End the cycle of sleeplessness: 4 ways to get better sleep

Stephanie Li/Senior Staff

Today, 60 million people suffer from some variation of insomnia. Whether it be due to stress, anxiety or unknown reasons, we’ve all been there, lying in bed for hours, hoping to fall asleep. The frustration of being unable to sleep can make insomnia worse, leaving you stuck in a cycle of sleeplessness. For those of you who can relate, here are four ways to get better sleep.

Stay on a schedule.

Your body has a certain biological clock it needs to follow. If your lifestyle is super irregular, your sleep will be as well. Try to eat regularly, and try not to snack right before bedtime. And separately, it’s best not to go to sleep at 4 a.m. All-nighters can ruin your sleep patterns, too, so try avoiding major irregularities in your routine before bed.

Stop using electronics at least an hour before going to sleep.

Your mind and eyes become hyper-alert when you use electronics, causing you to lose that sleepy bedtime feeling. Your body won’t be able to feel tired if you’re constantly stimulating it with bright screens. In order to feel fully relaxed, try not to use your electronics before bedtime. Instead, we recommend reading a book or listening to a podcast. You’ll be ready to go to sleep when you want to.

Don’t fall asleep on your stomach.

Your sleeping posture can heavily affect the quality of your sleep. Sleeping on your back is good, as it lets your spine rest naturally, preventing neck and back pain. Side-sleeping is even better, but it’s really only best with pillows between your knees and under your shoulders to support your body. But sleeping on your stomach is the worst for your body because it puts a lot of pressure on your spine, joints and muscles. So as much as possible, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Use your bed for the sole purpose of sleeping.

If you’re constantly lying on your bed watching YouTube videos or scrolling through your social media feeds, your body stops recognizing the space as a place primarily for rest and sleep. Instead, it recognizes your bed as a place for brain-stimulating experiences. So, make sure you keep your bed as a place just for sleeping. It should help sleep come naturally.

Unhealthy habits can really hinder the quality of your sleep. As college students with limited time and too much to do, we should do our best to get the most out of our sleep so we can handle the day’s tasks with energy left to spare.

Contact Christina Kim at [email protected].