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World Sleep Day: tips for high-quality sleep (which sets you up for success)

Date:13 March 2024
If you follow these tips, you won't be falling asleep when you're trying to study anymore!
If you follow these tips, you won't be falling asleep when you're trying to study anymore!

This coming Friday, it’s World Sleep Day. Getting enough and high-quality sleep is very important, especially for slaying all your assignments and exams. That’s why, in today’s blog, we give you seven tips that will hopefully help you sleep better.

#1 Reduce blue light exposure

An important factor of why you might not be able to sleep or get the highest quality sleep you would like is because of long hours of studying on a computer, in particular before bed, which exposes you to too much blue light. This type of light can reduce hormones such as melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. When you reduce your blue light exposure by, for example, wearing blue light protective glasses while studying during the day or by not going on your phone an hour before bed, you make sure that the melatonin can set in and you’ll be able to sleep nicely throughout the night.

#2 Don’t drink caffeine after 2 PM

Caffeine helps you focus better on your assignments and have more energy for lectures and seminars. However, drinking it later in the day can stimulate your nervous system and make it harder to relax when you want to sleep. That’s why it would be a good idea to stop drinking caffeine after 2 PM so your body has enough time to get rid of the caffeine and you’re able to relax.

#3 Establish a sleep routine

What also improves the quality of your sleep is establishing a sleep routine. By this, I mean having a set time for when you go to sleep and wake up. I, for instance, try to go to sleep around 10 or 11 PM because I need to get up at 7 AM every day. Now, as my biological clock is used to that rhythm, my body automatically gets tired around that time, which helps me sleep easily. It might thus be a good idea to carefully plan the nights you’ll stay up late and to make sure that they do not exceed the number of “early nights”.

#4 Exercise regularly, but not before bed

Regular exercise is great for improving the quality of your sleep. It has been proven that people who regularly exercise have less trouble falling asleep and stay asleep for longer. Exercise can also help with insomnia. Exercising late at night, however, can do the opposite because the movement stimulates alertness and hormones such as adrenaline. So, do try to exercise regularly, but not right before bed!

#5 Optimise your bedroom

You can reduce your blue light exposure and caffeine intake as much as you want, but if you don’t have a good sleeping environment and bed quality, it doesn’t help. That’s why you have to make sure that you invest in a comfortable pillow and mattress. It’s recommended that you upgrade your pillow, bedding and mattress every 5-8 years. Apart from that, it’s also a good idea to minimise external noise, light and artificial light from, for example, alarm clocks. If your room is clean, quiet, and relaxing, you will probably sleep well. But, as we all know, sleeping well might be hard when you live in a student house. ;)

#6 Consider taking supplements

Also, consider taking supplements that help you relax and sleep. Magnesium, for instance, relaxes your muscles, which helps with falling asleep faster. Lavender or valerian root might also help as they have calming effects. Make sure to keep in mind that what works for someone might not work for you. So, do your research!

#7 Clear your head and calm your mind before going to bed

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to clear and calm your mind. It personally takes me longer to fall asleep when I haven’t relaxed and de-stressed before going to sleep and, as a result, I will also often have a crap night of sleep. Ways to relax are journaling about all your thoughts and things that bring you stress (such as exams or assignments), taking a relaxing, warm shower, meditating, stretching to loosen your muscles, or reading before bed (no textbooks or summaries, though). Anything that does not require a screen is a great option!

There you go, seven tips for high-quality sleep. Hopefully, with these tips, you can sleep soundly. Let us know in the comments what your favourite way to unwind and relax is. Happy World Sleep Day, and sleep well! :)

About the author


Hiya! I’m Hylke, a Dutch MA English Literature student. People often ask me if I’m Frisian, but sadly I’m not; I just have a Frisian name. I love reading, writing, meeting with friends, and the colour yellow, so much so that I take pictures of every yellow wall I can find!


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