Sleeping is one of the most important things you do in college! While sleeping is easy to do, it’s also incredibly easy to not sleep enough. Sleeping has many benefits including increasing focus, productivity, and happiness. Not sleeping enough, on the other hand, can cause you to lose focus during class, have a “fogged” memory, and cause a lack of energy. Plus, if you want to look your best, you need to sleep! The problem in college is that there are so many other responsibilities competing for your attention that it can feel like sleeping is the last thing on your mind. This article will show you how to prioritize sleep and still get everything else done!
1) Use an app to track your sleeping habits
How much sleep do you actually get per night? How about per week? The first step to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is to figure out where you are at now. Whether you track your sleep by writing down the time you go to bed and wake up every day on a piece of paper, or use an app to track the amount of sleep you get per night, knowing this information will help you figure out what changes, if any, you need to make to your sleeping habits. The Bedtime feature in the default Clock app on iOS is a great way to monitor your sleep, and there are likely similar apps available for Android. You can also manually record how much sleep you get per night and put that data into Excel to see trends in your sleeping habits. The amount of ways to track your sleep is vast, so get tracking!
2) Stop using electronics at least 1 hour before bed
But how am I going to see what my friends posted on Insta, watch all my Snap stories, or read through the hundreds of tweets on my timeline? Relax, it doesn’t say “stop using electronics”, it says “stop using electronics at least 1 hour before bed”. This can be done. You just need to plan some time during the day to check all of your social media accounts. Most people already check their social media throughout the day, so you’re likely already on top of all the latest developments in the Twitter-sphere by the end of the day. Put your phone down instead of spending all night on social media. It helps if you buy an alarm clock to use instead of using your phone, that way you can put your phone far away from you every night so you’re not tempted to use it.
If you have have homework to do on your computer, buying some glasses or a screen shield that blocks blue light may help, but planning your work out so you can get it done without staying up late is the best option.
3) Be consistent
If you’re in college you have a set schedule for classes every week, so you know what time you have to wake up each day of the week. Its best to try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, but if your Tuesday/Thursday classes start a little later than your M/W/F classes, sleeping in a little longer won’t hurt.
Everyone is usually able to get up on time most days. Getting to bed at a decent hour, however, is the difference between feeling great when you get up or feeling like a zombie. To help insure you get to bed on time, make sure you’re organized and you know what work/homework you need to get done so you can get it done and have some piece of mind while you sleep. Using a planner to track due dates will also help you plan your work out so you don’t get bit by the procrastination bug and have 6+ hours of work to do in one night. As I said before, this is the hard part for most people, if it was easy, you wouldn’t be here reading this. Make a commitment to stay on top of your work so your work doesn’t keep you up late every night.
Sleeping is very important and it should be a priority in your life. Thinking that you don’t have time to sleep and that other things are more important is a trap that can lead to you having less energy and actually accomplishing less. Sleeping is just one of those things you just have to do and the sooner you start getting enough sleep the better you will feel!
What habits do you have to help you get to bed on time? Post in the comments below so others can learn additional ways to get enough sleep!
Want to learn more about sleep? The National Sleep Foundation is a great resource. Click here to see their sleep recomendations.