Four steps to prevent cervical cancer
If you’re hungry, you eat. If you’re thirsty, you drink. If you're tired, you sleep. Between classes, work, and extracurricular activities, it’s easy to push sleep to the back burner.
Without sleep you’ll only be more stressed, less focused, and more prone to sickness.
Aim for seven and a half to eight hours of sleep per night. Before you say you don't have time for that, remember that sleep is an extremely important function for, well, everything. Research suggests that students who get at least seven to eight hours of sleep have higher GPAs than those who get six or less. Sleep lets your brain rest and sort through all of the information that bombards you daily. It allows you to rebuild cells, refill energy stores, and retain memory.
How to get a good night's sleep
- Exercise daily, but not at the expense of your sleep. Exercising right before bed may wake you up.
- Keep your caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake in check. Avoid consuming caffeine at least six hours before bed. This includes the tricky sources, like chocolate, tea, or even decaf coffee.
- Use your sleep cycle as an alarm clock. Since sleep cycles last for 90 minutes, set your morning alarm to wake you up after the last completed cycle. To account for 90-minute intervals, aim to complete 4.5, 6, 7.5, or 9 hours of sleep. Even if you lose 30 minutes of sleep, your body will feel more rested having wakened after completing REM sleep.
- Unplug. Put the screens away before bedtime.
- Establish a routine before bed that allows you to relax and wind down. Stretching and deep breathing are great segues to the sack — they improves blood flow and promotes relaxation.
- Avoid raiding your fridge too close to bedtime. Especially with spicy or high-fat, high-protein foods.
- Don't try to sleep, just relax the body and mind. This may seem counter-intuitive, but letting go of your anxiety or pressure to sleep has been found to help many students.
- Set the mood and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment. Preferably dark, quiet, and at a cool temperature.
- "48 Sleep Life Hacks" Sleep Advisor
- Understanding sleep cycles and how to use them: "Enhance your sleep cycles" Alaska Sleep Clinic
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
- Check out Columbia University's a!Sleep website for sleep resources (e.g., a sleep assessment, sleep diary, and e-cards)
- National Sleep Foundation
- "Who Needs Sleep?" [PDF]
- "Poor Sleep May Lead to Worse Grades for College Students," U.S. News & World Report
- "Wakeup call for college students: New research finds you need to catch more Z's," Science Daily
- "Why Sleep Is Needed to Form Memories," Science Daily