I’m a little freaked out that come September I won’t be packing my life away and shipping myself back to college. I just graduated this past May, and the more I think about not going back to school the more I want to crawl into the fetal position and cry. But, there’s no time for crying in the fetal position in the real world, so to be more proactive with my yearning to go back to college, I’ll give you college-bound kiddies some sleeping advice that I wish someone told me.
Make a schedule: It wasn’t until my senior year that I learned to print out my schedule and hang it up on a wall so that I could actually SEE what I needed to do and where I needed to go. Having that visual also showed me the windows of free time I had between my classes and internships. If you lag during the day, put in your schedule time for a 20-30 minute nap each day, but no longer than that otherwise you will wake up groggy, defeating the purpose of napping. Also, schedule in when you will do your work. Having your schedule visible will put your mind at ease (making it easier to fall asleep).
- Did you know, according to one study, that students who got 7-9 hours of sleep per night AND napped for 20-30 minutes a day were able to concentrate more easily thus directly relating to an increase in academic performance?
Ooh, look at the organization!
Get 8 hours of sleep: I NEVER pulled an all-nighter in college. I came very close a few times, but never stayed awake for a full 24 hours. My mentality was that nothing was more important than sleep (that must be one of the reasons I got this job). If I didn’t have my work done by a certain hour, I would call it a night and wake up earlier to finish it. Sleep is ALWAYS worth it.
Get sleep, but get it in your bed.
Find a workout buddy: It’s not just the “freshman 15,” it’s the sophomore struggle, the junior jiggle and of course, senioritis (it doesn’t just apply to homework). Having someone go to the gym with you will motivate you to go and even compete with them while working out. You need energy to get you through the workout and you get energy from a good night’s sleep. Exercise and sleeping are the one-two punch when it comes to knocking off those extra pounds from the dining hall.
Invest in an eye mask: Why do you care what you look like when you’re sleeping? It’s not like your roommate will wake up from their slumber to make fun of you. Having that eye mask will be your savior on the nights that your roommate might be pulling an all-nighter. It’s SO much easier to fall asleep when your room is as dark as possible, so if you’ve got a night owl of a roommate, the light being on won’t be a problem for you when you have an eye mask.
- Lights are detrimental when it comes to falling asleep, another suggestion I have is to make sure that your laptop/computer screen is completely off (or shut closed) before you go to bed. The light from the screensaver will make it harder for you (and your roommate) to get to sleep quickly.
Is it me, or do eye masks make people look like super heroes?
Are you ready for my most important sleeping tip for college? You’re going to hate it at first, but trust me, it will change your life (at least while sleeping).
TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE: Yeah I said it. How can you live without your cell phone being turned on? You’ll actually sleep more soundly without it. If you use your cell as an alarm, most phones will turn back on when your alarm is set to go off the following morning. Perhaps you’re are a little neurotic and worried about something going wrong in the middle of the night, then just turn your phone to be “Phone Only” so that only phone calls will go off. It’s such a simple thing to do, you MUST try it. Like most of these tips, I didn’t get to try this until my spring semester of my senior year, but after trying it, I wish I had done it sooner. It made me realize that the only texts I was getting in the middle of the night were from, let’s just say, friends enjoying a night out (if you know what I mean) so they were never worth waking me up in the middle of the night to read. Plus, those text become a lot funnier when you first read them in the morning (it will give you plenty to talk about at your 8AM lecture).
Seriously, thank me later on this one.
Those are just a few of my sleeping tips to try while your living (and loving) the college life. Make sure to check back here throughout the semester as I give you more of my college sleeping tips and information.
Contributor: Emily Barrett