It’s not just about being in bed—it’s about getting good, quality rest. The science of preparing for good sleep is called “Sleep Hygiene” and there is a game plan that will set you up to succeed.
Keep a schedule—go to bed and get up at the same time every day. On
weekends, try not to shift your schedule more than an hour. Sleeping until noon
keeps you wide awake Sunday night, which makes your Monday morning class feel
like a struggle.
- Beds are for sleeping —not homework, chatting on the phone or TV watching.
Be boring. A consistent bedtime routine sends powerful signals to your brain that prepare it for sleep. Do the same thing in the same order every night before bed.
Give it 20. If you don’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing—read a book, take a bath, do some yoga. Go back to bed when you feel sleepy.
Free your mind. Thinking too much is bad for sleep. Make a habit of putting your to-do list on paper before hitting the pillow. If necessary, keep a pad and pencil by the bed so that you can write down thoughts and then let go of them to clear your mind.
The big chill. Because sleepiness is related to that drop in body temperature, cool bedrooms promote better sleep. 72° is comfy for daytime, but the 60°s are better at night.
Limit light & noise. If your roommate or dorm is too noisy, try using soft disposable ear plugs. If they like to leave the light on or watch TV past the time you go to bed, buy a sleep mask to block it out.
Yoga nidra or “yogic sleep” is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping and brings the body, mind, and spirit into a deep form of relaxation. This form of guided relaxation brings physical benefits, such as reduced stress and better sleep, and as a meditation practice, it can bring about a profound sense of joy and well-being. Use the following guided meditations for a group or individual yoga nidra practice:
- Body Scan Meditation for Sleep: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22 (12 MIN, Audio)
- Yoga Nidra: https://medical.mit.edu/community/sleep/resources (21 MIN, Audio)
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Practice
A 15-20 minute relaxation experience using Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualization, or focused concentration with a script. This experiential activity can be delivered by a peer, through the use of a script provided, or a guided recording can be used from.