To have a chance of filling one of the graduate vacancies or stand a chance of being the next graduate recruit, you will need to adjust your student sleep patterns.
There’s no doubt that throughout your time as a student, you had many late nights and many mid afternoon wake ups! However, now that you are a graduate, looking for graduate jobs and often scouring the latest graduate vacancies, it’s time to change your sleep habits.
You can’t go into a graduate interview looking like you have just woken up, you won’t get that graduate job. Also, you will need to be alert in the mornings in case a potential employer responds to your application with a phone call. They may be testing you, so you need to be serious about this!
There is an element of psychology and reasoning behind the methods of our sleep cycle and what causes it.
Your circadian rhythm is daily rhythmical changes in behaviour and physiological processes, including sleep. For most people, the cycle runs to be about 25 hours, without any external cues.
“What regulates your rhythm is not necessarily exercise patterns or diet patterns, but rather modulations of zeitgeber, … temporal cues that train [your] biological clock,” said Jaime Olivary, an associate professor of psychology.
Sleep patterns need to be regulated if your going to meet the transition from a student to a graduate worker. The hormone Melatonin, plays an important part in this. Melatonin is a hormone secreted during the night by the pineal body (a gland in the brain). If your struggling to regulate your sleep pattern, Melatonin supplements are available over the counter, so you could consider this. However, Melatonin may make you drowsy the next day, so if you’re only going to get very little sleep that night already, then you should not take it.
Obviously what you do the night before does effect how easy or difficult you find it to wake up in the morning. You should try to go to bed at a consistent time and avoid drinking caffeine in the evening and later on at night.
To wake yourself up, there are plenty of different methods, the classic method of splashing water in your face isn’t the best, although it will wake you up, it will not alter your sleep regulation. The below may help:
Undoubtedly a bright light in the morning will help to wake you up. If you are struggling to sleep the night before, you could switch on a small lamp, a dim one though. The low level of light will actually help you go to sleep.
Picture the scene, it’s a cold winter’s morning, your tucked up in bed. You don’t want to leave do you? Well this is an issue. It’s been proven that those with a warm temperature are more likely to stay in bed longer than those with a colder one. When your alarm wakes you up, get from underneath your covers! You’ll soon want to get out of bed!
Food & Caffeine
Breakfast is important to help you wake up. A nutritious breakfast bar or cereal is ideal as it will kick start your metabolism for the day. Caffeine is also good at doing this, if you like coffee and can’t go without it, drink it earlier in the day than later on!
Loud, energetic music is a key to a good wake up for many, playing music with energy such as dance music will get you moving and will wake you up.
Many believe a vigorous morning workout will wake you up, but surprisingly, exercise doesn’t actually change a persons Melatonin levels.
All though the above help many people, everybody is different, so you do need to find what works for you on a consistent basis.
“It’s a matter of habits,” Olivary said. “The thing about sleep is it is a habit that is hard to avoid. … We are destined to follow it because it is in our genes.”
If you are struggling to get out of bed this morning, think of something that motivates you, your new graduate jobs perhaps? If that doesn’t, perhaps your forthcoming pay cheque will!
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