As we enter a new semester, it is important to develop healthy habits that keep us energized and motivated to do our best. The most important way we can do this is by developing a healthy sleep schedule. As someone who does not always have the best sleeping habits, I am committing to doing better this semester and am here to give you some tips on how to do the same. Here are a few easy ways to create a healthy sleep schedule:
- Set A Bedtime
Yes, I know this seems like something we all had as kids, but it worked didn’t it? Setting and keeping designated times to go to sleep and wake up the next morning will put you in a routine you will love to follow. Always make sure you are getting 6 to 8 hours, and no more or less than that. Something that helped me was using the sleep feature on my health app. I am able to set a sleep goal for myself, as well as setting bedtime and wake-up alarms in order to balance my sleep-wake schedule.
- Limit Daytime Naps
This is the hardest thing for me to cut out. As college students, we are so used to going and going, then burning out and taking a nap. I know so many people who can fall asleep during the day for over 3 hours! If we take multiple daytime naps, that takes away from our regular sleep, and it creates an imbalance in our sleep schedule. The Mayo Clinic urges people to limit themselves to 20 minutes of napping per day. Cutting excessive naps out of your daily routine will make you happier, and will help settle you down for when you go to bed for the night.
- Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Creating a comfortable sleeping environment will make your bed or room a place that you look forward to sleeping in. Get decorative bed sheets, pillows, and blankets that match your style and make your bed look great! Another important part of a comfortable sleep environment is avoiding bright lights late at night. In my room, my roommate and I have dimmer lights, such as a sunset lamp and a salt lamp that we only turn on at night.
- Don’t Do Work on Your Bed!
My mom has always preached this to me throughout my entire life, and I am just now realizing its importance. If you do work at the same place where you sleep, your brain will think that you want to sleep, when in actuality you are studying for an exam. Use a desk and a chair to complete your work! This trick really helped me last semester, and I am so glad I implemented this into my daily life.
Developing a healthy sleep schedule does not have to be a chore. It also does not have to happen overnight! Take it as slow as you need. Make it fun for you to do, and something you want to commit to daily. There are so many benefits linked to having a healthy sleep schedule, such as reduced stress, lessened risk of getting sick, and increased productivity.
Be sure to contact a doctor for professional advice!