How to get back on track after reading week:
It’s easy to get sidetracked after reading week, but with only four more weeks to go before exam week, it’s more important than ever to make sure we have a set routine. First, SLEEP. A sleep schedule is essential to be able to present successfully to the finals. From someone known for working hard late into the morning to finish homework or make plans, now is the time to take back control of your sleep schedule. Motivation through the last push of the semester can sometimes be hard to come by with everything going on at once. But routine will get you through it. Once you have a set routine, you get used to waking up, eating, exercising, sleeping, and studying at a specific time. It will become second nature.
Resetting a sleep schedule can take time, but I can give you some tips to make sure you’re rested and able to work to your best potential. Set a screen time limit on your phone. I know it’s easy to keep scrolling through Facebook and TikTok late at night, but I bet you’ll be surprised if you look at your social media screen time history. Even if there are times when you ignore the timer or press snooze for another 15 minutes, at least you are aware of how much time you spend online.
I’ve always admired people who can “shut down” their brains and fall asleep at the end of the night or sit down and take a nap anywhere. Unfortunately, I don’t have that talent, so I set up a downtime every night. About an hour before I go to bed, I try to make sure I avoid doing stimulating tasks, like finishing classes or watching the latest episode of Love is Blind. Reading is usually my favorite. Not only can I relax before bed, but I can also have a crucial time to take care of myself.
Also, carefully consider caffeine intake and diet. I know you’ve heard it a million times, but there are some serious benefits to considering how your diet affects your productivity and sleep. Caffeine can stay in your body for 8 hours after consumption. Therefore, try to have all your caffeinated beverages before noon. This way you ensure that your body does not receive additional stimulants. I know this may seem to counteract the 2-3 p.m. crash, but we can also counteract this with a slight blood sugar spike from certain fruits, granola, or honey yogurt.
Finally, write down in your phone the nights you didn’t sleep well and you are thought to have trouble falling asleep, relaxing, or waking up continuously at night. Implementing the following will allow you to self-experiment and identify commonalities to see what you can change with your routine to improve your sleep.