Tips for College Student to Improve Sleep Habits
BY GORDON SCHORR
Attending classes, studying, and taking part in all that college life has to offer is an awesome experience, but it can also be a tiring one. You are trying to do it all, and in order to do that, you don’t sleep much. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your health, and if it continues, it is going to affect your studies and grades. What you need to do is find a way to be able to do it all, and still get the sleep you need to function normally and be healthy. Here are some tips that will help you to improve your sleep habits so you get the sleep you need to be healthy and do well in all of your courses.
- Don’t Cram
You may think that you are taking a lot in during those late-night cramming sessions. Actually, you are doing yourself a lot more harm than good. You are less likely to remember what you are studying when you are sleep-deprived. You need sleep in order to recharge your body and your brain, and without sleep, your grades are going to suffer. The more you cram late at night, the worse it could get. On that same note, it is a good idea to avoid using your tech gadgets late at night. This includes being on your computer, using your smartphone, etc. This just keeps your brain stimulated, so you will have a more difficult time falling asleep.
- Take a Nap
“If you have a free period after lunch, this is the ideal time to take a power nap. Even if you just snooze for 20 minutes, you are going to find that you have improved concentration and are more alert. Getting that little bit of extra sleep also lets you rest your eyes. This is important, because your eyes can only take just so much strain,” says Dr. Saba Khodadadian, optometrist. You only get one pair of eyes, so take care of them. This is not a sleep replacement by any means. But, it is going to give you that boost you need to get through the rest of the day. Mid-afternoon is the best time for a nap. Avoid napping in the evening, because it could make it difficult for you to sleep at night.
- Get some Exercise
Most people who exercise regularly say that they sleep better at night. Research does show that those who exercise regularly do have healthier sleep patterns than those who don’t exercise. There are several ways that exercise can help you sleep. It gives your immune system a boost. It is great for dealing with stress. And, it increases the flow of blood to your brain, which can help with your studies. Exercising in the morning is the most beneficial. Your school likely has exercise facilities on campus, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a gym membership. Or, take a look at the different sports and other physical activities offered, such as yoga classes or running groups.
- No Late-Night Drinking
We all partied in college. It is a rite of passage. But, some students seem to make partying their major, and it does affect their studies. You may think that you can sleep better if you have a drink or two later in the evening. Actually, it does just the opposite. You may get several hours of sleep, but it isn’t going to be quality sleep. Drinking at night also makes it more likely for you to wake up too early and not be able to fall asleep again. If you do drink regularly, stick weekend drinking, and avoid drinking through the week, or at least late in the evening.
Gordon Schorr is an online educator and creative writer.