Halfway through the semester, my personal sleep schedule is absolutely upside down, and I am sure many students are in the same position. I was asked to track anything I wanted for a class, so I picked to track my sleep in a hope that I would be able to change my bad habits. Along with tracking how many hours I slept, I also rated each night’s sleep on a scale of one to 10, wrote down if I had any dreams and made note of what I was doing before bed. 

It was no surprise that I was not getting enough sleep but to see the total number of hours slept each night be so low was shocking. There was a clear correlation between each night’s total hours slept and my personal rating of the sleep. As a student, it is expected that I would be up late studying, but I found that most nights I spent time before bed socializing with friends. Here is what I discovered when I tracked my sleep for two weeks:

Sleep should be a priority

Sleeping is what recharges students after a day full of classes, work and homework. When people stay up late, it does not allow for this recharge time, which results in a weaker immune system and a greater possibility of getting sick. Along with that, there are plenty other reasons sleep can be beneficial such as better memory retention, reaction time and a greater ability to concentrate. 

It is OK to say no

I find it extremely hard to say no to friends. I often find myself hanging out with friends in my dorm room which leads to me being distracted from homework and having to stay up late to finish it. I discovered it is OK to say no to friends to make more time to finish what I had to get done for my classes. By doing this, I am able to study at a reasonable time and get sleep all in one night.

Do not lie

The recommended amount of sleep for college students is six to eight hours a night. While I figured I wasn’t hitting that amount each night, I was just lying to myself and overestimating the time I spent sleeping. While I knew I was tired, I did not contribute it to the fact that I would only get four hours of sleep the night before a 9 a.m. class. Then the next night, I would say I was going to be in bed early and end up going to bed at 3:00 a.m. because I would procrastinate the process. When it comes to sleep, do not lie and just go to bed.

I highly recommend tracking sleep so that it can be seen on a full scale, even if only for just a week, how much more sleep is needed to stay on top of school and to stay healthy, especially with flu season approaching.