It's well-established that sleep is beneficial to your physical and mental well-being. Despite its importance, most college students focus on their classes and social life over self-care, often forfeiting their sleep to address other issues. As such, a troubling percentage of college students find themselves usually deprived of quality sleep.
With school, social activities, jobs, and your personal life competing for your attention, it's no surprise you genuinely think sacrificing your sleep is the best solution. That's too much stress for a college student. Though it can prove difficult to get enough sleep as a college student, there are ways to cope with daily stressors to determine a sleep routine that aligns with your lifestyle.
Trying to incorporate all these tips can be overwhelming for many college students, but the good news is it's not all or nothing. You can begin with small adjustments and gradually progress toward better sleep habits. In this guide, you'll discover the different sleep issues college students encounter and the quick fix to those issues for a better night's sleep.
College Students and Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation has become a common trend among college students, with roughly 70% to 96% of them reported to sleep less than 8 hours per weeknight. Studies show that remote learning previously reduced stress and enhanced sleep in college students. However, these effects eventually flatlined, and higher exposure to financial and interpersonal stressors projected terrible sleep quality on average levels.
While staying up late occasionally may not seem to harm your body, it may have short-term and long-term repercussions. Short-term consequences are those you generally experience after staying up late at night. You may feel easily distracted, irritable, disorientated, and have a prolonged reaction time while staying in class throughout the day. This can affect your driving, mental health, and overall school performance.
On the other hand, long-term effects extend beyond immediate consequences. Among these effects are the following:
- Heart attack
- Memory loss
- Immune system deficiency
- Depression and anxiety
Six Tips for Helping College Students Sleep Better
Sleep deprivation should not be the order of business in your college life. You can achieve high grades and socialize with your friends without forfeiting your sleep. If you need help determining where to begin or how to improve your sleep habits, consider these six sleep tips for college students.
- Be Careful with Pulling all-nighters.
We've all pulled all-nighters. And it's understandable because you may need them to revise for an exam, while sometimes you may simply cease contact with time while out. However, they should not become the norm in your college life.
Insufficient sleep harms your health because it prevents your body from reinvigorating itself. It also comes with a mushroom effect, meaning your body will find it challenging to establish a healthy sleeping routine, and you'll sooner or later become sleep-deprived.
If pulling an all-nighter appears like the only resort, avoid falling asleep throughout the following day, and restrict an afternoon nap to 25-30 minutes if necessary. Doing this will make it easier for you to fall asleep come bedtime.
- Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime
If you enjoy partying, you may take exception to this tip based on your personal experiences. You drink with your pals, get drunk, and fall asleep faster, but that's not to say your sleep would be any better.
On the contrary, alcohol compromises your quality of sleep at night, resulting in the short-term effects we discussed earlier. So, the best way to steer clear of these negative effects on your sleep and health is to avoid drinking alcohol shortly before bedtime.
- Set Your Dorm Room Up for Success
Your sleeping area should feel like a haven. While space is always at a premium in dorm rooms, you can still get a good night's sleep by making a few adjustments. The following are ideas for making your dorm a more sleep-friendly environment:
- Turn down the temperature: A cooler sleeping area promotes drowsiness and tiredness. With some cozy blankets, you'll be napping like a newborn in no time!
- Create a noise-free environment: Before going to sleep, wear earplugs or use a white noise gadget to absorb any unnecessary noise.
- Declutter: Your bed should only harbor bedding, so tidy your bed before sleeping to avoid feeling physically or mentally cramped.
- Dim the lights: Your body naturally responds to light, which is why you awaken when the sun shines. Therefore, you should turn off your lamps, string lights, and TV before bed. If your roommate prefers sleeping with the lights on, invest in a sleep mask.
- Communicate with Your Roommate
It turns out roommates might be best buddies, people with whom you share a living space or even your worst nightmare. Despite the situation, communication is critical to a healthy relationship. If you have the option, go for a roommate with similar sleeping habits to you. But if you're matched with a stranger, speak to them about your sleep needs before asking them for theirs.
You should be able to establish a sleep plan as long as you communicate with your roommate ahead of time and they communicate with you in case they have to go against your wants and needs. In the event your roommate doesn't respect your sleep needs, seek immediate intervention from a resident dorm advisor. This approach will enable you to get through the remaining school year.
- Incorporate Relaxing Activities into Your Nighttime Routine
Attempting to sleep can prove difficult. I bet you've had nights where you can't sleep because you toss and turn frequently. The more time you're awake, the more stressed you become. This is common when you fail to relax.
Here's an outline of do's and don'ts to help prepare your mind and body for sleep:
- Do: Read a book: Reading helps relieve anxious thoughts and diverts you from real-life challenges.
- Do: Take a warm shower: A warm shower before bed will relax you into sleep.
- Do: Keep a sleep journal: Journaling clears your mind of stress that may keep you awake during the night. After letting it out on paper, you should sleep better and quicker.
- Don't: Drink caffeine: Caffeine keeps you energized for longer periods, so the more you consume, the more tolerance you'll develop, which will only make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Ask for Help from Friends
Making lifestyle adjustments is among the best approaches toward restoring your sleep and emotional well-being. But don't hesitate to ask for help. Seek help from a friend, family member, or your student's counselor at your college.
Adopt a Futon Mattress in Your College Dorm
Futon mattresses are often associated with college dorms owing to their space-saving design and versatility. A comfortable futon mattress makes college life a rewarding experience, but which futon mattress is best for your college dorm?
Of all the futons on the market, we recommend the MAXYOYO Japanese futon mattress for various reasons. First, it's comfortable and suitable for studying, chilling, and sleeping. The mattress is spacious enough to harbor two people, and the medium-firm design means deep sinkage won't be an issue. So if you seek relief from chronic back pain as well as pressure points, look no further.
Secondly, the MAXYOYO Japanese futon mattress is fully upgraded to enhance support, something competitive mattresses don't offer. Due to its great built quality, this mattress exhibits little to no heat retention on the surface. Get yours today and enjoy all these features at a reasonable price point.