Brianna Bailey | Lifestyle Editor | @BriannaBailey14
Falling back into a demanding school schedule often increases stress, which can lead to late nights with insomnia and anxiety. Overcoming these sleep issues can be easy when proper measures are taken.
In our fast-paced and multi-tasked lives, it’s easy to have a difficult time winding down. You are going from one place to the next throughout your day and trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list.
Once it’s nighttime and you need sleep soon, it’s normal to want to catch up on social media and e-mails.
Although this might not seem like a big deal, staring at those small, bright screens is not in your best interest. These devices emit blue light, which stimulates your brain, making it harder for your brain to turn off when you’re climbing in bed. Put your phone, laptop and tablets away a minimum of 15 minutes before you want to sleep.
Exercise is something that’s pertinent to maintaining good health, but has a misconception when it comes to sleep. Many people have the mentality that working out before bed will exhaust them so they will fall asleep quickly. It actually does the opposite.
Exercise revs up your bodies energy levels, making it more difficult to sleep. Plan gym time earlier in the day and make sure to avoid working out at least three hours prior to your planned bedtime.
When preparing for bed, there are food dos and don’ts as well. Many maintain the mentality that eating before sleep is downright awful, but that’s not quite the case. You do need to be cautious of what you let enter your body. It’s smart to avoid greasy or high fat foods due to the affects they will have, such as grogginess in the morning and hindering your sleep.
But the food that’s right for your body before bed is snacking on carbohydrate-rich food. Higher carbohydrate snacks promote a healthy sleep rhythm in your body, which leads to better and more consistent sleep.
Of course everyone’s body reacts differently and handles sleep and stress in its own way. In addition to being mindful of habits before and around bed, there are sleep aids that work well.
Melatonin is a great, non-addictive alternative for sleep problems. Because it is a natural hormone produced by your body, you are not self medicating with an unhealthy pill. It just helps your body maintain a natural schedule to sleep well.
For those students who still struggle finding peace with sleep, a local company, QSciences, developed a sleep spray that’s extremely effective. I speak from personal experience.
The spray is called QSleep and has three components, the first being melatonin. The second is 5-HTP, a protein building block which is a naturally occurring chemical found in turkey meat. The third is a proprietary herbal extract that contains the following: cramp bark, feverfew, gingko biloba, passionflower, peppermint, skullcap and valerian root.
You spray QSleep six to eight times, 15 minutes before your desired sleep time and re-spray a few times in the middle of the night if you wake up.
Developing a routine and being smart about your nightly routine will greatly affect your success of sleep these first few weeks being on campus. Follow this guidance and you will be on your way to smoother sleep.