Confession: I am a victim of all of this infographic’s reasons for not sleeping. I’m a typical college student—I put sleep last on my list of priorities frequently, until I crash and absolutely need to go to bed. So, in addition to your standard rules for better sleep habits, I’ve learned some more tricks to squeeze in as much sleep as I can. Take a look at this infographic and check out my 5 tips below.
1. Use your bed for sleeping purposes only. If you do homework in bed, your brain gets used to being active in that location. Then when you try to fall asleep, you lay awake. Your body might feel tired, but your mind is ready to be alert.
2. Set limitations on your time awake. If you have roommates who love to talk like mine do, you sometimes have to set a designated time limit for chatting. It’s hard to stop a good conversation halfway through, but the next morning you will really regret delaying your bedtime those extra two hours. Staying up to complete a big assignment is understandable, having a debate about which boy in class is cuter—not so much.
3. Multi-task! If you have trouble setting limits on certain activities, find ways to combine them. If your school’s recreation center has equipment with built in TVs, run on the treadmill while you watch your favorite show. Necessary tasks like cooking, folding laundry, and cleaning can be done while talking to your friends or calling your mom on the phone; don’t take away separate time from homework and sleep for each.
4. Don’t nap too much, but don’t be afraid of naps either. Since one of the best ways to beat insomnia is to keep to a consistent sleep schedule, I used to avoid naps. Then I realized that I had a problem: I would be so exhausted in the afternoons and yawn all through classes but would be wide awake at night when I was ready to go to bed. I’ve since learned that if my eyes are shutting while I’m doing homework I should take the opportunity to sleep when I know I will fall asleep quickly. Then I can wake up refreshed and be productive, and still get to bed at a decent time.
5. Pick roommates with similar sleeping habits. When selecting housing most people think that being friends is the best qualification for living together. I learned the hard way that even if you and your friends are compatible on every other level, having different sleep habits can be extremely frustrating. If one person needs silence and one person always sleeps with the television on, consider if there is a way either can compromise or if it will become a source of conflict and unnecessary stress.
Amanda Gallucci is a junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, studying English and Business. She is actively involved in Dance Club, Social Justice Advocacy, Student Alumni Association and is a member of NSCS. She hopes to one day land a marketing position in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @agalluch.