Students of Britain are in despair, it is that time of year again, where anything becomes interesting (cleaning your room, Loose Women, darts) and worry becomes your only friend. It is: dun dun dun Exam Time!!
Sleep is extremely important when it comes to success in exams, essays and ultimately the qualification you are working towards. In fact I would say that after actually reading your books and doing your work it is the MOST important thing. Sleep is when our brain takes the chance to review what it has learnt that day, to categorise it and to make sure we remember it. If you do not respect sleep by trying to work when you should be sleeping the result will be failure (or not doing quite as well as you should have done.) The most important thing is the quality of sleep you get; if you go to bed relaxed you brain will find it easier to remember what you have been working on. Below are my patented Sleep Geek tips on how to sleep when exams and deadlines loom.
• Make your bedroom is a work free environment and a haven for rest and sleep. Leave the books and computer elsewhere and use your bedroom to sleep in. if you work in your bedroom have a break between finishing work and going to bed. Go into another room, watch some TV or read a book (not one to do with the work you are doing.) Do not finish work then jump straight into bed.
• At the end of each day write a to do list of what you need to do tomorrow. This will stop you worrying about it as you try to sleep and leaves you able to relax before sleep
• If you feel tired during the day have a nap. This will boost your energy levels, leaving you more alert and more able to absorb what you are doing. Remember with a nap make sure it is either 20 minutes or more than 2 hours long. Having a nap that last between these two times will leave you feeling groggy and tired.
• Make sure you wind down before sleep. Don’t work for at least half an hour before you go to bed, even if you are finishing work in the early morning. A wind down period before sleep means you will go to bed relaxed; therefore the quality of sleep you get will be better and your brain will be able to categorise the information is learnt that day more efficiently.
• If you go to bed and you don’t fall asleep within twenty minutes get back up and do something to relax. A drink of water, a short read or watching some television can all help to disengage your brain. Alternatively the Glo To Sleep Eye Mask is a sleep inducing product that really works. You can read a review of it by my colleague Amy here
• Remember it is the quality of sleep that is the most important thing. If you are on a tight schedule try and have naps during the day if you become tired