Sufficient sleep is necessary not just for retaining what you learn in class, but it also is essential for staying both physically and emotionally healthy. Lack of sleep impairs a person's ability to focus and learn efficiently, and increases susceptibility to illness and risk of injury due to sleepiness.
We all need adequate sleep in order to repair our bodies, consolidate memories, and be alert to accomplish important tasks. Explore the links on the left for resources and information to help you be rested!
Tips for Better Sleep:
- Create a relaxing sleep environment. Apartments and residence halls can be noisy environments. However, there are some things you can do to create a more relaxing environment. Make your room quieter by using ear-plugs while you sleep, or try using a white noise machine, fan, or playing relaxing instrumental music. Block excess light by using room darkening curtains or a sleep eye mask.
- Use your bed for sleep – not work! Train your body to associate your bed with sleeping, and you’ll have an easier time falling asleep. Try to avoid studying or doing homework in your bed – as tempting as that might be!
- Avoid substances that disrupt sleep. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can all negatively impact sleep quality. Avoid using these substances within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
- Work on reducing stress. If you find yourself tossing and turning with worries at night, you may need to work on reducing stress. Try going to a yoga class, practicing mindfulness, or deep breathing. For more information about stress management, visit the Be Calm section of this website.
- Time management. Avoid the dreaded all-nighter, and plan ahead to get assignments done early. Get organized with a planner, breaking large assignments into smaller manageable chunks, and working on projects well in advance of their deadlines.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Try your best to go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day. Inconsistent routines can be disrupting to sleep cycles.
- Create a nightly ritual to relax. Avoid stimulating activities (like vigorous exercise) an hour before bed, and instead engage in activities to help your body wind down. Listen to calming music, take a warm shower, or engage in other relaxation practices.
- Unplug. Cell phones, computers, and TV emit blue light, which can be disrupting to sleep. Try to limit your use of technology 1-2 hours before bed.
Feeling tired or dragged out during the day? Try taking a nap! Naps can provide quick boosts in energy and alertness. To make the most of your nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes)! Longer naps can disrupt your regular sleep cycle (affecting length and quality of nighttime sleep), and can cause grogginess and disorientation (called sleep inertia).
Tools and self-assessments:
Note: These assessments are for educational purposes only. Please consult with your medical provider for specific guidance on your sleep habits.
Epworth Sleepiness Scale - How likely are you to nod off or fall asleep in certain situations? Take this sleepiness assessment and discuss your results with a doctor.
Sleep Diary - Use this worksheet from the National Sleep Foundation to track your sleep habits for better sleep.
Healthy Sleep (Harvard) - Understand why sleep matters, the science of sleep, and how to get the sleep you need.
National Sleep Foundation - A source for sleep research, and information on topics ranging from sleep disorders to maximizing energy.
American Sleep Association - A national organization focusing on improving awareness of sleep benefits and problems.
Common Sleep Myths - A handout of myths and facts from the Sleep Health Foundation.
Spotify Sleep Playlist - A playlist of relaxing instrumentals to help you sleep.
Guided Meditation for Sleep - This YouTube video provides a guided meditation to promote relaxation and sleep.