Good sleep habits and a college student’s lifestyle don’t always go hand in hand. Pulling an all-nighter might seem like a great way to cram for an exam, but staying awake for 24 hours is like having a blood alcohol content that’s HIGHER than the legal limit! Friends don’t let friends take exams sleepily.
Chronic sleep deprivation has a serious impact on your mental and physical health—not to mention your grades and extracurricular activities! Take care of yourself and start with sleep.
Here are a few tips to help you get better sleep as a student.
1. Limit caffeine near bedtime.
Don’t give in to the lure of an energy drink or an extra cup of coffee. That little boost you need to finish a paper can disrupt your sleep for the rest of the night.
2. Establish a sleep schedule.
Find a consistent time to go to sleep and wake up every night. And college night owls, we didn’t say it has to be traditional. The 1:00am to 10:00am sleep schedule gives you a solid nine hours.
3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
Have a few simple steps you take at night that let your body know it’s almost time to sleep. Think diffusers, skin care routines, reading a book—all that good stuff.
4. Set up a sleep-friendly environment.
Ok, so way, way easier said than done. If you’re in a dorm room, apartment, or shared living space, there’s only so much you can control! Try ear plugs and/or eye masks if needed to block out your roomies.
5. Get some exercise
Whether walking to class, dedicating time at the gym, or hiking with friends, you should exercise regularly to sleep great.
6. Put the phone/screens away
Again, easier said than done for students! Work in some screen-free time as you’re getting closer to bedtime (maybe as part of your sleep routine) to help you wind down.
It takes extra effort to prioritize sleep—especially when college has so many fun things to offer. But, even a small commitment to your sleep has big rewards, like improved focus, a more balanced lifestyle, and better stress management.