A proper sleep routine proves to be a vital factor in relation to a student’s success and ability to function socially and academically.
Shadisha Bennett Brodde, a licensed professional counselor at GC, advises students to establish a suitable sleep routine that allows them to live a healthy lifestyle. “Getting enough sleep seems to be a challenge for many students,” Bennett Brodde said.
“By enough, I mean the standard range of six to 10 hours per night, which is usually considered adequate sleep for adults. College students often report getting between six to seven hours of sleep a night. It’s fair to say that most are sleep deprived.”
Students tend to believe that a poor night’s sleep can be resolved by taking a long nap during the day. In reality, this habit only hinders a sufficient sleep schedule.
It’s okay to take a short nap after lunch, but don’t nap longer than an hour and never later than 2 or 3 p.m.,” Bennett Brodde said. “If you find that you need a nap during the day longer than an hour or two hours on the weekend, you are likely not getting enough sleep in your regular sleep cycle.”
When attempting to stay awake, whether it be throughout the day or a late night study session, many students gravitate towards the consumption of coffee. This popular stimulant has an array of effects, and can contribute to a lack of proper sleep depending on the individual.
“Some people find that a cup or two before 3 or 4 p.m. doesn’t seem to affect their sleep for the coming night,” Bennett Brodde said. “There are other students who notice a difference in their ability to relax before bedtime after just one cup. A large part of mental wellness is learning how to tune into your own individual needs and act accordingly. For students who feel they are not sufficiently rested in the morning, we will look at their caffeine consumption and encourage them to make gradual changes while taking note of how it makes them feel and how it impacts sleep.”
With the burst of new technology and latest innovations, it’s inevitable that students will take advantage of having access to a phone or computer. However, this behavior is another factor to consider when setting up a normal sleep routine.
“It is generally suggested that a part of healthy sleep hygiene is about creating a calming and relaxing routine that prepares the body and mind for bed,” Bennett Brodde said. “There is also research that suggests that the light emitted from these devices can send signals to the brain that it’s time to be awake.”
John Lindsay, professor of psychology, emphasizes the importance of a proper sleep cycle by recommending tips on how to achieve an adequate night’s sleep.
“Go to bed the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning,” Lindsay said. “You should also use your bed for sleeping only. Don’t use it to watch television or read a book. If you use it only for sleep, your brain makes that connection that that’s what its for.”
Although a many of college students tend to neglect their sleep schedule, some realize the significance of a suitable night’s sleep. Junior Keely Dixon, a biology and liberal studies major, has maintained a healthy sleep routine throughout her time at GC.
“I try to be in bed by 11 p.m. every night,” Dixon said. “I normally wake up around 8 a.m. so I can work on homework because I function better in the morning. Usually I get eight or nine hours of sleep. It’s important that students get enough sleep so they can perform to the best of their ability each day.”