8 Essential student sleeping tips
A lot of people think that uni students go for short lectures, sleep in the rest of the day, watch TV and generally have it easy.
In fact, the opposite is true. University is an incredibly demanding and often very stressful time, which can have a negative impact on sleep. Here are our tips for decent kip while away at uni.
- Avoid too much alcohol
While a drink may seem like a great way to relax after a tough day studying, you shouldn’t rely on it to help you sleep. It’s a common misconception that alcohol aids sleep, with the opposite actually being true. Once metabolised into your system, alcohol will wake you up and cause disrupted sleep thereafter.
- No caffeine in the evening
Pulling all-nighters to get your assignment in one time? Loading up with coffee or energy drinks to do it? While this may be a viable solution every once in a while, when needs must, you certainly won’t sleep well after it. Try to limit your daily caffeine intake and if you can avoid it from up to eight hours before bed you should sleep well.
- Get regular exercise
Joining one of the uni sports teams or becoming a member of the campus gym is a great way to meet people and keep fit – it will also help with your sleep. Exercise can improve the quality of your sleep, increase the amount of sleep and reduce any stress and anxiety. Around 150 minutes of regular exercise a week is ideal. However, you shouldn’t exercise too close to bedtime as that can make it harder to sleep – stick to no exercise two to three hours before bed.
- Create a sleep friendly environment
Your bedroom should be your very own sleep sanctuary. You’ll be in a new place, so you’ll need to adjust to your new environment and do the following:
- Ensure your room is dark – blackout blinds are ideal if your halls, house or flat is in a built up urban area with plenty of street lights
- Create a quiet environment – this isn’t so easy if you’re in halls of residence or a house share with nocturnal housemates
- Keep your room at the right temperature – this should be between 16-18°C
- Have the right tog rating of duvet on your bed for the specific season
- Get the most appropriate mattress and pillow for your sleeping position, size and weight
- Only use your bed for sleep and sex
This can be difficult if you have limited space in your bedroom but try to avoid watching TV or studying on your bed. By limiting it to just bedtime activities you’ll reinforce the association between your bed and sleep.
- Limit your naptime
It can be so tempting to grab a quick nap in the middle of the day between lectures, but again this can be counterproductive to your sleep. A short nap after lunch is OK, but it should never be longer than an hour and never after 3pm.
- Avoid heavy carbs and spicy foods in the evening
Sounds like a late night curry should be off the menu then. Spicy foods will increase your chance of heartburn, while heavy carbs will be difficult to digest. Stick to lighter meals, with green veg ideal.
- Try meditating before bed
This can be really important if you’re struggling a little with stress and anxiety as it will help to rid your mind of problems before you go to sleep. If you feel stressed when it’s time for bed this will impact your sleep quality and heighten your stress levels. Try and stick to the same bedtime routine in the evening and make meditation a key part of it. Try some of our meditation tips here
By following our eight essential tips, you should feel relaxed and ready to sleep every night.