Between class, assignments, social events, and work, students are finding it harder and harder to get those 8 hours.
However, sleep is much more important than many realize. Not catching enough z’s can cause a myriad of problems. Some of these issues include: chronic fatigue, headaches, decreased concentration, weight gain, depression, early signs of aging, and a lowered immune system.
Here are some tips on how you can squeeze more sleep into your busy schedule.
Create a sleep schedule. Pick a time in the evening, preferably before midnight, and commit to going to bed at that same hour every night. Eventually, this will become ingrained in your subconscious and make it easier for your body to turn off.
Find your favorite place on campus to take a nap. Some schedules provide for an awkward amount of time between classes. It will be too early to go to class, but there isn’t enough time to go all the way back to your apartment. In such cases, you can take a nap on campus. Find somewhere you feel relaxed, such as on a couch in the library, or under a tree in the grass. A quick nap is a natural, healthy way to feel refreshed.
Don’t procrastinate. Procrastinating almost always leads to late nights, and all-nighters are no good for your health. If you do put off till the last minute, it’s still better to keep your bedtime and wake up earlier in the morning to study. You’ll retain the information better that way.
Get a plant for your bedroom. It may sound silly, but many plants release higher quantities of oxygen at night (such as aloe) or provide aromatherapy benefits (such as jasmine and lavender.) For more information on finding a plant that’s right for you, check out our article here.
Keep away distractions. When you’re ready for bed, turn off the TV or laptop and set your phone to silent. Studies show that the blue light from computer and phone screens contribute to insomnia. In addition, scrolling through your newsfeed will keep your mind active and not in sleep mode. If your roommate is the distraction, try talking to them about it. You’ll want to set those boundaries early.
Exercise. Get some exercise to make you tired. In addition to regulating energy levels, working out helps with symptoms of anxiety and depression, which contribute to insomnia. Hit the gym, clean the apartment, go for a jog, or take a long walk with your pup.
Regardless of your fast-paced lifestyle, it’s important to make time for sleep to better your health and your sanity.
About the Author: Aniqa Chowdhury is a third-year Communications major at San Diego State University with a growing passion for creative writing. Aside from writing, she also enjoys taking public speaking classes and reading fiction novels. Her hope is to work in the entertainment industry when she graduates.