Pulling an all-nighter before a killer exam, staying at a bar until closing, starting late-night Netflix marathons with your roommate... it's no wonder that college students are generally associated with exhaustion.
While we all know how important sleep is in regards to health and stress levels, it can be incredibly difficult to manage a regular sleep schedule in college. What's a sleep-deprived college student to do?
Check out Snoozeenie's tips on how to get better sleep in college:
1. Avoid excessive alcohol before bedtime. We know, we know... But it's college!! Nevertheless, too much alcohol wreaks havoc on your circadian rhythms and impacts sleep's effectiveness. You don't have to cut out alcohol all together, but try to stop drinking a few hours before you go to sleep and minimize your consumption to a couple of times a week. Moderation is key, friends! For more information on the connection between sleep and alcohol, check out our post "Boozing and Snoozing."
2. Don't study until you pass out. In order to have fully beneficial, restorative sleep, it's important to give your brain some time to wind down. Try putting the books and (especially!) the computer away 30-60 minutes before you plan on falling asleep. During this time, try to quiet your mind for peaceful sleep. Also, don't study in your bed: keep your bed as a space for sleep only.
3. Consider your sleep habits and productivity when choosing classes. When it comes time to decide your schedule for next semester, carefully consider your own sleep preferences and your most productive time of day. If you are a night owl who doesn't speak until noon, opt for later classes to ensure a full night's sleep. If you are an early riser who is most productive in the morning, 9:30 classes could be a better option. (Note: Unfortunately, you will sometimes have no choice but to take a class outside of your "comfort time zone." Follow these other bits of advice to keep your sleep on track!)
4. Create a sleep sanctuary for optimal rest! Make your bed, even if it is a tiny dorm twin bed, a sacred space conducive for sleeping. Invest in some comfortable bedding, bring your teddy bear from home, buy a mattress pad for the dorm-issued mattresses, and get a Snoozeenie to block light and stifle sound! An added bonus: Snoozeenie is particularly great for hangover mornings when the sun is too bright and everything is too loud.
5. Limit your number of midnight pizza binges. Eating well will do more than help you fight the dreaded Freshman 15--it can have a direct impact on how well you'll sleep. Avoid eating too much late at night; your metabolism goes into overdrive to digest large meals, making it difficult to fall asleep. Also, stop eating around three hours before bedtime for optimal results. For more recommendations on snooze-worthy meals and snacks, check out "The Eat Well, Sleep Well Diet."
6. Discuss sleeping habits with your roommate. Ideally, you should have a discussion about sleeping routines before move-in to create a respectful atmosphere from the beginning. However, if your roomie is still affecting your sleeping habits by being loud or allowing her alarm clock to go off four times every morning, it might be time for a more frank discussion. For more advice on roommate issues, check out: "How to Survive College Roommates." Trust us, it's good.
7. Take a nap... but not for too long. Power naps can be incredibly beneficial when getting through a long day of classes or *dun dun dun* finals week. The ideal nap time is about 20 minutes to prevent grogginess during the rest of your day. However, there are exceptions in cases of extreme exhaustion, such as after an all-nighter. Listen to your body. In addition, aim for early to late afternoon naps to prevent interfering with your upcoming night's sleep.