One of my favorite activities is sleeping. I love to climb in bed at the end of a long day and just pass out. Being a student and an employee, my schedule is never the same on any two days of the week. This can make it hard to establish a stable sleep schedule, but it is very important that I do if I want to keep my grades up and my stress levels down.

The National Sleep Foundation offers many tips for you to improve your sleep quality. Here are a few that I have altered a bit to apply just to us college students. Follow the links below to find out more information about the topics!

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day: Strengthen your circadian rhythm by setting a standard bed time for each night and a time to wake up each morning. Weekends are no exception! Get up and get moving instead of sleeping in!
  • Make a pre-bed “relax-routine”: Maybe you already know some things you like to do before bed. It’s great if you do, but make sure they are relaxing a preparing you for bed. Having a few beers, playing Call of Duty, or cramming for an exam until you pass out can be counterproductive to relaxing. Try reading a book for fun (not a textbook!) or listen to some relaxing music.
  • Prepare your environment: Create a space that will help you relax and fall asleep. Control factors such as noise, light, and temperature so that you can go to sleep and stay asleep until morning. Check with your roommate to see if you are doing anything to disrupt their sleep and ensure you aren’t disrupting theirs.
  • Make your bed  as comfortable as possible: For those of us sleeping on those wonderful student housing mattresses: there is still hope! You can buy a soft pad that covers the mattress. Also make sure that you properly select which pillows you are using. Your pillows should be soft, but supportive. **Quick note on hygiene: wash your sheets and pillow cases at least once a week! You don’t want to be sleeping with excess bacteria, dirt, or other unwanted “guests.” **
  • Your bed is for sleeping: The actual advice from the National Sleep Foundation is: “Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.” Your bedroom may double as your, living room, office, and even your dining room. If this is the case, eat, study, or facebook from your desk instead of your bed.

Your days may be filled with classes, studying, club meetings and work, but make sure that your nights are filled with sleep!  The tips above will help you get between 7-9 hours of solid sleep.

For more tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep visit here.

Written by Andrew Chinofsky, Peer Educator