After browsing through the blog options for this assignment, my interest was peaked when I read through the posts on The Happiness Project site. I stumbled upon the post, “A Secret to More Happiness and Energy? Give Yourself A Bedtime,” in which the writer, The Happiness Projectbook author Gretchen Rubin, discusses the importance of adults getting a good night sleep, that being seven to eight hours every night, and how it is the key to having more energy and overall a happier life. So, how do you actually get a good night’s rest? Well, that’s easy. Take a tip from your childhood and give yourself a bedtime! By setting a specific time to be in bed, putting down your phone, computer, kindle, Ipad and Ipod, you let your brain relax, and begin to fall asleep at the actual point that your body is tired. After reading her blog, I began to think about my own sleeping patterns and how college students in general differ in their sleeping habits.
So I try my best to be in bed, on most weeknights, by 11 or 11:30 PM. I know that I am the type of person who is more efficient when I have a good night’s rest under my belt and I am definitely more energized for my day’s activities. When reading other people’s comments about Rubin’s post, I decided to dig a little deeper about ways to strengthen one’s sleeping pattern in order to ensure a better night’s sleep and more energy. So, of course, I turned to my favorite medical site, WebMD. I used this site all the time when I was abroad for I was too afraid to go to a Czech doctor and decided I would use its symptoms checker to self diagnose myself (which I did successfully twice with bronchitis). So, in addition to Rubin’s suggestion of setting a bedtime, I found in the article, What’s Zapping Your Energy, that regularizing your sleep-wake patterns, meaning getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday, ritualizing your cues for good sleep, only using your bed for sleep, and resisting temptations such as caffeine and alcohol, can all contribute to overall better sleeping patterns. “Sleep busters” such as stress or anxiety, noise, caffeine, or an overcommitted schedule can all attribute to poor sleeping patterns, which can be remedied by the aforementioned suggestions.
Now, I am a realist, and most college students do not necessarily get a perfect seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Take for instance finals week, students pull all nighters for exams or research papers and are ready to go the next morning with just a cup of coffee. So, they might be running on adrenaline, but I know of people who only get four or five hours of sleep a night and still have the energy of a busy bee the next day. I have never pulled an all nighter, and if I did, I would be in bed the whole next day trying to catch up on all the sleep I had missed.
I think, overall, I do a good job at getting a significant amount of sleep each night and have enough energy to make it through the day. The question is… do you? How many hours of sleep do you get each night? What types of things help you fall asleep? Have any suggestions for those who are still counting sheep?
Also… check out my friend’s mom’s Bedtime Network’s site! Explore the site and see what they have to say about the secrets to a good night’s sleep!