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The struggle is real: sleep trouble by Elton Tevebaugh

Submitted by Morgan Drish on October 14, 2015 – 1:04 pmOne Comment

Being a full-time student can be hard enough, even without worrying about maintaining a regular sleep schedule. As someone whose sleep schedule is constantly subject to change, I assure you that the struggle is real. There are several factors that limit my ability to sleep healthily.

First, I am a non-traditional student, and at 27 years old, I’m a little older than the typical student. I am set in my ways at this point, even when it comes to sleeping. My habits over the years have been more frequently sporadic instead of static, so chaotic sleep habits just seem right to me.

Second, I have a part-time (sometimes borderline full-time) job in a kitchen and I primarily work a night shift. Getting off work after 10 p.m. may not seem late until you take into account that it takes at least two or three hours after work to wind down before I am able to get to sleep. Adding alcohol into the mix seldom helps with sleeping, but having a beer after a lengthy shift can help me wind down a little bit quicker.

Third, I am not the type of person to plan things most of the time, so I just sort of go with the flow. While this benefits me a lot of the time, I find it can stifle my ability to have a sense of regularity. For instance, I may not plan on staying up late on a given Monday night, but what if a late football game goes into overtime and doesn’t end until around midnight? A similar instance has already happened this semester, and these things do happen on occasion.

On top of having these factors detract from my ability to strive for a regular sleep schedule, I find myself affected by a lack of sleep. I can be lethargic, irritable, have headaches, have trouble focusing and have a feeling of general worthlessness. Sleep is one way in which our bodies help to regulate themselves, and a lack of it (which is all too common among college students) can potentially lead to some less than ideal conditions.

All hope is not lost! The National Sleep Foundation’s website offers a few tips to help with proper sleep hygiene, including: avoiding napping during the day, avoiding stimulants (nicotine, caffeine, alcohol) too close to bedtime, avoiding eating (especially meals) before bed, establishing a regular bedtime routine and associating your bed with sleep.

Instead of reading or watching TV in your bed, simply use it for sleeping.



One Comment »

  • Rubain says:

    Last line here is truly right, bed must be used for sleeping only and if you watch TV or read something then it will cut down your sleep time and again some more sleeping trouble will remain.