Work Hard, Play Hard, Sleep Hard
Sleep is an essential part of our lives that can affect the day-to-day interactions and goals that we have. Getting too little sleep can cause us to be irritated and not perform as well in daily activities that we can usually perform with ease. Numerous publications and universities have posted about the benefits of sleep, including the negative effects on high-level cognitive abilities when you’re not getting enough sleep for longer periods of time.
The Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
The benefits of sleep go beyond just the feeling of exhaustion. Your body works like a phone – it needs to be able to recharge if it’s going to last. But instead of just shutting down when the battery runs out, your body simply works more slowly and processes less. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, can have huge benefits.
1.) Improve memory: have you ever heard of the phrase “sleep on it”? Studies have shown that getting adequate sleep helps your body to process and organize all of the information that it has gathered throughout the day.
2.) Improve creativity: sleep strengthens the emotional components of your brain as well. These help to spur the creative processes in many different ways. If you have a creative project to complete, try it after a good night of sleep.
3.) Improving your grades: both of these first two benefits promote better grades. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t cram for that big test. Missing some sleep for one night isn’t a problem – continued sleep deprivation is a problem.
4.) Stay healthy: sleep is connected to the metabolism sectors of the brain. Less sleep reduces the body’s ability to process everything – including food.
How to Sleep Better
The recommended amount of sleep for college students is 7-9 hours. Here are a couple of tips to help you reach that goal:
1.) Take short 15-20 naps during the afternoon. However, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, napping can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.
2.) Avoid caffeine after 4:00 p.m. Caffeine lasts 4-6 hours in the body with some lag time which can prevent sleep.
3.) Don’t hit the snooze button. We know it’s tempting, but hitting snooze actually reduces the quality of sleep.
4.) Try to establish a routine and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
5.) Try to avoid sleeping in too late on the weekends as the shakeup can actually give you jetlag-like symptoms and throw you off of your natural sleeping and waking rhythm.
6.) Avoid looking at any bright screens 1-2 hours before bedtime.
7.) Exercising during the day regularly will help you get a better night’s sleep and help you feel less drowsy throughout the day.
8.) Avoid eating big, rich meals at night within 2 hours of going to bed.
9.) Cut back on refined carbs and sugary foods.
10.) If you’re having trouble falling asleep, it’s important to stay out of your own head and overthinking it. Focus on relaxation, not sleeping.
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