Her Campus received copies of Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution, which prompted us to think about how we sleep. We all have different relationships with sleep, and as college students that relationship is often strained. Here are our responses to the question, “How do you sleep?”
Hannah Anain: Prior to college, I could sleep in virtually any condition and could get through the day on any amount of sleep. Since coming to college, I have started to have more difficulty falling asleep and getting up, and I often feel tired throughout the day. This has forced me to reevaluate my pre-sleep and morning routines, and I now avoid technology when I’m going to sleep and coffee after 5pm, and I make an effort to get ready for bed and go to sleep rather than falling asleep while reading.
Rebecca Frank: My sleep is so important to me, and I’ve always needed more of it than most people. I aim for nine hours a night, with the hope of getting at least eight—otherwise, I really don’t function well. I generally sleep well when I’m in routine, like at school, but like Juvi, I also get pretty restless sleeping in a new place. Sometimes I’m sensitive to sounds and sometimes I can fall asleep despite them, but the Rohm sound machine I’ve been using from our sleep kit has been amazing for me at drowning out my sometimes loud hallmates!
Lexi Bollis: I’m simultaneously very particular and not at all picky about my sleeping environment. Sometimes, I can fall asleep with the noise of an Old Kenyon party raging from the lower level of my dorm, and other times I will end up doing homework until 2am on a Saturday night to pass the time until I can fall asleep. Usually, as long as I am warm and my pillow is comfortable enough, I will be able to fall asleep. The other thing that is very consistent in my sleep pattern is that I need at least six hours of sleep (preferably eight or nine, though) to function properly. Anything less than six, and I’m a total zombie. I’ll never understand how my classmates have the ability to pull all-nighters!
Juvi Rivera: I sleep very well in my own bed, but I get restless at night when I’m sleeping somewhere else (ie, at a friend’s house). I’m a heavy sleeper and once almost slept through my dorm’s fire alarm. Usually, my body automatically wakes me up sometime before 9am, which is probably due to the fact that I’m a morning person. I typically get at least six hours of sleep, although I’m not at my best unless I get seven and a half.
Inês Forjaz de Lacerda: I need at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night, so I try to get to bed early. I’m also a very picky sleeper—I need total darkness and comfort in order to be able to sleep. This is really unfortunate, especially when I take my red-eye flights home…I’m a morning person, but not when I’m up all night inside a stuffy airplane. Also, apparently I talk in my sleep a lot? At least once a week, my roommates giggle over something weird I started saying in English, but then switched to Portuguese mid-sentence. Perks/curse of living with a bilingual, I guess!
Jenna Wendler: I only learned recently how important sleep is to my mood and my productivity. If I do not get enough sleep, I am not functional. It is a blessing and a curse. More of a curse is that I can have a lot of trouble falling asleep when I am stressed or have a lot going on. So I get distracted really easily when things disturb my sleep, like noise or light. My ideal sleeping location is completely silent and dark.
Lindy Wittenberg: Sleep. Haha! That’s so funny. I’m self-professed terrible sleeper, and it’s not good. I think the fact that I constantly talk about how horrible I am at sleeping creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where I listen to myself talk about how I don’t sleep enough, and then end up not sleeping enough. I’m always most creative around 9:30 or 11:00pm, which is when I should be sleeping. I feel like I should prioritize sleep as super important, but I don’t. Maybe I’ll change that next semester?
Mia Fox: I typically get around seven hours of sleep a night, and I know I need more. When I wake up, I’m usually groggy and slow. However, frequent micro naps throughout the day sustain my energy levels enough to keep me up until at least 11:00pm. Late nights lead to much less REM sleep and the cycle continues itself. I think this is why I get sick pretty frequently. Lack of sleep doesn’t help my immune system at all. This summer will be a good time for me to focus on getting back into a healthy sleep schedule.
Melissa Layton: I love sleep. I used to be able to get by with around six hours of sleep, but for some reason that changed when I came to college. Now, I need at least seven hours to stay awake during classes in the morning and eight or nine to survive the day without taking a quick nap. Unfortunately, college life doesn’t always allow this to happen, so I often end up accruing a sleep debt during the week and sleeping more on the weekends. It’s not healthy or ideal, but it’s usually necessary to keep a balance between my academic and social life.
Jenna Bouquot: During my senior year of highschool, I made a conscious effort to begin getting more sleep throughout the week. Aside from my AP classes, my workload was relatively light, so I was able to give my body some love, and I got at least eight hours of sleep every night. It was amazing. In college I’ve tried to keep up with that sleep pattern, but it’s been virtually impossible for me. I find that I work better in the later hours of the night, so it’s rare that I’ll be in bed before midnight on a given night unless I’m sick. Fortunately, I make up for that with a wonderful afternoon nap every other day.
Faith Masterson: I always make a joke that I’m a koala—I could sleep 18 hours of the day. Though college (or life) doesn’t really allow for that, I’ve learned how to nap properly since I’m usually only running on five to seven hours of sleep a night. Even then, sleep isn’t that great. My mom used to joke that I was an active baby because I would only ever sleep for an hour or two at a time. I wake up usually three to five times a night. I guess this will all be handy when I’m working at a law firm next year! Coffee to the rescue.
Ari Tooch: I usually get around six hours of sleep per night. I have to take insomnia medication and melatonin gummies because otherwise I can stay awake all night and just never sleep. A lack of sleep has definitely stressed me out, and caused me to develop generalized anxiety. I definitely need a certain amount of sleep for my mental well-being, so college has been interesting. First semester I was too anxious to take naps, so I was stressed out constantly from a lack of sleep. This semester has definitely been better, though I still don’t sleep as much as I should.
Becca Pachl: I typically go to bed around 3am and wake up at 9-10am, so I usually get six hours of sleep, if not less. I am perpetually tired, but I have come to terms with my saddening sleep situation and plan to sleep for approximately a week straight when finals end. I usually dream when I sleep—which means my sleep is unrestful—or I whimper, according to my friends. I never feel rested after sleeping because it is never long enough. I sleep best when everything in my life is in order (i.e. room clean, responsibilities taken care of, properly groomed) but this is college so these things are impossible and I therefore always sleep with a bit of anxiety hanging over me. Feeling safe, or rather the lack of this feeling, also adds to the anxiety which makes for an unrestful night, but this is just as life goes.
Lily Alig: I have been thinking a lot recently about where you sleep and how the effects the quality of your rest. If you’re not a place in which you feel safe, you will not sleep as well. I have been spending a lot of nights in a place that isn’t mine and it has changed the way I view sleep and location. Because I do feel safe there, but not enough. It’s the intrinsic feeling of it’s not my bed and it’s not my room that takes away a certain amount of the quality of rest. In all honesty, I can sleep anywhere, I’m easy like that. But the way I sleep and the way I feel rested depends heavily on where I am.
Paige Ballard: I’ve never considered myself great at sleeping. One of my earliest memories is from when I was five or so and counted flower petals on my wallpaper at night (each sunflower had 26 petals, in case you were wondering). My whole life, I’ve come up with silly or crazy stories. I’ve counted higher than I care to think about. I’ve read boring books in the hopes that they would knock me out—which actually tends to work, by the way. And in the midst of all these nights spent tossing and turning, I nap. I’ve never noticed any relationship between an afternoon nap and my ability to fall asleep, so if given the opportunity I’ll sleep in middle of the day. I once counted, and I’ve napped in about a dozen different buildings on campus—about a 50/50 split between residence halls and academic buildings. Naps are a way for me to recharge in the middle of the afternoon, to take a break from whatever work or chaos the day has in store. My nap is, honestly, one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s a time that I can take just for me, and that’s a pretty wonderful thing.
How do you sleep, Kenyon?