National Bed Month
March is National Bed Month so what better time to remind you how important it is to get enough good quality sleep – especially with dissertation deadlines looming and exams imminent. Countless studies show that getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being. Like exercise and a balanced diet, sleep may help prevent a range of health issues, including heart disease and depression.
As a student you may not feel that sleep is something to prioritize. You have course work, social events and perhaps a part-time job to fit in to your busy schedules, so missing out on a few hours’ sleep doesn’t matter, does it? The consequences of poor-quality sleep or sleep deprivation include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Increased anxiety
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of creativity
- Negative impact on your overall mental health
Staying awake for 18 hours can have the same effect as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05% which is the same as the Scottish drink drive limit. Staying awake for 24 hours can equate to a BAC of 0.10% which is well over it.
How to get some quality sleep
Although many studies argue that 8 hours sleep is recommended for adults, it is actually the quality of your sleep that is vital. This means you need to stick to a regular sleeping pattern to ensure that you get enough REM (rapid-eye movement) or ‘dream’ sleep.
So how can you do this?
- Consistency-try going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time each morning
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove electronic devices an hour before you want to sleep.
- Exercise during the day.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine or large meals before sleeping.
- Structure your day and plan ahead of your exams, assignments and due dates and activities so you don’t end up cramming or working late into the night.
The benefits of a good night sleep
Because there are many benefits to getting enough good quality sleep it’s a no-brainer that you should be prioritising sleep to maximize results. Benefits to students from a good sleep include:
- Sharper brain
- Increased productivity
- More positive mood
- Stress reduction
- Boosted immune system
Taking these active steps to promote healthy sleep should help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and get a more restorative sleep.
You can use Library Search to find books and articles on sleep deprivation and the benefits of sleep.
If you feel you need some guidance on how to better your study routine, some tips are provided in the link provided below:
You can read our post of National Sleep Day from 2022
By Vivienne Hamilton
Photo by Liz Vo