With Spring Semester in full swing, it can be difficult to balance the massive workload that we are all too familiar with and proper sleeping habits. Academics alone are hard to keep up with, as we often have more on our plates than just exams and homework. Commitments outside of those that are educational including athletics, club involvement and volunteering come with added stresses, which affect sleep schedules.

Through all the chaos that comes with the busy schedule of a college student, it is important to remember that although involvement and academics are important, your well-being is too. The amount of sleep you get in one night is vital to destress and relax your mind. Students who are not getting the right amount of sleep tend to have higher stress levels and are more susceptible to weight gain because the body needs more energy to function which is gained through calorie intake.

Along with not being able to perform well academically, other consequences of inadequate sleep include more illnesses due to a weakened immune system, increased mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and decreased athletic performance.

According to research done by the University of Georgia, a good amount of sleep for college students should be anywhere between seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but the average in one night is typically around six hours. Therefore, if you are getting less sleep than what is recommended, you should consider these ten ways to improve your sleeping habits.

Maintain a regular wake and sleep schedule, even on the weekends. Waking up and going to bed around the same time each morning and night creates a consistent routine that your body will get used to.

Avoid caffeine before bed. This includes chocolate, pop, coffee and ice cream. Unless you want to be up all night or have difficulty falling asleep, doctors recommend staying away from caffeine before you plan to sleep.

Create a sleep-friendly environment. This involves ditching electronics and having a quiet room. Some also find aromatherapy and white noise machines helpful.

Don’t eat two to three hours before your planned bedtime. This allows for your digestive system to rest and really focus on falling asleep.

Put books and homework away at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This way, your brain will be able relax and calm down to prepare for rest.

Turn out the lights when it’s time to go to bed. Having a bright room will keep you awake and make it take longer for you to fall asleep.

Limit afternoon naps to one hour or less. If you need to spring into action after dozing, it is recommended that you limit naps to around 45 minutes.

Don’t watch TV right before bed. Sure you can binge watch Netflix earlier in the day, but when it’s time for lights out, try and put it away.

Exercise earlier in the day, never just before bed. According to WebMD, there is evidence that vigorous bouts of late-night exercise cause difficulty in falling asleep.

Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Mattress pads, a nice comforter and good pillows are key to a good night’s sleep.

These simple habits can help improve your sleeping health and overall performance, whether it be in an organization, sports team or classroom. If you’d like to explore more options to improve your sleeping habits, contact Whisler at 740-587-6200 for more resources. Sleep tight!