A healthy sleep schedule is essential for any student to succeed, and yet university life makes this difficult with its constant bombardment of social and academic pressures. These pressures can be even further compounded for an international student abroad; the foreign culture and environment you have entered combine to make even more distractions as you try to balance these new experiences with your academic responsibilities. Follow these tips in order to make sure you get the most out of your snooze:
1. Jet Lag: Whether it lasts for one day or one week, jet lag is something you should try to overcome as soon as possible. If you are traveling in the north/south direction, you may only need to maintain your normal sleep habits while traveling, as the time zone will remain consistent. You can compensate your east/west travels by adapting to the sleep patterns of your destination. Try not to nap until it is bedtime.
2. Create a Routine: Know when it is time to stop your studies for the night and put social demands behind you. Find a way to relax like with a hot shower, or by reading a book. Avoid screens and lights; televisions, computers and cell phones will only increase your restlessness. Tell your body it is time for sleep with a routine.
3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: While coffee increases a student’s alertness, and parties offer that student distractions, take both caffeine and alcohol in moderation. Neither should be taken within three hours of your bedtime routine. Natural sleep is the healthiest sleep.
4. Your Bed is For Sleep: Don’t do anything in your bed besides sleep (and other bed related activities). Your bed is a place to relax. Take your homework and studying outside or to the library, or to a new part of town where you can see new places and meet exciting new people!
Want to learn more about staying health while outside your home country? Read our 5 ways to stay fit and healthy article to make sure you make the most of your international experience. Do you have any sleep tips to share? Send us your comments below or share it with us via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.