Early bird or night owl – Tips for sleeping

For most university students, the most hypocritical dilemma we face on a daily – or more aptly, nightly – basis, is that of sleep. How is it possible for one age range of humans to both sleep in for hours in the morning to the point where it is physically painful to remove ourselves from our beds, whilst finding the freedom of having no parental-set bedtime so tempting that we are up until the early hours most nights of the week?

It is difficult to maintain a regular sleep pattern, whilst juggling university work, a job, regular meals, societies and friendships. We struggle. You are not alone.

It is important to note that everyone functions on different levels of sleep, so if you are good to go on five hours sleep, then don’t let me get in your way. However, if you are struggling in any way – whether through social pressure, restlessness or work overload- these tips could be the start to helping you out.

There is social pressure at university to become a night owl and, guess what: you do not have to conform. Choose how much you go out, and if you need more rest, then do not feel bad about staying in. Make it work for you.

Try creating a night-time routine. Pour yourself a cup of tea (camomile or fruit teas are perfect for before bed) or perhaps some hot milk (not just for five year olds) before bed, make up a hot water bottle to warm your toes, and read a few pages of a book before bed.

For at least half an hour before going to bed, don’t look at your screens. All the artificial light from social media trawling is going to play havoc with your eyesight and you don’t need that negativity in your life.

On average we need around seven to nine hours sleep in a 24-hour cycle, from the ages of 18 to 65 years old. Often, when this isn’t obtainable, we might take a nap during the day. Try and limit yourself to 20 minute naps, because this should be the optimum amount of time needed to revitalise your body.

If you do find yourself awake in the middle of the night and unable to shut off, then do not worry. You are not alone. Call 0131 557 4444 to talk to the University of Edinburgh’s Nightline service, open from 8pm to 8am every night of the week or message them online.

[Image: Pexels Via Pixabay]

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