Sleep

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They say Mondays are the worst day of the week while Fridays are the best. That is because of the lack of sleep that we get on the weekends versus the weekdays. Sleep scheduling is an ongoing issue around the world especially for people around high school and college age.

For me, heading into my freshman year of college was when it all changed. I used to go to bed by 10 or 11 o’clock in high school and now I’m not even tired when it gets to those times of night. I am wide awake and my night has just started. Since coming to NEC, I have become more of a night person and I hate mornings with a passion. I can stay up from 2:00 to 6:00 in the morning if I want to. Life really changes when a person gets to the stage of having roommates.

Nocturnal means being active at night. There are a number of things that I do in order to stay awake and be active at night. I wish I knew what it is but there is just this sudden amount of energy I get as soon as the sun goes down. I have a tendency for gaming almost every day.

The late nights of doing nothing important then going to class the next day looking like a zombie is the everyday life for a college student. I cannot even count how many of those days I have had. Sleep is something that a lot of people wish they were better at. Think about how many times we hear, “Oh I’m tired,” just in one day. A person who did not get enough sleep the previous night will say to themselves, “Well, maybe I will go to bed early tonight,” but it does not end up happening which starts a pattern. That is where I am currently at.

According to a University of Georgia article, the average college student gets about 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep every night. In order to be healthy the average person needs to get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. People are always looking for ways to get more sleep, and to get rid of their bad sleeping habits. It is rare to find someone who has that perfect balance when it comes to sleep.

How to go to sleep

  1. Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
  2. Avoid naps after 3 p.m.
  3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
  4. Avoid nicotine completely.
  5. Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
  6. Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day, but a light snack before bedtime is OK.
  7. Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.
  8. Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep (for example, reading or listening to music).
  9. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
  10. See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.

I wish going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time everyday was that simple. Sounds easy enough to do, right? Yeah, no. I have days where I want to go to bed early due to the lack of sleep I got the previous night and but that tends not to happen because I have roommates. I live with 5 other guys, and if girlfriends are included, I am really living with 8 people in one house. It is the same thing almost every night, “Bro, get on and play Fortnite?”

Now in my head, I am like, well maybe we won’t play for that long tonight because we all have class in the morning. You would think that would stop us. Again, wrong. These gaming sessions tend to be very long even on a bad day. By long, I’m talking between 4 to 6 hours straight so that’s already a fourth of the day gone right there. The biggest issue with that is I have the opportunity to say “No” at anytime but I never do, I always give into peer pressure and send it.

Being a college student, I develop new habits all the time. Having to go to class all day and coming back to the room is one example. One thing a student wants to do at that point is go to bed and lay down until there is something to do. But in order to gain a good sleeping schedule, one should avoid taking a nap after 3pm.

Honestly, how many people actually go by that? I certainly don’t. If I’m exhausted at 2:59 pm, I’m going to bed and there’s nothing stopping me from doing that. Until I get a knock on my door, “Bro, Fort?”

Another way of getting sleep is to not eat a meal late at night. I do not follow this either, especially if I am starving, there’s no way I am just eating a light snack such as carrot sticks or crackers. I cannot get myself to do that. It sounds awful but I have to be at least somewhat full going to bed or it’s going to be a bad night for me. On some nights this means 20 McDonald’s chicken nuggets, large fries, and a large milkshake. Good thing I have another year before I graduate to figure out a sleeping schedule that will allow me to function in the world beyond college.

Staying away from caffeine is one the hardest parts about being a full time student. I have consumed more caffeine in the past 3 years than my entire life prior to coming to school. Especially when it comes to the last two weeks of semester when professors decide to give work all at the same time.

To this day, I still believe that teachers and professors try to drown students in work all at the same time. That amount of work that has to get done requires caffeine so we can stay up late at night in order to get it done. The more work a student has, the more caffeine you are going to need. The worst part about that is trying to fall asleep after finishing all your work but your brain is still caffeine high. Making your bedroom comfortable, dark, and quiet sounds easy, but it often doesn’t do much. When I down two huge cans of Monster or Red Bull there’s no chance I’m gonna be comfortable when I’m awake and want to do something other than sleep.

 

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Trevon is a third year student at New England College pursing a degree in Sports and Recreational Management. When he isn't in class you can find him in the Admissions Office where he works or helping out on campus as a Peer Leader. He is from Hartford, Connecticut and is set to graduate in 2020.
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