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Are you getting enough sleep?

News story

Think sleep is a product design flaw? Sorry but just like many things you need to be recharged!

Woman sleeping in cosy yellow bedding.

Getting the right amount of sleep helps keep our brains and bodies functioning properly and is just as important as having a healthy diet and an exercise routine. Uni students need their brains to be operating well and the information they are learning and investing in needs to be retained and stored well. Do you know that if you skip the first two hours of your regular sleep schedule, you miss out on the deep sleep that stores important information in your long-term memory? If you are struggling with your sleeping habits here are some helpful ways to get you back on track.

3 tips for better sleep

  1. Don’t nap. When you’ve come home after a particularly heavy study session or a bad shift at work, the idea of taking a nap is tempting. Resist it! Napping can not only make you feel groggy after you wake up but also make it harder to go to bed on time at night, thus throwing off your sleep schedule. If you absolutely must nap, limit yourself to 30 minutes.
  2. Quit hitting snooze. Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, so it’s important to set an alarm for the same time each day and get up when it goes off. After a while, your body will get used to waking up at a certain time and it won’t feel like such a chore. Not sure how? Try using Mel Robbin’s 5-4-3-2-1 method to help you break the habit of snoozing. Or buy a little alarm clock and place it at your bedroom door so you are forced up to turn it off.
  3. Eat and exercise early. Eating a late dinner or hitting the gym in the evening can keep you awake, so it’s best to avoid doing either. Try to eat your last meal at least two hours before your bedtime and do your exercise in the morning if possible or afternoon or early evening at the latest.

Consequences if you ignore sleep
Not getting enough sleep could eventually lead to fatigue which has both short- and long-term impacts on your health, safety and wellbeing. This includes:

  • Reduced alertness
  • Impaired decision-making and learning capability
  • Increased risk of injury and illness

Work and study performance can also be impacted, especially around exam periods and during periods of high work demands. Long-term fatigue has also been shown to contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure, diabetes, impaired immune system function, obesity, anxiety and depression. The importance of good sleeping habits cannot be overstated.

Time to see a doctor?
If you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep or you’re feeling constantly fatigued, make sure you talk to a health professional – especially if it’s impacting your studies, work and everyday life. There are plenty of doctors at the medical centre at Curtin who you can speak to.

Upskill on your lunch break

Need support adjusting to uni? With topics covering procrastination, anxiety, sleep, adjustment to culture shock, exams and more, the Lunchtime Life Skills webinar series can help.