How to Get a Good Night's Sleep!


| 2 Comments
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As college students, we never are able to get enough sleep. We are consistently preoccupied with studying, classes, sports, stress, social gatherings, and socialization (amongst other things). We are also constantly distracted by social media, cell phones, ipods, computers, etc. All of these things take up a huge amount of our time and despite the need for sleep, we often times put sleep on the back-burner, and when we actually do get around to sleeping, we find it difficult.

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Given this, when we do actually get sleep it seems like it's almost a sacred thing. Therefore, we need to increase our quality of sleep when we actually do get around to it. So how can you do that? Here are a couple tips I have researched. The majority of the sources I found suggested similar things and therefore I picked the four I found to be most useful: WebMD, Lifehack, the Mayo Clinic, and Kansas University.

Through these sources it was suggested that people follow steps in order to get a better night's sleep. These steps included:


1. Give your room a makeover: this will help make your room comfortable which is important when trying to sleep. The more comfortable and cozy you feel in your room the more comfortable you will feel when you sleep.

2. Get enough sleep: set aside at least 7-9 hours for sleep. Since we are all age 18 or older studies have shown that our bodies require 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

3. Don't nap: as hard as this might be and as much as you might want a nap, a nap can do more harm to you at the end of the day when you're actually trying to sleep than help. If you must take a power nap, it is recomended that you take a 20 minute power nap only in order to not take hours away from your sleep at night.

4. Try to stay away from caffeine: this is simple; caffeine keeps you up.

5. Sleep in silence: disconnect from the world. Limit the amount of distractions around you and allow yourself to drift off to sleep.

6. Take a hot shower: this will help you relax your muscles and your decrease your stress levels making it easier for you to fall asleep. However, Kansas State University states that people should not take hot showers but instead take hot baths in order to feel sleepy. They say that hot showers often times cause people to wake up. 

7. Try to avoid drinking alcohol before bed: despite alcohol making you tired, it also causes you to wake up in the middle of the night causing your sleeping schedule to be desturbed.

8. Sleep on a Schedule: I know this is very hard for us college kids, but by establishing a sleeping schedule, you allow your body to get used to going to sleep and waking up at certain times.

9. Exercise: by exercising, it causes your body to want to sleep in order to restore your muscles and your joints. Not only do you get a good workout and stay healthy, but you also are able to get the benefit of your body actually wanting to sleep.

10. Try not to eat before bed: allow yourself two hours before going to bed after a meal. By doing so, you allow yourself to digest before laying down.

11. Keep a "to do" list next to your bed with a pencil: when you wake up and feel stressed, write all of your "to do's" on the piece of paper next to your bed. By doing this you allow yourself to not stress about remembering to do something in the morning and allow the list to later on set the tone for your day when you wake up.

Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most out of your night's sleep.

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2 Comments

Natasha,
Your article provides very helpful tips on how to get a good night of rest. However, like you said as college students it is often very difficult to get good sleep. The reason being is that we do nearly everything that contradicts the "good sleep tips" that you've provided in your article.
1. Many of us do not have the time to give our rooms makeovers
2. 7-9 hours of sleep is highly unrealistic to the average college student (especially at Penn State where there are endless distractions and school work)
3. Like you said, naps are good as long as they are around 20 minutes. This article describes the benefits of a short nap as opposed to a long nap such as more energy and less grogginess.
4. Caffeine is inescapable in college. We all need something to keep us up whether it be in the morning, during class, and even at night
5. Silence is golden. Being in college made me realize how true that statement really is. There are plenty nights in college where your roommate, neighbors, or people outside will be making distracting noises therefore it is often difficult to sleep in silence.
6. The Kansas State study you mentioned contradicts the method of taking hot showers but you recommended taking a bath. Most of us (those who live in dorms) do not have the option of taking baths therefore this method doesn't seem very practical.
7. There are at least 3 nights during a week that alcohol will most definitely be consumed before bed. Especially at a college like Penn State.
8. A sleeping schedule is very difficult to maintain because we have different obligations every day and every night. The option of going to bed varies depending on what we have to or do not have to do.
9. I, along with many college students, actively exercise but it is often difficult to exercise regularly because more times then not we do not have the time, energy, or will-power to exercise.
10. I think many people can relate to me in that I eat almost every night before bed. It's not necessarily because I want to but more so that I have to. I often forget to eat dinner or did not eat a large enough dinner so inevitably I get hungry before bed. Also, it doesn't help that there are plenty of restaurants in state college that deliver at late hours. The temptation is often too great to resist
11. This is definitely doable but I don't see how this would help me get a great night of sleep. Personally, writing my stresses down on a piece of paper in the middle of the night would only cause me to stress more.

Kevin, I see your point on all of these. This blog and its listed items were not intended to work for everyone. It was to help people pick and choose certain items that they think would be manageable at college (if they were having trouble getting a good night's sleep). With that being said, I understand that it is possible that for some people none of these suggestions will help or work. This was just a product of my research.

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