1. Too much screen timeWe're all guilty of this! Reading on a tablet, watching Netflix in bed or scrolling through Instagram before snoozing isn't helping your quality of sleep. Researchers from Harvard found that when study participants read an e-book before going to sleep they got significantly less REM (deep) sleep and felt much less alert the next morning. Try going without your favorite screen for 45 minutes to an hour before you actually try and nod off. Read a magazine, take a bath, listen to a podcast or even try meditation - anything without a screen!
2. Sleep deficitYou might be just simply not getting enough sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours, 8 if you can and you should be feeling rosy in a few nights of good sleep. Obviously halls and student houses can be noisy, especially if you have a roommate, so invest in sleeping aids such as ear plugs and an eye mask!
3. Your bed is badOk, your bed isn't bad. Unless you live in super crappy halls and in that case invest in a mattress topper and some good bedding. What we mean by this is everything that makes up a good night's sleep needs to be great. The ideal temperature for sleep is around 18-22oC so make sure that you're not waking up too hot or too cold in the night because of the thickness of your duvet. Sharing a bed can also be really disturbing unless you're used to it, so say no to that sleepover if you can.
4. Your diet sucksAs much as we freaking love junk food, sugar and cake, obviously there comes a point where too much is just too much. Diet is a huge thing that affects your over all wellbeing and how alert you'll feel in the day. Try to eat a balanced breakfast everyday that includes a source of protein. Steer away from sugar highs too, sure, that 11am muffin might sound good but when you're snoozing on your desk by half past and you can't concentrate, it won't be so great. Another thing that affects how tired you are is your Magnesium levels. If they're too low you can feel anxious and tired, try to keep them up by eating dark leafy greens like kale and more nuts and seeds.
5. DehydrationAs little as a 5-8 per cent loss of water can lead to fatigue. You need to be having at least 2 litres of water a day, as a minimum. Grab yourself a big bottle, fill it up and add some fruit and mint if you fancy adding some flavour.
6. You're not getting enough exerciseExercise will definitely make you feel more energised. Even if you just try to do 20 minutes of something active a day, from walking around campus to a quick yoga routine or a gym session with your roommate, it'll make you feel more alert and awake.
7. HormonesSometimes, even if you've got a great diet, you get enough sleep and you exercise regularly you can still find that you're feeling overly tired. This sucks and it could be down to your hormones. You could have an under-active thyroid, the gland which controls your metabolism, and this means you won't physically be able to keep up with your body's demands. If you think that this might be an issue for you, head to the doctor's and get a check up.
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