7 ways to improve your sleep

College students are constantly busy. In order to keep up with the demands of being in college, students will often sacrifice their sleep.  While this might seem like a good idea at the time, losing sleep can impact your academic performance and increase your stress levels.

We know Cougs aren’t getting enough sleep. According to our 2016 National College Health Assessment data, about 60 percent of WSU students say they feel tired, dragged out or sleepy for more than three days out of the week.

Sleep is incredibly important. After all, sleeping is how our body recharges and prepares for busy, stressful days ahead. College students need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

If you find yourself feeling tired or sleepy throughout the week, try some of our expert tips for improving your sleep.

  1. If you choose to take a nap, be sure to nap earlier in the day and keep it to 45 minutes or less. Taking short naps early in the day has less of an impact on your nighttime sleep.
  2. If you can control the temperature in your bedroom, the best temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Avoid looking at your phone when you’re trying to fall asleep. Your mind stays active while looking through social media feeds and you can get stuck in the infinite scroll. And before you know it, you’re still on Facebook hours later.
  4. Set a cut off time for all electronic devices. This allows your brain to unwind before bed. Having a set time will also prevent you from binge watching Netflix till 3:00 am.
  5. Make a schedule. Going to bed and waking up roughly at the same time will reinforce your body’s natural sleep cycle. You’ll start to feel tired around the same time each night, and naturally wake up around the same time every morning.
  6. Only use your bed for sleeping. Avoid eating, doing homework or just hanging out in bed. If you reserve your bed only for sleeping, when you do lie down, your body will know that it’s time for bed.
  7. Avoid bringing stressors to bed. If there is a lot on your mind, try jotting down all of your thoughts right before bed to help put your mind at ease.

Following these tips can increase your sleep quality and help you feel more awake and ready to take on the day.  If you want more information on sleep, check out the National Sleep Foundation.