The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder and many college students may find themselves struggling to maintain a normal sleep schedule here at Ferris.
According to dictionary.com, insomnia is defined as the “inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.”
This might sound all too familiar to you, as many college students at some point struggle with their sleep schedules. Getting sufficient sleep is crucial to maintain your health, both physically and mentally. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, at least every one in three people have mild insomnia.
Insomnia can cause students to experience a lack of concentration, make it hard for them to focus and impair their memory. These mental symptoms caused by sleep schedule disturbances can lead students to fall behind in their classes rather quickly. Insomnia also can cause physical symptoms. These include an increase of appetite due to the fact you’re losing more sleep, and have less energy to complete your normal daily tasks that would normally burn calories, which also makes weight loss less attainable.
One main symptom of insomnia is being tired all the time, which can cause the dangerous habit of drowsy driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of insomnia, I encourage you to take the proper precautions or ask for help before they intensify. Whether you think your sleep schedule is an issue or not, it’s important to know how to get back into a healthy sleeping pattern once yours has been disrupted. Make sure to set down the electronics at least half an hour before bed. Instead, maybe try to wind down by reading a book or meditating.
Try to wake up around the same time everyday. Eventually, this can help to adjust your body’s natural timer to an improved sleeping schedule, which will help increase your hours of rest. Also, avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening, as it has been proven to disrupt sleep during the night.