How to get to sleep before an exam, fast

It’s all in the breathing

Can’t sleep before an exam? Feeling stressed and anxious? Manically searching for ASMR videos, meditation podcasts or how to get to sleep before an exam tips? This guide on how to get to sleep before an exam will help you fall asleep fast, so you can wake up ready to regurgitate everything you’ve been memorising.

Not getting seven or eight hours sleep every night can majorly impact how you feel the following day. Not only can it negatively affect you physically, but mentally too. A lack of sleep can cause a lack in concentration, memory, and make you more irritable – not what you want when you’re about to sit down for a two hour exam.

This is how to sleep before an exam, fast:

Practice deep breathing exercises

If you’re having difficulty sleeping before an exam and getting stressed, try and regulate your breathing. Breathing exercises help people get to sleep as they force you to concentrate purely on your breathing, and getting your breathing to be deeper, like it is during sleep.

4-7-8 breathing method:

Breath through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale slowly and deeply for eight seconds. Repeat this until your breathing becomes deeper.

Three-part breathing:

A lot of people prefer to do this technique as there’s less counting than the 4-7-8 method. It’s used in yoga. All you do is breath in through your nose slowly until you feel the air has completely filled your chest, abdomen and diaphragm, then breath out completely, slowly again through your mouth.

Stop looking at your phone, or any screen

Blue light from your phone suppresses the creation of melatonin – a hormone which regulates your sleep cycle. So scrolling on Instagram as you’re trying to sleep or replying to the group chat will only keep you awake for longer.

It’s best to not look at any screens an hour before going to bed, so your body can recognise it’s time to sleep.

Get up and walk around

If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, getting out of bed and walking around can help reset your body to tire it out. Or, go into another room and read or do something that doesn’t involve looking at your phone or clock-watching. When tiredness hits, go back to bed.

Wear an eye mask and ear plugs

An obvious one, but making your room as dark and quiet as possible all contributes to helping you get a good night’s sleep. If you have light blinds or live by a busy road, there’s more chance of waking up and disrupting your sleep.

If you’re still trying to sleep, read something

If you’re either struggling to settle because you can’t go on your phone, or have woken up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep – read something. Not only does reading reduce cortisol production (the stress hormone), but it will force you to concentrate on something other than worrying about not getting enough sleep.

how to sleep before an exam

The vibe

Make your sleeping environment comfortable

Get cosy. Invest in some decent bedding. You spend half your life in bed so you might as well spend the money on a decent mattress, mattress topper and pillows. Treat yourself!!!

Keep your room cool in temperature

Research shows keeping the temperature of your room cool improves sleep quality. 16-18 degrees is the optimum sleep environment – anything over 24 degrees will cause a restless night.

An hour before bed, make the space you’re in darker

Turning lights off and being in a darker environment will trigger the release of melatonin, which tells your body it’s soon time to go to sleep. When it’s time for you to go to bed to sleep, your body is already preparing to snooze.

Exercise in the day

You need to tire yourself out. Sitting around all day in the library revising may seem like an exhausting mental exercise, but it’s not enough to fully tire you. Exercise can reduce anxiety and stress and allows you to fall into a deeper sleep. One research study found 55 per cent of participants who practiced yoga had improved sleep, and 85 per cent said it reduced stress.

Don’t drink tea, coffee or any thing caffeinated right before bed

On average, caffeine won’t affect your sleep if it’s consumed six hours before you go to sleep. But drinking a coffee two hours before bed could have an impact.

Magnesium supplements

“Healthy magnesium levels protect metabolic health, stabilise mood, keep stress in check, promote better sleep, and contribute to heart and bone health”, says Dr Michael J Breus in Psychology Today. Magnesium is found in seeds and nuts, vegetables, meat and dairy products. If you are continually having trouble sleeping, magnesium supplements have been found to help people with low sleep quality. Speak to a professional before taking any supplements.

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