I finally learnt the hard way that not getting enough sleep negatively affects my study, mood, self esteem and even my relationships (thus, making me a sub-par version of myself). So while I’d be lying in saying that I’ve found the secret to getting enough sleep, here are some realisations that have helped me recognise and achieve just that little bit more sleep than I did before.

Sleep is needed

Sure, there might exist people who function on 5 hours of shut-eye and seem to be able to do everything. But I promise you, the human body isn’t biologically designed to function off 5 hours of sleep, nor should you have to! If you wake up feeling tired or maybe super refreshed after that once-off 8-hour night, listen to your body which is physically begging you to sleep a bit more.

Sleep is not a waste of time

By sleeping, you don’t waste time you could be using get things done. Rather, you make the time you’re awake far more effective than if you didn’t sleep enough. We never feel guilty about spending time on activities we require (e.g. eating or school) or activities we want (e.g. holidays). Sleep is no different; a better, energised, focused you is always needed, wanted and consequently, not a waste of time.

Sleep is a like a relationship

Like a relationship, the more you invest, the more you’ll get out of it. However, your relationship with sleep easier because it’s decided entirely by you! Set aside time for this relationship by blocking out an hour of YOU time before your bed time. Have a shower, read a book, listen to some chill tunes, scroll through those final memes on Facebook before eventually nodding off.

Sleep is hard

Every once in a while you might have a late party or that English assignment that you’re finishing the night before it’s due. So of course, there will be occasions where you’ll have to spend a bit of your sleep time on other things. But if you can’t get to sleep because you’re stressed, upset or excited, extend your YOU time beyond your bed time. Having a YOU time routine to fall back on can be reassuring and even calming in those moments.

**Note: it’s recommended by the Sleep Health Foundation that 14-17 year olds should aim for the recommended 8-10 hours while 18-25 years should try for 7-9 hours.