How to sleep well before final exams


The key to taking exams well is sleep, as it improves the reproductive memory and the ability to concentrate. Sleep is also necessary for memorization, so if you are going to sit over textbooks all night, then still hardly remember much. To achieve better results, you should set aside about 8 hours for sleep before an important exam, but not less than 6. But what if you can not fall asleep? To ensure a night of rest before the exam, make sure that you learn correctly and eat the right food and drinks. If feverish thoughts still do not allow you to doze off, try meditation or relaxation techniques to help yourself cope with the excitement and fall asleep.


Food and drinks that help to fall asleep


Eat at least two hours before bedtime


A full stomach can prevent you from falling asleep, especially if you are also nervous about the exam. Avoid heavy, fatty, abundant and spicy food before going to bed, as this food will be harder for your body to digest, and it’s more difficult for you to fall asleep. You can wake up in the middle of the night from heartburn that will ruin all your plans to rest.

A small snack before bed will not hurt. In fact, if you are hungry, it is better to have something to eat, because it can be difficult to fall asleep on an empty stomach.


Eat foods rich in substances that help to fall asleep


Other students during the exams can eat cola and chips, but you should be smarter! The right food will help you get enough sleep at night.

Salad leaves. Salad contains a lactukary – a substance with calming and sedative properties, and it is healthy food.

Almonds and walnuts. These nuts contain the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of hormones regulating sleep (serotonin and melatonin), and thus helps you sleep. To make you sleep better, try adding nuts to the salad.

Bananas. Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which help muscles relax and contribute to falling asleep.

Whole grain cereal. If you like to have a snack at night with flakes, then you are thinking in the right direction. Whole-grain cereal, better oatmeal, contains vitamin B6 (also found in fish such as tuna and salmon), which helps synthesize melatonin. In combination with milk (another means for a good sleep), these flakes perfectly contribute to falling asleep.

Complex carbohydrates. A cup of brown rice or whole grains of crackers can help you fall asleep. Just avoid simple carbohydrates, which consist, for example, of baked goods or pasta from refined grain, sweet flakes or french fries.


Drink a drink that promotes sleep


The right food can help you fall asleep, but you don’t want to eat up before going to bed, because a full stomach makes you toss and turn from side to side for a long time? Try before going to bed to drink something that has a hypnotic effect.

Skimmed milk. Milk contains tryptophan and calcium, triggering an additional synthesis of tryptophan. Low-fat milk is better, since fatty and whole milk can irritate the digestive system, which makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

Chamomile tea. Such tea contains glycine – an amino acid, acting as a mild sedative. Try to sweeten the tea with honey, which contains tryptophan, also contributing to falling asleep.

Fruity tea with passion fruit. This tea contains alkaloids that soothe the nervous system and have been proven to improve sleep.


Avoid caffeine and cigarettes after noon


Caffeine remains in our body for 6-14 hours, depending on the individual metabolism.
To withdraw nicotine, the body takes from 1 to 10 days. Tobacco or coffee can cheer you up, but it will also be more difficult for you to fall asleep when you are finished with studies.

Do not take caffeine less than eight hours before you plan to go to bed. If you can not do without caffeine at this time, use low-content drinks such as green tea, decaffeinated coffee (yes, even there is a bit of caffeine!) Or soda based on orange juice and root extract.


Do not abuse sleeping pills


If you suffer from insomnia, you are already taking sleeping pills. If not, then the night before the exam is not the best time to start doing it. Most non-prescription sleeping pills are the active ingredient, antihistamines, which will make you feel drowsy long after you wake up. This is hardly what you want during the exam.


How to cope with anxiety?


Don’t worry too much about whether you can get enough sleep at night


Of course, it will be best if you come to the exam well rested. But we also feel relatively good even with a small number of hours of sleep, it is enough not to deprive ourselves of rest for several nights in a row. Moreover, if you worry about not falling asleep, it will actually be difficult for you to do it. The best approach is to understand that a few extra hours of sleep will help, but at the same time do not panic if the dream does not go.

If you can not fall asleep, do not sit down for school again. It is important to let your head rest, even if you do not fall asleep. First try the relaxation techniques described below. If after that you can not fall asleep, read a book or try to relax in a different way.


Write down the thoughts that bother you in the diary


A good way to cope with anxiety and distracting thoughts that you can not get out of your head is to write them down. By making a list of problems, you should not concentrate on remembering them: let your mind rest. This will also help during meditation: keep the diary on hand to write down any thoughts that we can not get out of our heads.


“Put” your thoughts in the box


Napoleon was also famous for being able to fall asleep almost instantaneously under any circumstances. His technique was as follows: he imagined filling the drawer of the dresser with worries about his thoughts, and then closing it. Try to do the same. Lie down, close your eyes and try to clear your mind. When thoughts arise, imagine that you put them in a box, filling it. This should help you clear your mind and, accordingly, fall asleep.


Try remember your day


Worrying about what remains to be done, we often can not fall asleep. Instead of thinking about things that you have not done yet, try to concentrate on what you have already finished to calm your mind. Lie down calmly, relax and remember your day. It does not matter if you remember events in direct or reverse order. Don’t try to state the events briefly and do not miss anything. The bottom line is to remember as many details as you can.

For example: I woke up, stretched out in bed, got up, went to the bathroom, squeezed out the toothpaste on the toothbrush and so on.

The main thing is not to worry if you can not remember something. The purpose of the exercise is not to show an impeccable memory, but to order your thoughts and thus relax.


Create a visual image to help yourself calm your mind


There is a long tradition, existing at least from the time of Ancient Greece, – to stimulate sleep with the help of mental images. To help yourself fall asleep, imagine a place that you find calm and calming, for example, a tropical beach or fern-covered forest. You can also try one of the following tried and tested mental exercises:

A roll of yarn. Imagine a tight tangle of yarn, symbolizing your tension and anxiety. Now imagine that the ball is gradually unwinding, rolling on the floor. The amount of loose yarn increases, while the tangle slowly decreases. Focus on the measured breathing until the ball slowly unwinds. In the end, only the untangled yarn remains on the floor, lying calmly, like you.

Under the dome of sleep. Imagine a barrier in the form of a dome, which protects you from the outside world and unfinished business. Concentrate on the texture, color and shape of the barrier. Believe that no worries can get inside. If you have other thoughts, imagine how they bounce off the dome, unable to reach you.

The river of sleep. Imagine that you, like a leaf – swim away. Do not resist the current, warm water will keep you on the surface. Listen to the soft murmur of the water, feel how it caresses you. Relax and let the water blow itself into the realm of sleep.


Try herbal infusions


Some herbs can help you cope with anxiety and fall asleep. Usually they are sold as a part of teas, but you can also find extracts from plants, including in the form of tablets and tinctures, in health food stores.

The root of valerian. It is proved that valerian is an effective tool in the fight against anxiety and helps to fall asleep. Nevertheless, the maximum effect can be achieved only after a few weeks of taking the decoction.

Passionflower. This plant has a milder effect than valerian. Passion flora can affect the action of other sedatives and some medications, so you should consult a doctor if you are already taking other medicines.


Read the second part


How to sleep well before final exams (Part 1)