The Problem of Sleeplessness

Raise your hand if you’re exhausted… like all the time.

I have had the hardest time sleeping for the past few weeks. I don’t know if it's this time of year, or the stress of school, or the fact that my boyfriend just got the new Call of Duty and plays it until 4 a.m. with the T.V. volume legit all the way up, but I am exhausted. Do you ever have this problem?

I wake up already tired and ready for a nap at 9 a.m. That's just ridiculous. But when I’ve been talking to friends about my recent problems, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one who has been having this problem.

I started doing some research on what could be causing my sleeplessness, and I found some interesting things.

So, pretty much the story of every college student ever… anxiety, stress and depression. According to the American Psychological Association, 41.6% of college students suffer from anxiety, 36.4% of students suffer from depression and 35.8% of students suffer form relationship problems. That's a lot of people. At Auburn University alone, that means that of the 27,287 enrolled students, approximately 11,351 students have anxiety of varying degrees. OVER 11 THOUSAND!!!

I chose to include the statistic about what percentage of students have relationship problems because, lets be honest, relationship problems can be one of the most stressful and anxiety-inducing sources of them all. I know when I’m having problems with my boyfriend, parents, friends, or even with myself I am at my most stressed. Relationships have a way of effecting all aspects of our lives.

After looking into this and seeing the statistics, I decided to look into what professionals are suggesting. The most consistent suggestion among professionals seems to be limiting screen time before bed. Personally, this has been super helpful for me. I know this can be hard for students since often we study until right before we go to sleep, but maybe try waking up an hour earlier to study and powering down an hour earlier. It really makes a world of difference.

Dr. Casey (that's me) suggests that you take some time to actually do some self care. Not just bubble baths and wine while snapping your friends pictures of your bath bombs, but real and true self care. This week I have tried to set myself a schedule. I shoot to go to bed by 12:30 (usually closer to 1) and I wake up by 9 am. This has really helped my body become used to relaxing at the right time. That being said, I am still having trouble unwinding my mind at the end of the day, but I can tell it gets easier every day that I stick to my schedule. Additionally, I have challenged myself to write literally everything down. Homework, appointments, when I need to call people, what time I am shooting to start and finish my homework, reminders to myself, when I anticipate I’ll need to go to the grocery store again. Everything.

While I know this may be a super stressful time of year, take some time to care for yourself. Give yourself some time to unwind BEFORE you lay down to sleep and try to set yourself as schedule. Being well rested is the key to staying healthy and mentally able to handle whatever comes your way down the road. So go and kick butt!