photo credit: aweisenfels

Sleep might be the last thing on your mind when you’re living and studying abroad. With new friends to spend time with, Nashville’s exciting nightlife to enjoy, and of course plenty of homework, who needs sleep? As a familiar “party animal” saying goes, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

But don’t ignore the importance of sleep when you’re learning English! When you sleep, your brain processes new information from the day. Scientists say that getting enough sleep is important for general memory, recollection and use of new vocabulary, and listening comprehension.

How can you make sure you get enough sleep to help improve your English efficiently? Here are some tips:

  • Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. A totally dark room tells your body hat it’s time for sleep. Use blinds, curtains, and a sleep mask if needed.
  • If your home isn’t quiet enough, use a white noise machine or phone app to block the noise.
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
  • Get some exercise each day. Even a short walk will help you to sleep better at night.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, and many sodas) late in the day. Also, don’ drink too much alcohol in the evening; it may make you feel sleepy, but it prevents deep, restful sleep.
  • Turn off screens an hour before bedtime, especially computers, tablets, and phones. The intense light they produce prevents your brain from producing important chemicals for sleep.
  • If worry is keeping you awake, write in a journal or make a to-do list before bed.

What else helps you to sleep well? Tell us in the comments!