Cures for the College Insomniac

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Madeline Beavis
A view of the sun setting over a lake.

It’s no secret that "sleep" is not always a part of a college student’s vocabulary – understandably since worrying about upcoming exams and deadlines would make anyone anxious! As someone who has suffered from bouts of insomnia since childhood and spending a year with a roommate, it became obvious I was not the only one tossing and turning. Even after long days of studying I can struggle to shut my mind off when it’s time to go to bed. If you’re like me, here are some tips that may help you naturally fall asleep faster and feel refreshed for all your classes and activities!

1. Put away the screens.

Night after night I’ve fallen victim to my phone, spending what felt like 5 minutes scrolling through notifications when suddenly, an hour had gone by! I learned the hard way that the blue light from technology interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep as well as wake up the next morning. If you want to fall asleep faster, put away the computer and turn off TikTok at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to go to bed.

2. With the screens away, pull out a book... a paper book.

If you love to read, this is the tip for you! Reading a few pages of a book can help make your eyes and brain tired, which will help you fall asleep faster. Just make sure there aren’t any major cliffhangers that will keep you hooked so you can’t put it down!

3. Listen to white noise or soft music.

Dorms can get loud, so creating a buffer between you and the background noise can be really helpful. There are a lot of apps or websites offering free white noise or soothing music to block out unwanted sound.

4. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

After sitting at a desk all day studying or completing assignments, I sometimes feel like my body needs to move and stretch to release pent-up energy. If it feels like your mind is tired but your body isn’t, try incorporating at least 30-60 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Even something as simple as a walk around your campus can help reduce your energy before bed.

5. Drink a cup of chamomile tea.

I've found that chamomile tea has an almost magical calming effect! Not only can it help you to relax, but it also has numerous health benefits, aids in digestion, and has a soothing aroma.

Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is very important for alertness, memorization, boosting your immune system, improving your mood, and maintaining good mental and physical health. Do yourself a favor and try a few of these ideas to improve your sleep and your overall health!

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