“Beep! Beep! Beep!” the torturous alarm blares into your brain.Few teenagers get the sleep they need, which is at least about nine hours a night. The growing adolescent population, myself included, barely get six to seven hours. This lack of sleep builds up, affecting our academic performance and most importantly, our mental and physical health. After giving up precious sleep to do schoolwork, teenagers always begin to experience the consequences of an unhealthy sleeping cycle which includes having horrible headaches, being constantly irritable, and taking endless naps.
This epidemic grows into a detrimental habit In order to get a good night’s sleep, one must prepare in advance starting with what you eat or drink before bed. Many need to drink coffee or tea for a boost in the morning; however, try to avoid drinking caffeine in the evening. Additionally, stay away from drinking an excess of liquids because drinking lots of fluids could result in numerous bathroom trips throughout the night. Now, begin to dim the distractions in your life including but not limited to the bright, blue lights radiating from your phone, tablet, laptop, or TV.
Remind yourself that the next episode of that new Netflix show can wait until tomorrow and that your sleep cannot. Melatonin, which is a natural hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, can be disrupted by light exposure. The preparation continues with a nice warm shower to wash the dirt and grime of the long, exhausting day. We all know there’s nothing worse than getting into your clean, crisp sheets with the smell of greasy cafeteria pizza in your hair. For those like me who love to snack constantly and pack on some extra calories, try eating a light snack like nuts or cereal.
As you’re beginning to let loose, remember to manage your time effectively, deal with stress productively, and develop a positive view about your day. During the day, many of us overstimulate our brains by consistently disrupting important tasks by checking our phones and social media. Do we really need to know the latest celebrity gossip or watch the newest Logan Paul vlog? Take a second to unplug, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths, making each deeper than the last. If reading a book helps you relax by getting lost into a literary world of metaphors and imagery, feel free to embark on that journey. A helpful tip to remember is to associate your bed with sleep. Even though it may be warm and comfortable, doing homework or scrolling through Instagram on your bed may develop into a habit which can distract you from the main goal of sleeping.
Upon waking up, most likely from an alarm, hitting the snooze button is not a healthy choice. In the morning, it’s better to expose yourself to sunlight. The natural sunlight shining on your face will help you wake up.
Making even a slight change towards a good night’s sleep creates a healthier, happier you in the end. Implementing a healthy sleeping cycle improves your physical and mental health, making your mood ten times better than before.