Perhaps you’re a brand-new freshman or just about to start college, looking forward to your own legendary tertiary years of endless parties and evenings spent studying with classmates for upcoming tests. Or maybe you’ve already been studying for years and wish you could escape the vicious cycle of staying up late to complete urgent assignments, feeling tired in lectures the next day, and spending further frantic all-nighters trying to catch up later in the week.
Although studying is a very important investment of your time, you can certainly gain skills and knowledge in your chosen field without sacrificing precious sleep! Try the following tips to get enough quality sleep while you’re in college:
Plan your schedule wisely
Getting assignments done well in advance is a good idea for many reasons, but above all, you won’t have to pull all-nighters to finish your work. Use a wall calendar as a visual aid; being able to see important dates all at once will help to give you an idea of how to plan your time. Start your assignments early, as even just writing a few sentences can help you to find motivation.
Additionally, although a big part of college is socializing and you should definitely set aside some time to spend with your friends, don’t be afraid to say no to party invitations or late-night gatherings. You don’t have to attend everything you’re invited to, and you’ll feel a lot better if you let yourself sleep when you’re tired rather than committing to yet another event.
Wake yourself up gently
By all means, focus on bedtime routines, such as refraining from using technology an hour before you sleep, but think about how you’re waking up, too. A blaring alarm in the morning won’t set a great tone for the day, and certainly won’t let you wake up refreshed and ready. If you use your smartphone as an alarm, try using a setting or app that awakens you slowly and gently by gradually increasing its volume level so you won’t wake up feeling startled.
Avoid light and noise at night
Light and noise come naturally with living in an urban area or a dorm, especially if you sleep near a window. Try installing blackout blinds to shield you from being kept awake by bright lights from the streets or other students’ rooms. Sleeping in the darkness will help you fall asleep faster and also ensure that you get high-quality sleep. To avoid noise, try a pair of quality earplugs – if they don’t cut it, you might like to try listening to calming ambient noise as you drift off.
Don’t drink too much caffeine
There’s nothing wrong with a cup or two of coffee in the morning, but if you’re drinking it well into the evening, the caffeine will likely disrupt your sleep – and you’ll then be tempted to drink even more coffee the next morning. Limit your caffeine intake, and avoid energy drinks with high caffeine content as much as you can.
Wake up at the same time every day
If some of your classes don’t start until the afternoon, you might feel tempted to sleep in on those days. Instead, try to wake up around the same time each day, so your body can get used to your routine and fall and stay asleep easier. Instead of sleeping in, why not use your free mornings to do something fun, like working on a hobby, reading books for fun, catching up with a friend for meals or taking a yoga class?
Getting quality sleep will help you to have the best possible college experience. When you allow your body to have enough time to repair itself, you’ll have much more energy to spend on things you enjoy. When you get enough sleep, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to face the day when you wake up – and you’ll find it much easier to remember the things that you learn.
|Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer who hails from South Island city of Dunedin, New Zealand. She has plenty of fond university memories of her university days, from meeting some of her best friends to realizing writing was her life passion. Discover more of Cloe’s published work here.|