Getting enough sleep will not only help you to be at your best while at school, it can also help you to stay calm in stressful situations like returning to in-person classes, enable you to adapt to changes to your routine, and set you up to make better decisions.
Sleep & Mental Health
You might feel like your body has finished growing, but did you know that your brain won’t be fully developed until you’re around 25 years old? When we lose out on sleep, our brains have a reduced ability to learn and process new information, and a chronic lack of sleep can lead to emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and aggression.
Have you ever gone to bed worrying about something only to wake up in the morning with a completely different perspective on the problem? When our brains are well-rested, we have a more positive, optimistic outlook on the challenges ahead.
Scientists have also found that a good night’s sleep helps us to rationalize and neutralize embarrassing experiences, enabling us to move on without carrying unnecessary emotional baggage.
Creating a Healthy Sleep Routine
The best way to promote sleep is to set yourself up with a bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to power-down for the night.
Start by preparing your things for the following day; lay out your clothes, pack your lunchbox, and organize your backpack. If you need to, write yourself a to-do list for the morning so that you don’t lay awake and stress out about forgetting something.
Next, spend 30 minutes to an hour focusing on your own wellbeing. Take a bath, lay on your bed and listen to a podcast, practice yoga, read a book, whatever you do, do it because it you enjoy it and it relaxes you.
Then, get into bed and resist the urge to look at your phone. Scrolling through social media or reading the news before your head hits the pillow will only undo the positive effect of your self-care session.
Managing Sleep During Stressful Times
Consistent sleep hygiene and healthy sleep habits can help you to maintain good sleep during stressful periods.
In many cases the fear of losing sleep can make you less likely to sleep, so if you find yourself unable to drift off, empty your mind and focus on your breathing. You could also try writing down your concerns in a journal before bedtime instead of playing them over in your head. There are also apps you can use to support your sleep, whether meditation, white noise, or relaxing music.
Going through a tough time at the moment? Lighten your load with the help of our YouTube comedy skit series “Disorientation”.