Are you getting enough sleep? Chances are, the answer is no. In fact, college and the years immediately afterwards are notorious for being rife with sleep issues. Most students get around six hours sleep a night but when you factor in nights out, all-night cramming sessions and early lecture starts, this number can be even lower.
It’s recommended that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night in order to stay in good physical and mental health. Want help in improving your sleep? Take a look at our top 10 tips and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.
Get into a routine
A good sleep routine is the most important factor in regularly sleeping well. You don’t have to set yourself the unrealistic target of going to bed at 9.30am and waking at 7am if this isn’t possible for you but do aim to go to bed and wake at the same time every day. It’s common knowledge that a routine helps children and babies sleep but it’s the same for us grownups too. Try to do the same thing each evening. Have a warm, caffeine-free drink, soak in the bath or read your favourite book. It’s amazing the difference a routine can make.
Create a sleep haven
The more inviting your bedroom is, the more it’ll become your haven of rest and relaxation. Keep your room clean and uncluttered and tidy away any work/college-related items before you slumber. Choose bedding that makes you feel relaxed and opt for a mattress that suits you. This is where you’ll spend a third of your life, so it makes sense to put the effort in and it’ll pay dividends when you start sleeping soundly!
We know it’s easier said than done. Our phones are our link to the big, wide world and TV/laptop time is part of many people’s nightly routine. But electronic devices like phones and laptops, emit blue light which is notoriously bad for slumber as it suppresses the sleep hormone, melatonin. Aim to shut down all of your devices an hour before bed. Not only will it help you to sleep better but it might just make you happier too.
…but if you do use tech, make it the right tech
If you really can’t be parted from your phone, then make sure you’re using the right programmes. There are plenty of apps that are proven to assist with sleep. Take a look at some of our favourites…
Pzizz – This app uses ‘dreamscapes’ – a combination of music, sound effects and voiceovers using the latest clinical research to help you sleep better or nap easier.
Sleepstation – This app is for the truly committed. The six-week course is tailored to your individual needs and designed for those with sleep issues.
White Noise Lite – Heard about the benefits of white noise? The soundscape effect helps us drift off easier as we’re less likely to focus on the small noises. Free and definitely worth a try.
Calm – You’ve probably heard of this app as it has won plenty of awards. With sleep stories for adults, meditations and breathing techniques, you’ll be drifting off in no time.
Relax before bed
It sounds simple but for busy folks, relaxing before bed comes low down the priority list. And, no, watching the latest action blockbuster doesn’t count! Listen to soothing music, take a warm bath or read a gentle book – these can all help you to nod off. And, if you’re really busy, writing a to-do list for the next day can actually help you to take your mind off the things that you have to do.
Don’t take naps after 3pm
If you’re a fan of a nap then bad news, they could be affecting your sleep. Naps are great when you’re really tired and know you won’t be able to get an early night but aim to keep any naps to before 3pm, any later and they could impact on you drifting off when nighttime rolls around.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day
Find that a glass of wine helps with sleep? Unfortunately, while it could help you drift off sooner, it actually reduces the quality of sleep and lessens REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which helps with memory and learning – not great if you’re busy revising.
Get regular exercise
There’s plenty of solid evidence to suggest that exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and slumber for longer. And, the more of a sweat you work up the better as the elevated body temperatures will dip later in the day and trigger drowsiness. There’s a caveat though, don’t exercise less than two hours before going to bed as the increased stimulation in this timeframe could keep you awake for longer.
Don’t eat late in the day
A heavy meal or sugary snack just before bed won’t help you drift off. Your body’s functions slow down later in the day making indigestion more common which can play havoc with sleep. If an evening snack is part of your routine, then make it small and light.
Keep your room dark
Before alarm clocks and electric lighting, people would go to sleep when it got dark and wake up when the sun came up. Light exposure sends signals to our bodies to keep us alert and awake so it follows that a suitably-darkened room will tell our body that it’s sleep time. Consider black-out blinds for bedtime and use dim lighting in the hour or two before you go to bed.
If you’re struggling with sleep, then you’re most certainly not alone. In fact, the National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30% of adults suffer from sleep issues. Put into place the suggestions above and you’ll be sleeping easy in no time.
Nido Student offers award-winning student accommodation in cities across the UK, from Glasgow to Southampton. Our beds are comfy, our rooms are cosy and our community is friendly so you’re in for a goods night’s sleep with us! Our fully furnished, modern ensuite rooms or studios are only the beginning, we have social and study spaces to suit your needs, superfast WiFi everywhere in the building, plus, your rent is all inclusive so you can live your best student life, hassle free.
Speak to us today to find out more, welcome to the Nido community.