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Quick steps to talk to fix your sleep routine

By Jessica Shelton

Amongst all the college student stereotypes, there is the infamous characteristic of being sleep deprived. There's almost a badge of honor associated with not sleeping. You got your six papers and chemistry test done only running on two hours of sleep? Impressive. However, this pattern is proven to be unhealthy in the long run for your cognition. Whether you’re busy with clubs, classes, or social lives, worrying about that sweet eight hours isn’t always in the forefront of your mind. So, what can you do?

1. Figure out why you can’t sleep.

What’s causing this three-hour sleep schedule you’ve garnered? Too much homework? Insomnia? Relationship drama? Family problems? Night class? Too much noise in the dorm?

(All being valid reasons, and should be addressed to assess your next steps)

2. Start with a sleep routine/ Make your room sleep friendly

This means give yourself wind down time. Take a hot bath, read a book, journal about your worries, and sip some decaf tea. Let bedtime be a time to get comfortable and relaxed. Get black out curtains, listen to white noise, take a melatonin if you need it. Remember, a good night’s sleep will help you complete all the work you have to complete during the week ahead.

3. Set boundaries for yourself and your work

Don’t answer that email, write that essay, or study for that test after a time that seems right for you (it varies from person to person).

Another boundary is to do your work strictly at your desk, couch, kitchen, bathroom, or literally anywhere but your bed. Get off your phone unless you're setting an alarm. Get your friends to join in so you can all feel well rested for the week ahead too.

4. Give yourself time to get adjusted to this new routine

It takes at least two weeks to form a legitimate habit. And, if you’re used to staring at the clock at 2:22 every night without fail, this new adjustment can take time to get used to. Don’t beat yourself up, you’re only human, and you’re on your way to being a well-rested one!

5. Still can’t sleep? Seek a professional opinion.

Sleep is so important in the way we feel, act, and exist in our life. If you try to adjust your sleep schedule and find it to be more than just a bad habit, then maybe it's time to seek a professional opinion. Remember step one? If the reason continues into a more repetitive, and potentially unsafe space, take the liberty to ask for help. There is no shame in bettering yourself if something is bothering you, and getting to the bottom of the problem can help you immensely in the long run.

At the end of the day, we’re only trying our best. Benefits of sleep show higher levels of concentration and focus, mobility, and overall life satisfaction. Also, fun fact, our wonderful Boston University mascot, the Boston terrier, with its high energy and playfulness also LOVES to sleep. It’s only customary that we follow in the footsteps of Rhett and rest.


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