There are twelve months that make up each year. Within these twelve months, there are many national holidays that we are giddy with excitement to celebrate. When November rolls around everyone gets their stomachs prepared for the turkey and mashed potatoes that are about to come their way on Thanksgiving Day, but there’s another “holiday” that is probably flying under your radar.
November is “National Sleep Comfort Month”, which is a month celebrating how to get the best sleep you possibly can: something most college students are not familiar with. So if you do find yourself with some time to have a good sleep, or want to start the habit of having a better sleep routine, here are some steps you can take to get the most comfortable dream time.
1. Make Yourself Relaxed– The Mayo Clinic suggests creating a “room that is ideal to sleep in.” This ranges from your bedding to the lighting in your room and even the noises. If you’re living in a dorm, some things may be out of your control, but there are solutions. If the lighting that is provided is just a little too bright for you when it’s time for bed, try investing in a floor lamp. Using this instead of the bright dorm lights can give your room a warmer feel making it easier to go to bed. Whatever you choose it is important to find a setting that most relaxes and calms you and incorporate this into your bedtime routine.
2. Develop a Routine– Give your body a heads up that it is time to unwind and travel to snooze town. This is also something that varies depending on what makes you most calm. It could be listening to your favorite soothing record, drinking some chamomile tea or taking a nice warm bath. Whatever it is, the most important thing to remember is finding what works best for you.
3. Set a Time– It is important to have a set time that you wake up and go to sleep at, states Web MD. This way it gives your body a sleep-wake rhythm, making it easier on yourself. But if you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep, try walking around your room instead of laying in bed tossing and turning.
4. Shut Off The Electronics– It may seem comforting falling asleep to your favorite show on Netflix, but you’re actually only making it harder on yourself. The artificial light from your laptop or other electronic device can mess with the melatonin in your body and make it difficult to fall asleep. So try making a routine of no cell phone or laptops for about half an hour before you want to go to sleep.
5. Avoid Naps– This one may seem horrifying since naps are what fuels us all during the day, but you’ll be doing yourself a big favor when your ready for real sleep. If you do find the need to take a nap, try a 15-20 minute one “power nap.” It’ll give you a chance to rest your mind and eyes, without drifting off too far into sleep that you will struggle to fall into a deep sleep later.