Research has shown that academic performance is improved when a person has had the proper rest. Sleeping seems like the most natural of human activities, but surprisingly it’s not something that many college-age students do very well. Here are some general guidelines for enhancing your sleep performance.
- Be consistent by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time– When you deviate from a sleep routine, it often takes days to get back into an effective sleep pattern.
- Learn how much sleep you need – For most people, seven to eight hours of sleep is critical.
- Wake up to bright light – Research has shown that you become more awake when there is a clear change in lighting.
- Avoid bright light prior to going to bed – Many people find reading with a bedside lamp to be an effective way to get to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine from coffee, tea, or soft drinks before going to sleep – Generally it’s good to avoid caffeine within 2 hours of going to sleep.
- Review class material before going to sleep – this is good way to put yourself to sleep and there is learning that occurs in the process.
- Avoid watching TV or using the computer in bed – you should only think of your bed as a place for sleeping, not as a place for leisure.
Taking a nap during the day can also be helpful. But be careful that you don’t nap too long. A fifteen minute nap can be very effective in refreshing you without making you groggy. A kitchen timer placed by your ear is an easy way to limit the time you nap..