Sleep Tips for Academic Success

From all-night study sessions, to long hours at work, to managing a personal and family life, now more than ever, adult students in college are not getting the sleep their bodies need. You know you need to get some shut-eye, but there just never seems to be time. Healthy sleep is essential to your success in graduate school, so how can you work in a good night's rest without making your academics, professional, and social life suffer?

Here's just how vital sleep is to college students of all ages along with some tips on how you can optimize your sleep.

The Importance of Sleep for College Students

Sleep deprivation is common among adults. Toss graduate school into the mix and getting the recommended 7-9 hours a night can become even more elusive. Lack of sleep is detrimental to academic success and leads to:

  • Lower grade point averages
  • Inability to concentrate or learn in class
  • Impaired mood
  • Increased risk of academic failure
  • Higher risk of accidents while driving
  • Compromised immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Sleeping disorders

When you can get a full night of sleep, you'll immediately notice the benefits. Not only will you feel more alert and attentive in class, but stress will feel more manageable. You'll also experience a boost in your cognition, or thinking skills, and memory.

Seven Sleep Tips

So, what are the best ways to get the rest you need? If you're finding it difficult to lay down and turn your brain off, here are some tips that may help you overcome your sleep struggles:
  1. Regular bedtime routine: This tip may seem like common sense, but many people have inconsistent sleep schedules — four hours one night, 10 hours the next. This pattern wreaks havoc on your body's recuperative sleep capacity. If you're feeling exhausted, try giving yourself a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends.
  2. Power naps: If regular bedtimes are out of the question, try to work in a siesta. Whether it's two hours or 20 minutes, a nap will give you an opportunity to rest and recover so that you can tackle the rest of your day with renewed vigor.
  3. Make your room more appealing: The more you look forward to sleep, the less likely you'll be to sacrifice it. One way to make bedtime more appealing is to ensure your bed is as comfortable as possible. Memory foam pillows, a cozy comforter or weighted blanket, and a great mattress can be excellent incentives to help you get a good night's sleep.
  4. Say no to electronics: Phones, computers, TVs, tablets — most of us today are glued to one kind of screen or another throughout their day. However, turning these devices off before bedtime can help put your brain into sleep mode. If you need to unwind, opt for a book instead.
  5. Drown out the world: Try a sleep mask or blackout curtains to keep sunlight at bay, or invest in some earplugs or a sound machine to drown out the noisy world. You can even pull up white noise videos on the internet for a free solution.
  6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime: It's well-documented that indulging in these beverages before you go to bed prevents meaningful sleep.
  7. Resist the all-nighter: Although the all-nighter is considered a right of passage, it's dreadful for your body. Do your best not to procrastinate to ensure that you won't need to pull one of these.

Ready to Jump Into the Grad School Experience?

If you're worrying about getting enough sleep throughout the graduate experience, don't! It's possible to continue college while enjoying great sleep each night and we can help you reach that goal - request information for a specific program, attend an info session, or start your application.

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