The Importance of Sleep

This might be my number one hope for you as you head out on your own, that you know how to put yourself to bed and more importantly at a decent hour. No one is going to take your phone away, turn off the tv, shut down the gaming or power down your laptop. You HAVE TO HAVE the willpower to shut it off and go to bed. Ideally you get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. That means if you have an 8A class, it takes you an hour to get ready, eat and walk to class then you need to be up at 7A. That means go to bed by at least 11P. 

It is SO easy to turn into a nocturnal animal when you leave home but it will do damage, I promise! Without proper sleep you will become:

  • Agitated 
  • Forgetful
  • Stressed
  • Depressed
  • Distracted easily
  • Have poor judgement
  • Make easy mistakes
  • Eat poorly to compensate for sleep
  • Immune system breaks down

Use any props you need to help tell you to shut down. Maybe it is an alarm that goes off telling you to go to bed. (Remember to set it to wake up too). Sound machines can help block noise in a dorm. An eye mask can help block out the light if your roommate is studying late at night. Wash your face, brush your teeth and create a routine to help remind your body you are shutting down. Make sure your bed is comfy to you so you want to get in it every night. That might mean really soft blankets, flannel sheets, lots of pillows, a featherbed, whatever will make it feel really special to you. Use blue light blocking glasses in the evening. It can help your melatonin production and let your body know sleep is coming.

Without proper sleep, you basically become unsafe to yourself and you CAN control that. I know there will be late nights studying or finishing a big project but it does not need to be every night. And going out every night sounds like WAY more fun than going to bed, but it will catch up to you quick! When students leave their first year, many times they just could not regulate the fun with the necessary. Part of being on your own is creating that balance you will have for a lifetime. 

Please do yourself a huge favor and prioritize sleep!

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