In the United States, many students have experienced some degree of sleep deprivation while studying online. The CDC recommends that teens and young adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but very often online learners are too stressed or too busy to get adequate sleep. And with too much screen time, irregular schedules, and heightened learning anxiety, some argue that it’s harder than ever for students to learn effectively.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s your grades that suffer. You won’t have the mental capacity to complete your work well, and the more you tax your mind the more your body will feel the consequence. If you’re having a hard time getting the right amount of sleep, here’s what you can do.
1. Have a Bedtime Routine
The two golden rules are: go to bed early and at the same time each night. Also, use your bed only for sleeping; don’t study or complete work on your bed. This rule is especially important for online students, as they do have the power to learn from anywhere.
Using your bed for studying might make you feel anxious, and you definitely don’t want your brain to start associating your bed with stress—falling asleep will be impossible!
2. Don’t Alter Your Sleep Routine on the Weekend
It’s certainly tempting to stay up late watching Netflix on the weekend, but you should refrain from doing this. Follow a sleeping schedule every day so your sleep becomes more rewarding. When your body gets in a good sleep rhythm, you’ll be refreshed every morning when you wake up.
3. Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol After Sundown
Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that pump up your heart rate, making it difficult to relax and get shut-eye. Also, drinking alcohol or coffee late in the evening means frequent trips to the bathroom during the night, something that will disrupt your sleep cycle.
4. Enjoy a Relaxing Routine Before Bedtime
Develop and make use of a relaxing routine before bedtime. You could try meditation, reading a book, journaling, or going for a short walk. Do an activity that you find relaxing and therapeutic. You can also drink a turmeric latte or chamomile tea after dinner to put your mind at ease.
5. Finish Your Last Meal Well Ahead of Bedtime
Your body needs energy to digest. Having a heavy meal just before bedtime will have your body in alert mode, as it has to digest the food you just ate. It’s a good practice to stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
6. Seek Expert Help
If you are still having trouble with falling asleep, consult your doctor to see if they can help. But sometimes online students are sleep deprived because they are too stressed and overwhelmed by coursework. If you’re in this situation, you can hire class help online to reduce your academic burden. Ask a tutor, “Can you take my online class?” They can complete your coursework for you. Once your academic fears are gone, you will have an easier time falling asleep.