One sheep, two sheep…
I can’t sleep.
…three sheep, four sheep…
I toss and turn in my bed at night hoping that once I find the right position, maybe I’ll be able to sleep. But to my disappointment, after hours of counting sheep, I’m a little bit too conscious for my liking.
By definition, insomnia is the inability to sleep, most often used to describe periods of time where one cannot sleep. With all of the pressure and stress that accompanies high school, it is no surprise that insomnia is common among teenagers. I have recently done some research on ways to combat sleeplessness, and I would like to share it all with you.
First, it is important to identify why you can’t sleep. Often the inability to sleep is linked to one’s emotions, such as stress, but it can also be due to things that happen in the waking world and surroundings. If you can determine a reason why you can’t sleep, and change it, then all of your troubles will be gone. But it usually isn’t as easy as that.
One thing that can obviously lead to problems is the consumption of too much caffeine. It hypes up the system, therefore making it harder to sleep. Coffee can be helpful in the early mornings, but it’s better to stay away from it in the afternoons.
Another thing that seems obvious, but is sometimes hard to control, especially for high school students, is taking naps. Whenever you sleep, your body re-energizes itself, therefore when you wake up an hour later from a nap, you won’t need to sleep again for a while. If taking a nap is necessary, it is best to limit it to 10 to 20 minutes because it gives you just enough energy, but not too much. It is a terrible cycle to sleep during the day, lie awake at night, and try to wake yourself up as soon as you’ve fallen asleep in the morning.
The last thing that I will share is changing sleeping conditions. Unless I am really tired, I cannot sleep with lights on and I am sure that it is the same for most people. Before you try to sleep, make sure that there are no lights on that can disrupt your sleeping. If your neighbors insist on keeping lights on right outside of your window, I suggest buying a sleeping mask. Also, make sure to stay away from activities that will stimulate your mind and make you feel more awake. It may not sound easy, but the best thing that you can do before sleeping is clearing your mind and relaxing your body. Push the mental to-do list out of your thoughts, and literally just lie in bed. Sleep will usually follow if you do so.