VCU Students report sleep as the #3 issue impacting their academic success.
Sleep not only restores our bodies, it helps our brain synthesize information. A lack of adequate sleep can negatively impact our cognitive performances and our moods. It increases the risk of car accidents, weight gain, and heart attacks. Sleeping too much (e.g. 10-12 hours consistently) may be due to underlying issues with our physical or mental health. If you’re finding that you’re consistently getting very little or too much sleep, consider talking with a physician or counselor.
In general though, how can we improve our sleep habits? Visit the National Sleep Foundation to learn more!
Tips for more restful sleep:
- The blue light from our electronics can keep us awake at night. Power down at least an hour before bed.
- Practice a mindfulness meditation before bed to ground you and manage intrusive thoughts or running lists.
- Avoid fatty meals, alcohol and/or caffeine close to bedtime.
- Try to be consistent about the time that you go to bed and time you wake up.
- Having trouble falling asleep? Get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel tired. That way, you only associate being in bed with being asleep (or with sex).
- Nap for 30 minutes or less - or more than 90 minutes. This can help you get a boost of energy to help get you through the day.
- Exercising daily for at least 20-30 minutes has been shown to improve sleep and overall mood.
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening before bed.
Check out these additional resources on sleep from Arianna Huffington.