It’s September, which means either you, someone you know, or your kids are going back to school or have been back in school! New beginnings should always be backed with great sleep so you can be alert and ready for any new, unexpected challenges. Whether it’s an unusually hard class, a new crush, or an exciting new student org, the more awake you are for it the better. You don’t want to be inattentive or even worse, falling asleep in class! But for a lot of new or returning students, their new schedule can throw off their sleep patterns -- it usually means having to wake up earlier. This forces you to shift your internal clock, its failure leading to quite a few yawns in the classroom. Studies show that kids whose parents set bedtime schedules are more likely to get sufficient sleep. Are you still not used to your new sleep schedule? Here’s a few ways you can adjust:
1. Gradually adjust your bedtime towards the ideal time.
Do you still (literally) have the energy of the nights staying up until 2 AM cracking a beer in the backyard with your friends, but now you actually have literature class at 8 am? Transitioning overnight isn’t easy. That’s why you should try gradually easing your bedtime back.
2. Be careful with the drugs and alcohol.
Going back to school also means being surrounded by more people who’ll invite you to parties, which means tons of substance consumption. While it’s fun to kick back with a few tequila shots on a Saturday night, remember that alcohol can negatively affect your sleep. If Saturday night’s sleep is disrupted and you’re rolling out of bed at 2 pm on Sunday, this could start a domino effect the days after. So if you’ve got some important events coming up that you really want to be fully awake for, such as an exam, cut back on the alcohol before that.
3. Pay attention to your nutrition.
Between classes and maybe a job, you probably won’t have as much time as before to cook healthy meals where you know what’s going in your food. Eating out can be tempting. While some cities are full of healthy options, many aren’t and it’s easy to fall for the siren song of deep-fried and sugary fast foods. If you’re pressed on time, check out healthy fast food options near you. If you’ve got the budget for it, check out meal prep companies. And if you really want to continue eating your own cooking, look into meal prepping.
4. Practice hitting snooze less.
It’s just as important to actually wake up when the alarm rings when you’ve got a class to go to versus brunch at the trendy new spot with your friends. And definitely more important than when you’ve got no plans within an hour of waking up. Even if you technically can afford to hit snooze five times from your 8 am alarm, make it a reflex to stop the alarm sooner and sooner. This way, you’ll be trained to hit the right button when school comes around. If you really need an extra push, try some special alarms that run away from you or make you solve an equation to stop it, forcing you to wake up when your own motivation won’t.
5. Invest in some quality bedding.
A pillow and mattress that feel like heaven are going to make it harder to not hit snooze, but at least they’ll help call you to bed on time. Sinking your tired head into a memory foam pillow can take several minutes off how long it takes to drift off to sleep. If you’re considering picking up a mattress along the way, check out Lull. We’re giving you $300 off our memory foam mattresses of any size!So if you’ve got the budget (not that you need a big one) to get a new mattress, sheets, or pillows that’ll have you well-rested for every class, party, and graduation, why not come on over and check it out?