Busy college students tend to adopt poor sleeping habits because of their heavy workload and poor time management. This increases their risk of developing diseases, losing their focus, and suffering from frequent mood swings. Sleep deprivation is also linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Sleep specialists recommend adults aged 18 to 64 to get about 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. But how can you meet this sleep requirement with the readings and reports sitting on your desk? Here are 10 tips to avoid sleep deprivation during your hectic college years.
#1: Adopt the right mindset[caption id="attachment_110783" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Sleep-deprived students are more likely to be obese than their peers who get sufficient sleep each night. “Sleep is now being seen as a potential risk factor for obesity along with the two most commonly identified risk factors: lack of exercise and overeating,” according to the Harvard Medical School. A long line of studies link obesity to serious conditions like heart ailments and type 2 diabetes.
Adopting healthy sleep habits starts with the right mindset. Make quality sleep a priority. In planning out your day, allocate at least 7 hours of your day to sleep. Apportion the remaining 17 hours for your other activities such as hygiene, exercise, and attending classes.
#2: Do a bedtime ritual[caption id="attachment_110780" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Losing precious hours of sleep can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day. “This effect may begin to explain the correlation between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease and stroke,” notes the Harvard Medical School.
Protect yourself by getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted shuteye each night. If you're having a hard time falling asleep, a bedtime regimen can help. This can involve leisurely reading a book, doing breathing exercises or listening to calming music. Do your bedtime ritual an hour before going to bed.
#3: Sleep on the Senso Memory Mattress[caption id="attachment_110787" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Have you noticed being irritable after pulling an all-nighter? A study showed that sleeping for four and a half hours per night can result to feeling more stressed, sad, irritable, and mentally exhausted. The mood swings can adversely impact your ability to perform in school and deal with people.
Get satisfying snooze at night by choosing a quality mattress. Uratex, the leading mattress maker in the Philippines, offers products that feature the latest in mattress technology. Sleep on a Senso Memory Mattress that moulds to your body, easing pressure and promoting good blood flow. You'll wake up refreshed and recharged for another day in school.
#4: Create a schedule and stick with it[caption id="attachment_110778" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
You will always have readings and papers to finish as long as you're in college. These tasks are constant in your current life. But this doesn't mean that all of your waking hours are devoted to your studies. Manage your time to accommodate other aspects of your life and avoid burnout.
Create a daily and weekly schedule, and stick with it. Start your day with a quick exercise. It can be 15 minutes on the treadmill and 15 minutes of stretching and crunches. Eat a hearty breakfast before heading to class. Allot 2 to 3 hours of research work in the library before heading home. You can hit the gym or do something relaxing before eating a healthy dinner. Do your bedtime routine an hour before your scheduled sleeping time. The brain loves routine. Stay consistent.
#5: Drink coffee at the proper time[caption id="attachment_110785" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Do you know why you're sleepy at around 1:00 pm? Your body experiences circadian rhythm dips and rises throughout a 24-hour period. The strongest sleep drive for adults is between 1:00-3:00 pm and 2:00-4:00 am. The dips are more intense when you're sleep deprived.
Coffee is a good stimulant and energy booster. Recent studies also show that this well-loved beverage protects the heart and liver, lowers the risk of depression, among others. Remember, however, that caffeine stays in your bloodstream for 4 to 6 hours. Avoid coffee at least 6 hours before bedtime.
#6: Stop procrastinating[caption id="attachment_110786" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Procrastination is a common practice among students. You should know that it benefits nobody, especially not you. Poor time management is the root cause of your stressful lifestyle and sleep deprivation.
If you have an important paper due in a month, make a weekly schedule to complete parts of your assignment. You'll finish your paper without you noticing it. This strategy will help prevent the possibilities of rushing your work and pulling all-nighter before the due date.
#7: Moderate your leisure activities[caption id="attachment_110781" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
No matter how busy you are, you have to find a way to relax. Avoid getting burnt out by taking rests every 2 to 3 hours of studying for an exam. Do something you enjoy. You can read a good book or watch a Netflix show. Stress can interfere with your ability to fall asleep easily and stay asleep at night.
Moderate your leisure activities so as not to disrupt your bedtime schedule. If you're hanging out with friends, make sure you're back home about 2 hours before going to bed. Binging on Netflix can keep you up all night so limit the episodes you watch each day.
#8: Sleep at the same time every night[caption id="attachment_110779" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Sleep-deprived students are more prone to fall ill. A body that doesn't get the right amount of sleep develop a weak immune function. This is why staying up all night studying is counterproductive. If you get sick, you'll be forced to stay at home and miss your classes.
How to achieve a good night's sleep? Go to bed at the same time every night including weekends. Remember that the human brain loves routine. If you need to wake up at 6 am, you must be in bed by 10 or 11pm. Do this everyday, even on weekends, and you'll improve your sleeping habits considerably.
#9: Set the mood for a good night's sleep[caption id="attachment_110784" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
As early as the 1930's, scientists have been suggesting the link between sleep deprivation and poor mental performance. Even one night of not getting enough sleep can significantly affect your ability to function. “Concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity, and logical reasoning are all aspects of cognitive function compromised by sleep deprivation,” according to Harvard Medical School.
Get that good night's sleep you deserve by setting a relaxing mood in your bedroom. Unclutter your room and dim the lights. A cool environment can trigger sleepiness so set your air conditioning to 18 or 19 degrees Celsius. To drown out outdoor noise, you can install double-pane windows or use a white noise machine.
#10: Manage your stress level[caption id="attachment_110782" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Your troubles of falling asleep easily can be because of a number of reasons. You might be stressed out or distracted with your electronic gadget. Device ways on how to reduce your stress level and wash out life’s hassles. People's habit of browsing their smartphones and tablets is interfering with their ability to fall asleep at bedtime. The blue light in these devices tricks the brain, keeping it active throughout the night.
Get better sleep by managing your stress level well. Exercise regularly. A 45-minute cardio workout each week can boost your memory function and help reduce your stress. Don't forget to disconnect from your gadgets at least an hour before hitting the sack.
Being in college can be overwhelming. It may appear that there's so much schoolwork for such little time. The solution, truly, is proper time management. Plan out your activities well and stick with your schedule. Regulate your leisure activities and smartphone usage. Create a conducive sleeping environment with a high-quality mattress. Most importantly, set your mind on prioritizing sleep. The effectiveness of sleeping tips ultimately depends on your determination to make better lifestyle choices.