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The Best Thing You Can Do Is Sleep

Cara Davis, C'22

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Welcome back Mounties! I hope everyone got a restful and joyful break! The end of the semester is looming closer and planning for the fall semester continues... life can be a little chaotic. Professors are assigning papers, seniors are preparing for graduation, and everyone is counting the days until summer break. As a student, we cannot seem to get enough sleep. With constantly changing schedules, all-nighters, and excessive amounts of caffeine, sleep can be hard to find.

The amount of sleep we get affects our everyday life. Lack of sleep can make you groggy, but your body also isn't being restored. Sleep strengthens our immune system and affects the mood and performance of daily tasks. It would be ideal to get a full night of sleep, but that doesn't always align with college life. Most college students have learned to function on little sleep without thinking about its effects.

According to Harvard Health, sleep deprivation and your psychological state can be closely connected. Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of people dealing with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Lack of sleep can be at the middle of many students' psychological vulnerability.

I have always been someone who struggles with sleep, and I never thought much of it until recently. I have always been a night owl, so I have no problems with drinking a cup of coffee and writing a paper late into the night. So I find it hard to adjust my sleep schedule in a way that fits my lifestyle and improves overall health. I feel like this is a common struggle for many students at the Mount, so I wanted to share some helpful tips.

Take a look at your daily activities and choices and see if any adjustments need to be made. Below are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Health.

  • Lifestyle changes: Caffeine is an essential part of life as a student, but try limiting the daily intake. Also, avoid heavy meals closer to your sleep time.
  • Physical Activity: For some physical activity can help with falling asleep faster. It can also be a stress reliever that might also affect your sleep.
  • Sleep hygiene: It may be hard to do, but try to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Try listening to white noise or calming music and limit screens.
  • Relaxation: Increased stress or anxiety can impact sleep, so try some meditation techniques before bed. This can be helpful if you find it hard to turn your mind off.

I know that as a student with many stressors, getting sleep is easier said than done. Part of the process will be figuring out what works for you because everyone is different. Sleep is an essential part of life and can affect everything else. So make it a priority. I hope everyone can get some rest in these crazy times and I will catch you next week Mounties!

Cara Davis, C'22