Here’s How You Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep As a College Student

Here’s How You Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep As a College Student
  • Opening Intro -

    As you probably know from experience, getting a good night's sleep in college can be difficult.

    The good news is there are plenty of steps you can take to sleep better tonight.

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Keep reading to find out how you can create a healthy bedtime routine that promotes quality sleep.

1. Turn Off Your Phone and TV

As a college student, you know how tempting it can be to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show during your study break or see what your friends are up to on social media. However, spending too much time on electronics before bed can negatively affect your sleep quality.

Research has demonstrated that electronics emit blue light, which stops the body from producing melatonin. Melatonin is an essential hormone that’s responsible for promoting restful sleep and therefore plays an important role in getting a good night’s rest.

Try reaching for a crossword puzzle or book if you’re in need of some entertainment before bed.

2. Stay Away From Caffeine

Although caffeine can be helpful when you’re cramming for a big exam the next day, consuming it too late in the day can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm and cause lack of sleep. Similar to blue light, caffeine blocks melatonin production.

One study found that consuming caffeine six hours before bed decreased sleep time by one hour, as it can remain in the bloodstream for up to eight hours. Therefore, it’s best to stay away from caffeine for about six hours before bedtime.

Be sure to opt for decaf if you’re craving a cup of coffee at night.

3. Pick a Bedtime and Stick To It

With all the responsibilities that college brings, picking a consistent bedtime may seem easier said than done. However, because your brain is naturally wired to relax a few hours before bed, it’s best to go to bed at a similar time every day.

This predictability trains your brain to notify your body when it’s getting closer to bedtime and start important processes such as releasing melatonin and decreasing body temperature.

In addition, sticking to a consistent bedtime can also cause you to wake up at similar times every day, which is especially helpful if you tend to feel sluggish in the morning. You may even find that after sticking to a certain bedtime every day for a while, you won’t even need to set an alarm anymore because you’ll be so used to waking up at the same time.

4. Cut Down On Sugar and Spicy Foods

Staying away from sugar and spicy foods before bed is another way to get a better night’s sleep. When you consume sugar, your blood sugar and cortisol levels spike immediately.

Considering that cortisol is your body’s built-in alarm system, it makes sense that a sharp increase in this hormone can prevent you from falling asleep or even cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

On the other hand, spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which impedes your body’s thermoregulation. Your body lowers its temperature to fall asleep, but capsaicin disrupts this process by elevating your temperature.

If you’re craving a late-night snack, try opting for something savory. There are also certain drinks that can help you sleep better, such as chamomile tea or warm milk.

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5. Avoid Napping During the Day

Although a quick power nap can be helpful before a big exam or long lecture, napping for too long can actually have the opposite effect. Sleeping during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which may make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

Research has shown that while power napping for 30 minutes or fewer can improve brain function, longer naps can negatively affect sleep. Therefore, it’s generally recommended that you nap no later than 4 p.m.

Conclusion

College can be an extremely stressful time, which is why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep to stay physically and mentally healthy. Following these five tips can help you sleep well tonight.

Image Credit: how to get a good night sleep by twenty20.com

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Categories: Student Health

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