Going away to University marks a new and exciting chapter in your life. As you embark on the journey to your chosen university, thoughts will turn to who you’ll meet and what events you’ll be going to, yet the chances of you planning how you’re going to get a good night’s kip around the excitement of fresher’s week are realistically pretty slim!
Whilst fresher’s week is all about meeting new people and having fun which you won’t do a great a job of if you’re asleep, making sure that you get a few hours’ sleep will help go a long way in ensuring that you stay healthy and energised throughout your first week at University.
We’ve put together ten tops tips for making sure that you bag yourself a great night’s sleep during your fresher’s week.
Establish a sleep schedule
Staying out late into the evening can make establishing and maintaining a sleep schedule rather tricky; however even if it’s about setting your alarm clock for the same time every morning at a decent hour and dragging yourself out of bed, this will gradually help to establish a body clock.
Don’t eat too close to bedtime
Whilst a late night kebab or trip to the takeaway shop may feel like the perfect end to a good evening, this could result in a poor night’s sleep and is, therefore, best avoided!
As highlighted in another one of our blogs in which we looked at 5 Foods To Avoid Before Bedtime, fast food is full of saturated fats, colourings and additives, all of which could play havoc with your digestive system whilst you’re trying to sleep. This could result in an unpleasant spell of heartburn or indigestion which won’t help at all in being to get a good night’s sleep.
Avoid alcohol straight before bedtime
Whilst becoming teetotal during fresher’s week isn’t perhaps what you had in mind, limiting your intake of alcohol directly before bed will significantly help in increasing your chances of getting a few hours of quality sleep a whole lot easier.
This is because alcohol increases the chances of experiencing sleep disturbance, leaving you feeling tired and groggy the next day. Warm milk, coconut water and banana smoothies have been suggested as suitable bedtime drinks to help aid sleep, so why not give them a go!
Create a bedtime routine
Completing the same activities every evening as part of your bedtime routine will help to prepare your body for the idea that sleep is approaching.
Activities which promote relaxation are key, so why not try running a hot bath and using a few droplets of lavender? Reading a few pages of your favourite novel or listening to calming music may also help to relax your body and mind.
Reduce afternoon naps to less than an hour
Whilst a long afternoon nap may feel like a good idea to help keep you awake for the evening’s s forthcoming events, this is best limited to less than an hour.
Between 2-3pm has been suggested as a suitable time to take a nap which should last roughly 20-30 minutes as recommended by Web MD in order to help boost alertness and help you feel energised.
Avoid caffeine close to bedtime
Caffeine is a stimulant and promotes wakefulness, so it’s, therefore, essential that as part of getting a good night’s sleep that you avoid eating or drinking all forms of caffeine before bedtime.
The likes of coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and chocolate are best avoided in order to safeguard against being kept awake during the night. If you do feel peckish in the evening, then milk, yoghurt, almonds and cherry juice have been found to help induce sleep.
Exercise during the day
Regular exercise, as suggested by Student Health Services, is another great way of helping to make sure that you get a great night’s sleep. Even if you haven’t yet managed to join a sports team, going for a long walk or jog will certainly help in making sure that as bedtime approaches, your body is ready to wind down and rest.
Exercising in the morning or afternoon is best, as working out too close to bedtime could end up making it more difficult for you to be able to sleep!
Create a haven for sleep
Sleeping in university halls, particularly in fresher’s week could present quite a challenge. Think dark curtains, setting a cool temperature, even ear plugs to block out the blaring music; there are lots of ways that you can transform your bedroom into the perfect sanctuary for sleep.
Only get into bed when you’re ready to sleep
Whilst snuggling down to an early evening movie in your room could be the perfect way to end a busy day in the life of a university fresher, this could jeopardise your chances of being able to sleep once you actively try and go to sleep.
Only once you feel ready to sleep should you get into bed in order to avoid the frustrated feeling of lying in bed wide awake and not able to sleep!
Opt for a new pillow
Your pillow can play a huge part in determining how comfortable you are or aren’t, so it’s very important to ensure that your pillow is supporting your neck and head correctly to avoid aches and pains which could keep you up in the night!
We all have different preferences of sleeping positions. Whilst the majority of us feel most comfortable sleeping on our sides, sleeping on your front or back isn’t uncommon either, so it’s especially important that your pillow is correctly supporting your frame. You can take a look at our full collection of pillows here, no matter your preferred sleeping position.