By Amanda Lehnerd
College students are reported as one of the most sleep-deprived populations between schoolwork, jobs and extracurricular activities such as sports and student organizations.
According to a recent study at Brown University, approximately 11 percent of students report getting good night’s sleep, while about 73 percent report having trouble sleeping.
While sleep deprivation is common among college students, it can have some negative effects on any student’s class work. Sleep deprivation can be linked to lower GPA’s. It can also affect a student’s concentration, memory and ability to learn.
The United States National Library of Medicine reports approximately 50 percent of students have daytime sleepiness. Fatigue during the day can be problematic and cause students to become detached during a lecture or lab, experience impaired moods and put them at a higher risk for motor vehicle accidents.
Here are some tips on how to get a good night’s rest while being a college student:
- Phones, computers, video games and that Netflix show you have been binging on is not helping you sleep at night. To be able to fall asleep easier, it is best to turn off all types of technology at least a half-hour before going to bed. Students can spend their time winding down by reading a book.
- Coffee, coffee, coffee. Students tend to rely on caffeine for a pick-me-up later in the day, but this may be a prominent reason for not being able to sleep at night. Studies show that people who do not drink caffeinated beverages after 3 p.m. have an easier time falling asleep at night.
- Many students look forward to getting some extra sleep on the weekends when a class isn’t in session, but this may be why they can’t sleep during the week. During the week, students usually wake up around the same time Monday through Friday; when the weekend rolls around they tend to sleep in later. Students should try to not sleep more than an hour later on the weekend to keep their mind and body on a constant sleep schedule.
- Don’t study in bed! Many students tend to work on their computer or send emails on their phone from bed, which can cause your mind to associate your bed with work. When doing class work, it is best to designate a separate study area away from where you sleep. This will allow your brain to switch off, relax and recharge at night.
- Exercise is great, but not before bed. When setting up a workout routine, it is best to schedule it earlier in the day. After a workout, a person’s adrenaline is pumping, and their heart rate is up, which can make it hard to relax and go to bed. If you must work out at night due to scheduling conflicts, make sure your body has enough time to cool down after a workout, and plan to have at least an hour in between your after-workout shower and bed.