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Can’t Sleep? Here’s Some Tips
April 28, 2023
Sleep is a crucial part of life that’s needed to keep your brain functioning and your body healthy. Sleep, or lack of sleep, can affect every part of your body because it affects how your brain communicates with it. Without sleep, you can’t create new memories and it is harder to concentrate or respond quickly. Without sleep, everything in your body can be messed up.
Students know this, in theory, yet so many don’t regularly get the sleep they need. According to Healthline, 73% of high schoolers regularly do not get the sleep they need. So here are some tips to help you sleep.
Stay on a schedule
Don’t go to sleep at 10 pm one night and 3 am another as that could throw off your sleep schedule for the next few days, or result in weeks without proper sleep. In contrast, if you are consistent with the times you wake up and go to sleep, even on weekends, it can make it easier for you to get to sleep and feel refreshed in the morning. Plus, not having a schedule can raise the risk of getting chronic diseases. So set your schedule at a time where you can regularly get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Blue light is bad
Blue light is a portion of the visible light spectrum and it can influence many things in the body such as alertness, hormone production, and sleep cycles. The blue light emitted by phones, TVs, and pretty much all technology reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep and wake-up cycle. This means that too much access to blue light means you’ll sleep less and find it more difficult to wake up the next morning.
Even if you can’t put your phone down or you need to complete an assignment on your computer right before you sleep, there are apps for Androids and some computer programs that can filter the blue light they make at night, so consider downloading one. There are other ways to prevent technology from adversely affecting a good night’s sleep, such as those found at Forever Fit Science.
Create a calm environment
Trying to get up in the morning can be a chore if you go to sleep and wake up in a bad environment. Studies have shown that when people’s bedrooms are at the optimal temperature, lighting, and noise level, they simply sleep better. The best tips are to sleep in complete darkness, reduce noise as much as possible, and set your room temperature at 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. A bedroom environment that promotes sleep can improve how you feel when you wake up, which overall improves brain performance, mood, and health.
Don’t eat after midnight
It is recommended that you don’t eat for at least three hours before bed, so stopping those trips to the kitchen at say, 7 pm, can allow your body to fully digest your food, ensuring you aren’t kept awake by indigestion or an upset stomach. This doesn’t mean you should skip a meal just to follow this rule, because not eating can also keep you awake, and having to wake up for a midnight snack makes it more likely you’ll make unhealthy food choices. Anyway you look at it, having a regularly food schedule makes it less likely you’ll rely on junk food for fuel.
Avoid certain foods and drinks before bed
If you do eat right before you go to sleep, there are some foods you should definitely avoid. The main ones are things that have caffeine such as coffee and chocolate, sugary or salty foods such as ice cream or chips, and spicy foods such as curry. If you do need a late night snack there are some foods that actually promote the production of melatonin or other useful hormones to help you sleep, like cherries, honey, bananas, turkey, and almonds.
A better night’s sleep is possible if you plan your eating and sleeping schedule. For more tips on how to improve your sleep, check out this article by the Mayo Clinic.