Friday, August 30, 2013

Sleepy sleepy

So after pulling an all nighter to put my new freshmen into their rooms, I feel like now is a good time to talk about sleep.  You should consider me one of the champions of sleeping, because not only am I able to sleep for 14 hours a night, but I've also never pulled an all nighter before now.
When I got to MIT I promised myself I wouldn't become addicted to caffeine.  I know it sounds stupid, but it was really important to me.  I hate the taste of coffee and caffeine just makes me jittery; I go all George of the Jungle and run around.  
Feel like I'm getting old, just saw when this movie came out....
The only way I could make it through my classes was to make sure I got enough sleep.  Sometimes this means turning in psets that are 70% done, and sometimes it means missing out on parties.  In the end though, I'm the only one of my friends that reliably gets 8 hours of sleep a night and never less than 6, so who's laughing now?
Granted I do take it a little far sometimes; I like to go to sleep at like 8 on Fridays like an old person.  Let's face it though, at the end of the week I'm exhausted, but then I'm ready to go all out on Saturdays (party day what whaat!).

The key to all of this is not only enough sleep, but good sleep.  I splurged on a tempurpedic matress topper (life saver!) and some good pillows.  In reality though, good sleep starts while you're still awake.  This means about a half hour before you're going to bed, you need to turn off your electronics.  I know it's hard, but the glow of the screen really hurts your sleep.  Read a book (kindles are ok because of their paperwhite screen), listen to music, do crafts, anything other than look at your phone or laptop.  I use this time to read because it's something I don't get to do often when I have homework.
Buy some here!
I also drink my Sleepytime tea.  I love this stuff!  It's smells great and a warm cup of it really relaxes me.  (ok so I may have sworn off uppers but I'm a sucker for the downers).
It's really important to be ready to sleep.  If you just crash after working for hours and hours, you'll wake up feeling exactly like you went to bed.  Go to sleep the same way you want to wake up.

Lastly, sleep in multiples of 90 min.  This means get 1.5 hours, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, or 9 hours of sleep.  This is the length of a REM cycle give or take, and keeping on track with your REM cycle will help you feel rested in the morning.  There are plenty of apps to help with this, but I feel like it's not that hard to do the math and set your alarm accordingly.

Bon nuit! Let me know what you do to relax before you sleep :)

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