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During college there are many distractions that can lead you to get less sleep than you really need, like staying up all night to study for an exam or hanging out with friends. While some people can function after sleeping for only 5 or 6 hours, most people, including most college students, need 7-9 hours of sleep. Too little sleep can affect your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. It can also affect your physical and mental health, making you more vulnerable to catching colds and feeling depressed or anxious. Sleep also helps with memory and retention, so too little sleep can affect school work and grades. If you find that you are often tired, having trouble concentrating or feeling irritable towards others, you may need more sleep.
For more information on the importance of getting enough sleep, check out this article
Not only is the quantity of sleep important, but also the quality. How well you sleep each night can also have a major impact on your health and wellness. Here are some ways to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol all interfere with the quality of your sleep. Avoiding them, particularly in the afternoon/evening, can improve what you get out of your sleep
- A cool, dark and quiet room is optimal for a good night’s sleep. If you don’t already have them, it might be a good idea to purchase a fan, a sleeping mask or curtains to make your space more conducive for sleeping
- Develop a sleep routine. Try to do the same thing each night 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed, such as reading, taking a bath, or writing about your day in your journal. With time, you’ll train your mind into knowing when it is time for sleep. Setting specific times to go to bed each night and wake up each morning can also help to improve the quality of your sleep by regulating your internal clock
- Turn off the technology. Watching TV or doing anything on your computer, laptop, iPad or cellphone should be stopped at least an hour before bedtime. All of these devices produce blue light, which can disturb or even prevent you from getting to sleep by shutting down your production of melatonin, the major sleep hormone produced at night
Everyone’s sleeping needs are different, so try out different techniques until you find what works best for you.
For more tips and techniques, visit: 12 Tips to Sleep Soundly