By: Justin Jang
Photos by: Megan Rooney
As college students juggling academics, extracurriculars, social events, and planning for the future, sleep is often the first thing sacrificed to make time for our busy schedules. While it would be healthy and preferable for all of us to consistently get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep every night, our daily responsibilities often preclude us from getting a good night’s sleep. Perhaps during finals more than ever, there is a need for students to get the most out of their sleep when the time is available.
Of course, there are some basic tips for improving your sleep that stem from a simple alteration of your daily routine. Receiving more sunlight throughout the day, consuming less alcohol, exercising regularly, and maintaining a filling diet are some simple things that improve how fast and well you sleep throughout the week. However, speaking as a busy college student and chronic insomniac, these lifestyle changes are sometimes difficult to make or simply not enough. Occasionally, a little additional boost is needed to help us avoid those sleepless nights and get the rest we need to function.
To be honest, I had never tried this method before experimenting for the sake of this article. Thus, I was thoroughly surprised at its effectiveness. A couple drops of lavender oil on my pillow every night created an ambience of scent that relaxed my anxious, racing mind. I would personally recommend lavender as it worked well for me, but a variety of other, preferably natural, oils claim to achieve the same effect.
A sleep supplement that many swear by, melatonin pills are a synthetic version of the hormone in your body that regulates sleep cycles and maintains the body’s sense of night and day. Though it is primarily sold for the purpose of recovering from jet lag or readjusting to a regular sleep schedule, its popularity is also growing among people who simply have a hard time falling asleep. Speaking from personal experience, taking one or two pills roughly half an hour before bed can help you sleep faster, longer, and wake up feeling better rested.
As always, consult your doctor before consuming medication that is unfamiliar to you.
Warm Almond Milk
When we discussed sleep methods in our Thirty Seventh meeting, many other members suggested this modern twist on a fond childhood practice. I am sure that many of us have memories of our parents providing us a glass of heated milk when we couldn’t fall asleep as kids. Riding on the health-conscious trends of our generation, warm almond milk is a half-nostalgic, half-healthy, and all-vegan method to improve sleep.
Sounds and music have long been used to induce relaxation, and can most certainly help you sleep as well. There are an array of sound-based measures that have varying degrees of effectiveness for different people. I personally have tried white noise apps, meditation music, and sounds of nature to try to fall asleep. Ultimately, what ended up working best for me was deep house music given my personal preference for lyrics and mellow music (my personal recommendation is Deep Sounds Vol. 2 by Club Tools).
Though there are many ways to improve your sleep wellness, in the end it is up to the individual to see what works best for them. Check out some of our other articles on how to upgrade your space to achieve maximum comfort and a better night’s rest.