When is a nap considered sleep?

Let's talk about sleep

Guys, let's talk about sleep.

Because our sleep is actually something everyday that many of us have probably never racked our brains over. Because if you sleep well, you don't have to think about it.

But our everyday life as students in particular brings with it a lot of potential, which can effectively disrupt our sleep. Many of us are young and have just moved from home to study in another city. You have to come to terms with new roommates, take care of shopping and eating independently and go to work while studying. As if that weren't enough, the exam phase and deadlines for homework are added every six months. Given all of these challenges, it is not surprising that sleep problems are more common among students.

Here are a few facts: Up to 60% of all students at an American college report poor sleep quality, 14.9% have problems falling asleep and almost 26% report waking up more often at night.

Why are sleep problems actually problematic?

You might think that not getting enough sleep has no effect, especially at a younger age. Far from it: our sleep quality is closely linked to our academic success and our health. If we don't get enough sleep, we can't study well because our neurocognitive functions decrease. On the other hand, our bad habits are increasing: we smoke and drink more.

In summary, it can be stated that there is an impaired sleep quality
negatively impacts our health and academic performance.
 

So it pays to think about your own quality of sleep. What can you do if you don't sleep well for a long time? For example, healthy sleep hygiene has a positive effect on sleep. This can improve both the duration of sleep and the time it takes to fall asleep. According to the German Society for Sleep Medicine (DGSM), the term sleep hygiene describes behaviors that promote healthy sleep. For example, we can do without caffeinated drinks 4 hours before bed, only go to bed when we are really tired and sleepy and do regular exercise. In addition, we should avoid the little nap at noon, so that the sleep pressure increases and we can fall asleep better in the evening. If all of this seems too expensive, it should be said that even 30 minutes of time invested in reading the sleep hygiene rules can sustainably improve the quality of sleep and thereby reduce sleep disorders.

If reading sleep-related rules isn't for you, try listening to classical music while falling asleep. Compared to audio books, this improves the quality of sleep and even reduces the rate of depression among students.

And finally, for those who prefer to do something practical, there is progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson (PMR), which reduces physical and psychological tension. In a 6-week study with students in which the effectiveness of PMR was tested, in the end there was an improved quality of sleep and increased sleep through the night. The relaxation process not only has positive effects on our sleep, but also improves the perceived zest for life, reduces fears, stress and substance abuse.

What you can take away from this post: It is worthwhile to take a closer look at your own sleep and to improve it using simple and easy-to-learn methods in order to make your own everyday university life easier and more feasible.
 

by Rebecca Woelke, psychology student from Mainz

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