Getting enough sleep is crucial in order to stay motivated, procrastinate less, and to improve our quality of life. Many things in our life hinder our quality of sleep. Let's examine what they are and how we can achieve better sleep.
1) Our cell phones: We use our phones for everything: social media, texting, talking, gathering information, facetiming, and when we are bored. But our phones can delay our sleep because we don't turn them off when it is bedtime and from the blue light they emit. Turning your phone off 1 hour before bed is a good way to start.
2) Diet: Eating spicy or rich meals and drinking alcohol or caffeine everyday can ruin our sleep. Caffeine makes us stay awake by affecting our nervous system, alcohol causes poor sleep as it disrupts the body, and spicy and rich foods take longer to digest causing poor sleep. Don't drink caffeine after 3 pm, drink alcohol less or only during weekends, and eat spicy or rich foods 4 to 5 hours before bedtime for optimal digestion.
3) Light: It is important to sleep in a darkened room and leaving the curtains open or lights on or tv on can interfere with our natural melatonin function.
4) Worry: Worrying and pondering over the events of the day and what tomorrow holds can hinder our sleep by making us anxious. Try to do deep breathing or turn your mind towards more positive thoughts and affirmation in order to have a peaceful state of mind before you sleep.
Perhaps you can now understand why your sleep isn't as optimal as you'd like it to be. Try practicing the tips listed above and see if your sleep improves. Sleep is an important function of our lives, so it is imperative we get enough sleep and quality sleep. As college students we don't always get enough sleep or the best sleep, but it is important to create a healthy sleep schedule so we can function at our best.