Sleep Tips for College Students (and Everyone Else) – Part 1

Man Asleep

Given the news lately about sleep deprivation among college students, I did some checking on sleep tips.  Did you know that almost every search result on the topic parades out the same list of ~10 tips?  They are pretty standard, but they are sparse in spots.  So I decided to start a series of posts with sleep tips that apply equally well for students or those in the working world.

In this post, you will see just the brief list of tips I came up with.  I will elaborate on each of these in future posts.  Here you go!

  1. Establish a regular waking time, regardless of your morning schedule
  2. Establish a regular bedtime that works with your new waking schedule
  3. Take short naps, if necessary (20 – 25 minutes at most)
  4. Plan naps into your daily schedule in advance (again, if necessary)
  5. Follow naps with active tasks to quickly wake back up (exercise, cooking, walking to class, etc)
  6. Exercise daily to improve your quality of sleep (or at least plan periods of activity into your day)
  7. Eat healthy foods to improve your quality of sleep
  8. Avoid caffeine immediately before bedtime (and the final hours leading up to it)
  9. Avoid nicotine immediately before bedtime (and the final hours leading up to it)
  10. Avoid alcohol immediately before bedtime (and the final hours leading up to it)
  11. Establish a bedtime routine – wind down your day before sleeping
  12. Avoid bright screens before bedtime (tv, computer screens, iPads, phones, etc)
  13. Use your bed for sleep – not for studying, watching tv, or working
  14. Wake up with your sleep cycles – use subtle, dual-alarm systems whenever possible
  15. Afterward, have breakfast! – get the nutrients your body needs to wake up

Keep the order of this list in mind – planning first!  Establish a routine, then live the details daily and it will fall into place.  Working into a positive sleep pattern takes time, but eventually your body (and habits) will adjust!

Any further sleep tips you want to add?  Comment below!

Photo Credit:  By Colton Cotton (Own work) [ CC-BY-SA-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons



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