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Mary-Kate's Sleep Routine & Mock Exam Preparation Blog

As someone who did the Mock exams in third year, I understand how hard and tough they can be. The most important thing to remember is that these exams are just a practise and to get you prepared for the State Exams. These are the exams to make mistakes in, so you know what to do when the real ones come around. Also, don't panic if you find these exams harder then you thought you would. I found the mock exams much harder than the state exams. Try not to lose sight of the real thing when you are doing these exams. Just keep checking in on yourself and making sure that you are doing okay. One thing that you need to make sure that you concentrate on when you are doing your exams is sleep. You cannot study or concentrate on your exams when you are not rested. Sleep is something that I have struggled with in the past, but I have finally found a sleep routine that suits me and let's me have a good nights sleep!

Before I begin, I would just like to point out that this routine may not work for everybody. Everybody is different and therefore different routines will work for different people. I would advise that you pick different tips form this blog that you may think would work for you. I would also recommend that you watch some sleep routine videos on YouTube and maybe pick some tips from there and see if they work you. I have watched many sleep routines and I absolutely love them. They have given me so many tips on how to relax and get a good nights sleep. They have also given me ways to learn how to tune in with myself every night before I go to sleep. When we were children, our routine was very important to us before we went to sleep. A bedtime routine used to let us know when it was time for bed and made us tired for sleep. I think that it is the same now, even though we are older. I think that a bedtime routine is still important for us when we get older. It lets the brain know that it is time to rest and all other thoughts can be dealt with later.

My bedtime routine stars as soon as I finish my homework. I straight away pack up my bag and get everything prepared for the next morning. So if you are doing your Mock exams next week, prepare everything the night before. Pare your pencils, gather your notes etc., straight away after your study so you don't have to worry about any of it in the morning. I know that after your homework, all you want to do is abandon it and jump into your bed, but just push yourself one last time and get it ready. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later when your going to sleep,and there won't be loads of books and pens lying around the place. By preparing your bag straight away after your homework, it allows you to forget about it and you can park it for the night. If you are someone who finds it difficult to prepare your bag, don't be embarrassed to ask someone for help. You also may be really tired after your homework so there is absolutely no shame in asking for help.

This next part is my favourite part of my bedtime routine and also my favourite part of the day. This is when I forget about school and homework, and go downstairs. In order to forget about school and homework, I remind myself that there is no point in worrying about it cause it has already been dealt with. If I keep worrying about it, I won't be able to enjoy the present and I will end up making myself exhausted and therefore won't be able to deal with anything. When I go downstairs, I have some tea and toast. I love to have something small before bed because I feel like it settles me and makes me relax. I then watch some TV with my mam and sometimes my sister or dad would be there as well. We just talk and relax. I also use this time to go on any social media, as I try to limit the amount of time that I will spend on it upstairs. I don't like to use social media just before I go to sleep as I feel like I'm trying to distance myself from the world before I sleep as that lessons my anxiety. Also if you're in the middle of doing your exams you might read how others are doing and that might make you feel anxious. So I just prepare to go on all social media before I go back up to my room.

When I head back up to my room, I turn on my small lights in my room as it creates a relaxing atmosphere. I then answer one of my questions in my 'Questions and Answers' book. This book contains a question for everyday that you have to answer for five years. I think that this is lovely because you can read back on the questions you have answered, see what has changed in your life, and what has stayed the same. I like to do this at night as it is something that helps me to tune in with myself before I go to sleep. You don't have to buy this book so you can do this.. You can buy a little notebook and write a positive affirmation, something that inspires you or just describe how you feel. It's a lovely way to end the day.

I then put on some relaxing music while I get ready for bed. There's a load of relaxing music on Spotify under the sleep section. If you also type in relaxing music of YouTube you will get a huge range of relaxing music. You could even put on the sounds of the ocean, a fire, or rain hitting against a window. While this music is playing I brush my teeth and wash my face. I love my skin care routine at night because I just feel like I'm taking the day off and cleansing my skin.

I then grab my book from my shelf, get into bed, and read for about a half an hour. Once, I have finished reading, I put my book back and turn off the music. I am not someone who can just turn off the light and go to sleep. I'd end up thinking about stuff and would therefore get very restless. I go onto YouTube or one of my apps and put on a guided meditation. The Honest Guys do simple and lovely guided meditations on YouTube and there channel would be the one I turn to the most. I also love the apps Calm, Sleep Easy, Sleep Well, and Relax and Sleep. These apps are all free on the App Store. I also don't take these meditations very seriously. I'd recommend just using them anyway that works for you. If you are thinking of starting meditations, I would recommend that you start with a short meditation. The Honest Guys on YouTube do a beginners video where they show you how to breathe and they have an ocean wave sleep meditation that is twelve minutes long, which is great for helping you to fall asleep.

Once I have chosen which meditation I would like to do, I then set my alarms. Yes that is a plural world. Like most people I need about twelve alarms to wake me up ˜‚. On my alarms in my phone, I like to put in little notes cause it's nice way to start the morning. Something as simple as “It's time to start the day … “, just makes it that bit easier. I then put on my mediation, switch off my lights and gently fall to sleep.

I hope this sleep routine helps some people who are struggling to fall asleep. It's just trying to find the bedtime routine that suits you. I also would like to wish everybody who is starting their Mock Exams on Monday, the best of luck and remember not to panic. Remember to check in with yourself every now again and don't be afraid to take a time out if you need to. I would just like to say thank you for reading this. I love making these blogs and it makes me so happy when I hear how much you all love them I would just like to end with this quote:

Even though she be but little she is fierce'

by Mary-Kate

Follow Mary-Kate on Tumblr at AngelsSecretsUniverse

If you have any essays or content related to Dyspraxia/DCD that you would like to share with Dyspraxia/DCD Ireland, contact info@dyspraxia.ie.

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