I'm not sure I can ever top last week's blog. Special thanks to
my classmates for the inspiration. We're already talking about a
Midterms are upon us and we are in the throes of studying. While
many of us are pulling all-nighters (and some all-weekenders), I
feel like I need to remind everyone how important sleep is. I have
been suffering from insomnia--for weeks. I'm not one to spend a
whole lot of time sleeping, normally--but ever since my move, I've
been sleeping less and less. So, I thought I'd share some of my
tips for working on sleep. Here we go (see, I put you to sleep
Clear Your Space
This is the absolute most important tip I could give, and the
one I've benefited most from myself. Make sure there's as little in
the way as possible. Get rid of the clutter; get rid of the dirty
clothes (I know there's no time for laundry--it's midterms!); get
rid of anything in your space that isn't conducive to sleep. This
includes workout equipment, study materials, etc. Granted, if the
only space available is the bedroom, some concessions can be made.
Cover it up. It also helps to remove the TV, if at all
Set the Mood
Make it dark--REALLY dark. I had way too much light coming into
my space, so I acquired some light blocking curtains. I still see
daylight in the morning, but at least I don't feel like I'm looking
at the surface of the sun. Also, making sure the bed is the most
comfy place to sleep in the house is key. The only place I was
falling asleep, was the couch.
Set Up a Routine
Whatever it is, make a routine for going to bed. Brush the
teeth, wash the face, turn on some chill-out music--whatever works
to get calmed down. Try not to turn on the TV. Some people like to
work out in the evening. I can't work out and sleep within a few
hours of each other. If I'm going to go to the gym at night, it has
to be before 8pm. Working out helps with energy during the day and
also with sleep at night, but it's not a good idea right before
No snacking within a couple of hours of bed. It's bad for the
metabolism and having sugar spikes when it's time to calm down is a
no-go. Don't try to sleep within 2-3 hours of eating.
Last but not least, if sleep is still a real struggle, there are
some fantastic herbs that will help with sleeping. Some old
standbys are catnip, chamomile, and valerian. Other than the
chamomile (be careful those with ragweed allergies), I tend to
avoid Catnip and Valerian. I avoid Catnip because I have to fight
the cats for it, and Valerian because of the side
I made a nice herb/tonic with rhodiola (adaptogen for stress),
lemon balm (nervine, sedative), and white peony (nervine, calming
agent). It knocked me right out. It was just enough sedation and
calming for me to have two doses and then it reset my clock, and
now I'm sleeping better. I also didn't wake up with the "hangover"
that Valerian is apt to give.
Remember that sleep is extremely important for
memory--especially good sleep. We need those four phases of sleep
to be able to, not only replenish our bodies, but also our
So, until next week -- Happy Sleeping (and Studying).
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