It may not seem like it, but sleep is one of the most important aspects of your college life. Classes, homework and social activities may be more of a priority for most students, but in reality, sleep should be near the top of the list. The amount you get directly impacts your health, which can affect all areas of your life.
A 2011 study by Hendrix College psychologist Jennifer Peszka, found that college freshmen who stayed up late and woke up late averaged a 2.84 grade point average (GPA), compared to an average 3.18 GPA for those who went to bed early and woke up early. In order to make the most of your college experience, it's important to maintain a sleep schedule. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Be as consistent as possible in your sleep habits. If you're constantly mixing up your sleep routine, chances are you won't be getting the best sleep and likely not enough. While it is possible to catch up on sleep that you've missed, it's healthier to get the right amount every night, which is around eight hours.
- If you're not a morning person, but want to improve your grades, consider training yourself to wake up earlier. Start out slow by setting your alarm a bit earlier each day and going outside. The sunlight will help to reset your internal clock, according to a source at U.S. News and World Report.
- Plan your day to accommodate for sleeping at night. Don't wait to study until the end of the day and try to do your work when you're most alert so your performance won't be affected. Even though you may be tempted to go out at night, rethink the situation if you know you have to get up early the next morning.
- Make your bed as comfortable as possible. Choose a nice mattress and pillows that work for the way you sleep, whether its on your back, stomach or side. Consider wearing earplugs if you tend to wake up easily, and keep the T.V. and all other electronics off at night.
A good night's sleep is priceless, so keep in mind the many health benefits the next time you retire an hour or two early. Your life and schoolwork should improve as a result.