Many college students stay up all night to catch up on school work or prepare for exams. Students often find striking a work-life balance difficult, leading to unhealthy habits and exhaustion. When finding balance, students should first consider getting a good night’s sleep.
Students with poor sleep habits often receive lower grades than those who don’t. Likewise, students with a sleep disorder like insomnia are more likely to struggle with mental health. But, whether students are on campus or online, like those embarking on an online nursing degree or those on campus in the arts, one thing remains the same. Sleep is essential for top performance and wellbeing.
Let’s explore ways to strike a better work-life balance by focusing on a solid sleep routine:
Take Sleep Inventory:
According to the National Sleep Foundation, students between 18-25 need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can easily experience symptoms of sleep deprivation. According to Medical News Today, these signs include:
- Mood changes
- Difficulty focusing and remembering
- A reduced sex drive
There are many apps created to help you track your sleep patterns. You’d be surprised at the amount of sleep you are not getting on what you consider a good night. Gathering information on your sleep patterns during weekdays will help you set a goal of where you’d like to be and begin to problem solve on how to get there.
Go To Sleep Early
This one is a no-brainer. We all know that an earlier bedtime increases our chances of getting more sleep. However, it’s still tricky to do consistently. We often wait for severe exhaustion to force us to crawl into bed early and sleep in too late.
The goal here is to start your bedtime routine earlier than usual, so by the time you slip under your duvet, you are nice and relaxed.
Your bedtime routine might look something like this:
- Tidy room at 7:30 PM
- Shower at 8 PM
- Meditate 9 PM
- Read for 15 minutes
- Lights out and phone away by 10 PM
Create your ideal bedtime routine and focus on how you want to feel before sleep.
Get up and Stay Out of Bed
The urge to lay in bed, scrolling on your phone, or even eat breakfast in bed is real, but it is not doing you any favors. So instead, change your relationship with your cozy bed.
Don’t return to your bed throughout the day to study or sit. If possible, stay out of your bedroom altogether. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of relaxation. Keep it at your ideal temperature, keep it clean, and keep out of it until the sunsets!
Eat for Sleep
Many students depend on caffeine to fuel their sleepless lifestyles and long study hours. Caffeine is just fine in moderation, but excess amounts can have the opposite effect leading to a crash in energy levels. So be mindful of when you consume caffeinated drinks and be firm in your resolve not to drink them after 3:30 PM.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a diet rich in fiber and protein and low in sugar and saturated fat leads to deeper sleep. Consider adding lean meats and legumes to your diet and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like apples and broccoli.
Students who miss out on sleep are likelier to have a lower GPA than their peers who get the recommended amount for their age. Creating an indulgent sleep routine will help students perform better throughout the day and improve their overall quality of life.
The ability to handle sleep deprivation is a skill that everyone requires. Careful management of the symptoms that sleep deprivation produces can reduce many of its terrible symptoms and keep you productive.
After a sleepless night, you likely feel sluggish the next morning, and a small new study suggests why: Your brain cells feel sluggish, too. And when those brain cells are tired, you may be more likely to be forgetful and get distracted more easily.
If you are consistently not getting the sleep you need, you may have a sleep disorder. Don't put off getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. Alaska Sleep Clinic has been offering our patients TELEMEDICINE for years; so you don't have to put your sleep health aside during this time of social distancing. Call ASC today @ 907-770-9104.