25 Sep Freshers’ Week sleep: How students can get some shut-eye in between the parties
Freshers’ Week plays a big role in your introduction to uni as it’s a great opportunity to make new friends on your course and get to know your new housemates. However, in between all the parties, it’s important that you still get some sleep so that you’re ready for the first of your lectures the following Monday.
In a previous blog post, we explored the importance of sleep for students and how it can boost academic performance. But, during a week when there’s a pub crawl each night and you’re adjusting to a brand-new living space, how can you be expected to keep up with your rest? Well, we’ve put together our three top tips to help you out.
Set up your room for sleep
Though you’ll no doubt want to spend a lot of time with your new friends, it’s important to take the time to set up your own personal space. Not only will this make you feel more at ease, but it will help you sleep too. Make sure that your room is nice and dark at night, as well as being just the right temperature for drifting off — the Sleep Council recommends between 16–18°C as the sweet spot.
You’ll also need to be extra comfy when you’re trying to sleep, so it might be a good idea to invest some of your maintenance loan in some new bedding. A quality pillow will support your neck and head, while a memory foam topper is a great way to breathe some life into an old mattress. A luxurious duvet will also make sure that you’re warm enough, as well as playing an important role when you’re hungover and don’t want to leave your bed.
Master the art of the power nap
While you probably won’t have a lot of down time during Freshers’ Week, if you can learn how to power nap, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the time you do have. Getting some quick shut-eye can improve your concentration, alertness, and mood, a fact proven through a lot of research, including this study by NASA on the benefits of naps for pilots.
If you’re feeling fatigued but you know you’re going out later, try to get a quick nap beforehand. Even a quick rest of 20–30 minutes can make a world of difference, and you will be very glad you made the effort when you’re walking out the door. Perfecting the power nap will also stand you in great stead for the rest of the academic year, as you’ll be able to refresh yourself before afternoon lectures and late-night research sessions.
Try to make your room as dark and cosy as you can to drift off easily. If you aren’t able to do this, using a sleeping mask to keep out light can help. Remember that even if you don’t reach a state of deep sleep, simply dozing and relaxing will have refreshing benefits too. Set a time to wake up and be sure to stick to it — you don’t want to be late to any lectures!
Be prepared for noisy neighbours
As fun as Freshers’ Week will be, if you are moving into student halls, you should be prepared for the higher noise levels that you’re likely to experience. With so many other people moving away from home for the first time, there’s bound to be a lot of excitement, so it’s only natural to expect a little more noise than you may be used to at home.
There are a few ways that you can deal with a noisy housemate, but suffering in silence isn’t one of them. The best way is probably to have a quiet word early on, just to let them know that the walls are thin and their sound carries. As a back-up, you might want to buy some good earplugs or begin putting in your headphones and start falling asleep to your favourite quiet-time tunes.
Follow these three tips for getting some sleep during Freshers’ Week, and you’ll survive without much of a problem. You can also put a lot of this advice to use for the rest of your university life.