Moving into student accommodation is an exciting time – meeting new friends, gaining independence and having your own space.
A less exciting prospect is the imminent lack of sleep that living in close quarters with other students inevitably brings.
Student halls are hardly known for being a quiet environment and odds are, your body clock is going to face a pretty big shock.
This could contribute to weakening your immune system and exposing you to the dreaded Fresher’s flu.
Fear not though, alongside Holland & Barrett, we’re on hand to bring some handy tips to get you on your way to the Land of Nod.
Stick to a routine
We’re not saying you should be following a militant regime, who are we kidding?
It can be difficult to keep any kind of routine at university, but regular sleeping patterns when it comes to your body clock, can make falling asleep every night much easier.
The main phases of sleep are rapid-eye-movement and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. Most of your body’s repair processes take place during NREM.
Both of these phases function best when your body is kept on some kind of schedule, so habits like sleeping in on weekends can throw out the rhythm.
Watch what you eat
It goes without saying that avoiding anything with caffeine and stimulants is a smart move before bedtime.
Nuts can be a great evening snack. Walnuts contain tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid, whilst pistachios contain B6, which assists in making melatonin and serotonin.
Melatonin is known as the ‘sleep hormone’, as it raises your insulin levels, putting you into a tired state.
A tablespoon of honey can be a surprising help too. Being rich in glucose, it signals the body to cease production of the amino acid orexin, a hormone which prevents sleepiness.
Other food and drink that can help in the nodding off process include a glass of warm milk and a banana. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, try a chamomile tea with a slice of whole grain toast with almond butter.
Avoid alcohol and nicotine
There’s a common misconception that a glass of wine before bed, or a couple of beers, will make us feel drowsy and get off to sleep more easily.
Actually, alcohol does just the opposite. Once it has metabolised in your body, it will cause a more broken sleep.
Nicotine acts as a stimulant that can also wake you up – so avoiding cigarettes, patches and gum at least an hour before bed can help you get the rest you need.
Create a relaxing environment
Give yourself an hour of downtime before you crawl into bed – your body needs time to turn off before you sleep.
Rid your room of electronics and resist the urge to scroll endlessly through social media. This will only stimulate your mind and make it harder to sleep.
Spray your pillows with some lavender mist, invest in some earplugs and maybe even some blackout curtains.
This doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, as little as 30 minutes moderate exercise per day can make a huge difference.
Not only will regular exercise benefit your physical health, it will also aid your mental wellbeing, which in turn can also improve your sleep pattern.
Keep your workout sessions to the mornings or afternoons though, exercising close to bedtime can be counter-productive and stop you unwinding.
As well as the handy health tips, Holland & Barrett are offering up to 50% off their orders, so we’re keeping an eye on your wallets too.
Part of a paid partnership