(AP) - Adolescents typically need between eight and nine hours of sleep a night, but some studies suggest they typically get closer to six. Here are some sleep tips for college students (or anyone) looking to improve their sleep habits.
_Exercise regularly, but not after the early evening. Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. Try to avoid late-night eating and alcohol, but don't go to bed hungry, either.
_Don't use electronics _ laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. _ late at night. Not only will the content stimulate your brain, the brightness of the screen is comparable to a morning walk in the sun when it comes to waking you up.
_Make your bed a place just for sleep. Don't study, watch TV or do anything else there (or not much else. Some colleges advise limiting your bed to the "three S's" _ sleep, sex and sickness).
_If you have early classes on some days, try not to sleep in on the others. Experts say a regular schedule is the most essential element of a healthy sleep routine.
_Try to avoid naps, and if you do nap, nap before 3 p.m. and for no more than 20 minutes. Otherwise you'll keep yourself up at night.
_Set your alarm clock _ but for the evening, at a reasonable bedtime. That way, you're less likely need it in the morning (if you need an alarm clock to wake up feeling rested, you're not sleeping enough).
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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