• 3-minute read
  • 23rd March 2016

How to Sleep: A Guide to Beating Student Insomnia

The horror of crawling out of bed, bleary-eyed and barely coherent, desperately downing a cup of coffee and rushing to an early-morning seminar is a universal part of the student experience.

However, student insomnia is a growing problem and can seriously affect your grades. Prolonged sleep deprivation can even lead to health problems, including increased anxiety and susceptibility to heart conditions.

As such, it’s important to get your recommended 7-9 hours of nightly sleep on a regular basis. Herein, we provide a few tips to help you on your way to the land of Nod.

Get Active

A bit of physical exertion in the late afternoon or evening can definitely help with sleep. Just make sure to exercise at least six hours before bed, as a late-evening workout can have the opposite effect!

Food and Drink

Diet is a major factor in how well we sleep, so eating healthy and drinking plenty of water is always a good idea. Likewise, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine is advised if you have trouble sleeping.

Happily for the hungry among us though, a bedtime snack can help you sleep: we recommend a banana and a warm, milky drink.

Not like this though.
Not like this though.


Students have a lot to worry about these days, which can lead to insomnia. Lack of sleep can also add to existing stress, so you need to be aware of the symptoms.

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Diet and exercise are factors here, so addressing these issues could help with your stress as well, but other stress-busters include socialising and meditation.

Make Your Bedroom a Haven for Sleep

Ok, there’s possibly some other things you might want to do in private moments, but since you’ll be sleeping in you bedroom it should be a comfortable environment.

Most important here is a decent bed (a quality mattress is definitely worth the investment), but you should also make sure your curtains block light from outside and that your room is kept at a suitable temperature.

Wind Down in the Evening

Give yourself time to relax and let go of the day’s events before going to bed, as it’ll always be difficult to get to sleep if your mind is racing.

Likewise, try to avoid looking at illuminated LCD screens immediately before bed, including phones, tablet computers and laptops; the blue light they emit suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin. If you are working at night, you could try using software like f.lux to adjust your computer’s display.

Ask for Help

Don’t forget, if sleeping problems persist for a long time, you can always talk to your doctor or a counsellor for additional support and advice.

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