The lives of college students can get pretty hectic at times. Most have demanding class and work schedules. Athletes have long practices. Some have family problems while others have financial troubles. All of these factors can attribute to the lack of sleep that many college students experience. With all of these tiring scenarios, it is no wonder that students go straight for the coffee when they need to pull an all-nighter.
Research recommends six to eight hours of sleep a night for adults, as anything less will have a negative impact on the mind and body. Sleep deprivation also weakens the immune system, and you are more likely to get sick. Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling fatigued and decrease your mental sharpness.
Sleep is essential to having good health. The quantity and quality of sleep can be improved by practicing these simple tips.
1. Set Your Biological Clock
Going to bed at the same time each day (including weekends) will help you sleep better and your body will thank you for setting a routine. Try to stick to this routine because once your cycle is disrupted, it is very difficult to start over.
2.Limit Caffeine, Alcohol, and Stimulants
These beverages should not be consumed four to six hours before bed, and alcoholic drinks should be limited to one to two a day.
3.Limit Screen Time
The blue light given off by cellphones, tablets and TVs, stimulates the brain and keeps you awake. These devices should be turned off two hours before going to bed to improve sleep.
4.Make a Sleep Routine
Develop a regular routine, such as showering or reading, before bedtime to help promote sleep. Also, avoid physical or emotional activities before bed as they can increase stress and keep you awake.
5.Sleep When You’re Tired
If your mind is still racing at bedtime, take a few minutes to do something relaxing like reading (a book, not a tablet or cell phone!) Turn the brightness down on digital clocks or turn it away as staring at it will only waste time and keep you awake.
6.Don’t Take Power Naps
Afternoon naps disrupt sleep cycles. Even 10-15 minute naps can keep you up at night. If a nap is needed, take one before 5 pm; otherwise, bedtime will be difficult.
7.Light Snacks Before Bed
Heavy meals before bed is not a good idea as it can lead to indigestion. Light protein snacks like cheese and crackers are recommended.
Fluids should be limited to two hours before bed to prevent multiple trips to the bathroom. This includes water, juice, caffeine, and alcohol.
9.Time Exercise Carefully
Daily exercise can ensure that you are tired by bedtime, but avoid vigorous exercise three to four hours prior to bed to avoid tension. Better yet, complete exercise routines as early as possible to get better sleep results.
10.Natural Daylight is an Advantage
Natural light stimulates the body to produce melatonin which helps promote sleep. Melatonin also helps to prevent breast cancer development, so get out into the sun!
Overall, students will always struggle with sleeping habits as our day to day, hour to hour, lifestyle changes constantly. Although, if you try your best to stick to routines and follow these top 10 tricks, you will be able to feel your perfect sleep!
(Hoepfully—I mean I’m not a doctor, so what do I know?)