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Sleep advice for college students


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nobody goes to college thinking that it will be an opportunity to catch up on lost sleep. While the demands of college will affect the sleep patterns of resident and commuter students alike, students who will be living on campus need to be especially aware of their daily routines and how they affect getting a good night's sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation states that adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. As tough college courses require you to be alert and well rested, you want to do what you can to get quality rest. Here are a few tips that might just do the trick:

Ban certain foods and beverages before bedtime
What you eat or drink shortly before getting into bed can actually keep you up. A few sips of a caffeinated beverage, such as coffee, tea and certain sodas, may taste good but can make for a very restless night in bed. At the same time, filling up on too much food at bedtime or getting under the sheets with a growling stomach can lead to discomfort, which is never conducive to a good night's rest. For this reason, the Mayo Clinic advises people never to go to bed feeling too full or too hungry.

Turn off electronics
It's only natural for you to chat with a friend using your laptop or to do some reading on a tablet right before bed. However, this may not be the best idea if you want to get plenty of sleep. The Associated Press advises individuals to avoid various electronics, such as computers and smartphones, late at night. The screens on these devices are so bright that they could have an effect similar to taking a morning walk on a sunny day.

Drown out distractions
While resident assistants work to keep the noise down in dorms late at night, they can't silence every noise inside and outside of your room. Whether a roommate's headphones are blasting or students are chatting next door, you should try to minimize distractions.

For example, if a roommate has a light on while he or she works, an eye mask could make the room seem a little darker. When it's getting too noisy, earplugs or noise-canceling headphones might be enough to help you drift off to sleep.

Trying any one of these sleep strategies could be enough to ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day's challenges.

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