Want More A’s, Get More Z’s…

According to the Spring 2020 NCHA-III survey, 20.5% of UF students reported that sleep difficulties impacted their academic performance within the last 12 months.

Related to sleep recommendations, 57.1% of respondents are getting the recommended average amount of sleep (7-9 hours/night) on weeknights in the past 2 weeks (75.2% on weekends).  In the last 7 days, 44.1% of respondents felt tired or sleepy during the day 3-5  days in the week.

Sleep contributes to academic success! It helps you stay more alert in class, promotes memory consolidation of what you study, and affects your 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.

Dream on with these strategzzz…

Sleep hours and consistency:

To help you feel rested, a consistent sleep schedule is just as important as 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.
  • Keep a sleep diary to assess sleep difficulties. Try the Sleep Cycle

Who has the best sleep quality in the world? Check out Sleep Cycle’s global sleep data here:  https://www.sleepcycle.com/

Pre-Sleep Behaviors:

A set of regular pre-sleep routines will prepare your body and mind for sleep.

  • Start relaxing 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Create a routine that you can use consistently.
  • Begin a consistent exercise program but avoid exercising within two hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bedtime. Eat a light carbohydrate snack before bed if you are hungry.
  • Avoid alcohol within two hours of bedtime.
  • If you smoke, skip smoking several hours before bedtime.

Sleep Environment:

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.

  • Wear a sleep mask to block out excess light.
  • Use ear plugs, a fan, or other white noise to block out excess noise.
  • Think about comfort of your bedding (sheets, comforter, pillows, mattress, etc.)
  • Think about room temperature. Try to keep it comfortably cool.
  • Turn off technology at least 30 minutes prior to sleep and keep it off while you sleep.

Try setting automatic night mode timing to reduce harsh blue light in the evening with f.lux: https://justgetflux.com/

  • 15 Minute Rule: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Don’t toss and turn for longer than 15 minutes.  Get out of bed and do something relaxing and return to bed only after you feel sleepy.
  • Expose yourself to sunlight or other bright lights in the morning to help you wake up and dimmer light at night to help you get sleepy.
  • If you share your sleep environment with someone else: communication and compromise is key!

Sleeping During COVID-19

During this time of uncertainty you may find yourself struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get moving in the morning. That is definitely understandable. Check out GatorWell’s COVID-19 Sleep Tips for ways to maintain healthy sleep habits.

  • Set a daytime routine that creates a sense of consistency and regularity for your body.

Resources

For more information about sleep, check out: