Adequate rest and a good night's sleep are vital to your wellbeing.
Our brains are doing amazing things while we sleep. During periods of rest, our minds and bodies repair themselves after the daily grind, and we consolidate our learning.
If you have been pulling all nighters or dozing off in lectures, you might want to look at how you prioritise periods of rest. Oh, and you might also want to look at your relationship with your phone...(sorry).
This section has been broken into two parts. Firstly we discuss ways you can improve your sleeping habits, and secondly we look at managing your screen time.
Tips for a good night's sleep
During the day
- Get some physical activity in
- Go out into natural light for at least 30 minutes each day
- Avoid day time naps
In the evening
- Allow at least 30 minutes for winding down
- Relax, read or listen to calming music
- Use a mindfulness app
- Avoid all caffeine (tea, coffee, soft drinks) from about 3pm
- Set a roughly consistent bedtime and wake time – 7 days a weeks
- Avoid using your phone before bedtime (the blue light your device gives off blocks the brain from producing melatonin)
In the bedroom
- Open and close your blinds/curtains everyday
- Keep your bedroom cool with low lighting
- Don’t use your bed/bedroom as a study space
If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up and go and do something quiet out of bed, in a dimly lit room. TV is OK, but reading is better. Make sure you stay off your devices!
Try to avoid long periods of time in bed lying awake and trying to sleep. It is better to accept that you can't sleep right at that moment and focus instead on simply having a rest.
Research suggests that if we take the pressure off ourselves about HAVING to be asleep right at that moment, it can help our body and mind relax.
If you’re not able to sleep, this can be red flag that things aren't balanced for you at the moment and you may need to seek further advice or help.
These tips haven’t improved anything?
Talk to your GP!
Seven ways to break up with your phone
(or at least take some time and see other people)
Use an app to find out how many times you check your phone or how long you are spending on your phone per day.
- Become aware of how much time you're spending on your phone and how many times a day you're checking it. Most people are shocked when they see they're checking it 300 times a day
- Checky, is a super simple app that keeps count of how many times you've unlocked your phone in a day. It does gobbles up a lot of battery life though.
- The app Moment tracks how many minutes you've spent on your phone, and it also lets you set a self-imposed limit for how much time you want to be spending on your phone.
Kill the notifications. Kill them!
- Pretty much every app in existence sends you notifications from time to time. And while staying informed is great, being forcibly informed can be enormously distracting.
Take a social media vow of silence for a set amount of time and make it a recurring event.
- We spend more and more time documenting what we're doing, instead of living our lives. You'll be less likely to remember things if you spend the whole time taking pictures, rather than taking it all in.
Unsubscribe from all of those email newsletters
- Every time you get an email newsletter from a company or website you have no interest in, unsubscribe! Totally worth it to have a much less cluttered inbox. Ahhhhhh, freedom.
Carry a book with you. Or a magazine!
- Whenever you're waiting in line and bored, you will have something to look at that isn't your phone.
Put your phone on silent before every meal, and then put it away so that you can't see it and aren't tempted to look at it.
- This is just good manners, and it also forces you to better connect with the people around you, and to eat more mindfully.
Don’t send texts/emails or post anything to social media, within a few hours of going to sleep.
- This lets you go to bed without stressing about whether anyone has liked your photo or messaged you back yet.