Sleep Yourself Smarter

zzzzsBy Sarah Hoffbeck

With the first semester of classes at NDSCS over halfway done, students (and perhaps even faculty and staff) are probably starting to feel the affects of lack of sleep. Think about it…staying up to all hours of the night working on homework, well, mostly homework, running across campus to catch that 8 a.m. class, dragging through the rest of your day, wondering how to get that next fix of caffeine. No wonder your student is a walking zombie when they do finally come home. And chances are the only thing they’re interested in doing while they’re at home is sleeping the day away.

Healthy sleep habits will become your friend, that miracle drug that will get you through the day. Whether you’re a student, parent, or employee, we all know we could use a few more zzzzs.

Healthy sleep habits? Who has time, right? Well, studies show that making time is imperative. The typical college student only sleeps about 5-6 hours per night, when in fact, the average sleep requirement for any college student is well over 8 hours.

Here are a few tips to hopefully start you on your track to sleeping more:

  • Make a schedule and stick to it. If you know you can’t handle an 8 a.m. class, don’t register for one. For those of you who are already in the workforce, whenever possible, try to get to the office at the same time every day. Set a schedule that allows you to get up every day at a similar time. The same goes for setting a bedtime. Going to bed at a different time every night is wearing on your body.
  • Don’t oversleep. I know…we all LOVE to sleep in. Unfortunately, oversleeping  will cause you to be even sleepier throughout the day.
  • Take a power nap! Even a 20-minute power nap will recharge your system, making it possible to actually stay awake and maybe even learn something in class. Or, if your workday is truly dragging, try a power nap over the lunch hour.
  • Monitor your alcohol consumption. While alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, it typically results in a lower quality of sleep and can cause you to wake up several times throughout the night.
  • Turn off your cell phones, computers, tablets and any other pieces of distracting technology. And if you can’t bear to turn them off, at least turn the volume down.
  • Block out any distractions. That includes turning the TV off. If you need some white noise, try a fan. Maybe even invest in one of those sleep masks to block out light.

Well, good luck on your quest to more sleep. Here’s to a less sleep-deprived community and NDSCS campus!

Sweet dreams!