For many students, the key to making a successful transition from high school senior to college freshman hinges on their ability to adapt to a series of major life changes. Some of these changes include becoming more independent, taking on more responsibility, and becoming more accountable for their actions and choices.
However, perhaps the most agonizing change college students struggle with involves them rearranging their sleeping habits. While they might have been able to burn the midnight oil back in high school, they’ll soon discover that being a college student, and a night owl, can often hurt a freshman’s GPA.
Therefore, the following series of blogs will attempt to guide students through the process of becoming a morning person, continuing with suggestions for what to do when you can’t fall asleep.
Step Two: How to Induce Sleep
- Don’t be a clock watcher. If you’re having a difficult time falling asleep, resist the temptation to begin monitoring the time on your alarm clock. Keeping track of what time it is will serve no purpose other than adding to your frustration over not being able to go to sleep.
- Get up and clean something. Instead of getting out your phone or checking your Facebook page, get up and do the dishes or clean the bathroom. Activities such as these will help get your mind off not being able to sleep and give you something productive to do.
- Lay your clothes/books out. If you haven’t already picked out what you’re going to wear tomorrow, this is an opportunity to lay your clothes out. In addition, you might as well gather any books or school supplies you’ll need for tomorrow and set those out as well.
- Do some journaling. Getting out a pen and paper and start journaling about how your previous day went. This will help you wind down, especially if you’ve had a very hectic day.
- Put on a pair of socks. Putting on a pair of heavy socks on your feet will help cool your body temperature and make you feel more secure.
- Try a splash of cold water. By splashing a few handfuls of cold water on your face you’ll instantly lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which will help you fall asleep faster.
- Do some breathing exercises. By doing some simple deep breathing exercises, this will help you relax and eventually drift off to sleep.
- Reposition yourself. Instead of lying in a fetal position, try repositioning yourself. Most experts claim that the ideal position to sleep in is on your back. By keeping your spine straight during the night, you’ll be less likely to wake up to a stiff back.
- Skip the pillow altogether. Sleeping without a pillow will be even more beneficial to your neck and spine.
- Think pleasant thoughts. Usually when people can’t sleep, it’s because they’re preoccupied with reliving something unpleasant that happened the day before or dreading about what might happen tomorrow. The best way to derail these negative thoughts is to start thinking positive. You could either try to relive a happy memory, or simply make a list in your head of all the things you have to be grateful for.
Once again, remember that making any changes to your sleeping habits will require you to put forth some time and effort. So, if these suggestions don’t work for you right away don’t get discouraged and don’t give up.