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Wellness > Health

Lose the Freshman 15: Get Some Zzz’s

Happy Thursday, collegiettes! It’s not even nighttime yet and I am ready to crawl into bed and pass out. Why? I’ve been awake since early this morning writing a paper that’s due at midnight. I know, I know… I did it to myself. But I don’t think we appreciate how wonderful sleep truly is until we go without it during finals week.

For me, going “without it” means I’m getting less than my usual eight hours. I really try to make sleep a priority in my life. If I’m short on sleep I end up sabotaging my health in a number of ways. I tend to make poorer choices with my diet and eat more throughout the day than I would otherwise, I turn to Diet Coke instead of water for a quick caffeine fix and I skip out on the gym in favor of naptime. Many studies have shown that people who sleep less weigh more (seriously, look it up!). And although it’s not always possible to get a solid eight hours of sleep, you should try your best to include a good night’s rest with SELF’s Drop 10 plan! Here’s how:

  • Set a bedtime for yourself. Yes, we’re in college. But settling into a sleep routine to ensure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep will be beneficial to your body. I am in bed by midnight almost every week night and am up around 8 a.m. By setting aside those hours for yourself every night, you’ll wakeup feeling refreshed and be more productive during the day!
  • Turn off your phone. OK you don’t actually have to turn it off. But don’t stay up for an extra hour checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/whatever once you get into bed. It takes a while for your brain to settle down once you’re ready to go to sleep, so be sure to get your social media fix ahead of time.
  • Eliminate extra noise. Turn off the TV! A quiet environment will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. I know living in the dorms or in an apartment with other girls is not always conducive for sleeping, trust me, so I use soft ear plugs when I need to block out the loud noises I otherwise can’t control.
  • Limit naptime. Naps can be a great way to recharge if you’ve missed out on sleep. However, they also make it harder to fall asleep again at night. If you must take a nap, try to keep it around 30 minutes to an hour so you’ll still be able to fall asleep come bedtime!

I encourage you to spend the next few days getting into a new sleep routine to make sure you’re getting at least seven hours, even if it is finals week. It will be beneficial to your health and to your waistline! Also, round 2 of the “Lose the Freshman 15” DietBet challenge starts on May 7. Don’t forget to sign up again! I’m down a total of 12lbs so far and can’t wait to see everyone’s continued progress in round 2. Have a great day!