College life is full of challenges. Plunging between classes, work, exams, extracurricular and social activities mostly leads to Sleep deprivation among college students.
College students aren’t getting enough sleep each night, which can have a significant impact on their health and performance levels.
Hostel life, college dorms, or group living conditions affects a good night’s sleep. Situations like ambient light and noise, interruption of sleep from roommates, or probably old, overused mattresses are those challenges that any student faces.
Here are few tips for a college student to get an excellent nightly sleep, which can help them achieve academic success and good health.
1. Adapt to Natural Sleeping Rhythm.
Follow the natural rhythm and plan your schedule accordingly. Monitor your day and try to figure out when you are most alert and your sleep habits.
Some youngsters are late sleepers and stay up late, or some students are early risers. Adapt your schedule according to your sleep routine. Pick up classes when you are most active during the day.
2. Stick to the same schedule every night.
Set up a realistic wake-up time and strictly follow it. It would be best if you got out of your bed at the same time, even on holidays and weekends. Your body clock needs regularity to function optimally. In case you try to switch your schedule, you will be making things harder for you, thereby leading to tiredness and fatigue.
3. Don’t lounge in bed for long.
Students mustn’t lay in bed for a long time after waking up. Get outside quickly as soon as you are awake respective of the weather, which can sometimes play a spoilsport and makes you lazy.
4. Train yourself to be active throughout the day.
Schedule your classes, meetings, and activities during times when you want to be awake. This tip will bring more alertness to your routine and force you to get up early. Again you can reward yourself for getting up early and on time.
5. Aim to get 8-9 hours of sleep.
A college-goer should get a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep. So hit the bed 8-9 hours before you wake up. If you are not tired, then don’t just lie down on the bed unnecessarily. You will end up just tossing and turning.
Better opt for some physical activities before you hit the bed. Also go to bed early.
6. Get your brain relaxed.
Unwind yourself. Shut down all your electronic devices and keep them out of reach. Your body decreases the amount of melatonin (hormones responsible for sleep) it secretes due to the blue light emission from laptops and mobile phones, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Again some students say that they have a habit of watching TV and then going to sleep. Experts say listening to TV audio is nothing to with the quality of sleep.
Instead, pick up a book to read or hear soothing music to relax your mind at least half an hour before bed. Try to dim the lights in your bedroom and create an ambiance that gives you a comfortable sleeping atmosphere.
7. Avoid unscheduled naps.
This tip is for those who try to grab a nap early and in the late evenings. There should be at least a gap of 5-6 hours between your nighttime sleep routine and evening nap. Try to take a short rest of 30mins during the afternoon and limit them.
8. Resist from the intake of afternoon caffeine.
A widespread habit among college students is to drink coffee to stay awake to study all night. For them, it’s like fuel. But experts suggest that caffeine harms sleep. You will be able to increase your brain level activity by taking any caffeinated drinks.
Still, it will hamper your action the following day—the sleep after taking caffeine lighter and less restorative than it should be.
9. Practice meditation or take natural supplements.
if you have insomnia, then go for meditation. Meditation helps to slow down metabolic activity. Moreover, it helps reducing anxiety. Intake of food supplements like magnesium, calcium, and melatonin may help battle sleep problems.
In case the problem persists of insomnia, then the doctor may recommend medications like zolpidem, eszopiclone, and doxepine. We would like to prefer a more natural approach to sleep.
Advantages of a Proper Night’s sleep for College Students.
There are many benefits of a good night’s sleep. It can make students feel like they can tackle everything. You can read in this study, the researchers have studied what are the consequences of less sleep among college students.
Now, let us check the positives, the advantages of a proper night’s sleep.
A night of Good quality sleep will Increase the grades/ratings of a college students.
Many research and studies have shown that sleep deprivation has adverse effects on a student’s grades; some students have also withdrawn from the course entirely due to the negative impact of poor sleep. Compared to students who have a good sleeping pattern and schedule, they have shown better academic results.
Sleep Well and have a Good memory
Good sleep is directly proportional to the efficiency of the brain. A student’s brain needs to process colossal information collected during classes and lectures. That information is sorted and organized and retained by the brain during sleep cycles.
Sleep Well this will also Lessen Obesity
Weight gain is a significant problem faced by teenagers and college going people. Their eating habits get a hit when they are sleep deprived. The body generates more hunger hormones, and eating unhealthy food at night promotes fats.
If one has a good routine, then there are fewer chances of getting obese as sleep increases leptin levels in the body, curbs appetite.
A good quality Sleep will Reduce chances of getting unwell
People fall sick if their immune systems aren’t functioning correctly. During sleep, the body releases fewer antibodies, which makes you more vulnerable to viruses. Lack of sleep also affects healing time, so when you get the flu or a cold, it’ll take you longer to get over it.
A quality sleep will Boost mental Health
One night of disturbed sleep and your mood is upset the very next day. It’s familiar to everyone. But if the sleep deprivation cycle is prolonged, it will lead to stress, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and sluggish feelings. Decent sleep oversees good mental well-being.
What are the consequences of less Sleep among college students?
Sleep deprivation can cause serious consequences. Let’s discuss them in details-
Less Sleep will lead to Undermined brain Development
Sleep deprivation can be extremely harmful to teens. Students who suffer from this turn out to have timid behavior and are not risk-takers. Their brains have affected to perform very slow.
Sleep loss for a college student will lead to a lack of coordination and low alertness
Lack of proper sleep leads to drowsiness. As a college-goer, it can impact your commutation activity. Whether you are driving walking to the institute can lead to accidents. You’re not alert or coordinated. When you’re an athlete, your performance and coordination will likely suffer if you are not fresh and sleep-deprived.
Sleep well to stay positive .
Because of Insufficient sleep, there will be low performance in school and colleges, making a student feel hopeless. Studies have found out that students have increased levels of suicidal thoughts under such circumstances.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
The amount of sleep people need differs for each age group. For a high school student, eight to ten hours of sleep is the minimum, whereas, for a College student, it should get about seven to nine hours of sleep.
Students should have a checklist or list down the answers to the following questions to lay down their sleep pattern
- What is my Sleep latency time – meaning time l it takes to go from “lights out” to sleep
- What’s the total time I spend in bed compared to time spent on sleeping?
- How many times you wake up in the middle of the night before actually waking up
- What is my Wake time after an unusual early morning awakening?
- Calculate the time between sleep onset and REM sleep.
Why College Students Are Sleep Deprived
There are many reasons why a student is sleep-deprived.
- He/she may be suffering from Sleep disorders
- Overuse of electronic devices
- Spending too much time on social media
- late-night partying
- Some addiction such as drugs or alcohol
- Excess Consumption of caffeine and energy drinks
How can a student Balance Studying and sleeping?
You can try the following:
- Create a study routine; use your calendar to schedule your classes and activities to avoid overlapping.
- Please don’t overdo it or set over-realistic targets
- Meet with your advisor regular to keep track of academic requirements
A good sleep Routine in college will do marvels for your long-term health.It will make one smarter, faster, happier performer, and healthier.
Point to note- Do remember if you’re sleeping through any classes or lectures, then it’s an alarm that it’s time to change your sleep schedule. This is a sign of sleep deprivation at night.