Sleeping is one of the best things in life. A bed is the sweetest hello and the hardest goodbye but if you want to be healthy, you need to be strict with your sleep. You need to regulate when you go to bed, when you wake up, what you do before bed and limit your naps. Finals are coming up and what better way to prepare than to sleep?
It should be obvious but getting less than six hours of sleep is bad. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll start to feel extremely tired, sad and stressed. As college students, we don’t need any more stress! Finals are coming up and if we’re well rested, they’ll be a breeze.
The more you sleep the longer your brain has to process the previous day’s activities and the more you remember and understand. This is why cramming isn’t good. You should study a day or two before, get some good rest and let your brain figure out what the heck you just shoved into it. Sleeping increases your long-term memory so sleeping on your studies (not literally) will help you remember and, hey, maybe learn something.
Sleep helps you gain energy and fight off illness by strengthening your immune system. Do you want to be sick and add to that lack-of-sleep induced and class-caused stress or take your finals while sick? Lack of sleep also increases weight gain. No, thank you. Going to the gym and eating right is not going to work that well without proper sleep.
On the other hand, too much sleep is bad for you. It makes you feel more tired and throws your body out of whack. You need to find a happy balance.
To get a good night’s sleep, first you need to set a bedtime; one that will give you a proper amount of sleep for when you should wake up. No more skipping class because you’re too tired to wake up. If you’re bad at keeping a bedtime, set an alarm an hour before your bedtime to remind you to finish things up and start your before-bed process. Also try to stay away from electronic devices before going to bed. The light the screens produce make your brain think that it’s still day time and it doesn’t produce the melatonin that makes you tired. On your phone until 3am? It’s because your brain doesn’t know that it’s nighttime. If you can’t sleep, get off your phone and be stuck with your own thoughts for a few minutes in the dark while your brain realizes it’s time to sleep.
Naptime may seem like the best thing in the world but it’s actually keeping you from a good night’s sleep. It’s throwing off your body’s sleep schedule and making you less tired for when you should actually be sleeping. If you need to nap, keep them short: catnaps and power naps are the way to go. These should be during the day (don’t nap in the dark, you body will try to go into your nighttime sleep mode) and keep it short at 20-30 minutes. Anymore will make you drowsy and keep you from sleeping soundly at night.
So if you don’t sleep well at night, or don’t sleep at all, you need to take a look at your sleeping schedule and habits and make some changes. These changes will make you feel healthier, more awake and alert, think clearer, improve your mood and performance during the day and generally make you feel like a real human being. Just what you need to make it through upcoming finals week. So make sure you get enough sleep!