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7 Simple Steps to Help You Sleep Before an Exam

We have all been victims of all nighters and procrastinating study before an exam, but scientific studies show that it is more productive to get between 6-10 hours of sleep before the big day.

Around exam time, like many of you, I worry and procrastinate which causes me to lose precious hours of sleep.

So here are seven simple steps to help you get a good night’s rest before your exam.

Man falling asleep on couch with book on his face

1.Reducing blue light exposure during the evening.

Blue light is emitted through electronics and tricks your brain into thinking that it still needs to be active. Reducing blue light exposure can be done by turning electronics off early or using blue light glasses.

On certain devices, including Samsung mobile phones, the option is provided to change the screen mode to lower the “Blue Light” rays from your device. It is under the setting “Eye Comfort Shield.” Although, it is best overall to switch off completely.

Woman in bed with an Apple MacBook laptop

2. Meditation.

Relaxing and clearing your mind with meditation before bed can help your body relax, allowing you to fall into a deep sleep. Meditation can enhance a feeling of peace and relaxation which makes it a great technique in calming your body and mind before falling asleep. Guided relaxation and meditation videos can be found on YouTube.

Meditation podcasts can also be a great way to help you wind down and relax before it is time to sleep.

Here are some meditation podcasts and playlists that are available on Spotify.

a woman meditating outside

3. Create a routine.

Trying to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day isn’t easy. But throughout the week, creating a routine can be an excellent way to teach your body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. If you try this a couple of weeks before your exam, you are more likely to find it easier to sleep.

Building a bed time routine can also play a role in reducing stress and anxiety, helping you fall asleep faster.

dairy with to do's- routine


4. Comfort.

Make your sleeping environment comfortable. This includes the temperature of your room, the comfort of your pillow and mattress, low lighting, and noise.

When you are comfortable your body can relax and wind down. Having a comfortable sleep environment including your mattress and pillows, can change how long you sleep for within a night.

bed with white sheets and white pillows


5. Review.

Get all your worries for the next day out of your head. It is normal to feel stressed at night-time when you are no longer keeping yourself busy. Getting these issues and worries out of your head and debriefing before bedtime e.g., during dinner, after work or even on paper. This will help in keeping your mind free to sleep.

Here are some resources to reduce anxiety before bed.



A man sitting at the dining table with a friend talking in front of computers

6. Exercise.

Find time to exercise in the day. This can be difficult for people that are always on the go, but exercise can make your body tired, and improve sleep quality. Exercising around 1-2 hours before you go to sleep gives your brain time to wind down. Exercise can decrease feelings of depression and anxiety and can even assist in realigning your body clock.

Here are three easy exercises to do during the day:


Woman working out on purple mat with green training band and two 1kg weights next to her


7. Read a book.

Reading a book can help your brain switch off when it is night-time. Include reading in your new night-time routine instead of staring at your phone or computer screen.

Reading also allows you to calm your muscles and body, as well as slow your breathing. A stress reducing activity – reading a book is just what you need to end your night-time routine with.


an open novel

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