Senior Staff Writer
As a college student, it’s hard to get the full 8 hours of sleep you should each night. Sometimes there’s a test you need to study for, an assignment you forgot to do, or your mind won’t quiet the outside noise so you can rest. Did you take on too many classes with too much work? Maybe you procrastinated while scrolling through TikTok? Or you just didn’t plan your days out effectively? It can be difficult to get to bed at a decent time. Anything can get in the way of college students and their beauty sleep, who have so much going on everyday: jobs, sports, extracurricular activities, family, and friends. It can make it hard to get everything done. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
There are many reasons why it’s harder for students to sleep during the week. Many factors can play into this such as stress, staying up late, drinking too much caffeine, or even eating heavy meals before bed. Too much screen time before bed and not keeping your sleep schedule on track can lead to restless nights. I personally struggle with getting enough sleep at night because the week ahead is always on my mind: making sure I didn’t miss any assignments due that night before I go to bed, stops me from getting good rest.
Take a second to think about your own sleeping habits. Do you find yourself not getting adequate sleep? Why or why not? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, “ College students who pull “all-nighters” are more likely to have a lower GPA.” I find myself staying up to complete assignments frequently. For some reason, I feel motivated to do work in the latter part of the evening which isn’t a good habit to have. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine also states, “There are data that sleep loss leads to learning and memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and vigilance.” As a college student, you need to be able to be attentive in the classroom, and something as simple as getting enough sleep at night can be crucial to your success.
There are things you can do to improve your sleep quantity and quality. Some tips that I would offer would be, getting homework done as early as possible, eating dinner a few hours before bed, putting your phone away while you wind down, and trying to relieve stress frequently. Listening to calming music/sounds, drinking tea, and taking a hot shower can improve sleep at night. Even though it can be hard to take that time for yourself at the end of the night, it’s important to allow your body and mind time to rest. You do your best work when your mind is clear and well-rested. Don’t allow outside clutter to deprive you of sleep.
Some tips that The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends are, “limiting naps, dimming the lights, and only using your bed for sleep.” They also recommend waking up early on the weekends to keep your sleep schedule on track, so that it’s not as hard to wake up for class on Monday. All of these things can get you better sleep.
Going to bed at a decent time is so important for college students. Better sleep improves your brain functions so that you can get good grades and do your best work. I think sometimes we forget to slow down and take care of ourselves. You just don’t realize how critical simple, mundane things such as sleep can be in your daily life. So next time you find yourself staying up past midnight, doing homework that can wait, studying for a test, or scrolling mindlessly through your phone, stop, take a breath and go to sleep.