With the finals just around the corner, it is so important to be getting a good night’s sleep so you can focus on finishing this semester strong despite the university closures. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), around 60% of college students suffer from poor sleep, and out of those, nearly 7% can be declared as an insomniac. I am guilty of being one of those students who stays up late trying to finish an assignment at the last minute. Although I completed the assignment, my mental and physical health suffer because I did not get the daily recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.
For now, it seems like not having the proper amount of sleep will not affect you because you’re still young and you will catch up for it during the weekend, but those missed hours of sleep are actually detrimental to the human body in the long run. For instance, sleep deprivation can negatively affect our immune system, cause diabetes or even stroke. Our body also releases certain hormones when we sleep which repair cells and affect our weight. If we do not get the proper amount of sleep, then our metabolism can slow down, increasing our weight.
The Mayo Clinic offers a list of ways you can get a good night’s sleep. One of the methods that stood out to me was creating a relaxing environment. Before I go to bed, I like to take a hot shower and do a skincare routine—whether that means putting on a face mask or exfoliating my skin to get rid of all the dirt in my pores. I tend to have oily and acne-prone skin so I have been using La Roche-Posay cleansers and face wash for my skin before going to sleep!
Another way to have better sleep is essential oils! They don’t work for everyone, but it is worth a shot if you are having trouble falling asleep. It is a form of aromatherapy, and it can create a less tense environment. Lavender is frequently used for sleep and can help lower blood pressure as well. I also recommend taking fewer naps during the day because that way, you will be exhausted at night and won’t have a problem going to sleep.
These were a couple of tips for people who have trouble falling asleep at night, but I believe that most college students just don’t have time for sleep because of all the assignments and exams. If you are a student who wants to go to sleep but just does not have the time, then my biggest recommendation is to prioritize. If you have a paper due the next week, then do not work on it a day before the deadline. Instead, force yourself to write a paragraph every week. Prioritize your schoolwork before your friends, too. I know that college is a time to grow and spend time with your closest friends, but it’s a huge step towards your career, so please put that ahead of any social events! This doesn’t mean that you should completely block out your friends, but instead try to keep at least two to four hours in a day for your schoolwork too.
Being able to sleep for seven to nine hours in a day is so important, and I know that it is hard with our busy lifestyle in college, but I hope that the tips I mentioned above are useful for people who cannot go to sleep and for those who just don’t have the time!