Recently every night I have just been laying there awake and no matter how tired I am, I just cannot take my mind off of exams and worrying about them, so I don't get to sleep til around 2am each night. I can't stop thinking about exams because I'm so scared for them. Maybe if I knew more of the content it would be fine. What do you think I should do because I don't want to get to the night before the exam and not be able to sleep. Does anyone have any tips for relaxation? I would take sleeping aids but think they'd affect my concentration. Also would caffeine or ibuprofen affect my concentration?
The main issue is that you are worrying over your exams. You need to change your perspective a little and realize that fretting wont change the outcome. I have heard many people achieving better grades than they thought they would get and the other way round. You might not feel like you know all of the content and in this sense there is a lack of control over your future, but that's just the nature of exams. Trust me, when you get into the exam hall the writing will just flow and you will be streaming with ideas. You don't want to over- do the revision just before the exam, but i would recommend writing out answers to questions or plans just so you getting ready for the real thing. From experience, keeping to a schedule during the day and hitting bed not too late (like 12ish for me) will help. Avoid TV late at night, just work through the revision especially the stuff that is particularly hard. You can't really know everything inside out but if you have done a bit of work you will perform in the exam. I think water is the best thing to drink, caffeine will keep you going for a bit but then there will be that crash afterwards (many cups of coffee have kept me going through the night to work on some essay or report; last resort though). Seriously, the main thing is NOT TO WORRY, and in future just give yourself a bit more time to revise. If you don't have long now then you just have to accept the situation and work with work you have got. I have got top marks before from little revision and poor marks from little revision so can go either way. Just revise away, but get enough sleep and don't worry- more often than not you realize that there was no need to worry after the exam
One thing I have found to help recalibrate my sleeping patterns is to force myself to wake up very early in the morning after maybe only 4 or 5 hours sleep, and just get through the day feeling quite tired, then end up crashing at a more reasonable time that night (8-10pm). Obviously I wouldn't do this on an exam day.
I understand your problem though, it's a really horrible feeling when you've layed there for over an hour with your eyes closed and yet your still conscious and can't stop thinking about things, then your eyes begin to ache (or at least mine do, I don't know why!).
To worst is when you start thinking about sleep itself, then it takes over your mind and you know you're not gonna be able to sleep while thinking about sleep itself!
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