by: Casey Tiernan, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Well-being Leader
Do you ever wake up with little to no energy? Me too. This is a normal college experience for many students. This will be a step-by-step guide on how to get enough sleep to help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Getting enough sleep has many benefits to your health and well-being. It boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart, increases productivity, improves memory, and reduces stress. All of these benefits prevent chronic diseases and help to live a long fulfilling life.
First, set a sleep alarm on your device. Setting an alarm when it is time to get some rest allows your brain to follow a set routine. I like to try and get to bed at the same time every night to set my body into a healthy routine.
Second, set up a restful environment. Personally, I like to have my room cold with a fan on as well as a humidifier to help me breathe better. I also cannot sleep with any lights on. I will not get any sleep if my room is too hot because I get very irritable. Make sure to have your room environment to your likings to get comfy and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Third, put your phone on do not disturb mode before bed to prevent being woken up by notifications. Every night, I turn on “do not disturb” so I will stop checking my phone and this allows me to disconnect and get some sleep. Before I did this, I would check my phone every time I got a notification which started to annoy me because I could not put my phone down. Such a small task but makes a huge difference.
Fourth, do not take longer than 20–30-minute naps. A quick power nap (20-30 minutes) can help improve mood, sharpen focus, and reduce fatigue. If you nap longer than 30-minute naps, you may find yourself feeling groggier and more fatigued. Also note that naps should not replace the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep.
Fifth, make a homework schedule each week. I block off different parts of my day to complete assignments and studying and by 6pm every night, I do not look at my work. I use this time until bed to focus on myself and my well-being. I like to read, take a shower, watch a movie, etc. Doing this allows you to take care of your emotional health and well-being and prevents burn out.
After doing these steps for myself, I have managed to balance a tricky college life due to getting enough sleep. I can focus on my assignments without feeling drained and unmotivated. I started doing this in my junior year and noticed my academic success. It may sound silly, but getting enough sleep truly goes a long way.