Young Asian man laying in bed with arm on forehead, looking concerned

5 Quick and Easy Tips to Sleep Better in College

The cornerstone of good health is a good night's sleep! Here's how to get the best sleep possible (even if it seems impossible) as a busy college student.

With academics, friends, and part-time work to juggle, students often find their college years to be the busiest of their lives thus far. For current and future college students, it pays to take care of the cornerstone of good health before tackling your hectic schedule—and by that, we mean sleep. A good eight hours of shut-eye can increase brain function, significantly decrease stress levels, and even affect food choices for the better. But how do you ensure uninterrupted sleep in the not-so-sleep-inducing environment of college (and more particularly, a college dorm)? Check out the helpful tips below to find out.

1. Get your body moving

If you’re doing a lot of shifts at the library and don’t have much reason to get steps in on campus, your college lifestyle has the potential to be very sedentary. However, research shows that people who don’t get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day struggle significantly more with insomnia. Expend your pent-up energy by visiting your college’s recreation center or joining an intramural sports team on your campus. On the topic of health and fitness, you should do your best to eat healthy. Too many new college students get stuck in the trap of dining hall food and study session takeout. Set yourself up in the morning with energy for the rest of the day by planning nutritious, fun breakfasts to look forward to, such as a berry smoothie or banana-and-oat pancakes.

Related: Video: How to Stay Healthy in College

2. Choose the right media to relax with

You might crash fine at 2:00 am after working on a paper past midnight, but how do you feel by the next afternoon? When it comes to committing to a regular bedtime routine, it’s paramount to provide yourself with adequate time to wind down. You’ve probably heard that avoiding screens before bed is a good idea. The good news is that there are other, more beneficial ways to chill out besides Netflix! Why not read a book that’s unrelated to your study before hitting the hay? Light your favorite fragrant candle to create some ambiance and do some light yoga. Whatever your routine, figure out what best primes your body and mind for sleep.

3. Keep to-do lists

You're probably asking what this has to do with sleep. Let me ask you a question: Are you stressing too often about your tasks and responsibilities when you’re trying to fall asleep? Defend against the specter of night-time worrying by working on your organization during the daytime. Make up a realistic to-do list every morning and keep a careful eye on your course deadlines to avoid as many all-nighters as possible. You can also plan your meals and outfits in advance so you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to rush around preparing things once you get up in the morning (especially if you’re not a morning person).

Related: Why Every College Student Should Keep a Planner

4. Block out all the light

College dorms—and apartments, if you’re living off-campus—are often fitted with flimsy window covers that do a dismal job of keeping out the light. Block out flickering light posts in the parking lot or the early sun by investing in some blackout blinds to fit your windows. But also don't forget unnecessary light in your room. Avoid leaving your computer on at night, and flip your phone over on your bedside table so any late-night texts don't wake you up. Or go so far as to put your phone on "do not disturb" for the night and really disconnect for better sleep. 

5. Learn how to deal with noise

Dorms and apartments can be noisy places, especially if you and your roommates are on totally different schedules. This kind of issue can be accounted for in the application period before even coming to college, as most schools offer quiet housing. But if you're already in college, buy some earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help drone out the partying or the flushing bathrooms next door. If your roommate is really posing a problem, consider approaching them respectfully about the issue and get your RA involved if you feel it's necessary. 

Related: Top Sleep Hygiene Advice for Tired Students

Sleep is so important to your success as a college student—so don't neglect it. If you're getting poor sleep, make some proactive changes to improve your sleep schedule and refresh your mind. The longer you put it off, the more you're risking your grades, your social life, and so much more. You can only run on fumes for so long!

Want some help adding an easy workout to your busy student routine? Check out these Simple and Effective Exercise Routines for the Busy Student!

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About Cloe Matheson

Cloe is a freelance writer from New Zealand. Read more of her work on her blog,


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