Insomnia: How to Change Bad Sleep Habits

I can’t be the only one that wakes up cranky after not getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep can be an essential part of your day. Without it, it can ruin your day and it can put your mind in a confusing and stressful place.

Sleep is key to ensure that you will be able to be  productive, concentrate, and function considering that sleep can help you feel refreshed. However, sleep might be a struggle and can affect you in ways that you did not think it could.

With a lack of sleep, it can be hard to function in the classroom, workplace, or in your everyday life. Without sleep, you could be more susceptible to illness and it can weaken the immune system. Sleep can cause many problems for people, especially students.

As a freshman in college, you are moving to a new environment away from your “norm”. Your normal eating habits, schedule, and sleeping environment are changed immediately when you leave your childhood home. You are forced to adapt to this new and unknown place.

When I was a freshman in college, I did not realize how hard it was going to be. Being a freshman, I was placed with a random roommate in a small dorm. I never had a problem with sleep until I got to college.

I was awake at all hours of the night, and researched ways to fall asleep fast as I anticipated waking up the next morning. There would be nights that I would see the sunrise or that I would check my phone every hour to see what time it was. I knew that sleep was essential but I also learned that the body can work wonders.

Your body knows you the best and you know your body best. I learned that if I did not get a good night’s sleep, my body would help me through the day until the next night’s sleep. I thought that sleep was everything but I was wrong and I had to learn that it wasn’t.

Over the years, sleep therapy and educating myself on sleep is what has helped me find many good nights of sleep. Here are some of my favorite tips on how to get into the best sleeping habits.

1. Create a sleep schedule.

Finding a sleep schedule that works for you will help regulate your sleep. This looks different for everyone. You may want to go to bed every night at 10:00 pm and wake up at 7:00 am or you might want to go to bed at midnight and wake up at 8:00 am.

Find the hours that work for you, and it will help you keep a good sleep routine that can fix the tossing and turning at night.

2. Your bed is only for sleep.

I definitely learned this the hard way as a college freshman. Your bed should be for sleep only. Doing homework in your bed is proven to stimulate your brain and keep you awake. Your bed should be for sleep, where you can relax and calm your mind.

Find a quiet space to do your work away from your bed, whether it be at a desk or even sitting on your floor. It can help you stay away from using your bed for other brain stimulating activities that might keep you awake at night.

3. Figure out your calm environment.

Whether this is making the room extra cold at night or bumping up the heat, you need to find an environment that works for you. For me, I always make sure that I have white noise in the background. That is what helps and calms me when I get worked up about sleep and it can help you too.

4. There are things you can do to help you sleep if you end up staring at the ceiling.

It’s something that you may catch yourself doing when you can’t fall asleep. However, there are ways to fix this problem when you get stuck staring at the ceiling, wondering when you might fall asleep.

Start by leaving the space you are in. If you’re laying in bed and staring at the ceiling because you are struggling to sleep, get up and bring yourself out of that space. By leaving, you can take your mind out of the anxious place it might have been in.

If you find yourself looking at the ceiling, it’s important to not check your phone during that time. By checking your phone, people tend to try and count how many hours of sleep they will get which can wire the brain even more.

Finally, it is important to take a deep breath and breathe. Breathing can relax the mind and remind you that it is ok if struggling to sleep.

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Sleep is something that people struggle with but dealing with sleeping problems has helped me improve my mental and physical health over the years and I hope these tips help you too!

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