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Your body and brain need sleep to recover and process impressions and experiences. Sleep also affects your memory and your ability to learn.

An adult needs between six and nine hours of sleep to feel thoroughly refreshed. If you often sleep a lot more or a lot less, it can have negative effects on your health, but you do not need to worry if your sleep is disrupted for one or a few nights. 

Here are seven tips on how to improve your sleep

  • Drinking caffeine (coffee, tea, energydrink) in the morning can boost you and make you alert in the day, but avoid caffeine later in the day. If you drink caffeine two hours before bedtime at night, you postpone your natural tiredness for over half an hour.
  • Alcohol may have a soothing effect, but your sleep most often becomes lighter, and you can wake up repeatedly during the night. The risk of snoring and interrupted breathing increases and your REM sleep is negatively affected.
  • Nicotine can also disrupt sleep. It can both take longer to fall asleep if you smoke or snuff, and there is a risk that you will wake up during the night
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It takes your brain one day to adapt to an hour’s adjustment of your daily rhythm. Avoid sleeping in the day.
  • Go outside! Daylight is good for your sleep, even on cloudy days.
  • Exercise! Physical activity often improves your sleep.
  • Keep your sleeping area dark, cool and quiet when you are sleeping.
  • Avoid blue-light emitting screens before bedtime. Bear in mind that some activities in the evening can wake you up unnecessarily and make it harder to fall asleep.

Self-help guide 

Do you want to learn more about your sleep problems and find more ways to manage them? Try to work through this self-help guide that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and expert advice to manage sleep problems. The entire programme takes about 30–40 minutes to work through.

Do you need more help?

You are always welcome to contact the Student Health Service if you need more support to improve your sleep or to change your alcohol or tobacco habits.

Latest update: 2024-04-04