As a student, you probably already know that getting sufficient sleep is necessary for your health and grades. Think back to the last time you pulled an all-nighter – can you really say the next day you felt energized and ready to learn? Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night can be challenging, though. Some of you may even need more sleep to function at your best. Irregular sleep and lack of sleep can both get in the way of your academic performance, so check out our tips to improve your sleeping habits.
1. Cut back on alcohol
Studies show that drinking can disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycle. We know it’s college, but moderating your alcohol consumption can play a key role to getting that sleep schedule back on track.
A trip to the gym can help you get more deep sleep (also known as REM sleep) – the restorative part of the sleep cycle. For even better results, exercise regularly.
3. Check your diet
Scientists show that foods high in B-vitamins can help you get better sleep. Not sure where to start? Try wild salmon, oats, canned tuna, turkey breast, eggs, bananas, potatoes, summer squash, spinach, and almonds.
4. Reduce caffeine intake
Chugging coffee during late-night study sessions at the library sounds great – until you have to go to sleep, of course! Consuming caffeine before bedtime can lead to insomnia.
5. Clear your mind
If you have trouble falling asleep, it may be because you’re too stressed out. Try stress meditation techniques or listen to music before bed.
6. Commit to a sleep schedule
Going through periods of heavy sleep and then following that with periods of no sleep will throw your sleep schedule for a loop. We know that classes, homework, and studying can make committing to a regular schedule difficult, but try to get to bed and wake up at around the same time each day. Yes, even for weekends.
7. Minimize distractions
If you’re a light sleeper, make sure your window blinds are closed. Turn off the TV set (or move the TV out of your room). And of course, don’t forget to put your cell phone on silent mode!
About the Author:
Catherine supports Magoosh’s future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.
1 – Photo at top courtesy of Flickr user clemsonunivlibrary under Creative Commons License 2.0.