7 Tips from a College Student to Form Better Sleep Habits
Why is sleep important?
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night can improve our mental and physical health, reduce stress and improve our memory, which can be vital for classes or exams. Sleep also plays a key role in our ability to learn and retain information, and it can impact our mood and energy levels throughout the day.
Sleep Tips for College Students
1. Be consistent
Creating a nighttime routine can help. Here’s how to get started:
Ease into it. While it would be nice, our sleep habits don’t change overnight, so it’s important to be realistic about what time you are able to go to bed and wake up. Consider your current sleep schedule and focus on making small changes.
Stick with it (even on weekends). Sticking to a consistent sleep routine is just as important on the weekends as it is on weekdays. Consistency will ensure your body will stay healthy and make sure your entire daily routine is productive. You will feel more energetic and on top of all that it will be easier to you to plan your day. This is the reason why consistency or a consistent sleep routine is extremely helpful. Limiting changes in your sleep habits will help you stay on track and avoid frustrating cycles of over- or undersleeping.
2. Put your phone away
Try to reduce the amount of time you spend on all of your devices before bed. Putting your phone down at least one hour before you plan to go to bed can help you fall asleep more quickly. If you can’t abandon your phone completely, consider turning off notifications or using night mode. This can help you avoid temptations to check your phone throughout the night or use your phone first thing in the morning.
3. Move your workout to earlier in the day
Exercise really helps with good sleep cycles. A good workout in the morning can help you stay alert throughout the day. If you need to move your body, opt for relaxing activities at night, such as meditation, yoga or stretching.
4. Limit your caffeine later in the day
What you do during the day plays a role in how well you sleep at night. Caffeine can stay in your system for about eight hours, so it’s best to finish your last cup of coffee or your favourite energy drink in the early afternoon. If you’re craving coffee or tea, you can opt for some relaxing green tea instead. They will kill the craving you have while providing your body with the necessary healthy nutrients as well.
5. Adjust your environment
Our bedrooms can have a surprising effect on how much we sleep. You can improve your nightly sleep by making a few simple adjustments, like:
- Only use your bed for relaxing and resting
- Adjust your room temperature to a cooler temperature at night
- Try a fan or a white noise app to minimise distracting sounds
- Wash your sheets regularly for a more relaxing effect
- Make sure the room is dark so your internal clock knows that it’s bedtime
6. Find a relaxing routine
Make your sleep routine a habit by doing the same activities each night before bed. This will help your body know it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Your nighttime routine can include a variety of activities from showering or journaling to reading or meditating.
If you find yourself lying in bed for twenty minutes or more after your nightly activities and still can’t sleep, don’t worry. Sometimes your system needs additional cues to settle down. When this happens, it’s time to get up, do a low-key activity (like reading a book) for another 20 minutes and then try going to bed again. Don’t force yourself to lie in bed until you fall asleep—this can actually increase stress and make it harder to fall asleep.
Plan your day better
What normally happens to a lot of people is that they do not do their required tasks throughout the week or day. All this usually piles up at the end of the day and when the time for sleep comes a person’s thoughts are preoccupied with stress stimuli and missed deadlines. This feeling of thinking of what we missed out on and what we need to do tomorrow and what we didn’t do today is something we all need to treat with caution. Students tend to procrastinate a lot and this creates a lot of bottle necks and really brings down productivity, grades and general levels of achievements. For this reason, planning your day better is very important. You need to think of what you need to do, set realistic goals and identify the time you will do it in. Only then you will be able to come to bed with a light head and doze off in peace. This is probably one of the most important sleep tips which a lot of people never think about.