There are many reasons why college influences your sleep habits. It's a drastic change in your routine. You're in a new place, doing new things with new people. For many students, college is the first opportunity to pinpoint their routine. If mom or dad is not around to tell you when to go to sleep, it's tempting to stay awake all night.
Sharing your place with a roommate can seriously disturb your sleep patterns as well. Even if you believe in the energy of getting eight hours of sleep a night, your roommate may not. And if you're a sensitive sleeper, how do you manage to keep a good eye when someone else in the same room is awake and watching TV or studying?
We show you how.
Developing a Routine
The first way to improve your sleep in college is to develop a routine. For many students, college is when routines go out the window. Most students set their timetables and are free to decide how they spend their downtime. It can be easy to fall into the trap, whatever you want, whenever you want.
Living an unstructured life may be fun, but it often negatively impacts your productivity and important habits, such as sleep. If you do not keep to a loose schedule, you may stay up all night and have to get up a few hours later to reach a class.
Once you've set your classes, you'll develop a routine of what your week should look like. Be sure to schedule time for work, friends and, yes, sleep. If you have a set time to go to bed every day and get up, it will be more important to you to get a fair amount of sleep.
Exercise the sleeping etiquette with your roommate
Aside from your own ability to develop a routine, your roommate is the biggest obstacle to developing healthy college sleep habits. She probably has a very different schedule and routine than you. How should you sleep with another person in your room, causing lots of distractions?
The best way to navigate through sleep with a roommate is to set expectations. Set a lock-up period for visiting friends so you do not have to drive them away – or worse – try to sleep while they're still around. For example, suppose one of you switches to headphones while trying to sleep and turns off all bright lights.
The arrangement of your dormitory determines the rules you have defined. The important thing is that you conduct these conversations so that you can respect each other's needs.
Investing in Sleep Aid
Even if your roommate is extremely respectful, light sleepers may find it hard to fall asleep, if there is any light splinter or the subtlest sounds in their room. Sleeping aids can help here.
Earplugs or an eye mask can eliminate the effects of noise and light and make it easier to fall asleep.
If you are trying sleeping pills and still have problems, you may want to talk to a doctor about medications or supplements that might help you.
Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene
The last way to get better sleep as a student is to use the same sleep hygiene practices that help everyone. Turn off all screens 30 minutes before bedtime or do a little meditation to calm your mind. Write a journal about your day or read a book.
Exercising abundantly during the day not only helps you fight the freshman 15, it also makes you more tired.
Make Sleep a Priority
There are so many exciting things to do and see when you attend college. It can be difficult to remember how important sleep is. However, it is important that you are healthy, happy and able to make the most of your new experiences.
All of these suggestions can help you during your studies and beyond. So follow them whenever you want to make your nights more relaxing, and make sure you wake up recharged.