Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule in college can be difficult for some people, between pulling all-nighters to get your studying done and those nights where you party until the early hours then accidentally sleep through your 9 AM psych class.
Plus, living with roommates in a college dorm is not always easy. Sleeping well is an important part of staying healthy and focused — here are a few guidelines for college students to consider.
Make your bedroom a peaceful place.
Maybe you have a roommate who insists on keeping the lights on at all hours, or there’s a band down the hall that holds regular midnight jam sessions. If you’ve already tried to have a couple of polite conversations about why this behavior is not ok, but nothing has changed, you can pick up a cheap eye mask and some ear plugs. Or, if you don’t mind sleeping with headphones on, you can get a white noise app. Try to keep your room as cool, dark, and quiet as possible regardless of your roommate situation.
Try to stick to a sleep schedule.
Maintaining a routine can be really hard in college, especially when your class times and any scheduled activities change day to day. Whenever possible, try to go to bed around the same time each night, and make sure you are getting enough sleep. For college students, experts suggest at least eight hours of sleep each night — and more for athletes.
Give your brain a break before bedtime.
Think about creating a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you wind down for the night. You can read, meditate, listen to music, go for a short walk, take a bath, or anything else that appeals to you. This routine will help get you in the mindset for sleep.
Nap — but not for too long.
Sometimes, you just need a quick nap to energize you for the rest of the day — and that’s okay! According to the National Sleep Foundation, a planned or emergency nap of 20-30 minutes can improve your alertness without sabotaging your regular, nightly sleep.
Don’t overdo it on the caffeine.
It’s totally normal to need a couple of coffees each day but stick to the guidelines whenever possible. A study from the University of Kentucky found that more than 78 percent of college freshmen “consumed above the recommended 200mg of caffeine per day.”
Too much caffeine can interfere with your sleep, make you anxious, and even lead to a caffeine addiction. If you find yourself dozing off while you should be studying, try drinking a glass of water or taking a short walk to wake yourself up.
[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]
Featured image: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.