Sweet Dreams and Good Grades: How to Sleep Better in College ...

While sleep isn't exactly easy with a college schedule, there are a few ways to sleep better in college. I always had a difficult time getting the sleep I needed. Once I figured out some of the best ways to sleep better in college, my grades and mood improved. Plus, I felt much better and didn't feel the need to fall asleep in class. With a little work, college life doesn't have to mean a lack of sleep.

1. Talk to Your Roommate

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One of the best ways to sleep better in college is to create some ground rules with your roommate. Work out a schedule to reduce noise, turn down the lights and send visitors away at a certain time each night. If your roommate is on board, it'll be much easier to avoid the distractions that usually keep you awake. While you don't both have to go to bed at the same time, your roommate will likely try to be quieter so you can sleep.

2. Skip the Energy Boost

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Sometimes it might seem beneficial to chug an energy drink a few hours before bed to get some extra studying done, but it's not. All you're doing is causing another sleepless night. When you start sleeping better, you won't need the extra sugar and caffeine to keep you alert. It might be a tough transition, but it's well worth it. Not to mention, you can skip the horrible energy drink taste.

3. Avoid All Nighters

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Between classes, spending time with friends and even working, you might not get the study time you need. The answer isn't an all nighter. In fact, the longer you force yourself to stay awake, the harder it becomes to retain what you're reading or listening to. If you have big exam coming up, stick to your sleep routine and cancel plans with your friends instead. You'll study better, remember more and score higher on your exams.

4. Fit in Naps

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If you can't get a full night's sleep or you're just feeling a little tired during the day, take a short nap. Naps that are less than an hour give you a natural energy boost. Avoid taking extra long naps or you won't be able to sleep at night. If you have day and night classes, try to take a nap between them. Think of naps as a mental refresher. For best results, find a time when your roommate has class so you won't be disturbed.

5. Create a Schedule

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College isn't the time to stray from your bedtime schedule. When you go to bed at the same time every night, you'll find yourself sleeping better. It's fine to alter the time slightly from day to day if necessary. Drastic changes only confuse your body, making it difficult to fall asleep when you want. Try to get up at the same time each day as well. Think of sleep as a class you can't miss.

6. Try a Relaxing Hobby

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Doing a relaxing hobby right before bed helps to calm your mind so you sleep better. At least 30 minutes before bed, try reading a book, listening to soothing music or any other activity that relaxes you. Not only are you more likely to fall asleep faster, but this helps create a nightly routine that tells your body it's time for bed. Try to avoid studying or any stimulating activities. These just keep you awake.

7. Use Ear Plugs

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Dorms aren't exactly the quietest places. You can get around all the noise by using ear plugs or noise canceling headphones. You might have to experiment to figure out which ones are most comfortable for you. Some people even use wireless headphones with a timer to help them drift off to sleep. You can also use an eye mask to block out light if that's a problem.

8. Use White Noise

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White noise is designed to calm you while overriding other noises. Sit a small white noise machine by your bed. You can also download an app instead. Many of these machines and apps include a variety of sounds, such as rain, thunder and ocean waves. Personally, I used this one quite often and it worked wonders. It even helped my roommate fall asleep faster too.

9. Avoid Class Overload

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If you go beyond the normal full course load or take an entire semester of incredibly hard classes, you'll likely just stress out. Instead, rearrange your schedule so you have a mix of easier and harder classes. Try to avoid going more than two or three credit hours past the recommended course load. Trust me, you'll do better in every class and get better sleep as a result.

Sleep in college isn't impossible. With a few tweaks to your routine, you'll be sleeping better in no time. What did you do to sleep better while in college?

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