The Secret to Sleeping in College - University of Valley Forge

The Secret to Sleeping in College

The Secret to Sleeping in College

Veteran college student here with some great and surprising news: I’m not tired. Not at all. In fact, good morning, merry lunchtime, good evening – I’m still not tired. I’m sure you want in on this, and lucky for you, I’m well-rested and willing to share my secret strategy for sleeping in college.


STEP ONE: Stress is Not on the Schedule
Homework and stress are probably the number one reason students have trouble sleeping. How are you supposed to get a good eight hours when you need to finish your 6-page essay by 11:55 PM? The trick is not to wait until 9 PM to start it. Do your assignments as soon as they’re assigned, and stay caught up or get ahead. Do the work in small chunks at scheduled times and take lots of breaks so you don’t get overwhelmed. But what about that test tomorrow that’s worth 15% of your grade? Pro tip: cramming hurts more than it helps. Going over your notes the same day you took them – when the context is still fresh in your mind – is the best way to learn. A test may cover a lot of material, but you’ve been learning it all semester!


STEP TWO: Leave Them Wanting More
You can’t be afraid to say no! Friends are lovely, but they’ll still be your friends in the morning. Another concern is FOMO, especially with great events on campus and the pressing need to really enjoy the college experience, but how much are you going to enjoy an event if you’re falling asleep on your feet? Things are way more fun well-rested, so if you’re tired, just wait for the next one – there will be plenty! Finally, don’t over commit. Groups and ministries are wonderful opportunities for fun, learning, and growth, but you can’t do them all. Picking a few that you really care about and that fit in your schedule is the best way to get the most out of them.


STEP THREE: Bedtime: Not Just for Eight-Year-Olds
No matter what, I am in my bed with the lights out by 11 PM every night. Because of that routine, I fall asleep almost immediately, and I wake up without an alarm at the same time every morning. Pick a time that works for you and stick to it (don’t forget to take into account whether you’re an early bird or a night owl; your brain chemistry isn’t something you can easily overcome)! If something doesn’t get done, congratulations, it’s a thing for tomorrow now. And if you follow Step One, that shouldn’t be a problem!


STEP FOUR: Naps Are Your Friend
Definitely don’t sleep in class. Take it from me, most of your professors are just waiting for the golden opportunity to involve the entire class in a wake-up prank. But when you’re not in class, a catnap before doing homework, heading to work, or going out with friends is never a bad idea. A few minutes in that warm, half-dreamlike state can leave you just refreshed enough for the next big thing! You’ll never regret grabbing a little sleep if the chance presents itself!


STEP FIVE: Make Like a Clock and Unwind
Even if you follow the first four steps perfectly, you’re probably going to have some residual tensions and worries that could keep you up. That’s why you shouldn’t try to go from 100 to 0 in two seconds – take a little time to do something relaxing before sleeping. Read a book, watch a movie, eat a snack, listen to some music, anything that makes you drowsy!


With these simple steps to sleeping success, I bid you goodnight. Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!


Written by Olivia Gordon