10 tips for staying well over finals
1. Get adequate sleep. It will help you work more efficiently, learn and retain information better, and do better on your exams. (All-nighters are a bad idea for your health AND your grades!)
2. Try out relaxation exercises or a guided meditation.
3. Keep moving! Don't cut out your exercise time during finals period. The gym is a great place for a study break (leave your readings and flash cards at home to give your mind a rest!) or go for a run or take a walk outside. Don't want to leave your dorm? Go up and down the stairs a few times, have a dance party with your roommate, or do yoga.
4. Keep laughing. Laughter can reduce stress and improve your mood, so watch, read, or listen to something funny as a study break!
5. Watch your caffeine intake. It will stay in your system longer than you think and can keep you from falling asleep when you need to. Adequate sleep, healthy eating, and exercise can keep you energized without caffeine!
6. Let your eyes rest. Give your eyes periodic breaks while you're studying. Look out the window at something far away and focus on it for 15 seconds before returning to your computer screen or textbook.
7. Eat healthy foods. Protein-rich foods can help you sustain your energy and your focus. Sugary foods can give you an immediate energy rush, but you'll crash later. Leave the library to get some fresh air and a balanced meal instead of ordering in or overdoing it on baked goods.
8. Take a walk outside, especially in nature. It will clear your head, get you moving, and can help improve your memory!
9. Eat breakfast before your morning exams!
10. Keep everything in perspective: they're just exams. You're really smart, and you can handle them.
Why Sleep is Important for Success:
Good sleep can boost your cognition, or thinking skills, and memory. Insufficient sleep can worsen them. Poor sleep has been associated with physical issues such as weight gain. It may also decrease the effectiveness of your immune system, leading to more colds, coughs, and sniffles.
Here are 10 tips to try to help you get into the right frame of mind for sleep:
- Avoid caffeine at night, and limit it during the day.
- Skip alcohol before bed.
- Create a sleep schedule, and stick to it.
- Don't sleep in on weekends or days when you have a late class; wake up close to the same time every day.
- Put books and homework away at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.
- Don't study or work on your computer in bed.
- Exercise earlier in the day, never just before bed.
- Don't watch TV just before bed.
- Sleep with earplugs and use an eye pillow to drown out any bright lights and the noise of loud roommates or dorm mates.
- Turn out the lights when it's time to go to bed; a bright room will keep you awake.
Establishing healthy sleep habits in college will do wonders for your long-term health.