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Sleep Tips for College Students

Published on September 12, 2016 by Staff Writer

Just like New York is known as “The City That Never Sleeps,” college is known as the “Who Needs Sleep?” period of your life. Between the countless social events and endless assignments, sleep always takes a backseat to more interesting, or more pressing, priorities. Unfortunately, even college students need sleep. When you fail to get the proper amount of rest, your brain does not operate as effectively, your immune system suffers, and you put yourself at risk of illness or burn out. Sometimes, sleep can seem impossible when there are so many distractions, but here are several tips to help you catch some shut eye:

Set your own curfew.

When you were younger, your mom or dad had a certain time that you had to turn your bedroom lights out. Books were put away, electronics were turned off, and tired or not, you had to lay quietly in the dark. What we seem to forget as we get older is that this strategy always worked to help us go to sleep. We never laid awake an entire night unable to go to sleep.

Pick a reasonable time for your lights out curfew; it doesn’t have to be 10PM, but it shouldn’t be 2:00AM, either. Set an alarm on your phone 20 minutes prior to your curfew so you have time to brush your teeth and complete any other essential parts of your nighttime routine before getting in the bed and turning the lights out on schedule. Keep your phone across the room. Don’t turn on the TV. When it is just you and the dark, it should be fairly easy to fall asleep.

Kick out the bed hogs.

Whether it is your dog, your roommate, your laptop, your girlfriend, or even your pile of clean laundry that you haven’t gotten around to folding yet, remove anything from the surface of your bed that restricts how you position your body. The best way to fall asleep quickly is to have a large and comfortable surface where your body can find the perfect position to settle. By clearing the bed, you won’t be distracted by lumps, bumps, and movement from others.

Use aromatherapy.

Lavender is almost always associated with sleep, but if you hate the smell, don’t think you can’t try a different scent. Almost as powerful as the properties of the scent itself is your brain’s association with the smell. When you smell chocolate chip cookies, you get hungry. The goal is that when you smell your given scent, you will get sleepy. In other words, the scent will signal to your body that it is time for sleep. Choose a scent that you don’t smell often in everyday life. You don’t want to train your brain to go to sleep every time it smells donuts.

Buy new sheets.

Invest some money in a new set of sheets, new pillows, and a new comforter. Sometimes, just getting excited about your sleeping space can encourage you to spend more time there. There is nothing quite like a freshly made bed.

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