Sleeping Routines in College – How to Improve Your Sleeping Habits in the Most Hectic Years of Your Life
It’s obvious to most that a good night’s sleep will set you up for a day full of productivity, crucial for any busy student. However, this is often easier said than done.
Late night studying, a busy social life keeping you out, and a noisy dorm can all spell disaster for your sleep pattern. Burning the candle at both ends can lead to a myriad of problems for your body and mind. You’re ultimately hindering your studies.
It should be noted that good sleep isn’t just about logging hours in the dream world. It’s also about the quality of your sleep.
However, how do you make sure the sleep you’re getting is quality? Below we’ve compiled some pointers to help you take control of your sleep habits and get back on track to having a good night’s sleep.
What you eat a few hours before bedtime could be to blame for your difficulty in sleeping soundly. Avoid the following:
- Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruits – Packed full of vitamins, but the acidity could leave you suffering from heartburn in the middle of the night.
- Cucumber, Celery, Watermelons – All food with high water content. These healthy snacks could make you need a bathroom break halfway through your zzzs.
- Tomatoes, soy sauce, red wine – These items are abundant in the amino acid tyramine. It’s responsible for the release of norepinephrine in our brain. Norepinephrine is a stimulant that heightens brain activity and postpones fatigue.
- Fries, pizza, burgers – All fatty foods that are great after a night out but take longer to digest, causing discomfort during sleep.
- Alcohol – Alcohol may make you feel like you can pass out for a good night sleep, but it actually takes away your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle. REM is vital for concentration, memory, and motor skills.
- Coffee, caffeinated drinks – Drinking these types of drinks too late in the day will cause a caffeine high that will hinder sleep.
Making a sleep routine and sticking to it as a student may feel immature and impossible to achieve. It doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all the social events because you have to be in bed by a specific time.
To create a successful routine, you should consider your schedule and factor in 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Any nights you can’t reach that target, then count it as ‘sleep debt,’ and you need to make up for them the night after – not the morning!.
Hitting the snooze button to make up for lost hours of sleep will only cause sleep inertia, meaning you’ll feel groggy, possibly for the rest of the day.
Exercise is the perfect way to tire out your body and make it ready for bed. Even taking an hour out to take a class, jog, or ride your bike will help you get better sleep.
Many students will admit to not living the healthiest of lifestyles. Adding some exercise into your routine will get you away from studying for a while, which is good for your mental health. It’ll also help you shed some of those late-night pizza calories.
A Healthy Sleep Environment
Dorm rooms aren’t the largest of spaces, and if you’re sharing, you need to be considerate of your roomie. However, you can quickly turn your space into a cozy environment for zen sleeping.
First of all, it’s essential that you only use your bed for sleeping. Studying on your bed or using it to lay on while writing a paper won’t make your bed feel like a place for sound slumber.
Furthermore, investing in a new mattress for your bed won’t only save your back but also help towards a good night’s sleep. A firm mattress is the best type of mattress to give you comfort and support, believe those on Health.com.
Next, you want to ensure that the space is cool and dark. You can buy cheap blackout material to hang at your window easily from any fabric store. If you can’t control the temperature, then wear suitable pajamas and adjust the thickness of your blankets.
Turn Off the Tech
Using our mobiles in bed is a bad habit that many of us fall into. However, no matter how boring your social media feed is, the blue light from the screen will stop you from falling asleep. It suppresses melatonin, which is crucial for transitioning into sleep.
As well as putting your cell phone away, also ensure your laptop and other devices are turned off. Being disturbed by the beeping or whirring of a device will cause fragmented sleep. Thus, making you wake feeling like you haven’t been to sleep in the first place.
Taking control and establishing a positive sleep pattern during your college years may seem like an impossible feat. We hope by reading some of our tips, you’re more confident that high-quality sleep is achievable. Many of the sleep tips provided will have a positive impact on your daily student life too.