College life can be very demanding. Catching up on assignments, running late for lectures and developing your unique, energetic and self-sufficient personality can leave you physically and mentally. Adding to the problem, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation; regularly found amongst university students living in a culture that promotes reduced sleep, due to the burden of academic work and social pursuits. However, you do not have to be tired all the time.
Casting light and educating on the fact that we are not giving the importance to a good sleep should be a priority. A recent study from the Imperial College London reports that acute sleep deprivation has a significant effect on college students. They found a notable increase in reaction time and post-exercise systolic blood pressure in university students after just one night of sleep deprivation, compared to those who enjoyed a normal night’s sleep.
The most prominent effect is a reduced reaction time in competitive sports, and can pose a danger to safety critical actions such as driving a car, also indigestion problems and lower energy levels. Even worse than that, insufficient sleep has been associated directly with some dangerous health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disorders.
So what can you do to sleep more and benefit from all of the health perks that it has to offer? These 7 sleep hacks are simple and easy to put into practice, helping you have sweet dreams and wake up as fresh as a daisy to achieve more productive days for many years to come.
It might be appealing to skive off sleep when you have an upcoming deadline, but going all night long without any rest can generate impulsive behavior, anxiety, and inattention. The best way is setting a schedule that will allow you to save time for all of your tasks and activities, as well as getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Energy drinks and caffeine can be beneficial when you are feeling tired and have a heavy workload to confront with, but caffeine can stay in your system for up to 14 hours and mess with your sleep at night. Preferably drink water or other caffeine-free beverages after lunch to make sure you are not tossing around in bed instead of sleeping at night.
Mental and physical exhaustion are not the same. Lack of physical activity throughout the day can increase the chances of insomnia. Going for a walk and stretching your limbs, soccer game or other forms of exercise at least three times every week can help you fall asleep (and stay asleep), as well as make you feel more invigorated during the day.
By setting aside 10 minutes out of your day to unwind from rushing on to the next task on your schedule, you will see great results. Practice a bedtime ritual like meditation or listening to soothing music, this relaxation time can help reduce that amount of stress you have been accumulating, which is one of the main factors of missing out on quality sleep. Even taking a short kip of 20-30 minutes right around 3 p.m. can have some significant benefits for your productivity level and your ability to get to sleep at night.
Noise can be a massive impediment of getting to sleep. If you’re living in a flat with loud roommates or have lots of street noise coming into your room, think about spending on a pair of soundproof earplugs. Also, avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep, this way, your brain will associate being under the sheets with getting some zizz, and make it easier to fall asleep. Light can also disturb your sleep, so try to make your room as dark as possible, especially avoid bright light of electronic devices, and that means no telly, no texting, or surfing the Web in bed!
Alcohol, in some instances, can make you quickly fall asleep, creating the illusion of a good rest, but in fact, it loosens up your muscles, producing vibration between the tissues in your throat leading to snoring. It can also cause heartburn and acid reflux or mess with your sleep cycle. Making you miss out on the REM part of sleep that helps your body restore and recharge itself.
If all of the above fails, get out of bed. Continuing to lie there only increases your stress levels, making it even more difficult to doze off. Experts suggest getting out of bed to do something else — as long it is relaxing and does not involve bright light, reading a book, meditating or writing those thoughts that are preventing you from sleep. Go back to bed when you finally feel exhausted.
So there you have them— seven tips to help you doze at the right moment and in the right way for the right length. Never underestimate the benefits of having a good night’s sleep and giving your body and mind the rest it deserves. Science has proved more and more each year that sleep is essential to our health, even more so than we thought, and therefore essential to our success in school, work and life.
Forget about “you snooze you lose!” and repeat after us: “You snooze you succeed!”
This article was brought to you by SnoreNation, an online-guide dedicated to snoring, mild sleep apnea, and information about self-help remedies, treatments, and anti-snoring products.
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