I STOPPED OVERTHINKING
Early on in my college career, I was so overwhelmed about.. well everything. I would overthink tests, exercise, random conversations I had during the day, etc. I could never focus on what I was currently doing because I was already thinking about what I had to do next. Thankfully around my junior year, I matured a bit. I learned how to manage my time and I also stopped caring what people thought. Trust me, if you are tossing and turning all night because you can’t stop cringing at what you said to a crush or a teacher, just let it go because I guarantee you they aren’t awake in bed thinking how weird you are. As far as time management: buy a planner, get organized, and don’t procrastinate.
I STARTED READING
Growing up I HATED READING. I think this is something a lot of kids struggle with because we associate reading with boring books assigned to us by our 9th grade teacher. W then of course turn to cliff notes in hopes of passing a quiz the next day, rather than tediously trying to make sense of what Ophelia’s flowers mean in the fourth act of Hamlet. My advice would be to find your niche and buy books related to that. Reading is a wonderful thing. Not only does it help with literacy, it also helps you to learn new things. Reading helps with sleep quality because it’s relaxing, distracts you, and keeps you away from screen lights.
I STOPPED CONSUMING CAFFEINE PAST LUNCH TIME
I’m sure you are a busy person, as am I, but if caffeine is the only thing that can get you through the day it might be time to reevaluate things. As a college student, I know what it feels like to always be tired. I definitely went through a period when I was having at least 3-4 cups a day. That was also the time in my life when I struggled with insomnia the most.
I DISCOVERED THE EXERCISE ROUTINE THAT WAS BEST FOR ME
Exercise helps relieve energy and stress, which can be extremely beneficial for sleep. However, I have experienced both the benefits and downsides of exercising when it comes to sleep quality. When I was running competitively in college, I was running 60+ miles a week. I knew this amount was too much for my body (everyone is different) and often felt my legs throbbing as I laid in my bed. One of the side effects of this much exercise was insomnia. I was so tired all day, but as soon as I laid in bed at night I tossed and turned for hours. On the contrary, if I am sedentary all day I find myself having the same problem. Now a days I listen to my body, exercising harder and longer on the days I feel good, and taking an easy run on the days I’m not feeling it. I have found this to be beneficial for my sleep patterns.
I FINISH MY WORK AND CHORES EARLY IN THE DAY
Some of us may not have the luxury or time to get stuff done during the day; however, my main point here is (again) TO STOP PROCRASTINATING. Not only do you stay up way later than normal (maybe even pulling an all nighter?) but you also create a seriously stressful environment for yourself. So if you have time earlier in the day or know of a deadline a few days in advance, start working on your task earlier.
I INVESTED IN A NICE FOAM MATTRESS PAD
I have been in a fabulous four year relationship with my foam mattress pad and I have not once doubted our relationship since the day I found her. While I was lucky to be given my own room freshman year of college, I was not so lucky to be given an actual rock as a mattress. I have always struggled with upper back problems so getting a mattress topper was a great move for my back and my sleep quality.
I MOVED SOMEWHERE WHERE I FELT SAFE
If you do not feel safe in your living situation then every crack, voice from the street, and brush of wind is going to make you nervous. I lived alone in a townhouse last summer, and even though it was a relatively safe area, I for some reason was always nervous. Maybe it was just that I was living alone or that my neighbor gave me the creeps, but either way I dreaded the sun going down at night. After that summer, I moved to an apartment with four of my best friends and never panicked at another wall creek again.