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Developing a Sleep Routine

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 Sleep is important to ensure the learning from the day is consolidated. You might be surprised to know that studies show that developing a sleep routine actually helps memory and performance. This is especially important in the lead up to, and during, exams. Athletes taper off their training in the lead up to the race, they don’t exhaust themselves. Now is the time for the endurance work – not the night just before an exam. The following are some suggestions in developing a great sleep routine.
  • Have a regular bed time and wake up time. A regular bed time helps to set your body clock so your body knows it’s time to sleep. Waking up at (or near) the same time each day also helps your body to establish a sleep pattern. Get plenty of sunlight during the day too.
  • Establish a bed time ritual. Doing a series of actions before bed also helps your body to prepare for sleep. Ideas include, a warm bath or shower, reading a book, listening to quiet music or doing some gentle stretches.
  • Avoid technology in the hour before bed, including TV, computers and phones
  • Exercise during the day so that your body is ready for rest at night
  • Don’t eat big meals at night. Eat as early as possible and try to avoid rich, heavy food close to bed time
  • Limit your caffeine during the day and don’t drink any caffeine in the afternoon or evening
  • Don’t have too much liquid in the evening … and if you are drinking, consider a herbal tea like chamomile (which relaxes)
  • Worrying about problems at school or with friends often stops you from getting to sleep. Talk to a trusted person about things that are worrying you to find ways to solve your problems. Pray before you go to sleep – get used to casting all your burdens on Jesus. He invites you to do this. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Have your room as dark as possible when trying to get to sleep. Use a sleep mask if you need to avoid light e.g. from electronic devices, street lights etc.
Image: Wikicommons

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