Can't sleep before exams Watch

wowzakid123
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Hi,

The night before an exam I can't get any sleep. I'm not an insomniac and I'm generally a healthy person. However even if I'm not that stressed about the exam etc. I get stressed about not getting enough sleep. So I'd go to bed at my normal time and when I realise I'm not asleep yet I start to panic, then I try to make myself go to sleep and I can't then I panic and it sets itself to repeat. This cycle goes on until hours go by and I'm still not asleep, getting more stressed that I'll be really tired the next day for my exam. I've tried the meditation and that helps to an extent but it can't get me to sleep.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you do to combat it? I'm considering buying tablets as the situation is getting quite bad and threatens to ruin important school exams.

I appreciate your help!
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tory88
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How about getting up an hour or two earlier than usual the morning before, so that you're more tired in the evening?

In my experience, tablets don't work at making you feel rested, they just give you the rest you need to survive (by all means try them, but don't wait until the night before an exam). A routine can also help - have a hot drink (no caffeine) with a book or magazine in the last 30 minutes before you intend to go to sleep.
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TaciturnPhantom
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This might sound foolish, but I read a really boring and dull book and fall asleep to that pretty quickly. Have you tried that before?
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toronto353
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(Original post by wowzakid123)
Hi,

The night before an exam I can't get any sleep. I'm not an insomniac and I'm generally a healthy person. However even if I'm not that stressed about the exam etc. I get stressed about not getting enough sleep. So I'd go to bed at my normal time and when I realise I'm not asleep yet I start to panic, then I try to make myself go to sleep and I can't then I panic and it sets itself to repeat. This cycle goes on until hours go by and I'm still not asleep, getting more stressed that I'll be really tired the next day for my exam. I've tried the meditation and that helps to an extent but it can't get me to sleep.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you do to combat it? I'm considering buying tablets as the situation is getting quite bad and threatens to ruin important school exams.

I appreciate your help!
I would say don't buy tablets really - a lot of websites which I've looked at say that tablets are a last resort and really are only tackling the surface problem and not the issues causing your sleeplessness. The way I always solved this problem, like you I'm also someone who struggles with sleep occasionally, is that I turn off anything with a screen on - laptop, TV - and read a book, go for a walk, listen to music and generally calm myself down. The more that you can get yourself into a relaxed state, the better, Of course revise the day before, but make some time just to chill out in the evening and prepare for sleep. There are numerous websites which offer ways of relaxing, but I wouldn't go down the tablet route at all. I was considering it this January and was so glad that I decided against it and went for relaxation techniques instead.
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TSR Mustafa
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Yeah , if i'm nervous for a exam. Sleeping is quite hard :L

Try reading a book.
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ahpadt
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How close to bedtime do you keep revising?
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wowzakid123
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Hey sorry, I forgot I made this forum. Thanks for replying, and the same problem's come back again. It normally happens when I'm stressed about something exams etc and even I finish revising well before bedtime I still now kinda expect it to happen and it does :L
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Riku
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I can't share anything useful as I'm just as bad, imo it is really draining and a pain in the ass but your body has at least prepared you for a stressful situation (i.e. you are taking a serious thing seriously). Provided you've done your revision, the exam won';t be *as bad* as you think

If it was most nights/spelling tests however I'd worry you had bad anxiety. Most people would say losing sleep over anything is already anxiety haha

Best advice I can give is distract yourself. *Do not do not do not* sit and stare at the alarm clock thinking omg 3am I'm up at 7 tomorrow I will die and be unemployed by next week my family will kick me out the house my girlfriend will dump me my life is OVER etc. :P this is called 'anticipatory anxiety'.

Good (light-hearted, easy reading) books are great. Anything mundane and relaxing, or stimulating in an enjoyable way may help.

Chamomile tea is pretty good...

I know it is hard but it will get better if you try to be mindful of the fact that your mind is racing before bed and keep reminding yourself it will be OK the next day :hugs:
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PerArduaAdAstra
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I've had this every single exam season I've ever done - GCSEs, A-Levels, uni exams; it's never actually affected my performance because I'm usually pretty pumped when it's actually time to do the exam but I know how you feel stress-wise.

I'm not sure how effective they are, but you might want to try Valerian tablets - they're supposed to help with milld anxiety/sleeplessness. Could be a placebo, but they did help me out this summer. Other than that, make sure you eat right and get a lot of exercise. Read before you sleep.

Also, it's important not to stress out about how much sleep you're physically achieving, you can quite easily get yourself into a bad feedback loop where you can't sleep because you're worrying about the fact that you can't sleep... Your brain will function perfectly well for the few weeks you're doing exams even if you're not sleeping well, it tends to be mainly your mood and emotions that are affected by lack of sleep.
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wowzakid123
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Thanks, that's a good tip! Someone told me recently that I should get rid of all clocks in my room that way I can't actually check how many hours of sleep i'll get, has anyone done this? And i'm guessing It's pretty hard to do as my alarm is actually on my phone.
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GetFastMemory
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hey wowzakid123,

I was the same like you and had troubles falling asleep before the exam day.
It's a normal reaction where it's not necessary to buy medication.

Why don't you try something natural and change the way you study? Just replace
your current way of studying with mnemonics.
You will be amazed of what else you can do.
Once I applied it the first time to my exam in 4 semester, I slept for 13 hours and
only needed 5 repetition and could remember my whole study content.

And no...i'm not super smart, but yes, you can get there too
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wowzakid123
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Thanks GetFastMemory

But I'm pretty happy with my revision techniques to be honest, I use these virtual flash cards called anki which work really well. However the issue isn't normally for those sorts of exams, it more the english exams etc that do it, because those exams are more circumstantial so I feel I need more sleep in order to perform my best.
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GetFastMemory
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You're welcome.
You should try meditation for a longer term. Do meditation for 10-30 minutes a day for 100 days.
Im pretty sure meditation can help you fall asleep. Try meditation in bed when you're ready to sleep. This way you can fall asleep.
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wowzakid123
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Yeah I actually use headspace, the mindfullness app and they have sleep 30 day pack so i'll see how that goes±
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AdamCee
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I do exactly that at Christmas
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Didar kurdy
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I am experiencing that ...😢😢😢
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Funshek
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Hey there I have a same problem in every single exam not because of any tension of exam but because if that preparation level and hardwork that I have done for achieving good marks, but let me tell you the secret. The thing is it doesn't matter. Yes, I try to sleep as much as I can, and always perform well in exams so I started not to worry about sleep, if I can I will 😊
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Mabezat
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I have that problem too
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Khing
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I def 10/10 have this problem too. GCE is in 2 weeks time and I am so nervous about how to tackle this issue. During AS levels, I couldnt sleep the night before most of the exams and it definitely affected my performance - I should have and could have scored better. IDK what to do now my heart is breaking at the thought of all my hard work going to waste all because I cant sleep the night before and ending up so woozy during the exam and dying. HELPPPPP
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