Go to Bed Early and Wake Up On Time
Published on August 10, 2016 by arothstein
Every night of the week there is something to do when you are enrolled in college. Parties. Study groups. Review sessions. There is no shortage of evening events that last into the wee hours of the morning. You may be able to participate in some of these activities, but if you burn the candle at both ends, you will eventually burn out. With the level of expectations placed on you by your degree program, you will have to manage your time effectively. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you get sufficient sleep so that the hours you are awake are productive and you are able to maintain focus on your goals.
If you are naturally a night owl, it may be very difficult to imagine yourself going to bed before midnight. You probably don’t eat dinner until 9pm or later. Don’t expect that you will be able to immediately transition to a more reasonable bed time. Making changes to your natural rhythms take time. However, there are several strategies that can help you make the transition to an earlier bedtime:
- Keep your room as dark and as quiet as possible. Wear an eye mask if necessary. Turn off any music and your TV. If your roommates will be making noise, turn on a loud fan or download a white noise playlist to your smartphone. You need to totally exclude any distractions that your brain can focus on to keep you awake.
- Aromatherapy works. Whether you visit a specialty shop or even your local lotion big box store, you can find a scent that will help you relax and fall asleep. Look for products that contain essential oils including the scent of lavender, bergamot, cedar wood, or sandalwood. There are countless products available that can be applied topically or can be diffused into your environment for aromatic use.
- Develop a sleep routine. Just like babies sleep better when they have a pre-bedtime routine, you will benefit from training your body that certain actions mean it is time to wind down and sleep. Your routine may consist of a cup of hot chocolate and a warm bath. It could be a slow-paced yoga routine. Avoid electronics or screen time as these have been shown to impair your body’s ability to sleep well.
Sleeping well is the first step to waking up early, but there are other ways you can help yourself become the early bird you’ve always wanted to be:
- Set your alarm across the room. You should have to get out of bed to turn it off. The noise should be fairly jarring as opposed to a song you enjoy that may lull you back to sleep. The act of removing yourself from your comfortable position and getting your blood flowing will help you to wake up. You can even place it in another room as long as you can still hear it.
- Wash your face and brush your teeth immediately. This may ruin your immediate cup of coffee, but these two hygiene steps tell your body that it is time to leave the house and will help you gear up faster than any amount of caffeine.
- Engage your brain. Facetime another friend that has to be up early and chat. Play your favorite game for a few minutes. Work on a crossword puzzle while you eat your breakfast. Walking around the house in silence like a zombie isn’t conducive to waking up.
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