How to Avoid Insomnia in College

So many nights you lay in bed and just can’t fall asleep. There are so many distractions keeping you awake. Oh the joys of college.

Many college students have to deal with insomnia sometime throughout their college experience. Let me tell you it is not fun when you know you can’t sleep and have to wake up early the next day for an exam.

Insomnia is a classification of sleep disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. It is the most commonly reported sleep disorder. About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia.

There are so many factors to why students have insomnia:

  • Having roommates that keep you up until the early hours of the morning because they won’t be quiet
  • Drinking so much caffeine to help you stay awake to study and now that it is time to sleep you can’t because your body is so full of that caffeine
  • Too much thinking and worrying about things
  • You might be hungry
  • You are hot or cold
  • Noise outside of your room, whether its a roommate or something/someone else
  • Stress

Take a minute to yourself and figure out why you aren’t getting the sleep you need.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, some great tips to help get the rest you need are right below:

  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine
  • Establish a relaxing setting at bed time
  • Get a full night’s sleep every night. Try to go to bed early.
  • Avoid food and drinks that contain caffeine as well as medicine that might contain it.
  • Do not bring worries to bed!
  • Do not go to bed hungry.
  • Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of going to sleep.
  • Make your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Buy a fan. Sometimes the noise of a fan helps people sleep (it does for me!)
  • Try to get up at the same time each day.

In 2008, a study was conducted at Central Michigan University that surveyed more than 300 college students, freshmen through graduate students, many of whom admitted that it took longer than 30 minutes for them to fall asleep and/or they woke more than once a night for at least five nights a week.

The study was published in the Journal of American College Health and it concluded that one third of the sample took more than 30 minutes to fall asleep and 43 percent woke more than once a night. The students in the sample also had later bedtimes and wake times on weekends compared to weekdays.

College students are among the most sleep-deprived age group in the U.S. Sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on daily performance, including academics and driving, and has also been linked to depressed mood and behavioral problems.

So yes, trying to get sleep in college can be hard but eventually you will fall asleep and get the rest you need. Just be sure to follow all the steps to get a better night’s rest. Talk with your roommate(s) to see if there is any way to keep the noise down at night. If they were in your shoes, they would want do to the same thing. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

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Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism with a minor in English. She transferred to the University of Iowa from Scott Community College in Bettendorf Iowa. Outside of school she loves to exercise and stay fit. She is also a huge book nerd and loves to read. She also loves to cook and of course spend time with friends and family.
Cayla Gorsh

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