Life @ U of T

Introduction

No Rest For the Wicked: Why I Don’t Get 7-9 Hours a Night

No Rest For the Wicked: Why I Don’t Get 7-9 Hours a Night

Alright, so who else was thrown off by daylight savings?

Of course, I’m blaming daylight savings when in reality my sleep schedule has been slowly crumbling ever since I got back from reading week.

Right now, we’re less than a month away from the last day of classes and, consequently, final exams. Arguably, it’s the most important time of the semester to be getting enough sleep, so why am I so tired all the time?

Well, there are several problems I’ve noticed and habits I’ve developed that I think have been contributing to my not-so-restful sleep:

  1. The sun was rising before I was waking up (at least, until Sunday…), which was disrupting my sleep.
  2. I listen to podcasts as I fall asleep, but most of my favourites are hosted by pretty high-energy people, which is probably not all that calming.
  3. …I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I keep my phone near my bed and my ringtone at full volume overnight. Not the best decision when most people I get messages from live in Calgary, where the time zone is two hours behind us.
  4. Also I play games on my phone but let’s just ignore that and pretend I don’t.

So, I guess it’s no mystery why my sleep schedule is suffering. A lot of the time I’ll get in bed at a reasonable time, but spend an hour and a half listening to the

An image of a partially completed nonogram puzzle.
NonogramS? More like “No, no-! Don’t do that before you go to sleep, Tanith! – gramS”

newest episodes of true crime podcasts and doing Nonograms. By the time my eyes start drooping, I’m usually at less than 6 hours of sleep a night. And it’s a well-known fact that university-aged individuals are recommended to get 7-9 hours a night.

Yeah, in my dreams.

Get it?

Anyway, last week I was distracted by how heavy my eyes were during the day, and I realized I needed to make a few changes. Here are the solutions I tried for the week:

  1. I got one of those eye cover things. Initially I thought it would be uncomfortable, but they’re all so soft, and a lot of them have natural aromatherapy stuff which is great for people who love lavender (like me).
  2. Two words: Stephen Fry. This video showed up in my ‘recommended’ for some unknown reason, and, true to the comments, I have yet to make it through the whole thing without falling asleep. My bet is there’s magic involved.
  3. I was too nervous to turn my ringtone volume down (I consider it a fail-safe in case I sleep through my alarms), but I did put it on the other side of my room. I could still hear the notifications, but I didn’t feel the uncontrollable urge to check once I was settled into bed.
  4. Two things: first, I downloaded an app that makes my phone screen emit red light instead of blue light after 10 PM. Second, BOOKS! I love reading, and I’m always upset that I don’t have time to read more. Here is a perfect opportunity to relax my mind and finally read that book I got last year. Only once did I stay up until the early morning reading, and I’m sure it was because I didn’t set a limit for how much reading I was allowed that night.

I changed quite a few things this week, targeting bad habits and things that I can’t

A picture of a sleep mask with an angry shark design, propped up on the book "A Stranger in the Woods" by Michael Finkel. These items are on a windowsill, through which the sun is shining and there are old buildings.
My new sleep routine

control (like when the sun comes up). I have no way of knowing which one worked best, or if any of them didn’t work, but I do know one thing: I’m a little less tired this week than I was last week, and honestly that’s all I needed.

I’ll be keeping up these habits into exam season, and adding any more that I stumble across online, so I leave you with this: how’s your sleep schedule doing? What are some of the things you do to make sure you get a good night’s rest?

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