Between class, social life, work and studying, sleep can be hard to find, but essential to keeping you awake during the most important times of the day.
College life is tough, and we know how tough it can be to find sleep.
There’s the constant studying, partying, loud roommates, etc. Or maybe it’s just because of the new surroundings and you’re out of your element. No matter what reason there is, there’s always a solution. Check out these 10 tips for getting better sleep throughout the night while in college.
1. Watch Your Caffeine Intake
It’s tempting, I know, but you really need to watch your caffeine intake throughout the day.
Yes, the college life requires a ton of energy, which is why most college students walk around with an energy drink or cup of coffee all day. Unfortunately, if that cup of joe that is enjoyed too often, it can be very bad for you after a certain period in the day.
You may think that drinking a huge cup of coffee or multiple energy drinks at night is going to increase your productivity, but it’s only going to keep you awake and less functional the next morning. In order to avoid not being able to fall asleep, you should stop drinking caffeine after noon. This gives your body time to expel it so that you can wind down. Do your studying during the day rather than at night, if you have time.
2. Nap When You Can
The college life is a busy life, but whenever you get the opportunity, even if it’s for 20 minutes, take a quick nap. All you need are those quick 20 minutes to get all of the benefits of napping. It will improve your level of alertness, enhance your performance, and it will better your overall mood.
Taking short naps will keep you in the lightest stages of non-REM sleep. You will be able to wake up and get up easier. Make sure that you have an alarm handy; you don’t want to sleep for too long or you may just feel worse.
As if you didn’t already have enough on your plate, right? Finding time to exercise in school can be tough, but did you know that it will help you sleep better?
That’s right, light exercising can help relax your body and prepare it for slumber. Not only that, but a quick exercise session can also perk you up for your next class as well; it all depends on the type of exercises you do and for how long you do them.
4. Eat Properly
Overeating and undereating are two very bad things to do if you’re trying to sleep well. Eating the proper foods can either drain you of your energy or provide you with a good amount of it. Eating well keeps you energized during the hours you are awake and allows you to have a better sleep
If you eat too much before bed, the food will sit in your stomach and could cause a series of problems that may keep you awake during the night, such as gas, indigestion and upset stomach, etc. Not to mention, eating well can keep you from gaining that “freshman 40” that everyone talks about.
5. Get A Restful Sleep
Easier said than done, but believe it or not, there are ways that you can get a restful sleep. You should never fall asleep with the television on or the lights. Dorm life is crazy and there are always people popping in and out at all hours of the night. Although you think this is normal, it’s not.
If you are constantly being woken up throughout the night, you are going to feel more sleepy than refreshed in the morning. You need to make sure you do everything you can to stay asleep, even if that means making your bed more comfortable.
If you are sleeping on an old, lumpy mattress, but cannot afford a brand new mattress, a mattress topper may be your best option. You can choose from memory foam, feather, gel foam and more as an affordable option for softening or firming up your bed.
6. Stop Staying Up All Night
It may be tempting to want to go out and galavant with your friends all night, but it’s really not the best idea in the world. Sure, you have that project due in a few days and feel the need to stay up all night to finish it early, but it won’t be worth it in the long run.
Procrastination will get the best of you, so you should learn how to prioritize so that you aren’t tempted to pull those all nighters. Not to mention, all of the all-nighters are eventually going to wear you down and you’re going to crash at random times of the day, potentially affecting your studies.
7. Create A Routine
Creating a routine may be tough, but once you get your schedule down, you’ll have a better idea of what your days are going to look like. If you have a steady schedule and do the same things at the same times, you can create your routine easier.
Let’s say your last class is at 3 p.m. You can go back to your dorm, do your homework, eat your dinner, maybe have some time with some friends and head to bed at the same time each night. Once you get the routine, your brain trains itself and it will know that once you do a certain task, it will prepare itself for sleep.
8. No Alcohol
This is really important, especially for those who are in “party schools.” You have to do whatever you can to avoid drinking alcohol before bed. Yeah, you may pass out from drinking too much and think that you’re getting a good night’s sleep, when actually, you’re only sleeping for a few hours and waking up feeling terrible.
Also, with alcohol, you can wake up feeling sick throughout the night or actually getting sick. It’s better that you avoid the alcohol so you can sleep throughout the night without a hassle.
9. Only Lie Down When Sleepy
If you try to hit the hay without feeling tired, it may confuse your body. When you lay down before you’re tired, you may start to feel frustrated because you can’t sleep, leading to no sleep at all.
If you can’t fall asleep after about 15 minutes, move to another room. You can also get up and do something isn’t sleep related until you feel tired and try again.
10. Do Something Relaxing
This can be part of your bedtime routine if you want it to be. Your relaxing routine will help separate your sleep time from your daytime activities. You can take a hot shower, read a book, listen to some relaxing music, or even do some yoga.
You should also make sure that you aren’t using an E-reader or iPod in bed. The light from the screens can mess with your brain and it may think that it’s still daytime and will keep you awake. Put electronics away at least an hour before bedtime.
Getting enough sleep in college is important. You need a good amount of sleep to function properly, keep up on your studies, and stabilize your mood. If you have noisy roommates, listen to some of that relaxing music and get yourself an eye mask of some kind. Little things like that can make for a restful night’s sleep and a productive day.