Want More A’s, Get More Z’s…
In a 2015 GatorWell Survey, 47% of UF student respondents said that getting adequate sleep was “very important” to their academic success.
In that same survey, 66% of UF student respondents said that they got enough sleep to feel rested upon awakening 3 days or less.
Quality sleep contributes to academic success by helping you stay more alert in class, promoting memory consolidation of what you study, and affecting processing speed so you can learn faster. Additionally, it improves your energy and immune health so that you can stay well and feel your best.
To help you feel rested, a consistent sleep schedule is just as important as a getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night. You CANNOT make up for lost sleep. Sleeping-in just throws off your sleep schedule even more and makes it harder to get to sleep at a normal time the next night.
- Wake up within two hours of your normal wake-up time every day, including weekends
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
- Avoid taking naps. If you do take a nap, limit it to less than an hour early in the afternoon.
- Keep a sleep diary to assess sleep difficulties.
Use your bed only for sleep and sex. It is best to take school or work materials out of the sleep environment. If you begin to associate your bed or bedroom with anxiety provoking activities, it may be difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Your sleep environment should be cool, quiet, dark, comfortable, relaxing, and free of interruptions, not a source of stress or anxiety.
- Turn off or silence your cell phone, tablet, laptop, TV, or any other electronic device in your bedroom.
- Wear a sleep mask to block out excess light
- Use ear plugs to block out excess noise.
- Use a fan to help regulate temperature.
- Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive.
- Get up if you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep within 15 minutes.
In a 2013 survey, 40% of UF students reported “most of the time” or “always” doing something to relax/unwind 20 to 30 minutes before they wanted to go to bed. A set of regular pre-sleep routines will prepare your body and mind for sleep.
- Exercise regularly, but not within 2 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime.
- Start relaxing about an hour before bedtime.
- Eating a light carbohydrate snack with milk before bedtime may help you sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual.
- Lie down to sleep only when you are sleepy.