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Your A to Zzz guide to better sleep

Exam season is almost upon us, and with scientists stressing the importance of a good night’s sleep, here are our top tips to help you wake up refreshed and ready to take every test in your stride.

 

End the all-nighters
Although a last-minute revision session before an exam might seem like a good idea, studies have shown that you’re far more likely to succeed if you’re well rested. Avoid the panic cram by drawing up a revision timetable that gives you plenty of time to prepare for the big day.

Mind over matter
As our lives become busier, meditation is gaining momentum as an essential way to reconnect with ourselves. Even just a few minutes of peaceful reflection and deep breathing can calm pre-exam nerves and prepare your body for more restorative sleep.

Sweat it out
Exercise is as essential for our sleep as it is for our general health and wellbeing. The more vigorous the activity, the more beneficial to your sleep – but if you can, avoid anything too strenuous in the evening.

Switch off
From smartphones to streaming, we spend more time in front of a screen than ever before – and all that blue light is playing havoc with our sleep cycles. Try to switch off all devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, and if you can, keep your phone in another room overnight to avoid temptation.

You are what you eat (and drink)
A heavy meal before bed can cause discomfort from indigestion, so try to eat a few hours earlier – and keep snacking to a minimum. When your eyes start to droop over your revision notes, don’t be tempted by stimulants like coffee or energy drinks. Instead, take a break, go for a walk and get some fresh air.

And relax
Whether it’s taking a hot bath or settling down with a good book, create a routine that will help you unwind before bed. Lavender has been found to be beneficial in combatting insomnia, so try diffusing essential oil in your room or sprinkle a few drops on your bedsheets.

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