Importance of Sleep Schedule for College Students

college sleep schedule

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  • There’s an axiom going around which says that “college is the best time of your life.”

    It’s the time to make new friends, learn new things and undertake amazing experiences.

    It appears that college is also the time when you’re more likely to lose sleep. That may have a dangerous impact on your academic performance.

    I have read numerous studies showing that college students don’t get enough sleep as they try to do it all – studying, exams, social activities and parties, part-time jobs and so on. For instance, there’s one research saying that 50% of college students suffer from daytime sleepiness and up to 70% admit they don’t get enough rest.

    How Many Sleep Hours?

    Young adults are advised to sleep 7 to 9 hours every night, but college life keeps most people awake for all those reasons I listed above. Over time, lack of sleep leads to memory and concentration issues; it impacts your ability to learn and process information and, thus, it has a direct effect on your GPA.

    According to another study, college students who don’t get plenty of sleep and wake up randomly every day are more likely to have lower grades than the ones following a sleeping schedule. The problem is that a chaotic rest routine messes up with our biological clock and that’s what causes the adverse outcomes I just emphasized. But adopting a sleeping strategy and sticking to it brings happy mornings, peace of mind, good health and enhanced academic performance.

    Hence, your sleep is essential for a beautiful and rewarding college experience. If you think it would be difficult to get it, here are a few tips which can help:

    Follow a schedule

    Try to discipline your brain and body by going to sleep around the same hour every evening and waking up in the morning at the same time. As sleepingguide.org explains it: you don’t have to be in bed by 7 p.m. and awake at 6 in the morning! Maybe 11 p.m. is your hour to sleep and 8 a.m. the one to wake up; just stick to them. Set the alarm to help you accomplish that and avoid staying too late during weekends. One useful trick would be to sign up for morning classes, which will compel you to wake up early.

    Set up the right sleeping environment

    The dorm room may not be similar to the cozy one you have at home, but there are a few simple things you could to do to make it look and feel like that one – and to help you get a satisfying rest:

    • Keep it dark during the night: turn off all lights, put some curtains or blinds on the windows and keep them closed when you sleep.
    • Don’t give in the temptation to overheat your room in the evening. We sleep better at a lower temperature. If you can’t control the room, place a simple pad or foam topper on your mattress, they are excellent coolers for the night.
    • Turn off the gadgets: smartphone, laptop, TV, etc. If you can’t fall asleep in total silence, listen to some chilling music or even white noise.

    Give up stimulants

    Caffeine and energizing drinks, mainly consumed late in the afternoon or evening, will disrupt your circadian rhythm and keep you awake. It would be best to avoid them and try a variety of relaxing teas, for instance, in the second part of the day. Sleeping pills are also not recommended. But a 30 minutes power nap during the day (mainly in the afternoon) could be the best ally when trying to respect your rest routine.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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