Tips and Tools for Better Sleep

Know Your Sleep 
Using a sleep diary can help you evaluate your sleep over time. This tool is used to assist you in identifying behaviors that may be influencing the quality of your sleep. It is easier to change behaviors that may be affecting your sleep once you identify them.

Base Bedtime Off of Sleep Cycles 
By being proactive on sleep cycle schedules you are less likely to wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, which can increase feelings of grogginess. Aim for 4-6 cycles with each cycle being about 90 minutes.

Bedtime Calculator: This tool counts backwards in sleep cycles and tells you when to go to sleep and when to wake up.   

Manage Your Time
Make sure to allocate sufficient time in your schedule to get the proper amount of sleep your body needs. If you are struggling finding the time, we recommend implementing effective time management methods into your daily routine.  

Increase Your Sunlight Exposure 
Spend 10 to 15 minutes of your morning in natural light (walk outside, sit by a window, etc.) When you are exposed to the natural light your body will produce more daytime hormones to help decrease sleepiness during the day.

Check out our Sunny Spots Map to see a few locations on campus that we believe get the most light during the day.

If you choose to nap, nap early in the day (before 3pm) and try to keep it to about 20-30 minutes.

Screen Curfew 
Electronic screens produce light that tell our bodies it is daylight out, which suppresses our melatonin (the main hormone that regulates sleep), which ultimately makes our sleep quality suffer. Try to end your “screen time” at least 60 minutes before bed.  

If turning off all your electronics 60 minutes before bed seems to be impossible try installing software that aims to decrease your exposure to the blue light emitted by the screen.

Limit Caffeine Before Bed
Caffeine masks the ability for our body to know when we are tired. The body will then continue to produce hormones to keep you awake. To better prepare yourself for increased quality of sleep try to limit your intake at least 4-6 hours before you go to sleep.