University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Getting Quality Sleep

73% of College Students Report Occasional Sleep Problems

By Stephanie M. Morris

Buboltz, W. C., Brown, F., & Soper, B (2001). Sleep habits and patterns of college students: A preliminary study. Journal of American College Health, 50, 131-135.

You May Have Problem Sleepiness if You:

• Consistently don’t get enough sleep or get poor quality sleep • Struggle to stay awake when inactive, such as when watching TV • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention in class or at work • Told by others you seem sleepy • Difficulty with memory • Trouble controlling emotions • Take naps on most days

Taken from “Problem Sleepiness” by the National Institutes of Health

Keys to Quality Sleep

  • Stick to a sleep schedule – Go to bed and wake at the same times every day
  • Exercise is great, but not too late – Exercise 5 to 6 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine – The stimulating effects can last as long as 8 hours
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed – Alcohol keeps you in lighter stages of sleep
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night – Large meals can lead to indigestion that interferes with sleep and too many fluids result in waking often to urinate
  • Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. – Naps can boost brainpower, but they may end up making it harder to sleep at night. Naps should also be 1 hour or less
  • Relax before bed – Unwind by reading or listening to music
  • Take a hot bath before bed – The bath will relax you and the drop in body temp afterward can help you feel sleepy
  • Create a good sleeping environment – Get rid of distractions: noise, bright light, TV, or computer. Also keep the room temperature cool.
  • If having trouble falling asleep, don’t lie in bed awake – If after 20 minutes you’re still awake, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. Writing your thoughts in a journal or blog can be helpful if you’re experiencing racing thoughts.
  • If you continue to have trouble sleeping, see a doctor – If you consistently feel tired or not well rested during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. See your doctor.

Taken from “Your Guide to Healthy Sleep” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

REMEMBER: You cannot do your best when you are sleep-deprived!!! All-nighters are not the way to succeed in school!!!

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