As a college student, you may be focused on all the excitement that’s approaching, but you can’t forget about the importance of sleep. Studies have shown that student who get 7-9 hours each night perform higher on tests, have a higher GPA and make better decisions. The U.S. News & World Report shared some incredible tips from best-selling author Harlan Cohen who is responsible for “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College:
Speak openly with your roommate: Try the “uncomfortable rule” method suggested by Cohen. Set the precedent to be honest early by agreeing to share what behaviors are making each other uncomfortable within 24 to 48 hours. Whether it’s asking your roommate to wear headphones as they watch Netflix after 10 pm or setting a time for visitors, communication is a great place to start to compromise. If you can’t work it out, it’s perfectly okay to put in a roommate request.
Adjust to your environment: While your new room is sure to be a lot different than you old one, it’s important to make changes to keep in line with your sleep needs, which means keeping it dark, cool and quiet. Hang dark curtains and bring a fan or white noise machine to block out hallway noise. Also, ask your resident assistant about quiet hours in your dorm.
Set personal boundaries: Remember that you are in charge of your sleep. While it may be tempting to hit parties and play video games late into the night, getting the right amount of snooze has to be high on your priority list to keep your grades and health up. Make smart decisions that will benefit you in the future.
Make room for nap time: If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night or if you’d just like a little additional sleep, pencil in those afternoon naps. Make sure to keep each nap 10-30 minutes for a boost of energy and to help your memory recall. Keep them short to prevent grogginess and insomnia at bedtime.
Don’t take on too much: There are plenty of extracurricular activities to experience during your college years along with the intensive amount of studying required. However, you’ve got to leave time for sleep to allow it to help you succeed. Prioritize your needs and interests for a more effective schedule.
Stick to your sleep hygiene basics: Your life is about to change with new friends and opportunities, but sleep 101 should never change too much. Keep a consistent bed and wake up time, exercise more, and cut back on caffeine, alcohol and electronics at appropriate times before your bedtime.
Being a well-rested college student doesn’t mean you won’t get to enjoy the college experience, it just means you’ll have more energy and a better memory to fully embrace the next 4 years!
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