Your Student Life: You Snooze, You Win

September 12, 2021

In our busy, fast-paced lives at Ohio State, establishing a healthy sleep routine can be tough. With the stresses of school, relationships, work and more it can be hard to relax and some might have difficulty falling asleep.

We know sleep is important. Just Google “benefits of sleep” and you will find a long list of benefits which, to name a few, sleep keeps our energy levels up, reduces stress, make us more productive, reduces the risk of depression, improves cognitive functioning and more. Since many college students struggle to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, let’s look at some ways to get a better night of sleep.

Don’t work in the bedroom. Try not to do any kind of work during the day in your bed. The more time you spend in your bed awake, the harder it is for your mind to get into sleep mode at night.

  • Caffeine. Cut out caffeine the 4-6 hours before heading to bed.
  • Limit screen time. Put away the screens leading up to bedtime. Screens emit blue light which can disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. You can also buy blue light blocking glasses or download apps that block blue light emitted from your phone.
  • Try a supplement. Consider using products or supplements like valerian root, sleepy time teas, magnesium or lavender. All of these have been well-researched and shown to improve sleep quality.
  • Optimize your bedroom environment. As much as possible, try to eliminate noise and light in the bedroom.
  • Unwind in the evening. This can help to alleviate stress. Yoga, reading, taking a hot shower, deep breathing or listening to music are all great options.
  • Establish a sleep routine. This will train your mind to know when you are ready to sleep. You can include some of the previous tips in your routine!

I hope these tips can help you relax before bed and have an amazing night of sleep.

 

Ben Miller

Nutrition Education, Medical Dietetics Intern
Student Wellness Center
Office of Student Life