Sleep is a vital part of staying healthy and something that a lot of college students skip out on. According to sclhealth.org, sleep helps prevent weight gain, boost the immune system, improve mood and memory, and increase productivity. I know I have been going to bed later and stumbling across campus half-awake to make it to my 8 a.m., but I'm working on prioritizing my sleep this semester. Getting your sleep schedule back on track and getting more sleep in general is beneficial for your health, so here's some ways to get your best sleep yet!
- Limit Your Blue Light Intake
We’ve all been scolded by our moms for being on our phones too much, and studies show that the light from our phones and computers is damaging our sleep. The blue light emitted by electronics is too stimulating, and melatonin--the sleepy hormone--production is impaired as a result. I recommend putting down the phone at night and opting for a book instead. If you have to be on your phone, blue light glasses such as these can help limit your intake, plus they are so cute!
- Stop Taking Naps
I get it. There’s a break in between classes and you want some extra shut eye; suddenly, it’s been three hours and you are groggy on the way to your recitation. By the time you should be hitting the hay, you aren’t tired anymore. Then, you stay up late again, and this harmful cycle continues into the next day, week or even, month. Try to knock out this habit by only napping when you really need it.
- Hit That Rec Center!
I’ve noticed that I sleep so much better after I exercise, because it tires me out. As we all know, regular exercise provdes us with many mental and physical benefits, including better sleep quality. Sleep can also help your muscles repair after a hard workout. Whether it's a nice stroll around campus or lifiting weights with friends, you can find many ways to get in a good sweat and an even better sleep!
- Create A Schedule
Don’t just check the time and think “Oh, it’s 3 a.m. I should probably go to bed now.” Set a time to go to bed--give yourself a window at the beginning of your sleep journey--and set a time to wake up. Eventually, your body will start telling you it’s tired and you’ll go to bed on your own!
- Make Your Room Comfortable for Sleeping
Get blackout curtains if your room isn’t dark enough and turn the thermostat down to 70 degrees. Your bed should be comfortable, complete with pillows and blankets to keep you warm. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a cute Squishmallow to keep you company too!
- Use Your Bed Only For Sleep
It's so easy to want to lay in bed all day, but then your brain associates the bed with other things besides sleep! Reserve your bed for sleeping only by performing all other tasks at your desk, keeping your bed a safe and relaxing space that your mind associates with rest.
If you haven’t set a New Year’s resolution yet, make better sleep a priority!