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5 expert tips to help college students get better sleep

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(BPT) - In the last year there’s been plenty to lose sleep about, but with the stress of the pandemic slowly subsiding, now is a great time to revisit the importance of self-care. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most popular topics in that arena right now, and for good reason: Whether you’re focused on work, exercise or education, prioritizing sleep will help you perform at your best.

If you’re a college student returning to campus this fall, sleep will be pivotal for you to perform well. The CDC recommends college-aged students get seven or more hours of sleep a night. So, how do you make that happen? As smart shopping expert Trae Bodge explains, “Comfort is so important to a good night’s sleep!” This means finding the right mattress and pillows, like Sleepy’s™ Snug 8” Medium Memory Foam Mattress or the TEMPUR-Adapt® Cloud + Cooling Pillow. Let Trae guide you through five ways to get great sleep before classes begin.

1. Tailor your room to your needs

A great night’s sleep is important, but it’s only possible when your bedroom is set up in a way that’s right for you. Mattress Firm has great deals on mattresses, pillows and other sleep essentials, so you can stock up on everything you need and save money, too. As Trae puts it, “The only thing better than getting the comfort you need to sleep soundly is saving money while you do it!” Find the right fit for your body type and preferred sleep style so you’re all set to jump into your school routine.

2. Get as much natural light as possible

Sure, you’ll be in class throughout the day, but when you’re not, study by a window in the library rather than under a lamp or those harsh fluorescent ceiling lights. If your campus has a tunnel system, save that for colder months and instead get your steps outdoors as you walk from class to class. Take your lunch break outside rather than in a cafeteria. Increasing your exposure to natural light will help regulate your circadian rhythm and help your mind and body distinguish between active daytime hours and the downtime you need to relax and fall asleep at night.

3. Stick to a schedule

This may be easier said than done for some students as the semester gets underway and you have homework, papers and exams to think about, but as much as possible, it’s important to maintain a schedule. This will train your mind and body to know when to be alert for your day and when to unwind and prepare for sleep at the day’s end. This includes not just the work or school week, but also the weekends. Keeping to your schedule throughout the week will help cement this practice and is one of the best ways to ensure success throughout the school year.

4. Create a sleep sanctuary

Make creating a relaxing sleep environment part of your bedtime routine each night. Turn off lights and close blinds to prevent any light from invading your bedroom. Mist your pillow or sheets with lavender essential oils. Using a fan or white noise machine can help calm your mind and help prepare you for sleep. If you have a roommate, work with them to support each other’s schedules. This will help you maintain your sleep regimen and ensure restorative sleep. As Trae explains, “Relaxation involves all the senses. You want your sleep space to completely absorb you in calm to tranquility.”

5. Ditch the phone

This probably isn’t news to you, but the light emitted from your phone’s screen can suppress melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, potentially disrupting your sleep schedule. It may be helpful to move your phone so it’s out of arm’s reach from your bed. If you use it for an alarm, not to worry; placing your phone away from your bed will force you to get up in the morning so you can shut the alarm off.

Whether you’re enjoying summer or thinking ahead to the school year that follows, it’s always the right time to consider how you can get your best night’s sleep. Mattress Firm has you covered with everything you need to make a sleeping sanctuary, so you wake up rested and ready to take on whatever new challenges await you.