Which sleeping method works best?


Ryley Kuhn, Reporter

Catching Z’s is an ever elusive prospect for high schoolers, which is to be expected given the burden of homework, classwork, and somehow maintaining a social life. The stresses intrinsic to the existence of every student of every high school go well beyond the classroom, and so often raggedly impact sleep. We all sleep, and as I write this in the throes of my caffeine-crazed, sleep deprived, 500 hour energy drink fueled antics, I can effectively state for a fact that it gets pretty difficult; so, sit down and read the slightly comedic print. It is time to learn a thing or two about getting those eight hours of sleep without sacrificing opportunity cost for a twelve minute nap in lunch hour.

(Note, each method was given two days of experimentation)

Method Number One: 60 minute wind-down

This one helped dramatically when used in tandem with method three, and quite simply, you take an active effort to ease into sleep mode, or otherwise chill, if you will. Many experts recommend tea, incense, soft music, and anything to lower that blood-pressure and get you to calm down. Of course, it takes a little time, maybe time you don’t have, but if you can dedicate about an hour to simply relaxing, it’s noticeably effective. Just take an hour to remove yourself from your worldly problems, and reach a Zen-style peace of mind. For instance, slip on some pajamas, forget the fact that 189 assignments are due by second hour, and listen to some soft music, like Chopin.


Final Verdict: Helped a lot, best used alongside another technique, slept like an armadillo.  Note, it takes a couple days to ease into, but it works like a charm. The thing that really distinguishes this technique from the others is the noticeable effect it has on the morning after; in short, it really helped, I awoke feeling refreshed and ready for the oncoming storm. I recommend this for people who struggle getting out of bed in the morning without swiftly rolling off the bed and hitting their head on the nightstand.


Method Number Two: The ever-famous counting sheep

Given that you live on planet earth, odds are, at one point or another you’ve heard reference of “Counting sheep” as a method used to put oneself to sleep. You start off by imagining an endless single-file line of sheep, somehow jumping over a fence one by one. It’s very self-explanatory; you just count them as they jump over the fence. Basically, it’s supposed to get so boring, you eventually start dozing off to spare yourself the monotony. The technique was first incepted in a Spanish medical treatise from the early twelfth century, and has been referred to so often that it’s now a common English colloquialism.


Final verdict: Gets the job done, especially when used with method one. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t quite work for everyone, but it worked just fine for me. When I was researching the whole “Counting Sheep” technique, I came across an interesting factoid that detailed using more mental energy to personalize the scenario evidently improves your odds of those sheep knocking you out. For instance, I put the fence on a plateau of frozen lakes and gave the sheep different colors, following no particular pattern. So, maybe when you imagine your infinitely expansive line of sheep, you can put them on a beach, or maybe a volcano. Admittedly, I was skeptical about this method when I first tried it, but after an extra day’s experimental period, it got the job done.


Method Number Three: Deep breathing

In the spirit of saving best for last, I present to you the most effective technique I personally experimented with. It’s also the most practical for a large demographic. The name doesn’t quite say it all; here’s how it’s done. Firstly, you breathe deeply, to the count of four, hold your breath for eight seconds, and then exhale slowly. Count how many times you repeat the cycle, and you should be off to dreamland before you know it. Of course, it’s easy to slip up the first couple times, but once you get the hang of it, it comes very naturally.


Final Verdict: Best method in my personal experimentation, slept like a well-fed sloth. I didn’t quite keep track, but I estimate it took less than ten minutes for me to actually get to sleep, very smooth transition. No noticeable impact on waking up in the morning, but it worked tremendously.