Winding down as we spring ahead

Liz Kovac, Engagement Editor

If it wasn’t already hard to get sleep on a college student’s schedule, it’s even harder to get those precious hours once daylight savings hits and we lose an hour. Thanks, Ben Franklin.

Here are some tips for how to get some sleep now that we’ve sprung forward.

Keep your bed for sleeping. Your bed shouldn’t be your office. Refrain from scrolling social media or doing homework in bed. The comfort of your pillows and blankets is tempting — however, when you work in bed, you fill your sleep space with all the to-do’s that keep tend to keep you from feeling relaxed and cozy. Keep your bed a work-free zone.

Wind down. Whether you meditate before bed or listen to soothing music while brushing your teeth or when you’re trying to doze off, find something that calms you down. Listen to a relaxing audiobook or podcast. I highly recommend the podcast “Get Sleepy.” Each episode consists of soothing narrators who walk you through a calming exercise before reading you a peaceful bedtime story. Top notch.

Avoid caffeine and social media. Plan your day so you do not consume caffeine at least four hours prior to when you go to bed. Also, stay off social media an hour — or at the very least, half an hour — before going to bed. Doing both of these things will give your brain a chance to calm down and prepare for a good night’s rest.

Have a routine. You’ve probably heard this tip before, but it’s an important one. It’s also a chance to snag some me-time. Make yourself some chamomile tea, get a book, light a candle, journal, etc. Give yourself a period of time to unwind from the day and focus on getting sleepy. Finally, keep consistent and do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day. Eventually, this consistency will create a habit that will make your brain tell you it’s time to go to bed.

Exercise during the day. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s website, “People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night.” So, start moving! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, play a game of b-ball with your friends or go for a walk.

Keep a clean bedroom. The difference of sleeping in a messy vs. clean bedroom is enormous! When your bedroom is messy, you are more likely to feel stressed and cluttered. Give yourself the satisfying “ah” moments of going to bed and waking up in a clean, organized room.  You can also do this by washing your bedding more often and making your bed in the morning so you can come home to a nice, fresh bed.

Consider getting a plant. Golden pothos, snake plants, spider plants, aloe vera and English ivy are among the top air-purifying plants to keep in your bedroom. If you want a calming scent to help you sleep, consider a lavender or jasmine plant.