Tired Tales and Tips from One Exhausted MSU Senior
Anyone else ever feel like their morning alarms just can’t take a hint? I mean seriously, if I already snoozed the last seven of you, what makes you think I’ll actually be ready to start my day by the eighth or ninth incessant chime?
I’m currently a senior at MSU and you’d think I’d at least be a little closer to having a real sleep schedule by now, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Between waitressing on the weekends until close, procrastinating studying until the night before and binge-watching entire seasons of Shameless on Netflix, you could say that catching eight hours’ worth of zzzz’s isn’t exactly my number one priority after the sun goes down. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t pay the price for it every morning as I fight (and often lose) the arduous battle to get out of bed.
So, for those of you who are out there living in a Groundhog Day situation with your own relentless exhaustion, here are a few sleeping hacks that have actually worked for me on the nights when getting some quality REM time was too important to ignore.
- Avoid Screens at Least an Hour Before You Want to Go to Bed
This is one of the hardest for me, but I know the best thing I can do for my sleep is turn Netflix off, stay away from YouTube and ignore my social media at least an hour before bed. If this is too drastic of a lifestyle change to implement, start by turning your phone or laptop on “night shift” mode at first. This minimizes the exposure that our eyes have to blue light and makes it easier for us to fall asleep.
- Drink Something Warm and Non-Caffeinated: Get Your Tea On!
Personally, I’ve been a die-hard coffee junkie since high school and I don’t see myself being cured of this affliction any time soon. But something I’ve seen that improves my own ability to fall asleep is drinking some non-caffeinated tea right before bed, specifically flavors like chamomile and peppermint which have been known to reduce stress. Nighttime tea can leave you feeling warm and relaxed as you carry out your pre-sleep routine.
- Exercise Regularly, Earlier in the Day if Possible
One of the most effective ways to regulate your sleep schedule is to also regulate your exercising schedule. From my experience, I always fall asleep much quicker on the days I get a really good workout in. Try to exercise earlier in the day in order to allow your body’s post-workout energy high enough time to settle before its time call it a night.
- Get Yourself a Calendar and Manage Your Time People!
Managing your time efficiently really is the best way to reduce stress and get to sleep on time. Buy a planner that is organized by the hour and set up your weekly schedule with great detail. This way, you can not only be productive during the hours of the day, but you can even pencil in eight hours of sleep at night. Sometimes writing down our goals (even our sleep-related ones) can lead to greater chances of follow through and success.
And so, my Spartan brothers and sisters, I’d like to declare that enough is enough! Let’s log out of Netflix, guzzle down that chamomile and plan our little green and white butts off because we deserve a great night’s sleep more than once or twice a year. It’s our rest and we need it now!
Stephanie Tkaczyk is a senior majoring in Kinesiology who enjoys stressing herself out by taking unnecessary writing classes in order to satisfy her creative side. She loves listening to, talking about and finding new music more than anything, in addition to traveling to every place on the planet and spending time with other people who watch too many movies. You can follow her on Instagram @hotsteph24.