Sleep Schedules in College

So you’ve probably heard about the ridiculous work loads or the noisy roommates that might prevent you from getting a full night’s sleep in college. I just wanted to confirm that this, in fact, is one hundred percent true if you have poor time management skills like I did. It was extremely difficult for me to maintain a sleeping schedule during my first quarter of college, especially because my first classes of each day of the week were never scheduled at the same time. [I’m not sure of that is a problem for other schools, but it’s a common one at mine.]

I used to be awake late at night trying to finish my last few assignments and then doing the math of how late I could stay up in order to get 8 hours of sleep. That meant that I was going to sleep at different times every day. That’s bad. Don’t do that, that is extremely unhealthy and not efficient at all. If anything, it made me feel really groggy and I would wake up feeling extremely irritable. Over time, I realized that I was feeling that way because I never felt fully rested.

And I know that this problem might sound ridiculous to some of you. However, college is a completely different environment if you live on campus and in a residents hall. I was very lucky to be blessed with amazing people, but at the same time, because we all get along so well, no one ever wanted to do work. We just wanted to hang out, have deep conversations and explore this new city, meaning that we procrastinated on our assignments. Thus, leading to our late night cramming sessions. I mean, we got our work done eventually and we all survived the quarter. So, I guess we did alright, but we could’ve done better.

That is why this quarter, as a part of my Winter Quarter 2017 Resolutions, I have made it a serious point to fix that sleeping schedule. I have looked into what is appropriate and I found this link very helpful. Here is what I plan to do:

  1. Give yourself a bed time and commit to it every day of the week. This allows your body to train itself and adjust to this new time.
  2. Set an alarm clock to the same time every day regardless of the time that your first class starts. For example, if your earliest class during the week is 9 a.m. you should wake up at 7 or 8 a.m. every day, even if you start classes at 11 a.m. the next day. At least this way your body has a schedule.
  3. If you slept poorly or feel like you didn’t get enough sleep refrain from drinking coffee. If you’re broke like I am, coffee is an extra expense that should be treated like a luxury. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to have a gap in between classes take advantage of it to take a short nap.
  4. Don’t take naps longer than an hour. Studies have shown that an efficient nap lasts between 20-30 minutes. I didn’t know that. I always took naps and woke up like 2-5 hours later. I’d do homework until I got tired and then go back to sleep for another 3-5 hours. Apparently that’s sleep y’all, so yeah that’s bad too.

So far, I’ve been back in my dorm for nearly a week. Keeping this schedule has honestly already made me feel happier when I wake up in the morning. I don’t feel like I’m lacking sleep, I feel rested. I even have enough time to eat breakfast now! I’m not sitting in class thinking about food, I can actually focus!

I hope y’all found this helpful!

-Alexis

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