10 Tips for Better Sleep at College

By Lorraine McKinney

We all need to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and this is something that can often be difficult to do. It can be especially difficult for college students, because they have so much going on and so much additional stress in their lives. Many students use a variety of techniques to get more sleep, including using earplugs for sleeping when there is a lot of noise. If you are a student who is having a hard time sleeping, check out these sleep tips.

  1. Take Short Naps – Napping is a good thing, but your naps shouldn’t be too long. Make sure that any afternoon naps you take are no longer than an hour, and not any later than three o’clock in the afternoon.
  2. Set the Mood – You need to set up an environment that is sleep-friendly. Some things you can do include covering the windows with dark coverings, hanging black sheets around the bed, and wearing eye masks.
  3. Don’t Try to Make Up for Missed Sleep – If you have missed sleep, you aren’t going to get it back, period, no matter how many naps you take. Don’t try to cram in some sleep before a study session. It isn’t going to help any, and it may even end up making you feel more tired.
  4. Only Go to Bed when You are Tired – Going to bed when you are not tired just means that you will be laying there, staring at the ceiling. If you are not asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something that will help to make you sleepy.
  5. Ditch the Alarm Clock – Look for other alarm options besides a noisy alarm clock that will help you to wake up more naturally. You will feel better rested, and you won’t find yourself hitting the snooze button every few minutes.
  6. Use Relaxing Scents – Our sense of smell is really amazing, and there are so many ways that scents can be used to help us feel better, and to relax. Certain scents are more relaxing than others. Try adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to your bathwater. This is going to help you to relax, especially if you take a bath about an hour before bedtime.
  7. Use Sleep Gear – Ear plugs and other sleep gear are often used by college students who need to get more sleep. Other things to consider using are eye masks, because they block out a lot of light and give you the darkness that you need for a really good night’s sleep.
  8. Start Using a Fan – A lot of people find that white noise helps them to sleep better. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on a white noise machine though. All you need to do is turn on a fan. Not only do you get the white noise you need to sleep, it is going to block out a lot of other noises.
  9. See a Sleep Specialist – Insomnia is actually a symptom of something else, and not an actual disorder. If you have trouble sleeping, and this happens often, you may want to consider seeing a sleep specialist to find out what is actually causing the problem. Some things that can cause insomnia include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, etc.
  10. Use Your Bed for Sleeping – Don’t use your bed as a study area. Use the study lounge, the library, your desk, etc. instead. When you study in bed, it can be a lot harder to shut down your mind when it comes time to go to sleep.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist. 


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