2 Simple Ways To Avoid “All-Nighter’s” In College

There’s been this graphic floating around the internet; it’s a triangle, and at each point there is written “a good social life,” “good grades,” and “sleep.” The caption for the picture simply says “Welcome to College! Pick Two.”

The sad thing is that, much of the time that does seem like your only option and that there’s no way that you can have all three of these essential things. Somehow, sleep always seems to be the first to go on that list.  College students often are under the belief that they are young, so the amount of sleep they have doesn’t matter, and that they can bounce back easily enough, or even just save it all for the weekends and be fine.

However, this is not the case. For much of college, our brains and bodies are still developing; we need that sleep more than ever!  Speaking from experience, I know that the after effects of near-to or all-nighters don’t go away with just one nap, and that all your missed hours of sleep will catch up to you. There’s no way that you can continue like that, especially for four years. An extra two hours or so on the weekend won’t make up for two hours of sleep lost every night during the week.

So, how can you stay on top of your academic and social obligations, and still get a good night’s rest?

The answer lies in two places, consistency and time management:

Consistency is incredibly important, and a fundamental component to getting enough sleep. This was one of the things that I lost between college and high school. On weeknights, I’d average going to bed around 11, and weekends were when I’d be up late. Once I got to college, for whatever reason that went out the window. As such, I saw my average bed time get later and later, and the day’s when I had to get up early became harder to do, because I couldn’t get to bed at a time that would have guaranteed me enough sleep.  I think part of this is because of how scheduling goes—some days classes start later than others, so you can afford to stay up later—but regardless,  there needs to be some form of consistency  to ensure that you get all the sleep you need.

Time management is the other element, and the consistency of you getting to bed relies heavily on that. If you wait until it’s very late, such as post social activities, to get your school work done, then you will most likely not meet your pre-assigned bed time, and everything will be thrown out of whack.  A few times probably won’t hurt you, but the more often this happens, the harder it will be to get back into the swing of things. As such, you need to factor in all of your activities into whatever free time you have for the day.  This can be done, even if it may come at the cost of some activities that you would like to do, but do not necessarily have to do.  However, that comes down to, again, the “pick two” and  but even if you have to, sacrificing a night of fun for six hours of sleep will pay off in the long run.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.