Sleep boosts your brain power!
There’s nothing that’ll fog your brain, wipe out your motivation or crush your tolerance levels more than poor sleep!
Most adults need 7-9 hours a night, but regardless of how much sleep you need, quality is far more important than quantity.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine and stick to it, even on weekends, to help regulate your body clock.
- Avoid daytime power naps as they are hugely disruptive to quality night-time sleep.
- The benefits of exercise cannot be overestimated. Even if you can’t fit vigorous exercise into your day, regular light exercise is better than no activity.
- Darkness is a powerful cue to tell your body to rest, so eliminate as much artificial light as possible. Consider low-wattage incandescent bedside lamps. If you go to the bathroom in the night, use a nightlight instead of turning on strong, overhead lights.
- Eat lightly before bed and avoid alcohol or stimulants like caffeine. Soothing drinks like camomile tea are useful for sending yourself off into a deep, restorative sleep.
- Sometimes the people we live with can disrupt our sleep. Play white noise to reduce the difference between background sounds and a ‘peak’ sound like a door slamming or even the sound of the TV in a nearby room.
- Certain smells encourage better sleep. Lavender, for example, has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state. A few lavender drops in a warm bath is an effective bedtime relaxer.
Blue light warning
Blue light given off by computer and phone screens (and interestingly energy-efficient bulbs) slows the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Ideally avoid screen time an hour before bed. While this may not always be practical if you use your evenings for online study, ensuring you separate your study time and sleep with a short relaxing bedtime routine will help signal to your brain that it’s time to settle in for the night.