Six tips to get shut-eye

You turn off the lights. Leisurely draping the blankets over your worn shoulders and fluffing the pillow from beneath your weary head, you lounge languidly in repose. Soundlessness deadens your senses. The puffs of tiredness bunched at the bottom of your eyes overtake you, and you find yourself drifting off into slumber. Sweet dreams fill your thoughts for a blissful night.

Yeah, right.

This is the usual college classic. You stay up until 3 a.m. every night for a week for homework, tests, parties, drugs, sex, etc. And one night, you go to bed at 11 p.m. You turn off the light, close your eyes, wait forever and then realize your body does not want to sleep. But you feel tired. Your head is throbbing. You know you cannot function tomorrow if you don’t sleep. But no matter how hard you toss and turn, how many times you snarl at your roommate to stop snoring or how long you smother your face with a pillow, you still cannot sleep.

We at the Clog are here to save you insomniacs. Here are six tips.

Monotone. You live next to a street where the police department is plotting a grand conspiracy in sirening you to death. Set Coldplay on low volume and play on repeat. Enya, Dido or a fan work, too.

Blackout. You can still see the neon lights of the store outside from behind the curtains of your eyelids. Or the display on your printer. Try a sleep mask or drape a bandana over your forehead.

Posture. Each of us has one of three sleep postures: side, back or stomach. Snoring, back pain or neck cramps usually mean you slept incorrectly. Find which posture is yours. It will change your life.

Sober. Alcohol carries the risk of a hangover. It is also prone to getting you to urinate in the middle of the night. Mayo Clinic warns against stimulants like caffeine in tea or coffee or nicotine in cigarettes before a bedtime snooze.

Chow. Certain foods surprisingly have mild narcotic properties. Incorporating lettuce, nutmeg, warm milk or almonds into your dinner will give you an all-natural, tasty and cheap alternative to sleep pills. Certain breakfast foods, like oatmeal and cereal, also have sleep-inducing effects. Maybe that’s why you slept through your morning class.

Screensaver. Keep your eyes off an electronic screen for about an hour before heading off to bed. Instead, flip to a page in a dense textbook or novel. We at the Clog finally found a use for “Great Expectations!”

Image Source: Ernst Gräfenberg under Creative Commons