Finals Week health tip: Good sleep keeps up energy level

Editor’s Note: As Finals Week approaches, the Eccles School is doing a five-part series featured in the Newsroom on how to keep up your energy levels. Here is the first installment.

A healthy energy level is vital to performing at your full potential as a student. When we are low on energy, it becomes more difficult to focus, to stay committed to tasks, and to keep our overall cognitive function at its full potential. Without adequate levels of energy, we are unlikely to reach our full potential in the classroom and during our study time.

It is natural to have some variation in the way you feel from day to day, but there are some things you can do to increase your overall levels of energy and mental focus.

Proper Sleep Hygiene

You may be familiar with the term “sleep hygiene,” but what exactly does it mean? Sleep hygiene refers to your overall sleep habits. A person with good sleep hygiene is a person who gets an adequate amount of sleep on a consistent, regular basis as well as good-quality sleep.

Good quality sleep involves having a consistent routine for sleep, having at least seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep, and having a comfortable, quiet and dark environment to sleep.

A consistent sleep routine is important. Sleeping only a few hours one day with the intention to make up for it the next day is not healthy. There are times when we have to sacrifice sleep but those times should be kept to a minimum. A consistent routine also consists of going to bed around the same time each night and waking up close to the same times each day—even on our days off.

If you are one of those people who tends to “catch up” with sleep on the weekends, keep in mind that you may be doing more harm than good. Sleeping in excessively on your days off can interfere with your natural sleep cycle (the circadian rhythm) and can increase your chances for insomnia when your workweek (or school week) starts again.

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