Sleeping and Waking up Early

Author: Cindy Van (Class of 2017)

Being an optometry student, you’ll have weird hours, especially during 4th year. Think 9am to 9pm Mondays, and 8ams three days a week. Now exams are coming up, sleep is getting more scarce. Those pesky early morning exams at the Racecourse are always a pain. To make sure you don’t miss any classes and ace those exams, here are some tips for sleeping and waking up early.

Sunrise at Sandy Bay, TAS - Taken by Jennifer Banh
Sunrise at Sandy Bay, TAS – Taken by Jennifer Banh
  • Turn off your devices an hour before sleep, or use f.lux to stop blue light interfering with melatonin levels
  • Don’t drink any tea or coffee before bed, lest you toss and turn until 4am the next morning (been there, done that!)
  • Make sure your room is perfect for sleeping; dark, quiet, and distraction-free.
  • Keep your bed only for sleeping – don’t create an association with studying or browsing the internet, it will make falling asleep more difficult.
  • Sleep in multiples of 90 mins, the length of your natural sleep cycle, so that you feel refreshed the next morning. So try for 6 or 7.5 or 9 hours.
  • Wake up at the same time each day to reset your body clock.
  • Open the curtains so that you get natural lighting stopping the production of melatonin and waking you up
  • Set an alarm that you know will wake you up, and don’t hit the snooze button.
  • Don’t have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, because it disrupts the production of cortisol, which starts gluconeogenesis to increase your blood glucose levels. Try having an apple instead to wake you up.
  • Go for a morning run to enhance blood flow to the brain and stimulate brain processes.

So hopefully if you incorporate these tips into your daily routine, you’ll be able to avoid drifting off during your next OPTM or VISN lecture! Study hard and smash those exams!

Best wishes,

Cindy Van

Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of UNSW OptomSoc or the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science.

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