Getting a restful night’s sleep can significantly affect our attitude toward university life, motivating us to study and complete our assignments and exams.
This article will examine how this quality amount of sleep can be achieved.
What Are The Benefits Of Quality Sleep?
There are various reasons for getting a good night’s sleep. Essential Student Living provides an informative article on why this is so important and several tips to help students obtain this goal. I will be drawing on these tricks as we work our way through the article, as well as giving you my own advice from a third-year university student’s point of view.
Some benefits of quality sleep (according to Essential Student Living):
- Improved concentration and productivity
- Increased energy levels
- Helps boost your academic performance
- Improves memory
- Can boost your immune system
- Reduces stress and improves your mood
- Can help prevent weight gain
As highlighted above, Essential Student Living focuses on ‘boosting your academic performance’. As a student, this is essential. Getting a quality, restful night’s sleep can help maintain your work-life balance and routine, allowing you to stay on track and reach your goals. Jotting down your plans for the next day is a great way to condense your thoughts before you go to sleep, reducing your anxiety levels before bedtime.
How Do I Get A Good Night’s Sleep?
According to a March 2019 study by the University of York, up to 60% of students report poor sleep quality. For example, my third-year university housemate, who studies Biology Bsc, often struggles with sleep. As a result of poor quality sleep, he suffers from sleep deprivation and a lack of motivation for his studies. So, don’t feel alone if you struggle with sleeping at university.
Essential Student Living’s Key Tips & Tricks:
- Stick To A Sleeping Schedule
- Regular Exercise
- Avoid Certain Food & Drink Before Bed (e.g, coffee and energy drinks)
- Disconnect From Any Devices
- Take Time To Unwind
- Create A Calm Sleep Space
- Identify Any Sleep Disturbances
- Speak To Your Doctor
Some of the most important tips to me include sticking to a sleeping schedule, regular exercise and taking time to unwind. Here’s why.
Sticking To A Regular Sleeping Schedule
As a university student, sticking to a regular sleeping schedule can be extremely difficult as our waking up time changes daily due to our course timetable. While you may not have a 9 am daily, waking up simultaneously can improve your academic motivation and study schedule. ‘The Conversation’ states that ‘sleep affects your ability to learn and process new information, so students with poor sleep quality are likelier to get bad grades.’ Along with this, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are at risk of being developed.
As a third-year student, time management over your work is key. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, sticking to a regular routine and avoiding distractions helps you maintain that concentrated mindset. Getting your work done will feel less stressful if you schedule it out, taking the day step by step. Maintaining this bedtime routine of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day will help keep you fixed on your academic goals – essential while you are in your final year of university.
Personally, I believe exercise is one of the best ways to secure a good night’s sleep. Not only does it ensure you have a fixed routine for day-to-day life, but it also helps release endorphins, which reduce anxiety and stress levels, contributing to a good night’s sleep. Thorough exercise will tire you out, making getting enough sleep to achieve your academic goals much easier.
Although exercise is great for mental health and sleep routines, Essential Student Living writes that exercising too close to bedtime can reduce your sleep quality, so make sure you’re scheduling enough gap between your exercise and unwinding for bed. Sleep Foundation provides some useful suggestions for types of exercise that can assist in your sleeping routine for multiple benefits:
- Aerobic or resistance exercise in the morning can stimulate earlier melatonin release in the evening. This increases your chances of getting a better night’s sleep already.
- High-intensity exercise in the afternoon can promote good sleep by reducing wakefulness.
- Light resistance or aerobic training in the evening can reduce night-time awakening.
From my own student experience, exercise can also be a great way to get a break from your studies and release stress. Running is free therapy!
Taking Time To Unwind
Living with your friends at university can make it difficult for students to make time for unwinding in the evening. However, putting this aside to make time for your own sleep is what you need to practice to make changes in your routine.
Allowing time to decompress in the evening will help reduce stress levels before bed. Whether this is reading, watching a Netflix show or sipping on your favorite camomile-infused tea, you will see significant benefits once you put this plan into action.
To summarise, sleeping is key to academic success. Take away these step-by-step tips to improve your sleeping routine from this article, and hopefully you will start to see results. If not, talking to a medical professional is also an alternative method to get help in perfecting your sleeping habits. I want to stress, like Essential Living notes, to stay away from taking sleep medicines and pills to improve your sleeping unless advised to by your doctor.
Thank you for reading, and hopefully, some of these tips can help you maintain this schedule!