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Tracking your sleep can help you better manage your time. (Illustration by SAM GÜT)

Why tracking your sleep can help you better manage your time

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.


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