Sleep, study, party, repeat: sleep and students mental health

Your university days are notoriously known for being filled with sleep-deprivation. In fact, up to 60% of students’ report having poor quality sleep at university.

An overload of activities that you simply don’t want to turn down, late night sessions in the library scrambling to finish your assignments and, under normal circumstances, soaking up the student culture by clubbing and pubbing multiple times a week. All of those things are part and parcel of being a university student and accurately represent that unique ‘student body clock’ that we’ve all experienced.

Why is sleep so important for students?

At university, the ideology of pulling an all-nighter to finish your assignments is completely normalised. You’ll never see as many students in the library, with a coffee or energy drink in hand, than at midnight on deadline day. Yet, no one bats an eyelid because so many others are in the same boat.

When you’re immersed in student life, it’s easy to forget just how important sleep is and it can be the last thing on your mind. For students, sleep is vital for:

· Maintaining productivity levels to learn and absorb new information from lectures

· Reducing the risk of getting sick

· Aiding positive mental health

· Restoring energy to invest into completing assignments (and keeping up with the heavy social calendar)

How to improve your sleeping habits

The average student is getting around 6.5 hours of sleep every night which, over time, can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. But what can be done to ensure you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep, whilst still revelling in the university culture?

Here are some of our tips to help you improve your sleeping habits and maintain your mental health:

Maintain a healthy sleeping pattern:

Try to form a healthy sleeping pattern throughout the majority of the week. Set yourself a structured bed and wake-up time to ensure you’re getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep on the nights where you don’t have any plans. This will help prevent a build-up of sleep depravity by letting your body recover when given the chance.

Don’t work from your bed:

With remote learning still being the chosen form of teaching, many students are choosing to work from their bed – comfort first, right?! However, if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night this may be because your brain is associating your bed with working, rather than sleep. Instead, work at a desk, in a different room or head to the library if you can.

Reduce your caffeine intake:

Although coffee is the ultimate fuel to get you through those late study binges, try to steer clear of it at least 4 hours before you intend to go to sleep. Even if you don’t think caffeine affects you, it can hinder your sleep quality – which you don’t need, especially if your sleep is already limited! If you’re after an energy booster, substituting caffeine with herbal teas or water will help give you that motivation to power through.

Block out the noise:

Whether you’re living in halls or a student house, university accommodation has thin walls – which means you can hear virtually everything that your flatmates are doing and the people outside your building. If this is disturbing your sleep quality, be sure to invest in some ear plugs or play some white noise sounds in your room to drown this out.

Many people look back on their university days as some of the best times of their life, so enjoy them while they last but make sure this isn’t at the expense of your physical and mental health. Login to UNiDAYS to get a free referral code:


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