With the summer holidays nearly over, I’ve been trying to get back into some form of routine, adjusting my sleep pattern and turning those late nights around so that I can be in bed at a decent hour – for the sake of sleep!
Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to sleep deprivation and honestly, the effects are not good for us students. Putting aside the fact that I have children that wake up mega early, you see, I’m a ‘night owl’ by nature, so to be ‘uni ready’, I’m having to train myself to switch off and get to bed earlier.
Whether you’re someone that’s been working throughout the summer, someone that’s taking time out and enjoying your summer holiday break from uni or someone who is getting prepared to start uni, getting enough sleep is everything.
I understand part-time working alongside your studies – because I’ve been there. I understand staying up way too late to revise or meet an assignment deadline – because I’ve been there. I understand partying until the crack of dawn and then struggling to stay awake in class – because my friends have told me (heheee).
In all seriousness, an insufficient amount of sleep can affect your health and wellbeing, your drive and motivation to learn. You might struggle to retain information and so your memory function may be impacted. It can affect your moods, your physical wellbeing may be affected which may also impact your immune system, especially as the seasons change and autumn turns to winter. So you get the picture? A good night’s sleep is one of the best remedies for the student life.
For this student life to work out for us, we’ll need a great deal of focus and attention and we won’t have that unless we practise good sleep habits like:
- Switching off devices or screens at least 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed. Easier said than done, right? I need to get better at this too and I get it, especially if you’re staying in student accommodation, there’s bound to be distractions – the TV, the light in the hallway etc. Try to give yourself space to switch off and wind down before drifting off to sleep.
- Staying active, even if you can manage at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, it will improve your sleep and improve mental health – so no falling asleep in class as you’ll be fully alert! Maybe check out the UCB gym, that might be a good starting point.
- Planning and preparation is key to getting a good night’s sleep. Plan the time that you might need to complete assignments, coursework etc, leave yourself enough time for research and type-ups and hopefully, you won’t get caught off guard. If you plan things well and in advance, it’s likely to keep your stress and anxiety levels down, you’ll sleep well and have good brain function for class.
- Going to bed at least an hour earlier than your normal time. Again, I know it’s easier said than done because I’ve failed many times at this but let’s keep trying. In fact, having a regular bedtime is also good for your health and wellbeing (hopefully, you’re not working night shifts).
Anyway, you know how the saying goes, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’! But if you’re one of those people that can skip breakfast and make up for it at some other time during the day, then I think you should at least focus on getting a good amount of rest, relaxation and sleep to be UCB ready.
Let’s work at the good sleep life, together? And you can thank me later!