Published: 7 February 2022
We spend about one-third of our lives asleep, a huge amount by any measure. That statistic has led many people to wonder why exactly our bodies need so much of the stuff.
Well, it turns out there are plenty of reasons, but at the very top of the list is how important sleep is for our brains.
Sleeping helps to move your short and medium-term memory into long-term, meaning you’ll remember things for longer.
Obviously, as a university student, making sure you retain information for a long period is incredibly important which means getting a good night’s sleep should be high on your priority list.
Of course, stress can greatly impact your ability to sleep, which is why many students report difficulty staying asleep throughout the night, especially when deadlines are looming.
If this sounds familiar to you, try out a few of these tips to get the best rest you can and wake up feeling re-energised and ready to excel.
Going to bed at the same time every night is a really important part of getting a good night’s sleep.
Your body functions on a series of natural rhythms that tell it when to rest, when to eat, when to drink etc.
So you need to trick it into thinking that a particular time of the evening is for sleep. The same goes for having a consistent wake-up schedule.
You can trigger your body to think it’s time to go to bed by creating a night-time routine.
At a set point in the evening, get off your phone, switch off the tv and go through your pattern, whether that’s having a bath, reading a book or doing a little meditation.
Cut out toxins
It’s a piece of advice that’s commonly shared for any healthy living tips, but in the case of sleep, avoiding the things that are bad for you can have a major impact.
Cigarettes, for example, are a common stimulant whose use has been linked to insomnia.
Interestingly, the effects are often masked by smoking first thing in the morning which can mean that longer-term smokers find it increasingly difficult to get a good night’s rest.
It’s also important to lower your alcohol and caffeine intake, especially closer to bedtime. Try cutting coffee out of your diet after 1pm if you’re a regular drinker.
Naps are bad
It’s one of those annoying things. When you have to go to bed, sleep can be hard to find curling up on the sofa for a quick power nap finds you nodding off straight away.
Unfortunately, this habit can have a serious impact on your night-time routine. Try cutting out the naps and give your body clock a chance to recover.
Don’t look at the clock
A major issue people have when trying to get to sleep is looking at their clocks and worrying that they haven’t nodded off yet.
This habit can lead to further anxiety and make it more difficult to get to sleep. Instead, try getting out of bed and leaving the bedroom for 20 to 30 minutes.
It’s important not to go on a screen if you do this however as the blue light phones, laptops and TVs give off mimics the natural light of day and tells your body to wake up.
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the kindest things you can do for your body and for your studies.
Try putting some of these ideas in place over the next few nights and see the difference they make.