College is a notoriously terrible time for sleep. Whether your sleep is ruined by staying up all night to write an essay, cram for exams, or by partying all night long. No matter how you choose to spend your time in college, most often it is a time when sleep is far from prioritized. There are so many ways to ruin your sleep during your years in college.
However, you don’t have to! Believe it or not you can get through college while making great grades, having fun, and maintaining healthy sleeping habits. Keep reading for our top sleep tips for college students.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake:
We know all you diehard coffee lovers and energy drink guzzlers are not going to like to hear this. But believe it or not, you actually can survive college without caffeine.
Now we are not saying you have to cut it out completely in order to get a great night’s sleep. We are just saying to set some limitations. Caffeine can remain active in your system for 6 hours. Which means even a cup of coffee after lunch could make it more difficult to get to sleep in the evening.
While a caffeine kick can be just what you need to finish an assignment or get up for that extra early morning class. Be sure you are not abusing the power of the caffeine. (Plus, when you drink it less, the more of a kick it provides when you really need it.)
Bring Your Pillow from Home:
In the rush of back to school shopping, often you think you should grab a few new pillows. While you should refresh your pillow every few years, we suggest bringing your current pillow from home. Breaking in a new pillow can literally be a pain in the neck.
By bringing a pillow you are already comfortable with, this is one less change to the comfort of your bed that you and your body will need to adapt to.
With so many changes, a new room, new roommates, and so on… it can be difficult to feel comfortable and get to sleep. Having your pillow that feels and smells like home can be incredibly comforting. This can be a really great way to bring a little bit of home with you to college. While this may seem like a small detail, it can make a really big difference.
Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol:
Over drinking is never a good idea in general. When it comes to getting a good night’s rest it is a terrible idea. Excessive alcohol consumption will ruin your sleep every time. First off, partying into the early hours of the morning is already ruining your sleep schedule.
Secondly, alcohol messes with your body temperature which consistently disrupts your sleep throughout the night. Third of all, dizziness and nausea make getting to sleep nearly impossible. Which means even if you turn in early after a few too many, you are not going to get a restful night of sleep.
Finally, we want to mention that you should never confuse blacking out for a good night of sleep. Just because you are unconscious, does not mean you are getting the rest and rejuvenation you need in order to function properly. Overall, excessive drinking is never a good way to have fun. It is a quick and easy way to get yourself in trouble as well as wreck your sleep.
Bring Extra Sheets:
Having fresh clean sheets always feels oh so good. But this can be difficult to accomplish when you have to share a laundry room with a bunch of other college students.
One way to ensure you always have clean bedding, is to have at least two sets of sheets. This way if you spill or need to wash your bedding and all of the washing machines are full, or you don’t have time to dry them, you have a clean set folded and ready to use.
This is also a great lack hack in general. It is a great way to feel less pressure to get your wash day. Plus, you always have fresh sheets and your bedding will last longer as well. You will never be caught staying up late waiting for your sheets to dry ever again.
Keep Your Sleep Schedule Consistent:
We understand that this isn’t always easy to accomplish. However, keeping a consistent sleep schedule will seriously help you to have more energy, stay focused, and be able to accomplish more.
If you just can’t seem to figure out why you are so constantly tired, or have energy one day and none the next. It is likely that you are not being consistent with your sleep schedule. While it is normal to have the occasional late night, nap, or early morning. Overall, you are going to want to keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible. This includes weekends!
If on Tuesdays and Thursdays you have early classes, but you don’t have class until noon on Monday, Wednesday’s, and Fridays… You should continue to wake up early on MWF. While this is no fun at first, it will eventually make it far easier to get up in the mornings.
Beware of Burnout:
There will be points throughout the semester where you need to push a little harder to get through. Perhaps staying up later than usual to finish and assignment or study. However, try to manage your time as much as possible. Burnout is very real and our minds and bodies can only hand pushing to the limit for so long before you crash.
If you know you have a tough couple weeks ahead, perhaps skip the late night out. Or you may want to manage your projects so you can stagger your time and effort in order to accomplish everything you need to. If you manage your time and energy properly, you can avoid over stretching yourself.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet:
Turns out living solely off of ramen noodles and hot Cheetos really isn’t the greatest for your health. (Who would have thought?!) In order to get great sleep your body needs a good balance of nutrition, vitamins, and minerals in order to function properly.
This includes proper sleep and wake patterns. Without certain vitamins and minerals in your diet, you may find it is more difficult to fall asleep naturally. This can even cause bouts of insomnia. If you need to, vitamin supplements can help to fill in the gaps.
Exercise During the Day:
While classes can exhaust your mind, it is important to keep your body moving and working as well. If you are having difficulty getting to sleep in the evenings, a morning workout could be the trick.
By increasing your daily physical activities, this often increases sleep drive in the evenings. It is also a great way to wake up in the mornings.
Learn more about the benefits of exercise has on sleep in our post: Exercise & Sleep
Find Healthy Ways to Manage Your Stress:
There is no question about it, college can be very stressful. Not only is it important that you find healthy ways to manage stress for your overall mental health and wellbeing. It is also vital for your sleep. Stress can easily ruin your sleep. It heightens your cortisol and adrenaline levels. This can make getting to sleep feel impossible.
Many colleges and universities have counseling programs. They are not always widely talked about with students. So if you are not sure, do some research to see if you have access to free counseling. We are about to get into must have items for college dorms and bedrooms. If stress is a common struggle for you, be sure to get a weighted blanket.
Upgrade Your Dorm Mattress
Dorm room mattresses are often uncomfortable and unsupportive. If you are going to want to sleep well in a college dorm room, you have to find a way to add if some comfort to your dorm mattress. Our first tip for this predicament is that if your college allows it, bring your own mattress.
Bring Your Own Mattress:
Often universities enforce you to use their provided mattresses. However, if you are allowed to bring your own, we highly suggest that you do so. We promise that just about any mattress you can purchase and bring on your own is going to be a massive improvement to any mattress that they provide for you. As well as being far more sanitary overall.
Get a Mattress Protector:
If you are unable to bring your own mattress, don’t worry we have plenty of tips for you. The first being to get a mattress protector. We suggest a fully encasing mattress protector that has bed bug proof zippers.
This is the best way to keep your mattress safe as well as keep you safe from your mattress. Bedbugs are the worst and you want to avoid them at all costs. While we always suggest a mattress protector, it is really vital when using a previously used mattress.
If you are sleeping on a dorm mattress, we highly recommend investing in a good mattress topper. A lot of dorm mattresses somehow lack in support and pressure relief simultaneously. Leading to a lot of discomfort. While a completely different mattress would be ideal, a mattress topper can completely change the feel of your dorm mattress.
Way you can add a layer of comfort that matches your needs. If you are a side sleeper you’re going to want a little more pressure relief, while stomach and back sleepers may want a bit more support.
Must Have College Bedroom Items:
While there are loads of different things you can bring to college in order to make the experience more comfortable. We have collected some of our college bedroom must haves in order to get great sleep.
Your Pillow from Home
We mentioned this earlier, but it is absolutely worth mentioning again. Bring your pillow from home, sometimes it is the little touches that make a huge difference in comfort. Pillow comfort is hard to get just right, especially with a new pillow.
Earplugs & Sound Canceling Headphones
We can guarantee, you are going to get a lot of use out of these. From blocking out those annoyingly loud people at the library, to your snoring roommate to the late night noise when you have a big test tomorrow.
Living in close quarters with a lot of fellow college students you are bound to end up needing sleep when someone else decides it is time to party. This makes having a way to block out unwanted noise a must have.
Click to shop our favorite Sound Canceling Headphones.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
So much work, studying, even textbooks and classes are held online over the computer these days. Which of course means long hours on the computer soaking in blue light. This can seriously confuse your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to get to sleep after.
Let a lone eye strain. Blue light blocking glasses can either be made with or without a prescription. These will help to block out blue light so you can get to sleep after you close the laptop. (Great to use with tablets, e-readers, and smartphones as well.)
A comfortable eye mask is the best way to block out any unwanted light. Whether you are blocking out the sun in order to take a cozy nap in between classes. Or your roommate is up late studying and you are needing to get to sleep.
Anytime you are sharing a sleeping space with another person, we highly recommend getting an eye mask. It is also a great tool for sleeping on planes.
Click to shop our favorite Eye Mask.
Being a college student can be incredibly stressful. As we mentioned previously, finding ways to cope and relax is vital in order to get any sleep. A weighted blanket is a great coping mechanism for relieving stress and anxiety.
Weighted blankets use something called deep pressure therapy. It mimics the feeling of a tight hug, which helps promote the release of oxytocin. Which has a feel good calming affect. When you are facing a stressful week of exams or finals, a weighted blanket can help you to feel calm and get some rest.
Sleep Tips For College Students:
At the end of the day we believe all college students are capable of getting great sleep. It is all a matter of managing yourself and your choices. If you are able to stay healthy, manage your time in order to be able to study, have fun, and take care of yourself. Then you will be able to survive college without an IV drip of espresso.
For many, going off to college is the first step into true adulthood. Which means it is a great time to learn how to properly manage your time and take care of yourself. Of course, getting enough sleep is a big part of that. We hope these sleep tips for college students helps you do just that.
Looking for a new mattress for your college dorm or apartment and not sure where to start? No problem! Let us help you start your mattress search with Our Mattress Guide to take out any confusion. This guide isn’t overly long but features the key important steps in finding the best bed for you.
Also access all of our latest and greatest Mattress Reviews too! Here you will find in depth analysis of all our reviewed mattresses. You can even compare them with our Mattress Comparison Tool. Some of our favorite beds that don’t break the bank can be found on our Best Mattresses on a Budget.
And lets not forget the most important thing, saving money. Easy as can be with our Mattress Coupons page featuring every up to date coupon in one easy to find place. Even get accessory reviews for pillows, protectors and sheets.