Perfect your back-to-school sleep schedule NOW!

Few things in life are more fun than summer nights spent with your besties. You stay up late, make crazy cool memories and never even think of setting an alarm. If it were possible to earn a grade in summer skills, then you’d totally have an A in allnighters. 

It’s too bad wide awake is exactly what you *don’t* want to be the night before school starts. Living the night owl lifestyle causes your circadian rhythm (that’s your body’s internal clock) to get used to going to bed at the crack of dawn and waking up around lunchtime. Because your school’s clock operates on a much different schedule, there’s a chance that the road to a normal bedtime will be rocky. Ready to start smoothing some of those bumps? Follow these tips for making this the year of bountiful beauty sleep. 

Go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.

We get it—you want to savor as many summer nights as possible, but you've got to stop putting off your pillow. Instead, start easing into your school year sleep time a week or two before the first day. (The exact amount of time you’ll need will depend on how late you’ve been staying up.) Aim to hit the hay 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. The following night, go to bed 30 minutes earlier than that. Do this until you’ve reached your goal bedtime. 

Set alarms—and stick to them. 

Alarms are the *opposite* of fun when school’s in session, and they’re even more yawn-worthy during summer vacay. However, setting them for the mornings leading up to day one will make getting up early feel like less of a shock. It might be helpful to take the 30-minute idea and apply it to this. Every morning, drag yourself out of bed for an alarm that’s 30 minutes earlier than the one from the previous day. And avoid hitting snooze. Your future self will thank you.

Say so long to late-night snacking.

Who doesn’t love a good midnight munchie? Unfortunately, those tasty treats can wreak a whole lot of havoc on your sleep schedule. According to Bustle, “late night munching can actually keep you up past your bedtime.” Eating late forces your bod to digest when it should be dreaming. While this isn’t a problem if you’re pulling an all-nighter on purpose, it’ll definitely cause a stir once you have to head to bed earlier. Get rid of those rumbles by eating your last meal/snack for the day a few hours before bedtime.

Prep before you hit the pillow.

Drifting into dreamland is easier said than done. You’ll have a *much* better shot at shutting down at a sensible hour if you piece together a pre-sleep routine. Change into your coziest pajamas, brush your teeth (and floss, obvs!), power down your electronics and do a few stretches to loosen up your limbs. Going through this gradual getting-ready process will relax your mind and bod so that both are prepared to fall asleep. 

How do you take your sleep schedule from summer to school?

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by Megan Sawey | 8/15/2019