn’t be sacrificing any sleep. Good rest is essential to productivity, and catching up on z’s will ensure your brain is working at 100% efficiency.
So while you may have the urge to pull an all-nighter, try to resist or else you may mess up your sleep-cycle. Or worse, sleep will become all but nonexistent in your school-ridden life.
If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. Sleep is crucial to doing well during the close of the semester, so here are some proven strategies that will aid you in getting a good night’s rest, no matter how much work you have to do.
Set A Routine, And Stick To It
As tempted as you may be to sacrifice a night of sleep to finish your research essay, just leave it until the morning. Try to go to bed at the same time and do the same sort of activities before you hit the hay. In doing so, your body gets used to a routine and you’ll be able to get to bed quickly and wake up early the next day. Of course, you can always read a few chapters before you go to bed, too.
Don’t Make Nights Bright And Make Mornings Shine
Watching a bunch of television or playing video games is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Yes, such activities may de-stress you from studying, but all of that harsh white light can ruin your sleeping schedule. See, bright blue light (like what’s given off from your phone or computer) stimulates your brain into a wakeful mindset, thus making it harder to fall asleep. Turn down the brightness or get an app like f.lux that softens blue light to make your night more restful.
On the flip-side, blue light can be the perfect way to stimulate wakefulness in the morning. So instead of keeping your blinds closed, open them up nice and wide. Even turning on bright lights can do the trick, which is a great strategy if you’re not the best at waking up in the morning.
Hit The Gym
Numerous studies have shown that people who work out regularly get better sleep. This is true for both weight training and cardio-focused workouts, so whatever you may like to do at the gym, it doesn’t matter all that much.
What does matter, however, is when you work out. High-intensity cardio workouts are best saved for the midday. Weight training can be done further towards the evening and the muscle recovery your body performs while sleeping can even help you get a better sleep.
Working out is also a great way to break up a day of studying and has actually been shown to improve focus.
Restrict Your Caffeine Intake
I know it sounds impossible, but do try to limit how much coffee/caffeine you drink. Or, at the least, try and time when you ingest caffeine. Drinking a bunch of coffee too late in the afternoon/evening can seriously mess up your sleep schedule and lead to a wakeful night. If you do need a little bit of a pick-me-up later in the day, try a green tea (it has a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea and does give an energy boost) or an apple.
Avoid Study & Sleeping Aids
As tempting as it may be to use a stimulating study aid to get you through a day at the library, they can be disastrous for your sleep schedule. Sleeping pills can do the same, as counter intuitive as that sounds. Sleeping aids don’t give you the same kind of sleep like you would normally get and you can develop a reliance. If you really need help falling asleep, try melatonin supplements, a hormone your body naturally produces that promotes sleepiness.
Featured image courtesy of: Reach out