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Keys to a Good Night’s Sleep for College Students

May 13, 2019 by

College students are notorious for following inconsistent, unhealthy sleep schedules during their pursuit of their degrees. While it’s important to go aggressively after your academic and early professional goals, it is just as critical to manage your health. A big part of your health that is typically ignored during college is your sleep health.

Consider your typical day: You wake up to your alarm clock and realize you are running late for your first class. You hustle and make it there just in time. You go from class to class, possibly skipping meals and if you have time, eating something that is not the most nutritious for your health.

Before you know it, it’s the end of your day and your busy class and study schedule is coming to an end. This is the time of day really when you should be preparing for your sleep.

But, what do you do instead?

Push your body to its limits by studying intensely for that next midterm or scrambling to finish that term paper. Or, you may hang out with friends and drink alcohol.

With the academic and extracurricular expectations placed on the typical college student, proper and refreshing sleep can become a luxury.

If you’re reading and fall into this boat, it’s okay, you can make small changes starting today!

Let’s start your sleep improvement plan with a solid bedtime routine.

Bedtime routines are a significant sleep aid if you follow them consistently. Your body need consistency in order for you to fall asleep naturally.

Try to follow the routine strictly for at least a week before making any changes.

Next, assess your sleep schedule.

For optimal sleep health, it’s critical to establish a regular sleep schedule. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule consists of waking up each morning at the same time, even when you have the time to sleep later. Getting extra sleep when your body doesn’t need it will only make you feel groggy and disoriented!

Daily, your sleep schedule should not vary by more than two hours. Large variations in your sleep can have a similar effect to not getting sufficient sleep. Don’t fall into the trap of following a different sleep routine on the weekend.

Once you have established relaxing bedtime routines and a sleep schedule, take a look at your sleep environment. These are some helpful suggestions for creating an environment conducive to healthy sleep:

In addition you should keep a list of any herbs, vitamins, teas, or supplements you have tried and how well they aided your sleep.

After creating your perfect sleep environment, pay attention to your napping habits.

In order to be sleepy at bedtime, make sure that daytime naps are not part of your daily routine! Even a short seemingly harmless cat nap taken during the day will confuse your body’s ability to differentiate between day and night sleeping.

To prevent yourself from napping, make an effort to try staying active when you are feeling tired during the day. When you feel sleepy during the day, you can exercise or eat a small piece of fruit to increase your energy level.

If you must take a nap, try lying down for fifteen minutes. If you’re unable to go to sleep after fifteen minutes, get up, go to another room and partake in some other non-sleep related activity.

Lastly, take advantage of natural remedies to facilitate with your sleep health. Your options can include herbs, vitamins, teas, or supplements. Make sure to document which of each you have tried and how they affected your sleep.

Natural remedies work differently for each individual, so don’t become discouraged if you have to adjust your nightly routine a few times.

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