This post was last updated on November 14th, 2018.
You know that feeling. You wake up in the morning and you have a hard time figuring out how many hours did you actually sleep. Things might be stressful for you due to your study workload or because of some of the other duties that many young people nowadays have to face. Although research shows that one-time sleep deprivation has no cognitive effect on young university students, if you tend to spend more nights being deprived than you’d like to admit, it can take some serious consequences on you in the future. If you want to know how to avoid sleep deprivation while in college, keep reading.
1. Figure Out Who You Are
Are you an early bird or a night owl? There’s no helping you unless you can answer this question clearly.
In college, you usually have a highly shifted time schedule due to ever-changing classes, parties and all other activities that you had not planned for. In any way, at a minimum level, you should at least know whether you like to hit the bed soon or sleep a little more in the morning. Both scenarios have its benefits so there’s no real winner here – early birds get to enjoy less stressful mornings because they have a plenty of time while night owls can enjoy calm evenings and nigh when nobody bothers them because most people already sleep.
Figure out who you are first and rest will come. Don’t try to fit into the sleeping patterns of others (like your family or roommates), but rather find your own way.
2. Keep Your Body Happy
While in school, many people find less time to work out and eat properly. It’s either lack of time, or money, or both. However, it’s important to realize that while you can run pasta, burgers and coke for some time, you cannot do this forever. Sooner or later your health will take a hit and it will be harder to recover than it would be to just live healthy all the way. Every day you should aim for a sufficient amount of water, healthy exercise and sleep.
3. Keep Your Mind Happy Too
Caffeine. Energy Drinks. Stress. Drugs…
Well, the list above is not in any particular order nor it’s definitive, however, it may sound familiar to you. The truth is that even though science doesn’t know exactly why we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, it surely has a very strong hypothesis on this.
Sleep does not only releases a growth hormone that heals your body but also removes toxins from your brain that you accumulated during the day. It also helps to save the useful stuff that you filled into your brain while studying the day to your long-term memory. This is why if you want to avoid sleep deprivation, you need to understand what is the purpose of the sleep in the first place and aim for the healthy sleep.
If you want to achieve a good night sleep and avoid sleep deprivation, you simply need to get rid of all the unhealthy things that play tricks with your mind during the day and prevent you from resting during the night. Don’t drink coffee late in the evening, don’t exercise before going to sleep. Don’t do drugs nor drink alcohol but if you have to, at least don’t go to bed while still under the influence.
For more tips and tricks check your other article on how to have a better night sleep.
Bonus: It’s just school
At the end of the day, you have to realize that it’s just school. You might be tempted to think that success in life will highly depend on your outcome in a particular exam, semester or midterm. That’s hardly ever the case. If you can’t keep up with the workload and suffer from sleep deprivation, more often than not you have other options to lower the level of stress. Try to talk to the professor or study department, delay the submission of a certain homework, repeat the exam or even repeat the whole class. Don’t let the education stress you out to the point when it will affect your health.
Article Disclosure: If your sleep deprivation persists outside the regular study workload, seek a medical guidance. No amount of internet articles can help here and you need to look for a professional help immediately.