Written by Ashleigh
BSc (Hons) Geography
Wellbeing can slip under the radar for all of us, especially for the average uni student where a normal sleep schedule and being balanced is ultimately the last thing on our minds. However, with the general stresses of uni – in my case, dissertation deadline looming – it is important to know how to balance your studies with wellbeing to prevent burnout and ultimately reduce stress levels.
World Sleep Day is on Friday 13 March 2020. And while we all wish this would mean we get to sleep all day rather than tend to endless lists of responsibilities, or in your case revision perhaps, we cannot be so lucky. World Sleep Day is an annual event designed to celebrate sleep and to break stigmas surrounding sleep related issues that ultimately lead to weakened wellbeing. These issues can include illnesses, education, social obligations, driving etc. By facilitating this dedicated day, the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society intends to increase awareness of prevention and management methods of sleep disorders.
This annual celebration event has also opened up a focus on wider issues surrounding wellbeing. It is easy to get bogged down on one task and perceive breaks and anything else as unproductive, however with heavy workloads and stressful time periods, balance is key. Here are a few of the ways I use to achieve a good sleep schedule (sometimes):
Exercise and healthy eating
Exercise is renowned in helping de-stress, so even if it’s just a brisk walk outside, it’s worth taking some time out of your busy schedule to fit in a workout or two. Healthy eating also plays a crucial role, as while it is tempting to keep sugary snacks with you at stressful times, sugar rushes only last so long and often leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Opting to stick to healthy balanced meals on a regular basis will help to fuel your body with what it needs to power you through your to-do list, and hopefully tire you out enough to get a restful night’s sleep!
Winding down is important before you go to sleep, to help your mind switch off from the days activities and calm down for a restful night. As I am sure you have heard before, a key part of this is switching off from screen time… meaning switching your smartphone, computers, and tablets off at least an hour before going to sleep. This can be difficult as a lot of people (myself included) wind down by watching an episode of a favourite show. However, replacing this with a book after a hot bath or shower, for example, can be way more beneficial. Chamomile tea is also nice to throw into the mix here!
Benefits have also been seen in keeping your bedroom/bed specifically for sleeping only. This means no working in bed i.e. soft offices, as this accustoms the mind to associate stressful activities with the space you sleep in which can interfere with your sleeping pattern. Try working at the library, a coffee shop or in another room instead of in your bed to help keep separate spaces in your mind.
All these things are to help reach the target of balance and general wellbeing… especially in the way of achieving restful sleep!
Find out more
More information on tips and tricks of how to perfect your sleep can be found here.