A recent intervention on the sleeping habits of college students showed concerning results. It revealed that 60% of college students have poor sleeping routines.
While these may be the best years of your life, sleep remains essential. We know you don’t want to miss out on any campus action. Perhaps your schedule requires that you study late into the night. You still need to rest.
This article highlights the importance of quality of sleep while in college. We offer some practical tips and guidelines to help to navigate these hectic years of your life.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential at any age. However, as a student, getting enough of it may help you obtain a better grade point average (GPA).
We’re not just talking about how many hours of shut-eye you’re getting. You also need to consider the quality of your sleep.
While you’re resting, critical neural connections are restored. The result is an improved ability to learn. When you’re well-rested, you’re able to take in large volumes of new information and memorize what you’ve learned.
Campus life is meant to be fun, formative years. Students are highly social beings, yet, they often experience stress and anxiety. Improving your sleeping habits will help you manage your emotions, which has a positive effect on social interaction.
Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
The most important tip is to optimize your sleeping environment. You’ve most likely moved out of the comforts at home and need to adapt to a new routine. Be sure to pay attention to your sleeping routine as a top priority.
Start with your bed and create a space that works for your unique needs. Consider how you prefer to lie down. Now focus on finding a good mattress to prevent back pain since it is a pretty common issue during your student years (due to spending a lot of time studying in a sitting position).
Besides the right mattress, you need to consider the amount of natural light. A cool, dark, and quiet room is recommended for sleeping soundly. Don’t spend too much time in bright light before bedtime and be mindful of too much screen time late at night.
Consider airflow and fresh air from an open window, if possible. This will also help you wake up in the morning. Open up the curtains and expose yourself to bright and natural light, combine with a good stretch to get you going.
Set up a routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Maintain this on weekends too, and you’ll soon be in a natural rhythm for good quality rest. Your routine should also include some time to wind down before bed.
You may be sharing a room or house with others. Discuss your sleeping habits and priorities with those living closest to you too, so they know when not to disturb you. You could even have an accountability bedtime buddy to help you stick to your routine.
Signs You’re Not Sleeping Enough
If you’re constantly feeling tired and sleepy during the day, you’re probably not getting enough quality shut-eye.
Lack of rest and proper sleep will affect you negatively in several ways. It often leads to irritability and poor memory. If you’re unnaturally grumpy and anxious with poor impulse control, it may be time to review your sleeping routine.
Look out for physical signs like puffy eyes or skin breakouts. You may also notice that you’re craving junk food and caffeine or gaining weight. Don’t be tempted to satisfy these cravings, or make it a habit. Instead, opt for a healthier choice and add some exercise to your routine to help you relax.
In extreme cases of sleep deprivation or insomnia, you may experience hyperactivity, severe mood swings, depression, and even hallucinations. Seek help from a college counselor or your student wellness body if you start to notice a frequent occurrence of any of these. You may also need to consider reaching out for medical help if this disorder persists over time.
Your student years may be frantic, but they’re meant to be fun too. Your studies are preparing you for your future, and you shouldn’t neglect your sleep.
Getting quality rest with a solid sleeping routine and an optimized sleeping environment will enhance your ability to learn. This all adds up and helps you become a well-rounded individual.
Look out for warning signs that you’re not getting enough shut-eye and seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. So, get that routine going, tame the hectic college life and make it the most fantastic time of your life.