What are some cool sleep hacks

10 secrets to better sleep and a productive next day

by Tim Reichel

It's not your smartphone or the WhatsApp group with your friends. Neither Netflix, Facebook, or the annoying guy next door kill your productivity while studying the most. The most common reason you're distracted, unmotivated, and powerless is because you're not sleeping properly.

No matter if too little or too bad: Many students are miserable sleepers. Not because they weren't tired - on the contrary. Studying is exhausting: Your weekly schedule is full, the learning load increases continuously and reaches its stressful climax in the examination phase.

There are days when your eyes close in the mornings. Productive study is hardly possible in this state. But instead of working on their sleep and providing adequate regeneration, most students prefer to stay up late and start each day again overtired.

A vicious circle.

That's why I have collected 10 insider tips for you, with which you can break this spiral of fatigue and take care of your studies well rested.


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10 secrets to better sleep

Numerous studies and leading health experts confirm it in almost every magazine: Healthy sleep is the basis for a productive day and, in the long term, one of the most important success factors for a happy life. If you sleep more, you can do more - even though you spend more time in bed.

Many people can make friends with this theory. In practice, however, it seems almost impossible for them to sleep longer and better. But there are simple tricks you can use to improve your sleeping habits.

Here are ten of them:


1. Dim the lights before you go to bed!

Bright light prevents the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the day-night rhythm of the human body and leads to drowsiness. So if you only turn off the lights completely when you want to go to bed, your brain will think, up to that point, that it has to be awake. However, if you dim the lights in your room beforehand, you are slowly preparing your body for the upcoming sleep phase.


2. Avoid melatonin tablets!

Speaking of melatonin, there is a difference between melatonin, which is produced by the body, and melatonin tablets that you can buy as a supplement. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends avoiding melatonin tablets because they will not work in the long term, can worsen sleep disorders, and have other negative side effects.


3. Establish fixed sleep times!

If your weekly schedule allows, you should go to bed at the same time each day and get up at the same time in the morning. Many people torture themselves out of bed early during the week and have a long sleep on the weekend. Most of the time they stay up longer on Friday and Saturday because they don't have to get up early the next day. But this imbalance can upset your entire sleep schedule. Monday morning then feels like you're living in a different time zone - with jet lag. It will then take until Wednesday for your body to recover and adapt. And by then, half a week of productivity will be over.


4. Drink less alcohol!

Even if your last high felt different, alcohol is a sleep killer. And the later you drink alcoholic beverages in the evening, the more your sleep quality suffers. Alcohol disrupts the natural rhythm of sleep, blocks REM sleep, and causes other problems that prevent healthy sleep. You have to decide: Do you want to drink or can you have fun and sleep well and get started the next day?


5. Regulate your caffeine consumption!

Similar to alcohol, caffeine interrupts your natural sleep rhythm and thus optimally prevents sleeping conditions. Caffeine has a slightly delayed effect, but as soon as it reaches the brain via the blood, it prevents the neurotransmitter adenosine from docking, which makes us tired. In addition, caffeine shortens the deep sleep phases. Therefore, pay attention to your caffeine consumption and try not to drink caffeinated drinks from the early afternoon onwards


6. Banish your smartphone from your bedroom!

Your smartphone disturbs your sleep more than you think. Firstly, the blue light of the display works against your natural melatonin production and secondly, it offers you endless possibilities of distraction that can deprive you of enough sleep. Every message you read in bed, every app you open, and every website you look at before falling asleep delays your sleep. Even if you're using your smartphone as an alarm clock, it makes sense to place it outside of your bedroom so that you have to get up to turn off the alarm. That way, you are much more likely to get up and skip the snooze function.


7. Cover up the display of your alarm clock!

If you have your clock or an alarm clock near your bed, make sure that you cannot see the time display directly. Otherwise, the ad makes you nervous and puts you under unnecessary pressure to fall asleep as quickly as possible - and thus it only does the opposite. In addition, your brain will (consciously or subconsciously) calculate all night: "If I fall asleep now, I have 7 hours and 13 minutes until I have to get up again."


8. Change to a passive mood!

Most people are busy all day. Even when they come home after their work is done, household, family, friends or hobbies are on the agenda. The first time they switch off is when they go to bed. Only then do they switch from an active to a passive posture and begin to deal with the day. But it is precisely this process that disturbs your sleep. It is better if you take ten minutes before bed to review your day than to lie awake in bed later and not be able to close your eyes.


9. Write down your thoughts!

One easy way to clear your head before going to sleep is to write down your thoughts. This can happen in the form of a diary, by making a mind map or by creating a simple list. It is only important that you clear your head and outsource all disturbing thoughts - on paper. In this way you close with the past day and can go to bed at ease.


10. Plan your next day!

A common reason many people lie awake at night and cannot fall asleep is because of thoughts about the future. You can easily resolve this blockage by taking five minutes in the evening and planning your next day in advance. Determine the most important tasks that you have to take care of tomorrow, write down important reminders and create a clear to-do list. Depending on the situation, you can go further into the future and sketch out tasks for the next few weeks and months. The main thing is that you don't take these thoughts with you to bed.

And if none of that helps:


Bonus: 11. Get up!

If you absolutely cannot fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can no longer find peace, it is not very helpful to stay in bed. Instead, get up and sit on the couch or chair for a moment, breaking your negative sleep routine. As you move away from the situation, you are signaling to your brain: the chair is a place to think; the bed is a place to sleep. And then you go back to bed - to sleep.


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Fatigue is not cool or a sign of hard work and determination. Fatigue is harmful and prevents you from reaching your goals. If you are constantly tired, you will never be able to reach your full potential. You will only develop slowly and will be dissatisfied in the long run.

You definitely have to prevent that. The 10 + 1 tips above will help you break your spiral of fatigue and finally plunge into your studies with full energy.

To start with, it is enough if you take one or two points and stick to them from today. Improving the quality of your sleep is a long-term project where small steps can cause big changes - you just have to do them regularly.

Start today.


Image: © Sadık Kuzu / unsplash.com