Having trouble sleeping through the night? That’s very common for college students, especially with the crazy busy schedules they have. But sleeping consistently throughout the night is important. Getting a good night’s rest may help you function during the day, reduce stress levels, have an overall positive impact on your health, and help you concentrate more in school. Not to mention that nobody wants to hear you dozing off during class!
Sleeping six to eight hours a night seems to be an ideal amount of sleep for most adults, and young adults may need even more. So follow these tips to help you get back on track to getting a restful night’s sleep.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule: This sounds impossible to do, but at least try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekend. Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps your body to stay on a consistent sleep-awake schedule by reinforcing your sleep cycle. This also helps you sleep better and through the night. Of course, given late-night studying – not to mention parties – this may be impossible to do, but at least give it a try.
- Do not go to bed hungry or overstuffed: It is important that you feel comfortable when trying to get a night’s sleep. Avoid drinking beverages that contain caffeine before going to bed. Caffeinated beverages may be stimulating and cause you to stay awake longer and disrupt your sleep. Be sure to drink caffeinated beverages well before going to bed, especially if you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine. You may also want to avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed. Even though alcohol can may you feel sleepy at first, it may cause you to awaken later in the night and disrupt your sleep.
- Do something relaxing before going to bed: Activities such as taking a warm shower, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music may be helpful. Soothing activities may promote the transition from wakefulness to sleep. Avoid being too active before going to bed or doing anything too stimulating or distracting that may keep you awake; even watching television can be too much. In addition, try to transition from studying to reading something relaxing before going to sleep; otherwise, you may be too tense to fall asleep quickly.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment that is quiet and dark: Use any items that may suit your needs to make you more comfortable while you sleep: room darkening shades, ear plugs, a sleep mask, or a fan to keep the room cool. Your mattress and bedding may contribute to your comfort while you sleep also. While you may not have flexibility to change your bed in a dorm room, you can at least get comfortable bedding and sheets. If you do not sleep alone, make sure the bed is large enough so that you may sleep comfortably. If you have pets, determine whether it is more ideal for your pets to sleep with you or separately.
In summary, determine what time is best for you to go to bed and wake up and try to sleep to the same sleep schedule every day. Make sure your sleep environment is cool and comfortable. Come up with some relaxing bedtime rituals to help you get relaxed before going to sleep, and avoid doing any stimulating activities or drinking caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. Developing healthy and consistent sleep habits may help you to acclimate to a more consistent and restful sleep schedule, and you may even get better grades by doing so.
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