How To Avoid Sleep Deprivation in College

Getting adequate sleep in college seems like a daunting task, with schoolwork, extracurriculars, and even mindless Facebooking preventing us from getting those 8 hours. One study even claims that adolescents in their teens to early twenties need 9.2 hours a night – a figure that I doubt even the most conscientious time managers get. Most of us are aware of the health implications, such as fatigue and impaired concentration. However, lack of sleep has even been proven to hurt your GPA, reduce athletic performance, and promote weight gain by altering hormone levels! If students aren’t getting sleep, it’s usually due to bad time management, so here are some tips on getting work done and getting to bed!
 

  1. Use library computers! Random tip, but it actually improves with time management. You’re much less likely to Facebook stalk and watch the Bachelor if you know someone might be waiting for that computer – or judging you hardcore. The faster you get your work done, the less time at the library, and the more time for sleep!
  2. Reward yourself every hour. Tell yourself you will work straight for an hour with no distractions, and then reward yourself every hour with a talking break as motivation.
  3. Sleep in when you can. Fairly obvious, but if you have time to sleep, do! However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that getting lots of sleep one night makes up for a week of all-nighters.
  4. Don’t drink caffeine at night. As tempting as it might be, avoid this! It will make it harder to fall asleep when you really need to.
  5. Don’t check your email or Facebook right before bed. This is one I’m most guilty of. You get into bed, relieved and happy to go to bed but then think, “Let me check my Facebook really quickly!” Bad idea – studies show that looking at screens right before bed stimulates the brain and fools us into not feeling sleepy.
  6. Exercise. Making time for exercise can be hard, but it helps wear out your body and make you more ready for bed at night.
  7. Set bed times! Bed times may remind you of elementary school, but hyper young children aren’t the only ones who need them. If you set a time to go to bed by, make sure you stick to it by leaving the library at an appropriate time.

 
If you are reading this article at 1 AM – Go to bed!
 
 
Sources:
http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct01/sleepteen.aspx
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/06/18/the-surprising-toll-of-sleep-deprivation.html
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-09-16-sleep-deprivation_N.htm
 
Images:
Image in article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/23/sleep.deprivation.health/index.html
Main image : http://www.definitionofwellness.com/images/sleep-wellness.jpg