5 ways to improve sleep hygiene for more restful sleep 

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Prioritizing sleep hygiene habits can be a game changer for students to increase productivity and navigate their responsibilities in a healthy way. 

According to Cornell Health, sleep is vital for anyone through any stage of life, but it is especially important for college students. The average college student has a lot to juggle between academic responsibilities, work, social activities, athletics, extracurricular activities, finances, and more. In order to have enough energy to complete these daily responsibilities, a well-maintained sleep routine is required.  

There are countless benefits for individuals who work to improve their sleep hygiene in respect to both mental and physical well-being. An article from Baptist Healthexplains that by improving sleep habits, individuals may experience an overall improved mood, better cognitive function, an improved immune system, increased energy levels, and and increased ability to navigate stress in a healthy way. In order to reap the benefits of a quality night’s sleep, following the following five tips are extremely important.  

  1. Comfortable sleep environment 

Creating a comfortable and inviting sleep environment is key to getting quality sleep. Ensuring that the room is dark, cool, and free of distracting noise will help to establish this environment. It might be worth investing in a comfortable yet supportive pillow and mattress.  

  1. Eliminate stimulants 

Starting in the afternoon and throughout the evening, it is best to avoid consuming anything stimulating. According to the CDC, avoid caffeine, big meals, and alcohol right before bed. Avoiding these things all together after a certain hour each day is important in ensuring quality sleep.  

  1. No screens before bed 

About an hour before bed is the best time to put away all screens for the day, whether that be a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Scientific studies discussed by the CDC show that the blue light from these screens negatively impacts sleep cycles.  

  1. Consistent sleep schedule 

By keeping a consistent sleep schedule, meaning going to bed and waking up every day around the same time, the body’s internal clock will begin to regulate. Sometimes students have a hard time committing to this on the weekends, but the benefits may outweigh a couple more hours of extra socialization. 

  1. Relaxing routine 

Finally, find relaxing ways to wind down before bed. This may look different for everyone, but suggestions include meditation, reading, journaling, breath work, or a warm bath.  

By incorporating these five habits, individuals will begin to notice a difference in productivity as well as overall energy. Students at Utah Valley University can take advantage of many resources available to them to improve their daily life. Students can visit the mental health services website and take the free screening quiz under the sleep tab. After completing the quiz, students will receive a personalized report on what they may need to do to improve their sleep. Sleep is a topic that students should take seriously and that can significantly benefit their lives.