As the summer holidays wind down and university terms start up again, we thought we’d cover one of the most important factors in student life – sleep. As we’ve written before, a good night’s sleep is vital for productivity and the vast majority of students in the UK don’t get enough it.
First, a little behind the science of sleep and why we need it so badly: the brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons during the night that are a natural by-product of the brain’s activity whilst awake. Basically, our brains detox and clean up when we sleep, preparing for the next day. If you don’t get enough good quality sleep those damaging proteins remain in place and affect your sleeping ability and perform even basic tasks.
After leaving secondary school, some students struggle to find productive routines. In a university environment, there simply aren’t the same kind of guidelines for sleeping patterns that one might have in a family environment. That said, according to certain studies in the US, students at the top colleges quickly establish and settle into their own sleep routines.
Ideally, students should get 7-9 hours of it. However, the majority of students in the UK get much less than the recommendation amount of shuteye. Prolonged lack of sleep can dramatically affect a person’s mood, their energy levels, and their ability to focus. Of course, all of these factors are directly related to an individual’s ability to study and perform well in university.
Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep
To get a good night’s sleep, there are just a few basic things any student needs. For starters, it’s really important to able to control the light in your room. Invest in decent curtains to keep the sunlight out if you’re going to be sleeping in a lot. Your body responds to certain signals that tell it when to wake up and when to go to fall asleep. Obviously, sunlight is the most important of these.
Other factors that are key include a decent mattress, a quiet environment, and regular bedtimes. In terms of finding a quality mattress, there are plenty of options out there, though relative newcomers to the market such as Eve often offer particular advantages that might really appeal to students such as tailored fit, and direct-to-door delivery. Additionally, it’s a really good idea to cut down on smartphone use in the evenings and especially in bed. The blue light emitted by smartphone displays triggers certain hormones in the brain that keep us awake and can affect the overall quality of a night’s sleep. Furthermore, waking up at the same time every day and going to sleep at the same every night can drastically improve the quality of it.
So, now you know both why sleeping is so important for studying and how to go about getting the best night’s sleep. Try to incorporate these little tips into your sleeping patterns and behavior and you should find they make a big difference.