5 Tips for Getting More Sleep in College

College can be one of the worst environments for getting adequate sleep, but that doesn’t mean a restful night is out of the question. Even though the university lifestyle is conducive to late nights - studying, partying, and/or participating in club events and activities into early morning – it is possible to get your beauty sleep while living on campus. Here are some practices that were recommended to me by a doctor specializing in sleep medicine that I have found helpful. Hopefully they can help you get your snooze on too!

 

1. Change your caffeine intake.

Sure, a cup of coffee for a morning eye-opener is great, but coffee for a study session at 11PM? That’s a good way to make sure you won’t be getting as good sleep that night as you could. Having two cups of coffee a day before noon? Not so bad. Drinking seven cups of coffee from 8AM-9PM every day? Not so great. You’re preventing yourself from obtaining the z’s your body and brain need.

 

2. Establish a sleep schedule and stick to it.

It can be so tempting to sleep in when some days you don’t have class until 11AM, but that makes getting up for your 8AM classes that much more difficult. Waking up and going to bed within the same 2- to 3-hour timeframe every day – yes, that includes weekends – is a great way to improve your sleep.

 

3. Don’t take long naps.

I like naps as much as the next exhausted college student, but long naps definitely throw a wrench into an established sleep schedule. If you need a 30-minute to 1-hour power nap a few days a week to refresh, go for it! However, when you start to take naps that last 2+ hours, you are kind of asking to get less sleep at night.

 

4. Stop using your phone in bed before trying to sleep.

This is the suggestion most difficult for me to follow. It is just too tempting to lie down in bed and scroll through Instagram and Twitter while waiting to drift off to sleep. However, the light from smartphones and other electronics like laptops and tablets have been shown to keep your brain more alert than it should be when attempting to get some shuteye. So, set your alarm, set your phone aside, and close those eyes. Social media will still be there in the morning.

 

5. Prioritize your health.

Getting enough sleep isn’t just good for your physical health, it is also vital for your mental health. Not to mention the fact that learning new things is so much easier when you are well-rested. Not only will your body thank you for getting more sleep, but so will your GPA.

HCXO and happy dreaming,

Rachel