It’s 3:00 a.m. and you have just finished cramming for your eight o’clock exam. Your roommate is snoring, your computer is glowing and the people down the hall have their music blaring. You finally doze off, and after what seems to be five minutes, you are awakened by the buzzing of your alarm clock. If this scenario sounds familiar, then you are not alone. Sleep deprivation is extremely common among college students. Most of us know that the average do not receive the required amount. Between noise disturbances, heavy academic workload and extracurricular activities, many students find themselves unable to get enough sleep.
With continual sleep deprivation, health problems may arise. For instance, your motor reflexes may become impaired and your body may feel exhausted during the day. If you live in a dorm room with a roommate, then it is inevitable that the two of you will not have the same sleep schedule. If this that accommodate both of your then you should follow some of the tips suggested below.
The National Sleep Foundation has compiled a top 10 tips list for a good night’s sleep:
Keep a regular sleep schedule (go to bed at the same time each night). Avoid caffeine. Avoid nicotine. Avoid alcohol. Don’t eat or drink too much close to bedtime (proper digestion cannot occur while you are sleeping). Exercise by late afternoon (exercising helps you to sleep, as long as you do it at the right time). Use relaxing (keep your bedroom quiet, cool and dark). Do not watch TV, study or eat in bed (save your bed for sleeping only). Limit sleep time in bed (if you are unable to fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and engage in a relaxing activity such as journal writing).
There are also things that you can do during the day to prepare your body for a good night’s rest. In the morning you should try to wake up at the same time every day. On weekends try not to sleep in too late because this will throw off your body’s natural rhythm. When a person requires between seven and nine hours of sleep per night; however, many college students is the case, then earplugs may be a wise investment. Also, you could try to work out arrangements lifestyles. If you are still having problems falling asleep, bedtime rituals (try aromatherapy, candles or soothing music). Create a sleep-promoting environment you wake up, drink a cup of coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate and eat a nutritious breakfast. This will give your metabolism a boost and keep you awake and alert.
In the afternoon eat a nutritious lunch and try to avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine if possible. Get your exercise in before late afternoon. This will give your body time to relax before you try to go to sleep.
In the evening have a nutritious dinner. Take time to relax and reflect upon your day and make worry lists or to do lists so that you will not think about your problems at night. Finally, have a light and healthy snack and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Doing this will keep your body on a regular schedule.
If you are getting enough sleep, then your body should not need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. Additionally, you should not feel drowsy during the day or in class during a lecture.
If you would like more information about sleep deprevationor would like to take an online sleep assessment, visit: www.sleepfoundation.org or www.sleepnet.com. Sweet dreams!