Adolescents typically need between eight and nine hours of sleep a night, but some studies suggest they typically get closer to six. Here are some sleep tips for college students (or anyone) looking to improve their sleep habits.
— Exercise regularly, but not after the early evening. Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. Try to avoid late-night eating and alcohol, but don't go to bed hungry, either.
— Don't use electronics — laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. — late at night. Not only will the content stimulate your brain, the brightness of the screen is comparable to a morning walk in the sun when it comes to waking you up.
— Make your bed a place just for sleep. Don't study, watch TV or do anything else there (or not much else. Some colleges advise limiting your bed to the "three S's" — sleep, sex and sickness).
— If you have early classes on some days, try not to sleep in on the others. Experts say a regular schedule is the most essential element of a healthy sleep routine.
— Try to avoid naps, and if you do nap, nap before 3 p.m. and for no more than 20 minutes. Otherwise you'll keep yourself up at night.
— Set your alarm clock — but for the evening, at a reasonable bedtime. That way, you're less likely need it in the morning (if you need an alarm clock to wake up feeling rested, you're not sleeping enough).