Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with no clue why you can’t sleep again? A sound sleep seems to be the easiest task on the list. Just close your eyes and think of a beautiful dream. A good night’s sleep promises you an energetic next day. Compromising on, that may result in decreased productivity. Also, studies have shown that a quality sleep of at least 7-8 hours is essential for staying physically and mentally healthy. It’s a nice idea to have proper sleep hygiene to reap all the benefits from a good night’s sleep.
What is Sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene consists of the best practices one should follow to ensure sound sleep. That includes both environmental factors and habitual actions as well. These aspects not only help in enhancing the quality of sleep, but also ensure complete relaxation of the body after you wake up. They can also help improve your sleep cycle; however, they cannot be considered a treatment for any sleep disorders.
Why is Sleep hygiene important?
People who work for more than 10-12 hours a day find it difficult to manage their sleep timings. When we sleep, our body goes into a repair and restore mechanism, which is vital for daily body functioning. Poor sleep disturbs this process and may bring mood disorders, memory problems, increased stress, and heart diseases in the long run. Hence, practicing proper Sleep hygiene is the easiest thing we can do for our body to stay healthy.
What is a sleep disorder?
Sleep disorder is any condition that hampers the quality, duration, and a person’s ability to sleep well. One may suffer from various sleep disorders such as,
- Insomnia- difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining the sleep for a long duration
- Sleep-wake disorder– patient tends to sleep and wake up at irregular timings
- Excessive sleepiness– lack of energy and fatigue during the daytime
- Parasomnia– various concerns like sleep terror, sleepwalking that disturbs a sound sleep
5 Tips To Improve Sleep Disorder During Exams
Good sleep is as important to a student as to any other individual. Students need to focus on concepts and memorise things; hence being mentally well is their basic requirement. During exams, most of the students neglect sleep. For them, making the sleep hygiene checklist is as important as preparing a study timetable otherwise, they will end up having sleep disorders.
In students, sleep disorders can cause loss of concentration and increased irritability & stress during exams. These disorders need medical assistance to get recovered, yet a handful of tips can help you plan your Sleep hygiene routine and improve Sleep Disorder During Exams.
The best practices are not mandatory to follow, and you can mold them to suit your schedule and environment.
- Prioritize your sleep – Decide on a proper sleep time depending on the required wake-up time and give priority to your sleep.
- Setting up a consistent sleep timing will lead the body to relax mentally at a fixed time and prepare it for sleep. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time on weekdays & weekends also, to set your internal clock accordingly.
- It’s tempting to delay sleeping to study some extra lessons, but set your target and follow your sleep timings strictly.
- If your sleep is disturbed or broken in the middle of the night, don’t check the time but indulge yourself in some relaxing activity like listening to music. Get back to sleep when you feel sleepy.
2. Create a sleep-inducing environment – For a sound sleep, the nearby environment should also be quiet and soothing.
- Noise- Stay away from night learners who may disturb your sleep through their noises. Use earplugs if noises are unavoidable.
- Light- Keep your bedroom dark while sleeping, as light induces alertness in the body. You may also get heavy curtains or an eye mask for that.
- Temperature- Set the temperature on the cooler side, say around 21-23 °C is optimum for a sound sleep.
- Pets- keep your pets out of the bedroom to avoid disturbances.
- Comfort- pay special attention to your mattress & pillow.
- Scent- you may use scented candles for a relaxing fragrance.
- Keep your bed reserved only for sleeping purposes. Never study or watch TV on your bed. Go to your bed only when you are tired & ready to sleep.
3. Exercise regularly for good sleep– regular exercise or a light work-out increases the activities and secretes the stress hormone. That helps you feel tired until the day ends and provokes you to retire.
- 10-20 minutes of exercise increases the chances of falling asleep easily. However, it also alerts the body for the next 2-3 hours. Hence, it is recommended to finish the exercise before 7 pm.
- A little dose of meditation can help you relieve your mental strain and relax your soul.
- Don’t discuss stressful issues before bedtime. Try to stay stress-free before sleeping, as it increases mental activities.
4. Relax before bedtime- Exam preparations are online nowadays. Students prefer using e-books over hard copies. It’s important to shut down the screen sometime before bedtime. Try to read and practice from books and notes.
- The pre-sleep routine could include bathing, reading a relaxing book, or listening to music. You may also write down a journal before going to bed.
- Don’t eat or drink exactly before bedtime. Your digestive system becomes active, or you may need to rush to the bathroom frequently, which will disturb sleep.
- Avoid naps during the daytime as it hampers sleep quality at night.
- Avoid making phone calls or sending text messages when you are on the bed. That will also activate the body/mind.
5. Cut down on your caffeine- You may consider a cup of coffee or two during the exams to stay awake and active.
- Caffeine has stimulants that block the sleep-inducing agents & produces adrenaline that temporarily alerts the mind. This helps you stay awake and keep on working for longer periods.
- However, if consumed in higher amounts, it may reduce sleep efficiency. Study shows that even if it is taken 6 hours before sleep, it may reduce the sleep time by one hour.
- Hence, it is suggested to limit the consumption of tea, coffee, chocolates, cola, and other caffeinated drinks and avoid having them very late in the day.
Sleep is an important part of our life. Students need to be mentally as well as physically active. A good night’s sleep not only rejuvenates them for the day but also strengthens their nervous system. Many students lack proper sleep during exam times because of study schedules & stress. This has increased the cases of Sleep Disorder During Exams. One must be aware of the ill effects of not having a good night’s sleep. Many sleep disorders may arise in the students due to the all-nighters. They must start prioritising their sleepover other tasks of their routine. These steps will help them enhance their sleep quality and extract all benefits from a good night’s sleep.
E-Gurukul has many useful study tips for your medical entrance exam without skipping your sleep timings. Try them before your exams for a great experience!
1. What is sleep hygiene?
Ans- Sleep hygiene includes the best practices for sound sleep. It has environmental factors and habitual actions as well. They help in enhancing the quality of sleep.
2. What is a sleep disorder?
Ans- Sleep disorder is any condition that hampers the quality, duration, and a person’s ability to sleep well. One may suffer from various sleep disorders such as Insomnia, Sleep-wake disorder, Excessive sleepiness, or Parasomnia.
3. What is the effect of caffeine on sleep?
Ans- Caffeine has stimulants that block the sleep-inducing agents & produces adrenaline that temporarily alerts the mind. This helps you stay awake and keep on working for longer periods. If consumed in higher amounts, it may reduce sleep efficiency.
4. What are some tips for better sleep?
Ans- creating a good sleep-inducing environment, regular exercise, cutting down on the caffeine intake, and less eating & drinking before sleeping may help in enhancing sleep quality.