Being a grade 12 student intent on getting into the University of your Choice can be stressful, given that the grades you receive in your courses now will determine what schools you can and cannot get accepted into in the future. The pressure is on when so much is at stake, and as a result, it can be difficult to fall asleep. 

Stress keeps us awake at night, and when we can’t fall asleep, we feel more stressed the following day. It is a vicious cycle: stress leads to lack of sleep, which leads to more stress, which leads to lack of sleep, which leads to even more stress, and so on. 

To stay awake, or as awake as they possibly can throughout the day, students may use caffeine. Caffeine isn’t necessarily bad for you. On the contrary, it can come with many benefits, especially when you consume coffee or tea rather than energy drinks. But caffeine, when consumed at the wrong time or in too high quantities, can also keep students awake at night, and therefore only add to the vicious cycle. 

What Insomnia Does to You

Insomnia can do several detrimental things to your body and brain. When you cannot sleep, you may experience:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Lethargy or low motivation
  • Inability to focus 
  • Fatigue or sleepiness 
  • Irritability 
  • Bodily pain, such as shoulder and backaches
  • Headaches, typically tension headaches
  • Muscle soreness 
  • Poor coordination 
  • Confusion 
  • Forgetfulness 

All these symptoms can make it difficult to perform as well in online grade 12 courses in Ontario as you usually would, which is the last thing you want when you are hoping to get accepted into the university of your dreams. 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene 

The pandemic has made it clear how detrimental working in your bedroom can be. When your bedroom is also your workspace, it can be hard to sleep. To practice good sleep hygiene, it’s important to separate your sleep space from your workspace. The bedroom should be for sleep and relaxation only, not homework. 

Turn Off Your Screens

You should not do schoolwork in your bedroom, and neither should you look at your phone or computer within less than two hours before going to bed. The light from phone and computer screens can make it harder to sleep at night. That’s because the blue light that these screens release prevents the brain from producing melatonin, which is the hormone that controls our circadian rhythms. 

More, the blue light released by phones and computer screens stimulates our minds, making it difficult for us to shut off our thoughts at night. 

You Don’t Always Have to Be Available

We live in a world where we are expected to be on call during every waking hour.

However, if you want to increase your chances of sleeping well, it helps to establish some boundaries. For instance, after 9 pm, set your phone aside and turn it on airplane mode. If your friends are put off by your silence, tell them about your rule and explain why it’s important to you. They should understand. Maybe they’ll even copy you.

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