If you are used to turning in late and waking up at the crack of dawn, you may have come to associate the tiredness that comes with poor sleep with your daily college life. It is, however, important to note that sleep is important for your overall health. In fact, research has proven that sleeping for 7-9 hours has a huge impact on your memory, immune system, metabolism, mood and other things. So, how can you balance between the daily demands of life and the need for a good night’s sleep?
Remember That Your Daily Activities Impact on Your Sleep Quality
The activities that you undertake during the day determine how well you sleep at night. For example, remember that caffeine stays in the body for about 8 hours. As such, you should ensure that you avoid caffeinated products from the early afternoon.
Exercise also has a similar effect to caffeine. A few good hours of exercise will translate to the production of adrenaline which will, in turn, enhance your alertness. This is not a bad thing unless you are aiming to nod off properly later. If you have to exercise before bed, ensure that you are done with your routines at least three hours before bedtime so that your body can relax and unwind.
It is also important that you limit the amount of time that you spend on electronic devices before bedtime. Putting down your phone at least one hour before bedtime can help you fall asleep quicker. The use of electronic devices limits the possibility for good sleep because the blue light from gadgets such as your computer or phone limits the ability of the body to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes good sleep. This means the more you are exposed to the blue light from your electronic devices, the harder it will be to fall asleep.
How Can You Enhance Your Chances of Getting Great Sleep?
For starters, work on your sleeping environment. Ideally, you should only use your bed for relaxing, resting or sleeping. Have a good quality, comfortable mattress like an Ikea mattress. Additionally, keep the temperature in your bedroom cool, try using a white noise device or app to keep out distracting sounds and keep your bedroom dark so that your body knows when it is time to shut down.
Having a bedtime routine can also help you get good sleep. Try carrying out some relaxing activities before going to bed such as showering, stretching or using a meditation app such as Insight Timer. Relaxing activities can condition your body to wind down.
If you have tried some of the activities described above but still can’t get sleep for about 20 minutes, do not fret. Sometimes, the body usually needs some more cues before it can settle down. Should this happen, wake up and try a relaxing activity such as reading a book for about 20 minutes before attempting to sleep again. Never try to force sleep by just lying in bed and waiting to snooze. This can increase your stress levels and make it even harder to sleep!