Everyone tells you the same thing, “Make sure you get enough sleep before results day”. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But then bedtime rolls around and you find yourself unable to drift off to dreamland. You toss and turn but you just can’t fall asleep! No need to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are our 7 tips to getting a good night’s sleep before Results Day.
1. Have a hot drink
Okay so this sounds like something your nan would tell you, but it works! A hot drink just before bed makes you feel all warm and toasty on the inside and helps you fall asleep quicker. Be it hot milk, hot chocolate or even a hot Horlicks, this oldie but goodie is guaranteed to knock you right out.
2. Read a book in bed
Get in your comfiest pyjamas, curl up with your softest blanket and read a book in bed! Studies show that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% by clearing your mind and preparing your body for sleep. And if reading your favourite fantasy/mystery just doesn’t cut it, dig out your old GCSE history textbook – I can guarantee from personal experience that you’ll fall asleep in under a minute.
3. Take a hot bath/shower
Ahhhh, is there anything better than a long hot bath accompanied by a glass of wine (only if you’re old enough!)? Baths not only help you relax and get squeaky clean, they also help you to get a better night’s sleep. By raising your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep! So draw yourself a bath (or better yet, get mum to do it), lay back and relax for half an hour. Don’t stay in there too long though, nobody likes pruney fingers.
So your mind’s buzzing with nerves and excitement and you just can’t sleep? Easy! All you need to do is clear your mind of all your thoughts, anxieties and worries about Results Day. The simplest way to do this is by meditating before bed. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated! Just find a nice quiet place to sit, assume a comfortable pose and clear your mind of all thoughts.
5. Turn off your electronic devices
Okay, I know this is a hard one but you simply must turn off all your devices if you want to get a good night’ sleep. And when I say all, I mean all. Your phone, TV, laptop, iPad, iPod all need to be off to prevent any form of distraction. How are you ever going to fall asleep if your phone keeps buzzing with notifications?
6. Turn those lights off
This is an obvious one, but turn your lights off! Close the blinds and draw your curtains, you don’t want any pesky rays of light sneaking in before it’s time to get up. Sleeping in pitch darkness is the best way to fall asleep but if you’re afraid of the dark (Hey, there’s no shame in that.), it’s alright to keep your night-light on. Just make sure you have it as dim as you can.
7. Lavender, lavender, lavender
Not only does lavender smell amazing (or a bit like your nan, depends how you look at it), it also helps you sleep. Research has confirmed that lavender produces calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. Simply sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or buy some lavender spray. Or if you’re willing to splash a few pounds for a good night’s sleep and impossibly smooth skin, try Sleepy! This body lotion from Lush has gone viral after being hailed a miracle product by insomniacs worldwide. And hey, where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be fire.
8. Listen to soothing music/sounds
This one might not work for everyone, but some people tend to find total silence uncomfortable and prefer to sleep with some music in the background. That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure that you’re not playing heavy metal or grime – I don’t see how that would help you sleep. Try listening to soothing music with slower melodies. This doesn’t necessarily mean classical music, stuff like Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran) and All of Me (John Legend) will work just fine. Many people swear by listening to white noise tracks or gentle rain soundtracks when trying to fall asleep, so why not give that a whirl?
9. The 4-7-8 technique
The 4-7-8 technique is a sleeping hack that tricks your body into falling asleep. This technique was created by Andrew Weil, a Harvard-trained holistic health doctor and is almost as easy as breathing. All you have to do is lightly touch the ridge of tissue behind your top front teeth with your tongue, exhale completely, and then adopt the following breathing pattern:
– Breathe in through your nose quietly for a count of 4
– Hold your breath for a count of seven
– Blow air out through your mouth for a count of 8, making a ‘whoosh’ sound
– Repeat the process three more times