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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

When I first moved into my college dorm room, one of the biggest mistakes I made was using my desk as a vanity. I did my make-up and my hair at my desk, and didn’t leave any room for myself to do schoolwork. So, I started doing it in my bed. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to because it could make me tired while doing my work, but I didn’t know all of the other reasons studying in bed is a bad idea.

I didn’t realize the damage it was causing me until I had constant back pain and couldn’t sleep in my bed anymore.

Your brain tends to associate certain places with the actions you perform in those places, so, your body naturally associates your bed with sleep. The tricky part is that your brain cannot differentiate between when you want to sleep or work. When you start doing your schoolwork in bed, your brain starts to associate your bed with work. When I started studying in bed I would find myself too comfortable to really focus on my work and falling asleep in the middle of reading. But after studying in bed habitually, when I would try to sleep, my brain would be in work mode because my body adapted to working in bed and I would toss and turn for hours before falling asleep. I couldn’t comfortably sleep or work in bed anymore. 

Despite how comfortable it seems, studying in bed can also lead to back pain and other health issues. The pressure on your neck and spine from leaning over a laptop in bed can cause long term back pain. When I was actively studying in my bed, my neck and shoulders always hurt, and I noticed a lot of relief when I finally started using my laptop exclusively at my desk. Using your laptop in bed also doesn’t give your wrists any support, and not having wrist support can lead to arthritis and other joint related health issues. Sitting at a desk, or even on the floor with your laptop at chest level, allows your spine to stay aligned with your neck and gives you the option to add support for your wrists. 

Studying in bed can seem convenient, and relatively harmless. But, habitually ditching your desk for your bed can lead to long term struggles with your sleep schedule as well as posture related health issues.

Hannah Kelley

South Carolina '24

Hannah Kelley is a social media director at the Her Campus South Carolina chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Hannah is the social media intern for the University of South Carolina Libraries. She has also been a social media ambassador for multiple brands and is currently an ambassador for the Peace Corps. She is currently a senior at the University of South Carolina studying Mass Communications with a minor in Political Science.