The Importance of Healthy Sleep Habits
How Quality Sleep Can Positively Impact Your Student
Many college students do not get enough sleep. A new environment, a new schedule, a new routine, and balancing all the demands on your own time are just a few reasons why sleep tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list. A full course load, volunteer, internship, social life, a job, or family commitments are stressors college students must juggle and can easily make it feel like there are not enough hours in the day.
With many competing priorities, forfeiting sleep might feel like the only way to get everything accomplished. Young adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Yet, according to the Sleep Foundation, about 96% of college students get less than eight hours of sleep each weeknight. The consequences of sleep deprivation can be startling.
According to the CDC, staying awake for eighteen hours can have the same effect as a blood alcohol content of .05 percent. Long-term sleep deprivation can have serious implications on your physical and mental health.
Encourage your student to prioritize their sleep, by finding some balance in their schedule that allows for sleep to be as much of a priority as their classes and homework are. Here are some tips to get the conversation started:
- Engage in physical exercise, but avoid intense physical activity two hours before bedtime
- Establish a sleep schedule and be consistent—even on weekends
- Limit screen time before bed, and shut off screens at least an hour before going to sleep
- Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol close to bedtime
- Create a bedtime routine
We recognize that sometimes things are outside of our control when living in communal settings such as a residence hall, but taking active steps to improve your sleep can still help in the long run. If your student needs some extra help creating routines to improve their sleep, they can set up a one-on-one appointment with a wellbeing coach to discuss active steps and goals they can make.