SLEEP: The Hardest Class You'll Ever Take
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Health and Wellness

SLEEP: The Hardest Class You'll Ever Take

SLEEP: The Hardest Class You'll Ever Take
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It’s no secret that college students fail when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. We party until 5 o’clock in the morning, and then get up for class two hours later. 

When we were little, our parents forced us to get a good night’s sleep with bedtimes. Our homework was to be completed by 8, and we were in bed by 9 o’clock SHARP (if we were lucky, 9:30). We were allowed no electronics and no TV (unless you were fortunate enough to have a TV in your room). At the time, it seemed like a cruel joke. In fact, I can still remember asking my mom why she got to stay up late and I didn’t. Now, 19 years later, I realize why bedtime was such a non-negotiable task. Our parents knew the value of a restful sleep, so they made sure that we reaped all the benefits of it by requiring us to unplug from the world and rest.

Sleep is probably the strongest tool we have to combat mental and physical illness, and yet it is the most underrated, particularly by adults. According to the News in Health Online, a healthy adult should be getting 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night. During these 7-8 hours the body repairs cells and recovers from the day. When we deprive ourselves from this kind of sleep, we become prone to things like weight gain, breakouts, moodiness, lack of concentration, and serious disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. 

The trouble is – most of us are incredibly deprived of sleep. We're starved of it. With work, school, internships, dating, social events, fraternity/sorority commitments and everything in between, it becomes difficult to find 4 hours to sleep, let alone 7! If like me, you find yourself having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, here are some tips to help. If you can’t find time to get a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted rest, you can also use these tips to make the few hours you get more fulfilling.

1. Turn off anything with a screen. It’s been proven that the light emitted from cell phones, laptops, and TV’s tricks the body into thinking it’s early morning, thus making it hard to get to bed. If having your phone or laptop plugged in next to you is too much temptation, try placing your electronics in a different room before you go to sleep. Out of sight, out of mind... 

2. Have a routine. Going through the same motions every night before bed tells your body it’s time to wind down. Read a book. Take a shower. Meditate. Pray. Write in a journal. Any activities that you consider calming will give your body a chance to gradually transition into a relaxed state of being. If you create a pattern, eventually your body will immediately recognize that it’s time to sleep, and you’ll fall asleep quicker.    

3. Limit caffeinated drinks. I don’t care who you are, no one can get a good night’s sleep if they’re wired on caffeine. While coffee is a good treat during the day, I recommend cutting off all caffeinate by dinnertime. If you enjoy something hot at night, warm milk or decaffeinated, herbal tea can be good substitutes. Both possess properties that encourage relaxation, making it easier to decompress.     

4. Have a 'bedtime'. I know, I know, I sound like your parents. But having a bedtime really helps to regulate your body’s internal clock. Now, I understand that most of us have social lives, so this rule is more of a guideline. When you can, go to bed at the same time each night, but if there’s a frat party you just can’t miss, pick up your ‘bedtime’ at the next opportunity.    

5. Make your bed your sanctuary. Apart from one other activity (wink wink, nudge nudge) your bed should be reserved for one thing and one thing only – sleep. As college students, we tend to do everything possible on our beds; eat, sleep, watch TV, do homework, etc. Try to do these types of activities outside of your room. Go to a café or a library or even just a different part of the house. If your mind only associates your bed with sleeping, you’ll relax faster when you lay down, and hopefully, get a better night’s sleep.     

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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