As a college student, you know that sleep is important but do you understand why? Giving your body adequate rest helps improve mental and physical health, memory, focus, safety, and overall happiness – all of which are crucial to doing well in college.
There are many common myths and misconceptions floating around about sleep—such as not needing 8 hours of sleep every night! We’ll debunk the top myths and give you tips to get you back on schedule with your sleep.
Myth #1: Adults Need Less Sleep.
It is commonly assumed that the older you become, the less sleep you need.
Sleeping problems and disorders can indeed cause some adults to get less sleep throughout the night, but it does not mean that they don’t need that lost sleep. Many adults suffer from these sleeping problems, which has lead others to believe adults in general need less sleep to function.
While you may not sleep 14 to 17 hours a day like a newborn baby—young adults, adults, and senior citizens alike all fall within the same recommended sleep regimen from the National Sleep Foundation of 7 to 9 hours per day.
Myth #2: Only Babies Need Naps.
Everyone, not just babies, can benefit from a good nap! According to the Mayo Clinic, the best time to a nap is around 2 or 3p.m. in the midafternoon. A 10 to 30-minute nap helps improve mood, focus, and overall performance. Make sure to limit your naptime to help you feel more rested—set an alarm on your phone before snoozing to prevent oversleeping and feeling groggy.
Pro-Tip: Your college campus is made to accommodate students (like you) and they also know that their students need rest. Find one of the many nice, quiet, and comfortable spots on campus and use it as your designated nap-spot between classes, homework, or study sessions. You may just find that you are more attentive, aware, and engaged in your studies when you make ample time for rest.
Myth #3: Staying Up Late is Bad for You.
Staying up late isn’t necessarily bad for you as long as you are sticking to a regular sleeping schedule and getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. A recent study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that regular sleeping patterns practiced by college students resulted in better grades.
The study also revealed that a regular sleeping schedule improved overall well-being in comparison to irregular sleepers. Pick a sleeping schedule that works for you! It’s okay to stay up to 2am and sleep in until 9am, (as long as you don’t miss any early morning classes).
Create a Bedtime and Morning Routine.
Get on the road to success with better sleep. It’s easier than you think. Try creating a bedtime and morning routine, this will help you develop healthy habits to help you stick to a regular sleeping schedule. Incentivize yourself, find ways to reward yourself when you honor your routine. Make attainable goals to work towards treating your body to the rest it deserves.