Sleep helps our bodies and minds recover and rejuvenate, which improves our learning and promotes emotional and behavioural control. University students should be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to help them function healthily.
Getting a good amount of sleep contributes to overall student health and well-ebing. Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night can improve our mental health, focus, concentration and academic performance. Sleep benefits the brain, promotes attention, memory and thought. It makes thinking sharper and facilitates thinking that can spur creativity.
Here are some tips provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to help students learn how to get enough sleep:
- Going to bed early will give you the opportunity to get a full night of sleep
- If you have trouble falling asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy
- Stay out of bed when you’re studying, watching TV or on your phone —only use your bed for sleep
- Limit your naps. If you take naps, make sure they’re less than an hour and ideally taken before 3 p.m.
- Wake up at the same time on weekends as you do in the week. Sleeping in on the weekends can make it hard to set a steady sleep schedule during the week.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and at night since it stays in your system for hours and can make it hard for you to sleep.
- Adjust your lighting in the evening and at night so your body knows it’ll be time to sleep and let morning sunlight boost your alertness.
Are you getting enough sleep? Want to learn more about healthy sleep practices?
Check out this page dedicated to sleep from Ryerson Health and Wellbeing!
School and especially exam periods can be extremely stressful for students. Stress is the body’s response to pressure which can be caused by many things, including school, significant life events or when we experience something new or unexpected. This stress can affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and how we react or behave.
Stress can cause worrying, poor concentration, difficulty in making decisions and uncontrollable thoughts. It can also lead to being fatigued, overwhelmed, feeling anxious, having low self-esteem and depression.
This is why finding ways to relax is essential to a successful and healthy academic career. Relaxation is a skill that is learned and can help manage stress. It isn’t just about finding peace of mind or investing in a hobby, but a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxing increases blood flow, giving us more energy and helping us have a calmer and clearer mind which enhances positive thinking, concentration, memory and decision-making.
Not sure how to relax? Check out some great resources put together by Mental Health and ThriveRU!