After the textbooks are put away and eraser shavings are wiped off desks, our heads hit the pillow … hard. But that doesn’t mean we fall asleep two seconds later. Tossing and turning for hours on end is an experience many people know all too well – including me. All that work to finish your homework before 1 AM suddenly go to waste when you can’t get to sleep until 3 AM, so here are 4 tips for getting to sleep, and hopefully staying asleep.

(Source: Flickr Creative Art Commons)
(Source: Flickr Creative Art Commons)
  1. Turn all the lights off. Humans have internal clocks which regulate sleep, energy, and hunger. Light plays a key role in the function of this clock; light negatively affect the production of melatonin – a hormone involved in our sleep patterns, preventing us from getting a restful sleep. If you don’t like sleeping in the dark, I suggest getting a small nightlight or opening your blinds or curtains to let the moonlight in, which is softer than a regular light bulb. 
  2. Stay away from the screen 30 minutes to an hour before hitting the hay. Going to sleep watching Netflix may work sometimes, but for the most part, trying to sleep after staringat a screen for the entire evening is pretty difficult. The bright glare of a laptop or phone screen not only irritates the eyes but provide another light source sending signals to the brain to stay
    (Source: Flickr Creative Art Commons.)
    (Source: Flickr Creative Art Commons.)

    awake. Instead, after finish homework or watching some netflix, read a book, listen some music or play a Ted Talk audio and spend some time away from harsh lights to get your brain in the it’s-time-for-bed mindset. 

  3. If you just cannot fall asleep, then get up and do something. Stressing about how you’re not sleeping will not help your situation. Get up and read a book, adjust the thermostat if it’s too hot or cold, walk around, draw, drink some tea, or listen to music. Then, when you start feeling sleepy again, just hop back into bed and you’ll most likely be able to fall asleep right away.

For more tips like these three, check out this Huffington Post article called “37 Science-Backed Tips For Better Sleep Tonight.” Sleep is important, and getting enough sleep is difficult enough and hard to avoid. But, sleeping well and getting to sleep quickly will help you take advantage of your busy schedule and hopefully feel less groggy throughout the next day. Sleep tight!

For more sleep-inspiration, here are some cats who’ve totally nailed the whole sleeping thing along with a few more small tips.

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