10 Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep This Semester

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Getting a proper night's rest is so essential for college girls. Not only does it keep you alert and attentive during class, it helps your skin look fresh and firm, and can even help you fend off colds by keeping your immune system running at full throttle. But between stress, fun, and over-stimulation, it can sometimes be hard to fall and stay asleep for a good 7 or 8 hours.

If you struggle to get a good night's rest, read on for tips to improve your sleep cycle:

1. Wind Down

Many young women have trouble falling asleep because they have so much on their plates. With all the stress that college brings, it can be hard to shut your brain off come bedtime. Between planning your upcoming itinerary and reviewing anything you did or didn't do during the day, it's no wonder you're up half the night.

To get your mind into wind-down mode, step away from your planner or homework and do something just for you. Taking a warm bath, doing some light yoga, or even just listening to your favourite chill music an hour or so before bed can help you slough off the stress of the day and get your mind into a more restful state.

2. Fill Up

While eating a heavy meal right before bed can be disruptive to your sleep, going to bed on an empty stomach will similarly prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep, and you may even wake you up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs.

So if you had an early dinner and are feeling hungry close to bedtime, grab yourself a light, healthy snack like a piece of fruit, a slice of cheese, or peanut butter on toast. These snacks are light enough that they won't keep your body awake trying to digest it, but filling enough that you'll be able to fall asleep comfortably.

3. Shut Off

Even though watching trashy tv, BBM-ing your BFF, or checking Facebook can be a good way to unwind at the end of the day, these activities may be preventing you from falling asleep quickly and getting deep sleep. Studies have suggested the light from TVs, computers, and even cell phone screens can stimulate your brain into thinking it's still daytime, making it difficult to fall asleep soon after.

To prevent this, turn off your electronic devices at least a half hour before you plan to go to bed. In the meantime, unwind with a magazine, book, or puzzle like a Sudoku or crossword--something that will occupy you without over-stimulating your brain.

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And Don't Forget...

Here are a few quickie sleep tips that you may already know, but can sometimes overlook:

  • Keep your bedroom cool, no warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Try to block out as much light as possible in your room, especially windows and doors. Consider turning your alarm clock away from your bed as well - the light can sometimes be enough to keep you up.
  • Go to bed earlier. Allowing yourself extra time to fall asleep with ensure that you get enough rest.
  • Avoid caffeine, especially in the late afternoon or evening. It can stay in your body for hours after you consume it and keep you awake.
  • Go to the bathroom right before bed, so you don't wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Get some light exercise every day; even a 30 minute walk will help you sleep later on.
  • Try to keep a routine by getting up and going to bed around the same time every day.

Sleepy Yet?

Do you have trouble falling asleep? What are your tips for getting a better night's rest? Leave us a comment and let us know!