Homework, social commitments, work, relationships, job fairs, classes, career planning, family, the list goes on and on…when you have so much to balance in your day-to-day life, it can be hard to make a good night’s sleep a top priority. Research shows that sacrificing sleep in the short-term can negatively impact your health and well-being long-term. Keep reading to learn about sleep hygiene, why it’s important, and how to improve an inconsistent sleep schedule.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to a set of healthy habits that are critical in getting a restful night’s sleep. By practicing good sleep hygiene, you’ll be more alert and productive during the day. Being consistent in your sleep schedule is a key component of good sleep hygiene. Read below for three ways to build a better sleep routine and improve your sleep hygiene.
Find Your Ideal Bedtime
It may help to set a wake-up goal first, and try to make it about the same time each day (yes, even weekends!). This should be a time that suits your schedule and feels attainable. From there, calculate what time you need to go to bed to get at least seven hours of sleep. Need help finding an ideal bedtime? Check out this sleep calculator.
Create a Nighttime Routine
Your nighttime routine should be simple and manageable. Choose activities that soothe you, like reading a book or practicing meditation. Setting up a comfortable sleep environment should also be part of your nighttime routine. Think white noise, dark room, a cool, comfortable temperature, and no distractions. Experts recommend keeping screens outside of your sleep space.
Make Waking Up Enjoyable
Reward your efforts to get out of bed by doing something you enjoy in the morning. Go to a coffee shop you love or make your favorite breakfast. Hit the gym early before it gets crowded. Think about what motivates you and make it a consistent part of your morning routine.
Other Helpful Tips
Other helpful tips may include avoiding naps, setting an “electronics curfew” for at least 30 minutes before bed, and being conscious of your caffeine intake. Remember, like with all things, you should focus on progress over perfection. The goal is improved long-term sleep habits, so don’t fret over the occasional late-night or Saturday morning snooze.
Interested in learning more about the importance of sleep for college students?
View this blog post by Harvard
Join Us for the Midterm Morale Boost
Are you in need of a boost in the midst of your busy midterm season? Join us on Thursday, March 9 in the Thompson Hall Lobby on the Fairfax Campus for our Spring 2023 CEHD Midterm Morale Boost! From 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, enjoy free snacks and activities like succulent planting and aromatherapy!