Evidence shows that poor or insufficient sleep directly impacts your mental health and physical health, increasing negative emotions and stress levels. In some cases it can lead to the onset or worsening of mental health disorders.
According to the NHS, adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. The key to managing this is finding a sleep schedule and establishing a routine – a task that is easier said than done when deadlines are due and work commitments are demanding.
How to improve your sleeping pattern as a student
- Ending the day on a positive note can help to ease your mind and soothe anxieties – try keeping a diary or a gratitude journal which allows you to document a couple of good things that happened during the day or things that you are looking forward to.
- Establish a ‘wind-down’ routine – an hour before bed start to develop the habit of doing things to put your body at ease and encourage rest; get a bath or shower, reduce screen time, and instead read, colour or knit.
- Create the right environment – sleeping in halls or having flatmates can be noisy, so consider turning to sleep methods such as ASMR videos or nature sound machines to relax your mind and set it in a place for sleep.
- Eat the right foods and snacks – foods high in melatonin and healthy fats are good stimulants for promoting sleep. Bananas and oats are a good source of amino acids and can be meal-prepped, try looking up some ‘overnight oats’ recipes. Yoghurts are also a good source, as are fruits such as kiwis and cherries. For a salty snack, opt for some kale chips, seeds or nuts.
- The dreaded all-nighter – if you really can’t avoid a late night in order to meet a deadline, try and stay away from caffeinated drinks and instead take short breaks to move around. You could also try some of our recommended sleep snacks (above) instead of high-sugary snacks.