Yawn: Sleep Better While at College

Yawn: Sleep Better While at College
  • Opening Intro -

    A few weeks into the semester and you may notice that you’re feeling tired and staying that way most days.

    Unless you have an illness, such as mononucleosis, your fatigue may be attributed to your schedule: late nights, early mornings and raucous weekends.

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You can get your sleep back under control while at college — here is how.

1. Curb those late nights. As much as you want to stay up late, that’s a recipe for disaster, especially if you must get up early each morning. Plan on at least seven hours of sleep each night — that means hitting your pillow no later than 11 p.m. when you must wake up at 6 a.m.

2. Set your alarm. Consistent sleep patterns will help you feel better and more rested. On class days, you should live your life by your alarm to avoid oversleeping. You’ll need the alarm if your classes are early and to keep your morning routine going.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. You may be in the habit of skipping breakfast, but putting something wholesome in your stomach can give you a good start to the day. One or two cups of caffeine are fine if you drink coffee or tea. Better yet, drink one cup of coffee and replace the second cup with water. Avoid sweets, such as donuts, opting for toast and cereal or eggs to start your day. For students with limited time, a bagel or fruit can help.

4. Fit in some exercise time. Fatigue can follow if you are not getting enough exercise. Making enough time to get a work out may be a challenge, but it is something you can do by walking to your classes briskly. If your classes are on the second or third floor, skip the elevator too. For students that commute, parking in a distant but still safe lot can also provide short bursts of exercise.

5. Do not over rely on naps. You may not get enough sleep at night, compelling you to take naps during the day. A short nap is a wise option and is better than using caffeine to keep you alert. A 20-minute nap can help increase alertness and enhance motor skill learning according to Web MD. Even naps as long as 90 minutes can be beneficial. Go longer and those benefits tend to fade and may make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. So, do not over rely on naps, but do take them as needed.

6. Get ready for bed. Do not expect that you will fall asleep the moment when your head hits the pillow without making a transition first. At least an hour before you are ready to go to bed, put all your day’s cares behind you. Put on your sleeping clothes and turn down the lights, turn off the music or other entertainment. Begin to quiet yourself and you will soon make the transition to rest. If you still find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, a natural 10 mpg melatonin tablet can help you. See your doctor if your sleeplessness persists — there could be a health issue at work.

7. Avoid burning the midnight candle. When midterms and final exams come up, you may find yourself studying longer and later. It is at both times when you will find yourself extra tired. Fatigue can affect your grades. Therefore, avoid cramming for your exam by scheduling enough study time well in advance of exam week. Yes, some people do quite well on their tests by burning the midnight oil. But if you’re an individual already struggling with fatigue, you need to have a consistent sleep schedule to stay alert.

Up and At ‘Em

Upon waking in the morning, take a warm shower to help relax your muscles and end it with a short burst of cold water to give you a much needed jolt. The cold will make you alert and can be a good option to drinking coffee.

See Also — 6 Worst Effects of Sleep Deprivation On College Students & Its Solutions

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