With only a few weeks to go before exams, it is important that you get a good night’s sleep. Rather than cramming late at night, have at least eight hours of sleep and wake up earlier. This will make you much more alert and in turn improve your results. Here are some suggestions as to how to get sufficient sleep:
- Avoid dairy products.
Dairy products are often high in fat which take ages to digest and therefore make it harder to go to sleep. Skip the Ben and Jerry’s and drink a glass of soya or almond milk instead. You could also try chamomile tea as it helps the body relax. You won’t get any nightmares if you drink chamomile tea.
- Have small meals.
If you have an exam first thing in the morning, it’s advisable to not have any large meals before going to bed. Foods like pasta and burgers contain lots of calories which take a long time to digest and therefore keep you awake longer. Takeaways can also induce insomnia. Have a light dinner around 6pm or at least a few hours before you get into bed. Turkey, tuna and chicken are great for improving sleep since they are high in tryptophan, while lettuce contains the calming lactucarium.
- Use a thin duvet.
Heavy duvets can get stuffy at this time of year and you’ll end up tossing and turning throughout the night. Swap your winter duvet for something a little lighter. It’s also useful to have a duvet that fits and won’t fall off the bed easily.
- Take up meditation.
Meditation is a great way to alleviate insomnia. It also reduces stress, which is a common problem during the exam season. Meditation releases melatonin, which is calming and will bring your mind to rest. Turn down the lights and lie on your bed with your hands on your belly. Concentrate on your breathing rather than work.
- Take a warm shower (or bath).
Sleep experts recommend having a warm shower or bath around two hours before bed. After dinner, soak in warm water for 20 or 30 minutes. Like meditation, warm showers will make you relax since it lowers your core body temperature and loosens your muscles.
- Don’t look at your phone.
You may have heard this a dozen times already, but using technology late at night can interfere with sleep. Turn off your phone and laptop / computer before dinner and read or stretch until you go to sleep. If you’re planning to do an evening revision session, print off any notes and don’t read from a screen.