WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?
Did you know that sleep difficulties are among the top health issues impacting UBC students’ academic performance? Perhaps this isn’t too surprising, as students often skimp on sleep to meet deadlines, cram for exams and pursue other facets of the “student life”.
However, getting enough sleep and quality sleep are crucial in helping you perform your best. Without a good night’s rest, you run the risk of performing poorly on exams, feeling anxious or sad or worried, and lowering your immune response which leaves you prone to illness. On the other hand, getting enough quality sleep will improve your ability to remember and retain new information. Sleeping the whole night improves your ability to learn; reason enough for students to prioritize quality sleep!
HOW CAN YOU SLEEP BETTER?
Here are some proven ways to improve your sleep habits:
- Get up at the same time each morning. This includes weekends whenever possible. This practice will ensure your “internal clock” keeps you on schedule for sleep and wake times. Do not oversleep.
- Avoid naps. You sleep better at night if you avoid napping during the day.
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol before bed. These drugs will keep you from falling asleep and staying asleep. Avoid these at least three hours before bedtime.
- Go to sleep when you feel sleepy. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of hitting the pillow, get up and do something until you feel sleepy. If you force yourself to sleep you’ll inevitably feel frustrated making sleep more difficult.
- Keep your bedroom a sleep (and/or sex) sanctuary. Put your computer, TV, phone in another room and keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark. Do your homework elsewhere and save your bedroom space for only the most relaxing activities.
- Exercise. Doing physical activity of some kind three hours before bed can promote better sleep. Try to fit in a good workout after school or work and use the rest of the evening to unwind.
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